Elizabethan Era 1558 - 1603

Tudors Times 1485 - 1603

Jacobean Era 1603 - 1625

Elizabethan Cost of Living

In practice, people seldom spoke of ordinary amounts of money in terms of pounds, unless it was in thousands, like the annual value of an estate, or a special "voluntary" tax.

  • Ordinary, daily expenses were a few shillings and pence.
  • A pair of gloves would cost around 7 shillings.
  • For smaller items, like food and drink, a few pennies would suffice. A pot of ale would cost about a penny or two.
  • A household servant's salary was about 2-5 per year.

Below is courtesy: http://walternelson.com/dr/node/892

Elizabethan Cost of Living

Typical Prices of Clothing and Fabrics

  • Canvas for Livery: 4d per yard
  • Clothing for the Earl of Leicester: £563 for 7 doublets & 2 cloaks
  • Broadcloth: £6 for 24 feet
  • Good Shirt: £1
  • Pair of knitted stockings: 15s
  • Courtier's breeches: £7
  • A good pair of boots: £4 - £·10 a pair
  • Shoes for a child: 7d a pair

Major Outlays

  • Annual household expenses for the Earl of Derby: £3,000
  • Cost of rebuilding Kenilworth: £60,000

Food and Drink Costs

  • A loaf of bread: 2d
  • A quail: 1/2d
  • Oysters: 4d per bushel
  • 200 herrings: 3s
  • A chicken: 1d
  • Raisins: 3d per pound
  • A goose: 4d
  • Best beef: 3d per pound

Servant's Fines

  • Missing prayer: 2d
  • Cursing: 1d per oath
  • Not making one's bed: 1d
  • Cook finishing dinner late: 6d
  • Missing a button on the Livery: 1d per button


  • Lodging in an Inn: 2d per week (with Laundry)
  • A modest farm with an ancient lease: £4 - £5 per year
  • A modest farm with a new lease: £50 - £100 per year

Odds and Ends

  • Tobacco: 12s 64s per pound
  • A small, undecorated book: 8d
  • A large, ornamented book: 10s or more
  • A doctor's visit: 1 Mark
  • post horse from Dover to London: 3s

More Info On- Daily life During Elizabethan Era, Elizabethan Money

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