England's farming economy was forever changed by the outbreak of a terrible plague, or infectious disease, that arrived on the European continent in 1348, killing more than one-fourth of the population in a few years.
Continued outbreaks of the plague are estimated to have killed from one-third to one-half of Europe's population by 1400.
A deceased person who, due to his or her exceptionally good behavior during life, receives the official blessing of the church and is believed to be capable of interceding with God to protect people on earth.
A military exercise performed for the queen, in which young nobles on horseback armed with lances (long spears) charged at one another in an attempt to throw their opponent from his horse. Another economic change took place in the early sixteenth century.
However, the new industries provided few jobs for unskilled laborers.
The peasants who were lucky enough to find work in the cities earned extremely low wages that barely fed them, and many of them were unable to find employment at all.
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.
With so many laborers dead, lords no longer had an easy supply of labor to farm their lands.Historians studying the Elizabethan Era, the period associated with the reign of Queen Elizabeth I (1558–1603) that is often considered to be a golden age in English history, have focused mainly on the lives of the era's wealthy nobles.(Nobles were the elite men and women who held social titles.) The nobles held great power and frequently lived colorful and extravagant lives, but they made up only about 3 percent of the population.Many peasants lost their livelihoods when the lands they had farmed were fenced off for sheep.They moved to the cities, which were prospering because of the new cloth industry and the other growing trades.