Essay on Women and Children in the Elizabethan Era

865 Words 4 Pages
During the Elizabethan time period women were considered the weaker sex. They were thought to always need a man in charge of them. The man in charge of her could be her father, employer or husband. Children were expected to obey their parents and help out whenever needed. I believe women were more equipped to be the head of the family since they had to care for the children and manage the house daily. An average day for a woman consisted of several responsibilities such as cleaning, cooking, marketing, care for domestic livestock such as poultry, pigs and dairy animals, child care, and basic health care. A woman was also expected to know how to brew ale and maintain a garden, which provided food to eat and sell, and herbs used for …show more content…
If a woman became widowed she could also take over her husband’s job. The only way a woman was only legally recognized as an individual if she was widowed and she had the choice to remarry or stay widowed. (Forgeng 7, 8)
Childhood was dangerous during the Elizabethan era, with no vaccines and limited health knowledge, the number of deaths was very high. Only 7 out of 10 children lived to be age 10 due to diseases. (Forgeng 1) Children in poor families were more likely to die due to inadequate food, nonexistent heat, thin clothes and overcrowded homes. (Papp 13) A wet nurse breast fed for wealthy families because it was believed to save the rich women’s figure and fertility. (Papp 11) The wet nurse was usually a poor woman who recently gave birth and needed money; babies were breast fed until between ages one and two. Infants in poor families were dressed in old cloths, a hat called a biggin and wrapped in straps of linen which was called swaddling. Swaddling limited mobility which was important for hazards such as fireplaces and prevented the use of limbs since it was considered unhealthy to allow babies to use their limbs freely. (Ros 3) Baby rattles for rich babies were made using a polished piece or coral set in silver with bells and the poor babies got one similar made using animal teeth. When the child was between the ages one and two the

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