Dating customs elizabethan era
(The next largest English city, by comparison, was only about fifteen thousand people.) London's population was divided.
It included a small but powerful population of wealthy nobles, a prospering middle class, and a large and impoverished lower class living in miserable conditions.
By the early sixteenth century laborers found they could demand more money and better working conditions.
For the first time it became possible for some enterprising peasants to take over the lands made vacant by the plague and become landowners themselves.
Homeless, they wandered in search of a way to feed themselves.
England had developed a huge and highly profitable cloth-making industry.
At first the industry relied on imported material to make cloth, but by the sixteenth century English landowners discovered that there was more profit to be made raising sheep for wool than in planting crops.
The working classes of England had always had a difficult life.
Under the feudal system of the Middle Ages (the period in European history lasting from c. 1500), powerful lords owned and governed local districts, which were usually made up of peasant families and ranged from fifty to a few hundred people.They could not afford to have their portraits painted nor to preserve their humble homes for future generations.