Elizabethans Enjoyed Oysters and Crabs at the Theater

The two great theaters of Elizabethan London were the Rose, where Christoper Marlowe's plays were performed, and the Globe, home to the works attributed to Shaksper.  Ongoing archaeological work at the sites is revealing information not only about the structures, but also about the theatergoers seated in the galleries and milling about the stage.
"Food remains and seeds indicate that the preferred snacks were oysters, crabs, mussels, periwinkles and cockles. Walnuts, hazelnuts, plums, cherries, peaches, dried raisins and figs were also popular..."

The distribution of food remains over the site suggested that there was a class divide in the consumption of snacks. [Museum of London archaeologist Julian] Bowsher explained that remains found underneath the gallery seating suggested that the wealthier classes munched on crabs and sturgeon, as well as imported treats like peaches and dried figs. Meanwhile, oyster shells were found scattered all over the yard area, where commoners stood.

"At that time, oysters were indeed the staple diet of the poor," Bowsher said.

Link.  Image credit: Museum of London Archaeology

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Many of us believe, with good reason, that the plays were written by a courtier, Edward de Vere, 14th Earl of Oxford. Many of them were propogandist in nature, but handled by a master.

The Shakespearean establishment argue hard for the man from Stratford. His six signatures come towards the end of his life, all different, some with his hand guided. There is no documented, contemporary proof that he was able to read and write, no proof that he ever attended school.

We Oxfordians have great fun teasing the Stratfordians... and the case continues.
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Ah yes, oysters. As always, status was in inverse proportion to the abundance of the foodstuff you ate.
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Eating of oysters has always intrigued me. As a kid we had them whenever they were in season. Seems even during the Civil War they were a regular meal item. Now its a major luxury to have oysters.
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