Friday, June 03, 2022

Question from Oswald - Punishment of children for misbehavior

How were teenaged kids punished in Tudor times when they misbehaved or broke a parents rule? Did he / she get grounded as in; having privileges taken away, made to do extra chores, prohibited from leaving the home, hanging out with friends; etc. ? Or were they whipped, beaten, or what?


PhD Historian said...

"Teenage" is an entirely modern concept and one that simply did not exist in Tudor England. English common law of the Tudor period deemed a person at or above 14 years of age to be subject to the law in its fullest effect. Persons over age 14 were, in practical application, "adults" in that they were required to obey all laws and would be punished as adults if they broke the law. A fourteen-year-old who committed a legal offense could receive exactly the same punishment as a 30-year-old or a 50-year-old. This is different from "age of majority," which was addressed property ownership almost exclusively ... one could be an adult before the law without yet being old enough to own and administer property, just as a person today might be old enough to vote or to serve in the military (age 18 in the US) but not old enough to buy alcohol (age 21 in most US states) or pornography.

ALL persons living in a household, regardless of age or gender, were subject to the boundaries ("rules") established by the head of household. The male head of the household quite literally "ruled the roost." Punishments for unacceptable behaviors were determined at the sole discretion of the male head of the household and could range from verbal chastisement to beating to banishment from the household. But beating was by far the most common practice, as evidenced by manuals on childrearing from the period.

Oswald said...

Hey, thanks for the info. Being a father, like me, (or a mother) to a teen may be hard nowadays, but it wouldn’t be any better if we were still in Tudor times!😅