Persona Development

Eulalia got me thinking last week with her post about cold weather. How exactly would Gwenlliana deal with the weather? She’s a fairly wealthy landowner outside 1530-1550 (I couldn’t choose just one decade) Gloucester. England would have been a bit colder then as I believe Europe was still dealing this the mini ice age. So, snow would not be unheard of. However, Gloucester is located on the river, not to far from the coast, so they may have been a little milder. It still would be cold though. So, what would she do? She would most likely stay inside because she would have others to take care of the grounds and livestock. She would have probably worked on some kind of handwork, read (the first half of the 16th century saw a surge of education for women thanks in part to Thomas Moore and his followers) or written letters. She may have worked on household books since she’s a widow. Another question would be where she did this. Manors at the time were drafty, with dirt or wood floors covered by rushes. (Carpets were considered too expensive to walk on and were usually used to cover tables and cabinets.) She may have had glass windows, they were becoming more prevalent among the wealthy and were not usually left with the house if it was sold. I think she probably would have sat by the fire to stay warm.

That leads to another question, how would she get to yule service? The reformation was beginning during this time (and in fact, several major players were from Gloucestershire) but she would have still been required to go to church services for the holy days. I don’t know the answer to this question, it looks like I need to do more research. If she had a chapel in her house it would have been mostly for show as she is not devout and already has doubts about the established church and the role of the priesthood within the church.

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