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Henry VII. 

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London : Printed by " • Ci.owks 

and Sons, Stamford street. 



Introduction ..... . . 

List of Authorities quoted » . . . . 

Ancient Briiish Period ...... 

Roman-Brilish Period a. d. 78 — 400 . . , . 


Anglo-Saxon Period, a. d. 450 — 1016 • . . . 


Anglo-Danish Period, a.d. 1016— 1041 . 


Reigns of Edward the Confessor and Harold II., a.d. 104 2 — 

10«6 ....... 


Reign of William the Conqueror, a. d. 1066 — 1087 . 


Reigns of William II., Henry I., and Stephen, a. d. 1087— 



Reigns of Henry II., Richard I., and John, a. d. 1154—1216 


Reign of Henry III., a.d. 1216— 1272 . 


Reigns of Edward I. and II.; Edward I., a. d. 1272 — 1307 

Edward II., a. d. 1307— 1327 


Reign of Edward III., a. d. 1327 — 1377 . . 


Reign of Richard II., a. d. 1377—1399 .... 

Reigns of Henry IV. and V.; Henry IV. a. d. 1399—1411 
* — Henry V. a.d. .411 — 1422 























Reigns of Henry VI. and Edward IV.; Henry VI., a.d. 

1420— '461 190 

Edward IV., A. u. 

1461—1483 199 


Reigns of Edward V. and Richard III., A. D. 1483 — 1485 . 211 

Reign of Henry VII., a. d. 1485 — 1500 .... 219 

Reigns of Henry VIII., Edward VI., and Mary; Henry VIII. 

a. d. 1509—1547 233 

Edward VI., A. D. 1547 — 1553, and Mary, a. d. 

1553—1558 251 


Reign of Elizabeth, a.d. 1558 — 1603 . . • 255 


Reign of James I., a. d. 1603 — 1625 . • 274 


Reign of Charles I. and Commonwealth, a. d. 1625 — 1660 282 


Reign of Charles II., a. d. 1660 — 1685 .... 294 

Reigns of Janies II. and William and Mary, a.d. 1685 — 1702 303 

Costume of the Eighteenth Century, from the Accession of 

Anne to the present Period 
Reign of Queen Anne, a. d. 1702 — 1714 

George I., A. d. 1714 — 1727 . . 

George II., a. d. 1727 — 1760 

George III., 1760 . . . . 

. 310 
.310 & 313 
. 311 & 321 
. 312 & 321 
. 313 & 322 


National Costume of Scotland 

. 335 


National Costume of Ireland 

. . 352 




2 . 




6 . 


8 . 

10 . 

11 . 

12 . 








20 . 
21 . 
22 . 













Portrait of Hen ry VII. . . . faci 

Ancient British weapons of bone and flint 
British weapons of bronze, in their earliest and iriioroved 
states ..... 

Bronze coating of an ancient British shield. 

Ornaments and patterns of the ancient Britons 
Bas-relief found at Autun 
Druidical ornaments 

Metal coating of an ancient Ronian-Britisli shiel 
Anglo-Saxon weapons and ornaments 
Civil costume of the Anglo-Saxons . 

Jewel of Alfred, found at Athelney . 

The military habits of the Anglo-Saxons ! 

Anglo-Saxon mantle, caps, and weapons ! 

Anglo-Saxon females 
St. Dunstau 

. Abbot El fnoth, and St. Augus.ine, Archbishop cfCante 

. Canute and his queen Algyfe 
Seal of Edward the Confessor 
Harold II. . 

William I. and attendants 
William I. and two Normans . . . 

Helmets, hauberks, a sword, and a gonfanon 
Sicilian bronzes and Norman shields 
Anglo-Norman ladies .... 

A bishop of the close of the 11th century . 

Royal habits of the commencement of the 12th century 
Habits of the commencement of the 12th century 
William Rufus ; Richard, Constable of Chester ; Milo 
Fitzwalter, Constable of England ; Statue of St. Michael 
Female costume o the reigns jf Rufus and Henry I. 

Arms of the family of De Hastings . . ' 

Effigies of Henry II. and his queen Eleanor; Richard 1. 

and his queen Berengaria; and of King John 
Seal of Henry II. . 

Seals of Richard I. 

Effigies of Geoffrey de Magnaville, Earl of Essex, and of 
William Longespee, Earl of Salisbury . 



















































of the reign of 

Mitres from tnc tomb of King John . 

Effigy of Henry 111. • • 

Effigy, surrounded by helmets, ate 

Effigy oTAveKne, Countess of Lancaster, and two female 
heads of the 13th century . 

Red hat of the cardinals . • • 

Regal costume of the reign of Edward l. . 

Costume of the dose of the 13th century . 

Civil costume of the reign of Edward 1. . ; • 

Edward Crouchback, Earl of Lancaster; Brass, in Ocr- 
leston Church, Suffolk . . 

Military costume, temp. Edward 1. . 


Ditto . 

Ditto . • • , • ' 

Female of the reign of Edward I. . 

Female head-dresses, temp. Edward 1. . - • 

Coronation of Edward I. 

Effigy of Edward i . •„,*,* 

Military costume of the reign of Edward 11. 

Female costume of the reign of Edward II. 

Effigy of Edward III. and of his second son, William of 

Hatfield. . • * * ’ 

56. Female costume of the reign of Edward lit. 

57. Charles le Bon, Count of Flanders . • • 

58. Effigy of Sir Oliver Ingham and a visored bascinet 

5Q Fdward III. and the Black Prince . . • * 

60 . Tilting helmet and gauntlets of Edward the Black Prince 139 

61. Helmet of John, King of Bohemia, and another irom 

seals in Olivarius Vredius . • • 

62. Civil costume of the reign of Richard II. . 

63. Military costume, temp. Richard II. 

64. Visored bascinet of the time of Richard II. 

65. Helmets of the time of Richard II. on two female figures 

66. Female costume, close of the 14th century • • 

67. Parliament assembled for the deposition of Ricnard 11. 

68 Effigy of Henry IV., and his queen, Joan of Navarre . 

69. Crown of Henry IV. and collar of Esses round the neck 

of the Queen . . • • * 

70. Female head-dress of the reign of Henry IV. . 

71. Military costume of the reign of Henry V. . • 

72. Tilting helmet of the commencement of the 15th ccmury * 

73. Tilting helmet and shield ... 







. 115 
, 116 
. 119 
. 121 
. 122 
. 124 
. 125 





14 1 
. 150 
. 158 
. 160 
. 170 

















86 . 


88 . 












100 . 

101 . 

102 . 








110 . 

P sine 



Helmet of I,ouis, Due de Bourbon . . 

Bascinet of the reign of Henry V. . 

Female costume of the reign of Henry V. . • 

Horned head-dress of the 15th century . 

John Talbot, Earl of Shrewsbury, presenting a book 
to Henry VI. and his queen Margaret . 

Civil costume of the reign of Henry VI, . 1 

Salades, a bill, and a dagger . , 

Hand-cannon ; hand-gun and battle-axe united . 
Female costume of the reign of Henry VI. 

Lord Rivers, and Caxlon, his printer, presenting a book 
to Edward IV. and his family . 

Civil costume of the reign of Edward IV. . * 

. Collar of suns and roses 
. Casquetel of the reign of Edward IV. 

. Female costume of the reigu of Edward IV, 

. Sir Thomas Peyton . ... , 

■ Effigy of Lady Peyton . ... . 

■ Female costume of the reign of Richard III. ' 

Civil costume of the reign of Henry VII. 

. Costume of the reign of Henry VII. 

. Fluted suit of armour of the reign of Henry VII. 

Female costumeof the reign of Henry VII. . j 

Mourning habits of the 16th century 
Henry VIII. from his great seal .... 

Suit of puffed and ribbed armour, temp. Henry VIII. 

Military costume, temp. Henry VIII. 

General costume of the reigns of Edward VI. and 
Queen Mary . . . , 

Powder-flask of the reign of Mary 
Wheel lock dag, wheel-lock pistol, and pocket wheel- 
lock pistol .... 

Early costume of Queen Elizabeth ’ 

^“6^ lady of quality, 1577 ; English lady of quality, 

lOoo • • . . 

Costume of the reign of Elizabeth, about 1588 . 

Morions of the reign of Elizabeth ; the costume from the 
last of the series, temp. 1590 , . . . , 

Fire-arms, musket-rest, and bandoliers, temp. Elizabeth 272 
Henry, Prim e of Wales . , , , . 278 

Morion, bourginot, swine’s feather, linstock, and butt 
cf a pistol 279 

Helmets or head-pieces of the time of Charles I. and 

Cromwell 286 

Gentlewoman, citizen’s wife, countrywoman . . 289 







. 201 
. 203 
. 204 
. 216 
. 217 
. 218 
. 220 
. 222 
. 224 
. 227 
, 230 


, 244 










111. English lady of quality, a.d. 1040 . 

112. Charles II. and his queen 

113. Charles II. and a courtier . 

1 14. Costume of Charles II.’s reign 

115. Gorget and steel skull-cap . 

116. Bayonets of the earliest form 

117. Portraits of William III. 

118. William III. . . • 

119. Improved bayonets of the reign of Wil.sam 111. 

120. Costume of Queen Mary . . • • 

121. Gentlemen of the reigns of Queen Anne, George I. 

and II. . ■ • • • * 

122. Ladies of the reign of George II. . 

123. Costume of the reign of George IlL 

124. Scotch brooch of silver 

125. Prince Charles Edward Stuart . . . 

126. Scotch bonnets ...•••• 

127. Highland target, dirk, Jedburgh axe, Lochabar axe . 

128. An Andrea Ferrara, with its original hilt . 

129. Highland fire-lock tack; battle-axes of the Edinburgh 

and Aberdeen town-guards .... 

130 . Ancient Irish weapons and ornaments 

131. Irish costume of the 12th century . • • 

132. MacMorough, king of Leinster, and his toparchs 

133. Irish of the reign of Eliiabeth . . 

134. Archer, a Jesuit ; O’ More, an Irish chief . 

135. Wild Irish man and woman; civil Irish man and woman 

136. Irish gentleman and woman . . « 




















The true spirit of the times is in nothing- more 
perceptible than in the tone given to our most trifling 
amusements. Information of some description must 
be blended with every recreation to render it truly 
acceptable to the public. The most beautiful fictions 
are disregarded unless in some measure founded 
upon fact. Pure invention has been declared by 
Byron to be but the talent of a liar and the novels 
of Sir Walter Scott owe their popularity as much to 
the learning as to the genius displayed in their pages 
or the mystery which so long surrounded the writer*. 
The days have gone by when archaeological pursuits 
were little more than the harmless but valueless 
recreations of the aged and the idle. The research, 
intelligence, and industry of modern authors and 
artists have opened a treasure-chamber to the rising 
generation. The spirit of critical inquiry has sepa- 
rated the gold from the dross, and antiquities are 
now considered valuable only in proportion to their 
illustration of history or their importance to art. 

The taste for a correct conception of the arms 
and habits of our ancestors has of late years rapidly 
diffused itself throughout Europe. The historian, 
the poet, the novelist, the painter, and the actor, 
have discovered in attention to costume a new spring 
of information, and a fresh source of effect. Its 
study, embellished by picture and enlivened by anec- 
dote, soon becomes interesting even to the young 
and careless reader ; and at the same time that it 
sheds light upon manners and rectifies dates, stamps 

* At the anrae time we must observe, that his descriptions of 
ancient costume are not always to be relied upon. The armour 
of Richard Caeur de Lion in “ Ivanhoe ” is of the sixteenth rather 
than of the twelfth century 



the various events arid eras in the most natural and 
vivid colours indelibly on the memory. 

Of those who affect to ridicule the description of a 
doublet, or to deny the possibility of assigning the 
introduction of any particular habit to any particular 
period (and some have done so in print who should 
have known better), we would only inquire what 
criticism they would pass upon the painter who should 
represent Julius Caesar in a frock-coat, cocked hat, 
and Wellington trousers : nor will we admit this to 
be an extreme case, for how lately have the heroes 
and sages of Greece and Rome strutted upon the 
stage in flowing perukes and gold-laced waistcoats. 

“ What shook the stage and made the people 6tare? 

Cato’s long wig, flowered gown, and lacker'd chair.” 

And is tile representing Paris in a Roman dress, as 
was done by West, the President of the Royal Aca- 
demy, to be considered a more venial offence, because 
it is more picturesque and less capable of detection 
by the general spectator? — The Roman dress is more 
picturesque than the habits of the present day, cer- 
tainly ; but not more so than the Phrygian, the proper 
costume of the person represented. And is it par- 
donable in a man of genius and information to per- 
petuate errors upon the ground that they may pass 
undiscovered by the million ? Does not the historical 
painter voluntarily offer himself to the public as an 
illustrator of habits and manners, and is he wantonly 
to abuse the faith accorded to him? But an artist, 
say the cavillers, must not sacrifice effect to the 
minutiae of detail. The extravagant dresses of some 
periods would detract from the expression of the 
figure, which is the higher object of the painter’s 
ambition. Such and such colours are wanted for 
peculiar purposes, and these might be the very tints 
prohibited by the critical antiquary. To these and 



twenty other similar objections the plain answer is, 
that the exertion of one-third part of the study and 
ingenuity exercised in the invention of conventional 
dresses to satisfy the painter’s fancy would enable 
him to be perfectly correct and at the same time 
equally effective — often, indeed, more effective, from 
the mere necessity of introducing some hues and 
forms which otherwise had never entered into his 

The assertion so coolly hazarded by some writers, 
that chronological accuracy is unattainable in these 
matters will be refuted, we trust, by every page of 
this work ; its principal object being to prove the 
direct contrary, and establish the credence which may 
be given to the authorities therein consulted, and 
lighten the labours of the student by directing him at 
once to those cotemporary records and .monuments 
w hich may serve him as tests of the authenticity of 
later compilers. 

Careless translation has done much to deceive, and 
the neglect of original and cotemporary authors for 
the more familiarly written and easily obtained works 
of their successors, has added to the confusion. It 
is extraordinary to observe the implicit confidence 
w ith which the most egregious mistakes have been 
copied by one writer after another, apparently with- 
out the propriety having once occurred to them of 
referring to the original authorities. 

A want of methodical or strict chronological 
arrangement, has also contributed to the perplexity 
of the students ; and the works of the indefatigable 
Strutt liave, from this latter defect, misled perhaps 
more than they have enlightened. To condense and 
sift the mass of materials he had collected, has been, 
perhaps, the most laborious portion of our task. 
Some of his plates contain the costume of two cen- 
turies jumbled together, and the references to them in 

b 3 



the text are scattered over the volumes ii the most 
bewildering manner. This material defect is re- 
medied, we trust, in our publication; and it i- scarcely 
necessary to point out the advantage of finding every 
information respecting the dress or armour of a par- 
ticular reign contained within the few pages allotted 
to it. 

The bulk of all the best works on ancient costume 
or armour, and their consequent expense, have been 
formidable obstacles (o (he artist, and must surely 
render a pocket volume, comprising every necessary 
reference and information, a desirable companion ; and 
although we by no means pretend to infallibility, we 
trust that our jealousy of all questionable documents, 
and the rigid test to which we have subjected, and 
by which we have shaken the evidence of many 
hitherto undoubted, have preserved us from gross 
misrepresentations, at the same time that they have 
enabled us to correct some material errors, and 
explain several obscure passages in our more costly 
and voluminous precursors. 

The following is a list of the works on general 
costume, or containing notices of British dress, which 
may be consulted with advantage by the artist, with 
our own, for a commentary. 

Habitus Pnjccipuorum Populorum, tam Viroruni 
quam Focminarum, singulari arte depicti. By John 
Weigel, cutter iu wood. 1 vol. fol. Nuremberg, 1577. 

Habitus Variarum Orbis Gentium. Bv J. J. Boissard, 

Habiti Antichi e Moderni di diverse Parti del Mondo. 
By Ctesar Vecellio. 8vo. Venice, 1590. 

Sacri Romani Imperii Ornatus, item Gemianoruin 
diversarumque Gentium Peculiarcs Vestitus: quibus ac- 
cedunt Ecclesiasticorum Habitus Yarii. Bv Caspai 
Rutz, 1588. 



Diversarum Gentium Armatura E que stris, 1 G 1 7. 

Ornatus Muliebris Anglicanus. By Wencelaus Hollar. 
4to. London, 1640. 

A Collection of the Dresses of different Nations, an- 
cient and modern. 2 vols. 4to. Published by Thomas 
Jefferys. London, 1757. 

Horda Angel Cynan. By Joseph Strutt. 3 vols. 4to. 
London, 1774 — 76. 

Dress and Habits of the People of England. By 
ditto. 2 vols. 4to. London, 1796 — 99. 

Regal and Ecclesiastical Antiquities. By ditto. 
1 vol. 4to. London, 1773 — 93. 

Selections of the Ancient Costume of Great Britain 
and Ireland. By Charles Hamilton Smith, Esq. 1 vol. 
fol. London, 1814. 

Costume of the Original Inhabitants of the British 
Islands. By S. R. Meyrick, LL D. & F.S.A.; and C.H. 
Smith, Esq. 1 vol. fol. London, 1821. 

A Critical Enquiry into Ancient Arms and Armour. 
By S. R. Meyrick, LL.D., &c. 3 vols. fol. London. 

Encyclopaedia of Antiquities. By the Rev. T. D. Fos- 
brooke, M.A. F.S.A. 2 vols. 4to. London, 1825. 

Illustrations of British History. 2 vols. 12mo. By 
Richard Thomson. Published in Constable's Miscellany, 
Edinburgh, 1828. 

Engraved Illustrations of Antient Armour from the 
Collection at Goodrich Court. By Joseph Skelton, F.S.A. 
With the descriptions of Dr. Meyrick. 2 vols. 4to. 
London and Oxford, 1830. 

The Monumental Effigies of Great Britain. By Charles 
Alfred Stothard, F.S.A. Fol. London, 1833. 

Walker's History of the Irish Bards. 2 vols. 8vo. 

Logan's History of the Gael. 2 vols. 8vo. 

To preclude the necessity of long references we 
here subjoin a list of the principal authorities quoted 
in this work. Some of them being in manuscript, 
many of rare occurrence, many not contained even in 
public libraries, except in some voluminous collection 
of historians, so that the inquirer may lose much 
time in seeking for them, unless he knows the exact 



work in which they are to be found, we have sought 
to make our catalogue more complete by providing 
against this difficulty in all cases where it seemed 
likely to occur. It win not, of course, be supposed 
that the editions or collections here indicated are the 
only ones in which the writers named are to be found. 

List of the principal Ancient Authors and Works 
quoted or referred to in this Volume . 


Plutarch’s Lives. 

Caesar's Commentaries. 

Diodorus Siculus. 



Pomponius Mela : Geography . 

Tacitus: Life of Agricola; Manners of the Germans. 
Pliny’s Natural History. 

Solinus : Polyhistor. 

Dion Cassius. 





The Welsh Triads 
Taliesin : Poems 
Llywarch Hen: 

Anuerin : The Go- 

•Vide Archapologia Britannica, Oxford, 
1707; Davies’ Celtic Researches, Lon- 
don, 1804 : Myvyrian, Archeology of 
Wales, 2 vols. London, 1801; Dissertatio 
; de Bardis, &c. 8vo. 1764; Owen’s Cam- 
brian Biography, London, 8ro. 1803: and 
Treatise on the Genuineness of the Poems 
of Anuerin, Taliesin, Llywarch Hen, &c. ; 
with Specimens by Mr. Sharon Turner. 

Eginhart: Life of Charlemagne. Vet. Script. Germ. 

Reub. Han. 1619. 

Monk of St. Gall. 

History of the Lombards. Printed by Muratori in his 
Scriptores Italici, vol. i. 

Paulus Deaconus. 



Theganus : Life of Louis le Debonaire. 


Adhelm, Bishop of Sherborne. M.S. Brit. Mus. Royal, 
15 et 16. 

William of Poitou : Gesta Gulielmi Ducis. Printed in 
Duchesne's Historia Normanorum Scriptores Antiqui 
Folio. Paris, 1601. 

William of Malmsbury : De Gestis Regum Anglorum. 
Printed in Sir H. Savil’s Collection, entitled Scriptores 
post Bedam. Frankfort, folio, 1601. 

Agathias: History. Printed at Leyden, 1594; and 
Paris, 1658. 

Gregory of Tours : History of the Franks. 

Auglo-Saxon Poems of Judith and Beowulf. 

A union : History of France. Printed in Duchesne's 
Histori® Normanorum Scriptores Antiquis. Folio. 
Paris, 1619. 

Encomium of Emma, m Duchesne. 

Alcuin : Lib. de Offic. Divin. Folio. Paris, 1617. 

Adam of Bremen : Ecclesiastical History. Rer. Germ. 
Linden. Frankfort, 1630. Langcheck’s Collection 
of Writers on Danish Affairs. 5 vols. folio. Copenha- 
gen, 1772 — 92. 

Arnold of Lubeck. Ibid. 

Bartliolinus : On the Contempt of Death 

Forfaeus: History of Norway. 

Asser : Life of Alfred. Printed by Camden in his collec- 
tion, entitled Angliea, Normanoricum, Hibernica, 
Cambrica a scriptoribus, a veteribus scripta. Folio. 
Frankfort, 1603. 

John Wallingford: Printed in Gale's Histoncae Britan- 
nic® et Anglican® Scriptores. 2 vols. folio. Oxford, 
1689 - 91 . 

Ingulph : History of Croyland Abbey, and English His- 
tory, in Savil's Scriptores. 

Glaber Rodolphus. 

Florence of Worcester: Chronicle. Printed in 4to. 

London, 1592. 

Ordericus Vitalis: Ecclesiastical History. 

Wace : Roman de Rui. Printed by M. Pluquet. Rouen 
827 . 



Henry of Huntingdon : Histories. Printed in Savil • 

Johannes de Janua. 

Anna Comnena : Alexiad. _ 

Matthew Paris: Historia Major Angli®; VitaAbbatum 
Chronica, &c. 2 vols. foho. Paris, 1641. 

John de Meun 1 Romance of the Rose; various Mb. 

William de Lorris > in the Mus. Bnt. 

) Printed in Sir John Twysden s His- 
Gervase of Dover ' ton8e Anglican® Scriptores Decern. 
John of Brompton ) Folio> j^don, 1652. 

Dowglas, Monk of Glastonbury: Harleian MS. 

Pierce Ploughman: Vision. 


/Eneas Sylvius • History of Bohemia. 

Froissart. . , . „ . 

Henry Knyghton. Printed in Sir R. Twysden s Scrip- 
tures. _ _ , 

Monk of Evesham. Printed by Heame. 8vo. Oxford, 

1 729. 

Thomas of Walshingham : Historia Brevis. Printed in 
Camden's Collection. T , 

Harding's Chronicle. Printed by Grafton. London, 




Monstrelet. Chronicles. . 

St. Remy. Printed by Sir N. H. Nicholasin his History 
of the Battle of Agincourt. 12mo. London, 1827. 
Elmliara. Printed by Heame. 8yo. Oxford, 1727 . 
Lydgate: Poems; various MSS. in Mus. Brit. 

PhilTp de Commines : Memoirs. 

Monk of Croyland. 

Paradin : Histoire de Lyons. 

Argentre : Histoire de Bretagne. 

Skelton: Poems; Harl. MS. 7333. 

Barclay Ship of Fools of the World. Printed by Pvn- 
son. London, 1508. 

Hall: Union of the Families of \ ork and Lancaster 
Folio. London, 15 48— 50. 

Holinslied: Chronicles. 2 vols. folio, 1577. 



John Stow: Chronicle. 4to. 1580— 98. Continued by 
Edmund Howe. Folio. 1615. 

John Speed: Theatre of Great Britain (folio, London, 
1611); and History of Great Britain. 2 vols. large folio. 

Stubbs : Anatomy of Abuses. 

Bulwer: Pedigree of the English Gallant. 

Militarie Instructions foi the CavalrD. Cambridge, 1632. 
Randal Holmes : Notes oil Dress ; Harleian MS., written 
about 1660. 

Spectator; Rambler; Adventurer; Gray's Inn Journal ; 
London Journal, &c. 



Ammianus Marcellinus. 




Dion Cassius and Xinhilin. 


Gildas. Printed in Bertram's Scriptores. 8vo. 1757. 
Matthew Paris. 

Winton • Chronicles. 

Fordun: Chronicles. 

Froissart: Chronicles 

John Lesley : History of Scotland. 4to. 1578. 

George Buchannan . History of Scotland : in his works, 
2 vols. folio. Edinburgh, 1714. 

John Major: History of Scotland. 

David Lyndsay of Piscottie : History of Scotland, from 
1437 to 1542. 



Giraldus Cambrensis, translated by Sir R. Hoare 
History of the Conquest of Ireland and Topographia 
Hibernica, edited by Camden. 1 602. 

Henry Christall: cited by Froissart in his Chronicles. 
Monstrelet • Chronicles. 


Stanihurst: in Ilolinshed’s Chronicles. 



Camden: History of Elizabeth. 

Derricke Poems. 

Morryson . 

Speed. . . , 

To these may be added the documents printed or cited 
in Rymer’s Fcedera; Wilkins's Concilia; Johnson's 
Canons; Dugdale’s Monasticon and History of St. 
Paul's ; The Archseologia ; The Antiquarian Repertory; 
Camden's Remains; Ashmole's History of the Order 
of the Garter; Illustrations of Northern Antiquities: 
Montfaueon's Monarchic Framjaise; Turner's History of 
the Anglo-Saxons; Williments Kegal Heraldry; Sand- 
ford’s Genealogical History; Collectanea de Rebus 
Hibernicis; Keating’s History of Ireland; Ledwieke's 
Antiquities of Ireland; King's Munimenta Antiqua 
Pennant's Works ; Loid Somers’ Tracts, &c. 





Chapter I. 


Ancient British weapons of bone and flint. 

Fig. a, arrow-head of flint, in the Meyrirk collection ; b, another, engraved 
in Archaeoloeia, vol. xv. pi. 2 ; c, rf, lance-heads of bone, from a barrow 
on Upton Lovel Downs, Wiltshire, engraved in same plate; e, spear- 
head of stone, in the Meyrirk collection: /*, battle-axe head of black 
stone, in ditto ; p. another, found in a barrow in Devonshire, and now 
in the same collection. 

Respecting the original colonists of Britain — the 
more adventurous members of the two great nomadic 
tribes, the Cimmerii or Cimbriaiis and the Celt® or 
Celts, who wandered from the shores of the Thracian 
Bosphorus to the northern coasts of Europe, and 
passed, some from Gaul across the channel, others 
through “the Hazy’’ or German Ocean to these 




islands — a few slight and seattmd notices by the 
Greek and Latin writers, and an occasional passage 
in the Welsh Triads, form the meagre total of our 
information Mere speculations, however ingenious, 
it would be foreign to the plan of this work to enter- 
tain : however interesting, or even convincing, to 
the student of antiquity, they are too shadowy to 
be grasped and retained by the unlearned reader. 
From the positive evidence, however, of such wea- 
pons and ornaments as have been from time to 
time discovered in this country, and acknowledged 
as neither of Roman nor Saxon workmanship, we 
are, with the aid of the scanty testimony before- 
mentioned, authorized to presume that its earliest 
inhabitants had relapsed into barbarism, as they 
receded from the civilized south, and having lost, in 
the course of their migrations, the art of working 
metals and of weaving cloth, were clothed in skins, 
decorated with beads and flowers, and armed with 
weapons of bone and flint, which, in addition to their 
stained and punctured bodies (the remembrance, it 
would appear from Herodotus, of a Thracian cus- 
tom 2 ), must have given them, as nearly as possible, 
the appearance of the Islanders of the South Pacific, 
as described by Captain Cook. 

And with similar policy to that practised by our 
famous navigator, did the Tyrian traders apparently 
teach the British savages to manufacture swords, 
spear-blades, and arrow-heads, from a composition 

1 Herodotus, book iv.; Plutarch in Mario; Welsh Triads.. 4 
and 5. 

* Herodotus, v. 6. “To have punctures on their skin is with 
t.iem a mark of nobility, to be without these is a testimony of mean 
descent.” Isidorus describes the British method of tatooing in 
these words : “ They squeeze the juice of certain herbs into figures 
made on their bodies with the points of needles.” Orig. lib. xix. 
c. 23. It seems to have been done in infancy, as Pliny tells us 
the British wives and nurses did it. Nat. Hist lib. xxd. c. 2. 



of brass (or rather of copper) and tin, by first pre- 
senting them with models of their own rude weapons 
in this mixed metal, and then gradually inducing 
them to adopt the improvements, and emulate the 
skill of their friendly visitors. 

The lance, for instance, formed of a long bone, 
ground to a point (vide figures c and d at head of 
chapter), and inserted into a split at the end of an 
oaken shaft, where it was secured by wooden pegs, 
was first succeeded by a metal blade, similarly shaped 
and fastened (vide fig. a in the following engraving) ; 

British weapons of bronze in their earliest and improved states. 

Fig. a, earliest specimen of spear-blade ; 6, the llaonawr, or blade-weapon, 
found in the New Forest, Glamorganshire; c, the spear-head, improved 
with a socket for the shaft, found in Ireland ; d, head of hunting spear 
dug up in Hertfordshire; e,a sword found at Fnlbourn, all in the Met- 
ric k collection; /, battle-axe head, of the earliest form, engraved in 
Archaeologia, vol. ix. pi. 3; g . another, engraved in Archaeologia, 
vol. xiv. ; h % another, improved, in the Meyrick collection. 

but shortly afterwards, the shaft, instead of receiving 
the blade, was fitted into a socket in a woikmanlike 
manner, and finally the blade itselt assumed a classical 
form. The arrow and the hatchet, or battle-axe, under- 
went the same gradual transformation and improve 



ment, as may be seen by a comparison of the brazen 
weapons here engraved with those of bone and flint 
at the head of the chapter. The greater part of the 
originals are preserved in the armoury at Goodrich 
Court, Herefordshire. 

For the sword they were probably indebted to 
the Phoenicians, or perhaps to the Gauls, who also 
wore them of brass, and of a similar form. The hilt 
was cased on each side with horn, whence the British 
adage: “A gavas y earn gavas y llavyn.” “ He 
who has the horn has the blade 8 .” 

The flat circular shields too of the Britons, which 
were of wicker (like their quivers, their boats, and 
their idols*), were soon either imitated in the same 
metal or covered with a thin plate of it, and then, 
from their sonorous quality, they were called tarians 
or dashers 3 4 5 . The metal coatings of two of these shields 
are preserved in a perfect state in the Meyrick collec- 
tion. They are ornamented with concentric circles, 
between which are raised as many little knobs as the 
space will admit. They are rather more than two feet 
in diameter, with a hollow boss in the centre to admit 
the hand, as they were' held at arm’s length in action. 
“ On comparing it with the Highland target, Sir 
Samuel Meyrick remarks, “ we shall find that, al- 
though the Roman mode of putting it on the arm 
has been adopted by those mountaineers, the boss, 

3 Meyrick, Engraved Illustrations of Ancient Arms and Armour, 
vol. i., text to plate 47. 

4 The ingenuity of the Britons in this species of manufacture 
was much admired by the Romans, who, when they introduced 
into Italy the British buscawd (basket-work), adopted also its 
name, terming it batcauda. The British name for a quiver is 
cawell saethan, i. e. a basket-work case for arrows. The ancient 
British wicker boat, called enrvy// or coracle, formed of osier 
twigs, covered with hide, is still in use upon the \Aye and other 
rivers both of Wales and Ireland. 

* Archacclogia, vol. xxiii. p. 94; Herodian and Xiphilin. 



rendered useless is still retained, and the little luiobs 
imitated with brass nails 8 ” 

Bronze coating of an ancient British shield, in the Meyrick collection 
found at Rhydygorse in Cardiganshire. 

Several brazen swords and spear-blades, found in 
the bed of the Thames near Kingston, have been 
engraved for a frontispiece to Mr. Jesse’s interesting 
work, entitled ‘ Gleanings of Natural History;’ but 
they are there erroneously called Roman. Whoever 
will take the trouble to compare them with the num- 
berless acknowledged British weapons in various 
English collections, and with many similar relics 
found in Ireland, where the Romans never set 
foot, will scarcely need the additional argument, that 
the Romans, at the period of the invasion of Britain, 
used weapons of steel only, to convince themselves oi 
the Celtic origin of those curious military antiquities 
• Archaeologia, vo). xxiii. p. 95. 

n 3 



But let us hasten to the period- when the light of 
history begins to dawn upon us, and the personal 
observation of intelligent men becomes the authority- 
on which our descriptions are based. 

Fifty-five years before the birth of Christ, Julius 
Caesar landed on these shores, and found the inha- 
bitants of Cantium (Kent) the most civilized of all 
the Britons, and differing but little in their manners 
from the Gauls 1 , fiom whom they had most probably 
acquired the arts of dressing, spinning, dyeing, and 
weaving wool, as they there practised them after the 
Gaulish fashion, and possessed, in common with their 
continental kindred, some valuable secrets in them, 
unknown to other nations. Of this fact we have the 
direct evidence of Diodorus Siculus, Strabo, and 
Pliny; the latter of whom enumerates several herbs 
used for this purpose, and tells us that they dyed 
purple, scarlet, and several other colours, from these 
alone 8 . But the herb which the Britons chiefly used 
w r as the glastum or woad (called in their native lan- 
guage, y glas, glas lys, and gladly s, from glds, blue*), 
with which they stained and punctured their bodies, 
in order, says Caesar, to make themselves look dread- 
ful in battle 10 . His words are, however, “ Omnes 
vero se Britanni vilro inficiunt, quod coeruleum 
efficit colorem, atque hoc horribiliori sunt in pugna 
adspectu.” Now the word vitro is disputed, and 
“ nitro,” “ luteo,” “ ultra," “glaueo,” and “guasto,’’ 

I De Bell. Gal. lib. v. 14. Strabo says, “ the Britons, in their 
manners, partly resemble the Gauls.” Tacitus says, “ they are 
near and like the Gauls;” and Pomponius Mela tells us, “ the 
Britons fought armed, after the Gaulish manner.” 

8 Hist. Nat. lib. xvi. c. 18 ; lib. xxii. c. 26. 

•Meyrick, Costume of the Original Inhabitants of the British 
Isles, fofio, London, 1821. 

10 De Bell. Gal. lib. v. Herodian siys the Britons who resisted 
Severus painted the figures of all kinds of animals on their 
bodies, lib. iii. p 83; and Martial has the words Coeruleis 
Britannis,” lib. ix. c. 32. 



have been alternately suggested as the correct 
reading. Pliny says they used “ glastuin” (i. e. woad), 
but Ovid uses the singular expression “ Viridesque 
Britannos.” Amorum. Eleg. 16. And glas, in Celtic, 
signifies green as well as blue. It is applied to the 
sea, and to express, poetically, the sea, as glasmhaigh, 
a green plain. Crann ghlas is a green tree. It enters 
into combination also with a variety of words in the 
Celtic expressive of grass, greens for food, salad, sea 
icrack, and also means pale, wan, poor, and even in 
colour greyish. Each glas is a grey horse. The dress 
of the fairies is always spoken of as glas, Anglice, 
green and shining : and no doubt it is the origin of our 
word glass, which has been applied to the composi- 
tion so called in consequence of its presenting indif- 
ferently the hues and lustrous appearance alluded to. 
A man could not dye his body with glass, but the 
obvious derivation of that word from the Celtic ren- 
ders the vitro of Caesar a still more curious expression. 
The word “ coeruleum” may also be translated green , 
wan, or pale, like the Celtic glas, and the skin washed 
lightly over with blue or grey would presen* a green- 
ish and ghastly appearance. And here it may be 
remarked, that from the fact of the Romans, on their 
first invasion of the island, beholding the inhabitants 
only when, according to a common Celtic custom 11 
(a custom partially followed by the Scotch High- 
landers to the days of the battle of Killicrankie), they 
had flung off - their garments to rush into action, arose 
the vulgar error that the Britons lived continually 
“ in puris naturalibus whereas, we have the testi- 
mony of Csesar himself to the fact, that even the 

11 Livy'says, that at the battle of Cannae there were Gauls who 
fought naked from the waist upwards (xxii. 46) ; and Polybius 
tells us, that some Belgic Gauls fought entirely naked, but it was 
only on the day of battle that they thus stripped themselves. Lib. 
ii. c. 6. 



least civilized, “ those within the country,” went clad 
in skins; whilst the southern or Belgic Britons were 
like the Gauls, and therefore not only completely but 
splendidly attired, as may be proved from various un- 
questionable authorities. 

Of the several kinds of cloth manufactured in Gaul, 
one, according to Pliny 1 * and Diodorus Siculus a , 
was composed of fine wool, dyed of several different 
colours, which being spun into yarn, was woven 
either in stripes or in chequers, and of this the Gauls 
and Britons made their lighter or summer garments. 
Here we have the undoubted origin of the Scotch 
plaid or tartan, which is called “ the garb of old 
Gaul” to this day; and indeed, with the exception 
of the plumed bonnet and the tasselled sporan or 
purse, a Highland chief in his full costume, with 
tunic, plaid, dirk, and target, affords as good an 
illustration of the appearance of an ancient Briton 
of distinction as can well be imagined. 

Diodorus, describing the Belgic Gauls, says, they 
wore dyed tunics, beflowered with all manner of 
colours (yLTdlCT l ficLTTTOic tOfiCUTl TT avTOCd.'KOl.Q ClTjrduT- 

uivoie). With these they wore close trousers, which 
they called bracce li ; these trousers, an article of 
apparel by which all barbaric nations seem to have 
been distinguished from the Romans, be:ng made by 
the Gauls and Britons of their chequered cloth, caller! 
breach and brycan, and by the Irish, breacan 1S . Over 

1! Hist. Nat. lib. viii. c. 43. 13 Lib. v. c. 30. 

14 Ibid. Martial has the line, 

“ Like the old bracchoe of a needy Briton.’' Epig. xi. 

16 Breac, in Celtic, signifies anything speckled, spotted, striped, 
or. indeed, party-coloured. The brindled ox was, therefore, 
called brych by the Britons. Brea a is the Celtic name for a 
trout, from its speckled skin. Baran breac. literally spotted food, 
is the name for a Christmas cake, or bread with plums in it. 
Breac is also applied to a person pitted with the small-pox, or to 
ono whose skin is freckled. The termination an, in compound 



the tunic both the Gauls and the Britons wore the 
sagiun, a short cloak so called by the Romans, from 
the Celtic word saic, which, according to Varro, sig- 
nified a skin or hide ; such having been the materials 
which the invention of cloth had superseded. The 
British sagum was of one uniform colour, generally 
either blue or black ls . The predominating colour 
in the chequered tunic and bracce was red. The hair 
was turned back upon the crown of the head, and fell 
down in long and bushy curls behind 17 . If covered 
at all, it was by the cappan or cap, from the British 
cab, a hut, which it resembled in its conical shape ; 
the houses of the Britons being made with wattles 
stuck in the ground, and fastened together at top. 
“ It is somewhat singular,” remarks the learned author 
to whose indefatigable research we are indebted for 
the first general collection of ancient British authori- 
ties, “that the form of this ancient pointed cap is to 
this day exhibited in what the Welsh children call the 
cappan cyrnicyll, the horn-like cap, made of rushes 
tied at top, and twisted into a band at bottom 18 .” 
Men of rank amongst the Gauls and Britons, ac- 
cording to Caesar and Diodorus, shaved the chin, but 
wore immense tangled mustaches. Strabo describes 
those of the inhabitants of Cornwall and the Scilly 
Isles as hanging down upon their breasts like wings. 
These latter people, he says, wore long black gar- 
ments like tunics, and carried staves in their hands, 
so that, when walking, they looked like furies in a 
tragedy, though really a quiet and inoffensive 
people 1 ' 

words, signifies “ in so that breuchan or brychanis iiterally “ in 
spots,” or “ in chequers:” an is also used in Gaelic as a diminu- 
tive ; and breuchan might, therefore, signify “ little spots,” 

“ small chequers,” or “ narrow stripes.” 

l< Diodorus Siculus, lib. v. c. 33. 

17 Ifcid. lib. v.; and Ctesar De Bell. Gal. lib. v. 

•* Meyrick, Costume of the Orig. Inhab. ul supra. 

•* Lib. iii. 



The ornaments of the Britons, like those of the 
Gauls, consisted of rings, bracelets, armlets, a collar 
or necklace of twisted wires of gold or silver, tailed 
torch or dorch in British, and peculiarly a symbol of 
rank and command. The ancient Lord of Vale was 
called Llewellyn am Dorchog, or Llewellyn with the 
Torques. The one here represented is of brass, and 
was found on the Quantoc Hills. So fond, indeed, 
were the Britons of ornaments of this kiitd, that 
those who could not procure them of the precious 
metals wore torques of iron, “ of which they were 
not a little vain 80 .” The ring, according to Pliny, 
was worn on the middle finger !! . 

Ornaments and patterns of the ancient Britons. 

Fie. a, a torciue of brass found on the Quantoc Hills, and engraved in till 
Archaaologia, vol. xiv. ; b , an ornament of brass; c, a bracelet ; rf, %c 
annular ornament of bronze for fastening the mantle. Archaeology 
voi. 25, but therein called a bracelet; e. a piece of Bntiah 
earthenware, Archoeologia, vol. xxi. Appendix. 

Sl R«sU Nat. lib. xxxiii. c. 6. 

fi0 Herodian. lib. iii. c. 47 




may tv? ascertained from Dion Cassius’s account of 
the appearance of Boudicea, Queen of the Iceni. Her 
lijrht hair fell down her shoulders. She wore a torque 
of gold, a tunic of several colours, all in folds, and 
over it, fastened by a Jibula or brooch, a robe of 
coarse stuff 28 . 


and the less civilized tribes that inhabited the interior, 
as we have already stated on the authority of Csesar, 
went simply clad in skins 23 . The hide of the brindled 
or spotted ox was generally preferred, but some wore 
tlie ysgyn, which was the name for the skin of any 
wild beast, but more particularly the bear; while 
others assumed the sheepskin cloak, according as 
they were herdsmen, hunters, or shepherds 24 . That, 
in the absence of more valuable fastenings, the cloak 
was secured, as amongst the ancient Germans, by a 
thorn, we have tolerable evidence in the fact of this 
primitive brooch being still used in Wales. 

