Meet the Maids of Honor

Maid of Secrets

Fun Notes

Here are just a few fun bits of information I uncovered as I wrote MAID OF SECRETS! Note, no facts were harmed in the researching of this novel…but they may have been bent a bit.

Elizabethan England is known as the era of great theatre, but when Elizabeth came to power… there were no theatres!

Inn yards were the original venues of plays and many were converted into Playhouses later during Elizabeth’s reign. During the Winter months, troupes would move their productions indoors, to the homes of the wealthy (if they were lucky!)

Being a Thief was hazardous business. 

Meg is given a hefty ultimatum for her thievery, but she ultimately got off lucky. Theft for stealing anything over 5 pence resulted in hanging during Queen Elizabeth’s time – and considering most people who were thieves were poverty stricken, this was a stiff punishment indeed. Even such small crimes such as stealing birds eggs could result in the death sentence. Punishment for poaching crimes differed according to when the crime was committed – Poaching at night resulted in the punishment by death, whereas poaching during the day time did not. Begging was a serious crime during the Elizabethan era. The Elizabethan government made begging a crime and therefore illegal and ‘poor beggars.’ As their punishment ‘poor beggars’ would be beaten until they reached the stones that marked the town parish boundary. The beatings given as punishment were bloody and merciless, and those who were caught continually begging could be sent to prison and even hanged as their punishment.

 

For more facts, visit www.elizabethan-ora.org.uk !

 

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