Medieval & English Civil War Experience
Copyright © Des & Judith Thomas (Historical Services To Schools) 2016 All Rights Reserved
With Ned (Young Ned) & Judith Carlewe
Colonell Granville Thomas with
Mistress Judith Thomas
14th - 15th Century
Food and Drink
Back Into The Past
Food, Drink and the Household
Our Characters: 
Are based on two people who actually lived in the 15th Century.  The 28th March 1461 the day before the Battle of Towton, John Clifford  9th Lord of Skipton, was killed at the river crossing at Dintingdale and an attainder was placed against his son Henry.   As a boy of seven he was spirited away by his mother, Margaret Clifford (Bromflette) from his home in Skipton Castle for his own protection.  He was entrusted to his former wet-nurse Judith Carlewe and her shepherd husband Ned Carlewe; for this they were given some property in Londesborough East Riding of Yorkshire.
They looked after him till his mother married Lord Vassy and Henry was now under less of a threat they moved him to Thirkeid in Northumberland at the age of 14.
Food & Drink: 
During this session the children are shown two tables, one set out with the food and tableware of a rich person, the other set as for a peasant.   The samples of  food and drink on display, emphasise the differences between the food of the rich and the poor.  They are also told about the ingredients and how the food was made.

There are samples of both fresh and dried fruits available to a Rich person, and how most people would be able to afford nuts from the hedgerows.  Pasties were made all over the country, and were not just in Cornwall.   We tell them that there were over 2,000 varieties of apples grown in England at the time.  By showing the children the food and how it was eaten we indroduce them to the civilian life of the 14th Century.  During this session I will explain about the Monasteries and how they used to "dole" out money to the poor and needy and how widows would take over their late husbands work just to keep them from begging.  After the food session we separate the children into small groups of 5/6, hand out A3 pieces of paper and marker pens and these small groups  produce  Spider Charts showing what they have heard about during the day.
These Spider Charts serve two useful purposes, first the teachers use them as follow up class work and second, we as Historical Services can look at them, at the end of the day and use them as a sort of Quality Control to check what we say has been understood.

The Household: 

Lords of the Manor had Households which inclueded many servants, some were related to the master and each other, usually from the poorer side of the family.  The Stewards for instance would probably be a younger brother or an illegitimate relative. 
Their pay included an element of board and lodging and they worked both inside and outside the house
We hand out cards, to volunteers, that show the names of our servants, these cards not only give the servants names but their jobs and how much they are paid each year.