At the start of the early modern era, aristocratic individuals could be expected to openly laugh at similar things to everyone else, including practical jokes and slapstick. For example, the popular clown Dick Tarleton, famous for his hunch-back, cross-eyes, and flat nose, was also a favourite of Queen Elizabeth I’s.What’s so funny? Giving your characters a historical sense of humour – The History Quill
Towards the end of the seventeenth century, however, the upper classes were desperately disassociating themselves from the earthy humour of the lower classes. No longer will your aspirational lady-in-waiting titter at bawdy jokes – not in public, at least.