Renaissance in New London
Re-enactor shares history with students
By Haley Lewallen
New London High School students in Philip Sloma’s world history class took a deeper look into the life of citizens during the Renaissance ages.
Jane Mulroy, a local Renaissance historian, brought the Renaissance years alive on Dec. 4 with her knowledge on traditions, customs, and values.
Mulroy previously worked at the Bristol Renaissance Faire in Kenosha, where she was a “wench” and amused guests. She even used to pretend she couldn’t read because peasants were not allowed to have an education or own anything during this time period.
Mulroy came into the classroom in what a peasant would have worn including a dress with a wool bottom layer and a belt that held all of their belongings from cups to baby rattles.
She told students that women only had materials for one dress, so it was worn until it was just threads.
Women also only bathed once a year in May. They would carry bouquets of flowers to help mask their scent, so the men would marry them in June so their scent was less detectable. This is the origin of June brides.
Mulroy currently lives and owns Mulroy’s Irish Acres on U.S. Highway 45 south of New London. Her farm has been in her family since 1848, months before Wisconsin became a state.
Mulroy’s farm will offer a farmers market every Sunday during the summer of 2016. Their home-grown produce has been a part of their family for more than 165 years.
Mulroy told students, “You don’t know where you’re going, until you know where you came from.”
Haley Lewallen is a student at New London High School.