Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Question from Lucy-Kate - Greetings and goodbyes

I am writing a novel set in 1572 in Rye amongst farming and fishing folk. Does anyone know how people would have greeted each other at that time when they met for the first time, met a friend in the street, met formally over business or met a family member? And likewise on saying goodbye? And for bonus points, does anyone know whether the French practice of kissing on both cheeks was around at the time? Thanks.


tudor princess said...

I suggest you get hold of a copy of Ian Mortimer's "The Time Traveller's Guide to Elizabethan England".

He states that for acquaintances, the normal greeting would be "God save you Sir/Madam" or "Good morrow, Master/Mistress".

To say goodbye, you may say, "God give you good evening" or "Good rest" at the end of the night.

Women were greeted by male strangers with a kiss on the lips, a fact that delighted many foreign visitors. No French cheek-kissing for them!

Rye is lovely - I hope the Mermaid Inn features!

Tudorrose said...

If the greeting came from a man it would be a bow and that would be the same for a good bye also as for if it were a woman she would curtsey first upon entry as well as greeting and do the same before leaving as she left plus both the man and the woman would say "Good morrow" first as he/she greeted the other person before saying and "Thus I take my leave" followed by a "Farewell" as he/she said good bye before leaving.

It would depend on your rank and how and were you stood in life for the man/woman to address the other counterpart as be it Sir/Madam or Master/Mistress or My lord/My lady and finally Sire/Your Grace or Your Majesty. but as you said farming fishing village folk it would obviously be the first or second.

Yes it would be kiss on the lips to answer the last part of your question.