Here some facts about rich people in Tudor times.
- During the Tudor period, there was a clear divide between poor Tudors and rich Tudors. Just like today, the wealthy could afford bigger homes, better furniture and finer clothes.
- In Tudor society, the nobility were the wealthiest people, all of whom owned large areas of land. Below them came the rich merchants and gentry, who had their own coat of arms and rarely did any work.
- Most people in Tudor times did not earn much money, but noblemen and noblewomen didn’t need to work for a living, and they could afford to live a life of luxury.
- Rich Tudors enjoyed much better food than the poor. Popular foods among the wealthy included: venison (meat from a deer), fish, robins, badgers, otters and good French wine. (Find out more about Tudor food.)
- The wealthy also enjoyed various sports and pastimes that the poor could not afford or weren’t legally allowed to play. These included hunting, jousting, falconry, tennis and bowls. (Find out more about Tudor sports and pastimes.)
- Most Tudor homes did not have glass windows, and, as a result, glass was one of the status symbols of the wealthy. In addition, rich Tudors could afford decorative carpets and tapestries, although these were hung on the walls, rather than put on the floor.
- Henry VIII was very wealthy and he wasn’t shy about showing this off to the rest of the world. He had numerous palaces, a large collection of paintings, hundreds of books and a vast array of lavish clothes and pieces of jewellery.
- Rich Tudors often used gold or silver plates, and silver or pewter spoons. There were no forks in Tudor times, and both the rich and poor alike ate with their fingers (and a knife and spoon).
- The rich enjoyed various board games, some of which are still played today several hundred years later. Especially popular were chess and a form of backgammon, as well as card games.
- Rich Tudors enjoyed fighting in make believe tournaments. Even though knights in armor were a thing of the past, rich Tudors would dress in armor and fight with wooden or blunted swords.
What next? Discover more Tudor facts – visit our Tudor resources page.