The Yorkist Age: Daily Life during the Wars of the Roses

By Paul Murray Kendall | Go to book overview

II
Wives

WHAT the Victorians and subsequent generations have called home life existed in the fifteenth century only among the humbler classes. The young couple whose destinies had been linked by parental arrangement settled down to create not a home but a household. The attitudes of the age did not encourage privacy, intimacy, or demonstrations of affection; households were frequently on the move or scattered; and the business of living, among the merchants and gentry, often required husbands and wives to be apart.

The King and his lords moved from manor to manor, as they had for centuries, to keep watch upon their lands and to consume the produce thereof; it was easier to bring the household to the estate than to transport the yield of the estate to the household; besides, at periodic intervals sewage had to be removed from the cellar pits which lay below the 'garderobes' and castles 'sweetened' before they could be again comfortably lived in.

On a smaller scale, the upper classes in town and country emulated the nobles. Families like the Celys shuttled back and forth between their manors and their London dwellings and offices. The Stonors and the Plumptons and the Pastons shifted households from estate to estate, paused in a nearby town to spend a season, came up to London for shopping and legal business. Sir John Howard owned places in Colchester, Harwich, and the capital; the Pastons possessed two dwellings in Norwich and property in London. In the last years of his life John Paston appears to have spent more time on the banks of the Thames than at home in the country. When powerful men were trying to tear pieces

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The Yorkist Age: Daily Life during the Wars of the Roses
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page 3
  • Preface 7
  • Contents 11
  • Principal Persons 15
  • Prologue - The Times 21
  • 1 - The Mayor 51
  • 1 - The Mayor: at Home 53
  • 2 - The Mayor: Abroad 88
  • 3 - Rebel Against the Mayor 117
  • 4 - The Lord Mayor of London 134
  • II - Other Important People 159
  • 5 - The King and the Royal Household 161
  • 6 - Lords and Gentry 194
  • 7 - Churchmen and the Church 244
  • 8 - Merchants, Pirates, Aliens and Lawyers 281
  • III - The Household 329
  • 9 - The Fabric of Life 331
  • 10 - The Marriage Hunt 364
  • II - Wives 401
  • 12 - Children 434
  • Epilogue 463
  • Bibliography 505
  • Index 515
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