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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…

English society in the 17 th 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.