There remains another class to be considered — 


It was divided into three orders. The Druids, the 
Bards, and the Ovates. The dress of the druidical 
or sacerdotal order was white, the emblem of holiness 
and peculiarly of truth. The Welsh bard Taliesin 
calls it “ the proud white garment which separated 
the elders from the youth 8S . 

The bards wore a one-coloured robe of sky-blue, 
being emblematical of peace ; thus another bard 2 ®, in 

n Xiphilin. Abrulg. of Dion Cassius. 

** De Bell. Gal. lib. v. c. 10. 24 Meyrick, Orig. Inhab. 

** Owen’s Elegies of Llywarch Hen. 

** Cynddelw. Owen’s Elegies of Llywarch Hen 



his Ode on the death of Cadwa'lon, calls tl ere 
“ wearers of long blue robes.” 

The ovate or Ovydd, professing astronomy, medi 
cine, &c. wore green, the symbol of learning, ^ 
being the colour of the clothing of nature. Taliesin 
makes an ovate say, “ with my robe of bright green, 
possessing a place in the assembly ST .” I he disciples 
of the orders wore variegated dresses of the three 
colours, blue, green, and white 28 

The arch-druid or high-priest wore an oa;;en gar 
land, surmounted sometimes by a tiara of gold. A 
bas-relief, found at Autun, represents two Druids in 
long tunics and mantles ; one crowned with an oaken 

Bas relief found at Antun, angraved in Montfaucon. 

i7 Mic. Dimbych. Owen s Elegies. 

^ Or blue, green, and red. A disciple, about to be admitted 
a graduate, is called by the bards (< a dog with spots of red, blue, 
and giecn.” Meyrick, Orig. Inhab. 



garland, and bearing a sceptre ; the other with a 
crescent in his hand, one of the sacred symbols. 
They are both engraved below, with a crescent of 
gold, a druidical hook for tearing down the mistletoe, 
and three other articles, supposed druidical, all of 
gold, and found in various parts of Ireland S8 . 

The mantle of one of the Druids, it will be observed, 
is fastened on the shoulders by a portion of it being 
drawn through a ring, and instances of this fashion 
are met with frequently in Anglo-Saxon illuminations. 
We believe it has never occurred to any previous 
writer on this subject, that the annular ornaments 
resembling bracelets (vide fig. d ), so constantly dis- 
covered both here and on the Continent, and pre- 
sumed to be merely votive, from the circumstance of 
their being too small to wear on the arm or the wrist, 
may have been used in this manner as a sort of 
brooch by the Gaulish and Teutonic tribes. 

88 Collectanea de Rebus Hibernicis, vol. iv. ; Archaeologia, vol. it.; 
Meyrick’s Orig. Inliab. passim ; King’s Munimenta Antiqua, &c. 
The centre ornament is supposed to be a tiara for the arch-druid, 
and that to the right a golden collar or breast-plate. The wreathed 
rod of gold, with a hook at each end, is probably a small torque 
flattened out. 

Druidical ornaments, vide note. 





Julius Agricola, being appointed to the command 
in Britain a. d. 78, succeeded in perfectly es^bbsln g 
the Roman dominion, and introducing the Roman 
manners and language; and before the close i of 
the first century, the ancient British habit began to 
be disesteemed by the chiefs, and regarded as 
badge of barbarism. “ The sons of the British chief- 
tains,” says Tacitus, “ began to afTed our dress . 
The braccce were abandoned by the southern atic 
eastern Britons, and the Roman tunic, reachmg to 
the knee, with the cloak or mantle still howe 
called the sagum, became the general habit of the 

bet The change in the female garb was little, if any ; 
as it had originally been similar to that of the Roman 
women. The coins of Carausius and the columns of 
Trajan and Antonine exhibit the Celtic females m 
two J tunics ; the lower one reaching to the ancle 
and the upper about half-way down the A jS b - 
loose sleeves, extending only to the elbows, bke those 
of the German women described by Tacitus . I J 
upper garment was sometimes confined by a girdle, 
and was called in British gum, the gunacum of A arro, 

and the origin o? our word gown 3i . 

The hair of both sexes was cut and dressed after 

the Roman fashion. . . . 

In the armoury at Goodrich Court is a most inte- 
resting relic of this period. It is the metal coating 
of a shield, such as the Britons fabr.cated after they 
had been induced lo imitate the Roman fashions. 
It is modelled upon the scutum, and was called, iu 
consequence, ysgwyd, pronounced esgooyd It ap- 
pears originally to have been gilt, a practice t 

3 » Iu Vit. Agric. 81 De Monb. German, c. 17. 

3S Meyrick, Orig. luhab. 



tinued for a long time by the descendants of the 
Britons, and is adorned on the umbo or boss with 
the common red cornelian of the country. “ It is 
impossible,” remarks its proprietor, “ to contemplate 
the artistic portions without feeling convinced that 
there is a mixture of British ornaments with such re- 
semblances to the elegant designs on Roman work 
as would be produced by a people in a state of less 
civilization 33 .” This unique specimen was found, 
with several broken swords and spear-heads of 
bronze, in the bed of the river Witham, in Lincoln- 


Stf et%] coating of an ancient Roman-British shield, found in the bod cf til# 
river Witham, and now in the Meyrick collection. 

** Archttdogia, vol. xxiti. 



Chapter II. 


Anglo-Saxon weapons anil ornaments. 

Fie a, a dagger ; 6, a sword; e, the head of a spear ; d. a spar, from 
St rut l’ s Horda Aneel Cvnan ; e. the iron boss of a shield from a --r- 
row in Lincolnshire, and now in the Meyncb col ection ; /, a rowed 
amber beads found in a tumulus on Chatham Lines. 

For upwards of three centuries Britain was the seat 
of Roman civilization and luxury. The Saxons made 
descents upon it at the close of the fourth century, 
and were repulsed by Theodosius and the natives. 
Abandoned by its conquerors and instructors, divided 
into numberless petty sovereignties, harassed by 
barbarians from without, and ravaged by a frightful 
pestilence within, the handful of strangers who 
landed by accident or invitation in 449, became first 
the subsidiaries of its principal chiels, and ultimately 
masters of the greater part of the island. In seven 
vears from their arrival at Ebbsfleet in the Isle of 
Thanet, the province of Cantium became the Saxon 



kingdom of Kent, under one of the leaders of that 
wandering band; and Anuerin, a Welsh bard who 
flourished early in the sixth century, and fought in 
person against the invaders, gives us the following 
account of the 


in his famous poem called the Gododin, which 
procured for him amongst his countrymen the title 
of “ King of the Bards.” There were present at the 
battle of Cattraeth “ three hundred warriors arrayed 
in gilded armour, three loricated bands with three 
commanders wearing golden torques.” They were 
armed with “ daggers,” “ white sheathed piercers,” 
and “ wore four-pointed (square) helmets.’’ Some 
of them carried spears and shields, the latter being 
made of split wood. Their leader had a projecting 
shield, was harnessed in “ scaly mail,” armed with 
“ a slaughtering pike,” and wore (as a mantle pro- 
bably) the skin of a beasi. His long hair flowed 
down his shoulders, and was adorned, when he was 
unarmed, with a wreath of amber beads; round his 
neck he wore a golden torques 1 . The scaly mail of 
which Anuerin speaks was the well-known armour 
of the Sarmatian and Gothic tribes, from whence 
the Romans derived their lorica squamata 2 . Mael 
was indeed but the British word for iron. The tunic 
covered with rings, to which the word mail was after- 
wards applied by the Norman French, was literally 
called by the Saxons gehrynged byrn, ringed armour. 
The British word lluryg in like manner, or the 

1 Gododin, by Anuerin, passim. 

* The Sarmatians made theirs of thin slices of horses’ hoofs, 
cut in the shape of scales or feathers, and sewn in rows upon an 
under garment of coarse linen. Pausanias saw and inspected one 
of them that was preserred in the temple of Esculapius at Athens. 
Lib. i. p. 50. 

c 3 



Roman lorica, from which it was derived, was used 
generally for defensive body armour, and it is only 
by a welcome adjective, as in this instance the word 
“scaly,” that we discover the peculiar sort of armour 
alluded to. It is the want of attention to the true 
meaning of words in the original authors, and a care- 
less trust in translations, that have caused ihe very 
obscurity and apparent discrepancy of which writers 
on antiquarian subjects so frequently complain. 

The square or four-pointed helmet was worn as 
late as the ninth century in France, by the guards of 
Lothaire and Charles the Bald, and square frowns 
are frequently seen in the Anglo-Saxon illuminations*. 
Amber beads are continually found in Saxon tumuli. 
The row engraved at the head of this chapter (fig. f) 
was found in a tumulus on Chatham Lines. Tiie 
iron umbo or boss of an Anglo-Saxon shield above it 
(fig. e ) was found in a barrow in Lincolnshire, and 
is now in the Meyrick collection. 

In a MS. in the Cotton collection, marked Clau- 
dius, B. 4, we find one of the earliest specimens of 
the ringed byrn, borrowed from the Phrygians, w hich 
was formed of rings sewn flat upon a leathern tunic. 
The wearer is a royal personage, crowned and armed 
with the long, broad, straight iron sword, found in 
Saxon tumuli, and the projecting or convex shield. 
He is attended by a page or soldier, in a plain tunic 
with sleeves, and a cap completely Phrygian in form, 
bearing also a shield of the same fashion as his sove- 
reign, who is in fact intended to represent no less a 
person than Abraham fighting against the five kings 
to rescue his brother Lot, and who wears a crown as 
an emblem of superiority and chief command (vide 

8 An indication of the square helmet is discernible in an Anglo- 
Saxon MS. of the eleventh century in the Harleian collection, 
but the figures are so small and so rudely drawn with a pen that 
uo reliance can be placed upon the details. 



figs, a and b, page 28). To the invariable practice, 
however, of the early illuminators, of pourtraying 
every personage habited according to the fashion of 
the artists’ own time, we are deeply indebted. Had 
they indulged their fancy in the invention of cos- 
tumes, instead of faithfully copying that which they 
daily saw, our task would have been almost imprac- 
ticable ; for it is seldom, if ever, that the most minute 
description can convey to the mind an object as suc- 
cessfully as the rudest drawing, and the impression 
received by the eye is as lasting as it is vivid. 

As we are now entering upon the period when il- 
luminated MSS. become our principal guides, it is 
necessary to notice an error into which Mr. Strutt 
has fallen, and consequently led those who have im- 
plicitly confided in him. We allude to his own belief 
in the dates affixed to the MSS. in the printed cata- 
logues at the British Museum. Where the MS. is 
itself without date, or from its subject does not admit 
of allusions to persons or events cotemporary with its 
execution, there is much difficulty in ascertaining its 
age, with any thing approaching to precision, in these 
early times, when there are no monumental elfigies 
by which we can put its illuminations to the test of 

The MS. just quoted, containing the figure of 
Abraham, is stated by Strutt to be of the eighth cen- 
tury; and another, marked Junius XI., in the Bod- 
leian Museum at Oxford, from which he has taken 
the third figure in his fifth plate in the work on 
‘ Habits and Dresses,’ is also said to be of the same 
period. The latter is now generally acknowledged 
to be as late as the close of the tenth, perhaps the 
commencement of the eleventh century, and the 
former is certainly not much its senior. Again, the 
very first figure of his first plate, subscribed 1 Rustics 
of the Eighth, Century,’ is taken, according to his 



own reference, from a Harleian MS. marked 003, 
which in that very reference is said to be of the tenth 
century ; and two warriors are afterwards given 
from it in their true chronological order. The MS. 
is, we should say, even later than that. The kite- 
shaped shield and the gonfanon occur in it ; and in 
the last illumination in the volume is a figure of 
Goliath, armed precisely like the warriors in the 
Bayeux tapestry 4 . These circumstances, with other 
internal evidence, would induce us to date it about 
the reign of Harold 1 1., and an illumination, represent- 
ing Harold crowned and enthroned, is engraved in 
Montfaucon’s ‘ Monarchie Franqaise,’ the style of 
which perfectly corresponds with that of the minia- 
tures in the Harleian MS. . . 

The earliest illuminated Saxon MSS. in the British 
Museum, on the dates of which we can depend, are, 
a splendid copy of the Gospels, written by Eauliid, 
Bishop of Durham, and illuminated by Etheiwold 
his successor, about the year 720, and a book of 
giants by King Edgar to the Abbey of Winchester, 
written in letters of gold, A. d. 966. The first of 
these contains representations of the four Evangelists, 
copied, it is probable, from some of the paintings 
brought over by the early missionaries, and affording 
us therefore no information on the subject of Anglo- 
Saxon costume. The latter is embellished with a 
fio-ure of the monarch (vide fig. a in the following 
engraving), and presents us therefore with the regal, 
and we may add, noble costume of the first halt of 
the tenth century. For the remainder of the Anglo- 
Saxon era we have authorities enough ; but we have 
digressed, and must return. 

Some change must have taken place in the ap- 
parel of the Anglo-Saxons after their conversion to 
Christianity at the beginning of the seventh century, 
• Vide cliap. v. 



for at a council held at the close of the eighth, it 
was said, “you put on your garments in the man- 
ner of pagans whom your fathers expelled from 
the world ; an astonishing thing that you imitate 
those whose life you always hated 5 .” The acknow- 
ledgment, however, of this return to their ancient 
habits authorizes us to consider Anuerin’s description 
as applicable to their dress in the eighth as in the sixth 
century ; and indeed, from an inspection of nume- 
rous Anglo-Saxon MSS. illuminated during the tenth 
century, and the testimony of various writers of the 
sixth, we are led to conclude that little alteration in 
dress took place amongst the new masters of Britain 
for nearly four hundred years. And, strange as this 
may seem, we have strong collateral evidence in sup- 
port of this belief in the unvarying costume of the 
Franks during nearly as long a period 0 . Of the 
same oriental origin, they seem to have adhered to 
their national dress with the same oriental tenacity ; 
and though they may not, like the Persians, have 
handed down the identical clothes from father to son 
as long as they could hang together, the form of their 
garments appears to have been rigidly preserved and 
the material unaltered. 

The general 


consisted then of a linen shirt 7 , a tunic of linen or 
woollen, according to the season, descending to the 

8 Concil. Calchut; SpelmaD-, Concil. p. 300. 

4 Vide Montfaucon’s Monarchie Prangaise. The Prankish dress 
was, as nearly as possible, the Anglo-Saxon ; and Eginhart’s ela- 
borate description of Charlemagne’s is a most valuable authority 
for the costume of this period. 

7 Charlemagne’s snirl is expressly said to have been of linen, 
f ‘ Cammissiuin lineam.” Eginhartus de Vita Caroli Magni. 



Civil costume of the Anglo-Saxons. 

Fig. a. King Edgar, from his Book of Grants to the Abbey of ^ snr* ester, 
a. d. 966; Cotton MSS. marked Vespasianus, A. vm. : fc, a ugurein 
regal costume, from the splendid Benedictional of St. h tfcelwold, in the 
possession of his Grace tne Duke of Devonshire; c f noble Saxoo youth, 
from Cotton MS. Claudius, B. iv. 

knee, and having long close sleeves, but which set in 
wrinkles or rather rolls from the elbow to the wrist*. 
It was made like the shirt, and open at the neck tc 
put on in the same manner. It was sometimes open 
at the sides, and confined by a belt or girdle round 
the waist. Its Saxon name was roc or rooc, and it 
was either plain or ornamented round the collar, 

8 In some instances these rolls are so regular as to present the 
appearance of a succession of bracelets, and when painted yellow 
they probably are intended so to do, as Malmsbury tells us the 
English at the time of the conquest were in the habit of loading 
their arms with them (brachia onerati ) ; but it is also evident that 
generally the marks are merely indicative of a long sleeve wrinkled 
up, and confined by a single bracelet at the wrist, by removing 
which, perhaps, the sleeve was pulled out of its folds and drawn 
over the hand as a substitute for gloves, a custom of which we 
have hereafter historical notice. 



wrists, anti borders, according to the rank of the 
wearer®. Over this was worn a short cloak ( mentil ) 
like the Roman pallium or Gaulish sagum, fastened 
sometimes on the breast, sometimes on one or both 
shoulders with brooches or fibulae. It appears that 
when once fastened it might be removed or assumed 
by merely slipping the head through; as in an illu- 
mination of the tenth century representing David 
fighting with a lion, he is supposed to have thrown 
his mantle on the ground, and it is seen lying still 
buckled in the form represented in our engraving, 
page 33. 

Drawers reaching half way down the thigh, and 
stockings meeting them, occur in most Saxon illumina- 
tions, and are alluded to by writers under the names 
o i brech and hose 10 . Scin hose and leather hose are 
also mentioned, and may mean a species of buskin 
or short boot now and then met with, or literally 
leathern stockings. 

Over these stockings they wore bands of clotb, 
linen, or leather, commencing at the ancle and ter- 
minating a little below the knee either in close rolls 
like the hay-bands of a modern ostler, or crossing 
each other sandal-wise, ae they are worn to this day 
by the people of the Abruzzi and the Apennines, 
and in some parts ol Russia and Spain. They are 
called in Saxon scanc-beorg, literally shank or leg- 

• Charlemagne’s was bordered with silk, “ Tunicam qn® limbo 
serico ambiebatur.” Egin art. Paulus Diaconus, describing the 
dress of the Lombards, says, their vestments were loose and flow- 
ing, and consisted, like those of the Anglo-Saxons, chiefly of 
linen, ornamented with broad borders, woven or embroidered with 
various colours. De Gestis Longobardorum, lib. iv. c. 23 

10 The femoraba or drawers ofCharlemagne were of linen. Egin- 
hart. The monk of St. Gall speaks of tibialia vel coxalin 
(stockings or drawers) of linen of one colour, but ornamented 
with precious workmanship, lib. i. c. 36. By the following note, 
we shall perceive he meant long drawers, or hose and drawers in 
one, like the Gaulish bracae. 



guard, and latinized fasciola crurum. In the 
ancient canons the monks are commanded to 
wear them of linen, to distinguish them from the 
laity, who wore woollen". 1'hose of fig. b, in the 
last engraving, are of gold in the original. 

In some illuminations a sort of half-stocking or 
sock, most likely the Saxon socca , is worn oter the 
hose' instead of the bandages. It is generally bor- 
dered at the top, and reminds one of the Scotch 
stocking, which probably, from the red cross gartering 
imitated upon it, is a relic of the ancient Saxon or 
Danish dress. 

The Saxon shoe (sceo or scoli) is generally painted 
black, with an opening down the instep, and secured 
by a thong 12 . Labourers are generally represented 
barelegged, but seldom barefooted 13 . 

The above articles composed the dress of all classes 
from the monarch to the hind. The bretwald or 
king, the ealderman, and the thegn were distin- 
guished by the ornaments and richness, not the form, 
of their apparel ; except perhaps upon state occasions, 
when the nobler classes wore the tunic longer and the 
mantle more ample : but the same articles of dress 
appear to have been common to Anglo-Saxons of all 

11 Du Cange, in voce Fasciola. The Monk of Sl Gall says 
that over the stockings or drawers they (the Franks) wore long 
fillets, bound crosswise in such a manner as to keep them pro- 
perly upon the legs. These were worn as late a? the sixteenth 
century in France by the butchers, and called /es liugetles. 
Archaeologia, vol. xxiv. p. 37. 

12 The terms slgpe-sceo and unhegesce a seem to imply slippers 
or shoes, in Contradistinction to the boots or buskins sometime* 
met with. The buskins of Louis le Debonaire, the son of Charle- 
magne, were of gold stuff or gilt, ocreas aureas. Theganus. in 
Vita ejus. The shoes and buskins of Anglo-Saxon princes or 
high ecclesiastical dignitaries are generally represented of gold. 

1B For caps and gloves, see pages 33, 34, and 36 



Towards the tenth century the national dress cer- 
tainly became more magnificent ; silk, which was 
known as early as the eighth century, but from its 
cost must have been exceedingly rare, was afterwards 
much worn by the higher classes. Bede mentions 
silken palls of incomparable workmanship 14 , and his 
own remains were enclosed in silk, as were also those 
of Dunstan and other distinguished personages 15 . 
Adhelm, Bishop of Sherborne, who wrote in the 
seventh century, speaks of “the admirable art” exhi- 
bited in the weaving and embroidery of the English 
females even at that early period 16 , and that reputa- 
tion increased to such a degree as to cause the name 
of Anglicum opus to be given on the Continent 
to all rare work of that description' 7 . A variety of 
colours appears to have been much admired. Red, 
blue, and green are most common fn the illumina- 
tions. The hose are generally red or blue. 

Their ornaments consisted of gold and silver 
chains and crosses, bracelets of gold, silver, or ivory, 
golden and jewelled belts, strings of amber or other 
beads, rings, brooches, buckles, &c. elaborately wrought. 
The metal articles were sometimes beautifully ena- 
melled 18 . A jewel of gold, enamelled like a bulla 
or amulet, to hang round the neck, circumscribed 
“ iElfred me haet gewercan” (Alfred ordered me to 
be made), was found in the Isle of Athelney, whither 
that monarch retired on the invasion of Godrun. It 
is now in the Ashmolean Museum, and is engraved 

14 Bede, p. 297. 15 Anglia Sacra, vol. ii. 16 De Virginitate. 

17 Guli. Pictavensis, p. 211 ; Gesla Gulielmi Ducis, apud 

18 “ Charlemagne on state occasions wore a jewelled diadem ; a 
tunic interwoven with gold ; a mantle fastened with a brooch of 
goid ; his shoes were adorned with gems; his belt was of gold 
or silver; and the hilt of his sword composed of gold ami precious 
slones.” Eginhart. Vide also Adhelm, William of Malmsbury, 
Dugdale, llickes, 6vc. for notices of Saxon jewelry and ornaments. 




here (from a print in the possession of Sir Henry 
Ellis') No doubt is entertained of its authenticity 

That most widely diffused perhaps of all barbaric 
customs — the practice of tatooing or puncturing the 
skin, declared by the oldest historian extant to have 
existed amongst the Scythians and Thracians, an 
still at this day considered a badge of courage or 
nobility amongst the savages of the South Pacific, 
was not unknown to or unadmired by the Saxons. 
Whether it was a national one originally, or adopted 
in imitation of the Britons, we have no mode of 
ascertaining ; but that they practised it in the eighth 
century is proved by a law having been passed against 
it, a. d. 785 19 . Yet as late as the Norman Conquest 
we find included in the list of prevailing English 
vices that of puncturing designs upon the skin 20 , by 
which it appears that fashion was as usual too strong 
for the legislature. 

’• Wilkins’s Concilia, tom. i. 

» Malmsbury, De Cestis Regum Angliee, lib. iii. 



Long hair was the distinguishing characteristic of 
the Teutonic tribes 11 . It was a mark of the highest 
rank amongst the Franks, none of whom, but the 
first nobility and princes of the blood, were permitted 
to wear it in flowing ringlets !S , an express law com- 
manding the people to cut their hair close round the 
middle of the forehead' 3 . The beard was also held 
by them in the greatest reverence, and to touch it 
stood in lieu of a solemn oath 24 . Amongst the 
Anglo-Saxons the law male no invidious distinctions; 
but the clergy preached for centuries against the sin- 
fulness of long hair, which seems most perversely 
to have grown the faster for the prohibition. In the 
illuminatiorfs it appears not ungracefully worn, beino- 
parted on the forehead, and suffered to fall naturally 
down the shoulders : the beard is ample, and gene- 
rally forked, and the character of the face immediately 
designates the age wherein the early portraits of 
Christ, which have been reverently copied to the pre- 
sent day, were originally fabricated 25 . 

It is a curious circumstance that the hair and beard 
in the majority of Anglo-Saxon MSS. are painted 
blue In representations of old men this might be 
considered only to indicate grey hair ; but even the 
flowing locks of Eve are painted blue in one MS. 
and the heads of youth and age exhibit the same 
cerulean tint. Strutt says, “ I have no doubt in my 
own mind that arts of some kind were practised at 
81 Tacitus, De Morib. Germ. 

88 Agathias, lib. i.; Gregory of Tours, lib. vi. 

Ad frontem mediam circumtonsos. Jus Cauillitii. 

24 Aiinoin, lib. i. cap. 4. 

85 The Anglo-Saxon dress, both male and female, has indeed 
been handed down to us by the painters of scriptural subjects, 
who took of course for their models the effigies of the Apostles 
and Saints as designedly the monks in the early ages of Christi- 
antty. Compare for instance the usual representations of the 
Virgin Mary, with the female figures, page 34, or any others in 
tne Saxon or early Norman M SS. 



this period to adorn the hair, but whether it "us 
done by tinging or dyeing it with liquids prepared lor 
that purpose, according to the ancient eastern custom, 
or by powders of different hues cast into it, agree- 
able to the modern practice, I shall not presume to de- 
termine s0 .” We may add, that, if it were a fashion, 
we trust there is no chance of its revival, though we 
will not affirm that a generation whose fathers stiil 

The military habits of the Anglo-SaxoD?. 

Figs, a and b , from Claudius, b. iv. ; c, from Harleian MS. 603 ; d. from 
Benedictional of St. Ethelwold 

50 Dress and Habits of the People of England, vol. i. p 77. Tl.e 
hair being painted sometimes green and orange, is in favour of his 
argument, but such instances are very rare, and may have arisen 
from the idleness of the illuminator, who daubed it, perhaps, w ilh 
the nearest colour at hand. The custom of washing the hair w ith 
a lixivium made of chalk, in order to render it redder, was prac- 
tised by the Gauls, and the Arabs dye their beards with henna, 
after the example set them by their prophet Mahmood and his 
successor Ahu-Bekr; but so singular a fashion as staining the air 
blue or green could scarcely have escaped the monkish censors, 
who are so severe upon the minutest follies of their lime, had it 
existed to such an extent as the illuminations would seem to 
imply. It occurs also in MSS. of the time of Edward f. 



wear powder are justified in condemning in their 
remoter ancestors the use of powder-blue. 

the military habit 

differed in no very great degree from the civil, in the 
earlier Anglo-Saxon times. 

I he Saxons were all soldiers, as their successors 
the Danes were all sailors. The addition of a sword 
or a spear, a shield, and sometimes, but not invaria- 
bly, a helmet, was only wanting to make them as 
ready for the fray as for the feast" We should rather 
say the shield only had to be assumed, for the. spear 
or the sword was the usual companion of a peaceful 
walk, and to go unarmed was enjoined in the ancient 
canons as a severe penance 8 ’. The short linen tunic 
was preferred to all other vestments, as the one in 
which they could most freely wield their weapons 88 , 
and the only addition to it appears to have been a 
border of metal to the collar, which acted as a pec- 
toral, and is most probably alluded to under the name 
o fbroest-beden or broest-beorg, breast-defence or breast 

But though this remained, during the whole Anglo- 
Saxon era, their general habit in war as well as in 
peace, they were not unacquainted with defensive 
body armour, as we have already proved on the 
evidence of Anuerin; and the enigma of Adhelm, 
Bishop of Sherborne, who died in 709, proves that 
as early as the eighth century they were familiar 
with the byrne, or tunic of rings, derived from the 
Phrygians, and latinized indiscriminately with other 
armour lorica. 

“I was produced," runs the enigma, “ in the cold 
bowels of the dewy earth, and not made from the 

17 Canones dati rub Edgaro. 

" Alcuinus, lib de Oflic, Divin. Alcuin wrote in the eighth 
century. ° 

D 3 



rough fleeces of wool ; no woofs drew me, nor at 
my birth did the tremulous threads resound ; the 
yellow down of silkworms formed me not ; I passed 
not through the shuttle, neither was I stricken with 
the wool-comb; yet, strange to say, in common 
discourse I am called a garment: I fear not the 
darts taken from the long quivers 49 ." 

The ringed byrne is not, however, of frequent 
appearance in the Anglo-Saxon illuminations, but 
in the poems of the tenth century we hear of *' the 
shining iron rings,” the “ battle mail by hard hands 
well locked,” the “ mailed host of weaponed men," 
and “ the grey vestments of war.” It is probable, 
therefore, that it did not become general till the con- 
tinual descents of the heavily-armed Danes compelled 
the Saxons to assume defences equal to those of their 

Coverings for the head are exceedingly rare in 
paintings representing peaceful occupations, but in 
battles we perceive the Phrygian-shaped cap be, ore- 
mentioned apparently made of leather, and sometimes 
bound and bordered with metal. The “ leather 
helme” is continually mentioned by Saxon writers, 
as is also the fellen hast, the felt or woollen hat, which 
is the same sort of cap made of those materials; as 
the term camb on hcette, or carnb on htlme, is clearly 
explained by the serrated outline occasionally forming 
the comb or crest of these Phrygian-looking head- 
pieces 30 . A cap or helmet, completely conical and 
without ornament, occurs in some .MSS. and appears 
from its shape the immediate predecessor of the nasal 
helmet of the eleventh century. 

The Anglo-Saxon shields were oval and convex, 

40 Aldhelmi /Enigmalum, headed “ De Lorica.” MS. Royal, 
marked 15, A. 16. 

30 Haslt signifies merely a covering tor the head, and indicates 
no such particular form as our modern associations are likely to 
conjure up for it. The word used by the Latin writers of the 
lime \& pi/eus. 



with a peculiarly-shaped iron umbo or boss.. They 
were gilt or painted in circles, but the ground was 
generally white, and they vyere held at arm’s length 
in action like those of the Britons. Some ot them 
w'ere large enough to cover nearly the whole figure, 
but we not only see, but also read ot ‘ little shields 
and “ lesser shields," as well as of “the targan” or 
target 31 . The body of the shield was made of leather, 
and the rim as well as the boss was of iron, either 
painted or gilt. 

Their weapons were all formed of non, and con- 
sisted of long broad swords double-edged, daggers, 
javelins, and long spears, some of which were barbed 
and others broad and leaf-shaped. They had also 
axes with long handles which they called bills, and 
which continued in use almost to our time, and the 
double-axe or bipennis (Iwy-bUl). Tradition has 
attributed to the Saxons a curved sword and dagger 32 , 
called the long seal and the hand seax, from the use 
of which it has been supposed they derived their 
name ; while, however, there is evidence of the ex- 
istence of a Scythic tribe, called Sacassani and Sax- 
ones, as early as the days ot Cyrus, there is little 
reason to seek further for the origin of the national 
name 33 . Our business is with the national weapon. 
The command of the Saxon leader previous to the 
celebrated massacre of the Britons at the festal board, 
as related by Nennius, “ Nimed eure seaxes ” — “ Take 
your seaxes,’’ they having concealed them about their 
persons, would go far to prove them short swords or 
daggers, but for one unfortunate circumstance : there 
is no positive proof of the massacre itself! The vene- 
rable Bede tells us that Edwin, King of Northumbria, 

31 Will of Kthelstan, son of Elhelred II. dated 1015. 

31 A short curved sword without a hilt is placed in the hands ol 
the Dacians in the combats sculptured on the Trajan column. 

33 Vide Turner’s llist. Ang. Saxons, vol. i. p. 115, where this 
subject is admirably discussed. 



narrowly escaped an assassin sent by Cwiehelm, King 
of’ Wessex, a. d. 625, who entered the unsuspecting 
monarch's presence armed with a poisoned two-edged 
seax ; and, while pretending to deliver a message 
from his sovereign, made a blow at Edwin, who was 
off his guard and defenceless. Lilia, an attendant 
thegn, saw the king’s danger, but had no shield. \V ith 
a noble devotion he flung himself betw'een the assassin 
and his intended victim, and received the weapon in 
his own body. The thrust was given with such good 
will that the seax went through the loyal thegn, and 
slightly wounded Edwin. The assassin was cut to 
pieces by the attendants, but not before he had 
stabbed another knight with the weapon he had 
withdrawn from the body of Lilia. The fact eced 
seax of the venerable Bede has been translated “ a 
dagger” by Mr. Sharon Turner, and “ a sword ’’ 
by Mr. Palgrave 84 . It may have been either, and 
must have been used for cutting as well as thrusting, 
from the expression tw o-edged ; but whether crooked 
or straight does not appear from this story. If a 
dagger, it must however have been a tolerably long 
one to have gone through one man's body and 
wounded another. The Saxon swords, in all the 
illuminations we have inspected, are long, broad, 
and straight, as we have already described them ; 
and therefore, if a crooked weapon, the seax must 
have been abandoned before the tenth century **. 

84 Hist, of Eng. vol. i. p. 63. 

38 Major Hamilton Smith, in his Ancient Costume of England, 
prints it as a compound “ se-ar,” and calls it a battle-axe; and 
Sir S. Meyrick derives it from sais, which in the low Saxon dia- 
lect still signifies a scythe. (Costume Orig. Inhab. p. 50.) It 
is not improbable that it was that primitive weapon. Of its fright- 
ful service in battle the gallant but ill-fated Poles have lately given 
their oppressors a terrible proof. A staff so headed, with curved 
lateral blades, is engraved on the opposite page, from a Harleian 
AlS. of tho eleventh century, marked 603. 



Robert Wace, the Norman poet, of whom more 
hereafter, mentions the gisarme as an exceedingly 
destructive weapon used by the Saxons at the battle 
of Hastings; but by the gisarme hfe evidently means 
the byl, to which he gives a Norman name. 

Spurs appear in the Saxon illuminations. They 
have no rowels, but a simple point like a goad, and 
were therefore called pryclc spurs, and the goad itself 
the spur speare (vide fig. d, p. 16 ). They were 
fastened with leathers, nearly as at present. 

Anglo-Saxon mantle, caps, and weapons, 
Harleian MS. 603; Cotton, Junius, xi.; Claudios, b. it., 



Anglo-Saxon Females, 

Fig. o, Etheldrytha, a princess of East Anglia, from the Beiod.5tx.tia!. 
of St, Ethelwold. 


of all ranks wore long loose garments reaching 
to the ground, distinguished in various documents 
by the names of the tunic, the gunna or gown, the 
cyrtle or kirtle, and the mantle. The first and last 
articles describe themselves ; but the terms gown 
and kirtle have caused much disputation from the 
capricious application of them to different parts of 
dress. The British gown, latinized gaunacum by 
Varro, we have already seen was a short tunic with 
sleeves reaching only to the elbows, and worn over 
the long tunic. And that the Saxon gunna was 
sometimes short, we have the authority of a Bishop 
of Winchester, who sends as a present “ a short 
gunna sewed in our manner 8 *.” Now there is also 

16 Mag. Bib. p. 82. A gown is also mentioned made ot 
• tier’s skin, which shows it to have been an exterior garment, p. S8. 


authority sufficient to prove that a similar descrip- 
tion of vestment was called a kirtle i7 . No short 

tunics are, however, visible in Saxon illuminations, 
and we must therefore presume the gunna or gown 
generally means the long full robe, with loose sleeves, 
worn over the tunic ; and the kirtle, an inner garment, 
at this period, as we find it mentioned in the will 
of Wynflceda among “ other linen web,” and in one 
place described as white. The sleeves of the tunic, 
reaching in close rolls to the wrist, like those of the 
men, are generally confined there by a bracelet, or 
terminate with a rich border, and the mantle hangs 
down before and behind, covering the whole figure, 
except when looped up by the lifted arms, when it 
forms a point or festoon in front like the ancient 
chasuble of the priesthood 38 . The head-dress of all 
classes is a veil or long piece of linen or silk wrapped 
round the head aud neck. This part of their attire 
is exceedingly unbecoming in the illuminations, in a 
great measure probably from want of skill in the 
artist ; for no doubt it was capable of as graceful an 
' arrangement as the Spanish mantilla. The Saxon 
name for it appears to have been heafodes rcegel 
(head-rail), or wcefles , derived from the verb wcefan t 
to cover ; but this head-gear was seldom worn except 
when abroad, as the hair itself was cherished and or- 
namented with as much attention as in modern times 
The wife described by Adhelm, Bishop of Sherborne, 

37 The very name implies a short garment. In the Icelandic 
song of Thrym we have the line “a maiden kirtle hung to his 
knees.” In the MS. copy of Pierce Ploughman’s Creed (Har- 
leian, 2376), the priests are said to have “ cut their cotes ana 
made them into curtells” (the printed edition reads courle pies); 
and in a romance called the Chevalier Assigne (MS. Cotton. 
Caligula, a. 2) a child inquires, “ What heavy kyrtell is this with 
holes so thycke ?” and he is told it is “an hauberke" (t. e. coat o. 
mail), which seldom reached even to the knee. 

*• Vide page 39. 



who wrole in the eighth century, is particularly 
tioned as having her twisted locks delicately curled 
by the iron ol those adorning her*’ ; and in the 
Anglo-Saxon poem of ‘Judith,’ the heroine is called 
“ ‘.he maid of the Creator, with twisted locks 40 . As 
we find it amongst the Franks and Normans platted 
in long tails it may have been similarly worn by the 
Anglo Saxons ; but with the exception of the figure 
of Eve, who is represented in most illuminated MSS. 
with her hair dishevelled and hanging about her 
almost to hei knees, we have met with no female 
entirely divested of her head-rail. 

Golden head-bands, half circles of gold, neck bands, 
and bracelets, are continually mentioned in Anglo- 
Saxon wills and inventories. The head-band was 
sometimes worn over tile veil or head-cloth. Amongst 
other female ornaments, we read of earrings, golden 
vermiculated necklaces, a neck cross and a goiden 
fly beautifully ornamented with precious stones 41 . 

Hose or socca were most probably worn by females 
as well as by men, but the gown or tunic invariably 
conceals them. As much of the shoes as is visible is 
generally painted black. In shape they appear simi- 
lar to those of the men. 

Gloves do not appear to have been worn by either 
sex before the eleventh century 45 . In some instances 
the loose sleeves of the gown supply their place by 
being brought over the hand ; in others the mantle is 
made to answer the same purpose ; but one of the 

34 De Virginitate, p. 307. 40 Frag. Judith, edit. Thwaite. 

41 Dngdale’s Monasticon, D. 240-263, and Strutt and Turner, 

42 At the close of the tenth, or beginning of the eleventh cen- 
tury, five pair of gloves made a considerable part of the duty paid 
to Ethel red 11. by a society of German merchants for the protec- 
tion of their trade. Leges Ethelrcdi, apud Brompton ; and quoted 
with great propriety by Mr. Strutt ui proof of them excessive rarity. 
Dress and Habits, vol. i. p. 49. 



female figures copied for the heading of this section 
has something very like a glove upon the left hand. 
It has a thumb but no separate fingers, and is painted 
blue in the miniature, which is of the close of the 
tenth century : a curious pair of similar mufflers, for 
we can scarcely call them by any other name, occurs 
in a MS. about a century later. Vide page 63 ,|3 . 

Cloth, silk, and linen were of course the principal 
materials of which their dresses were made; and red, 
blue, and green seem to have been the prevailing 
colours with both sexes. Very little white is observed 
in female apparel. The head-dress is always co- 
loured. indications of embroidery are visible in 
some illuminations. The patterns are generally 
rings, flowers, and sprigs. The standing figure in 
page 34 represents Etheldrytha, a princess of East- 
Anglia, and is copied from the Duke of Devonshire’s 
splendid Benedictional of the tenth century. The 
dress is sumptuous, consisting of an embroidered 
scarlet mantle over a tunic or gown of gold tissue, 
or cloth of gold. The veil and shoes are also of the 
latter costly material, and yet she is represented as a 
sainted abbess. The conventual dress indeed of the 
Anglo-Saxon era differed in nowise from the general 
female habit, and Bishop Adhelm intimates that the 
dress of royal Anglo-Saxon nuns in his time was 
frequently gorgeous. 

43 These figures seem to have escaped Mr. Strult’s notice, 
though he lias inspected both MSS. and drawn much from the 
latte i . 




were also undistinguishable from the laity except 
by the tonsure 44 , or when actually officiating at the 
altar ; and their inclination to the pomps and vanities 
of the world is obvious from the order promulgated 
in 785, forbidding them to wear the tinctured colours 
of India, or precious garments 45 ; and Boniface, the 
Anglo-Saxon missionary, in his letter to the Arch- 
bishop of Canterbury, inveighs against the luxuries 
of dress, and declares those garments that are 
adorned with very broad studs and images of worms 
announce the coming of Anti-Christ 4 '. 

In the same spirit, at the Council of Cloveshoe, 
the nuns were exhorted to pass their time rather in 
reading books and singing hymns than in wearing 
and working garments of empty pride in diversified 
colours 47 . The official ecclesiastical habits will be 
best understood by a glance at the engravings. The 
mitre it will be perceived formed as yet no part of 
the episcopal costume. Its first appearance in the 
Latin church was about the middle of the eleventh 
century 48 . 

44 And this they endeavoured to hide by letting the nair grow 
so as to fall over it, notwithstanding their thunders against the 
laity ; for an article interdicting the practice appears in Johnson's 
Canons sub anno 960, c. 47. Beards were forbidden only to 
the inferior clergy by the ancient ecclesiastical laws, and “ dans 
un concile tenu a Limoges en 1031, on declara qirun pretre 
pouvait se raser ou garder la barbe a volonte.” Lenoir, Morn- 
mens Frangois. 

45 Spelm. Concil. p. 294. 48 Ibid. p. 241. 

47 Ibid. p. 256. 

*• Some difficulty exists in detailing the episcopal dress ; but 
the principal articles were the alb or white under tunic ; the 
dalmatica, an upper robe ; the stole, an embroidered band or 
scarf going round the neck, the two ends hanging down before; 
the chasuble, which covered the whole person, except when lifted 
up by the arms, and afterwards opened at the sides ana cut in 
front so as to preserve its origiual pointed appearance when 



St. Donstan. Royal MS. 10, A. 13. 

A.bit Elfnoth, and St. Augustin, Archbishop of Canterbury, Harleian MS. 


the arms were raiseil ; and the pallium or pall, an ornamenta 
collar or scarf which a metropolitan or archbishop was in- 
vested with, or received from the Pope on his nomination to 
the see. Gregory the Great bestowed the pallium on St. Augus- 
tin, first Archbishop of Canterbury, and he wears it embroidered 
with crosses over the chasuble in the engraving above. It may 
be as well to remark at the same time that the crosier or cross 
was carried by the archbishop, and the pastoral staff, made like the 
shepherd’s crook, and improperly called the crosier, by the 
bishop. Vide Bacon’s New Atalantis. 



