Sixteenth-century Europe witnessed several interesting changes in the fields of technology, ideology and social structure. Some of these changes have traditionally been called ‘revolutions’. For example, the change from earth-centered to sun-centered world view is generally known as the Copernican revolution. The emergence and spreading influence of the printing press, developed by Gutenberg in the previous century, has also been called a revolution. These changes, together with the rise of the middle class and changes in the political and religious circumstances, affected daily life in England as well. While many of the changes may be called revolutionary, they did not take place overnight. Most of the processes were relatively slow, with a period of overlap between the old and the new system. When analysing change, it is important not to neglect continuity. This thought is essential from the point of view of my thesis.
The history of English is traditionally divided into periods ranging from Old English to Present-Day English. Scholars of English historical linguistics often study the language of a certain period, becoming experts of their chosen stage of English. Moreover, when the transitional periods are studied, the emphasis is usually on change. In this study, I wish to explore an Early Modern English manuscript not only as a product of its period but also as a continuation of medieval tradition.