London , which used to have a gallows adjacent to it. Prisoners were
taken to the gallows (after a fair trial of course) to be hanged.
The horse-drawndray, carting the prisoner, was accompanied by
an armed guard, who would stop the dray outside the pub
and ask the prisoner if he would like 'ONE LASTDRINK'. If he said YES, it was referred to as ONE FOR THE ROAD. If he declined, that prisoner was ON THE WAGON.
So there you go.. More bleeding history. 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 andsold to the tannery. If you had to do this to surviveyou were 'piss poor', but worse than that were thereally poor folk, who couldn't even afford to buy a pot,they 'Didn't have a pot to piss in' and were the lowestof the low. The next time you are washing your hands and complain because the water temperature isn't just how you likeit, think about how things used to be.
Here are some facts about the 1500s:
Most people got married in June, because they took their
yearly bath in May and they still smelled pretty good byJune. However, since they were starting to smell, bridescarried a bouquet of flowers to hide the body odour. Hence thecustom today of carrying a bouquet when getting married Baths consisted of a big tub filled with hot water. Theman of the house had the privilege of the nice clean water,then all the other sons and men, then the women and finally thechildren. Last of all the babies. By then the water wasso dirty you could actually lose someone in it. Hence thesaying, 'Don't throw the baby out with the bathwater!'
Houses had thatched roofs, thick straw piled high, withno wood underneath. It was the only place for animals to get warm, so all the cats and other small animals(mice, bugs) lived in the roof. When it rained it became slipperyand sometimes the animals would slip and fall off theroof. Hence the saying 'It's raining cats anddogs.' There was nothing to stop things from falling intothe house. This posed a real problem in the bedroom, where bugsand other droppings could mess up your nice clean bed. Hence,a bed with big posts and a sheet hung over the topafforded some protection. That's how canopy beds cameinto existence.
The floor was dirt. Only the wealthy had something other than dirt. Hence the saying, 'dirt poor.'The wealthy had slate floors that would get slippery in the winter when wet,so they spread thresh (straw) on floor to help keeptheir footing. As the winter wore on they added more threshuntil, when you opened the door, it would all start slipping outside. A piece of wood was placed in theentrance-way. Hence: a thresh hold. (Getting quite an education, aren't you?) In those old days, they cooked in the kitchen with abig kettle that always hung over the fire. Every day they lit thefire and added things to the pot. They ate mostlyvegetables and did not get much meat. They would eat the stew fordinner, leaving leftovers in the pot to get cold overnight, then start over the next day. Sometimes stew had food init that had been there for quite a while. Hence therhyme: 'Peas porridge hot, peas porridge cold, peasporridge in the pot, nine days old'. Sometimes they could obtain pork, which made them feel quite special. When visitors came over they would hang uptheir bacon, to show off. It was a sign of wealth that a mancould, 'Bring home the bacon.'They would cut off alittle to share with guests and would all sit around talkingand 'chew the fat'. Those with money had plates made of pewter. Food with high acid content caused some of the lead to leach onto the food,causing lead poisoning and death. This happened mostoften with tomatoes, so for the next 400 years or so, tomatoeswere considered poisonous. Bread was divided according to status. Workers gotthe burnt bottom of the loaf, the family got the middle, andguests got the top, or 'The Upper Crust'.
Lead cups were used to drink ale or whisky. The combination would sometimes knock the imbibers out for a couple ofdays. Someone walking along the road would take them for deadand prepare them for burial. They were laid out on the kitchen table for a couple of days and the family would gatheraround and eat and drink and wait and see if they would wakeup. Hence the custom of 'Holding aWake'. England is oldand small and the local folks started runningout of places to bury people, so they would dig up coffinsand would take the bones to a bone-house and reuse the grave.When reopening these coffins, 1 out of 25coffins were found to have scratch marks on the inside andthey realised they had been burying people alive. So they would tie a string on the wrist of the corpse, thread itthrough the coffin and up through the ground and tie it toa bell. Someone would have to sit out in the graveyard all night (the graveyard shift) to listen for the bell; thussomeone could be, 'Saved by theBell 'or was considered a 'DeadRinger' and that's the truth.
Now, whoever said history was boring ! ! ! So .. . .. get out there and educate someone! Share these facts with a friend, like I just did!