The preceding figures are those of St. Dunstan, 
the famous or infamous Benedictine, in the habit 
of his order, from a drawing said to be by his own 
hand; and Abbot Elfnoth (who died a. D. 980), 
presenting his book of prayers to St. Augustin, toe 
founder of his monastery at Canterbury, from the 
frontispiece of the book itself, preserved in the Har- 
leiau collection of MSS., B.M. marked 2908. 

mourning habiliments 

are not discoverable in Anglo-Saxon illuminations. 
Representations of burials continually occur, but the 
mourners or attendants are not clothed in any parti- 
cular fashion or colour. “ Widow's garments are 
mentioned in Saxon records, according to Strutt, but 
no account is given of their distinguishing charactei * 

Vide Strutt’s Dress and Habits, voL i. cap 5. 

Chapter III 


Canute and his queen Alfgyfe, from a MS. Register of Hyde Abbey, f3r- 
merly io the possession of Thomas Astle, Esq., and engraved in the firs! 
▼ol'ime of Strntt’s Horda Angel Cynan. Being excessively rade in the 
original, they have been put into better drawing. 

For the costume of the Danes, from the time of their 
first descent upon the English coast to the establish- 
ment of their dominion in the island by Canute the 
Great, we have but little authority on which we can 
depend 1 , but that little enables us to ascertain, that in 

1 The illuminations prefixed to a copy of the Gospels supposed 
to have appertained to Canute, and preserved in the Cotton Library 

E 3 



many respects it resembled that of their Scythian 
kindred the Anglo-Saxons. Indeed, Mr. Strutt 
shrewdly enough remarks, that the silence of ihe 
Anglo-Saxon writers on the subject, while they are 
particularly diffuse in the description of the dre-s of 
their own countrymen, is corroborative of such simi- 
larity. It would appear, however, from various pas- 
sages in the Welsh chronicles and the old Danish 
ballads, that the favourite if not the general colour of 
the ancient Danish dress was black 2 . Caradoc of 
Llancarvan repeatedly calls them “ the black Danes.’’ 
The chronicles continually allude to them by the 
name of the “black army.” In the Danish ballad of 
‘Child Dyring’ he is represented as riding even to a 
bridal feast in “black sendell 3 ,” and black, bordered 
with red, is still common amongst the northern pea- 
santry. Black amongst the Pagan Danes had cer- 
tainly no funeral associations connected with it. We 
have already noticed the absence of black in repre- 
sentations of Saxon burials, but it is well known that 
the Danes never mourned for the death of even their 
nearest or dearest relations 4 ; and this sombre hue 
may have been their national colour, their standard 
being a raven 5 . Arnold of Lubeck describes the whole 

(marked Caligula, A. 7), do not belong to the MS., and were pro- 
bably executed about the time, of Rufus. Mr. Astle's reliquarr, 
which is said to represent the murder of Theodore, Abbot of Cro\- 
land, by the Danes in 890, is, we strongly suspect, of the age > f 
Henry II. 

2 The Danes being undoubtedly of Scythic origin, it is a curious 
circumstance that we should find Herodotus mentioning a natii n 
bordering on Scythia who wore no other clothing than black, and 
whom he therefore calls the Melanchloenians. 

3 Silk. Danish Koempe-Vker. Illustrations of Northern An- 
tiquities, 4to. Edin. 

4 Adam of Bremen distinctly mentions this fact. He flourisho • 
about 1127, and may be called, says Mr. Sharon Turner, the 
Strabo of the Baltic. Hist. Eng. >ol. i. p. 30, note. 

* Sec account of the celebrated Rafan, worked by Ubo’s thr-v. 



nation as originally wearing the garments of sailors, 
as befitted men who lived by piracy and inhabited 
the sea ; but that, in process of time, they became 
wearers of scarlet, purple, and fine linen 6 . It is 
probable, therefore, that on their conversion to Chris- 
tianity they cast their “ ’nighted colour off,’’ and on 
their establishment in England endeavoured to out- 
shine the Saxons; for we are told that “ the Danes 
were effeminately gay in their dress, combed their 
hair once a day, bathed once a week, and often 
changed their attire : by these means they pleased 
the eyes of the women, and frequently seduced the 
wives and daughters of the nobility’.” 

A Saxon MS. Register of Hyde Abbey, written 
during the reign of Canute, contains his portrait and 
that ot his queen Alfgyfe. (Vide engraving at the 
head of this chapter.) The king is in a tunic and 
mantle, the latter ornamented with cords or ribands, 
and tassels. He wears shoes, and stockings reaching 
nearly to the knees, with embroidered tops. The 
dress is perfectly Saxon. In June, 1766, some work- 
men repairing Winchester Cathedral discovered a 
monument, wherein was contained the body of Canute. 
It was remarkably fresh, had a wreath or circlet round 
the head, and several other ornaments, such as gold 
and silver bands. On his finger was a ring, in which 
was set a remarkably fine stone ; and in one of his 
hands was a silver penny 8 . 

1 he materials of which their habits were composed 
must have been very splendid. The coronation man- 
tle of Harold Harefoot, given to the Abbey of Croy- 
1 ind, was of silk, embroidered with flowers of gold 9 . 

or* in one noontide, and taken by Odon, Earl of Devonshire, in 
the time o! Alfred. Asserius in VitaAlfr. 

6 Chap. 5, ver. II. ’ John Wallingford, apud Gale 

'.rchaeologia, vol. iii. p. 890. 

9 ingulphtis Hist. Abb. Croyi 



The vestment which Canute presented to the same 
abbey was of silk, embroidered with golden eagles 10 ; 
and the rich pall, which he ordered to be laid over 
the tomb of Edmund Ironside, was embroidered w ith 
“ the likeness of golden apples, and ornamented w ith 
pearls u .” 

Bracelets of massive gold, and some of them curi- 
ously wrought, were worn by all persons of rank, and 
always buried with them 1 *. The Pagan Danes had, 
indeed, a. sacred ornament of this kind kept upon the 
altar of their gods, or worn round the arm of the 
priest, and by which their most solemn vows were 
made ; their common oaths being, “ by the shoulder 
of their horse,” or “ by the edge of their sword.” 
Alfred, having gained an advantage over the Danes, 
caused them to swear by their holy bracelet, which 
they had never done before to the king ofany nation 13 . 

Of their pride in their long hair, and the care they 
took of it, we have several instances recorded. Harold 
Harfagre, i. e. Fair-locks, w ho derived his name from 
the length and beauty of his hair, which is said to 
have flowed in thick ringlets to his girdle, and to have 
been like golden or silken threads, made a vow to his 
mistress to neglect his precious curls till he had com- 
pleted the conquest of Norway for her love 14 ; and a 
young Danish warrior, going to be beheaded, begged 
of his executioner that his hair might not be touched 
by a slave, or stained with his blood 15 . In the Anglo- 
Saxon poem on Beowolf, mention is made of 

“ The long-haired one, illustrious in battle, 

The bright lord of the Danes.” 

10 Ingulphus, Hist. Abb. Croyl. 11 Scala Chron. 

18 Bartholinus ; Johannes Tinmuth. 

15 Asserius in Vit. Alfred, and Etbelwerd, Hist lib. iv. cap. 3. 

14 Torfoeus, Hist. Nor. tom. ii. lib.*]. 

15 Jomswikinga Saga in Bartholinus de Caus. Contempt. Mort, 
lib. i. c. 5. 

anolu-danish PEiuon, 


On their arrival in England vve still find them atten- 
tive to these flowing locks, combing them once a day ; 
but a few years afterwards the fashion of cropping was 
imported from France, as we shall see in the next 
enapter, and the portrait of Canute seems to have 
been drawn after that change took place. The 
Knyghtlinga Saga describes Canute’s hair as profuse. 


a as similar to that of the Anglo-Saxons of the tenth 
century. By the laws of Gula, said to have been 
established by 11 aeon the Good, who died in 963, we 
find that any possessor of 600 marks, besides his 
clothes, was required to furnish himself with a red 
shield of two boards in thickness, a spear, and an axe 
or a sword. lie who was worth twelve marks, in 
addition to the above, was ordered to procure a steel 
cap (stal hufu) ; whilst he who was richer by eighteen 
marks w r as obliged to have a double red shield, a hel- 
met, a coat of mail (brynin), or a panzar, that is to 
say a tunic of quilted linen or cloth (which hereafter ' 
we shall find worn by the Normans under the name 
of a gambeson), and all usual military weapons'®. In 
the history of this same king, who was called “ Adel- 
stein’s Fostra,” from having been educated at the 
court of our English Athelstan, we read that the king 
'nit on a tunic of mail (brynio) girded round him, his 
sword called quern-bit (i. e. millstone-biter), and set 
on his head his 'gilded helmet. He took a spear in 
his hand, and hung his shield by his side ’ 7 . So also, 
in the description of the battle of Sticklastad, where 
King Olaf of Norway, called the Saint, was slain, 
a.d. 1030, the monarch is said to have worn a golden 

'® Thorstens Vikings-sons Saga, 
Lips. 1680, cap. 10, p. 78. 

with Reenhitlm’s notes, 12mo. 



helmet, a white shield, a golden hilled and exceed 
ingly sharp sword, and a tunic of ringed mail, “ hringa 
brynio 1B ,” the “ ringed byrne” of the Saxons. The 
Danish helmet, like the Saxon, had the nasal, which 
in Scandinavian is called nef-biorg 19 . 

The Danish shields were of two sorts, circular and 
lunated : the latter rising in the centre of the inner 
curve, and therefore exactly resembling the Phrygian 
or Amazonian pelta 90 . That they were generally 
painted red we learn from the laws of Gula before 
quoted ; and Giraldus de Barri, who was an eye- 
witness of the transactions of the Northmen in Ire- 
land in the next century, says, “ the Irish carry red 
shields in imitation of the Danes.” Persons of dis- 
tinction, however, ornamented theirs very highly with 
gilding and various colours 91 ; and though regular 

:a Ibid. ii. 352. 

19 Saga Magn. Burf, c. 11. 

20 Strutt, Horda Angel Cynan. The shield engraved there is 
from an Anglo-Saxon MS. marked Tiberius, C. 6, in the Cotton 
collection. It was not peculiar to the Banes, but carried, appa- 
rently, by all who fought with the battle-axe. The expression 
“ moony shields’’ occurs in the Lodbroka-quida, but it inay mean 
orbicular. That the Scythians pursued the Cimmerians into Asia 
Minor, six or seven hundred years before Christ, is asserted by 
Herodotus and Strabo ; and the tribes that afterwards migrated 
with Odin towards the Baltic might have adopted, from their con- 
sanguinei, the Phrygian shield as well as the Phrygian cap and 
tunic of rings. In the Royal Museum at Copenhagen is an ancient 
group of figures cut out of the tooth of the walrus, in which 
appears a king on horseback, holding a crescent-shaped shield. 
Archaeologia, vol, xxiv. 

21 Sir F. Madden has collected all the known authorities on the 
subject in an interesting paper in the Archaeologia, vol. xxiv. He 
remarks “ the usual pigments were white and red.” The white 
shield was the distinction of the ancient Cimbri. Vide Plutarch 
in Mario, Val. Max. lib. ii. c. 6. The Goths of all descriptions seem 
to have borne them originally white, and ornamented them by de- 
grees with gold and colours. In the poetical Edda Gunnar, one 
of the Reguli of Germany is made to say, “ my helmet and w hite 
shield come front the Hall of Kiars” (a Gaulish chief who lived 



armorial bearings are not acknowledged earlier than 
the middle of the twelfth century, fanciful devices and 
personal insignia were used by the Romans and the 
Gauls, and crosses were gilt and painted on the white 
Norwegian shields at the commencement of the 
eleventh, according to a MS. quoted by Sperlingius, 
describing an expedition of King Oiaf the Saint, who 
also ordered his soldiers to chalk a cross upon their 
helmets. In Saemund’s poetical Edda, mention is 
made of a red shield with a golden border, and the 
encomiast -of Queen Emma, in describing Canute’s 
armament, speaks of the glittering effulgence of the 
shields suspended on the sides of the ships 22 . 

Of the splendour sometimes exhibited in the mili- 
tary accoutrements of this period, we have another 
instance in the attempt of Earl Goodwin to appease 
the anger of Hardicanute. He presented that prince 
with a magnificent vessel, on board of which were 
eighty soldiers, armed in coats of gilded mail, their 
shields embossed with gold, and their helmets richly 
gilt. Each of them had two golden bracelets on 
either arm, weighing sixteen ounces. The hilts of 
their swords were also of the same precious metal, 
and every man had a Danish axe on his left shoulder, 
and a spear in his right hand 23 . 

The spear, the sword, the bow, and particularly the 
double-biaded axe, were their offensive weapons. 
They were famous for the use of the latter. The 
Welsh bard Gruffyd ab Merredydd speaks of 

in the sixth century). The Anglo-Saxon shields in the illumina- 
tions are generally white, with red or blue borders and circles 
painted on them, but we find no crosses depicted on them before 
the eleventh century — a fact which bears out Sperlingiu 3 ir. his con- 
jecture that they were introduced (in the north at least) by St. 
O'.af, as above-mentioned. 

22 Encom. Emmae. Ap. Du Chesne, p. 1(38. 

23 Florence of Worcester, 403; MS. Chron.; Cotton, Tiberiua 
B. i. and iv. 



« A destructive heavy fleet 
Of the men of Lochlyn (Denmark) 
With their keen-edged axes.” 

“ At Scarpa-Skeria,” says the dying king, Ragnar 
Lodbroch, “ cruelly hacked the trenchant battle-axe 
“ To shoot well with the bow" was also a necessary 
qualification of a Danish warrior. 1 he Saxons had 

totally neglected archery. 

We have little or no authority for the 


but can scarcely doubt its similarity to the general 
habit of the sex in the north ol Europe at this period. 
Canute’s queen wears the tunic, the mantle, the veil, 
and either the diadem or the half-bend ; but she was 
the widow of Ethelred, and daughter of Richard third 
Duke of Normandy. The mantle, like that of the 
king, has cords or ribands, with tasselled ends at- 
tached to it. In the poem on Beowolf. the following 
lines appear respecting the Queen of Denmark • 

“ Waltheow came forth, 

The queen of Hrothgar, 

Mindful of her descent, 

Circled with gold. 


She the queen, circled with bracelets.” 

And again — 

“ Encircled with gold she went, 

The queen of the free-like people. 

To sit by her lord.” . 

In the Danish ballad of Ingefred and Gerdrune s ‘, men- 
tion is made of Ingefred’s golden girdle, and she takes 
a gold ring from her arm to give to the physician. 

54 Kempe Viser, p. GG‘2. 



It is scarcely necessary to remark, on closing this 
chapter, that though the monarch, and many of his 
nobles, warriors, and domestics, were Danes, the peo- 
ple were still Anglo-Saxons ; and if any difference in 
dress did exist between the two nations, the Danes 
were as likely to adopt the fashions of their new 
country, as the English were to assume those of tbeii 
new rulers. 



Chapter IV. 

A.D. 1042—1066. 

Seal of Edward the Confessor. 

The short interval between the Danish and Norman 
conquests, during which the crown of England re- 
verted to the Saxon line, furnishes us with only two 
anecdotes of costume worth recording. The first is 
the general complaint of William of Malmsbury, that 
in the time of the Confessor the English had trans- 
formed themselves into Frenchmen and Normans, 
adopting not only their strange manner of speech 
and behaviour, but also the ridiculous and fantastic 
fashions of their habits, wearing shorter tunics, and 
clipping their hair and shaving their beards, leaving. 


however, the upper lip still unshorn They were 
also guilty of puncturing* their skins, and loading their 
arms with golden bracelets 1 * * * * * * 8 . The second respects a 
change ordered by Harold in 

which led to his decisive successes in Wales. The 
heavy armour of the Saxons (for the weight of the 
tunic, covered with iron rings, was considerable) 
rendered them unable to pursue the Welsh to their 

1 Hist. Reg. Ang. lib. iii. 

* In the reign of James II. the chest containing the body of 

King Edward the Confessor was opened, and under the shoulder 

bone of the Monarch was found a crucifix of pure gold, richly 
enamelled, and suspended to a golden chain twenty-four inches in 

length, which, passing round the neck, was fastened by a locket 
of massy gold, adorned with four large red stones. The skull, 

which was entire, had on it a band or diadem of gold, one inch in 

breadth, surrounding the temples, and in the dust lay several 

pieces of gold, coloured silk, and linen. Archacologia, vol. iii. 
p. 890. Introduction to Gough’s Sepulchral Monuments. 


Harold II. from the Bayeux tapestry. 




recesses. Harold observed this impediment, and com- 
manded them to use armour made of leather only, and 
lighter weapons*. This leathern armour we find to 
have consisted in overlapping flaps, generally stained 
of different colours, and cut into the shape of scales 
or leaves. It is called corium by some of the writers 
in the succeeding century, and corietum in the Nor- 
man laws. It was most probably copied from the 
Normans, for in the Bayeux tapestry we perceive it 
worn by Guy, Count of Ponthieu, aud Odo, Bishop 
of Bayeux, the brother of William the Conqueror, 
and it continued in use in England as late as the 
thirteenth century, 

3 Ingn’p'au?, p. 6G. 


Chapter V 


The best pictorial authority for the habits ot our 
Norman ancestors, at the time of their conquest of 
England, exists in that curious relic the Bayeux 
tapestry ', which, if not worked by the Conqueror’s 
wife Matilda, as currently reported, is certainly not a 

* Preserved at Bayeux in Normandy. It is 212 feet long, and 
rudely worked in coloured wors'eds like a sampler. 

7 v 3 



"reat deal later than that memorable event, and ful y 
entitled to our confidence as a faithful representation 
of the habits, armour, and weapons of William and 
his followers. 

The Saxons, as we have already observed, had, 
during the reign of Edward the Confessor, affected 
the fashions of the Norman French; and the similarity 
of their habits to those of theii invaders is the first 
object of remark on examining their performance * 
while a singular attention to such little points of dis- 
tinction, as we have the evidence of cotemporary 
historians to prove did exist between the two nations, 
gives additional weight and interest to its testimony. 

Offsets of the same great barbaric stock, a species 
of family resemblance had always existed between 
the Saxons, the Danes, and the Normans; but the 
residence of the latter in France .and their expeditions 
to the Mediterranean, had materially improved their 
character and manners; and while the Danes con- 
tinued pirates, and the Saxons, “ originally the fiercest 
nation of the predatory North had sunk into a 
slothful and unwarlike people, the Normans be- 
came distinguished throughout Europe for their 
military skill, their love of glory, their encouragement 
of literature, the splendour and propriety of their 
habiliments, the cleanliness of their persons, and the 
courtesy of their demeanour. 

The degenerate and sensual Saxons imitated the 
fashions of their neighbours, but were incapable of 
copying their virtues, and we therefore find the 


consisting, like the Anglo-Saxon, of the short tunic, 
the cloak, the drawers, with long stockings or panta 

1 Sliarou Turner. 



loons with feet to them, called by the Normans 
“ Chausstfe,” by which term we beg our readers to 
observe they will be henceforth designated throughout 
the work, as the use of modern names for ancient 
habits or weapons creates considerable confusion in 
dates as w r ell as ideas. Shoes and leg-bandages are 
worn as before 3 . Short boots are also common to- 
wards the close of the reign 4 ; and a flat round cap, 
like a Scotch bonnet, and another, which appears 
little more than a coif, are the general head coverings 
of unarmed persoas. In 


the tunic reaches to the ancle, and the mantle is 
ample and flowing to correspond. The crown of the 
monarch is scarcely distinguishable upon his seal, 
but appears to resemble that of the Confessor. Wace, 
in his ‘ Roman de Rou V describes William as lacing 
and untying his cloak repeatedly in his agitation and 
anger, on the news being brought him of Harold’s 
accession to the throne of England ; and cords and 
tassels are now seen attached to the mantles of dis- 
tinguished personages. We have observed them 
already in the drawing of Canute. 

The Normans not only shaved the face entirely , in 

3 Duke William’s, in the Bayeux tapestry, are tied in front 
with tasselled ends hanging down like those of the royal figure in 
St. Ethelwold’s Benedictional, engraved p. 22. 

4 Robert, Duke of Normandy, the eldest son of the Conqueror, 
who died in 1 134, was called “ Curta Ocrea,” or short boots, either 
from his setting the fashion, or for retaining it perhaps when 
abandoned by the beaux of the day. 

s A poem on Rollo, or Rou, and the other Dukes of Nor- 
mandy. Robert Wace died in 1184. He was born in Jersey, 
and educated in Caen, and wrote his account of the battle of 
Hastings from the information of persons who lived it the time: 
“as I heard it told my father. well remember it; I was then 
a varlet,” are his words. 



contradistinction to the Anglo-Saxons, who left, at 
any rate, the upper lip unshorn, but before the time 
of the Conquest had adopted the AquiUmian fashion 
of shavin^ the back of the head also, which occa- 
sioned the spies of Harold to report that they ha 
seen no soldiers, but an army of priests . I his 
anecdote has been quoted by all the historians, as 
proving only the absence of beard and moustache 
amongst the Normans, as they say it was considered 
indecent in priests to wear them ; but clerical per- 
sonages are, notwithstanding, continually represented 
at this period with both , and the absence of them, 
therefore, would not have borne out the reports of 
the spies, but for the other singularity, which is dis- 
tinctly represented in the Bayeux tapestry, and one 
of the strongest proofs of its authenticity. \\ uliam 
and his Normans are therein distinguished by the 
backs of their heads being closely shaven, so as really 
to give them a monkish appearance, while the Saxons 
are° represented with hair as usually worn, and 
moustaches, as described by William of Malmsbury, 
and a few with comely beards’. 

« William of Malmsbury, lib. iii. p. 56 ; Roman de Ron. Wace's 
words are tout rez et tondu. Literally “ all shaven and shorn. 

7 That the nobles of Aquitaine had been distinguished by this 
extraordinary practice for many years previous to the Conquest, 
we find from the following circumstance. Robert, King of t ranee, 
who came to the throne in 997, married Constance, Princess of 
Poitou. Many of her relations and countrymen followed her to Uans ; 
and Glaber Rodolphus describes them, at that lime, as full of the 
most conceited levity ; their manners and dress equally fentteUc, 
their arms and trappings without taste ; bare from the middle of 
their heads, their beards shaven like minstrels, their bools and shoes 
most unbecoming, &c. &c. He stigmatizes them also, in another 
place, for their short garments, and says, their abominable 
example infected all the nation of the Francs and Burgundians 
till then “ honestissima,” and drew it into a conformity with their 
own wickedness and baseness. Hist. p. 39; Turner’s Englan , 
book viii. ebap. 3, note 



Notwithstanding', however, that the Norman rage 
for cropping and shaving had obtained amongst the 
English, the old fashion of wearing the hair long and 
flowing was never entirely abandoned; and the cour- 
tiers of the Regent of France, on William’s return to 
Normandy, three months after his coronation, at- 
tended by some of his new subjects, were astonished 
at the beauty of the long-haired English, and their 
rich gold embroidered dresses B . 

Helmet*, hauberks, a sword, and a gonfaaon, from the Payeux tapestry. 

* \V illiam of Poitou, p. 211; Florence of Worcester, p. 431 
Orrlericus Vitalis, lib. viii. 




of this period presents us with several novelties The 
first is the capuchon or cowl' to the tunic covered 
with rings, which perhaps was worn by the Danes, 
but does not appear in Saxon illuminations. Over 
this is placed the conical helmet, with its nasal, and, 
in some instances, with a neck-piece behind, an 
oriental characteristic. Both Normans and Saxons 
are represented in the ringed tunic, which descends 
below the knee, and being cut up a little way before 
and behind for convenience in riding, appears, from 
the rudeness of the representation, as though it ter- 
minated in short trousers'®. The Norman name for 
this military vestment was Hauberk, latinized Hal- 
bercum , which is commonly derived from Hahberg , 
a protection for the throat"; and as we now hid 
adieu to the Saxon era, we shall henceforth gladly 

9 The word “ cowl” is used in preference to “hood,” as, in the 
fourteenth cen.ury, “the hood,” socalled, becomes a very peculiar 
feature, and bears no resemblance whatever: o the cowl, with 
which it might be confounded, although it was probably invented 
from a peculiar fashion of wearing the latter. Vide p. 121. We wish 
to keep the ideas perfectly distinct of the cowl or capuchon, and 
the hood or chaperon, though the words are frequently used one lor 
the other by the old writers. 

10 That it does not do so is proved, not only by the appearance 
of the tunic alone, as carried by the Normans to the ships (Vide 
engraving in p. 57), but by the evident impossibility of getting into 
a garment so made. Amongst the last incidents in the tapestry, 
we find one of the victors stripping a dead warrior of his armour, 
which he is pulling over his head inverted, an act incompatible 
with any other form than that of a simple shirt or tunic ; and 
William himself is stated to have inverted his coat of mail by 
mistake when preparing for the battle of Hastings. Gull. Piet. 
201 ; and Taylor’s Anon. Hist. p. 192. 

11 It is not improbable that the addition of the cowl obtained fo 
it this particular name, as before that addition it certainly did not 
protect the throat. In the laws of William the Conqueror we 
find it spelt “ Halbers.” “vm Chivalz setez e cnfrenez, mi 
Unifiers e mi Hainines (Heaumes, Helmets) e mi Kscuz e mi 
Launces e mi Espcs.” Leges Gulielmi I. cap. xxii. 


use an appellation as familiar to the hot-pressed pages 
of modern romance as to the worm-eaten chronicle of 
the eleventh century. Besides the hauberk of rings, 
there are some marked with transverse lines, so as to 
give the idea of their being either quilted or stitched 
in chequers, or covered with small lozenge-shaped 
pieces of steel instead of rings, a species of defence 
known about this period by the name of mascled 
armour, from its resemblance to the meshes of a 
net **. In some instances the hauberks are com- 
posed of rings and mascles mixed ; in others the 
body is covered with rings, and the sleeves dia- 
monded. There were other descriptions of armour 
in use about this time, which the embroiderers may 
have intended to represent, viz. the trelliced, the 
rustred, the banded, &c. varieties of mail alluded to 
by cotemporary writers 13 , but almost impossible to 
be distinguished from each other in the half-obliterated 
seal or rudely woven tapestry. Our own opinion 
leans to the idea that the garments so chequered are 
meant for the quilted panzar or gambeson, known 
to the Danes and Northmen, as we have already 
remarked, and which we shall have occasion to de- 
scribe more fully anon. One of the warriors has the 
collar of his hauberk drawn up over his chin and 
fastened to the nasal. By illuminations of the next 
century, we find this a common practice, till it was 
superseded by the introduction of the vizor. On the 
breast of several knights is a square pectoral 14 , either 
quilted or covered with rings, as an additional defence, 
and some wear chaussds of similar materials. The 
pectorals and the sleeves and skirts of the hauberks 

l ® Johannes de Janua says the word is derived from the Latin 

13 Vide Meyrick’s letter on the body armour anciently worn in 
F.ngland. Archseologia, vol. xix. 

u The “ breast-beden” of the Saxons. 



have yellow borders ; whether of metal for defence, 
or of gilt leather, or lace for ornament, we have no 
authority for deciding. 

The shields of the Normans are nearly of the 
shape of a boy’s kite, and are supposed to have been 
assumed by them in imitation of the Sicilians, as, fitly 
years before the Conquest of England, Melo, the 
chief of Sari, furnished them with arms, and, twelve 
years afterwards, they conquered Apulia 15 . On com- 
paring also the shields in the Bayeux tapestry with 
those^of the Sicilian bronzes, there can remain very 
little doubt of the fact. 

Sicilian bronzes in the MeyrtcV collection, and Norman shields from tbs 
* Bayeux tapestry 

These shields, besides the holders, as the. straps 
14 Meyricki Critical Inquiry, vol. i. 

were called through which the arm passed, had a long 
strip of leather which went round the neck and 
formed an additional support for it, while it enabled 
them to use both hands with greater facility. (Vide 
the last in the preceding engraving, v\hich presents the 
inner side, with the strap twisted.) This extra strap 
was called the guige, and the Norman poet remarks 
the advantage it gave his countrymen over the Saxons, 
who, he says, did not know how to joust (tilt), nor 
to carry arms on horseback. “ When they wished to 
strike with their battle-axe, they were forced to hold 
it with both hands. To strike strong, and at the same 
time to cover themselves, was what they could not 
do for the Anglo- Saxon shield was, as we have be- 
fore mentioned, held at arm’s length by the clenched 
hand (a distinction particularly attended to in the 
tapestry). The wielders, therefore, of double-handed 
weapons either could not carry such a protection or 
must drop it for the blow. 

Some of the Norman shields bear the rude effigies 
of a dragon, griffin, serpent, or lion ; others, crosses, 
rings, and various fantastic devices, but no regular 
heraldic bearings. A griffin is observable on one of 
the Sicilian shields, but, as might be expected, in 
better drawing. 

In the Bayeux tapestry, William and his principal 
knights are seen with lances, ornamented with small 
flags or streamers, which were termed in the language 
of that day Gonfanons or Gonfalons. Upwards of 
seven hundred years have elapsed since the Con- 
quest, the lance has again become an English military 
weapon, and the streamer is still attached to it. 

In the Norman army we perceive archers, both 
mounted and on foot ; that nation excelling in the use 
of the bow, which had been much neglected, if not 
totally discontinued, in England during the Saxon 
era. Henry of Huntingdon makes William speak of 



the Saxons as a nation not even having 1 arrows. A 
random shaft, it is well known, struck Harold in the 
eye at the battle of Hastings ; and to the arrow s oi 
the Normans, generally, the issue of the contest is 
attributed by our early historians. 

Clubs are seen in the hands of William and his 
half-brother Odo, Bishop of Bayeux. 

The ‘ Roman de Rou’ says of the latter, 

« Sur un cheval tout blanc seoit 
Toute la gent le eongnoissoit ; 

Un baston tenoit en son poing’®.” 

The which “baston,” we learn from the Bayeux 
tapestry, was not the leading-staff afterwards intro- 
duced, but a good stout cudgel, with which he “ en- 
couraged the youths’ 7 .” 

Balistarii, or slingers, were in both armies, and 
slightly accoutred. The battle-axes and bills of the 
Saxon infantry are recorded as making terrible havoc 
amongst the Normans’ 8 . The Norman spur is the 
same as that of the Saxons. 


were attired similarly to the Anglo-Saxon. They 
wore the long tunic, and over it a garment answering 
to the Saxon gunna or gown, but which ot course 
the Normans called “ robe 19 ;” and the veil or head- 
cloth, which in like manner they rendered covvre- 
chef’ whence our word kerchief. The princi- 
pal novelty is in the gown or robe, which was laced 
close to fit the figure, as we shall shortly discover, 

16 M 6 moires de L’Acaoamie des Inscriptions, tom. xii. p.466. 

17 “ Hie Odo Eps. baculum lenens confortat.” 

18 Wace speaks of gisarmes, bul he evidently uses a Norman 
name for the Saxon weapon. For a description of the gisarme see 

paee 88. « 

ie It was sometimes shor-t like the Saxon gunna; at others, 

equally long with the under tunic. 


6 } 

Anglo-Norman Ladies, from Illnm. MS. Cotton, Nero, C. 4. 

and has sleeves tight to the wrist, and then sud- 
denly widening and falling to some depth. The 
’borders °f the dresses are of gold and very broad. 
1 he hair, when seen, is long, and sometimes platted 
m two or more divisions, after the Gothic fashion. 

The two figures engraved above, are copied from 
some illuminations illustrative of scripture history, 
which we consider to have been executed in France 
about this period, as they exhibit all those peculiarities 
of costume which distinguished the commencement oi 
the Norman era, and provoked the wrath and satire 
°. ; tl *e co temporary chroniclers. The female to the 
riffht is from a miniature representing the presentation 
*>f the infant Jesus in the temple, and bears the sacri- 
bee of “ a pair of turtle doves, or two young pigeons 80 .” 

20 St. Luke, chap. ii. ver. 24. 



ller hands are covered with the curious mufflers, 
alluded to in page 3fi ; they are in form exactly ,ike 
the single one on the left hand of the Anglo-Saxon 
females, but have long streamers attached to them, 
and over the right-hand one is a thin gauze or fine 
linen cloth, in which the doves are carried, the end 
appearing to pass under the sleeve of the left arm. 
The painter’s skill has perhapB not seconded hts 
intention in this respect, but, as it has nothing to do 
with the costume, we will not waste our tim? in spe- 
culations upon it. The mufflers themseh es are very 
singular, and too distinctly drawn to admit of a doubt 
lespecting their form or object. 

a Bishop of the close of the 11th century. Cotton MS. Kero. C * 




The figure of a bishop of this period, represents him 
in a bonnet, slightly sinking in the centre, with the 
pendent ornaments of the mitre (vittae or infulm) 
attached to the side of it. The chasuble retains its 
original shape; the dalmatica appears to be arched at 
the sides ; the pastoral staff’ is exceedingly plain, and 
reminds us strongly of the Roman liluns, which is 
said by some writers to have been its prototype. 



Chapter VI. 

A.D. 1037—1154. 

Royal habits of the commencement of the 12th century, from Cotton MS 
Nero, C.4. 

The Normans and the Flemings who accompanied 
the Conqueror into England, and those who followed 
him in great numbers after his establishment upon 
the throne, are said by our early historians to have 
been remarkable for their ostentation and love ol 
finery. Personal decoration was their chief study. 


and new fashions were continually introduced by 

Habits of the commencement of the 12th centory, from Cotton MS. Nero 
C. 34; and a psalter in the collection of the late -Mr. Donee. 


continued to be a short tunic with sleeves. The bet- 
ter sort wore chausses and shoes, or short boots, and 
in bad weather, or when travelling, covered the head 
and shoulders with a cloak or mantle, having a cowl 
attached to it, and called by the Normans the capa. 
The Phrygian-shaped cap is still worn, and a hat 
appears in one illumination of this date resembling 
the Roman pelasus, or a modern English carter’s. 


were ofcourse more influenced by fashion, and the reign 
of Rufus is stigmatized by the writers of the period 
for many shameful abuses and innovations. The 

1 Strutt’s Dress am) Habits. 



king himself set the example, and clergy and laity 
became alike infected with the love of extravagant 
and costly clothing. The short tunic was lengthened 
and worn fuller, and the sleeves particularly so. The 
lone tunic, worn on state occasions, and the interula, 
or linen vestment worn beneath it, positively trailed 
upon the ground. The sleeves were also of length 
and breadth sufficient to cover the whole hand 8 , tint 
that gloves were now worn, at least by the higher 
classes, we find from the account of the Bishop of 
Durham’s escape from the Tower during the reign of 
Henry I., as, having “ forgotten his gloves,” he 
rubbed the skin off his hands to the bone in sliding 
down the rope from his window \ The mantles 
were made of the finest cloth, and lined with rich 
furs 4 ; one presented to Henry I. by Robert Bloet, 
Bishop of Lincoln, was lined with black sables 
with white spots, and cost ilOO 5 . With the shorter 
tunic a shorter cloak was worn, lined with the most 
precious furs, and called the rheno 6 . Peaked-toed 
boots and shoes, of an absurd shape, excited the 
wrath and contempt of the monkish historians. Orde- 
ricus Vitalis says they were invented by some one 
deformed in the foot. The peaked-toed boots, calle 
ocrece rostralcE , were strictly forbidden to the clergy. 
The shoes called pigacice had their points made like a 
scorpion’s tail, and a courtier named Robert stuffed 
his out with tow, and caused them to curl round in 
form of a ram’s horn, a fashion which took mightily 
amongst the nobles, and obtained for its originator the 
cognomen of Cornadu 7 . 

1 Order'icus Vitalis. Vide also engraving at head of chapter. 

> Ordericus Vitalis, p. 780, 787. 4 Ordencus Vitale 

8 Malmsbury, lib. v. p. 98; Henry Huntingdon, p. lil. 

" Ordericus Vitalis. 

1 These peaked toes are alluded to by Anna Comnena who men- 
lions them as encumbering the dismounted cavalry of the * ranks. 
Alexias, lib. v. p. 140. The Greek term has been ignorantly Iran.- 



We have noticed the extraordinary custom of shav- 
ing the- back of the head as well as the face, in use 
amongst the Norman-French. On their establish- 
ment in England this unbecoming custom appears 
soon to have been abandoned, and with the usual 
caprice of fashion the Anglo-Normans seem to have 
run into the opposite extreme ; for William of Malms- 
bury, the same writer whose lamentations over the 
cropping system we lately quoted, is compelled, 
during the reign of Rufus, to reprobate the long- 
hair, the loose flowing garments, the extravagant 
pointed shoes, and the unweaponed effeminate ap- 
pearance of the youths of that day 8 . 

In 1104, when Henry I. was in Normandy, a pre- 
late named Serlo, preached so eloquently against the 
fashion of wearing long hair, that the monarch and 
his courtiers were moved to tears ; and, taking advan 
tage of the impression he had produced, the enthu- 
siastic prelate whipped a pair of scissors out of his 
sleeves, and cropped the whole congregation ! 

This was followed up by a rojal edict prohibiting 
■the wearing of long hair, but in the next reign, that 
of Stephen, the old fashion was revived, when in 
1139 it received a sudden check from an exceedingly 
trifling circumstance. A young soldier, whose chief 
pride lay in the beauty of his locks, which hung 
down almost to his knees, dreamed one night that a 
person came to him and strangled him with his own 
luxuriant ringlets. This dream had such an effect 
upon him that he forthwith trimmed them to a rational 
length. His companions followed his example, and 
superstition spreading the alarm, cropping became 
again the order of the day. But this reformation, 

aUd ‘‘ spurs.’’ Gibbon’s Decl ine and Fall of the Roman Empire, 
c. 36, nole. 

* A decree was passed against long hair by the Council of 
Rouen in 1095, but without effect. 



adds the historian, was of very short duratfcn; 
scarcely had a year elapsed before the people returned 
to their former follies, and such especially as would 
be thought courtiers permitted their hair to grow to 
such a shameful length, that they resembled women 
rather than men ; those whom nature had denied 
abundance of hair supplying the deficiency by artifi- 
cial means. Wigs therefore may date in England 
from the time of Stephen ; and should signs to shops 
become again the fashion, our perruquiers are bound 
in gratitude to distinguish theirs by three Sagittarii, 
the device assumed by that monarch, according to 
tradition, in consequence of his having ascended the 
throne while the sun was in Sagittarius. 

The fashion of wearing long beards re-appeared 
during the reign of Henry I. and was equally repro- 
bated by the clergy. Both Serlo in his sermon, and 
Ordericus Vitalis in his Ecclesiastical History, com- 
pare the men of their day to “ filthy goats.” 


of the time of the Conquest continued with little vari- 
ation to the close of the twelfth century. 

William Rufus (1087 — 1100) is represented on 
his great seal in a scaly suit of steel or leather armour, 
with, in lieu of the nasal helmet, a new head-piece, 
''ailed by the Normans a chapelle-de-fer, an iron cap 
of a very Tartar-like shape, which will be better un- 
derstood by referring to the engraving. He carries 
a gonfanon and a kite-shaped shield. 

Henry I. (1100 — 1135) on his great seal wears a 
hauberk of flat rings ; and the seal of Milo Fitzwalter, 
Constable of England and Governor of Gloucester, 
during his reign exhibits the baron in a suit of mascled 
or quilted armour of the same shape as those in the 
Bayeux tapestry, with a gonfanon, a kite-shaped 
shield, and a chapelle de-fer. (Vide engraving.) 

William Rufus. Richard. Constable of Chester. 




St. Michael. 



Stephen (1135 — 1154) on his great seal appears 
in a hauberk of rings set edgewise, an improvement 
upon the flat-ringed armour in point of security, 
though a very great addition of weight to the 
wearer And the seal of Richard, Constable of Ches- 
ter of the same period, presents us with a warrior 
wearing a suit of what has been denominated by Sir 
S. Meyrick tegvlated, armour, it being composed of 
small square plates of steel, lapping over each other 
like tiles, instead of being cut into scales or mascles ; 
and the same sort of armour is more distinctly visible 
upon a figure of St. Michael, found in Monmouth- 
shire, and now in the Ashmolean Museum at Oxford. 
From beneath the hauberk his tunic streams down to 
his heels, a Frankish fashion, and of oriental origin. 
On the Trajan column some of the Roman auxiliaries 
are seen attired in flow ing tunics, over which is worn 
a cuirass or loric-a ; and in a MS. copy of Aurelius 
Prudentius in the Bibliotheque du Roi, Paris, marked 
283, illuminated by the Franks, warriors are so 
represented. The MS of the time of Rufus, from 
whence our engravings at the commencement of this 
chapter are copied, affords another instance of the long 
tunic under the hauberk. The nasal helmet, gonfe- 
non, and kite-shaped shield appear also on this seal ; 
and the long-pointed toes to the chausses, in accord- 
ance with the fashion above mentioned, are curiously 
illustrative of the period. 

Thus have we evidence of the existence of five 
or six varieties of body armour during the first half 
of the twelfth century, independently of those men- 
tioned in Sir S. Meyrick’s letter, to which we alluded in 
our last chapter, and also in the same writer's 4 Critical 
Inquiry,’ under the terms of trelliced or broigned, 
rustred, and banded. 1 1 is sufficient, however, for our 
present purpose to state that the ingenuity, both of 
armourers and warriors, w as naturally in continual ex- 



ertion, to invent such defences for the body as would 
be proof against all the various weapons, invented 
with equal rapidity, for the purposes of destruc- 
tion ; and that consequently alterations and im- 
provements were taking place every day of great 
importance to the actual wearer, but too minute for 
delineation then, or for distinction now, when time 
has half obliterated the details of objects at first but 
imperfectly represented by the rude artists of this 
dark but interesting period. 

