Indoor Work: Always Something To Do


Tudor women were very busy throughout the entire day. Like their husbands, who worked in the fields from dawn until dusk, women had a multitude of chores to take care of throughout the day before they could rest at night and prepare to do it all over again in the morning. They would be in and out of the house, sweeping the floor, milking the cows and sheep, waking the children up, and preparing breakfast for everyone. Throughout the day there would be more meals to make, bread to bake, ale to brew, pigs to feed, eggs to gather, gardening to do, wool to spin, and just about anything else you can imagine that had to be done in a day’s work. Tudor women did it all! They worked all over the place, inside and out.


Watch this video from 8:08 to 12:25 to see how butter was made in Tudor times!



During the Spring, the workload of women increased. They had to help plant oats, barley, peas, and beans, help raise lambs and piglets, and, especially during the Spring, they had to make butter for their families and for the market. Milk could not be kept around, as it went bad quickly without refrigeration, so Tudor women processed it into dairy products such as cheese and butter. The best time to make cheese was in the Summer, but there was no better time to make butter than the Spring, when the fresh new grass helped animals produce a rich and creamy milk, perfect for churning into butter! Women would be out in the morning to milk the cows and goats, and then, when they could find the time before having to prepare dinner, they would be inside transforming the fresh milk into delicious, longer-lasting butter. These dairy products were such an important part of the Tudor diet, and such a good source of protien, that they were often known as "white meats."

Sources

How to Be a Tudor: A Dawn-to-Dusk Guide to Tudor England, by Ruth Goodman

Sustainability is a Tudor way of life - Shakespeare birthplace trust

How could you survive in Tudor England? - BBC Teach

How Was Butter Made? - Tudor Monastery Episode 5 - Absolute History

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