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Games & Entertainment

Although people worked hard in Tudor times, a variety of games were played, many that we still play today.

Using a stuffed pig’s bladder for a ball, football was played between villages or in the street. But players became so unruly that Henry VIII banned it for a while.

Card and board games were popular, as were skittles, archery and fishing. Evening entertainment often included singing, dancing, and the playing of musical instruments.

The wealthy were able to employ professional jugglers and wrestlers to amuse them, but others could see such entertainment on the streets of the towns. Plays were also performed in the street and in theatres.

As books were expensive and few people could read, not many Tudors read for fun. Embroidery and knitting were considered useful pastimes.

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