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Aura
11-12-2009, 06:00 PM
I beseech you to help me with this question kind people. I have to write a paralellel world of King Henry V111's court and one of my characters mother is a nobel lady. What job can I give her? I pray did put her as a midwife, but me thinks that it is not possible now. Many thanks my lords and ladies.

scarletpeaches
11-12-2009, 08:18 PM
A noble lady wouldn't have had a job because a) she was noble and b) she was a lady.

mscelina
11-12-2009, 08:21 PM
A noble lady would only have worked as the chatelaine of her husband's estate. She would never have had 'a job;' only the lower classes did and if you were a midwife there was always a pretty good darn chance someone would accuse you of witchcraft.

the addster
11-12-2009, 08:29 PM
She might do some needlework, spinning, etc. Not really considered a job.

dirtsider
11-12-2009, 08:30 PM
Agree with mscelina - the lady would be helping her husband run the estate. Hell, if he was at war and away from the castle, she'd probably be the one actually running the estate on her own with the help of the seneschal (sp?). Think of her as something of an office manager/assistant CEO. Would she helped her women give birth? Probably but she wouldn't have it as a full time "job" of sorts. She'd also have some skill in weaving and sewing as well.

ChristineR
11-12-2009, 08:36 PM
Gossip with her friends, go to church, embroider, supervise the cooking, weaving, housecleaning, and sewing, pray (sometimes several times a day), lead the servants in prayer, sing, organize dinner parties and balls, take dance lessons, paint pictures, invite her friends over (sometimes for months at a time), visit her friends, hunt, ride side saddle, visit the poor people on her estate or village and help them if necessary, go to privately staged plays, stage plays with her friends, stage tableaus (scenes like plays, but with no dialogue), play charades, play cards, drink too much, go to fairs, go to market to buy dinner...damn, I was going to say something else, but I forgot.

Selah March
11-12-2009, 08:43 PM
If she was hanging at court and not on her husband's estate, she might be one of the queen's ladies in waiting. As such, she'd be expected to be a companion to the queen, entertain her with witty conversation, perhaps play an instrument and sing, write flattering or whimsical verse, sometimes paint or draw, carry private messages for the queen, work on large, hanging tapestries for the palace (these were often intricate, taking dozens of women thousands of hours and sometimes a generation to complete, and had the practical use of keeping drafts to a minimum) and/or make herself useful to the queen in other ways.

Ariella
11-12-2009, 11:40 PM
Tudor noblewomen did have to know a certain amount about nursing and emergency medicine, although it wasn't their full-time job. This book (http://books.google.ca/books?id=vAPijzpzrYUC&lpg=PP1&pg=PA171#v=onepage&q=&f=false) collects some interesting medical accounts written by women who lived just after Henry VIII's time.

waylander
11-12-2009, 11:57 PM
She might even spend a little time with her children.
Also bear in mind she might spend a significant portion of her time pregnant

Shakesbear
11-13-2009, 12:02 AM
She would have responsibility for the dairy - eggs, milk, cream, cheese whilst living on the estate. She would have a steward to run the house, but he would have to defer to her - I think housekeepers were later. She might also have had charge of the brewery, orchard and, as someone has pointed out, the medicine chest. She would have had a knowledge of herbs and various treatments, but her involvement in any of the roles was usually at her discretion. She may have attended court once or twice a year and would have needed new clothes. If she was a a country estate the chapman/pedlar would call - he would have

[Enter AUTOLYCUS, singing.]
Lawn as white as driven snow;
Cypress black as e'er was crow;
Gloves as sweet as damask-roses;
Masks for faces and for noses;
Bugle-bracelet, necklace amber,
Perfume for a lady's chamber;
Golden quoifs and stomachers,
For my lads to give their dears;
Pins and poking-sticks of steel,
What maids lack from head to heel.
Come, buy of me, come; come buy, come buy;
Buy, lads, or else your lasses cry:
Come, buy.
Winter's Tale, act IV sc iv

StephanieFox
11-13-2009, 07:54 AM
They may have spent some time sick or dying. Popular diseases included;
sweating sickness (A mysteious uniquely Tudor from 1485, killing the rich more than the poor. It killed in 2-24 hours. If you survived a day, you'd probably recover. There were 3 outbreaks in the British Isles.)
plague
tuburculosis
smallpox
scrofula (a skin disease)
childbed fever
typhus (from 1490+)
typhoid fever
syphilis (A new an fashionable disease. It meant that you were popular!)
influenza (called ague)
malaria
injuries
infections

Gillhoughly
11-13-2009, 08:23 AM
Google is your good friend.

This site should keep you busy. Times were slower then. Much of what went on in the Tudor court continued through Elizabeth's reign.

http://elizabethan.org/compendium/home.html

I'm working on an historical right now and the research is bloody murder. It's just too easy to get caught up in it!


