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    19 Facts About Shakespearean England That Will Blow Your Damn Mind

    People drank beer all day long, and makeup could kill you.

    1. A lot of Elizabethan food was tooth-rottingly sweet.

    2. Sex workers would entice people with stewed prunes.

    Stewed prunes were a sweet dish that was sold for an extortionate price in brothels (equivalent to ordering champagne in a club today) as they were thought to be an aphrodisiac. And a dish of prunes in a window was a sign for a "bawdy house", because there’s clearly nothing sexier than regular bowel movements.

    3. Makeup could kill you.

    4. Men wore overly stuffed codpieces, as it was all the rage to look like you had a massive erection.

    5. And women would proudly display their bosoms.

    6. Most villages had insane sanitation problems.

    Villages tended to have open sewers running through the streets, and people would build their privies over the top and poo directly into them. But they would often get blocked by build-ups of dead animals and other unpleasant things, then overflow. Ack.

    7. But life at sea was far more unhygenic and unpleasant.

    8. Neck ruffs grew so large they needed a frame.

    9. It was impossible to wash some types of clothes.

    10. A boiled lamb's head with "purtenance" (offal) was considered a very nice meal indeed.

    11. People thought tomatoes were poisonous.

    12. Elizabeth had her own personal conjurer.

    13. She also banned begging and idleness.

    14. There were shitloads of sheep everywhere.

    15. And they were tiny compared to modern sheep.

    16. Executions were ten a penny, if not more.

    17. There were only 200,000 people in London.

    18. People drank beer all day long.

    19. They also loved to quaff "cock ale".