Referring then the more curious inquirer to the 
elaborate treatise above mentioned, we will confine 
ourselves to observing that the hauberk, covered with 
flat rings, or with rings set upon their edges, and closely 
stitched together, which is denominated single mail, is 
the most obvious armour discernible from the close of 
the tenth century to the reign of Edward 1., and that 
scales and mascles are the principal varieties 9 . The 
collar of the hauberk was about this period (i. e. the 
reigns of Rufus and Henry I.) drawn up over the 
chin and mouth, and fastened to the nasal, so that the 
eyes were alone visible. We have noticed this in the 
Bayeux tapestry, and it occurs in the illuminations 
prefixed to Canute’s copy of the Gospels, which, from 
the long toes to the shoes of the monarchs, are cer- 
tainly as late as the reign of Rufus. When Magnus 
Barefoot, King- of Norway (1093 — 1103), led his 
forces to Britain, he was opposed near the Isle of 
Anglesea by two earls, Hugh the Proud and Hugh 
the Fat. The kins shot an arrow against the former, 
and at the same moment another arrow was launched 
in the same direction by one of his followers. The 
earl was so enveloped in mail ( aUbrynjathur ) that 
rio part was exposed but his eyes, and both the arrows 

9 Anna Comnena mentions the French knights, at the clo<e 
of the eleventh century, wearing both ringed and scaled armour, 
o. 397. 




striking at once on the earl’s face, one of them broke 
his nasal ( ncf-biorg kialmsint), whilst the other per- 
forated the eye and brain, so that he dropped down 
dead 10 

This custom of hooking up the collar to the nasal, 
was followed by the introduction of steel cheek-pieces, 
either pendent 'to the sides of the helmet, in addition 
to the neck-piece behind, like the Persian and Indian 
helmets both ancient and modern, or worn beneath 
like a half mask, with apertures for the eyes. Of 
this latter description are the cheek-pieces of W illiam. 
Count of Flanders, the grandson of the Conqueror, 
who died in 1128, and who wears over them a round- 
topped helmet without a nasal (the stal hufu, 01 
steel cap of the Danes and Norwegians, who called 
the helmet with pendent flaps hangandi stdl hujur , 
and the cheek-pieces themselves fcind-sk i<£ 2 m, or 
kinn-biorg). The Normans called all these defences 
for the face by the simple but natural term ventaille , 
or aventaille (i. e. avaut-taiUc ); and the word being 
afterwards applied to the visor, has occasioned many 
writers to confound things of which the use was the 
same, but the shape and material totally different. 

The second seal of Henry I. represents him without 
a helmet, the cowl of mail being drawn over a steel 
cap called a coif-de-fer in contradistinction to the 
chap die- de-fer worn over the mail. 

The spur remains a single goad, and the shield of 
the kite-form ; but from being slightly curved it has 
become, in Stephen s time, almost semi-cylindrical- 
It is still undistinguished by heraldic bearinp 
Stephen is said to have adopted the sign Sagittarius 
for his device, as we have already stated, but his 
shield is perfectly plain, and his gonfanon bears a 
simple cross; on his seal is a star or sun, and on 
that of Henry I. a flower. 

,0 Saga, Mag. Burf. c. It. 



Finale costume of the reiirns of Rufus an \ Henry I 
Fie. a, from Cotton MS. Nero, C. iv. ; h % ^rom a ps\’ter of the 12th cen- 
tury. in the collection of the late Mr. Donee; c, asieeve; d , the border 
of a tunic, from the same psalter. 


from 1087 to 1154, presents us with but one strik- 
ing novelty, and that by no means an improvement. 
The rage for lengthening every portion of the dress 
was not confined to the male sex. The sleeves of the 
tunics, and the veils or kerchiefs of the ladies, appear 
to have been so long in the reigns of Rufus and 
Henry I. as to be tied up in knots to avoid treading 
on them, and the trains or skirts of the garments lie 
in immense rolls at the feet. In a MS. of the close of 
the eleventh century, the satirical illuminator has intro- 



duced the father of all evil in female apparel, with the 
skirts, as well as the sleeves of the tunic, so knotted. 
The garment is also laced up the front, a fashion 
which we hear much of in the twelfth and thirteenth 
centuries. In other illuminations of nearly the same 
date, the cuffs of the sleeves hang from the wrist like 
pendent canoes (vide figs, b and c), and are doubly 
curious from having furnished the shape of the old 
heraldic maunch, or sleeve, first borne by the family 
of De Hastings. William de Hastings, the founder of 
the family, was steward of the household to Henry I., 
in whose reign the illuminations in which we dis- 
cover this singularly-shaped sleeve, were, it is most 

Arms of the family of De Hastings, from the tomb of William de Va ence 
Earl of Pembroke, Westminster Abbey. 

Over the long robe or tunic is occasionally seen a 
shorter garment of the same fashion, which answers 
to the description of the si/pcr-tunica, or sur-eote, first 
mentioned by the Norman writers. In the illumina- 
tions we have last mentioned it is chequered and 
spotted, most likely to represent embroidery, and 
terminates a little below the knee with an indented 
border, the commencement of a fashion against 
which the first statute was promulgated by Henry II. 
at the close of this century, but which defied and sur- 
vived that and all similar enactments. We men- 
tioned, in the last chapter, the plaited hair of the 
Norman ladies ; in some instauces the plaits appear 



to have been encased in silk, or bound round with 
riband (vide fig - , a) : indeed the dress of both sexes 
is now distinguished by oriental character. The cos- 
tume of England, to the close of the tenth century, 
had more of the antique Roman than the Dane” 
in it. But the Normans had adopted the Saracenic 
and Byzantine fashions they found diffused through 
the south of Europe; and an English female of the 
twelfth centusy could scarcely have been distin- 
guished, by her attire, from a lady of the Lower 
Empire, oi indeed from a modern “ maid of 



Chapter V1L 

A.D. 1154—1216. 

We have now arrived at a period when a new and 
most valuable source of information is opened for 
our assistance. The monumental effigies of the 
illustrious dead, sculptured in their habits as thev 
lived, and in a style of art remarkable for so dark 
an age, many elaborately coloured and gilt, and all 
of the full size of the figure, take precedence of every 
other authority, until the paintings of Holbein and 
Vandyke appear to place the breathing originals be- 
fore us. 

The earliest monumental effigy of an English 
sovereign is that of Henry II. in the Abbey of 
Fontevraud, Normandy. A modern French writer, 
who states as his authorities MSS. preserved iu the 
ecclesiastical archives, says, “ the body of the un- 
fortunate monarch, vested in his royal habits, the 
crown of gold on his head and the" sceptre in his 
hand, was placed on a bier richly ornamented, and 
borne in great state to the celebrated Abbey of Fon- 
tevraud, which he had chosen as the place of his 
interment, and there set in the nave of the great 
church, where he was buried.” This account tallies 
with that of Matthew Paris, who says, “ he was ar- 
rayed in the royal investments, having a golden 
crown on the head and gloves on the hands, boots 
wrought with gold on the feet, and spurs, a great 
ring on the finger, and a sceptre in the hand, and 
girt with a sword ; he lay with his face uncoveied.” 

if’"** 1 '* of Henry II, and his qneen Klee nor, Richard I. and his qntea Borcntpria, in the Abney of Fontevrnud, 
Normandy ; and of King: John, from hit* monument in Worcester Cathedra). 





“ When we examine the effigy,” observes the lamented 
Mr. Stothard, in his admirable work, ‘ (he Monu- 
mental Effigies of Great Britain,' “ we cannot fail 
of remarking, that it is already described by these 
two accounts ; the only variation being in the 
sword, which is not girt, but lies on the bier, on 
tha left side, with the belt twisted round it. It 
therefore appears the tomb was literally a repre- 
sentation of the deceased king, as if he still lay in 
state. Nor can we, without supposing such was the 
custom, otherwise account for the singular coinci- 
dence between the effigy of King John on the lid of 
his coffin and his body within it, when discovered a 
few years since V* We have quoted the precise 
words of this admirable and regretted artist, to 
whom the highest character for accuracy and re- 
search is universally accorded, in support of the 
opinion entertained by our best antiquaries in favour 
of the reliance to be placed upon monumental effi- 
gies, as correct portraits of the costume, and in many 
cases of the person of him whose tomb they sur- 
mount, because we are anxious not only to impress 
the reader with the truth of this belief, but at the 
same time to point out how deeply indebted are the 
artists and antiquaries of Europe to the perseverance, 
intelligence, and talent of the late Charles Alfred 
Stothard, untimely snatched from a profession of 
which he was an ornament, and in the midst of 
labours which have yet to be fully appreciated. 

To return to the effigy of Henry II. The right 
hand, on which was the great ring, is broken, but 
contains a portion of the sceptre, which, to judge 
from certain marks on the breast of the figure, must 
have been remarkably short. The beard is painted 
and pencilled like a miniature, to represent its being 
closely shaven (the old Norman custom at this time 
1 Monumental Effigies. 



returned to). The mantle is fastened by a fibula on 
the right shoulder; its colour was originally (fori* 
has been painted several times, as Mr. Stothard dis- 
covered by scraping it) of a deep reddish chocolate. 
The dalnirtica or long tunic is crimson, starred or 
flowered with gold. The boots are green, with gold 
spurs fastened by red leathers. The gloves have 
jewe s on the centre of the back of the hand, a mark 
ot royalty or high ecclesiastical rank. The crown 
has been many years broken, and an injudicious at- 
tempt has been made to restore it with plaster of 
Paris. It is represented in our engraving without 
these modern additions, and above it is placed the 
crown as given by Montfaucon in his copy of the 
same effigy, which, though very inaccurately drawn 
and carelessly engraved, shows that it was sur- 
rounded with leaves, like that of Richard I. on his 
effigy in the same abbey. This latter effigy and that 
of King John at Worcester present the same general 
features, with very slight variation. Richard and 
John are both attired, like their father, in the dal- 
matica and mantle, with boots, spurs, and jewelled 
gloves. The dalmatica of John is shorter than those 
of Henry or Richard, and discovers more of the 
under tunic; it also appears to have been made 
fuller. Richard’s mantle is fastened on the breast • 
John’s depends from the shoulders, without any 
visible fastening, and discloses the jewelled collar of 
the dalmatica Both are represented with beards 
and moustaches, which came again into fashion to- 
wards the close of Richard’s reign. In the early 
part of it a seditious Londoner was called William 
with the Beard, from his obstinately wearing it in 
defiance of the old Norman cusiom, revived, as we 
have already stated, by Henry II. 

From these effigies, and from the illuminated MSS* 
of the period, we learn, therefore, that 




of Henry II., Richard I., and John were composed 
of two tunics (the upper, with loose sleeves, called a 
dalmatica), of nearly equal lengths, and girded round 
the waist by a rich belt, over which was worn the 
mantle, splendidly embroidered ; the crown, the 
sword, the jewelled gloves, boots, and spurs without 
rowels. The same dress was worn also on state 
occasions; and the 


during the latter half of the twelfth century, approached 
as nearly as possible, in form and magnificence, the 
habit of their kings. Henry I I. is said to have in- 
troduced a mantle, called the cloak of Anjou, which, 
being shorter than those worn in the previous reigns, 
obtained for him the cognomen of Court Mcinteau. 
Of the splendour and character of the decorations of 
the mantles of this period we may judge from the 
description of one belonging to Richard I., which is 
said to have been nearly covered with half moons and 
shining orbs of solid silver, in imitation of the system 
of the heavenly bodies. During the reign of Henry II. 
the fashion of indenting the borders of the tunics 
and mantles seems to have been introduced, as in the 
last year but one of that monarch’s reign a statute 
was passed prohibiting certain classes the wearing of 
cut or jagged garments 2 . Stockings and chausses 
were worn as usual, and the Saxon word hose 
occurs in a wardrobe roll of King John’s time, 
as well as the Latin caligee. Sandals of purple 
cloth and solulares or subtalares (the shoes or soles 
worn with them), fretted with gold, are enume- 
rated as parts of the dress belonging to the same 
monarch. 13y sandals are certainly meant the leg* 
2 Gerv&se of Dover and John of Brompton, sub anno 1188. 



bandages, no longer worn in rolls, but regularly 
crossing each other the whole way up the leg from 
the very point of the toes, and frequently all of gold 
stuff or gilt leather. Gloves, some short, some reach- 
ing neariy to the elbows, embroidered at the tops, and 
jewelled on the backs, if appertaining to princes or 
prelates, become frequent. The covering for the 
head was still the Phrygian-shaped cap, or the ca- 
puchon of the cloak ; but the hair, in the reign of 
John, was curled with crisping irons, and bound witu 
fillets or ribands ; and the beaux of the period con 
tinually went abroad without caps, that its beauty 
might be seen and admired. Beards and mous- 
taches were worn or not, as the fancy directed, all 
legislation concerning them being disregarded or 


during the reign of Henry II. underwent no dis- 
tinguishable change ; but those of the reign of 
Richard I. and John present us with some striking 
novelties. The shield uni lazoned with heraldic 



bearings, the long tunic worn under and the sur- 
cote or surcoat worn over the coat of mail, usual y 
made of silk of one uniform colour, but sometimes 
variegated, sometimes richly embroidered, ami some- 
times” altogether of cloth of gold or silver. Both the 
seals of Richard I. represent him with the long tunic 
under the hauberk, and his brother John is repre- 
sented in a surcoat. It has been conjectured that 
the custom originated with the crusaders, both tor the 
purpose of distinguishing the many different leaders 
servin'*- under the cross, and to veil the iron armour 
so apt” to heat excessively when exposed to the direct 
rays of the sun. The date of its first appearance n. 

Seals of Richard I. 

Fie. a, his first seal; 6, his second seal; c, part of the same, imperfect. 

6 See note 3. 

Europe, and the circumstance of the knights of St. 
John and of the Temple being so attired in their monu- 
mental effigies, are certainly arguments m favour of 
the supposition. The helmet, towards the close of 
the twelfth century, had assumed almost the shape 
of a sugar-loaf, hut suddenly, during the reign of 


Richard I., it lost its lofty cone, and subsided into a 
flat-topped steel cap, with a hoop of iron passing 
under the chin, the face being protected by a move- 
able grating affixed to a hinge on one side, and fas- 
tened by a pin on the other, so tl lift it opened like a 
wicket, and might be taken off or put on as occasion 
required. This was called the veil tail or aveutuille , 
as the earlier defences for the face had been before it. 
Richard wears a most complete one on his second seal, 
and his helmet is surmounted by a very curious fan- 
like crest, on which appears the figure of a lion. The 
imitations of the impressions preserved in England 
have occasioned strange speculations upon this orna- 
ment ; but the copy of a perfect one, lately discovered 
'n France, is herewith presented to our readers 3 . 
Besides the surcoat, two other military garments are 
common to this period : the wambeys or gambeson, 
and the haqueton or acketon. They were wadded 
and quilted tunics, the first, according to SirS. Mey- 
rick, of leather stuffed with wool, and the second of 
buckskin filled with cotton. Both these were worn 
as defences by those who could not afford hauberks, 
but they were also worn under the hauberk by per- 
sons of distinction, and sometimes by them in lieu 

of it, as fancy or convenience might dictate. In the 

latter case these garments were stitched with silk or 

3 Monsieur Achille Deville, who discovered this impression at- 
tached to a charter dated 18th May, 1198, in the archives of the 
department of the Seine Interieure, amongst other records of the 
Abbey of St. George de Bocherville, observes : — “ Ce casque est 
couronne par un large cimier, sur lequel on remarque la figure du 
lion. Sandford veut voir des brins de genet dans la Crete du 
cimier, qui serait place li sans doute, selon lui, comme un souvenir 
de famille. Quant i moi, j’y verrais tout au plus des brins de 
baleine, si ce n’est mgme des piquants de fer attendu le roideur 
et 1" arrangement symetrique de ce singulier ornement.” Vide his 
Account published at Caen, 1830. The upper part of the imper- 
feet seal, so often copied in England, is given in our engraving 
be' ind the perfect one. 



Effigies of Geoffrey do Magmiville, Earl of E<sex. jn the Temple Chorefc, 
London ; and of William Longespee, Earl of Salisbury, in SalUt-cry 

gold- thread, and rendered extremely ornamental 
The word gamboise or gamboised, from this circum- 
stance. was afterwards applied to saddles and other 
padded, stitched, or quilted articles. We have alluded 
to the gambeson before, in our description of the 
Norman Knights, represented in the Bayeux tapestry. 
The northmen, both Danes and Norwegians, called 
it the panzar or panzara, improperly translated coat 
of mail. According to their sagas and poems, it was 
sometimes worn over the hauberk like the surcoat . 
in that case it was without sleeves. 

The plastron-de-fer , or steel plate, introduced 



during: this century to prevent the pressure of the 
hauberk upon the chest, was sometimes worn under 
the gambeson, sometimes between it and the hauberk. 
In a combat between Richard Cceur de Lion, then 
Earl of Poitou, and a knight named William de 
Barris, they charged each other so furiously fhat their 
lances pierced through their shields, hauberks, and 
gambesons, and were only prevented by their plas- 
trons from transfixing their bodies. In later times 
we shall find the plastron called the gorget, and some- 
times the harbergeon or haubergeon, a word frequently 
confounded with “ hauberk,” of which it is evidently 
the diminutive, and meaning literally the “ little 
throat-guard” when of plate, or the little coat or 
jacket of mail when composed of chain ; a specimen 
of the latter is to be found in the effigy of Helie, 
Comte de Maine, engraved in Montfaucon’s 4 Mo- 
narchic Fran^aise.’ 

The shields of the reign of Richard and John have 
gradually decreased in length, and becoming less 
arched at the top approach the triangular form, which 
was afterwards denominated heater-shaped. Instead 
of being flat, hpwever, they are semi-cylindrical, and 
are decorated, for the first time, with the regular 
heraldic bearings ; John’s early seal (before his 
accession) exhibiting two lions passant regardant, 
and Richard’s first seal a lion rampant, presumed, 
as only half the shield is visible on account of the 
curve, to be one of two lions combatant. On the 
second seals of both monarchs their shields are bla- 
zoned with three lions, as quartered ever since in the 
English arms. 

To the spear, sword, battle-axe, and bow, we nave 
now to add the arbaleste or cross-bow, introduced 
during the reign of Richard I., who was killed by a 
shaft from that formidable weapon. It continued in 
use till the final triumph of musketry. 



The gisarme is mentioned by Wace, who wrote in 
the reign of Henry II. This very ancient weapon, 
written by various authorities guarms, giitiarm*, 
gnissarme, guysarme, gysarme, juisarme, j unarm*, 
quisarme, has had as many derivations and descrip- 
tions allotted to it. as modes of spelling. By some 
it has been called a partizan , by others a bipennis, or 
double axe, a cutting weapon used in lieu of a sword, 
a sharp weapon ( arma acuta , or arm* aiguisee). 
Skinner derives the name from bisarma, and Barba- 
zan from acuere. In the old Provencal language it 
is also spelt ghizarma. (Vide ‘Glossaire de la 
Lano;ue Romain, par J. B. Roquefort,’ tom. i.) 
Now, the lance or javelin of the Gauls and F ranks 
was called the gcesum, and is thus described bv the 
scholiast Agathias, a lawyer and native of Myrina, 
who wrote in the sixth century’ : “ It is of moderate 
leno-th, and covered with iron, bent on each side in 
the°form of hooks, which they make use of to wound 
the enemy, or entangle his buckler in such a manner 
that, his body being exposed, they may run him 
through with their swords.” This description tallies 
better° than any other with the weapon in later times 
called the guisarme , which was a lance with a hook 
at the side ; and the corruption of gmum into gis- 
arme is easy and probable. 

The spur remains spear-shaped. 


of this half century presents the same general appear- 
ance as that of its predecessor. The robe has, how- 
ever, lost its extravagant cuffs, and the sleeves are 
made tight and terminate at the wrist. A rich girdle 
loosely encircles the waist; and Berengana, queen of 
Richard I., is represented with a small pouch called 


an aulmoniere, and in form like a modern reticule, 
depending from it on the left side. 

Green appears to have been the prevailing colour 
of this garment in the reign of John. We have the 
king’s warrant for making two robes for the queen, 
each of them to consist of five ells of cloth, and one 
of them to be of green and the other of brunet. Du 
Cange cites a cotemporary register to prove that a 
green robe, lined with cendal, was estimated at sixty 
shillings ; and Matthew Paris, and other ancient his- 
torians, speaking of the flight of Longchamp, Bishop 
of Ely, state that he disguised himself in a woman’s 
tunic of green, with a capa (the Norman mantle with 
a capuchon) of the same colour. 

State robes and mantles appear to have been 
splendidly embroidered. The effigy of Eleanor, 
queen of Henry II., exhibits a robe and mantle co- 
vered with golden crescents. We have just spoken of 
a similar one in the possession of her son, Richard I. 
Her crown, like that of her royal husband, has 
been broken. Montfaucon’s representation of it is 
therefore placed above the figure, but that of Queen 
Berengaria, which has escaped with less damage, 
would be perhaps the better guide for its restoration. 
Montfaucon’s copies are lamentably incorrect. 

Pelisses (pelices , pelissoiis ), richly furred (whence 
their name), were worn in winter under the mantle 
or capa. King John orders a grey pelisson, with 
nine bars of fur, to be made for the queen. It ap- 
pears to have been a dress fitting close to the body. 
A garment called bliaut or bliaus, which appears to 
have been only another name for the surcoat or super- 
tunic, as we find it worn also by knights over their 
armour, is also frequently mentioned as lined with 
fur for the winter *. The wimple is first mentioned 

* In this bliaus we mav discover the modern French b/ouse, 
* tunic ur smock-frock. 

i 3 



in the reign of John. It appears to have been some 
times but another name for the veil or kerchief, at 
others a separate article of attire worn under the veil, 
ns in the conventual costume to this day, which is in 
nil but colour the usual dress of the thirteenth century. 
The wimple, properly so called, wrapped round the 
head and the chin, arid was bound on the forehead 
by a golden or jewelled fillet amongst the wealthy, 
by a plain silken one amongst the humbler classes. 
Wimples and fillets of silk were forbidden to the nuns, 
who wore them then, as now, of white linen. 

Short boots were worn, as well as shoes, by the 
ladies. King John orders four pair of women’s boots, 
one of them to be fretatus de giris, embroidered 
with circles, and several instances occur of similarly 
embroidered boots at this period, but the robe was 
worn so long that little but the tips of the toes are 
to be seen in the effigies or illuminations, and the 
colour of as much as is visible in the latter is gene - 
rally black. 

Gloves seem not to have been generally worn by 
ladies of the twelfth century. 


continued exceedingly sumptuous. The princely 
splendour of Becket occasioned the French rustics to 
exclaim, during his progress to Paris, “ What a w on- 
derful personage the King of England must be, if his 
Chancellor can travel in such state !” and the ac- 
counts of his magnificence in that city are so extra- 
ordinary, that Lord Lyttleton, in his History of Henry 
II., declares them to be incredible. Ihe story or 
Henry’s struggle with Becket in the open street, w hen 
the monarch pulled the new scarlet capa, lined with 
rich furs, from the back of the priest, to give to the 
shivering beggar beside him, is told by every his 



torian ; but these are only notices of his secular gar- 
ments. In the sacred vestments of the clergy ol this 
period, the principal novelty is the approach of the 
mitre to the form with which we are familiar. 

Mitre* from the tomb of King John in Worcester Cathedral* 


Bill Hall COSTUME 

Chapter VIII. 

KEtGN OF HENRY III., A. D. 1216—1272. 

Effigy of H*nry III. in Westminster Abbey- 

Th e long reign of Henry III. embraces the greater por- 
tion of the thirteenth century, but its costume is more 
remarkable for increase of splendour than for altera- 
tion of form Matthew Paris, the monk of St.Alban’s, 
a faithful and cotemporary historian, and an eve- 
witness of much of the pageantry he describes, repre- 



sents himself disgusted rather than pleased by the 
excessive foppery of the times. The effigy of 


in his monument in the chapel of Edward the Con- 
fessor, at Westminster, represents him, as usual, in 
the royal robes ; but they are of the simplest de- 
scription, — a long and very full tunic and a mantle 
fastened by a fibula on the right shoulder, both devoid 
of ornament or border. The boots are, however, ex- 
ceedingly splendid, illustrating the expression freta- 
tus de auro , and each square of the fret containing a 
lion or leopard. When Henry conferred the honour 
of knighthood on William de Valence, a.d. 1247, he 
was arrayed in vestments of a newly-introduced and 
most magnificent material called cloth of Baldekins ', 
from its being manufactured at Baldeck, as Babylon 
was then called. According to Du Cange, it was 
a very rich silk woven with gold 2 : on his head he 
wore a coronet or small circle of gold called in the 
language of that day a chaplet or garland. In an in- 
ventory of the jewels belonging to Henry, made in the 
last year of his reign, mention is made of five garlands 
of gold of Paris work, a large and precious crown, 
three other crowns enriched with gems, and an im- 
perial cap splendidly jewelled, and valued at five hun- 
dred marks. An order is extant for the making of 
robes of various colours fringed with gold, and one 
is especially commanded to be made of the best pur- 
ple-coloured samite (a rich silk), embroidered with 
three little leopards in front and three behind. This 
latter is called a quinlis or cointise, a name given to 
a peculiarly-fashioned gown or tunic of that day, but 
of which we have no satisfactory description. That 

1 Matthew Pari“, Hist. Ang. sub anno 1247. 

* Du Cange, in voce “ Baldekins.” 



it was the cut or the garment that distinguished it wt 
have proof, however, in the lines of William de 
Lorris, who in his ‘ Ro nan de la Rose,’ written at 
the close of this century, describing the dress of Mirth, 
says he was vested 

“ D*une robe moult degubee 
Qui fut en maint lieu incissee, 

Et decoppee par cointixe." 

Rom. de la Rose, L 639 

which is thus translated by Cnaucer: 

“ Wrought was hi* robe iu straunge gisc. 

And all to slyttered for queintite, 

In many a place lowe and h-.e.” 

i. e. slyttered or slit all to pieces in a quaint or fanciful 
manner or for whim s sake ; quiiite in f rench sig- 
nifying fancy, whim, caprice; and quinteux, qu in- 
tense, fanciful, whimish, treakish. lhe scarl 
wardsworn round the crest of the helmet was called a 
cointise, and as its edges were frequently jagged, it is 
not improbable that the robes or tunics with jagged 
borders and sleeves, expressly forbidden to certain 
classes as early as 1188, and frequently met with 
hereafter, may have obtained, on their first appear- 
ance, the appellation ol coint ses. 


who attended at the marriage of the daughter o c 
Henry III. to Alexander, k mg of Scotland, a. d. 1251, 
are also stated by Matthew Paris to have been attired 
“ in vestments of silk, commonly called cointises" on 
the day the ceremony was performed, but on the fol- 
lowing day they were laid aside, and new robes 
assumed. ’ The materials for dress became more 
numerous and costly during this century. \ ehet is 
mentioned under the Latin name of r illosa, and the 



French villuse or velours 3 , and a rich stuff manu- 
factured in the Cyclades, and therefore called cyclas 
or ciclaton*, gave its name to a garment like a 
dalmatica or super-tunic worn by both sexes. It was 
known in Germany as early as the year 1096, when 
Judith, daughter of the King of Bohemia, wore a 
evclas embroidered or interwoven with gold; but 
we fiist hear of it in England at the coronation of 
Henry ill. and his queen, when the citizens who 
attended the ceremony wore cyclades worked with 
gold over vestments of silk. To the furs of sables, 
foxes, the we now find added those of ermines, mar- 
tens, and squirrels, the vair and the minevair or 
miniver. Two mantles lined with ermine are ordered 
by Henry- for his queen and himself, and Matthew 
Paris speaks of the doubled or lined garments for 
the winter belonging to the king and his courtiers. 


consists of the tunic, the cyclas or cointise, girded or 
not, according to the fancy, chaussds or stockings, and 
drawers, the latter are distinctly visible in this reign 
in consequence of the tunic being open in front, 
sometimes as high as the waist, for greater freedom 
in action. Mantles and cloaks are only seen in state or 
travelling dresses, and for the latter purpose we read 
of a garment called the super-totus or over-all, an 
improvement on the capa, being more ample, and 
having large sleeves as well as a capuchon. It is 
sometimes called balandrana, being latinized from the 
French balandran, a cloak for foul weather, and 
under that name was forbidden to the monks of the 
order of St. Benedict, in common with other garments 
appertaining to the laity. The shoes and boots have 

8 Mat Paris in Vita Abbatum, et Du Cange in voce. 

4 Monach. Pegaviensis, sub anno 109G. 



again become long-toed. They are either embroi- 
dered in chequers or frets or painted black* iccorto 
to the rank or situation of the wearer. The shoes 
Mirth, in the ‘ Roman de la Rose’ are de*nt«das 
“ decouppes a Iks," rendered by Chaucer, d^ped 
and with lace,” whereby we may either undersUud 
them cut or divided by iace into the frets aforesaid 
or that they were open and laced up the as we find 
them in the next century. Capuchons or cowls are 
worn with indented edges, round caps or bonnets and 
hats, not unlike the modern beaver ; but a white coi 
tied under the chin is most frequently seen upon the 
heads of persons hunting or on horseback heralds 
messengers, &c„ who may have adopted it as more 

secure in hard riding. , __ „.„h 

When mentioning the herald, it may 
to remark, that he is as yet undistinguished I by a 
tabard, wearing only a small shield of arms at 

o-irdle of his tunic. , r • • 

° The hair is worn in flow ii.g curls, but the tace is in 

general closely shaved. 

the military habit 

underwent several changes during this reign. Quilted 
and padded armour of silk, cloth, buckram, or lea- 
ther came still more into use, and from the peculiar 
work with which it was now ornamented obtained 
the name of pourpoint and counterpoint. A com- 
plete suit, consisting of a sleeved tunic and chausses, 
was frequently worn by the knights of this period be- 
neath the surcoat, which was considerably lengthened, 
and during this" reign first emblazoned with the arms 
of the wearer. Hie flat-ringed armour has nearly 
disappeared, and that composed of rings set up edge- 
ways seems to have been the most generally worn 
mail of the thirteenth century. But during Henry s 

henry hi. 


rei^n a new species was introduced from Asia, where 
it is still worn. This was the chain mail, and con- 
sisted of four rings connected by a fifth, all of which 
were so fastened with rivets that they formed a com- 
plete n-arment of themselves without the leathern 
foundation ; and this shirt of chain was worn loose 
over the gambeson or aketon, being itself covered 
by the surcoat. The capuchon and chausses were 
also made of interlaced rings, but the former is fre- 
quently separate from the tunic, and hangs over the 
surcoat ; and instances occur of an additional cap or 
coif of mail worn over the capuchon. Small plates 
i f iron or steel were worn upon the shoulders, elbows, 



and knees, called, according to their position, epau- 
lieres or poleyns, coutes or coudes, and genouillerts , 
and with these additional defences commenced the 
last grand change that “ cased in complete steel” the 
chivalry of Europe. 

The flat-topped cylindrical helmet of the reigns of 
Richard and John descended no lower than the eats, 
the face being covered by the aventaille ; but in this 
reign it covered the whole head and rested on the 
shoulders, and by degrees assumed a barrel form, 
bulging at the sides. These great helmets were only 
worn when in positive action, being too heavy and 
cumbrous for general use, and when forcibly turned 
round upon the shoulders by a vigorous stroke of a 
lance severely hurt the wearer. In the romance of 
‘ Lancelot du Lac,’ the helmet of a knight is said to 
have been so turned that the edges grazed his 
shoulders, and “ ses armes estoient toutes eusang- 
lentdes.” Apertures for sight and breathing were cut 
in them in the shape of a cross, to w hich was added 
sometimes a cluster of simple perforations. 

A convex plate of steel, so perforated, is seen worn 
as a simple mask by some warriors, being tied round 
the head over the capuchon of mail, with or without 
a helmet, and skull-caps or ehapelles-de-fer, with or 
without nasals, are common amongst esquires, archers, 
and men-at-arms. 

The archers in Matthew' Paris’s lives of the two 
Offas are represented in ringed hauberks, with sleeves 
to the elbow, over which are seen vests of leather, 
defended by four circular iron plates. 

The knight’s shield is flatter and straight at top, 
and generallv emblazoned. Round targets, fancifully 
ornamented, "occur, and the martel-de-fer (a pointed 
hammer or small pick-axe) was added to the otfensi\e 
weapons, making sad havoc with the various species 
of mail, breaking the links of chain and picking off 

HENRY 111. 


the scales aud plates, leaving fatal openings for the 
passage of the sword and the lance. 

The rowelled spur is first seen on the great seal of 
Henry III., but it is not common before the reigu of 
Edward I, 

Effigy of Aveline, Countess of Lancaster, in Westminster Abbey; and two 
female heads, from a MS. of the 13th century. 


Etill consisted of the robe or gown with long light 
sleeves, over which was sometimes worn a super-tunic, 
surcoat, or cyclas, and for state occasions a mantle, 
all composed of the most magnificent materials. The 
peplum or veil, and the wimple, was frequently of 
gold tissue or richly embroidered silk, and over the 



veil was occasionally placed a diadem, circlet, or gar- 
land, and sometimes a round hat or cap. Isabel, the 
sister of Henry III., is described by Matthew Paris 
as taking off her hat and her veil, in order that the 
people might see her face ; or it might be her gar- 
land or chaplet, as the golden circlet was called ; for 
the word he uses is capcllum, and the chaplet is 
continually called chapeau and chappel by the French 

“ Et s’amie Ini fit chappeau 
De roses gracieux el beaux.” 

Roman de la Rote. 

In another part of the same poem we find a chaplet 
of roses worn over the garland of gold. 

“ Ung chappel de roses tout frais 
Eut dessus le chappel d’Orfrays.” 

Cloth stockings embroidered with gold are amongst 
the articles of dress ordered by Henry III. for his 
sister Isabel. 

In the ‘ Squier of Low Degree,’ a romance written 
towards the end of the thirteenth century, the King of 
Hungary is made thus to address his daughter — 

“ To-morrow ye shall yn hunting fare, 

And yede iny daughter in a chare ; 

Yt shall be covered with velvet red, 

And clothes of fine gold all about yonr head; 

With damask white and azure blewe 
Well diappered with lillies new; 

Your mantle of ryche degree, 

Purple pall and ermyne free.” 

The word diaper is derived by some writers from 
“ D’lpres,” i. e. “ of Ypres," a town in Flanders, 
famous for its manufactory of rich stuffs and fine 
linen before the year 1200. Du Cange derives it 
from the Italian diaspro, the jasper, which it resem- 



bles in its shifting lights ; but the first is by far the 
most plausible conjecture ; and though we read of 
diapers of Antioch, it is only because Ypres having 
given its name to its peculiar manufacture, any 
similar cloth received the same appellation. Thus we 
see in the lines above quoted, that the “ damask white 
and azure blewe" is to be well “ diappered with lilies,” 
that is to say, covered all over with a pattern of lilies, 
in the style of the cloth made at Ypres. In the same 
manner, Damascus itself having obtained a reputa- 
tion for its manufactures of ornamental stuffs and 
steel, to damask a sword blade, became a familiar 
phrase, and damasks of Ypres might have been 
spoken of with as much propriety as diapers of Da- 
mascus or of Antioch. 

The fashion of wearing the hair was completely 
altered during this reign The plaited tails were 
unbound, and the hair turned up behind, and con- 
fined in a net or caui of gold thread ; but the veil 
and wimple frequently prevent its being seen on the 
monumental effigies of this period. 

The richly embroidered 

garments of the clergy 

at this period occasioned Innocent IY. to exclaim, 
“ O England, thou garden of delights, thou art truly 
an inexhaustible fountain of riches ! From thy 
abundance much may be exacted !” and he forthwith 
proceeded to exact as much as he could, by forward- 
ing bulls to several English prelates, enjoining them 
to send a certain quantity of such embroidered vest- 
ments to Rome for the use of the clergy there. 
Some of these sacerdotal habits were nearly covered 
with gold and precious stones, and others were ex- 
quisitely embroidered with figures of animals and 
flowers. The red hat is said to have been first given 

k 3 



to the cardinals by Pope Innocent at the Council of 
Lyons in 1245; and, according to De Curbio, they 
wore it for the first time in 1246, on occasion of an 
interview between the Pope and Louis IX. of F ranee. 
It was not fiat, as at present, but of the shape here 
represented from a MS. of the commencement of the 
fourteenth century, marked, ltoyal MS. 16, G. 6. 

During this reign the two orders of friars 5 , the 
Dominicans, or preaching friars, and the Franciscans, 
or friars minors, were established in this country. St. 
Dominic founded his order in the year 1215, and 
the first Englishman that is recorded to have become 
a Dominican was the ecclesiastical physician, Jo- 
hannes iEgidius, Forty-three houses of this order 
were in time raised in England, where from their 
black cloak and capuchon they were popularly termed 
Black Friars. The Franciscans planted themselves 
at Canterbury in 1220, and at Northampton soon 
after. Their grey vestments obtained for them the 
additional name of Grey Friars. 

4 From freres (brothers). “ A frere there war, a wanton and a 
merry.” Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales. 

1 U3 

Chapter IX. 

REIGNS OF EDWARD I. AND II., 1272 — 132/. 

Regal costume. 

Fie. a. Edward I., from a seal attached to a charter of the city of Hereford 
b, regal personae, from a MS. of this reign, in the library of H. 1. H. 
the Duke of Sussex. 

EDWARD I., 1272—1307. 

Edward I., that chivalric and temperate prince, rvho, 
despite a ferocity which was perhaps the vice of his 
age more ‘ban the bent of his natural disposition, 



must be ranked as one of the greatest monarchs that 
ever swayed the English sceptre, was as simple in his 
dress as he was magnificent in his liberalities. He 
never wore his crown after the day of his coronation, 
and preferred to the royal garments of purple the 
dress of a common citizen. Being asked one day 
why he did not wear richer apparel, he answered, 
with the consciousness of real worth, that it was 
absurd to suppose he could be more estimable in fine 
than in simple clothing. Under such a king it is 
natural to suppose that foppery could not flourish, 
and we therefore hear of no preposterous fashions 
amongst the knights and nobles of his court. The 
shafts of satire are directed in this reign against the 
ladies only. 

There is no monumental effigy of Edward ; but on 
opening his tomb in Westminster Abbey, a.d. 1774, 
his corpse was discovered arrayed in a dalmatica or 
tunic of red silk damask, and a mantle of crimson 
satin fastened on the shoulder with a gilt buckle or 
clasp four inches in length, and decorated with imita- 
tive gems and pearls. The sceptre was in his hand, 
and a stole was crossed over his breast of rich white 
tissue, studded with gilt quatrefoils in philagree-work, 
and embroidered with pearls in the shape of w hat 
are called true-lovers’ knots. The gloves, it is pre- 
sumed, had perished, for the ornaments belonging 
to the backs of them w’ere found lying on the hands. 
The body from the knees downwards w'as wrapped 
in a piece of cloth of gold, which was not removed. 
The regal ornaments were all of metal gilt, and 
the stones and pearls false ; a piece of economy 
unusual at this period. In a fine MS. of this time, 
in the library of his Royal Highness the Duke of 
Sussex, several figures in regal costume have a stole 
crossed on their breasts splendidly embroidered, and 
one of these we have selected for the engraving at 



the commencement of this chapter. The crowned 
head beside it is that of Edward I. from a seal. 

Crstmne of tie close of the 13th century, from the Painted Chamber at 
Westminster. — Vide p. 106-7. 


were becomingly magnificent. The long tunic and 
mantle, \aried sometimes by the cyclas, and the 
bliaus composed of rich stuffs 1 and lined with ermine 
and other costly furs, was the general costume of the 

1 The rich stuff called “cloth of tars” is mentioned in this reign. 
It was latinized larsicut and tarlurinus, and we read of daltna- 
tica* and tunics of slate-colour, and light blue cloth of tars em- 
broidered with branches and bezants of gold. Visitat. Thesjiu. 
8 l Paul, Lond. sub anno 1 195 - 



Civil costume of the reign of Edward I., from a MS. Royal. 16, G. 6. 

sourt. Caps of various shapes, and a hat like the 
classical petasus slung behind to be assumed at plea- 
sure, become frequent. (Vide fig. a, b, c, in the en- 
graving from the Painted Chamber.) Buttons closely 
set from the wrist to the elbow appear about this 
time (vide figure on horseback), and in a MS. poem, 
certainly not later than the year 1300, particular 
mention is made of this fashion : — 

“ His robe was all of gold beganne, 

Well chrislike maked 1 understande; 

Botoncs azurd (azure) everiike ane 
From his elbuth to his hande." 

MS. Cotton, Julius V. 

Gloves are more generally worn by noblemen and 
oificers of state. Some are splendidly embroidered 



up the sides (vide fig. d, from the Painted Chamber) 
or round the tops. The hose are richly fretted with 
gold and various coloured silks (fig. e, Ibid.). 

The hair and beard are crisped and curled with 
great precision. 

On the investment of the young Prince of Wales, 
afterwards Edward II., with the military belt ot 
knighthood, purple robes, fine linen garments, and 
mantles woven with gold were liberally distributed 
to his young knight companions, who crowded in 
their glittering dresses the gardens of the Temple, 
which were set apart for their reception, and received 
much injury in this novel service. 

fMwerd CrnnehbacV, Earl of 
Lancaster, Westminster Abbey. 

Brass, in fiorleston Church, Snffrtk, 



In the 

military habits 

we have first to notice the more general usage oi 
the emblazoned surcoat. The bha^and 

the cointise, ail worn over the shirt of mail as wel as 
over the more peaceful tunic, were richly embroi- 
dered either with fanciful devices or the an ” or * a 
bearings of the owner*. Towards the close of this 
rei^n those curious ornaments called ailetUx, or little 
wino-s, from their situation and appearance, are seen 
on the shoulders of knights either in battle or in the 
lists but they did not become general till the nex 
reign They were of various shapes ; sometimes 

emblazoned like the surcoat, shield, and banner, with 

the arms of the knight; sometimes plain or chafed 
with a simple St. George’s cross 3 . The barrel-shaped 
helmet is frequently surmounted by the heraldic cres , 
and this picturesque decoration becomes henceto - 
ward a principal feature of the chivalr.c equipment . 