Women

A noble lady draws her waiting women from her relatives (and/or her husband's) and the daughters of the local gentry.

She helps her unmarried girls of good family to find suitable marriages and introduces them at Court. If they marry any of the Earl's followers, they may stay in attendance upon the Countess.

A great lady's gentlewomen join her in sewing, minding the older children, dispensing charity in the neighborhood, nursing the household. They also take charge of her clothing, jewelry, etc.

The Queen's Maids of Honor are (or should be) in this same client relationship to the Queen. They are her servants; she looks after their future. She is supposed to be finding them good husbands.

DavidZahir
11-13-2009, 08:23 AM
Some women in the Tudor era wrote--Henry VIII's last wife wrote an important theological work, and his mother probably helped tutor his writing.

Rufus Coppertop
11-13-2009, 09:03 AM
They would have spent time playing a musical instrument such as the lute, viol or harpsichord. If the harpsichord was double manual, they might refer to it as a pair of virginals.

The ability to part sing from a music book was important. Many sang madrigals with husband and family friends or even older children who could part sing as well.

Among the dances popular at the time were the Pavane and Galliard, the Saltarello, the Corranto, the Volta.

Reading or writing poetrywas important to many.

Remember too - the worldview is always there in the background. Earth is not flat. It is a perfect sphere and the heavens orbit the earth in perfect spheres of their own.

Without the internet and mass media, Copernican theory did not necessarily permeate society quickly.

Magic was not just about spells allegedly cast by witches nor was it just about standing in a circle and chanting in latin. Much of what was taught at universities as the equivalent of science can be classified as magical philosophy and was dependent on the worldview.

Not all that we would consider magical today was condemned by the Holy Inquisition. The Holy Inquisition had no jurisdiction whatever in Tudor England and may not even have had offices there before Tudor times.

Teaching the children may not have always been left to tutors. An educated woman with kids? Why wouldn't she give them some lessons herself?

StephanieFox
11-14-2009, 01:07 AM
Magic was not just about spells allegedly cast by witches nor was it just about standing in a circle and chanting in Latin. Much of what was taught at universities as the equivalent of science can be classified as magical philosophy and was dependent on the worldview.



We don't chant in Latin. We chant in English (or American). Even the Witches in Israel chant in English, although they do it because it's an 'exotic' language compared to Hebrew.

Rufus Coppertop
11-14-2009, 07:27 AM
We don't chant in Latin. We chant in English (or American). Even the Witches in Israel chant in English, although they do it because it's an 'exotic' language compared to Hebrew.

Who's we? I haven't said a single thing about people who identify themselves as witches today in America, Israel or any other country.

I'm saying that concepts about magic in the renaissance went beyond what we would think of as magic today. Most people today think of it as the practice of either spells or rituals.

Looking at the worldview of the renaissance and what was taught as Natural Philosophie in the universities during the Middle Ages and Renaissance, it's striking to us moderns, just how magical the worldview was.

I did not say that witches chant in Latin. In fact, I said nothing at all about what people who identify themselves as witches do today.

I did not say that alleged witches ever chanted in Latin during the renaissance. I did not say that alleged witches were even alleged to chant in Latin during the renaissance.

The term witchcraft can mean different things in different places at different times.

In many treatises there is a distinction between witchcraft and magic. Even though witches use magic, not all magicians are witches. In some usages, witchcraft refers to a style of folk magic practiced by the illiterate or semi-literate. This is necessarily distinct from the ritual magic found in the grimoires where one would have to be not just literate, but educated to be able to read and understand Latin. The instructions for preliminary purification rites were in Latin, the psalms you had to chant at various phases of the purification which in some cases would last nine days, were obviously in Latin and the invocations to be chanted in the circle when you did the actual rite of summoning were also in Latin. There were grimoires in the vernacular too. In some cases, the instructions could be in the vernacular while the incantations were in Latin. In some instances, even the incantations were in the vernacular.

And by the way, unless you're talking about indigenous tribal languages, American is not another language, it is actually English.

Tsu Dho Nimh
11-14-2009, 07:58 PM
I beseech you to help me with this question kind people. I have to write a paralellel world of King Henry V111's court and one of my characters mother is a nobel lady. What job can I give her? I pray did put her as a midwife, but me thinks that it is not possible now. Many thanks my lords and ladies.

In Tudor times, noble ladies did a fair amount of managing and supervising the household, keeping the young noble girls out of trouble, and if the husband was away, managing the finances and estates.

Think of them as upper management who the middle management (housekeepers, seneschals, stewards) had to please and consult with.

(Nobel ladies came later, as in Marie Curie)