Events Calendar
Oct 14 - Nov 11
11:00 - 13:00
Community, Culture and Consumption: Understanding Everyday Life in Seventeenth Century England
Short courses

5 weeks: 14, 21, 28 October; 4, 11 November

Monday: 11.00 – 13.00

Course code: 19TON404

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This course examines five fascinating aspects of everyday life in seventeenth century England. In particular, it considers how people interacted with each other and their physical surroundings, relating original manuscripts and objects to the records of how life was organised and experienced in the rural and urban communities of early modern England.

'A Farming Life': including an examination of how rural communities worked; farming practices; rural festivals.

'The Kitchen Cabinet': including an examination of what people ate and how they cooked; the impact of foreign imports on consumption; social customs around dining. 

'In House or Hovel: including an examination of what C17th houses looked like (focusing on Kent or Sussex), how they were furnished and the differences in lifestyle between rural and urban communities. 

'Policing the People': including an examination of how communities were policed before the Police, an understanding of the unwritten rules of everyday life in the village; the assize courts and the church courts; slander, libel, drunkenness and the politics of behaviour. 

'Spelling, Scandal and Scholarship': including an examination of the written word and its uses, how children were schooled, what and why people were reading, and the range of written material available to ordinary citizens in different walks of life.

Additional information 

No prior knowledge is necessary but a basic understanding of English history will be helpful. Suitable for all levels of interest. This course allows you to spend time exploring a subject for interest, among like-minded people, without formal assessment. 

There will be discussion activities during the course.

Intended learning outcomes

By the end of this course you can expect to be familiar with:

social relationships within early modern communities and how communities were regulated and governed. the appearance of the early modern landscape in the south-east, and how rural resources were used to build, feed and clothe communities. 

the standards of living in local communities, from the way they dined and the food they ate to the houses they lived in. 

how people learned about  the world about them from print and education.

You will also have spent time examining a range of contemporary documents, from wills and inventories, to letters, pamphlets, diaries, books, recipe collections, court transcripts, and paintings.

About the tutor

Rebecca Warren is an early modern historian, specialising in the religious history of the British Civil Wars and the Protectorate of Oliver Cromwell. Her PhD focused on the English church in the 1650s. Her Masters' thesis investigated the relationship between Church and State, focusing on the city of Canterbury in the fifteenth century. She has taught several undergraduate courses at the Canterbury campus on a range of late medieval and early modern topics, and a number of courses on seventeenth century history at the Tonbridge Centre. She has given numerous papers on different aspects of late medieval and early modern religious history to academic and general interest audiences. She also has degrees in Landscape Architecture and maintains a strong interest in landscape and architectural history.


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Last Updated: 10/01/2012