* Roman de Garin and of Percival de Galois ; and Giuart, Hist 

Fr “vidffiT"re l a 3 t°i.e head of this section, from a brass for- 
merly in Gorleslon Church, Suffolk, engraved ,n alothard s 
Monumental Effigies. It is quite of the close of the reign o 

Ed Mn d a MS. of this period (L'Histoire de PAucien Monde), 
preserved in the library of his Royal Highness the Duke of 
Sussex and before quoted, some of these helmets appear to be 
decoraledwilh a feather in-tead of a crest (v de engraving from 

ST™* * ■» ^ -rJr. z ss 

remark able' as' ‘ an & i n sun ce of the feather being worn as a simple 
deToratton in the helmet earlier than the fifteenth century. It 
Srlainly was not a custom or fash.on m England previous to 
c ■ ij ,, nr v V or in the innumerable illuminations of 

Ihe Thfrteenth and^ fourteenth centuries frequent instances must 
have occurred. In the present care, as the history terminate. 
X he reign of Mithridales, and its embellishments represent 



Military costame, temp. Edward I., from a MS. in the library of H. R H 
the Dake of Sussex. 

The to,> of the helmet inclines to a cone in some 

the deeds of Polynices, Theseus, the Amazons, &c. &c., the 
introduction of the feather might have been an unusual stretch of 
fancy in the illuminator, suggested by the mention of the plumed 
helmets of the heroic ages. 



instances ; and the front, seen in profile, presents 
almost an angular appearance. Skull-caps, or chape s- 
de-fer both spherical and conical, the latter the 
prototype of the basciuet, and indeed already so 
called are worn over the mail-coif, and commonly 
with the nasal, which disappears alter this reign. 

From tho Pointed ClinmW nt Westminster. 

The mail gloves of the hauberk are now divided 
into separate fingers, and leathern gauntlets appear 
reachiug higher than the wrist, but not yet plated. 

The shield is now sometimes flat and nearh 'rian- 
gular or heater-shaped ; sometimes pear-shaped 
und semi-cylindrical. 



From the Painted Chamber at Westminster. 

The lance has lost its gonfanon ; and the pennon , 
which resembles it in its swallow-tailed form, but 
longer and broader, becomes a military ensign, and is 
generally charged with the crest, badge, or war-cry Oi 
the knight ; his arms being emblazoned on the ban- 
ner, which is in shape a parallelogram. Vide en- 
gravings, pages 109, 110. 

Edward I. had banners emblazoned with the 
arms of England, gules, three lions passant regar- 
dant ; of St George, argent, a cross gules ; of St. 
Edmund, azure, three crowns Or ; and of St. 
Edward the Confessor, azure, a cross fleury between 
six martlets Or. 

In the old French poem on the siege of Karlaveroc, 
by Edward I., a. d. 1300, the author, speaking of 
the array of English knights, says, 

‘ La ont meinte riche garnement 
Borde sur cendeaus et samis, 

Meint beau penon en lance mi*, 

Meint banieie deploye.” 

Cotton MS. Caligulu , A. 18. 



There have they many rich ornaments 

Broitiered on cendalsand * unites (silks and satins). 

Many a lair penon fixed on a lance, 

Many a banner displayed. 

And lie forthwith enumerates the knights and theii 
separate cote arinures with laudable minuteness. 

From the Painted Chamber at Westminster. 

The falchion, a peculiarly shaped broad-bladed 
sword ; the estoc, a small stabbing sword ; the anc- 
lace or anelas, a broad dagger tapering to a very fine 
point ; and the coutcl or cvlielas (whence cutlass ), 
a military knife, are added to the offensive weapons. 
The mace also first appears in illuminations, though 
it may have been introduced during the earlier cru- 
sades, as it is evidently of oriental origin. 


of this period has been severely satirized by cotem- 
porary writers, as we have already remarked, and we 
are inclined to think unjustly so ; for, in nearly al 
the illuminations of this reign it appears elegantly 
simple, particularly when compared with that of 
the reign of llufus, the tasteless and extravagant 



fashions of which certainly provoked and deserved 
both ridicule and reprobation. 

The authors of the famous ‘ Roman de la Rose,’ 
William de Lorris, who died in 1260, and John de 
Meun, his continuator, who finished the poem about 
the year 1304, are amongst the most bitter of these 
satirists, particularly the latter, who, it has been 
acknowledged, extended his sarcasms beyond the 
bounds of truth and decency. It is true that they w ere 
both Frenchmen, and that their philippic is directed 
against their own countrywomen ; but the same style 
of costume was generally prevalent at the same 
period throughout Europe, and England then, as 
now, adopted the most whimsical fashions of her 
continental neighbours. A double marriage in the 
year 1298 contributed also, not a little, to the intro- 
duction of French fashions; Edward I. marrying the 
sister, and his son, the Prince of Wales, the daughter 
of Philip IV. of France, surnamed Le Bel. The 
ladies of the reign of Edward I. appear in the robe 
or kirtle 8 , made high in the neck, with long tight 
sleeves, and a train, over which is generally seen 
another vestment, thesurcoat, super-tunic, or cyclas*, 
without sleeves, but as long in the skirt as the gown 
itself, and sometimes held up by one hand to keep it 
out of the way of the feet. To these two garments 
are added, as occasion may require, the mantle, fast- 

8 Vide p. 117, where the kirtle and mantle are alone mentioned. 

* The sosquenie, surquayne, or suckeney was an exterior gar- 
ment at this period. William de Lorris says it is the handsomest 
dress a woman can wear : — 

“ Nulle robe n’est si belle, 

A dame ne 4 damoiselle; 

Femme est plus cointe et plus mignotte, 

En surquayne que en cotte.” 

Chaucer translates “surquayne,” “ rockette but no dress like a 
rochet is seen upon female figures of this reign. SousqueniUu 
still French for a coachman or groom’s frock. 

L 3 


ened on the shoulders by cords and tassels. Indeed 
the effigy of Aveline, Countess of Lancaster, given 
in the last chapter, presents very nearly the costume 
of this reign ; it being quite of the close of that of 
Henry III. a. d. 1269. The effigy of Eleanor, 
queen of Edward I., is remarkable for its sim- 
plicity, and the absence of any kind of head-tire ; 
her hair streaming naturally upon her shoulders 
from under the regal diadem. But in illumina- 
tions of this period, the hair of married ladies and 
noble dames is generally gathered up behind into 
a caul of golden network, over which is worn the 
peplus or veil, and sometimes upon that a round 
low-crowned cap; while the younger females are 
depicted with flowing ringlets, bound by a simple 
garland, or fillets of gold or silk, or by the still more 
becoming chaplet of real flowers. The authors' of 
the ‘ Roman de la Rose mention all these articles of 
apparel, and thereby confirm the authenticity of the 
illuminations, while they fail in proving their charges 
of folly and extravagance, except perhaps in two 
points ; the first being the unnecessary length of 
the trains, in allusion to which the satirist advises 
the ladies, if their legs be not handsome, ror their 
feet small and delicate, to wear long robes trailing 
on the pavement to hide them ; those, on the con- 
trary, who have pretty feet are counselled to elevate 
their robes, as if for air and convenience, that all who 
are passing by may see and admire them. And ano- 
ther poet of the thirteenth century compares the ladies 
of his day to peacocks and magpies ; “ for the pies,’ 
says he, “ naturally bear feathers of various colours ; 
so the ladies delight in strange habits and diversity 
of ornaments. The pies have long tails that trail in 
the dirt ; so that the ladies make their tails a thou- 
sand times longer than those of peacocks and pies. 
The second rational complaint is against a very ugly 



species of wimple called a gorget, which appears 
about this time. John de Meun describes it as 

Female of the reign of Edward I. with I he gorget and long trailing robe, 
from Sloane MS. 3983, 

wrapped two or three times round the neck, and 
then being fastened with a great quantity of pins, it 
was raised on either side the face as high as the ears. 
“ Par Dim !” exclaims the poet ; “ I have often 
thought in my heart when I have seen a lady so 
closely tied up, that her neckcloth was nailed to her 
chin, or that she had the pins hooked into her flesh 
and certainly he is so far correct, as the reader will 
acknowledge, on referring to the annexed figure from 
an illumination of this date. But, unless it be to the 
projections of the gorget on each side that he alludes, 
we are at a loss to discover what he means by their 
hoods being thrown back, and their horns advanced 
as if to wound the men, and propped up by gibbets 
or brackets. Strutt applies these observations to the 
horned head-dress, so frequently met with in later 



illuminations, but there is not the slightest indication 
of such a fashion prevailing at this time in any MS. 
we have inspected ; and though many of the head- 
dresses are far from becoming, they do not, in our 
eyes, at all bear out the remarks of the satirist. Some 
evanescent caprice may, however, have provoked the 
simile, but it has not been handed down to us by the 

Female head-dr«jsKCK, temp. Edward I. Royal MS. 15, D. 

Of ornaments, we have a long list furnished us by 
the same authors ; but unless they were worn by 
persons who could not atford such splendour, we 
perceive nothing in the articles themselves to carp at. 
Jewels, buckles of gold, rings, earrings, and chaplets 
of fresh flowers, or goldsmith's work in imitation of 



them, are very natural and elegant ornaments for a 
female, and to carry the worth of one hundred pounds 
in gold and silver upon the head is only a reproach 
where it is incompatible with the circumstances of 
tlie wearer. The golden net-caul, termed crestine, 
creton, crespine, cresp’nelte , was an elegant addition 
to the female costume of this period, and formed for 
the two next centuries an important article of a lady s 

The injurious practice of tight lacing we have 
already discovered in existence during the reign of 
llufus or Henry I.; and, in a MS. copy of the ‘ Lay 
of Syr Launfal,’ written about the year 1300, we 
have the following description of two damsels whom 
the knight unexpectedly meets in a forest:— 

“Their kirtles were of Inde sendel, 

Y-lacecl small, julyf, and well , 

There might none gayer go ; 

Their mantels were of green velvet, 

Y-bordered with gold right well y-sette, 

Y-pellured with gris and gros; 

Their heads were dight well withal, 

Jive rich had on a jolyf coronal, 

With sixty gems and mo 
« ’ * * * 

Their kerchiefs were well scnyre, 

Arrayed with rich gold wyre.” 

The second line in the French original is still stronger ; 
they are said to have been Lacies movlt, 
“ very straitly or tightly laced.” The Lady Triamore, 
in the same romance, is also described as 

“ Clad in purple pall, 

With gentyll body and middle small.” 

And, in another poem, we read of a lady with a 
splendid girdle of beatei^gold, embellished with 
emeralds and rubies, “ubnit her middle small.” 



By the first quotation we perceive also that the 
kirtle was at this time an exterior garment, like the 
robe or gown, if not, indeed, another term for the 
same thing. “ Inde sendel” may mean either Indian 
silk or light blue, silk ; the words Inde and Pern being 
frequently used to express that colour. Sarcenet or 
saracennet, from its Saracenic or oriental origin, was 
known about this period. The robe of Largesse or 
Liberality, in ‘ the Roman de la Rose,’ is said to 
have been 

“ —bonne et belle, 

D’une coute toute nouvelle, 

D’un pourpre Sarraxinesche .” — Line 1172. 

Gauze, latinized gazzatum , and thought to have 
derived its name from being manufactured at Gaza, 
in Palestine, Brunetta or burnelta, and several other 
fine and delicate stutfs, are mentioned by writers of 
this reign 7 . Tartan, in French tyretaine, in Latin 
tirelanus , was a fine woollen cloth much used for 
ladies’ robes, and generally of a scarlet colour". 
John de Meun speaks of 

“ Robbes faites par grand devises, 

De beaux draps de soies et de laine, 

De scarlate de liretaine.” 

Homan de la Rose. 

There is no visible alteration in the 


The initial letter of Edward’s name in a MS. of his 
reign furnishes us with the appearance of an arch- 

' Brunettara nigram, gazzatum, et alium quemcumque pannum 
notabiliterdelicatum interdicimus uuiversi. Concil. Budense.anno 
1279, cap. 61. 

8 From whence, probably, its name, the lient or colour of Tyre; 
scarlet being indifferently used for purple by the early w riter*, 
and including “ all the gradations of colours formed by a mixture 
of blue and red, from indigo (o crimson.” Vide Illustration* o! 
Northern Antiquities, 4to. Kdinb. 1814, p. 36. 



bishop in his official vestments. The mitre has very 
nearly its modern form •. 

Coronation of Edward I. from an initial letter, MS. Harleian, 926. 


also remains as in the last century, or indeed as from 
the time of the Conquest, with the addition of the 

9 A rich and curiously wrought stuff, called checkeratus , was 
worn at this period by the superior clergy (capa cum nodolis check- 
eratus subtilis operis facta de casula episcopi Fulcoms. Visit. 
Thesauri, S. Pauli, Lond. a. d. 1295) ; and morbid clolh , a thick 
stuff manufactured of party-coloured worsted, and sometimes 
adorned with figures of animals and other devices, besides the 
veined pattern from which 't derived its name, is also mentioned 
in the same account, “Tunica de quodan. panno marmoreo spisso, 
cum notis et grifonibus.” 



bliaus or blouse (the smock-frock of the present day), 
made generally of canvas or fustian, and worn by 
both sexes. Russet, birrus or burreau , cordetvm , 
and sarcilis, are also quoted by the indefatigable 
Strutt, as coarse woollen cloths used for the garments 
of the lower orders during the thirteenth century. 
Cowls, with points or tails to them, are worn more 
than caps, and the blacksmith has already his brown 
leathern apron, with the square bib to it, as worn 
bv his brother craftsmen to this hour. 

EDWARD II., 1307—132;. 

The twenty troublesome years of the reign of Eld- 
ward II. were remarkable for the increase of luxury- 
in proportion to the decline of honour and virtue. 
Excited by the example of the profligate and presump- 
tuous Gaveston, “the esquire endeavoured to out- 
shine the knight, rfe knight the baron, the baron the 
earl, and the earl the king himself, in the richness of 
his apparel;” and towards the latter end of this reign 
we begin to discover the party-coloured, strait, and 
shortened habits worn in the reign of Edward III., 
and the long tippets or streamers at the elbows of 
them. The sleeves of the dahnatica, on the effigy in 
p. 121, are so terminated. The capuchon, instead of 
being worn as a cowl, was sometimes twisted into a 
fanciful form and placed upon the top of the head 
like a modern toque, or simply folded and balanced 
upon it, as the women of the Pays de Basque wear 
it in summer to this day, the former fashion being 
an approach to the chaperon of the following reigns. 
The beard of the king is carefully curled, and his 
hair, cut square on the forehead, hangs in wavy 
ringlets below his ears. Amongst other indignities 



Effigy of Edward II., Gloucester Cathedral. 

said to have been heaped upon this miserable monarch, 
our readers will remember the traditionary story of the 
shaving of his cherished beard with cold and dirty 
water by the road-side on his way to Carnarvon Castle. 

Beards were worn apparently by persons in years, 
great officers of state, and knights templars, but not 
generally; for Peter Anger, valet to Edward II., 
when setting out on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land, 
obtained letters of safe conduct from the king, be- 
cause, having vowed not to shave his beard, he was 
afraid he should be taken for a knight templar, and 
consequently insulted ; the persecution and suppres- 
sion of that renowned order having commenced at 
this period. 


Military costume. 

Fig. a, from a brass in Minster Church, I-le of ShfpW ; t and c lUnm 
MS. Sloane collectiou, 346; d and e. from MS. Royal, 20, D. 4. 


of this period is generally recognized by a greater 
admixture of plate with the chain. The hauberk 
and chaussds are now nearly covered with wrought 
iron. Brassarts connect the shoulder with the elbow- 
pieces, and avant-bras or vant-braces defend the arm 
from the latter to the wrist. Greaves of one plate 
protect the fore-part of the leg, and on the breast are 
fastened sometimes one, sometimes two round plates, 
called mamdlieres from their position, to which are 
appended chains, attached at the other end, one to 
the sword-hilt and the other to the helmet, which at 
the moment of action was placed over the coif de 



mailles or the bascinel, which latter appears in this 
reign in a more important shape, without the nasal, and 
occasionally with a moveable visor, which renders the 
helmet unnecessary. The flat-topped, barrel-shaped 
helmet seems to have been abandoned about his 
period , and that important piece ot armour, which at 
the close of Edward’s reign had been tending towards 
the conical, now assumed the sugar-loaf or egg-like 
form The conical-topped helmet, with the angular 
droiection in front, outlived the new fashion, however, 
as we shall find in the next reign. It was still sur- 
mounted with the heraldic crest or the fan-shaped or- 
nament of the reign of Henry III., or a scarf called 
the cointise was tied to a ring at the top of it, and 
sometimes the cointise was attached to the crest itself. 
The ailettes were more generally worn, and a neck- 
guard of chain was added to the bascinet and called 
the camail, either corrupted from cap-mail, or from 
its resembling the lower part of the capuchon, com- 
monly worn by all classes, but which among the 
hio-her ranks was made of camel’s-hair, and therefore 
termed camelui by the French, and camelotum by 
the Latin writers, from whence our word camlet 
afterwards applied to an inferior stuff made in 
imitation of it 10 . At this period camlet is always 
ranked with silk, satin, velvet, and the richest mate- 

The cvclas or surcoat is sometimes considerably 
shorter in front than behind. Vide fig. a in the. 

e °&m if iriangular or pear-shaped, some- 
times flat, sometimes semi -cylindrical. To the ott 
give weapons were added about this time the scimitar, 

10 The latter derivation is given according to Sir Samuel Mcy 
• v Mr Kemre in his introduction to Stothard s Monumental 

cotemporary authority for either derivation. 



borrowed from the Turks, and a sort of pole-axe, 
called the godenda or godendac. 

The falcastrum, a sort of bill or gisarme, is re- 
commended for sea-fights, and described as a scythe 
firmly fixed to a very long spear. This shape was 
afterwards preserved, in the double-bladed weapon 
formed of one piece of iron and called the guisarme, 
down to the close of the fifteenth century, after the 
ancient weapon of that name mentioned by Ilobert 
YV ace as early as the time of Henry II. 


appears to have undergone no particular alteration ; 
the ugly gorget is still occasionally worn, vide p. 12b ; 
but the head is perhaps more generally uncovered in 

Female costume, temp. Edward II, 

Figb. a and b y from a MS. Sloane collection, S4€; c, frwr Royal VS* 
marked 14, K. 3. 


this reign than in the last ; and in one manuscript oi 
this date (Sloane Collect. 346), we perceive the hair 
ornamented with fret-work in a very peculiar style. 
Vide fig. a. The coverchief, or a capuchon like that 
of the men, is twisted fantastically and placed on the 
top of the head (fig. c). The apron is seen upon a 
female figure of this date (fig. b). It is afterwards 
mentioned by Chaucer as the barme, or lap-cloth. 

Femme rotlfcine, temp. Edward II., from a braa.s fn Minster Church, I»]« 

of Sheppejr. 

presents no variation, but 


begin now to be distinguished by their habits, 

M 3 



Lawyers were originally priests, and of course wore 
the tonsure ; but when the clergy were forbidden to 
intermeddle with secular affairs, the lay lawyer* con- 
tinued the practice of shaving the head, and wore the 
coif for distinction- sake. It was at first made of 
linen, and afterwards of white silk. The serjeant-at 
law’s habit anciently was a long priest-like robe, lined 
with fur, and a white linen coif. Judges wear caps 
and capes of fur. Vide plates 80 aud 81, in 2d v ol. 
of Strutt’s ‘ Dress and Habits.’ 

12 : 

Chapter X. 

REIGN OF EDWARD III., A.D. 1327—1377 


Effigy of Edward III. in Westminster Abbey, and of his second son William 
of Hatdeld in York Cathedral. 

Fig. a, termination of the sleeve of Edward, buttoned up the side ; k, 
pattern on the shoes; c, pattern of border of the robe; d, coronet of 
William ; c, pattern on the j upon or cote-hardie; /, pattern on military 
belt ; g, embroidery on the shoes. 

The reign of Edward III. is one of the most im- 
portant eras in the History of Costume. The com- 
plete changes that take place in every habit, civil <w 



military, render its effigies and illuminations more 
distinctly conspicuous than those perhaps of any other 
period, from the Conquest to the days of Elizabeth. 
The effigy of this great monarch is remarkable for its 
noble simplicity. The number of the royal vestments 
does not exceed that of his predecessors, but their 
form is rather different. The dalmatica is lower in 
the neck and shorter in the sleeves than the under 
tunic, and the sleeves of the latter come lower than 
the wrist, and are decorated by a closely-set row of 
very small buttons, the continuation of a fashion of 
the reign of Edward I. His shoes or buskins are 
richly embroidered, and his hair and beard are 
patriarchal, lie bears the remains of a sceptre in 
each hand ; the crown has been removed or lost 
from the effigy. _ 

The habits of 


in general were by no means so simple. The long 
robes and tunics of the preceding reigns vanished 
altogether, and a close-fitting body garment, called 
a cote-hardie, buttoned all the way down the front, 
and reaching to the middle of the thigh, became 
the prevailing dress of the higher classes. It 
was sometimes magnificently embroidered, and the 
splendid military belt was worn by every knight, 
buckled across the hips over this new and peculiar 
garment. From the sleeves of this cote , which some- 
times only descended to the elbow (discovering the 
sleeves of an under vest or doublet, buttoned irom 
thence to the wrist), depended long slips of cloth, 
generally painted white in the illuminations, which 
were called tippets, and over this dress was worn 
occasionally a mantle, exceedingly long, and fastened 
by four or five large buttons upon the right shoulder 



so that when suffered to hang loose it covered the 
wearer entirely to the feet; but the front part being 
thrown back over the left shoulder, it hung in folds 
behind, and formed a sort of cope upon the breast, as 
may be seen in the effigy of William of Hatfield, son 
of Edward III., at the head of this chapter. His 
mantle, it will be perceived, is cut at the edges into 
the form of leaves, a fashion very prevalent at this 
period, and which we first noticed as early as the 
reign of Henry II. 

The frequent tournaments and pageants of this 
period, as Mr. Strutt observes, contributed not a 
little to promote the succession of new fashions. 
The knights, who attended them from all parts of 
Europe, were usually decorated with some quaint 
device suggested by gallantry, and endeavoured to 
outstrip each other in brilliancy of appearance h In 
a wardrobe roll of this reign, orders are given for a 
jupon of blue tartan, powdered with blue garters de- 
corated with buckles and pendents of silver-gilt ; 
also for a doublet of linen, having round the skirts 
and sleeves a border oflong green cloth embroidered 
with clouds and vine branches of gold, and this 
motto dictated by the king, “ It is as it is.” Upon 

1 Many foreign fashions were introduced by the foreign knights 
assembled at the round table at Windsor, in the nineteenth year of 
Edward's reign. “The Englishmen haunted so much unto the foly 
of strangers, 1 ’ says Duwglas. the monk of Glastonbury, “that every 
year they changed them in diverse shapes and disguisings of cloth- 
ing, now long, now large, now wide, now strait, and every day 
rlothingges new and destitute and devest from all honesty of old 
arraye or good usage; and another time to short clothes, and so 
strait waisleil, with full sleeves and tapetes (tippets) of surcoats, 
and hodet. over long and laige, all so nagged (jagged) and knib on 
every side, and all so shattered, and also buttoned, that I with truth 
shall say, they seem more like to tormentors or devils in their cloth 
ing, and also in their shoying (shoeing) and other ariay, than they 
eeemed to be like men.” MS. Harleian Collect. 



another garment made for the king’s own use, this 
distich is commanded to be wrought: — 

“Hay! Hay! the whythe swan, 

By G ode’s soul 1 am the man.” 

In the thirty-seventh year of this reign, a.d. 1363, 
the Commons exhibited a complaint in Parliament 
against the general usage of expensive apparel not 
suited either to the degree or income of the people ; 
and an act was passed by which the following regu- 
lations were insisted upon : — 

Furs of ermine and lettice, and embellishments of 
pearls, excepting for a head-dress, were strictly for- 
bidden to any but the royal family, and nobles pos- 
sessing upwards of one thousand pounds per annum. 

Cloths of gold and silver, and habits embroidered 
with jewellery, lined with pure miniver and other ex- 
pensive furs, were permitted only to knights and ladies 
whose incomes exceeded four hundred marks yearly. 

Knights whose income exceeded two hundred 
marks, or squires possessing two hundred pounds in 
lands or tenements, were permitted to wear cloth of 
silver, with ribands, girdles, &c. reasonably embel- 
lished with silver, and woollen cloth, of the value of 
six marks the whole piece; but all persons uuder the 
rank of knighthood, or of less property than the last 
mentioned, were confined to the use of cloth not ex- 
ceeding four marks the whole piece, and were pro- 
hibited wearing silks and embroidered garments of 
any sort, or embellishing their apparel with any kind 
of ornaments of gold, silver, or jewellery. Rings, 
buckles, ouches, girdles, and ribands, were all for- 
bidden decorations to them, and the penalty annexed 
to the infringement of this statute was the toriciture 
of the dress or ornament so made or worn. 

The Scots had a rhyme about this period which 
ran thus — 



“ Long beirds hertiless, 

Peynted hoods witless, 

Gay cotes graceless, 

Maketh Englonde thriftless 2 .” 

And we accordingly find the beard worn long and 
pointed ; and capuchons, with long peaks, tails or 
tippets, as they were called, hanging behind, and 
closely buttoned up to the chin in front. The “ gay 
cotes graceless” are the splendidly embroidered cote- 
hardies already described, and which it was considered 
by the graver and older nobility as foppish and de- 
grading to wear. 

Caps of several shapes continue to be worn, and 
the knight’s chapeau is frequently met with in nearly 
its present heraldic form ; but one of the most im- 
portant novelties in civil costume is the occasional 
appearance of feathers — or rather a feather — for it is 
always single, and generally worn upright in front of 
the bonnet or cap. Beaver hats are spoken of about 
this time. They were probably manufactured in 
Flanders, and these caps and hats were frequently 
worn over the capuchon. 

The golden chaplets or fillets round the. heads of 
princes or princesses of the blood royal begin to be 
surmounted with pearls or leaves about this period, 
and assume the form of coronets, but without uni- 
formity of pattern to distinguish the particular rank. 
Vide effigies of John of Eltham, Earl of Cornwall 
son of Edward II. ; Edward the Black Prince ; Wil 
liam of Hatfield; Blanch de la Tour, &c. 

2 These stanzas were fastened on the door of St. Peter's Church 
at Stangate, and a writer in a MS. chronicle adds, “for al that 
tyme the Englishemen were clothed all in cootes and hoode* 
peynted (painted) with letters and flowers, and semely with long 
beardes;"’ but <• peynted’’ may also mean pointed or peaked, s 
peculiar feature of the capuchon at this period. 



Female Costume, temp. Edward III. 

Fig. a, from MS. Royal, 19, I). 2 ; b. effigy of Blanch de la Tour, daughter 
of Edward III., Westminster Abbey; c, head-dress of the latter, side 

of this reign were exceedingly sumptuous and extrava- 
gant, “ passing the men in all manner of arraies and 
curious clothing and several distinct fashions appear 
to have existed at the same period. One consisted 
of the gown or kirtle, with tight sleeves, sometimes 
reaching to the wrisl, sometimes only to the elbow, 
and, in the lattercase, with the same pendent streamers 
or tippets attached to them, that we have noticed in 
the dress of the other sex. The gown was cut rather 
lower in the neck, fitted remarkably close to the 
waist 3 , and was occasionally worn so long, not only 
8 “They wercdsuch strait clothes/’ says the Monk of Glaston- 
bury , * c that thevhad long fox-tails sewed within their garments to 



in the train but in front, as to be necessarily held up 
when walking. 

Another, and newer fashion, was the wearing ot 
a sort of spencer, jacket, or waistcoat, for it resembles 
either, or rather all three, faced and bordered wiih 
furs, according to the rank ot the wearer. It has 
sometimes sleeves reaching to the wrist, at otheis it 
seems to be littje more than the skeleton, if we may 
so speak, of a garment, with long and full skirts, 
wanting sides as well as sleeves, or at least the arm- 
holes cut so large that the girdle of the kirtle worn 

under it is visible at the hips 4 . 

The cote hardie was also worn by She ladies in this 
rei^n, buttoned down the front like that ot the men, 
.sometimes with tippets at the elbows, and there is 
an appearance of pockets in some ot the illumina- 
tions of this period. Vide fig. a, at the head of this 

section. . . 

In the vision of Pierce Ploughman, written, it is 
supposed, about 1350, the poet speaks of a woman 
ncmy clothed, her garments purpled, faced, or 
trimmed with fine furs, her robe of a scarlet colour in 
•rrain, and splendidly adorned with ribands ot red 
Sold, interspersed with precious stones ot great value. 
Her head-lire, he says, he has not time to describe, 
but she wore a crown that even the king had no 
better. Her finders were all embellished with rings 
of gold, set with diamonds, rubies, and sapphires, and 
also with oriental stones or amulets to prevent any 
venomous infection. At the tournaments and public 
shows the ladies rode in party-coloured tunics, one 

holde them forth upon the principle, indeed, of a much sati- 
rized modern accessory, as the holy father tells us in no very eqm- 

'°« a The 'eft- 7 of Blanch de la Tour, daughter of Edward III-, 
deceased 1310, affords us a good specimen of this sideless gar 
men'. Vide fig. b, at the head of this section. 



half being of one colour and the other half of another, 
with short hoods and liripipes (the long tails or 
tippets of the hoods) wrapped about their heads like 

Their girdles were handsomely ornamented with 
gold and silver, and they w ore small swords, “ com- 
monly called daggers,’’ before them in pouches, and 
thus habited they were mounted on the tiuest horses 
that could be procured, and ornamented with the 
richest furniture. 

By “short hoods” we should have presumed those 
were meant of which we have given a representation 
and description in the last reign — that is to say, the 
eapuehon twisted up in a fantastic form, and placed 
lightly upon the top of the head ; but the liripipe 
or tippet, being bound about the head like a chord, 
brings to our recollection the figure of Charles le 
Bon, Count of Flanders, engraved in Montfaucon's 
Monarchic Framjaise, who w'ears the eapuehon of this 
period without the cape on the shoulders, and the tippet 
tied about his head precisely as described above. 

Charles le Bor., Count of Flanders 

The fashion of wearing daggers stuck through 
pouches became very general amongst knights and 



gentlemen about this period ; and we may therefore 
fairly presume, that the ladies then, as now, affected 
male attire in their riding habits, with peculiar al- 
terations, caprices of their own, which were in turn 
eagerly caught at and imitated by the fops and gal- 
lants of the day 5 . 

The splendid embroidery of this period is well re- 
presented on the brasses at Lynn in Norfolk, dated 
1343, 1364, engraved in Mr. Cotman’s tine collection 
of monumental brasses. 

Fl*. a.effi iry of Sir Oliver Ingham, Ingham Church, Norfolk, h, visoreil 
bascinet, from the brass of Sir Hugh Hastings, a.d. 1347, in Cotluan’s 
monumental brasses. 

5 The author of the Eulogium, cited by Camden, supports us ia 
this opinion, for, speaking of the dress of the men in Richard II. • 
lime, he says, “ their hoods are little, tied under the chin, and 
buttoned like the women'!." Vide page 153 of this work. 




of this reign present several striking novelties. The 
improved visored baseinet and camail, worn always for 
war (vide fig. 6), the crested helmet being reserved 
for the lists? The magnificent jupon, emblazoned 
with the wearer’s arms, or richly and fancifully em- 
broidered — its constant and sumptuous companion 
the military belt — the casing of the body so nearly 
in complete steel, that plate armour may Ire said to 
commence from this period — are all unequivocal tes- 
timonies of the chivalric spirit of the age, and the 
splendour with which it was considered incumbent 
and politic to invest the honourable profession of 
arms. The earliest military effigies of this reign st ill 
exhibit the cyclas shorter in front than behind, or the 
surcoat with indented borders. The effigy of feir 
Oliver Ingham affords us a good specimen of the 
mixed armour at the commencement of this reign, 
and that of the Black Prince a splendid one of the 
plate armour at its close. To the latter effigy, how- 
ever, we have preferred for illustration the initial lettei 
of the grant of the Duchy of Aquitaine, by Ed- 
ward III. to the Black Prince, as the costume is the 
same, with the addition ofpourpoint over the cuisses 
or thigh pieces, a very prevalent fashion during this 
and the following reign. 

The principal causes of the adoption of plate armour 
were, according to Sir S. Meyrick, the excessive 
weight of the chain mail, with its accompanying gar- 
ments. Indeed it was so great that the knights 
sometimes sank under it, suffocated with the heat, as 
well as the burden. The new steel-back and breast- 
plate enabled the wearer to dispense with the hauberk 
and the plastron, and the jupon was a much lighter 
and less cumbrous garment man either the surcoat 
or cyclas Besides, if of well tempered metal the 

EDWARD 111. 


plate could not be pierced or pushed into the body 
of the knight, as the hauberk was apt to be if the 
gambeson or hacketon was imperfect underneath, the 
breast only having at that time the additional pro- 
tection of a steel plate. 

Edward HI. and the Black Prince, from the initial letter to the grant ot 
the Duchy of Aquitaine. 

This great improvement was of Italian origin. The 
Florentine annals give the year 1315 as the date of a 

n 3 



new Regulation in armour, by which every horserrn* 
who went to battle was to have his helmet, breast- 
plate, gauntlets, cuisses and jambes, all of iron, a (ire- 
caution taken on account of the disadvantage which 
their cavalry had suffered from their light armour at 
the battle of Catina, so that what was adopted by them 
to supply a deficiency was assumed by the soldiers of 
Northern Europe as a relief from their superabun- 
dance of defensive armour. 

The various pieces for the limbs, worn during this 
reign, were the brassarts, demi-brassarts, and cant or 
vambraces for the arms ; the cuksarls or cuisses for 
the thighs, and the greaves or jambs (steel boots) for 
the legs, with sollerets of over-lapping plates for the 
feet. The backs of the leathern gauntlets were also 
furnished with overlapping plates, and the knuckles 
armed with knobs or spikes of iron, called gads or 
gadlings, the tops from the wrist being of steel and 
lined with velvet In a trial by combat adjudged 
between John de Visconti and Sir Thomas de la 
Marche, fought before Edward III. in close lists, at 
Westminster, Sir Thomas de la Marche gained the 
advantage by striking the gadlings of his gauntlets 
into the face of his adversay. The gauntlets of Ed- 
ward the Black Prince are of brass or laton, and the 
gadlings instead of being spikes are made in the 
shape of lions or leopards. They hang above his 
tomb in Canterbury Cathedral, with his velvet sur 
coat, which is gamboised (that is, stuffed with wool 
and stitched in perpendicular lines), and emblazoned 
with the arms of France and England, quarterly; 
his tilting helmet, his shield made of the famous 
cuir-bouilli (vide page 163), and the scabbard of 
his estoc or small stabbing-sword ; the sword itself 
having been taken away, as is reported by Oliver 
Cromwell. The helmet and gauntlets are engraved 
on p. 139. The shape of the former is scarcely 

EDWARO 111 - 


changed from that of the helmet ot the preceding 
reign It is conical to tit the, winch l as 
assumed the same form, and over it was worn the 
knight’s cap and crest, the former being an addition 
Co the military costume ot this penod. 

It is impossible for us to pass from this subject 
without a few words upon the long-disputed origin 
of Ihe famous “ Prince of Wales’ feathers,” and the no 
less famous epithet of “ the Black Prince, by which 
the hero of Cressy and Poitiers was distinguished. 

First, then, of the feathers. 

On a seal appended to a grant ot Prince Edward 
to his brother, John of Gaunt, dated 13/0, twenty- 
five years after the battle of Cressy, Edward is seen 
seated on a throne, as sovereign prince of Aquitaine, 
with a single feather and a blank scroll on each side 
of him, and the same badge occurs again upon the 
seal to another grant in 1374. This is, we believe, 

their earliest known, appearance. The popular tra- 
dition of three feathers having been the crest, arms, 
or badge of John, King of Bohemia, slain at tto 
battle of Cressy, is not traceable to any credible 
authority. It is first mentioned by Camden, in Ins 
‘ Remains,’ who says, “the victorious Black Prince, 
his (Edward Ill’s) sonne, used sometimes one 
leather, sometimes three, in token, as some say, ot his 
speedy execution in all his services, as the pos hi 



the Roman times were called pterophori, and wore 
feathers to signifie their flying post haste ; but the 
truth is that he wonne them at the battle of Cressy 
from John, King of Bohemia, whomehe there slew. 
The learned writer, however, neglects to state upon 
what authority he asserts this to be “ the truth * ; 
and it is rather singular that the minute and pic- 
torial Froissart, and all the cotemporary historians, 
Walsingham, Knighton, Giovanni \ lilam, &c. &c. 
should make no allusion whatever to so interest- 
ino- an incident. Yet such is the case. Barnes, 
inhis Life of Edward ill., quotes Sandford's Gene- 
alogical History. Sandford quotes Camden, and 
Camden quotes nobody ; but admits that, even in 
his time, it was a disputed point, by giving another 
and not very improbable derivation circulated at that 


The German motto “ Ich Diene 7 ,” generally ren- 
dered “ I serve,” first seen upon the tomb of 1 rince 
Edward, at Canterbury, has perhaps helped to give 
currency, if it did not give birth, to the belief oi the 
Bohemian origin of the feathers ; but Camden him- 
self did not credit this part of the story, for he goes 
on to state, though still without quoting his aut horitv , 
that to the feathers, the prince himself “ adjoined 
the old English word ‘ ic dien (thegn), that is, I 
serve;’ according to that of the apostle, ‘ the heir, 
while he is a ehilde, ditfereth nothing from aservant. 

6 We ar*e therefore also inclined to doubt the story of Edward 
slaying the King of Bohemia, if bv the words / whom he there 
slew/ 3 Camden would imply his having done so in personal com- 
bat. It is very improbable that the generous and chivalrous 
Edward would have ruthlessly cut down a brave blintl old man ; 
and the cotemporary historians content themselves with the mere 
statement of the fact of his being found slatn y alter the battle, be* 
side the two knights who had guided him into the molee. \%ai* 
Bingham, p. 157 ; Froissart, c. 130 

1 “ Dien” is spelt on the tomb with a final r. 

ED W A II L) lit- 


Now it certainly may be argued on the other hand 
that the King of Bohemia did feudal set vice to he 
King of France, as Count of Luxembourg, at the 
battle of Cressy ; and there appears no reason 1 ’or 
Edward’s selecting a German motto (lor it is absurd t 
call it old English) to expr-ss his own service to his 
father supposing it, as Camden has done, to have been 
!SS that modesty and filial alliction for 
which the prince was as much renowned as tor Ins 
valour but the crest of John of Bohemia was the 
entire wing or pinion of an eagle apparently from its 
shape, as may be seen on his seal engraved in Oliva- 
res Yredius (vide fig. a in annexed engraving), 
and not one or three distinct ostrich feathers. In 
the same work, it is true, however, that we do meet 
wi.h crests of wings or pinions surmounted by 

distinct feathers (vide fig. b ), and one or three such 
might have been plucked from the crest of the King 
of Bohemia as a symbol of triumph; and granted 
as a memorial of victory and heraldic distinction by- 
Edward 111. to his gallant son. Yet “to vouch this 
is no proof,” and again we ask, is it likely so inte- 
resting a fact could have passed unnoticed by all the 
cotemporary historians? Again, the feathers are 



borne singly by not only all the brothers and de- 
scendants of Edward, but by Thomas de Mowbray, 
Duke of Norfolk, who must either have borne them 
by grant from Richard II., or, in consequence of 
his descent by the female side, from Thomas de 
Brotherton, fifth son of Edward 1. ; and how is this 
to be reconciled with the tradition of Cressy ? J ohn of 
Gaunt bore them ermine for difference 8 . 

It may, after all, have been but a fanciful badge 
adopted by the prince from caprice, or suggested by 
some very trivial circumstance or quaint conceit, no 
longer recollected, as were hundreds of devices of that 
period, to account for which stories have been inge- 
niously invented in after ages, and implicitly believed 
from the mere force of repetition. In such a case dis- 
covery is almost hopeless. Having already mentioned 
one classical derivation quoted by Camden, we may be 
permitted, however, to state that ostrich feathers were 
amongst the ancients a symbol of equity, and the 
Egyptian Isis was consequently represented crowned 
with them. Reasons enough for their adoption by 
the family of Edward III. might be founded on this 
circumstance: the justice (in their opinion) of his claim 
to the throne of France would be one ; and “ I serve" 
(in a just cause) be a not inappropriate motto 9 ; as 
sons of Phillipa of Hainault, they might derive the 
ostrich feather and the foreign motto from her father, 
William III., Count of Haiuault, who was celebrated 
for his justice. Again, the vulgar belief of the extraor- 
dinary digestive powers of the ostrich has afforded 
a remarkable simile to a foreign writer of Prince Ed- 

8 They were so blazoned in the window facing his tomb in old 
St. Paul’s Cathedral. The difference afterwards is said to have 
been made in the quill of the feather ; the king’s being gold, the 
prince’s argent, the Duke of Lancaster’s ermine, and the Duke of 
Somerset's, eonipony. argent and azure. Ashmole’s Hist, of the 
Order of the Garter. 

