Some conscientious clerks went beyond what was required, providing personal details, as well as employment and health histories.
Yet because there was no official categorization for race, few other than diarists remarked on that distinction.
Under such conditions, it wouldnt be difficult to agree with the mid-17th century writings of philosopher Thomas Hobbes, who observed that human life is naturally nasty, brutish and short. There would be compensations, however: the beauty and quiet of the countryside, the easy camaraderie of the inn, the vivacity of your fellow travelers.
Perhaps, one mid-afternoon, you could even run into William Shakespeare himself.
Bathing, while not unknown, is infrequent, and the majority of those you meet will pay little attention to personal hygiene.
With primitive sanitation and high population density, disease is common.