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Level 9

Leisure in Elizabethan England


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Golden Age
Nickname for Elizabeth's reign. Life is said to have improved.
social class
Decided which leisure pursuits you could enjoy.
Sport for noblemen
Hunting, hawking, fishing, fencing, real tennis.
Sport for all men
Wrestling, swimming, gambling.
Sport for lower classes
Football
What was football like in Elizabethan times?
Violent. No rules. Ball could be picked up.
Spectator sports
People enjoyed watching sport, and gambling on the outcome.
Bear baiting
A bear would be chained to a post and dogs set on it. Very popular spectator sport.
Bull baiting
Dogs were set on a chained bull.
Cock fighting
Metal spurs were attached to cockerels so they would tear each other apart when fighting.
Puritans
Religious group who disapproved of sports and many leisure activities.
Literature
Lots of literature was write, especially poetry and plays.
Theatre
People enjoyed watching plays.
Mystery plays
Religious plays which were banned under Queen Elizabeth. This led to a need to write new non-religious plays.
The Queen's Men
Queen Elizabeth's own acting company.
Christopher Marlowe
A famous English playwright.
William Shakespeare
The most famous English playwright of all time (but only started writing plays in the 1590s after the period the course covers!).
Red Lion
First purpose built theatre built in Whitechapel, London.
Who enjoyed going to the theatre?
All classes and people.
Actors
Only men were allowed to act on stage. Boys usually played female roles.
The pit
Area near the stage which cost 1 penny to stand in.
Master of Revels
Person who co-ordinated all entertainment at Court and read plays before they were performed.
1572
Censorship in the theatre introduced.
Popular instruments for the upper class
Lutes, spinets and harpsichords.
Popular instruments for the lower classes
Bagpipes and fiddles.
Music
Very popular. Wealthy families employed their own musicians.
tobacco smoking
A popular and expensive habit in Elizabethan England.