Almost 50% of the children born between the late 1500's and the mid 1600's died before reaching adulthood. If you reached the age of 21, you would probably live to the age of 62. The age of 70 was considered very old. Upper class women often lived into their 80's and 90's. The average family had five or six children, with three to five of them surviving past early childhood. Most children in their early teens, or even younger, were sent away to school, apprenticeship or to live with a foster family. The foster family would teach them all the skills they would need in life. The average age for men and women to marry was in their mid to late twenties, and arranged marriages were common. The nobility often married a little earlier, to protect their inheritance. Between 20% and 33% of all brides were pregnant on their wedding day, but the child was considered legitimate if he was born between troth plight (the announced engagement) and marriage.
   Children were born at home with the aid of friends and/or a midwife. The child would be baptised as soon as possible , because so many children died within a few days. Eight out of nine children died before the age of five. A child would bathe about once a month, and have their clothes washed every month, or every other month. At about the age of five a child was sent to live in: another home to learn what he needed in adult life, a monastery or apprenticed to a trade.
   A twelve year old girl would be planning her marriage, and be married by fourteen. A boy could be married at fifteen.

The writer's dictionary of science fiction, fantasy, horror and mythology. 2014.

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