Image for What was life really like for the poor in the town and cities of Elizabethan England?

What was life really like for the poor in the town and cities of Elizabethan England?

Duration: 09:34

The historian, Ian Mortimer, journeys back in time to find out what life was really like for the poor in the towns and cities of Elizabethan England. On his travels he explores various aspects of town and city life in the sixteenth century including the markets which drew so many people in from the surrounding countryside. He also looks at how the Elizabethans tackled the problems of crime and disease which were such a prominent feature of life for the urban poor. Although life could be tough he discovers that the introduction of the Elizabethan poor laws did go some way to alleviating the worst times.

Available since: Wed 3 Jul 2013

This clip is from

Time Traveller's Guide to Elizabethan England Learning Zone

A compilation of short films for schools offering a travel guide to the Elizabethan world.

First broadcast: 03 Jul 2013

Image for Learning Zone Not currently available on BBC iPlayer

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