9 The motto of the garter is supposed by Sir E. Ashmole to 
allude to the same claim. 



*ard s own time, one who claims indeed to have been 
his companion in arms at the battle of Poictiers, 
where he says, “ many a hero, like the ostrich, was 
obliged to digest both iron and steel, or to overcome 
m death the sensations inflicted by the spear and the 
javelin.” Amongst the far-fetched conceits ot the 
middle ages of knighthood, may be found moie 
obscure and fantastical devices than an ostrich feathei 
assumed, in allusion to the bearer’s appetite for, or 
mastery over, iron and steel. The German for an 
ostrich, also, is strauss — (der strauss vogel ), which, 
curiously enough, signified anciently “ a fight, com- 
bat, or scuffle,” though it is now obsolete in that 
sense. Here is another sufficient reason for the 
adoption of an ostrich feather by the prince as a 
<reneral allusion to his warlike propensities, or by the 
whole family of Edward III. as a type ot their deter- 
mination to fight in support of his French claim , 
and as to the motto, suppose, as Camden asserts, 
that it had no connexion originally with the badge, 
but was merely associated with it accidentally. It 
certainly appears on the tomb at Canterbury upon 
the small scrolls attached to the three feathers, and 
upon the large one over each shield that contains 

them. But what says the prince in his will? “We 

will that round the said tomb shall be twelve esco- 
cheons of laton, each of the breadth of a foot, six of 
which shall be of our arms entire, and the other six 
of ostrich feathers : and that upon each escocheon 
shall be written ; that is to say, upon those of our 
arms, and upon the others of ostrich feathers , 
< Houmout’” (high spirit). Here is another puz- 
zle '. The motto “ Ich Dien” is not mentioned, yet 
it has in every instance been placed with and over 
the feathers, and the word “ Houmout” only over 
the shield of arms by those who minutely fulfilled 
the directions of the will in every other particular • 



The motto, “ Ich Dien.'’ does not appear on the 
scrolls of the feathers on the se Is of the black Prince, 
of Thomas Duke of Gloucester, or of Richard ID, or 
Heurv V when Prince of Wales, or on the monu- 
mental tablet of John, Duke of Bedford, but it doa 
appear on the seal of Edward Plantagenet, Duke of 
York, slain at Agincourt, and who was no way con- 
nected with Wales— a sufficient proof that it can have 
no relation to that principality. Richard II. is seen in 
an illumination in a Harleian MS., in a surcoat pow- 
dered with golden ostrich feathers, and the bardings 
of his horse and his pennon are similarly blazoned. 
Sir Ro-rer de Clarendon, the natural son of Edward 
the Black Prince, bore for his arms Or, on a bend 
Sable, three ostrich feathers Argent, the quills trails- 
fixed through as many scrolls of the first. To his 
son Richard, the Black Prince leaves a blue vestment 
embroidered with gold roses and ostrich feathers and 
“ a hall of worsted” (that is, tapestry' for a hall), 
embroidered with mermaids of the sea, and the bor- 
der paly red and black, embroidered with swans with 
ladies' heads, and ostrich feathers; and he gives “a 
hall of ostrich feathers, of black tapestry, with a red 
border wrought with swans with ladies’ heads. ' to the 
church of Canterbury; but in no case does he men 
tion the motto “ Ich Dien ;” and the feathers singly 
as we have already observed, appear with blank scrolls 
upon the seals or tombs of nearly all the princes of 
the houses of York and Lancaster, down to Arthur, 
Prince of Wales, son of Henry VII., upon whose 
monument at Worcester they first appear as a plume 
in a coronet, as well as singly; plumes having come 
into fashion towards the close of the fifteenth cen- 

The story of Edward being called the Black Prince 
from the colour of Ids armour has already been ex- 
ploded by Sir Samuel Meyrick, and rested on n. 

EDWARD 111. 


better foundation than did the tradition ofthe feathers. 
Barnes, in his Life of Edward III., merely says, 
“Edward, the young Prince of Wales, whom, from 
this time, the French began to call Le Neoir , or the 
Black Prince,” and quotes apparently a certain chapter 
of Froissart, in which decidedly there is no mention 
of any such title. At tournaments he might have 
worn a sable surcoat, with ostrich feathers upon it, 
in accordance with his shield of peace, and the capa- 
risons of his horse being of the same funereal hue 
might have suggested the appellation ; but it is 
equally probable that he was called “ the black” 
from the terrors his deeds inspired in the bosoms of 
his enemies ; and iEneas Sylvius, the historian of 
Bohemia, expressly says, “ on the feast of St. Ruffus 
the battle of Cressy was fought between the French 
and the English ; hence is that day still accounted 
black, dismal, and unlucky, which took away the 
lives of two kii)2s by the sword of the enemy,” 
alluding to John, King of Bohemia, and James, 
King of Majorca; the fall ofthe latter monarch is, 
however, disputed. The first mention of Edward as 
the Black Prince, in England, occurs in a parlia- 
mentary paper of the second year of the rtign of 
Richard II. 

In the twenty-second year of Edward III.’s reign 
was founded the most noble Order of the Garter. The 
circumstance that suggested his choice of this symbol 
is another mystery; but all writers of any credit com- 
bine to reject the popular tradition, which assigns it 
to the accidental fall of a lady’s garter (the Queen’s 
or a Countess of Salisbury’s) at a grand festival, and 
the motto, “ Honi soit qui mal y pease," to the gal- 
lant indignation of the monarch at the sneer of his 
courtiers. Sir E. Ashmole, in his History of the 
Order, considers the garter as a symbol ot union 




and in this opinion lie is followed by Sir Walter 
Scott and Sir Samuel Meyriek. We are not aware 
of any evidence that would shake such high authority, 
but one curious question occurs to us, connected with 
the subject of our work-costume,— from whence did 
Edward derive the garter? Camden says, tie ga\e 
forth his own garter as a signal for a battle that sped 
well which Du Chesne takes to be that of Cressy ; 
but we have yet to learn that garters were worn by 
men in those days. No indication of such an article 
occurs upon any monument or in any illumination ot 
the time, nor would it appear there was any need of 
such an assistant ; the chaussds or long hose being 
attached to the doublet, or at least ascending to the 
middle of the thigh, where they were met by the 
drawers. The leg-bandages, abandoned in the pre- 
vious century, have no affinity to the short garter 
and buckle, which forms the badge of this celebrated 
order In the absence of all proof, however, proba- 
bility is in favour of such garters being worn by the 
ladies, whose hose were in shape precisely the stock 
j n rrs of the present day, as may be seen in an illu- 
mfnation of the time of Edward II engraved m 
Strutt’s Dress and Habits, from Royal Mb. 2, tt. <. 

But whatever may have been the origin of the 
garter itself, the recorded one for the foundation of 
the order is the uniting not only of the native knights 
one with another, but of foreigners with them in the 
bonds of unity and peace, and our principal business is 
with the vestments by which they were distinguished. 
These were originally a mantle, tunic, and eapuchon, 
of the fashion of the time, all of blue woollen c.oth ; 
those of the knights companions ditfeung only from 
the sovereign's by the tunic being lined with miniver 
instead of ermine. All the three garments were 
powdered, that is to say, thickly embroidered with 



garters of blue anil gold, the mantle having one 
larger than all the rest on the left shoulder, inclosing 
a shield Argent, with the cross of St. George Gules. 
Edward 111. had 16S garters embroidered on his 
tunic and capuchon. 

In the thirty-fourth year of his reign the colour 
of the tunic was changed to black, as a sign of 
humiliation, in consequence, Ashmole supposes, of 
the pestilence then raging; and in the thirty- seventh 
year it was made of cloth sanguine in grain, by which 
is generally understood purple. The capuchon al- 
ways varied with the colour of the tunic. The garter 
was of blue and gold, as at present, and worn round 
the left knee, as appears Iroin the effigy of Sir Richard 
Pembridge (an original knight), in Hereford cathe- 
dral. The effigy indeed, in its present state, has a 
garter round both knees ; and Gough, in his 4 Se- 
pulchral Monuments,’ mentions this as a curious 
circumstance ; but the story prevalent at Hereford 
accounts for it in a most ludicrous manner. Part 
of the roof of the cathedral having fallen in, and 
broken the right leg of the effigy, which is of ala- 
baster, a carpenter was employed to carve a wooden 
substitute, and taking for a pattern the (in boih 
senses of the word) left leg, he very carefully placed 
a garter round that of his own fabrication. It is 
perhaps a more curious circumstance, that the 
garter is not visible on the monuments of Edward 
The Black Prince, Sir Oliver Inghain :a , or of any 
other original knight of the Garter except Sir 
Richard Pembridge, or in any illumination of the 
period, and that no mention of a garter, to be worn 
round the knee, occurs in any wardrobe account of 
the time! 

Gough says, it does appear on the effigy of Sir Oliver; but 
the accurate Stolhard has not represented or noticed it. 



mourning habits 

first appear in monuments and illuminations of this 
reio-n ; and the earliest mention of them also seen s 
i 0 be by Chaucer and Froissart, both writers of this 
period. Chaucer, in his ‘ Knight’s Tale, speaks of 
Palamon's appearing at A rate s funeral 

“,ln elolhes black dropped all with tears ; 
and in his ‘ Troylus and Creseyde’ he desciibes his 

« In widdowe’s habit large of samite brown 

and in another place says, 

“ Crcyseyde was in widowe’s habile blade; ’ 
and in another, when separating from Troylus, he 

makes her say, 

it my clothes evereh one 

Shall blacke ben in nlequyn (token), herte swete. 

That 1 am as oule of this worlde agone.” 

Froissart tells us, that the Earl of Foix, on hearing 
of the death of his son Gaston, sent for Ins barbel, 
and was close shaved, and clothed hm self and al, 
his household in black. At the funeral of the Earl 
of Flanders, he says, all the nobles and attendants 
wore Hack crowns; and on the death oi John, k ng 
TlSZ t°» of Cyprus clothed himself m 

black mourning, by which distinction it 
that some other colours were occasionally worn, 
such as the “ samite brown” of Chaucer s Creseyde. 
The fi mures on the tomb of Sir Roger de kerdeston, 
who died a. d 1337, represent the lelations of he 
deceased knight, and wear then own coloured clotl e 
under the mourning cloak. 


Chapter XL 

REIGN OF RICHARD II., 1377 — 1 30 

The march of foppery was accelerated under tne 
re i<m of the weak and luxurious Richard of Bordeaux. 
“ Fashions from proud Italy,” and many imported 
by Queen Anne from Bohemia, infected even the 
menial servants. The vanity of the common people 
in their dress was so great, says Knighton, that it 
was impossible to distinguish the rich from the poor, 
the hin-h from the low, the clergy from the laity, by 
their appearance. What it was impossible to do then 
we may be surely excused attempting now, and 
therefore we shall confine ourselves to dividing the 
male from the female dress, the civil from the military . 


To begin with the king himself. He was perhaps 
the Greatest fop of the day. He had a coat estimated 
at thirty thousand marks, the value of which must 
have arisen chiefly from the quantity of precious 
stones with which it was embroidered— this fashion 
obtaining greatly during the fourteenth century, as did 
that also of working letters and mottoes on the dress, 
and cutting the edges of the mantles &c. into the 
shape of leaves and other devices. 1 he curious and 
authentic portrait of Richard, preserved in the Jeru- 
salem Chamber at Westminster Abbey, represents 

1 Chaucer’* Canterbury Tales, 
tome characteristic dresses, which 

however, furnishes us with 
we shall notice in regular 

o 3 



Civil costume of the reign of Richard II., from tUnmioations in 
‘ metrical history of his deposition, marked Hadrian, to 13. 

i M3. 

him in a robe embroidered all over with roses and 
the initial letter of his name. A few sumptuary laws 
were enacted by Richard, but they were little attended 
to, and extravagance of every description seemed the 
object of the entire population. Harding, speaking 
of the king’s train and servants, says — 

r There was great pride among the officers 
And of all men surpassing their compeers 
Of rich array and more coslious 

Yemen and gromes in cloth of silk arraved, 

Saltin and damask in douMcttes and in gownes. 

In cloth of greene and scarlet, for uapayed (unpaid for 

R. CHARD il. 


Cut worke was great both in court anil townes, 

Bothe in men’s hoodes and also in their gownes, 

Broudur (embroidery) and furre and goldsmith’s worke all uewe 
In many a wyse each day they did renewe.” 

Chronicle, chap. 193. 

And the poet declares that all this he heard Robert 
IrelelFe say, who was clerk of the green cloth to 
Richard IT. 

Chaucer, who wrote his ‘Canterbury Tales’ towards 
the close of this reign, puts a two-fold lamentation 
into the mouth of the parson concerning the “ sinful 
costly array of clothing.” First as to “ the sin in 
superfluity of clothing, which maketh it so dear, to 
the harm of the people, not only to the cost of the 
embrouding, the disguising, indenting or barring, 
ounding, paling, winding or bending 2 , and semblable 
waste of cloth in vanity ; but there is also the costly 
furring in their gowns, so much pounsoning (pouncing) 
of chisel to make holes, so much dagging of shears, 
with the superfluity in length of the aforesaid gowns, 
trailing in the dung and in the mire on horseback 
and eke on foot, as well of man as of woman.” * * * 
And secondly, “ upon that other side, to speak of the 
horrible disordinate scantiness of clothing as be these 
cut slops or hanselines 3 ,’’ that through their short- 

! Most of these are heraldic terms. “ Barring” signifies striping 
horizontally ; “ paling,” longitudinal divisions ; “ bending,” diagonal 
stripes; and “ ounding” or “ undeing,” a waved pattern or edge. 
“ Indenting” and “ winding” need no explanation. 

3 Strutt has not attempted a derivation for this word. “ Hanse- 
lein” is the German diminutive of the familiar name “ Hans” 
(Jack), and has, we imagine, been applied in a punning sense 
to the short or little jack which' Froiskart mentions at this 
time as a garment of German origin ; for he tells us that 
Henry, Duke of Lancaster, on his return to England, entered 
Ixjndon in a courte jacques of cloth of gold, “ i la faction 
D’Almayne.” The little jack or jaques was afterwards called 
jaquette by the French, and jacket by the English, as the shortened 
roc or tunic had been called roquette and rocket previous’*/. The 

1 52 


ness, he says, and the wrapping of their hose, winch 
are departed of two colours, white and red 4 , white ami 
blue, white and black, or black and red, make the 
wearer seem as though “ the fire of St. Anthony, or 
other such mischance,” had cankered and consumed 
one-half of their bodies. These party-coloured dresses, 
which commenced about the reign of Edward II., are 
certain. y more singular than elegant, and have a par- 
ticularly grotesque appearance, when, as in an '‘hirri!- 
na'ion representing John of Gaunt sitting 
the claims on the coronation of his nephew Richard 
II. (Cotton MS., marked D. 6), the long robe is 
divided exactly in half, one side being blue and the 
other white, the colours of the house ol Lancaster. 
The party-coloured hose, too, renders uncertain the 
fellowship of the legs, and the common term of 
a pair perfectly inadmissible. Knighton says the 
fashions were continually changing, every one endea- 
vouring to outshine his neighbour in the richness 
of his habit and the novelty of its form. The au- 
thor of an anonymous work called the 4 Eulogium, 
cited by Camden, and apparently of this date, says, 
the commons were besotted in excess of apparel, 
“ some in wide surcoats reaching to their loins, some 

epithet “cut slop,” also applied to it, shows that it was a shortened 
garment. Slops, we are told in the next century, are mourning 
coats or cassocks. The word here occurs for the first time tha 
we are aware of, and seems to be derived from the ‘>ermar 
sc/ileppe, which signifies “ anything trading.” (Sch/eppe kicid is 
“ a gown with a train”) “ These cut slops or hansele.ns, there- 
fore, evidently means these shortened gowns or coats, or little jacks. 

4 White and red were the colours assumed by Richard It. as 
his livery, and were consequently much worn by the courtiers ol 
his reign. The mayor, accompanied by the citizens of London 
in a very large company on horseback, met Richard . ~ 

queen on Blackheath, all of them being clothed m the king s 
colours — that is to say, in party-coloured gowns of w hite and rod, 
and conducted them first to St. Paul's Church and then to the 
Royal Palace at Westminster. (Knighton.) 

RICH A it D II. 


| n a garment reaching to their heels, close before, 
and shutting out on the sides, so that at the back they 
make men seem like women, and this they call by a 
ridiculous name, gowne. Their hoods are little, tied 
under the chin, and buttoned like the women’s, but 
set with gold', ''silver, and precious stones. Their lir- 
ripipes or tippets pass round the neck, and, hanging 
down before, reach to the heels, all jagged. They 
have another weed of silk which they call a paltock \ 
Their hose are of two colours, or pied with more, 
which they tie to their paltocks, with white lachets 
called herlots, without any breeches. Their girdles 
are of gold and silver, and some of them worth twenty 
marks. Their shoes and pattens are snouted and 
picked (piked), more than a finger long, crooking 
upwards, which they call crackowes, resembling devil's 
claws, and fastened to the knees with chains of gold 
and silver.” These crackowes were evidently named 
after the city of Cracow, and were no doubt amongst 
the fashions imported from Poland, which had been 
incorporated with the kingdom of Bohemia by John, 
the grandfather of Richard s queen Anne. Not that 
the long-toed shoe was a novelty, as we have aheady 
noticed them as early as the reign of Rufus ; but the 
fastening of them to the knee might have been the 

“weed” is mentioned by Pierce Ploughman, and was 
therefore introduced during the reign of Edward III. It appears 
to have been of Spanish origin, and was most probably brought 
into fashion by the knights in the service of John of Gaunt or 
Edward the Black Prince, whose connection and communication 
with Spain was so near and so frequent. Patetoque still exisU in 
the Spanish dictionary, and is rendered a kind of dress like a 
3ca pulary, which was a monk’s frock, generally without sleeves 
(according to Du Chesne). The word paletoque seems com- 
pounded of palla, a cloak, and toque, a head-dress, which would 
induce a belief that the paltock had a hood or cowl attached to it. 
I- I, ad either been originally, or it afterwards became the dress of 
the common people, as paleto signifies, in Spanish, a clown, and 
the word pa/toquet, in French, means clownish. 



peculiar fashion of Cracow. We have no illumination 
exhibiting them so fastened, although the points ^ 
represented of a preposterous length ; but there .s 
the appearance of a chant at the knee of one figure, 
in a miniature of this date (Royal MS 20, B. 6) , 
and Major Hamilton Smith, m his Anc.ent Coj- 
tumeof England,’ mentions a portra.t of J; 

of Scotland, existing at Kielberg, near I ub 
Swabia, a seat of the family of Von Lystrums, 
wherein the peaks of the monarch s shoes are fas- 
tened by chains of gold to his girdle. . 

The tight sleeves of the preceding reigns were now 
out of fashion, and the Monk of Evesham speaks of 
the deep wide sleeves, commonly called poky*, 
shaped like a bagpipe, and worn indifferently by ser- 
vants as well as masters. They were denominated 
he says, the devil’s receptacles, for whatever could be 
stolen was popped into them. Some were so long 
and so wide that they reached to the feet, others to 
the knees, and were full of slits. As Ih. sen.nU. 
were bringing up pottage, sauces, &c„ k 
« would go into them, and have the first taste , an i 
all that they could procure was meant to clothe their 

uncurahle carcasses with those pokys or sleeves, while 

the rest of their habit was short. „ , . • 

Chaucer’s squire, in the ‘ Canterbury Tales, is 
described as wearing a short gown, with sleeves 
long and wide.” His dress was also embroidered, 
“As it were a mede 

AUc full of fresshe flowres white a rede." 

His locks 

»■ W ere crull as they were laide in presse. 

His yeoman was clad in “a cote and hoode of,” his horn slung in a green baldrick, a silver 
figure of St. Christopher was on Ins breast, and a 
gay or handsome bracer on his arm. A sword and 



buckler hung on one side of him, and a dagger on 
the other; a sheaf of arrows, with peacocks' leathers, 
was tucked beneath his girdle, and he bore “ a mighty 
low” in his hand. In the ‘Friar's Tale’ another 
yeoman is described wearing a courtepy of green, and 
a hat with black fringes. 

The franklin, or country gentleman, is merely 
stated to have worn an anelace or knife, and a gipeiere 
or purse of silk hanging at his girdle, white as milk. 

The merchant is represented in “motley” (i. e. 
party-colours), with a forked beard and a “ Flaundrish 
beaver hat,” his boots clasped “ fayre and fetously. ’ 

The doctor of physic was clothed “in sanguin and 
in perse” (i. e. purple and light blue), lined with taf- 
fata, and sendal or cendal. In the ‘ Testament of 
Cresseyde,’ Chaucer speaks of a physician in a scarlet 
gown, and “ furred well, as such a one ought to be;” 
and he may mean scarlet by “ sanguin,” as scarlet 
and purple were terms used indifferently one for the 

The sergeant-at-law's dress was a medley coat, with 
a girdle of silk, ornamented with small bars or stripes 
of different colours". 

The reeve or steward wore a long surcoat; he had 
a rusty sword by his side, his beard was closely shaven, 
and his hair rounded at the ears and docked on the 
top of the crown like a priest’s. 

The miller was clothed in a white coat and a blue 
hood, and was armed with a sword and buckler. 
1 1 is hose on holydays were of red cloth, when he 
also twisted the tippet of his hood about his head, 

« A Harleian MS., marked 980, informs us that the sergeant- 
at-law’s robe was formerly party-coloured, in order to command 
respeet, as well to his person as to his profession. He wore a 
cape about his shoulders, furred with lamb’s skin, a hood with two 
labels upon it, and a coif of white silk, when in the exercise of 
his profession. 



a fashion amongst the gallants, as we have remarked 
in page 134. 

The poor ploughman wore a tabard, with his nai, 

scrip, and stalf. _ 

The shipman was dressed in a srown oi falriing to 
the knee, with a dagger slung under one arm by a 
lace round his neck. 

The haberdasher, carpenter, weaver, dyer, anc 
tapestry-worker, all wealthy burghers of London, 

u were yclothed in a livery 
Of a solempne aud grete fraternite. 

Their clothes w'ere new, and the chapes of their knives 
and their pouches and girdles ornamented with silver. 

The clergy, as Knighton has already told us, were 
not to be known from the laity ; and the ploughman 
in the ‘ Canterbury Tales’ rails at them lor riding 
glittering with gold upon high horses, gayer than any 
common knight might go, wearing golden girdles 
and gowns of scarlet and green, ornamented w ith 
cut-work, and the long piked shoes, nay, being armed 
even like men of war, with broad bucklers and long 
swords and baldricks, with keen basilards or daggers. 
Many priests, he says, have mitres embellished with 
pearls, like the head' of a queen, and a staff of gold 
set with jewels. In addition to this, Chaucer has 
introduced a monk amongst his pilgrims dressed in 
open defiance of the regulations of the church. The 
sleeves of his tunic are edged with the fur dc qris, 
“the finest in the land.” His hood is fastened be- 
neath his chin with a golden pin, curiously wrought, 
the great end being fashioned like a true-lover s knot, 
or having one engraved on it. llis supple boots and 
the bells^ upon his horse's bridle are mentioned as 
instances of his foppery and love of display . E\en 
the parish-clerk, described by the miller, is said to be 
spruce and foppish in his dress. His hose were reel. 



his kirtle sky-blue, set about with many points, and 
over it a surplice white as a blossom. I J is shoes had 
“ Paules windows carven” on them — that is to say, 
they were cut or embroidered lattice-wise, a fashion 
more or less prevalent during' the thirteenth and four- 
teenth centuries. Hats, caps, and high bonnets are 
worn as well as chaperons. The latter have some- 
times a single feather in front. Vide engraving at 
page 150. 

The hair was worn long, and curled with great 
care, as we have already found that of the squire 
described. The beard was forked, and the moustache 
in all knightly effigies is long, and drooping on each 
side of the mouth over the camail. 

To the decoration of the garter we have, in this 
reign, to add the badge of the white hart, assumed 
by Richard II., and worn by all his courtiers and 
adherents both male and female, either embroidered 
on their dresses, or suspended by chains or collars 
round their necks. This device seems to have been 
derived from his mother, whose cognizance was a 
white hind. Rvmer mentions that in the ninth year 
of his reign Richard pawned certain jewels, “ a la 
guyse d.e cerfs blancs and in the wardrobe ac- 
counts of his twenty-second year is an entry of a 
belt and sheath of a sword of red velvet, embroi- 
dered with white harts, crowned, and with rosemary 
branches. An ancient author, quoted by Holing- 
shed (sub anno 1399), says, “ that amongst the few 
friends that attended this unfortunate prince after his 
capture by the Earl of Northumberland was Jenico 
D Artois, a Gascoine, that still wore the cognizance 
or device of his master, King Richard, that is to saye, 
a white hart, and would not put it from him neither 
for persuasion nor threats ; by reason whereof, when 
the Duke of Hereford understood it, he caused him 
to be committed to prison within the castle of Chester. 



bbitish costume. 

This man was the last (»» »l'|> "”" e , 

W that device, and showed well th^by b s on 
stan' heart towards Ins master. lhe wnne . 


over the door leading generally 

south aisle of Westminster » J 

represented crowned collared jd ehO f ^ ^ 

couchant under a tree. Ot . , i 0 r t he 

natch were the sun-in splendour’, andthe 

Planta Genista, or broom, with which the robe t> 

t he ^ ^ »u- 

seventh year of Richard II.. made of - vole tm 
ta the eWenth year it was whtte and in the «e, h 
and nineteenth of “ long blue cloth. Vide A 
mole’s History ot the Order. 

Militai y costume, temp 

. Richard II., from Harlriau MS. 13' 3. 

1 Gower, Bib. Cotton, Tiberius, A. 4,fol. 153, 




partook of the sumptuous extravagance of the age. 
The alterations made in the armour during the leign 
of Edward III. were perfected in that ot his grand- 
son, and the era of plate may be said to commence 
from the accession of Richard II. The camail, the 
gussets of chain at the joints, and the indented edge 
of the chain apron, are all that remain to be seen of 
the complete suit of double-ringed mail worn at the 
commencement of this century. Milan was the grand 
emporium from whence the most splendid suits were 
forwarded to the chivalry of Europe. The armour 
made expressly for Henry, Duke of Hereford, to wear 
in the famous duel at Coventry, was manufactured at 
Milan by order of Galeazzo Visconti, to whom the 
duke had written on the subject. The jupon and 
military girdle introduced in the last reign were still 
worn ; but the loose surcoat or blouse seems to have 
come again into fashion at the close of this century. 
It is generally, however, represented as fancifully 
embroidered, instead of being emblazoned like the 
jupon. The most characteristic novelty is the visor, 
veiitaille or \baviere (as it was indifferently called), of 
the bascinet, which, from having been simply convex, 
has now assumed a shape that will be best under- 
stood from the engraving of a specimen in the col- 
lection at Goodricn Court, one of the only two 
visored bascinets of this period known to exist. The 
other is now in the Tower, having been bought for 
the national collection at the sale of Mr. Brocas s 
armour, March 22, 1834. 



V, sored bascinet of ibe lime of Richard II. 

As a most interesting and curious authonty^vo 
subjoin the following engraving from an dlmm J ted 
MS. copy of the ‘ Roman de la Rose of this date, 

in the collection of the late Fmncis Douce 
F.S A., in which are several figures of fem f eS ^™ 

with sword, spear, and shield, and wiring the visored 

bascinet and camail, most faithfully delineated. 

, , , tVia Richard !T. on two female figures in an ill a mi ns tea 

H cop7of t CS de U .he collection of the late F. Donee, K*c> 

Some of these extraordinary visors were hooked 
like the beak of a bird: the bascinet itself was richly 
ornamented round the edges, and a band or fillet ot 
the most splendid workmanship sometimes cnc.rcle- 
it like a diadem The “ baeinet a visiere was worn 



only for war. In tournaments the visor was removed, 
and the helmet, surmounted by its mantling wreath 
and crest, placed over the bascinet. Chaucer has the 
following stirring picture of the preparation for a joust 
in the Knight’s Tale : — 

“ There mayst thou see devising of harneis 
So uncouth and so riche and wrought so wele 
Of goldsmithry, of ’broudry, and of stele, 

The shelde3 bright, testeres*, and trappures. 

Gold hewiu helmes, hawberks, and coat armures, 

Lordis in praramentes 9 on their coursers, 

Knightis of retinue and eke esquires 
Nailing of speres and helmes buckling, 

Gigging 10 of shields, with larders lacing 
As there need is, they were nothing idyl. 

The fuming stedis on the goldin bridyl 
Gnawing, and fast the armourers also 
With fyle and hammer, riding to and fro; 

Yeomen on foot, and commons many a one. 

With shorte staves thick as they may gone, 

Pipes, trompes, nakoners, and clariouns, 

Meet in the battaile blowen bloody sounds.” 

The terms hauberk and haubergeon, in this reign, 
occasioned a good deal of confusion, from the circum- 
stance of both the military garments originally so 
called being superseded by defences of plate, to 
which the old names are applied. The knight, in the 
prologue to the ‘ Canterbury Tales,’ is said to have 
worn a gipon (jupon) of fustian, “ alle besmotred 
with his habergeon.” Now this appears to mean that 
the habergeon was worn over the jupon, and therefore 
by gipon we are not to understand the splendidly em- 
blazoned garment generally at this period covering 

3 “ Testieres,” horse armour for the head. 

9 “ I’aramentes,” robes of state. 

1# “ Gigging,” « guiging,” that is, arranging the gu'.ge or 
strap of the shield which went round the neck. 

I' 3 



the breast-plate or plastron, but a plain fusUan Us 
au-corps, and by habergeon the plastron or breast 
plate itself. In the French metrical history of 
deposition of Richard II. (Harleian MS. 131»J 
Bolingbroke is seen with a breast-plate worn oxer 
a black jupon or just-au-corps In the " 

Sir Topas, Chaucer gives a fuller description of tb 
dress and arms of a knight. He first put on 
« of cloth of lake fin and clere 
A breche and eke a sherte, 

And next his sherte an haketon, 

And over that an habergeon 
For piercing of his herte.” 

Here again the habergeon is apparently the plastron ; 

but he continues, 

« And over that a fin hauberk 
Was all ywrought of Jewes work, 

Ful strong it was of plate, 

And over that his cote-armure 
As white as is the lily fioure 
In which he wold debate.” 

Here the hauberk is distinctly said to be also of 
plate, and worn over the habergeon being itself 
covered by the jupon or surcoat, emblazoned with 
his armorial bearings. We have quoted this pa^g 
merely to show that the terms hauberk and haber- 
' eon no longer designate chain or nnged armour 
only, and thereby prevent our readers being puzzled 
like poor Mr. Mills, who argued himself into a fexer 
upon the subject lor want of that very simple key to 

flambeaux o, jambs (leg-piecas) of ChaWa 
Sir Topas were of cuir-bouly (cuir-bouilh), a pre- 
paration of leather much used at this period not only 
for armour, but for effigies and various works of art. 

>' History of Chivalry, 2 vols, 8vo. London, !S2o. 


16 .« 

“ His swerde’s shelh of ivory. 

His holme of latoun bright, 

His sadel was of rewel bone, 

His bridel as Ihe sonne shone, . 

Or as the mone light, 

His spere was of fin cypres, 

* * - * * * 

The hed ful sharpe y-ground.” 

His shield was gilt, and emblazoned with a l oar’s 
head and a “ charboncle,” and his crest was a 
tower, out of which sprung a lily. 


of this reign was as splendid and fantastic as 
the male. The party-coloured dresses of the pre- 
vious reigns were still in vogue, with numerous 
varieties of the cote-hardie, the waistcoat or spencer- 
like vest, described in the last chapter, some of 
them probably Bohemian fashions introduced by 
Queen Anne. Gower, in his ‘ Confessio Amantis, 
particularly alludes to “ the new guise of Berne,” 
and describes, in the same poem, a route of ladies 
mounted on fair white ambling horses, with splen- 
did saddles, “evrich one ride on side” (i. e. side- 
ways), another fashion said to have been intro- 
duced by Anne of Bohemia, and at this time a mark 
of high rank. They were clothed all alike in rich 
copes and kirtles, “ departed white and blue,” and 
embroidered all over with the most fanciful devices ; 
their bodies were long and small, and they had crowns 
on their heads, the least costly of which could not be 
purchased “ for all the gold of Croesus’ hall.” 

The following engravings represent five female 
figures, taken from various illuminations of this pe- 
riod. Figures a and b exhibit very clearly the side- 
less garment faced with fur, and terminating in long 
full skirts, described in the last chapter, and worn over 



the kirtle. Figure « show, a My “ in 

the ancient romances tell us they sometime served 
in hall ” with the “ gentil body and middle small, 
much spoken of in this and the previous cenju^.^ 
The girdle over the hips with the atUched to 
it, p°art of which only is seen in figure 6- In 
d the exterior garment is so long as to be gaUiered 
up and carried over the arm ; and figure . ' P"*^ 
us with a shorter but more splendid variety of it, wi 
an opening up the side bordered with ermine. 

The long white tippets or streamers from the elbow 
are still worn, but towards the close of the reign > 
less frequent, and when they do occur, are wider, 
and of the same stuff as the dress. The gowns, ^ 
ties, and mantles were frequently emblazoned with 



Female costume, close of the 14th century. 

Fy?- a, from Royal MS. 16, G. 5; i>, Royal MS. 20, C. 1; e and d, Har. 
leian, 4379; e, from the Liber Regalis, Westminster Abbey. 

armorial bearings (like the jupons or surcoats of the 
knights, or the tabard of the herald, which first ap- 
pears about this time 18 ), or covered with devices (as 

Previous to the fifteenth century heralds are represented 
with merely an escutcheon or badge at their girdles; and Chaucer, 
in < the Flower and the Leaf,’ alludes expressly to this fashion : — 

« And after them came a great company 
Of heraudis and pursevaunts eke 
Arrayed in clothes of white vebet, 

And every man had on a chapelet. 

St.-otc/ionis and eke horse harneis mdede 
They had in sule of them who fore them yede.” 


we have iust learned from Gower) and mottoes, like 
the garments of the other sex. “ Bien et lota.ih 
menf is a motto mentioned by Chaucer as worked 
on the facings and borders of a lady s dress, an 
trains of the gowns were so enormously long that a 
tract was written by some divine in this reign, enUt e 
‘ Contra Caudas Domtnarum (Against the taiU ot 

‘parson, in the ' Canterbury Tale,,’ .peak, in 
general terms of the outrageous array of the » om ™- 
g We have read in the last chapter of the quaint 
attire of ladies attending tournaments and public 
shows, and in this reign we hear of four and U en y 
ladies 13 riding from the tower to the jousts in Smith- 
field leading four and twenty knights in chains of 
gold’ and silver. The knights, ladies, and all other 

attendants at the tournaments, havung their dre^s, 
shields, and trappings decorated with Richard s y 

of the white hart, with a crown of gold round 
neck, and a chain hanging thereto 1 *. 

The hair was still worn in a gold fret or caul of 
network, surmounted frequently by a chalet of gold, 
smith’s work, a coronet, or a veil, according to the 
wearer’s rank or fancy. 

“ A fret of golde she had next ner here. ’ 

Chaucer, ‘ Legend of Good Human. 

u And everich on her head 

A rich fret of golde, which withouten drede 
Was full of stately net stones set, 

And every lady had a chapelet 

On her hea l of branches fair and green,’’ &c. 

Ibid. ‘ The Flotrre and the Leaf. 

In this latter instance the chaplet is allegorical, but it 

18 Froissart says iS sixty.' 007 \r fi 

14 Caxton, Addition to Polychromcon, c. 6 , fol. 397. » e 

shoulJ not quote Caxton for the reign of Richard H. were h. 
not supported by 1 * roissart. 



is continually seen in illuminations of this period 
composed of jewels disposed like natural flowers. Of 
less exalted dames we have a portrait or two in the 
‘Canterbury Tales.’ The Wanton Wife of Batti 
wore coverchiefs 

« full fine of ground, 

1 duisteswere that they weiged a pound, 

the Sonday were upon her hedde, 

Hire hosen weren of fine scarlet reddc, 

Ful streile vteyed and shoon full moist and newe, 

* * * * * * * 

Upon an ambler easily she sat, 

Ywimpled well and on hire hede an hat 
As brode as is a bokeleror a targe. 

A fote mantel about hire hippes large, 

And on hire feet a paire of sporres sharpe." 

The carpenter’s wife’s outer garment is not de- 
scribed, but her girdle was barred with silk ; the 
collar of her shift and the tapes of her white volvpere 
(vve are not certain of the article of dress theieby 
alluded to) were embroidered with black silk ; ber 
apron or barm-cloth was as white as morning milk. 
She had a broad silken fillet round her head, a 
leather purse attached to her girdle “ tasselled with 
silk and pearled with latoun,’ (that is, studded or 
impearled with little metal buttons, vide that worn by 
fio-. c, in p. 165) ; on her low collar she wore a brooch 
as big as the boss of a buckler, and her shoes were 
laced high upon her legs. 


f.f this reign are represented in the* Liber Regalis (a 
splendid MS. so entitled, preserved in Westminster 
Abbev), by which we perceive that the usual garments 
were now made of black as well as the cloa < worn 
during the ceremony. They are of the fashion of 
the time, and furred with ermine. 



The preceding representation of the Parliament that 
deposed Richard II., taken from the French metrical 
history before mentioned, shows the lay, spiritual, 
and legal peers in their usual costumes. The bishops 
are in cowls near the throne ; the judges in coifs 
and furred robes; the Earls ot Westmoreland and 
Northumberland are standing in front ; the Duke of 
Hereford in the high cap on the left of the throne ; 
and Exeter, Salisbury, and the other peers are seated 
opposite the judges. 



Chapter XII 

RliIGNS OF HENRY IV. AND V., 139&— 1422- 

Effigy of Henry IV., and of his queen, Joan of Navarre. 

REIGN OF HENRY IV., 1399 — 1411. 

The effio 7 of Henry IV. is the most splendid of 
our reo-al series. The crown is remarkable for ts 
magnificence. It is probably an imitation of the 
splendid “ Harry Crown,” broken and distributed b„ 



Fig. o, the crown of Henry IV., from his effigy; 6, the collar of Esses, 
round the neck of the Queen. 

Henry V., and its pieces pawned in 1415, for wages 
to the knights serving in the expedition to France. 
‘ A great fleur-de-lys, part of the said crown, gar- 
nished with one great balays, and one other balays, 
one ruby, three great sapphires, and ten great pearls, 
was pledged to Sir John Colvyl, and to John Pud- 
sey. Esq., to Maurice Brunne, and to John Saundish, 
each a pinnacle of the aforesaid crown, garnished with 
two sapphires, one square balays, and six pearls.” 
These costly fragments were redeemed in the eighth 
and ninth years of King Henry VI. 1 

The long Uinic with pocket-holes in front is richly 
embroidered at the openings and the borders of the 
sleeves. A cope covers the shoulders and descends 
in front to the girdle. The inner tunic has a roll 
collar sitting close up the neck, and the mantle 

1 Hymer’s Focdera. vol. ix. 



of state with a br< j' ad ^ rds S and tassels, but by a 
nected not on ^ passinB . over the chest. The 

splendidly-jewelled band pa^s.^^ ^ ^ ^ uot 

face has bear an short all round, so short, 

visible, being cropp J shaven ; a custom at the 
indeed, that the poll the next, 

end of this reign and c Henrv IV. made 

The day before his coronatio^H^. ^ * long 

forty-six knights, and ga sleeves furred with 

coat of a green with the same 

miniver, having la ^r , uk lhose 0 f the prelates ; 
kind of fur, and the lords wore a 

and on the day rvnplandt 8 of scarlet, with a 

long tunic, called a hoUV ^ h knights and esquires 
long mantle over it, a the mantle, 
wore the scarlet ^nU was found neces- 

In the fourth year of * '^enacted, but to so 
sary to revive the ■ sumf > * „. They were re 

little purpose by his P . bul see mingly 

viv ed, .nd f * r '0"S , degble^d ; U0 ^ ^ ^ 
with as little effect. >f oenn itted to wear cloth 
or person of high esta , «^P ^ veWet) or mo tley 
of gold, of crimson, , g open or closed, or 

velvet, or large han gJ h J he ground, or to use the 
gowns so long as marten, excepting only 

furs of ermine, lettice, arme z an odd ex- 

“ gens d’armes quant ^ ^ a , ludes t0 the loose sur- 
ception at hrst si^h , a nd hoods that 

- toet 

was hastily assumed for aetjm^ ^ forbidde n to 
Decorations of gold J hundred pounds in 
all who possessed less man 

. Tt , sp».» r S.1S1 

sr/iSi «*• — ih "* fcre dt 


hen nr iv. 

1 73 

(foods and chattels, or twenty pounds per annum, 
unless they were heirs to estates of fifty marks per 
annum, or to five hundred pounds’ worth of goods 
and chattels. 

Four years afterwards it was ordained that no 
man, let his condition be what it might, should be 
permitted to wear a gown or garment cut or slashed 
into pieces in the form of letters, rose leaves, and 
posies of various kinds, or any such-like devices, 
under the penalty of forfeiting the same, and the 
offending tailor was to be imprisoned during the 
king’s pleasure. 

Sergeants belonging to the court (it is left un- 
certain whether sergeants-at-law or sergeants-at- 
arms are alluded to) were by this additional statute 
privileged to wear such hoods as they pleased for the 
honour of the king and the dignity of their station. 
The mayors, for the time being, of London, Warwick, 
and other free towns, are also exempted from any 

That these statutes were as little regarded as ever, 
we have sufficient proof in the complaints of Occleve 
the poet, from whose poem of ‘ Pride and waste- 
clothing of Lorde’s Men, which is azens (against) 
their Estate,’ we shall quote a few stanzas, mo- 
dernizing in some degree the spelling for the benefit 
of the general reader. 

After a few introductory lines, he says, — • 

“ But this methinketh an abusion, 

To see one walk in a robe of scarlet. 

Twelve yards wide, with pendant sleeves down 
On the ground, and the furrur thereon set, 

Amounting unto twenty pounds or betl (better), 

And if he for it paid, hath he no good 
Left him wherewith to buy himself a hood. 

9 3 



Some afar men might loros Know, 

By their array, from other folk ; or now (bat now, 
A man shall study or muse a tong throw 
Which is which : O lords, it fits you, 

Amend this, for it is in your prow (power). 

If in you and your mea no difference 
Be in array, less is your reverence. 

Also there is another new jett, 

A foul waste of cloth, and excessive. 

There goeth no less in a man’s tippet 
Than a yard of broad cloth by my life 

What is a lord without his men ? 

I put case, that his foes him assail 
Suddenly in the street, what help shall he 
Whose sleeves encumbrous so side trail 
Do to his lord, — he may not him avail; 

In such a case he is but a woman ; 

He may not stand him in stead of a man ; 

His arms two have right enough to do, 

And somewhat more, his sleeves up to hold. 

Who now most may bear on his back at once, 
Of cloth and furrour (furs) hath a fresh reno-*'. 
He is a lusty man clepyd for the nones : 

Now have these lords little need of brooms 
To sweep away the filth out of the street, 

Since side sleeves of pennyless grooms 
Will it up lick, be it dry or wet. 

If a wight virtuous, but narrow-clothed, 

To lords’ courts now-a-days go, 

His company is to myk (many) folk lot'ncd. 
Men pass by him both to and fro, 

And scorn him for he is arrayed so. 

To their conceit there is no wight virtuous 
But he whose array is outrageous. ’ 



Were it not for the style, would not any one suppose 
the latter lines had been written yesterday ? 

