Bloody shirt.Another punishment is the brank, also
Bloody Painful: Crime and Punishmentin Elizabethan EnglandBy: Elyatan MarcusThis article’s purpose is to express the danger of breaking the law in England.
Most of the punishments of our time are deemed cruel and unusual. The death penalty can no longer be enacted in cases of theft or highway robbery. The following paragraphs will describe the various instruments of punishment (torture) of the period.One out of the ordinary punishment of this era is the drunkard’s cloak. It is a punishment for public drunkenness; the name of it is somewhat misleading. The flaw in the name comes from the fact that the cloak is less a cloak and more a barrel.
The drunk was forced to don a barrel and wander through town while the villagers jeer at him. Holes were cut in the barrel for the person’s hands and head, causing it to become like a heavy, awkward shirt.Another punishment is the brank, also known as the bride’s scold.
The brank is a punishment enacted on women who gossiped or spoke too freely. It was a large iron framework placed on the head of the offender, forming a type of cage. There was a metal strip on the brank that fit into the mouth and is either sharpened to a point or covered with spikes so that any movement of the tongue was certain to cause severe injuries to the mouth. The woman was then led by a city official through the streets of town by a chain, then usually tied to a whipping post or pillory to stand in view of the cruel and verbally abusive public.Yet another punishment for criminals is the pillory.
The pillory is a wooden post with a wooden block on top with holes in it for the person’s hands and head to be placed in. The heads and hands were then locked into place while the person was forced to stand in public display for the decided sentence. In some cases the pillory was combined with a whipping post and stocks to make a one stop, public punishment device.Also among the list of Elizabethan punishment methods is the stocks. The stocks were similar to the pillory in that a part of the body was locked between two slabs of wood, but in the case of the stocks the feet were locked in the device instead of the hands and feet.
The stocks were a proposed method of punishment for drunkenness. The offender will be fined to five shillings or six hours in the stocks. The stocks are often used as a method of holding a criminal until a more severe sentence can be decided and carried out.One punishment about which there is not much to say is the whipping post.
It was basically what the name says, a wooden post that the person was strapped to and whipped for the prescribed number of times. One more odd punishment worth mentioning is the ducking stool. Like the brank, it was a punishment for women whose speech was considered too brash and brazen or too free. The ducking stool is a wooden chair attached to a large lever system. The lever allows the chair to be raised or lowered without the tipping of the chair, making it parallel to the ground at all times. The chair is then lowered into the water, dunking the loose tongued woman under the water.
Based on the level of the offense and the cruelty of the deciding party the woman could be “ducked” any number of times, and in some cases of extreme measures, the woman could drown from the time spent under water. Some of the ducking stools were mobile and could be taken to the water’s edge at the necessary time, while others were fixed into place along the coast of the water as a grim reminder to the women of the town of what free speaking could lead to.One tool that is used as punishment was the amputation saw.
Much more cruel than the axe, the saw is slower and more painful than the relative quickness of the axe blade. Villagers can be considered twisted individuals because of the crowds of people that gathered for the public punishments and executions. People relished the public hangings, and the persons to be hanged were often falsely accused of treason, which called for them to be publicly disemboweled and then cut into quartered sections to be left on display after the person’s death.Popular Current Amusements and EntertainmentBy: Urich von LuchtensteinAlthough there is work to be done, leisure is an important part of the lives of English people. Most of this leisure came either after church on Sundays or on the holidays. Much has been written about the Elizabethan people: “.
..they were expressive and eloquent, ostentanious and pleasure-loving, not industrious or hardworking, but bold and self-confident, markedly fearless of death, mercurial and inconsistent, loving change, above all, passionate.”There is great cultural achievement nowadays, particularly in the area of music and drama. Musical literacy is expected in the upper class of society.
Many Elizabethans make their own music. The laborers sing while they work, and the townspeople sing or play music after meals. The lute, virginal, viola, recorder, bagpipe, and the fiddle were favored instruments of that time. A popular form of entertainment in the countryside is the ringing of church bells. Elizabethans also love to hear music. Music has to be performed. In the major towns, official musicians, better known as Waits, give free public concerts.
