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English Society in the 17 th century. Chapter 2: Pages 20-23. An Overview of English Society in the 17 th Century. A century of major political change, impacting every aspect of life The English population grew from 4,000,000 in 1600 to 4,500,000 in 1700

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English society in the 17 th century

English Society in the 17th century

Chapter 2: Pages 20-23

An overview of english society in the 17 th century
An Overview of English Society in the 17th Century

  • A century of major political change, impacting every aspect of life

  • The English population grew from 4,000,000 in 1600 to 4,500,000 in 1700

  • There was a growing middle class because the status of merchant improved.

  • The defeat of the Spanish Armada allowed English ships to travel anywhere, leading to colonies in South Africa, India, North America and other areas as well!

  • This also meant that International merchandise was now available in England

17 th century women
17th Century Women

  • Possible vocations: midwife, baker, tailor, domestic servant

  • Most were housewives, running their husbands’ houses. Middle class wives would do everything from milking the cows to making beer. Upper class housewives would co-ordinate the serving staff.

  • It was fashionable for women to wear big ruffled collars & black star patches on their faces

  • North American beaver skins led to a new hat fashion

Food nutrition
Food/ Nutrition

  • Water wasn’t potable, so beer was consumed in the place of water

  • Households generally made their own bread

  • This century saw the introduction of dinner forks!

  • The diets and social customs of rich homes were being greatly influenced by products arriving from around the world including coffee, maize, pineapple, tobacco, etc.


  • Newspaper: First printed in 1621

  • Theatre: Although popular, Puritans disapproved of it. From 1642-1660 it was banned! Women preformed too after 1660.

  • Yachting: Charles II made it popular

  • Bull & Bear fighting (vs. dogs) was a popular pastime of the poor


  • 4-5 yrs: Rich children went to “Petty school”

  • 6-15 yrs: Boys went to “Grammar School”

  • Corporal punishment was commonplace.

  • Girls schools were introduced in the 17thcentury

  • While boys learned arithmetic, philosophy & studied great authors, wealthy girls learned writing, music and needlework.

  • Previously, girls would only be taught by tutors, and only then if they were from the upper class.


  • During the 17th century, the science of chemistry developed from medieval alchemy, and the 17th century science of astronomy evolved from astrology.


  • There were some huge advances in technology in the 1600s

  • A piped water supply was created in London

  • “Hackney carriages” were still the main mode of transport on land

  • On the following slides you’ll see some of the major inventions of the 17th century…

In 1608 Hans Lippershey invents the first refracting telescope and in 1609, Galileo produced a variable focus instrument

Now your tasks
Now… Your Tasks: in 1672 he patents the pocket watch.

  • Read over the notes you’ve taken during this presentation and create level 2-3 questions in the left hand column

  • Summarize your notes

  • Turn to page 26 in Crossroads and read “The Role of Religion,” and “Witches.” → Write Cornell notes for these sections. → Finish by creating level 2-3 questions for your new notes.