A decoration makes its appearance in this reign, 
and is worn by the distinguished ot both sexes, the 
origin of which is differently accounted for. We 
allude to the collar of SS or Esses 3 . Camden says 
it was composed of a repetition of that letter, which 
was the initial of Sanctus Simo Simplicius, an eminent 
Roman lawyer, and that it was particularly worn by 
persons of that profession. Other writers contend 
that it was an additional compliment of Edward III. 
to the Countess of Salisbury. But its non-appear- 
ance till the reign of Henry IV’, is a sufficient answer 
iO that supposition. Sir Samuel Meyrick, with much 
greater probability, suggests, that we should consider 
it the initial letter of Henry's motto, “ Souveraine, 
which he had borne while Earl of Derby, and 
which, as he afterwards became sovereign, appeared 
auspicious. The initial of a common motto of the 
middle ages, “ Souveniez vous de moy” (Souvenez 
vous de moi), has also been mentioned as a deriva- 
tion, and supported by the remark, that a “ fleur-de- 
souvenance,” the “ forget mc-not,’ occasionally linked 
the double SS together : but \ve incline to the opinion 
of Sir Samuel Meyrick, and at the same time we 
must remark the singularity of the circumstance, that 
the origin of such popular and celebrated decorations 
and badges as the feather of the Prince of Wales, 
the Order of the Garter, and the collar ofSS, should 
be to this day. a mystery to the most learned and 
indefatigable antiquaries. 

A great gold collar called of Ilkington, lavishly 
garnished with rubies, sapphires, and pearls, is spoken 
of as the jewel of the Prince of Wales, afterwards 
Henry V., and was pawned by him for five hun- 

3 See it engraved, page 171 of this work, as it appears round 
the neck of Joan of -Na\arre, oueen of Henrjy IV. 


,lred pounds to the Bishop °f WOTcester ^hen 

raising funds for the 

Another collar called Busan on > 


sarsasasST rfers 

with “ostrich feathers (th, V Hidd'and numberless 
P llr P' e . ™lp‘ pSged i the same time to 

^ P a„ of the r»,ai 

of the Garter during this reign. In the 

arms and armour 

of the knights of the reign of Hear, Wj- ^ 

novelty to remark, exc P footed stirrups, and 

shoe was sometimes supplied i y termin P ate d at 

*• >: bS °1, SSrfs^n^nCever vis, hie 
the instep, lncrea. p wreath or band 

in the military equipmen. and the border of 

rng thestnct pn ^ acc0U ut of the armour 

chronicler tournament at Windsor by the 

worn at the grauu • t ii cnn . ; and this 

knights who comped ^ unsuspicioHS i y copied 

description » • » ldira l Monuments, ’ and 

into the preface to m at? , History 

M Shann, i nrneh „ Umhoys, 

pass-guards, and other pieces of armour not known 
' itymcr's Fredera, v»l. is- Ibid. M e '.99. 


1 77 

before the time of Henry VII., shows the whole 
account to be a fabrication of the ingenious chroni- 
cler, who (like others of his craft and period) is only 
an authority for his own time, when, if he chooses to 
embellish a pageant or a banquet, he describes a? 
least fashions that are known to him, and gives the 
various articles of apparel the names by which thej 
were then distinguished. 

With regard to 

Female head-dress of the reign of Henry IV., from the effigy of Ludy Da 
Thorpe, Ashwelthorpe Church, Norfolk. 


the fashions of the reign of Richard II. appear to 
have been continued with little variation (vide 
eftigv of Joan of Navarre at the head of this chap- 
ter) ; the long-trained gowns, with the sur-cols or 
rentes (stomachers) trimmed with fur, have entirely 
displaced the super-tunic, and the reticidated head- 
dress (as the hair gathered into a gold caul at the 
sides has been denominated), sometimes covered 
with a kerchief or veil, assumes in this reign a 
square, and in the two following a heart-shaped 
appearance, which seems to have awakened the 
wrath and satire of the moralists and poets of 
the time. Great confusion exists respecting the 
horned head-dress in the works of Strutt, who, as 
we have before mentioned, applies some obscure 



lines of Jean de Meun to this f«hion, 

them up with the is a Norman knight, 

hundred years later. I his » riter is a 

The writer introduces a holy bishop dec ai o 
the pulpit against the fashionable follies of the fair 
E ex whom he accuses of being marvellously array ed 
in diverse and quaint manners, and particularly ■ 
hl s 1: horns. He compares .hem in ho™* sn«.1s 
to lmrls, and to unicorns and 

story of a gentlewoman who came to a least na% 1 = 

rXz on 

S' re!"!! Thf malted htaL", ess,' Reading 

mil o'n each side, might, when c°-red with a^ ed, 
be fairly enough assimilated to .the jcro- 
square nibbet of those times, and when “ e 

thrown' "over one of the heart- shaped hea^dres e 

and suffered to sink in the centre, it may aLo be 
called horned; but there is another and more com- 
plete horned head-dress that became ^biomblem 

England during the reign of Henry •> 
probably been so for some time previously in France 
from whence it travelled, we may presume, in the 
suiie of Queen Katherine. Of that, ho * e * er \ a, V * 
The square head-dress is the most rcmar ^ 
this reiom. A fine specimen is engraved in preceding 
na^e from the etfigy of Lady De Thorpe. 

P The French MS. before (pioted contains many 
strictures upon the female costume of tins period. 
The writer inveighs against the superfluous quanti- 



ties of fur on the tails of the gowns, on the sleeves, 
and the hoods ; and adds, the use of great purfles 
and slit coats was introduced by wanton women, 
and afterwards adopted by the princesses and ladies 
of England, and with them he wishes it may con- 
tinue. He laments that the love of useless fashions 
was so prevalent amongst the lower classes of people, 
saying, “ there is a custom now amongst serving- 
w'omen of low estate which is very common, namely, 
to put fur on the collars of their garments, which 
hang down to the middle of their backs. They put 
fur also upon the bottom, which falls about their heels 
and is daubed with the mire, &c.” And, to deter his 
daughters from extravagance and superfluity in dress, 
he recounts a legend of a knight, who, having lost 
his wife, applied to a hermit to ascertain if her soul 
had taken an upward or a downward direction. The 
good man, after long praying, fell asleep in his 
chapel, and dreamed that he saw the soul of the 
fair lady weighed in a balance, with St. Michael on 
one side and the devil on the other. In the scale 
which contained the soul w ere placed the good deeds 
of her life, and in the opposite one her evil actions, 
and beside the scale lay her fine costly clothing in 
the care of a fiend. The devil then said to St. 
Michael this woman had ten diverse gowns and as 
many coats, and you well know that a smaller num- 
ber would have been sufficient for every thing neces- 
sary, according to the law of God, and that with the 
value of one of these gowns or coats no less than 
forty poor men might have been clothed and kept 
from the cold, and that the mere waste cloth in 
them would have saved two or three from perishing; 
so saying, the foul fiend gathered up all her gay 
garments, rings, and jewels, and flung them into the 
scale with her evil actions, which instantly prepon- 

1 BO 


aerated, and St. Michael immediately left the ady 

and her wardrobe at the devil’s disposal. 

Strutt has quoted another short story from the 
same work, which we will add here as throwing a 
little more light upon the cote-hardie. 

The eldest of two sisters was promised by her 
father to a young knight, possessed of a large estate 
The day was appointed for the gentleman to make 
his visit, he not having as yet seen either of them, 
and the ladies were informed of his coming, that 
they might be prepared to receive him. 1 he affi- 
anced bride, who was the handsomest of the two, 
bein<r desirous to show her elegant shape and slender 
waist to the best advantage, clothed herse.f in a cote- 
hardie, which sat very strait and close upon her, 
without any lining or facing of fur, though it was in 
winter, and exceedingly cold. The consequence was, 
that she appeared pale and miserable, like one pe- 
rishing with the severity of the weather; while her 
sister, who, regardless of her shape, had attired her- 
self rationally with thick garments lined wuh fur, 
looked warm and healthy, and ruddy as a rose 
The young knight was fascinated by her who had 
the least beauty and the most prudence, and having 
obtained the father’s consent to the change, left the 
mortified sister to shiver in single blessedness. 

The sumptuary laws passed in this reign prohibit 
the wearing of furs of ermine, lettice, pure minivers 
or grey, by the wives of esquires, unless they are 
noble themselves, or their husbands mayors of Lon- 
don Warwick, or other free towns. The queen s 
gentlewomen and the chief maiden attendant upon a 
princess, a duchess, or a countess, are likewise per- 
mitted to wear the richer furs. 


REIGN OF HENRY V., 1411—1422. 


ot this short but busy reign differs in no visible de- 
gree from its immediate precursors. The long and 
short gowns, with sweeping sleeves, fancifully in- 
dented at the edges, or the pokys or bagpipe sleeves, 
mentioned by the monk of Evesham, formed the 
general upper garments of high and low, according 
to their own goodwill and pleasure, and in contempt 
of all parliamentary enactments. 

A peti or pettite coat of red damask is mentioned 
as remaining amongst the apparel of Henry V., and 
as it is described to have had open sleeves, there can 
be no doubt it was but a little coat, and that the gar- 
ment had no affinity to its highly-honoured name- 
sake. The mention of gowns, houppelands, chape- 
rons, &c. in the same inventory, proves the duration 
ot the fashions of the last reign. Heukes of scarlet 
cloth and camlet, and pilches of grey fur, are novel 
articles. The first was no doubt a cloak similar to 
that still called a heuke by the Moors of Barbary 
and Morocco. The latter word is a corruption of 
the Latin pelliceus, or the Saxon pylce, and was an 
outer garment of fur used in cold or bad weather. 
Chaucer says, 

“After grete hete eomilh colde, 

No. man cast his pilche away.” 

Gallages or galloches occur in the same inventory ; 
and Henry V.’s partiality to short boots or buskins, 
called by the French housseaulx and bottines, is 
proved by an anecdote in Monstrelet’s Chronicles. 

“ When the rumour of Henry’s death had reached 
the French court, Messire Sarazin D'Arly inquired 
of a relation, who had just returned from Picardy, if 
he knew any thing relative to the decease of the King 
of England ; to which he replied in the affirmative, 


18 . 2 BRITI&fl COSTUME. 

- 9 » id that he - -^swsr rss 

lying m state in th , gaid garaz i n> ‘ that you 

ville. ‘But are y ‘ ’ < Perfectly sure,’ replied 

have not been deem d? ^ lhat ' he . h ad not his 
the other. But wu J ( he had nol ; sal d his 

buskins on his legs r f ... . > exclaimed Sarazin, 
relation. • Then, by m, )rfl 

•I »*«??*■ b * ta ‘he provinces 

behind him w Fr ^ crownj the greater part of 
belonging to the t Eng li s h province. 

Picardy being at this time a fa Rouen, 

Tn an old English poem on ttie sie D e 
v. D 1418, Henry is described as 

« On a broune stede, 

Of blak damaske was his wede, 

A peytrelle of golde full brygt 
Aboute bis necke hynge downngt, 

And a pendaunte behind him did honge 
Unto the erthe, it was so longe . 

The „tre Ue or £*£»•* -fa 5 ! 

furniture ot this per , t. b J oune stede’s,” we 

meant the king s an^ ^ some golden collar 
must presume ^ down from about his neck 

thus called as hang K of a breast-plate: 

could hardly be „sed to be armed, but 

besides which, he weed of black 

SEE ”* 

unbecoming fashion. no^ 

SShrdeed of the^whole of the fifteenth century 
is a closely shorn chin. 

« Chroniqncs, tom. l. sub anno 1 - • 

1 Vide Archajologia, vol. *xn. 



In the first year of Henry V.’s reigu the colour 
of the surcoat and chaperon of the knights of the 
Garter was changed again to white. The whole ol 
the dress was still of cloth® 

Military costume of the reign of Henry V. 

Figs, a and b, from ilium. MS. Royal, 15, D. 3; c, from effigy of Michael de 
la Pole, Earl of Suffolk, in Wingfield Church, Suffolk ; d. from the effigy 
of Sir Robert Gruehill, Hoveringham Church, Notts. 


of this period is remarkable for the introduction of 
the panache*; the graceful decoration of feathers 
8 Ashmole’s Hist, of the Order. 

0 The word “panache” is generally used instead of“plume” for 
the feathers placed upright on the apex of the helmet or bascinet, 
the latter term being applied when worn on the side or behind, 
as in later specimens. It is remarked by Mr. Fosbrooke in his 
Encyclopedia of Antiquities, that the knight wore three feathers. 

. 84 


having been hitherto confined to heraldic crests upon 
helmets, and never appearing as a mere ornament in 

Tilting helmet and shield, from the tomb of Henry V. Westminster Abbey. 

and the esquire one ; but there appears no rule for this. Persons 
nf the highest rank are as often seen with one feather on thew 
nelmct as with three. 



England till the reign of Henry V . 10 Its effect in 
ihe civil bonnet or hood, where we have seen it, from 
the time of Edward III., induced some leader of 
consequence, we presume, to transfer it to the basci- 
net, upon the ape* of which it now appears falling 
gracefully backw ard, a tube or hollow knob being 

Helmet of Louis, Due de Bourbon, engraved in Montfaucon. 

placed there to contain it. The bascinet itself under- 
goes a change about this time, taking the shape oi 
the head behind, and approaching the form of the 
salade or sallet, a German head-piece, introduced in 

10 We have mentioned the apparent solitary exception in page 
108 of this work, temp. F.dw. I. Sir Samuel (then Doctor) 
Meyrick first called attention to the curious circumstance ot 
feathers being first worn as ornaments in the reign of Henry V. 
Mr. Mills, in his History of Chivalry, remarks that that gentleman’s 
“not being able to find any instance of their being thus worn, 
goes but very little way to prove the negative.” This is un- 
courteous enough ; but it is equally unjust: for their nou-appear- 
ance in the thousands of earlier illuminations the learned Doctor 
had examined, coupled with their simultaneous appearance in all 
of that period, and continual occurrence afterwards, does go a 
very long way to prove it. Besides, Mr. Mills prefaces this ob- 
servation by stating that Dr. Meyrick had contended that “feathers 
were not used as crests till the fifteenth century,” which he 
never did do, but on the contrary, contemls,that they toere'uscd as 
crests (that is to say heraldic crests ) only, and. not as a mere 
plume or ornament, which an antiquary would not call a crest in 
speaking of English armour of the middle ages. Vide Meyrick’i 
Critical Enquiry ‘nto Ancient Arms and Armour, 3 vols. 4to. 

R 3 



Bascinet, o. the reign of Henry V., in the Meyriek eoUection. 

, • _ rpu p p- rea t crested helmet or heaume 

for ,‘S 

tS£ » r .«be n r^ T.che, and Mas for 
camail round the edge the tag or cap 

c ^ ^ tiv • hut the distinguishing character o 

t "Pi 

tlToatlwT 'so that when thehause-eol or steel 
Aren’t Vworn instead of or over the cam.d as in 



18 / 

protect the armpit. Lance-rests in the form of hooks, 
placed just below the right breast, and breast-plates 
of two pieces, the lower one rising to a point in the 
centre and fastened upon the upper by an orna- 
mented buckle, are also characteristic of this reign. 
The lower plate was called the placard. St. Remy, 
a writer who was present at the battle of Agincourt, 
describes Henry himself, at break of day, hearing 
three masses, one after the other, armed in all his 
armour excepting that for his head and his cote 
d'armes (i. e. emblazoned surcoat or jupon). After 
masses had been said they brought him the armour 
for his head, which was a very handsome bascinet, 
a barierre (query baviere), upon which he had a very 
rich crown of gold circled like an imperial crown, 
that is, arched over — the earliest instance of an 
arched crown wnrn by an English monarch 11 . 

Monstrelet tells us the archers were, for the most, 
without armour and in jackets, with their hose loose, 
and hatchets or swords* hanging to their girdles; 
some, indeed, were bare-footed, and without hats or 
caps. St. Remy confirms this account, using the 
word ‘ pourpoints” for jackets ; but adds, that some 
wore caps of boiled leather (the cuir-bouilli), or 
wicker-work crossed over with iron. 

Two-handed swords, with flaming or waved blades, 
first appear in this reign ; but they were used more 
for state than for war: a pole-axe was generally 
carried by commanders from the present period to 
the reign of Edw r ard IV. 


of this reign is distinguished by a head-dress which 

11 Elmham gives a similar but a more vague and fanciful ac- 
count. Henry’s crown was twice struck and injured by the 
blows of his enemies. The Duke D’Alenqon struck off part of it 
with his battle-axe, and one of the points or flowers was cut off by 
a Trench esquire, who, with seventeen others, swore to perform 
«ome such feat or perish. Monstrelet, St. Remy. 



Female costame of the reign of Henry V., from MS. Royal, 15, D 3. 

may indeed be called horned. The satirical effusions 
of such writers as John de Meun, and the £ nl S h ‘ of 
Normandy, appear to have had no other effect upon 
the ladies than to induce them, in the true spirit of 
contradiction, to justify to the fullest extent the odiou 
comparisons of their censors. There is no lon^ 
any thing extravagant in the charge of wearing a 
gibbet on the head, or rivalling the crested honours 
of the brute creation. The head-dress exhibited in 
the illuminations and on the effigies of this period 
is certainly as ugly and unbecoming as can well be 
imagined : fortunately, however, for the painter or the 
actress, the fashion does not appear to ha\e been so 
general as to render its introduction on the canvas or 
the stage indispensable. The simple golden network 



Horned head-dress of the 15th century, from the effigy of Beatrice, Countess 
of Arundel, in the Church at Arundel, 

confining the hair, and a quaint but elegant head-tire 
consisting of a roll of rich stuff, sometimes descending 
in a peak on the forehead, or circling the brow like 
a turban, exist to extricate the lovers of the picturesque 
from so disagreeable a dilemma. Taste is ever the 
true friend of fashion, and can see and amend her 
follies while most admiring her inventions. 

The robe or gown with a long train and hanging 
or tabard sleeves, and thecote-hardie with its spencer- 
like variety, are seen as in the last reign ; but where 
girdles are worn, the waist is considerably shorter. 
An inner tunic is sometimes discernible by its sleeves, 
which descend beyond those of the robe and cover 
the hand, as in the time of Henry I. ; gloves not 
yet forming a usual portion of the female attire. 

The effigy of William of Colchester, Abbot of 
Westminster from 1386 to 1420, engraved in Sto- 
t hard’s work from the monument in Westminster 
Abbey, may be referred to as a fine specimen of the 
ecclesiastical costume of this period. 



Chapter XIII. 


John Talbot, Earl of Shrewsbury, in the habit of the Order of the Garter, 
presenting a book to King Henry VI., and his Queen, Margaret, from an 
illumination in the volume so presented, marked Royal, lb, E. 6. 

REIGN OF HENRY VI., 1420—1461. 

Ir any proof were wanting of the confusion and dis- 
order of this unfortunate monarch’s reign it might be 
drawn from the apparel of his }>eople, which appears 
to have been a jumble ot all the fashions ot past 


Civil costume of the reign of Henry VI. 

The centre figure, from a copy of Trim** » '’•* 

marked 4880 -the rest from a copy of Lydgate’s Life of St. M. Hsrl .ill ■ 

shapes, and the alteration of the chaperon from an 
almost indescribable bundle into a regularly-formed 
crown within a thick roll called the roundlet, and 
having a long tippet attached to it winch trailed on 
the n-round, (vide fourth figure in the above en- 
graving,) was tucked into the girdle, or wrapped 

ages with every thing most ridiculous and extra- 
vagant that could be invented or discovered at the 
moment. It were a vain task to attempt a minute 
description or classification of the dresses of this 
period. The most remarkable teature ot the 


of the middle of the fifteenth century, was the more 
frequent appearance of caps and hats of fantastic 



round the neck, or suspended the chaperon itsell 
over the shoulder when removed from the head, ac- 
cording to the fancy or situation of the wearer. A 
single feather is sometimes worn in front of the cap 
or bonnet, as in the time of Richard II. Long tight 
hose with feet to them, boots or galoches coming up 
to the middle of the thigh, short boots or buskins, 
and shoes with high fronts and backs that turn over 
each way, all of them long-toed, and some extra- 
vagantly so. The gown, doublet, or jacket, instead 
of being made close and high up in the neck as in 
the last century, is now cut round even with the 
shoulders, frequently showing the small stand-up 
collar, hollowed out in front, of some under vest- 
ment, with tight sleeves that protrude through open- 
ings made in the loose ones of the gown or jacket, 
which latter hang down, richly trimmed with fur, and 
seemingly more for ornament than service. 

The hair is worn as before, the face closely shaven. 


consist of long robes with or without sleeves, lined 
and trimmed with furs, or having only capes or 
collars of ermine descending half way to the elbow, 
with bars of ermine beneath, according to the rank 
of the wearer. 

Garlands or coronets, and chains or collars of 
gold and jewels, are worn as before. 

The robes of the knights of the Garter underwent 
some alteration in this reign. The colour of the sur- 
coat and chaperon was changed to scarlet 1 in the 
thirteenth year of Henry VI., and afterwards back 
again to white. The number of garters to be em- 
broidered on them was limited in this reign to one 
hundred and twenty for a duke, and less by ten for 

1 Ami, in confirmation of this, we perceive that the surcoat ot 
the Earl of Shrewsbury, in the illumination engraved at the head 
of this chapter, is so painted; the hood is also red but lighter. 

HRNinr vi. 


a niar([uis, by twenty for an earl, and so on, down to 
a knight bachelor, who wore sixty. The king was 
unlimited, and on Henry’s surcoat and hood there 
were oue hundred and seventy-three. The mantle 
about this period was first made of velvet, and lined 
with white damask or satin*. Legal and other official 
habits are composed invariably of long and full 
gowns, sometimes of tw'o colours 3 , girdled round the 
waist, and hoods with long tippets by which they are 
occasionally shrug over the shoulder. The gowns 
are trimmed and lined with furs according to the 
rank of the wearer. 

When Henry VI. returned to England after being 
crowned in France, a.d. 1432, the lord-mayor of 
London rode to meet him at Eltham, being arrayed in 
crimson velvet, a great velvet hat furred, a girdle of 
gold about his middle, and a baldrick of gold about 
his neck trailing down behind him. His three 
henchmen 4 in one suit of red spangled with silver. 

* Ashmole’s Hist, of the Order. 

3 “ Of older times,” says Stow, “ I read that the officers of 
this city wore gowns of party-colours, as the right side of one 
colour and the left side of another. As for example, I read in 
books of accounts in Guildhall, that in the nineteenth year of 
King Henry VI. there was bought for an officer’s gown two yards 
of cloth coloured mustard viUars, a colour now out of use, and 
two yards of cloth coloured blew, price two shillings the yard, 
in all eight shillings more, paid to John Pope, draper, for two 
gown-cloths, eight yards, of two colours, eux ombo deux de rouge 
or red medley, brune and porre (or purple) colour. Price the 
yard two shillings. These gowns were for Piers, Rider, and John 
Buckle, clerks of the chamber.” Mustard vil/ars has been said 
to be a corruption of moitier velours , and consequently to signify 
the species of stuff, and not the colour; but Stow speaks of it 
here as a colour distinctly. A town called Muster dc Villiers, 
near Harfleur, is mentioned by the historians of the preceding 
reign in their accounts of Henry’s expedition, and most probably 
gave its name to the dye or the sluff there manufactured. 

4 Pages so called. The royal henchmen were abolished bv 
Q. Elizabeth. 




The aldermen in gowns of scarlet with purple hood*, 
and all the commonalty of the city m wbde gown, 
and scarlet hoods, with divers cognizances em- 
broidered on their sleeves 5 . 

visor; c, a fipnre Irom an J ... , d^rcer call e&dagve a roclle 

ssftsss.'&'a gj&ssUb * 

the armour 

partook of the fantastic and unbridled caprices of 
the day. Surcoats and jupons were less wom but it 
became the fashion to cover the breast-plate with sdt 
of one colour, and the placard with silk °f anothen 
The jazerant or jazerine jacket was frequently worn 
8 Stow. 



in lies of the breast and back plates. This defence 
was composed of small overlapping plates of iron 
covered with velvet, the gilt studs that secured them 
forming the exterior ornament, and over this was 
sometimes worn the placard of steel. Tuiles, plates 
depending from the taces or skirt of the armour in 
front, over an apron of chain-mail, are first visible at 
this period. A still lighter species of armour than 
the jazerant, but of the same description, is mentioned 
by Commines about this time. “ The Dukes of Berri 
and Bretagne,” he says, “ were at their ease on their 
hobbies, armed only with gilt nails sewn upon satin, 
that they might weigh the less.” This sort of habit 
would have all the appearance of a jazerant exter- 
nally, and may be easily mistaken for it in illumina- 
tions of the fifteenth century. To the bascinet, helmet, 
and chapel-de-fer, was now added a new head-piece, 
called a salade or sallet, from the German schale or 
shell. Its principal characteristic is the projection 
behind. It had sometimes only a horizontal slit for 
the sight as it descended below the eyes, but at others 
it came no lower than the forehead and was furnished 
with a moveable visor. (Vide engraving on the oppo- 
site page.) Casqueteh or steel caps were also in- 
troduced, and are seen in the illuminations of this 
reign with oreillets, round or oval plates over the 
ears, and sometimes with a- spike at the top called a 
crenel or charnel. Sometimes the oreillets themselves 
have spikes projecting from their centres. 

The armour generally is exceedingly ornamented. 
Every plate of that of John, Duke of Somerset, 
(engraved in Sandfotd’s Genealogical History,) who 
died in 1444, has an exceedingly rich border to it. 
He also wears the splendid military belt which is 
seldom seen after this reign. 

The spurs were screwed on to the steel shoe about 
this time, instead of being fastened by leathers. They 
were exceedingly long in the neck, and the spikes of 



the rowels of formidable dimensions. (Vide figum * 
p. 194.) 



The first token of a most important change in 
warfare became visible during the reign of Henry VI. 
The invention of cannon had suggested to the Italians 
the use that might be made of a piece of ordnance 
small enough to be portable, and the hand-cannon or 
gonne, a simple iron tube with trunions at its sides, 
and a touch-hole atop, was fixed in a stock of wood 
about a cubit and a half in length, and called the 
frame of the gun. It was soon however discovered 
that while the touch-hole remained atop, the priming 
was likely to fall off or be blown away before the 
match could be applied ; the perforation was conse- 
quently transferred to the side, and a small pan put 
under it to hold the powder. A cover for the pan 
was next invented to turn off and on by means of a 
pivot, and in this stage it was used in England, 
certainly as early as 1446, as appears from a roll of 
purchases for the castle on Holy Island, in the 
county of Durham, of that date. 

A hand-cannon of the earliest sort with the touch- 
hole atop, and a battle-axe with a hand-gun united 
and the touch-hole placed above a pan at the side, 
are engraved on the opposite page, from the originals 
in the armoury at Goodrich Court. 


comprises, like that of the other sex, all the pre- 
vious fashions with fantastic additions and variations 
too numerous to detail in words. Gowns with enor- 
mous trains, girded tightly at the waist, and with 
turn-over collars of fur or velvet coming to a point in 
front, and disclosing sometimes a square-cut under 
vest or stomacher of a different colour to the robe, 
are of the termination of this reign. The sleeves are 
of all descriptions, but the waist is exceedingly short, 
as in Henry V.’s reign. The head-dresses are 

s 3 

1 94 



Kerr ale costume, reign of Henry VI. 

Figs, a and b, fromHarleian MS SS78 i e. 

m the Meyrick collection; the rest from Royal Ms. lo, t- o. at- 

mostly of the horned or heart shape, the latter ex- 
ceedingly high, with tippets or veils sometimes at- 
tached to them. (Vide engraving above.) The Har- 
leian MS. 2255, fol. 6, preserves “ a ditty against the 
forked coiffures,” or head dresses which the ladies 
wore in the time of Henry VI., beginning 
“ Off God and kyhde procedith al bewte.” 

Large turbans of the true Turkish form, made of the 
richest materials, are frequently seen from this period. 
In a poem presented by Lidgate to Henry I. a a y 
is drawn sitting up in her bed with a turban on, and 
another with a similar head-dress attending her. 
(Vide figures a and b.) Isabella of Bavaria, queen 



of Charles VI of France, is seen in Montfaucon’s 
work with a heart-shaped head-dress of exceeding 
size, and the story goes, that she carried the fashion 
to such an extent, that the doors of the palace at Vin- 
cennes were obliged to be altered to admit the queen 
and the ladies of her suite when in full dress : but 
this anecdote, if authentic, might relate to the steeple 
head-dress, which succeeded the horned or hearted 
shape, and was worn, as its name implies, of a por- 
tentous height 6 . Isabella is represented with one in a 
another illumination copied in Johnes’ edition of 
Froissart, the prints to which are all engraved from 
miniatures of the fifteenth instead of the fourteenth 

REIGN OF EDWARD IV., 1461—1483. 

I*>rd River*, and Caxtoo, his printer, presenting n book to Edward IV. and 
his family. 

6 Vide page 207. 



There is no effigy of Edward IV. On his seal he 
is represented in the tunic, dalmatica, and mantle with 
a deep cape or cope of ermine. He is crowned with 
the imperial arched diadem, its first appearance on the 
seals of our English monarch', though not in their 
actual regalia. In his right hand he bears the sceptre 
and in his left the mound and cross. With a slight 
variation of attitude, we perceive him similarly repre- 
sented in the engraving, p. 199, copied from an illu- 
minated MS. in the Lambeth library, wherein he is 
depicted receiving a book from the hands of Lord 
Rivers and Caxton the printer, and surrounded by 
his queen and family. The new fashion that Edward 
chose for his last state dresses was to have them 
made with very full hanging sleeves, like a monk s, 
lined with the most sumptuous furs, and so roiled 
over his shoulders as to give his tall person an 
ait of peculiar grandeur 7 . He also altered the sur- 
coat and chaperon of the Order of the Garter from 

the white cloth of the last reign to purple velvet . It 

is probable that the velvet mantle introduced by 
Henry VI. remained blue, as murrey and blue were 
the colours of the house of York, and similar reasons 
may have suggested the adoption of colours to the 
various sovereigns ; blue and white being the Em 7 " 
castrian colours, and blue and scarlet those ot the 
kingdom. The lining of the surcoat was now al- 
tered from furs to white sarcenet®. 


of this period may be gathered from the following ex- 
tracts from the chronicles of Monstrelet and I arad.n s 
Histoire de Lyons, for there was no tashion so ridi- 
culous started in France, but then as now, it was 
immediately adopted in England. The former writer 

1 Monk of Orovland, 563. 
■ Ash mole, Hist, of the Order. 




Civil costnme of the reign of Edward IV. 

Figs, a and b. Cotton MS. Nero, D. 9 ; c, Royal, 15, E. 2, dated 1482. 

tells us that the jackets, doublets, or pourpoints, were 
cut shorter than ever, and the sleeves of them slit, so 
as to show their large, loose, and white shirts ; the 
shoulders were padded out with large waddings 
called mahoitres , and so capricious were the beaux of 
the period, that he who to-day was shortly clothed, 
was habited to-morrow down to the ground. They 
wore their hair so long that it came into their eyes, 
and they covered their heads with bonnets of cloth a 
quarter of an ell or more in height; all of them, as 
well knights as squires, wore chains of gold of the 
most sumptuous kind. Even boys wore doublets of 
silk, satin, and velvet ; and almost all, especially in 
the courts of princes, had points at the toes of their 
«*hoes a quarter of an ell long and upwards, which 
they now called poulaines. Paradin is still more 



descriptive on the subject of shoes. “ Th ®^ e "’’^ e 
savs, “ wore shoes with a point before, half a loot 

lon'>-; the richer and more eminent personages wore 

them a foot, and princes two feet long, which wa 
the most ridiculous thing that ever was seen ; and 
when men became tired of these pointed shoes, w hich 
were called poulaines, they adopted others in their 
stead denominated duck-bills, having a bill or beak 
before of four or five fingers in length. Afterwards, 
assuming a contrary fashion, they wore slippers so 
"road in front as to exceed the measure of a 

S °Inthe third yelJ of Edward’s reign he endeavoured 
to check some of these extravagances, and an act 
was promulgated, by which cloth of gold, clot 
silk of a purple colour, and fur of sables were pro 
hibited to all knights under the estate of lords_ Ba- 
chelor knights were forbidden to w^r doth olivet 
upon velvet, unless they were knights of the Garter 

aid simple esquires or gentlemen were restricted 
from the use of velvet, damask, or figured satin, or 
any counterfeit resembling such stuflfs, excep^ they 
possessed a yearly income to the value of a hundred 
IZZ, or were^ attached to the king’s court or 

h °The richer furs were also forbidden to anypersons 
who were not in the enjoyment of forty P°‘ inds > 
income; and girdles of gold, silver, or silver gill, or 
any way ornamented with such materials, were also 

forbidden to them. -,,^1 , n 

No one under the estate of a lord was P er ™ ,U «J £ 
wear the indecently-short jackets, gowns, <- ' • 
boned by Monstrelet, or pikes or polemes to his 
shoes and boots exceeding two inches m length. >• o 
Y eoman or person under the degree ot a yeoman, was 
allowed bolsters, or stuffing ot wool, cotton, or 
in his purpoint or doublet under a pen. > 


20 ? 

shillings and eight-pence fine and forfeiture awarded ; 

to every tailor making such short or stuffed dresses* 
or shoemaker or cobbler manufacturing such long-toed 
shoes for unprivileged persons, Stow adds, the pain 
of cursing by the clergy for the latter oflence, as well 
as the forfeit of twenty shillings ; one noble to the 
kino-, another to the cordwainers of London, and the 
third to the chamber of London 1 ®. 

A similar statute was passed in the twenty-second 
year of Edward IV., when the former statutes were 
repealed, and woollen cloth manufactured out of the 
king’s dominions was strictly prohibited to all persons 
under the rank of nobility. The lord mayor of 
London ranked as a knight bachelor; and the re- 
corder and aldermen of London, the mayors, bailiffs, 
&c. of all cities, towns, shire towns, boroughs, cinque- 
ports, and the barons of the same, were permitted 
the use of apparel allotted to esquires and gentlemen 
having possessions to the annual amount of forty 

The collar of suns and roses, to which was some- 
times appended the white lion of the house of March, 
was given by Edward IV. to his adherents, and is seen 
on many of the effigies of this period. It is*here en- 
graved as seen on the effigy of the Countess of Arun- 
del at Arundel (fig. a ), and that of Sir John Crosby 
in the church of Great St. Helen’s, London (fig. b). 
In both instances the ornament or figure appended is 

*• Chronicle, p. 419. 



destroyed, but the remains of it attached to Sir J 
Crosby's collar bear evidence to its having been the 
representation ot some animal, if not the lion of March. 
The suns and roses of the other collar are linked 
by the Arundel badges of oak leaves. 

Casquetel of the reign of Edward IV., io the Meyrick collection. 


presents us with few striking novelties "V ery glo- 
bular breast-plates, immense elbow-plates, and large 
tuilles (only one for each thigh) terminating in a 
sharp angle, are characteristic of this reign, but they 
are not universal. The sollerets were still enor- 
mously long and pointed, in accordance with the 
piked shoes of the time. The steel pikes, however, 
retained the old name of cracowes, while those of 
the boots and shoes were new christened pouleines. 
Helmets appear little worn except for tournaments, 
and the visored salade is the general head-piece of 
knights in battle, sometimes surmounted by a wreath 
amf crest. The morion first appears in this reign. 
The skull-caps of steel, called casqxu&ds and capcl- 
lines with the large oval ear-pieces, are frequent, and 
the gorget and apron of chain-mail are indented or 
escahoped at the edges. The surcoat and jupon are 
seldom seen, but a tabard of arms, worn loose like 
the herald’s, occasionally supplies their place. The 
military belt is still worn, and the jazerine jacket 
and nearly all the armour of the preceding reign 
may be found in illuminations of the present. 



The shield is without alteration. Halberts are 
first mentioned about this period, though I he name 
belonged to the earliest pole-axe, which the Ger- 
mans called alle-barde or cleave-all. The voulge , 
a variety of the glaive or guisarme, and the genetaire 
or janetaire, a kind of Spanish lance, are added to 
the catalogue of offensive weapons, and the hand-gun 
became common. Swords and bucklers are first 
assigned to archers in this reign. Chanfrons, with 
spikes projecting from them, were adopted about 
1467. Spurs as before. 

Grose, on the authority of a MS. in the British 
Museum, says that, in the year 1471, Edward IV. 
landed at Ravenspurg in Yorkshire, having among 
his troops three hundred Flemings armed with hange- 
guns, which, if not a corrupted reading for hand-guns, 
may have been so called from a long hasp of iron 
generally affixed to them, and by which they might be 
hung at the girdle. 


of the reign of Edward IV. is no whit behind that of 
their lords in extravagance or splendour. Monstre- 
let tells us that, about the year 1467, the ladies left 
off the fashion of wearing tails to their gowns, and in 
their room substituted borders of lettice and marten 
skins, or of velvet and other materials, as wide and 
sometimes wider than a whole breadth of the stuff. 
They wore on their heads round caps, gradually di- 
minishing to the height of halt an ell, or three quar- 
ters, as some had them with loose kerchiefs atop, 
hanging down sometimes as low as the ground. 
They began to wear their girdles of silk much larger 
than thev were accustomed to do, with the clasps more 
sumptuous, and collars or chains of gold about their 
necks much quainter than before (“ plus cointe- 




ment”), and in a greater variety. Paradin says the 
ladies ornamented their heads with certain rolls ol 
linen" pointed like steeples, generally half, and some- 
times three quarters of an ell in height. These were 
called by some, great butterflies, from having two large 
wino-s on each side resembling those of that insect. 
The" high cap was covered with a fine piece of lawn 
hanging down to the ground, the greater part of which 
was°tucked under the arm. The ladies of a middle 
rank wore caps of cloth, consisting of several breadths 
or bands twisted round the head, with two wings on 
the sides like ape’s ears ; others again, of a higher 
condition, wore caps of velvet half a yard high, 
which in the:,e days would appear very strange and 

11 H s calls them “ foirtanges.” 



Female costume of the reign of Edward IV. 

Figs, a and 6, from Royal MS. 14. E, 2 ; c, Ibid. 19, E.5 , dated 1478 ; rf, Ibid 
15, K. 4. dated 1483 ; e, Harleiao MS. 4373; the others from Cotton col 
lection, Nero, D. 9. 

unseemly. It is not an easy matter, continues the 
author, to give a proper description in writing of the 
different fashions in the dresses of the ladies, and he 
refers the readers to the ancient tapestry and painted 
glass, in which they may see them more perfectly re- 
presented. “To these he might have added,” says 
Mr. Strutt, “ the illuminated MSS., wherein they are 
frequently enough to be met with but his readers 
might have satisfied themselves still more completely, 
as indeed ours may do, by a glance at the costume 
of Normandy. The peasantry of Rouen, Caen, 



Caux, &c.i to this day wear the identical steeple 
caps with the butterflies’ wings that, three hundred 
and sixty years ago, towered upon the heads of the 
gentle XE of Paris and London. The evanescent 
caprice of some high-born fair has given a 
costume to the paysannes of Normandy, who have 
reverently copied for nearly four centuries the heaJ 
dress worn by their mothers before them. 

Addison, in the Spectator, has a pleasant letter on 
this subject, comparing the steeple hea< ’ l ° 
commode or tower of his day ; and, follow mg » 

he says, “ The women might possibly have earned this 
Gothic building much higher had not a famous monk, 
Thomas Conecte by name, attacked it with great zea 
and resolution. This holy man travelled from place 
to place to preach down this monstrous commode , 
and succeeded so well in it that, as the magicians sa- 
crificed their books to the flames upon the preaching 
of an apostle, many of the women threw down their 
head-dresses in the middle of his sermon, and made a 
bonfire of them within sight of the pulpit. He was 
so renowned, as well for the sanctity of his life as his 
manner of preaching, that he had often a congrega- 
tion of twenty thousand people, the men placing 
themselves on the one side of his pulpit, and the wo- 
men on the other, that appeared (to use the simili- 
tude of an ingenious writer) like a forest of cedars 
with their heads reaching to the clouds. He so 
warmed and animated the people against this mon- 
strous ornament that it lay under a kind ot persecu- 
tion, and, whenever it appeared in public, was pelted 
down by the rabble, who flung stones at the persons 
that wore it. But notwithstanding this prodigy 
vanished while the preacher was amongst them it 
began to appear again some months after his de- 
parture ; or, to tell it in Monsieur Paradin s own 
words,— the women that like snails in a fright, had 



drawn in their horns, shot them out again as soon 
as the danger was over 1 *.” 

In a MS. copy of Froissart, in the Harleian Li- 
brary', a waggish illuminator has ridiculed the steeple 
cap and its appendages by drawing in the margin a 
swine walking upon stilts, and playing the harp ; its 
head being decorated after the prevailing fashion. By 
the sumptuary laws of this reign the wives of esquires 
and gentlemen, knights bachelors and knights under 
the rank of lord, unless they were knights of the 
Garter, were forbidden to wear cloth of gold, velvet 
upon velvet, furs of sable, or any kind of corses 
worked with gold, and to the former was forbidden 
the use of figured satins, and even of stuffs made in 
imitation of it, or of the finer cloths of velvet or gold. 
The wives of persons not having the yearly value of 
forty pounds, and widows of less possession, their 
daughters, &c. were forbidden to wear girdles orna- 
mented with gold, silver, or gilt work, or any corse 
of silk made out of the realm, or any coverchief ex- 
ceeding a certain price, or the furs of martens, foynes, 
and lettice, with a variety of minor prohibitions. 'Hie 
word corse is said by Strutt to mean here the corset 
or stays, it being derived from the French corps; 
and a pair of stays, consequently called at first a pair 
of bodies, from whence our word bodice. Something 
like a bodice certainly appears about this time, that is 
to say, the body of the dress is visibly laced in front 
over a sort of stomacher, as in Switzerland and many 
parts of the Continent to this day ; but any kind of 
“corses worked with gold,” we take simply to mean 
any kind of bodies (of gowns) so embroidered, and 
not a corset or pair of stays, though probably their 
origin. The expression, “ any corse of silk made 
out of the realm,” has, however, certainly no refer- 
ence to stays or even to the body of a gown ; for in 
t* Spectator 98. See also Argentre’s Histoire tie Bretagne. 

