Video instructions and help with filling out and completing Why Form 5495 Priorities

Instructions and Help about Why Form 5495 Priorities

Right well last time I was looking at the vital social distinctions that were recognized in the sixteenth century and also how people conceived of society as a whole so today I want to come down to the other end of the scale and look at the most fundamental unit of society the household the units in which most people spent their lives and which governed most of their daily activities so let's begin with some definitions the household can be defined in the first instance as being a unit of residence of course but also as I indicated last time it was a unit of authority it's a group of people some related some unrelated living under the same roof under the authority of a household head usually a man sometimes a widowed woman and in addition the household has been described as a unit that was geared for work the work which was necessary to satisfy its needs as a unit of production and of consumption and of reproduction so all households had that much in common but they're very greatly in their size their composition and the complexity of the relationships contained within them if we go to the top of the social scale the households of the nobility and the gentry could be very large institutions indeed sometimes vast institutions they were organized to maintain not only a noble family at an expected level of magnificence and to be magnificent was one of the qualities of a nobleman in contemporary thought but also they were the Centers for administering landed estates they were the centers for conducting local government they were the centers often of the exercise of political power to give just one example at Pontefract castle in the moreless in the center of the country in South Yorkshire appear Pontefract castle was the home of Lord Darcy and a list of his household as it was 15:21 survives there were 80 people in Darcy's household 80 his family members of his extended family who lived with him his household and estate officers he had living with him a bunch of young men who were the sons of his clients amongst the local gentry and numerous menial servants when he was called by Henry the eighth to go to war against the Scots in 1523 he took with him 23 young men who were members of his household as his personal guard wearing his livery so such people as Lord Darcy had a style of life to maintain which necessarily elaborated their domestic establishments and these were the great households of the age those of lesser people were of course much smaller and much less elaborate usually basically they were nuclear family households husband wife and children rarely co-resident relatives living with them and that's a matter of some significance it reflects the common cultural assumption that every newly married couple should set up its own independent household and indeed that you should not marry until you could do so you should not cohabit with your relatives well in many ways that sounds very modern but one mustn't forget that a large minority of households in this period although their central core was a nuclear family were also much larger than average not because they had kin spoke living with them but because they came to include people who were linked to the household not by blood or birth but by contract servants apprentices so if sixteenth-century households look familiar in some ways a large minority of them were also very different and one could say they differed from modern households in three essential respects they differed structurally in that a substantial number of them people affiliated to the household by contract the servants and apprentices they differed conceptually in that when people talk about their family in this period they meant not their immediate blood relatives as we use the term they meant all members of their household servants and apprentices were regarded as members of their family they refer to them as family so they're different conceptually and they're also different functionally because these people were usually taken on for reasons which go beyond the usual functions of a modern household whereas we we tend to think of a household as a unit of residence and consumption and child-rearing provision of emotional support all of that was true in the 16th century - but the household in the 16th century also had more extensive functions which we don't associate with the household today they were units of production they were farms they were workshops they were also places of education and training where the young were trained in particular tasks and that's what I mean when I say they were they were geared for work for all these larger range of functions right well as working units and as units of residence all households were also spheres of interdependence their maintenance and their survival depended on the contributions of all their members as we saw last time this was in its ideology a patriarchal society of course in the sense that authority was conventionally located in the person's of adult males in general and adult male householders in particular and these assumptions about the structure of authority were also embodied in law remember the law of property I mentioned last time with regard to women but despite these constraints of ideology and law women's role in the household was of course indispensable and this was fully recognized it was the duty of the household to maintain his family by his labor to exercise his authority and managing its affairs to play a part in training servants and apprentices and so forth the duty of the mistress of the household was generally summed up in a contemporary word whoo Swiffer II it's on you it's on your sheet whoo Swiffer your house were free and that it comprised a range of activity very