The wealthy people hire musicians to play during dinner. Dancing is also a popular activity. The dances are mostly performed by couples. This is one of the best opportunities for interaction between married people.
Dancing varies according to social class. Dancing at court and dancing in villages are two separate things. The upper class favor courtly dances. Some of the court dances include the Brawl, the Volte and the Pavane. Morris dancing, which include the wearing of bells, is performed as part of the summer festivals.
Ordinary people are more likely to do traditional “country” dances. These dances include the jig, the dump, the hay and the trenchmore. Some of the dances that were performed have foreign names, usually French or Italian.
The Pavane, Cassamezzo, Lavolta, Coranto and the Galliard are just a few. Dancing in the Elizabethan Age is considered “a wholesome recreation of the mind and also an exercise of the body.” Drama is at the high peak of its cultural achievement for all time.
There is a variety of plays including action, humor, violence, and plays with musical interludes. This period witnesses the first entertainment industry, especially in theater. Although the first performances were done in the courtyards of large inns, the very first public theater in London was built in 1576.
Theaters are mostly found in London, near the court. However, plays are attended by all the people, with the audience reflecting society from the lowest to the highest levels. A constant demand for entertainment leads London companies to take minor performances, like folk players, puppeteers, and acrobats, on the road. The plague often interrupts the run plays and even closed down theaters, making road performances necessary.
Elizabethan theater is the work of a few men: proprietors, actors, playwrights and workmen. The actors creating theater often receive rewards, become respectable and would slowly move up in social standing. Some of the brilliant actors are the Burbages (James, Richard and Cuthbert), Philip Henstoe and Edward Alleyn. The brilliant playwrights include Christopher Marlow, William Shakespeare, and Ben Johnson. SportsBy: Cicero AurileusSports plays a major role in the leisure time of the Elizabethan Age. Some of the indoor games included dice, chess, checkers and a variety of card games.
The card games include primero, trump, gleek, new cut and many others. If the cards and dice are too passive for the men, wrestling is an alternative for them. With wrestling, however, come injuries like broken ribs, internal injuries, broken necks and more.
England is so far north that in the midsummer there is plenty of light late into the evening. This gives people more time to spend outside after their work is done. Some of the outdoor games include golf, horse racing, shovel-board, sliding, swimming, fishing, hunting, fencing, dueling and cricket. It is not tolerable for a man to be unskilled at tennis, bowling, archery and hunting. Tennis is a respectable sport which can be played with either a racket or hand.
Bowling and tennis games are not played far from home. While the upper class enjoyed tennis, the common folk preferred football. If a field could not be found, the village street is used.
All levels of society enjoy the sport of hunting. Horses, dogs and hawks are kept and trained for hunting deer, rabbits and other wildlife.Another major part of Elizabethan lifestyle has to do with feasts and festivals. Every season of the year has special days that draw people together to celebrate. In the spring, Shrove Tuesday is one of the festivals observed in the Lenten season.
Feasts and a carnival are held and bell ringing, masking, gaming, and begging are among the activities. One of the greater festivals of the year is held at Easter time. The Mayday celebration consists of the decorating of the maypole and dancing around it.
In the summer, bonfires are burned and dances are held to celebrate Midsummer’s Eve on June 24. Also in June, St. John the Baptist’s Festival is an important civic occasion. In the fall, harvest festivals are held. On All Hallow’s Eve, Elizabethans celebrate by ducking for apples, dancing and bell ringing. The winter holidays begin with Christmas, run through New Year’s Eve and end on the Twelfth Night, January 5. These holidays include gifts, bonfires, wassail, yule logs, music and jollity.
From the beginning to the end of each year, Elizabethans find ways to keep themselves entertained. We are a creative group of people who pursue leisure activities with great passion. Elizabethan Sports By: Gretchen Maxwell and Alan CareyElizabethan England embraces many different customs and cultures. The customs that have the greatest effect on the rest of the world are the games of war that consume spare time. Games of war vary from hunting, with hawks or dogs, to equestrian activities, including tournament jousts and tilts.
