This essay introduces the Draper family who lived during the haunting years of 1348 to 1350. During those years the Black Death entered England and began to run rampant causing almost 4 million deaths across the country. Their village of South Cowton, now located in North Yorkshire; south of the town of Darlington, was dramatically affected from peasants to landlords. The Draper’s was not safe from this epidemic even though they were middle class and had more privileges than an average family in the medieval times.
Today South Cowton still exists with its original name and it stands as a monument from the medieval town it once. Below is South Cowton in present day with St Mary’s Church, built in 1450, the focus of the photo.The society the Draper’s lived in categorized everyone into a class of upper, middle or lower. If you were upper you were most likely a King or apart of the King’s family. Middle class could have been anyone who had a good job while lower was the majority of villagers who had jobs working as farmers or labourers.
The Draper Family was lucky as both parents had solid jobs placing them in middle class. Although Royals governed the villagers, religion, specifically Christianity, loomed over everyone. The Draper’s were very religious, God being their motivation for everything. Even once the Black Death struck they were convinced it was a punishment for their sins from God.A replica of what South Cowton Village looked like back thenAs we learned earlier both parents in the Draper family work. The mother, Maude was a candlemaker from home and the father, Alan was a Blacksmith. They had three daughters; Sapphira, Edith, and Paulina. Being a middle class family their social status was above average but their privileges were still very limited. Within the family the man was the one who ruled the roost. Alan made all the decisions from when to have children to what job Maude could have.
The daily routine for this family was Maude waking up first and getting breakfast prepared by six-thirty. Many days throughout the week her husband was the next to get up as he gets ready for another work day. They would all eat breakfast together unless Alan was in a rush that day. In that case he would eat before the children and rush out to walk to work with his coworkers. A villagers breakfast menu did not look bad at all especially at that time and even now is not shunned out by many people. Their breakfast consisted of rye bread and milk. Sapphira, the oldest of the Draper daughters at thirteen in 1348, had a rough early adolescence.
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