That there is an old Hotel/Pub in Marble Arch which use to have gallows adjacent. Prisoners were taken to the gallows (after a fair trial of course) to be hung. The horse drawn dray carting the prisoner was accompanied by an armed guard who would stop it outside the pub and ask the prisoner if he would like one last drink. If he said yes it was referred to as 'one for the road' and if he declined the prisoner was 'on the wagon'.
They used to use urine to tan animal skins, so families used to all pee in a pot and then once a day it was taken and sold to the tannery. If you had to do this to survive you were 'piss poor' but worse than that were the really poor folk who couldn't even afford to buy a pot they 'didn't have a pot to piss in' and were considered the lowest of the low.
The next time you are washing your hands and complain because the water temperature isn't just how you like it, think about how things used to be. Here are some facts about the 1500's:
Most people got married in June because they took their yearly bath in May, and they still smelled pretty good by June. However, since they were starting to smell brides carried a bouquet of flowers to hide the body odour. Hence the custom today of carrying a bouquet when getting married.
Baths consisted of a big tub filled with hot water. The man of the house had the privilege of the nice clean water, then all the other sons and men, then the women, children and finally the babies. By then the water was so dirty you could actually lose someone in it. Hence the saying 'don't throw the baby out with the bath water'.
Floors were dirt. Only the wealthy had something other then dirt. Hence the saying 'dirt poor'. The wealthy had slate floors that would get slippery when wet so they spread thresh (straw) on the floor to keep their footing. As winter wore on, they added more thresh until, when you opened the door, it would all start slipping outside. A piece of wood was placed in the entrance way hence a threshold.
In those old days, they mainly ate vegetables but sometimes they could get pork. When visitors came over they would hang up thier bacon to show off. It was a sign of wealth that a man could 'bring home the bacon'. They would cut off a little to share with guests and would all sit around and 'chew the fat'.
Lead cupsw were used to drink ale or whisky. The combination would sometimes knock the imbibers out for a couple of days. Someone walking along the road would take them for dead and prepare them for burial. They were laid out on the kitchen table for a couple of days and the family would gather around and eat and drink and wait and see if they would wake up. Hence the custom of holding a wake.
Who said history is boring?
(Thanks to Ann who sent me this via e-mail)
1 day ago