Who were the rich in Elizabethan England?

The historian, Ian Mortimer, journeys back in time to find out who the rich were in Elizabethan England. He discovers an emerging new class of people who were becoming very wealthy in their own right. They were known as the landed gentry and held positions of increasing influence such as magistrates, sheriffs and MPs. On his travels he explores the everyday lives of the gentry including their homes, hygiene and travel.

While they were comfortably well off they also had a lot to lose. Elizabeth I demanded the absolute loyalty from her subjects and had an extensive spy network designed at uncovering her enemies. Once discovered, she showed no mercy as her cousin Mary Queen of Scots and the Babington plotters discovered to their cost.

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11 minutes

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