Life for the Tudor lords

A man and woman in Tudor dress with tennis racquets.

Life for the wealthy became increasingly luxurious and flamboyant during Tudor times. They dined, dressed and lived well.

  • Diet - meals in Tudor times consisted almost wholly of meat. People ate very few vegetables. Tudor people drank beer or wine and ate and drank from pewter plates and mugs.
  • Fashion – in Tudor times, men wore decorated doublets (jackets) with peascod bellies (rounded front) and slashed trunks (short trousers with cuts in the fabric). Women wore fancy kirtles (overskirts) over wooden frames called farthingales, with high collars. Women's fashion favoured white faces so they painted white lead on their faces. Both sexes might wear elaborate ruffs.
  • Demonstrations of wealth - rich lords built huge mansions in the countryside. One famous Tudor mansion is Hampton Court. The long gallery ran along the entire length of the house, where people could walk or practise sword-fighting when the weather was bad. Keeping warm was a major consideration and Tudor mansions had many chimneys, for the many fires. The lord would have a parlour, luxuriously panelled, with painted ceilings and tapestries hanging on the wall, and with high-sided dark wooden chairs. The richest families might even have a carpet on the floor!
  • Gardens - the hedges and flower beds in a Tudor garden would be elaborately laid out in a pattern called a 'Tudor knot' or even a maze.
  • Pastimes - Tudor entertainments were energetic, eg jousting, hunting, dancing and sports such as tennis.