Most of the sports of the Elizabethan era are carried over from the medieval period.Hunting is a favorite pastime for people, especially rich people. Queen Elizabeth herself loves to hunt. The hunt allows the rich nobles to show off their fine horses, hawks, clothing, and weapons. Horses are shown off by their breeding, most commonly by nobles, and are ranked by endurance, speed, beauty, and strength.
From the hunting rounds, the wealthy often establish a breeding tree of some sort in an attempt to create the perfect breed. Many clothing fashions are established during the hunting trips. Often a noble will arrive garbed in a new outfit which the wealthy and under class surrounding the hunt would emulate, thus spreading the style. New weaponry also appeared at such events. One such case is the adapted new arrow head. Hawking, otherwise known as falconry, is the sport of royalty. It is said that this is a reference to the stateliness of the birds, but it is a royal sport mainly because commoners cannot afford to train the birds.
They cannot afford any other aspect of the sport, for that matter. The eagle is a bird reserved solely for the King and Queen, but there are no other restrictions placed upon the bird’s species. As is the case with the horses, there is a slight attempt to breed hawks, but interaction primarily falls upon trading, rather than breeding.
Jousting is a popular sport that involves running at an opponent with a lance and trying to knock him off his horse. Shields and armor are involved, of course. Jousting tournaments are held for the rich; they are forbidden to common folk. Jousting, like any other sport, is another excuse for the rich to show off their armor, clothes and animals. Preparation for the joust involves the quintain, which properly knocks a person off their horse if the person did not hit the quintain just right. Hairstyles of the Elizabethan Period By: Lesley Barfield and Tamarra FullerHairstyle is an important issue for the men and women of the Elizabethan time. Both sexes tok pride and joy in making their hair look as fabulous as the next person’s.
The people of this time spent hours upon hours waiting in line to receive splendid hair-dos. Cost was not an issue with the wealthy people of this time. They would do almost anything to get the look that they wanted. They went through great extremes to change their hairstyles when fads came and went.During the Elizabethan period men took as much pride in their hair as the women did. They would spend whole days sitting in the barber shop listening to music and talking to one another. The Elizabethan barber stiffened, starched, powdered, perfumed, waxed, and dyed the hair a fashionable red.
The hair was worn shoulder length and curled with hot irons, which were then called “love locks.” When the men of this time went bald, they depended upon wigs to help them keep up the latest fashion. The wigs worn at his time were usually a fashionable white or yellow color.
The men of this time were so facial hair-conscious that they spent a lot of money on keeping their beards trimmed to fit the fashion. Long beards needed little care except for occasional brushing. The short beards called for a hairdresser. The beards could be cut pointed, square, round, oblong, or T-shaped.
In the daytime men brushed the beard to keep it in tip-top shape, and at night they often encased the beard in a special wooden press. Beards were considered to be attractive.The women of the Elizabethan Age went through great extremes to achieve the look that was in. They dyed their hair blonde, which was the favorite hue.
Women spent whole days sitting in the sun because they believed that the sun added a golden glint. Women who bleached their hair dried it from the terrace tops of their houses. When dying their hair, women wore hats without the crowns and with a brim, over which the hair was spread. The brim protected the wearer from the sun.
The women also wore quantities of false hair, which was usually made from peasants’ hair or formed by white and yellow silk. All of these things women did to their hair were hotly condemned, and some women were denounced for “ungodly exploitation” of themselves.The women wear many accessories in their hair. The most popular of all accessories is the hair net. Women wear thread nets of silk, but poor women who also want to keep up fashion wear nets made of crepe. Sometimes hair is worn loose, filling in the pouch-like bag.
The nets are then decorated with gold trimmings and jewels. Hairpins and hair combs are added to the net to give the hair a better look. Pointed hats are sometimes worn over the hair nets to emphasize the look.