A description of a dinner given in 1350 shows that there has been a vast improvement in table manners since then:
As a rule, one knife had to serve for two people, and often a bowl of soup was used by two persons. For this reason the party giving the dinner arranged his guests in couples, trying to place people together who would be congenial and not adverse to this common use of table appointments. Spoons were seldom supplied to the guests, and the soup was drunk directly from the bowl, the latter usually having side handles by which it was held.
In less refined company, there were no separate soup bowls, only one large porringer, which was passed around to the guests in turn. The diners helped themselves to the pieces of meat they desired from the common dish with their fingers. Napkins were considered a luxury, and were only provided in very aristocratic and wealthy families.—Philadelphia Inquirer, 1903
Etiquette Enthusiast, Maura J Graber, is the Site Editor for the Etiquipedia©️ Etiquette Encyclopedia