well I did't know that


There is an old Hotel/Pub in Marble Arch,

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-drawn dray,  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 LAST DRINK'.    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 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 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 1500s:  


 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 and finally the children. Last of all 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!'            


Houses had   thatched roofs, thick straw piled high, with no 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 slippery and sometimes  the animals would slip and fall off the roof. Hence the saying   'It's raining cats and dogs.' There was  nothing to stop things from falling into the house. This posed  a real problem in the bedroom, where bugs and other droppings  could mess up your nice clean bed. Hence, a bed with big posts and a sheet hung over the top afforded some  protection. That's how canopy beds came into  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 keep their  footing.             As  the 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 thresh  hold. (Getting quite  an education, aren't you?) In those old  days, they cooked in the kitchen with a big kettle that always  hung over the fire. Every day they lit the fire and added  things to the pot. They ate mostly vegetables and did not get  much meat. They would eat the stew for dinner, leaving  leftovers in the pot to get cold overnight, then start over  the next day. Sometimes stew had food in it that had  been there for quite a while. Hence the rhyme: 'Peas porridge hot, peas porridge cold, peas porridge in the pot,  nine days old'.  Sometimes they  could obtain pork, which made them feel quite special. When  visitors came over they would hang up their 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 talking and '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 most  often with tomatoes,  so for the next 400 years or so, tomatoes were  considered poisonous. Bread was  divided according to status. Workers got the burnt bottom of the loaf, the family got the middle, and guests 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 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'.   England is old and  small and the local folks started running out of places to bury people,  so they would dig up coffins and would take the  bones to a bone-house and reuse the grave.  When  reopening these coffins, 1 out of 25 coffins were found  to have scratch marks on the inside and they realised  they had been burying people alive. So they would tie a string on the wrist of the corpse, thread it through the coffin and  up through the ground and tie it to a bell.    Someone would have to sit out in the graveyard all night (the graveyard shift) to listen for the bell; thus someone could be, 'Saved  by the Bell 'or was considered a  'Dead Ringer'  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!

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