marycatelli (marycatelli) wrote,

tidbits cross time

In Rennaissance Florence, a bride from a rich family was paraded down the streets to her new home, riding a white horse, showing all her finery -- feasible because as a not-yet-married woman, she did not have to wear the all enveloping mantle.

In colonial America, when searching for good farmland, one criterion was that land were the rainbows ended was good.

In the 17th century, kitchen maids were sometimes allowed to keep the feathers they plucked as a kind of a dowry.  Given that it took fifty pound to make a feather bed, they would have to pluck a lot to get a full bed out of it.

One Jacobean pageant for the king had Hope, Faith, and Charity too drunk to talk, and when Peace arrived, her attendants were beating back people, so she could approach the king, with their olive branches.

Bleeding actually helps with some disease, such as TB.  It reduces the blood volume, which makes it easier on the heart.  Then, as the volume recovers, the more liquidy parts recover first, so the blood is less vicuous while the more solid parts recover.

In 18th century Pennsylvania, a traveler later commented on how when they came to a brook, the girls had pulled up their petticoats above the knee and forded with no ado, even though they were of the highest social class.

In England, a title is what confers nobility.  In France, a title could be conferred only on someone who was already a noble.

Rennaissance Florence had a law permitting only one woman in a family to go into deep mourning over a woman's death in the family -- and a brother's wife was prefered over a sister.

The English law over requiring parental consent for the marriages of those under 21 -- after all, a man has rights against those who steal his property, why not those who steal his daughter? -- met with stiff opposition.  Why, a pretty girl with a poor and greedy father might lose all her chances of marrying if she could not marry before 21 -- if it took a month to marry, a man who had gotten a woman pregnant would make a bolt for it, leaving the woman and the parish (which had to pay for the indigent) in the lurch, whereas as it was, he and she could be packed off to marry at once -- and all the rich and powerful would marry each other and lock up all the money in their class.

In eighteenth century America, by the end of the century, their diet was much less seasonably dependent than it had been at the beginning, and not through any new technology.  Improved means of salting meat meant it kept better, improved means of winter feeding meant that dairy cows could be milked and even produce enough cream for cheese and butter throughout the winter, and such like incremental improvements brought about the change.

In pre-Revolution France, only a seigneur had the right to erect a dovecote -- and therefore to feed his doves on the peasants' grain.

The iron bedstead in the 19th century got a lot of doctors' support because it did not provide a home for pests.

Florence made much of its fortune out of selling garments that it was illegal to wear in Florence, owing to its sumptuary laws.  In paintings, men are depicted as wearing rich cloth, finely dyed, but not much adornment.  The claims that women were the ones really going for extravagance are not borne out by inventories, where the men and women had about equal value.

In colonial America, a man was not really an independent citizen until he married.  Massachusetts, for instance, had laws that bachelors, like spinsters, had to live in someone else's household.  Connecticut laid down that a man could not set up as a head of household unless he was married -- or had a servant.
Tags: families: matrimony, historical tidbits, world-building: clothing, world-building: economics, world-building: food, world-building: geography, world-building: law, world-building: nobility, world-building: servants, world-building: social classes, world-building: social structure, world-building: technology

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