* T 3 



Richard Jll.’s letter from York, quoted hi page 212 
of this work, there is an order for “ one yanl three 
quarters corse of silk meddled with gold and ‘as 
much black corse of silk for our spurs. So that 
corse here seems to signify the quality of the silk 

Chapter XIV 

1483 — 1485 . 

It seems absurd at first sight to separate in a work of 
this description two years from the three or four and 
twenty preceding or following them, merely because 
two monarchs during that short period sat upon the 
throne of England ; but so great a change in costume 
followed the accession of Henry VII. that it would 
be perplexing to join these reigns to his, and there 
are sufficient variations in the dress of Richard III.’s 
time from that of his brother Edward’s to warrant 
our allotting “ the crooked back tyrant,” as he has 
been unfairly called, a chapter to himselt, his unfor- 
tunate nephew being oidy named pro forma. 

Of Richard III. there is no authentic representa- 
tion existing. His monumental effigy, carved by order 
of Henry VII., was broken to pieces at the dissolution 
of the monasteries in the reign of Henry VIII., and 
the portrait on wood, in his majesty’s possession, as 
well as those which adorn the walls of the meeting- 
room of the Society of Antiquaries, are supposed to 
have been painted during the reign of Henry VII., 
and whether from recollection, fancy, or from some 
portrait for which Richard had sat, and which is 
now lost or mislaid, no documents remain to satisfy 
us. They must therefore be considered equivocal 
testimony as to features, and in point of costume, 
being merely heads with caps on them, they are ol 
little value to our present purpose. 



Of the 


of Richard we have a detailed account in a . book, to 
which is prefixed an indenture, witnessing that I -ers 
Courteys, the king’s wardrober, hathe taken upon 
him to purvey by the 3d day Juyell next coming the 
parcels ensying agaynst the coronation of our Sove- 
rei«-ne.Lorde.” We therein find that the day before 
his" coronation he was to ride from the Tower to 
'Westminster in a doublet and stomacher of blue cloth 
ofo-old “wroght with netts and pyne apples 1 , along 
Town of purple velvet furred with ermine, and a pair 
of short gilt spurs. On the day of the coronation he 
appears to have worn two complete sets of robes, one 
of crimson velvet embroidered with gold and furred 
with miniver pure, the other of purple velvet furred 
with ermine; his sabatons (shoes) covered with 
crimson tissue cloth of gold ; his hose were of crim- 
son satin, as were also the shirt, coat, surcoat, mant.e, 
and hood in which he was anointed, previously to 
putting on the last symbols of royalty. Dunng that 
part of the ceremony he also wore a tabard like 
unto a dalmatica of white sarcenet, and a coif made 
of lawn, which, being put on his head after the unction, 
was to be worn for the space of eight days. Two 
hats of estate are also ordered with the round rolls 
behind and the beeks (beaks or peaks) before.^ 

Richard’s wardrobe was at all times magnificently 
furnished; he and the Duke of Buckingham being 
notorious for their love of dress and finery. A man- 
date still exists amongst the Harleian MSb. sent 
from York by Richard to the keeper ol his wardrobe 
in London, August 31, 1483, wherein he specifies 
the costly habits in which he was desirous of exhibit- 
> This pattern is frequently seen in illuminations of the fifteenth 
an 1 sixteenth centuries. 



ing himself to his northern subjects, with a descrip- 
tive detail, which, as Mr. Sharon Turner justly re- 
marks, we should rather look for from the fop that 
annoyed Hotspur than from the stern and warlike 
Richard III. 

From this and the other document before quoted 
we may acquire a general knowledge of the robes 
and habits of 


They consisted of hose or long stockings (the Nor- 
man chaussds, in fact) tied by points, as the laces 
were called, to the doublet, which was sometimes 
open in front, about halfway down the breast, show- 
ing a placard or stomacher, over which it was laced 
like a peasant’s bodice. This was a fashion just in- 
troduced. Over the doublet was worn either a long 
or a short gown, according to fancy or circumstances ; 
the former hanging loose, the latter full of plaits be- 
fore and behind, but plain at the sides, and girdled 
tightly about the waist. These upper vestments had 
sleeves of various descriptions, very full and slashed 
in front, so as to let the arm through, or cut open 
at the elbow behind, and showing the sleeve of the 
doublet or even of the shirt, the doublet being slashed 
also and laced across for ornament’s sake merely. 

Small caps, or “ bonds ” as they are called, the 
French word bond (bonnet) becoming naturalized, 
we believe, about this period, of various shapes, but 
principally round and fitting the head closely, with 
rolls of fur round them, or the lining simply turned 
up. and a feather at the back or at the side, sometimes 
jewelled up the stem, formed the general head-dress; 
but the hood and tippet were also worn. 

Boots reaching to the middle of the thigh and 
turned over with straps, like the modern top-boot, 
are frequently seen in illuminations of this period, 



with long spurs and enormously long-pointed toe*, 
and a sort of clog fastened by a strap over the instep, 
or merely by the pressure of two small side-pieces, is 
seen vying in length with the toes of the hose or 

chaussds above it. , 

The hair was worn extremely bushy behind and at 

the sides, as in the preceding reign. 

The materials of which the gowns, doublets, & e. 
were made were splendid ; of course, in proportion to 
the fancy of the wearer. We will not say the rank 
or the means, for the sumptuary laws continually 
quoted have proved that, then as now, the folly of 
dressing beyond both was but too common in Eng- 
land. Richard writes for his short gowns of crimson 
cloth of gold ; “ that one with droppue, and that other 
with nett, lined with green velvet gowns of green 
velvet and green sattin ; placards and stomachers of 
purple and green sattin; doublets of purple and 
tawney sattin, lined with galand cloth and outlined 
with buske ; a cloke, with a cape of violet ingrained, 
the both lined with black velvet and he had also a 
long gown of purple cloth of gold, wrought with 
garters and roses, and lined with white damask, 
which was the gift of the queep. _ 

The poor young prince, by right King Edward V., 
received for the ceremony of the coronation of his 
usurping uncle a short gown, made of two yards and 
three quarters of crimson cloth of gold, lined with 
black velvet; a long gown of the same stuff, lined 
with green damask ; a shorter gown, made ot two 
yards and a quarter of purple velvet, lined with green 
damask ; a stomacher and doublet, made of two yards 
of black satin ; besides two footcloths, a bonct of 
purple velvet, gilt spurs, and magnificent apparel ter 

his henchmen or pages. . . . 

To all the officers of state and to the principal 
nobility cloths of gold and silver, scarlet cloth, and 
silks of various colours were given as liveries and per- 



ouisites To “ the Duke of Bukks’ (Buckingham), 
So stands first, eight yards of blue cloth of gold 
wrought with “ droops,” eight yards of black velvet, 
and twelve yards of crimson velvet were delivered as 

a special gift from the king. . 

The henchmen or pages of the king and queen 
wore doublets of green satin, long gowns of crimson 
velvet lined with w'hite sarcenet, and black bonnets. 
The kino-s had also provided for them long gowns of 
white cloth of gold and doublets of crimson satin. 

We mi°ht fill pages with similar extracts from this 
book of the wardrober, but we have extracted as 
much as is necessary for our present purpose, anc 
refer the curious reader to the document itself for the 
description of the horse-furniture, embroideries for 
banners, pennons, canopies, &c. and all the pomp 
and circumstance of the gorgeous ceremony amidst 
which Richard assumed a crown he had no -ight to 
wear, and lost, with his life, in twenty-six months 
from the date of his usurpation. 


of this period was most splendid. The pauldrons 
almost assumed the appearance of the later pass 
guards ; the knee and elbow pieces were much larger, 
generally fan-shaped, and of most elaborate work- 
manship. The effigy of Sir Thomas Peyton is a fine 
specimen of the knightly harness of Richard lll.s 
reio-n. (Vide eugraving over leaf.) When covered 
it was by the tabard of arms, as in the reign of 
Edward IV Richard, in his letter from York, 
expressly orders “ three coats of arms, beaten with 
fine gold, for our own person .” The salade and 
the hausse-col, or gorget of steel, was still worn, 
the former surmounted by the knight s chapeau 
and crest, or, as in the preceding reigns, surrounded 
by a wreath of the wearer’s colours, with a leather at 



Sir Thomas Peyton, from his effigy in Isleham Church, Cambridjejihiii. 

the side. The salade of John, the first Howard, 
Duke of Norfolk, is so ornamented in a painting: or. 
glass in the possession of his Grace the present 
Duke, and which has been engraved by Mr. Willi- 
ment, author of the ‘ Royal Heraldry,’ &c. Richard, 
on his great seal, is represented with an additional 
cap over the chapeau, surrounded by the crown and 
surmounted by the lion. The crown of ornament 
which he wore at Bosworth was found, it will he re- 
in inhered, in a bush, and brought to the victor upon 
the field. It had probably been struck from the 
cha eau in the melee. 

The tilting shield is still more fantastic in shape, 
and the war-shield has become almost pentangular. 

The sword is belted so as to hang almost in front, 
tuid the dagger is attached as usual to the right hip. 



Leathern jacks, jaaenne jackets, and short linen 
or cloth doublets, the latter generally white, with St. 
(Jeorge’s cross upon them, with long hose, are the 
general habits of the archers, bill-men, and guisarmiers; 
their head-piece also being the salade or a round 
iron pot-helmet or skull-cap. 

Effigy of Lady Peyton, from Isleham Church, Cambridgeshire. 


presents us with a new-fashioned head-dress. The 
high caps have disappeared, and the hair is entirely 
confined in a cap or caul of gold net or embroidered 
stuffs, projecting horizontally from the back of the 
head, and covered by a kerchief of the finest texture, 
stiffened out, as in the previous reign, to resemble a 
pair of wings. Some of these kerchiefs aro extremely 



large, and paved or chequered with gold ; others 
are simply transparent, and scarcely exceed the size 
of the caul. The gown remains as before, with turn- 
over collars, and cuffs of fur or velvet. In state 
dresses the ermined jacket or waistcoat is still worn 
with a kirtle and mantle, and the hair is permitted to 
fall in natural ringlets down the shoulders. Anne, 
the queen of Richard III., wore, the day before her 
coronation, a kirtle and mantle of white cloth of gold, 
trimmed with Venice gold, and furred with ermine — 
the mantle being additionally “ garnished with seventy 
annulets of silver gilt and g\lt.” Her coronation robes, 
like her husband’s, were composed — the first set of 
crimson velvet, furred with miniver; and the second 
of purple velvet, furred with ermine ; her shoes being 
of crimson tissue cloth of gold. 

cobtume, rrignof Richard III., from an Ulum. Royal MS. 16, F.2 


Chapter XV. 

RRIGN OF HENRY VII., 1485—1509. 

At length we have emerged into the broad light of 
day. The pencils of Holbein, ot Rubens, and Van- 
dyke will henceforth speak volumes to the eye, and 
lighten the labours of the pen. With this reign we 
bid adieu to monumental effigiesand illuminated MSS. 
Not without gratitude, however, for the services they 
have rendered us through ages of darkness and 
difficulty— through scenes of barbaric magnificence, 
which, however dimly they have been shadowed forth, 
have yet considerably illustrated the periods of their 
action, and which must either have remained in 
“ total eclipse — no sun, no moon” existing — no gleam 
but the imperfect and perplexing one of written de- 
scription, or rather accidental allusion in obscure and 
obsolete language, frequently capable of twenty differ 
ent interpretations. 

The portraits of Henry VII. and bis family, by 
Holbein, are too well known to be engraved for this 
work ; but the kindness of the present possessor of 
the Sutherland Clarendon enables us to illustrate 
this chapter with a print from a tracing of a small 
and beautiful painting of Henry on vellum, of earlier 
date, and which originally formed part of a most 
curious collection of authentic cotemporary portraits 
of the principal sovereigns and nobles of the fifteenth 
and sixteenth centuries, purchased a few years ago in 
Paris, by Mr. Dominic Colnaghi. Vide frontispiece 
to this work. 

“ At the close of the fifteenth century, says Strutt, 
' “ the dress of the English was exceedingly fantastical 
and absurd, insomuch that it was even difficult to 



distinguish one sex from the other." This complaint 
is as old as the Conquest ; but it is perhaps particu- 
larly borne out at this period by the application of 
terms to various articles of male apparel which our 
ears are accustomed to as indicative of woman s gear. 
In a MS. of this date, called the Boke of Curtasye, 
the chamberlain is commanded to provide against his 
master’s uprising “a clene sherte and breche, a petty- 
cotte, a doublette, a long cotte, a stoma' her, hys hozen, 
hys socks, and hys schoen and the author of the Boke 
of Kervynge, quoted by Strutt, says to a like person- 
age, “ warme your soverayne his peltieotte, his doub- 
led, and his stomacher, and then put on hys hozen, 
and then hys schone or slyppers, then stryten up his 
hozen mannerly, and tye them up, then lace his 
doublet hole by hole,” &c. 

Civil costume of the reign of Henry VII. 

Fig. a, from Hnrleian MS. 4939; !>, from MS. 19, C S, date UV- 



This sort of hnbit, however, was worn only by the 
nobility. I n Barclay’s Ship of Fooles of the Worlde, 
printed by Pynson a. d. 1508, may be found several 
notices of the dress of the day. Mention is made ol 
some who had their necks 

« Charged with collars and chaines 
In golden withes, their fingers full of rings, 

Their necks naked almost unto the raines, 

Their sleeves blazing like unto a crane’s wings.” 

\nd others are called on to “come neare” with their 
shirts “ bordered and displayed in forme of surplois. 

Shirts bordered with lace, and curiously adorned 
with needlework, continued a long time in use 
amongst the nobility and gentry. A shirt that be- 
lono-ed to Arthur, Prince of Wales, the eldest-born 
son* of Henry VII., made of long lawn, with very 
full sleeves, and beautifully embroidered with blue 
silk round the collar and wristbands, is now in the 
possession of John Gage, Esq., one of the directors 
of the Society of Antiquaries. 

The elegant fashion of slashing makes its appear- 
ance about this time, and the opening of the sleeve 
at the elbow, first observable in the costumes of the 
rei^n of Edward IV., has introduced another curious 
fancv, the complete division of the sleeve into two 
or more pieces, and their attachment to each other 
by means of points or laces through which the shirt 
is seen puffed and protruding 1 . 

The hood is now rapidly disappearing. Broad felt 
hats or caps, and bonnets of velvet, fur, and other 
materials, with a profusion of party-coloured plumes 
projecting sideways, or drooping in graceful negligence 
over the shoulder, have become general towards the 
close of this reign amongst the great and gay. These 

1 The upper parts of the hosen are also occasionally slashed and 
puffed, or embroidered and coloured differently to the lower por- 
tions — an indication of their approaching separation. 



hats and caps, many of them with embattled or 
escalloped edges, are worn so much on one side as 
to discover on the other a considerable portion ol an 
under cap of gold network, or embroidered velvet, 
fitting close to the head. The large plumed cap is 
frequently slung behind the back as an ornament, 
and the head surmounted, for we cannot sa\ covered, 
by one about the size of a blue-coat boy’s, or by the 
gold net before mentioned One cap, peculiar tothis 
period, is still visible upon the heads of the knaves in 
our playing cards ; and a pack of cards in the pos- 
session of Francis Douce, Esq., F.S.A., engraved 
and printed about this period, probably by Marten 
Schoen, a celebrated German artist, who died in 

Costume of the retail of Vfenry VII,, Ilarle. an h.s. 

442 \ 



1523, exhibits some curious and elegant costume of 
the close of the fifteenth century. 

The shoes were now worn as absurdly broad at 
the toes as they were previously peaked or pointed. 
The new fashion is said to have commenced in Flan- 
ders about 1470. Paradin says that the two-feet 
long poulaines were succeeded by shoes denominated 
duck-bills, the toes being so shaped, but still four or 
five fingers in length ; and that afterwards they 
assumed a contrary fashion, wearing slippers so very 
broad in front as to exceed the measure of a good foot. 

The hair was worn enormously long and flowing — 
a return, in fact, to the fashion of Henry I. s time. 
The face was still closely shaved, soldiers and old 
men only wearing moustaches or beards. 

The first mention of a collar of the garter occurs 
in this reign. The mantle, kirtle, hood, and collar, 
are stated, sub anno twenty-seven of Henry VII., as 
composing the whole habit of the order sent to Philip, 
King of Castile ; and a collar is seen on the effigy 
of Sir Giles Daubeny, who died'in that year. The 
whole dress was now of purple velvet, lined with 
white silk, sarcenet, or taffeta, and no longer em- 
broidered with garters. 



of the time of Henry VI [.will perhaps be best under- 
stood from the engraving in p. 224. The breast-plate 
is globular, and of one piece, as in the time of 
Edward IV., but beautifully fluted, as are all the 
other pieces except the jambs. The sollerets are 
widened at the toes in accordance with the new 
fashion of the shoes, the armour invariably taking its 
general form from the civil costume of the day. Ihe 
helmet assumes the form of the head, having move- 
able lames or plates at the back to guard the neck, 


Fluted suit of the reign of Henry VII., in the Meyriek coUeetion, 

and yet allow the head to be thrown back with ease, 
as seen in the casquetel of the reigns of Henry VI. and 
Edward IV. It opened to receive the head by throw- 
ing up the mentonniere, or lower part that guarded 
the chin and throat, as well as the visor which turned 
cpoti the same screw. Towards the latter end of this 

HENRY vn, 


reign the panuche, vvhicli had first appeared on the 
apex of the bascinets of Henry V.’s time, was changed 
for the plume , inserted in a pipe affixed for the 
purpose to the back of the helmet, just above the 
neck-plates, and instead of consisting of at most but 
three, was now composed of a profusion of mag- 
nificent feathers that streamed down the shoulders 
almost to the crupper of the horse (vide page 24 L) ; 
and instead of the tassets and tuiles, a new feature in 
armour called th tlamboys, from the French lambeaux, 
a sort of petticoat of steel in imitation of the puckered 
skirts or petticoats of cloth or velvet worn at this 
time, was introduced, for the better understanding of 
which we shall refer our readers to the next chapter. 
The pass guard was introduced during this reign, 
being plates rising perpendicularly upon the shoulders 
to ward ofF the thrust or blow of a weapon at the 
side of the neck. The tabard was still worn occa- 
sionally. Henry VII. is represented on his great 
seal in an emblazoned one, but it became rarer as the 
armour was made more splendid ; and not only 
fluted suits, but some that are ribbed and exqui- 
sitely engraved, made their appearance during this 

The tilting helmet was oval-shaped, but presenting 
a salient angle in front, and was surmounted, as 
before, with the orle, or chaplet and crest. 

The shield was pentangular, or square and con- 
cave, and of various other fantastic shapes. 

The sword tapers to a point, and has a ridge down 
the centre on both sides of the blade. 

The halberd, which is first mentioned in the reign 
of Edward IV., is now a weapon in common use, and 
halberdiers appear for the first time amongst the 
English infantry. 

As the hand-gun or cannon was first generally 
known in England during the reign of Edward IV., 


the next improvement in fire-arms, that of placing a 
sort of lock to the iron tube with a cock U> hold the 
match suggested by the cross-bow, and from that 
circumstance called the arc-a-bouche or arc-a-bousa, 
corrupted into arquebus, was familiarized to the Eug- 
lish by Henry VII., who, on establishing the body 
of yeomen of the guard in 1485, armed half of them 
with bows and arrows, and the other half with arque- 
busses. This cock was also called the serpentine, 
being in the form of the letter S reversed, and turn- 
ing on a pivot in the centre ; so that the upper part 
which held the match was brought down upon the 
pan by pushing back the under. Hans Burgmair’s 
plates of the triumph of the Emperor Maximilian I., 
represent the appearance and equipment of the har- 
quebussiers at the commencement of the sixteenth 
century; suspended from their necks are powder- 
flasks of a circular form, or powder-horns. They have 
a bullet-bag at the right hip, and a sword at the left, 
while they carry the match-cord in their hands. 
Their armour consists of a back and breast-plate, 
pieces for the arms and thighs, and chain-mail 
gorgets for the neck. 


of this period has been in many points familiarized 
to the sight of our readers, by the modern French 
and English fashions within the last few years. The 
large full sleeves confined at intervals from the elbow 
to the wrist, or worn “ en blouse,” as the Parisians 
called it, and denominated bishop’s sleeves in Lon- 
don : the small waists, the gowns cut square at 
the neck, with stomachers, belts, and buckles, or 
rich girdles with long pendants in front, and hats 
and feathers similar to many still to be seen nightly 
at the opera, have all been borrowed from the ladies’ 



Female costume of tlie reign of Henry VII. 

Figs, a , 4, and d, from Harleian MS. 4123; c, from Roval MS. 19, C. 8, 
dated 1496. 

dress of the reigns of Henry VII. 8 Its obsolete 
characteristics were slashes in the sleeves; the caps 
and cauls of gold net or embroidery, from beneath 
which the hair escaping hung down the shoulders 
half way to the ground 3 the divided sleeves con- 
nected by points like those of the men described in 
p. 221 ; and a head-dress like a capuchon turned back, 
of which several varieties are to be seen in paintings 

* Vide Hans Burgmair’s prints, and the portrait of Joan of Arc 
in the town-house of Orleans, painted about 1490. 

3 Vide figures b and d. This fashion appears to have been con- 
tinued from the earliest periods to the reign of Henry VII. at 
coronations or state nuptials. Elizabeth, the queen of Henry VII. 
wore her fair yellow hair hanging down plain behind her back with 
“ a calleo f pipes over it.” Vide Iceland’s Account of her Splendid 



and illuminations of tins period particularly m the 
portrait of Elizabeth. Queen of Henry VII . by Hol- 
bein and of Margaret, Countess of Richmond, his 
mother, who died in 1509 \ Elizabeth, the day pre- 
ceding her coronation, appeared in a state 'Hess, 
havin° a mantle of white cloth of gold damask furred, 
with ermines fastened on her breast, with a lanre 
lace curiously wrought with gold and silk, with rich 
knoppes of gold at the end tasselleo. Cotton. Mb. 

Julius, B. xii. , a 

Skelton, the poet laureat of Henry \ II., has le 
us a humorous description of Eleanor Humming, a 
noted hostess of his time, and her dress may be con- 
sidered a pretty good model of the attire of females 
in humble life. 

“ In her furr’d flovket. 

And grey russet rocket. 

Her duke of Lincoln green : 
It had been hcr’s I wee Lie 
More than forty yeare, 

And so it doth appeare. 

And the grene bare threads 
Look like sea-weeds, 
Withered like hay, 

The wool worn away ; 

And yet I dare say, 

She thinks herself gay, 

4 Engraved in Lodge’s Illustrious Portraits. This latter is in- 
deed a similar sort of hood or capuchon to that now worn by the 
women of the Pays de Basque ; but the earher descnpt.ons look 
like the lower part of the steeple head-dres*, as i, the absolute 
covering for the head had ueen preserved when they threw aw ay 
the pinnacle that surmounted it. fig. c.) On the s.des of 

it ii on ornament also which we take to be the clog or clock, 
afterwards mentioned in describing the mournmg dresses. At the 
close of the sixteenth century we find the clog or clock removed 
to the stocking which it s’..'- adorns. 

hknry vu. 


Upon a holvday. 

When she doth aixay, 

And girdeth in her gates, 

Stitched and pranked with plates, 

Her kirtle bristow red, 

With cloths upon her head, 

They weigh a ton of lead. 

She hobbles as she goes, 

With her blanket hose, 

Hershoone (shoes) smeared with tallow*.” 

Speaking of 


the same writer reproaches the pride and immorality 
of the clergy. “ The bishops, sajs he, 

« Ryde with gold all trapped, 

In purpall and pall belapped, 

Some halted and some cappyd, 

Richly and warm wrapped. 

God wotte to their grete paynes 

In rochetts of fyne reynes, (i. e. cloth of Rennes,; 

Whyte as Mary’s milk, 

And tabards of fyne sylk, 

And styroppes with gold bcglozyd.” 

He seems almost to have paraphrased the complaints 
of Pieroe Ploughman and Chaucer in the fourteenth 
century. “ The three-cornered caps of popish priests ” 
were after the reformation frequently the objects ol 
derision and reprobation. 

» MS. Harleian, lib. 7333. We confesi our ignorance of the 
article of apparel meant by the ward duke in the third line of this 
quotation. Query, heuk t mantle before mentioned. 



Mourning habits of the fifteenth century. 


At the close of the fifteenth century, the superfluous 
usage of cloth and the vast expenses incurred at the 
funerals of the nobility and gentry occasioned the 
promulgation of an edict, by which the habits and 
liveries, as they were called, were limited to certain 

Dukes and marquises were allowed sixteen yards 
for their gowns, slopps (i. e. mourning cassocks so 
called), and mantles ; au earl only fourteen ; a vis- 
count for his gown and mantle twelve ; a baron or 
banneret, being a knight of the Garter, eight yards 
for his gown and hood ; a knight or esquVe of the 



body six ; and all inferior personages five yards for 
their gowns; and the liveries for servants decreased 
roportionately, from eighteen down to two. An 
archbishop was allowed the same as a duke, and to 
tnis edict was added a prohibition to wear hoods to 
all persons under the degree of an esquire of the 
king’s household, except in time of need, that is to 
say, bad weather, only tippets ot a quarter of a yard 
in breadth, and hoods “ with a roll sleeve over the 
head or otherwise being of that fashion,” were for- 
bidden to all persons below the rank of a baron or 
an earl’s son and heir. 

Margaret, Countess of Richmond, the mother of 
King Plenry VII., issued in the eighth year of his 
reitrn an ordinance for “ the reformation of apparell 
for great estates of women in the tyme of mourninge 
wherein it is ordained that the greatest estates “ shall 
have their surcottes with a trayne before and another 
behynde, and their mantles with traynes,” “ the 
greatest estate to wear them longest, with mantles 
and tippets,” and “ that bekes be no more used in 
any manner of wyse because of the deformetye of the 
same 8 .” The queen is to wear a surcoat with' “ the 
traynes” as aforesaid, “ a playne hoode without 
clockes, and a tippet at the hood lying a good length 
upon the trayne of the mantell, being in breadth a 
nayle and an inche and after the first quarter of a 
vear the hood may be lined with black satin or furred 
with ermine, and all ladies down to the degree of a 
baroness are to wear similar mourning, with the 
tippets and trains shorter, and to be barbed above 
the chin. 

« What these “ bekes” may have been we cannot discover by 
an examination of the mourning dresses in earlier illuminations. 
Throughout the MS. uf the fifteenth century, mourners are repre- 
sented closely enveloped in long black cloaks and cowls, but 
nothing like a oeak or peak is visible. 



Baronesses were to wear surcoats without trains, 
and mantles “ accordinge and lords’ daughters and 
knights ’ wives, surcoats with “ meatlye traynes,” 
but no mantles, hoods without clockes, and tippets 
only a yard and a half long, “ to be pynned upon the 
arme.” These estates are to wear the barbe under 
their throats. 

The inferior gentry to wear sloppes and coat- 
hardies, hoods with clockes, and tippets a yard long 
and an inch broad, pinned upon the side of the hood. 
All chamberers and other persons, hoods with clockes, 
and no manner of tippets to be found about them. 
The barbe too was to be worn by them below the 
“ throat goyll,” or gullet, that is, the lowest part of 
the throat. 

The surcoat with the train before and behind, the 
barbe above the chin, and the hood with the long 
tippet, all as w'orn by the highest nobility, are visible 
enough in the figures given herewith. The front 
train, it will be perceived, was tucked through and 
fell over the girdle. 


Chapter XVI. 

1509—1 558. 

REIGN OF HENRY VIII., 1509 1547. 

It was unnecessary to engrave the portraits of at 
least the two first of these sovereigns. The images 
of“ Bluff King Hal” and his son Edward are amongst 
the earliest recollections of our childhood. The first 
“picture books,” illustrative of English history, con- 
tain their “ livelie effigies,” handed down from the 
woodcuts of their own time ; while all the previous 
monarchs are like the visioned line of Banquo, ima- 
ginary creations, with so strong a family resemblance 
even in their dresses, that we may exclaim with Mac- 
beth, the 

“ Othei gold-bound brow is like the first, 

A third is like the former. 

Why do you show me this ?” 

The time is fast arriving, however, when it will be 
generally acknowledged, that to stamp such false im- 
pressions upon the pliant but retentive minds of youth 
is worse than leaving it a biank altogether. r lo a 
child a picture is a picture, and it is as easy and 
much wiser to place the authentic instead of the fic- 
titious resemblance before it as soon as it is capable 
of being interested by either. 

The ordinary costume of King Henry himself was, 
of course, that of the nobility and gentry of his time, 
and we find it to consist of a full-skirted jacket or 
doublet, with large sleeves to the wrist, over which 

x 3 



is worn a short but equally full coat or cloak, with 
loose hanging sleeves, and a broad rolling collar of 
fur, a brimmed cap jewelled, and bordered with ostrich 
feather; stockings, and square-toed shoes; ruff's or 
ruffles appear at the wrist. Soon after his accession 
the close hose, fitting exactly to the limbs, in fact, 
the Norman chausses, were again revived under the 
still older name of trouses ; and he is described by 
Hall as wearing at a grand banquet, given at West- 
minster in the first year of his reign, a suit of 
“ shorte garments, little (i. e. reaching but a little) 
beneath the pointes, of blew velvet and crymosyne, 
with long sleeves, all cut and lyned with cloth 
of gold, and the utter (outer) parts of the gar- 
mentes powdered with castles and sheafes of arrowes 
(the badges of his Queen Catherine) of fyne dokett 
(ducat) golde ; the upper part of the hosen of like 
sewte and facion ; the nether parts of scarlet pow- 
dered with tymbrelles of fine golde. On his head 
was a bonnet of damaske silver, flatte woven in the 
stoll, and thereupon wrought with golde and ryche 
feathers in it.” (Union of the Families of Lancaster 
and York ; Life of Henry VIII., fol. 7.) Minuter 
fashions were, of course, continually being adopted 
or abandoned, and in 1542 we find an Englishman 
represented in a frontispiece to Andrew Borde’s 
Introduction to Knowledge, with a pair of shears in 
his hand and a bundle of cloth, as undetermined 
which of the prevailing modes to follow. 

In the twenty-fourth year of his reign Henry 
passed a sumptuary law confining the use of the furs 
of black genets to the royal family, and furs of sables 
to the nobility above the rank of a viscount. No 
person under the degree of a knight of the Garter 
might wear crimson or blue velvet or embroidered 
apparel, broched or guarded with goldsmith’s work, 
excepting the sons and heirs of barons and knights. 



who were permitted to use crimson velvet and tinsel 
in their doublets. 

Velvet gowns, jackets, and coats, furs of martens, 
mixed, joined, guarded, or broidered, chains, bracelets, 
and collars of gold were forbidden to all persons pos- 
sessing leas than two hundred marks per annum, ex- 
cept the sons and heirs of the privileged parties, who 
might wear black velvet doublets, coats ot black 
damask, tawny coloured russet, and camlet. 

Satin and damask gowns were confined to the use 
of persons possessing at least one hundred marks per 
annum, and the wearing of pinched shirts or plain 
shirts, garnished with gold, silver, or silk, was for- 
bidden to all persons under the rank of knighthood. 
The commonalty and serving men were confined to 
the use of cloth of a certain price and lamb’s fur 
only, and forbidden the wearing of any ornaments or 
even buttons of gold, silver, or gilt work, excepting 
the badge of their lord or master. 

From the above extract and from inventories of the 
time we learn that the skirt was pinched, i.e. plaited, 
plain, and embroidered with gold, silver, or silk. 
Amongst Henry’s own apparel we find borders of 
gold for shirts, and shirts wrought and trimmed with 
black and white silk, and shirt bands of silver, with 
ruffles to the same, whereof one is “ perled (studded 
or spangled) with gold.” 

Hose or stockings of silk are generally supposed to 
have been unknown in this country before the middle 
of the sixteenth century ; and a pair of long Spanish 
silk hose was presented as a gift worthy the accept- 
ance of a monarch by Sir Thomas Gresham to Ed- 
ward VI.; and Howe, the continuator of Stow’s 
Chronicle, adds, that Henry VIII. never wore any 
hose but such as were made ot cloth. In an inven- 
tory of his apparel, however, preserved in the liar 
leian Library, we find mention of several pair of 



silk hose ; one short pair of black silk ant* gold 
woven together, one of purple silk and Venice gold, 
woven like unto a cawl (i. e. of open or network), 
lined with blue silver sarcenet, edged with a passe- 
main (lace) of purple silk and gold, wrought at 
Milan ; a pair of white silk and gold hose, knit, and 
six pair of black silk hose, knit; and in one still 
earlier, taken in .the eighth year of his reign, we find 
both satin and velvet mentioned as the materials of 
which his hose were composed. Now at this period 
it is rather difficult to say whether the expression 
hose means stockings or breeches, as it was indiffe- 
rently applied to each by writers of this century. Howe 
evidently means stockings only, but these richly- 
embroidered and lined hose, mentioned in this inven- 
tory, were, we strongly suspect, the upper portions 
of the coverings for the legs, which we now fre- 
quently find slashed, puffed, and embroidered dis- 
tinctly from the lower ; for the same document intro- 
duces us to the word stocking itself, and enlightens 
us as to its derivation. One of the entries runs 
thus : “ a yarde and a quarter of green velvet for 
stocks to a payr of hose for the king’s grace ano- 
ther, the same quantity of “ purpul satin to cover the 
stocks of a payr of hose of purpul cloth of gold tissue 
for the kynge and numerous others occur of cer- 
tain portions of stuff used for “ stocking of hose,” 
that is, adding the lower part that covered the legs 
and feet to that which was fastened by points to the 
doublet, the ultimate separation of which confounded 
the hose with the breeches, and left “the stocking” 
an independent article of apparel, as at the present 
day. To proceed : — these splendid hose of various 
coloured and embroidered cloths, velvets, satins, silks, 
and golden and silver stuffs were attached by points 
or laces, with tags called auglettcs or aglets (i. c. 
aiguillettes) to the doublet, ot equal magnificence. 



Iii the earliest inventory we have quoted, after the 
auameration of many splendid doublets, &c. for the 
kind’s use, we read of “ a doblct of white tylsent, cut 
upon cloth of gold, embraudered, with hose to the 
same, and clasps and auglettes of golde, delivered to 
the Duke of Buckingham.” 

Over the doublet was worn the jacket, now some- 
times called the jerkin, the coat, or the gown, accord- 
ing to fancy or circumstances. A dobelet, jaquet, 
and hose of blue velvet, cut upon cloth of gold, em- 
broidered, and a dobelet, hose, and jaquet of purple 
velvet, embroidered and cut upon cloth of gold, and 
lined with black satin, are entries in the inventory we 
have just quoted. 

In 1535 a jerkin of purple velvet, with purple satin 
sleeves, embroidered all over with Venice gold, was 
presented to the king by Sir Richard Cromwell, and 
another of crimson velvet, with wide sleeves of the 
like-coloured satin, is mentioned in the inventory 
before quoted. Of coats we find a great variety in 
Henry’s wardrobe : long coats, short coats, demi- 
coats, riding coats, coats with bases or skirts, walking 
coats, tunic coats, and coats of leather, &c. with 
sleeves, linings, facings, and embroideries of all de- 
scriptions 1 . When Henry VIII. met Anne of Cleves 
he was habited, according to Hall, in a coat of velvet, 
somewhat made “ like a frocke, embroidered all over 
with flatted gold of damaske, with small lace mixed 
between of the same gold, and other laces of the 
same going traversewise, that the ground little ap- 
peared, and about this garment was a rich guard or 
border, very curiously embroidered ; the sleeves and 

1 Cassaques or cassocke coates, as they were afterwards called, 
appear at this time; two of very rich materials occur in this last 
inventory, and one of them had eleven buttons of gold upon the 
breast, with loops of the same, <l being of little tbigonne’s cheyues 

of gold.” 



the breast were cut and lined with cloth of gold, and 
tied together with great buttons of diamonds, rubies, 
and orient pearles.” 

The froc/ce alluded to by Hall is a vestment which 
is frequently mentioned about this time. It was, as 
Hall says, a sort of coat, jacket, or jerkin, made like 
them occasionally with bases or skirts ; but Strutt 
considers that it had no sleeves: we find it of cloth 
of gold, cloth of silver, damaske, black satin, &c. &c. 

Gowns, distinguished as long, short, half, strait, 
and loose, Turkey and Spanish, with sleeves, collars, 
capes, and aglets, and diamond and gold buttons set 
upon the sleeves, occur in great quantities ; and two 
vestments, the chammer and shamen, described by 
Hall as “ a gowne cut in the middle,’ and the 
glaudkyn, are spoken of in the earlier inventories of 
this reign 

Both the sleeves and the capes to the various vest- 
ments were generally separate articles added or taken 
from the body of the dress at pleasure, by the means 
of points or buttons. “ A pair of truncke sleeves ot 
redde cloth of gold, with cut workes, having twelve 
pair of agletes of gold, and a pair of French sleeves 
of green velvet, richly embroidered with flowers ol 
damask gold, pirl of Morisco work, with knops ot 
Venice gold, cordian raised, either sleeve having six 
small buttons of gold, and in every button a pearl, 
and the branches o' the flowers set with pearles,” are 
amongst many entries of the same description ; the 
sleeves were also ruffed, or ruffed at the hand, as we 
perceive in the portrait of Henry. An entry occurs 
of a pair of sleeves “ruffed at the hande, with straw- 
berry leaves and flowers of golde, embroidered with 
black silke.” They were not added to the shirt till 
the next century. Cloaks and mantles of great mag- 
nificence are described by Hall ; some of the former 
worn baldrick or sash-wise, so as not to conceal 



the splendour of the other garments. The placard 
and stomacher have been described in the last chapter: 
they seem to have been superseded by the waistcoat, 
which is first mentioned in the latest inventories of 
this reign. It was worn under the doublet, and had 
sleeves, and being made of rich materials, such as 
cloth of silver, quilted with black silk, “and tuffed out 
with fine camerike’’ (cambric), must have been occa- 
sionally visible, perhaps in consequence of the slashing 
of the upper garments, which fashion was carried to 
a great excess at this time. 

Camden, in his ‘Remains, tells a pleasant story of 
a shoemaker of Norwich, named John Drakes, who, 
in the time of Henry VIII., coming to a tailor’s, and 
finding some fine French tawney cloth lying there, 
which bed been sent to be made into a gown for Sir 
Philip Calthrop, took a fancy to the colour, and or- 
dered the tailor to buy as much of the same stuff 1 , for 
him, and make him a gown of it, precisely of the 
same fashion as the knight’s, whatever that might be. 
Sir Philip, arriving some time afterwards to be mea- 
sured, saw the additional cloth, and enquired who it 
belonged to. “To John Drakes,” replied the tailor, 
“ who will have it made in the selfsame fashion as 
yours is made of.” “ Well,’’ said the knight, “ in 
good time be it; I will have mine as full of cuts'as 
thy shears can make it:” and both garments were 
finished according to the order. The shoemaker, on 
receiving his gown slashed almost to shreds, began 
to swear at the tailor, but received for answer, “ I 
have done nothing but what you bade me; for as Sir 
Philip Calthrop’s gowne is, even so have I made 
yours.” “ By my latchet !” growled the shoemaker, 
“ I will never wear a gentleman’s fashion again.” 
Slashed shoes, and buskins of velvet and satin, 
with very broad round toes, and caps and bonnets of 
sundry shapes and materials, some only bordered, 



others laden with feathers, are characteristic of this 
reion*. The chaperon or hood has quite vanished 
from the inventory of a gentleman s wardrobe, except 
those worn by official personages, knights of the 
Garter &c. The hair had been worn exceedingly 
lon<r during the last reign, but Henry VIII. gave 
peremptory orders for all his attendants and courtiers 
to poll their heads, and short hair in consequence 
became fashionable, and continued so for a consider- 
able time. Beards and moustaches were worn at 

The collar and the great and lesser George, as at 
present worn, were given to the knights of the Gar- 
ter by King Henry VIII., who reformed the statutes 
of the order and altered the dress. The surcoat was 
made of crimson velvet, and a flat black \ehet ha' 
of the fashion of the time superseded the chajieron, 
which was still however worn for ornament only, 
hung over the shoulder, and thence called the hu- 
merale ; it was of crimson velvet, the same as the 
surcoat. The lesser George was not worn before the 
thirteenth of this reign, when it hung in a gold chain 
or riband upon the breast; and from a memorandum 
of the thirty-eighth of Henry’s reign we find the 
colour of the riband was black 3 . 


of this period is principally remarkable for its ad- 
ditional decoration. The lamboys, introduced during 

* The chapeau montaubvn is mentioned by Hall as a hat or 
cap, of this period. Henry' VII I. is said to have worn one with 
a rich coronal ; the folde of the chapeau lined with crimson satin, 
and on that a broocbe with the image of St. George. (Chronicle, 
reprint, p. 598/) “ of crimosyne velvet ; hattes after 
dauncers’ fashions, with fesau ills’ feathers in them;’ “ bonnettes 
of white velvet wrapped in flat golde of damask, -’ cum mulusa/ns, 
may he found recorded in the chronicles of ’its time. 

8 ' Ashmole’s History of the Older. 



Henry VIII. from his great seal. 

the reign of Henry VII. and described in the last 
chapter, appear throughout this and the following 
reign ; but when they are not appended to the breast- 
plate, tassets and cuishes, composed of several plates 
instead of one, are seen upon the thigh. A magnifi- 
cent suit of the forme* - fashion is to be seen in the 
collection at the Tower. It was presented by the 
Emperor Maximilian I. to Henry VIII. on his mar- 
riage with Catherine of Arragon, and before the 
inspection and arrangement of the horse armoury by 
Sir S. Meyrick, was supposed to have belonged to 
Henry VII. The complete suit both for horse and 
man is beautifully engraved with legendary subjects, 
badges, mottoes, &c., and is precisely similar in 




shape to a suit preserved in the little Belvidere palace 
at Vienna, which belonged to Maximilian himself, and 
to that in which Henry is represented on his great 
seal. (Vide engraving on the previous page.) Raised 
armour, the forerunner of the embossed, was intro- 
duced in this reign ; the ground is frequently kept 
black, and the pattern raised about the tenth of an 
inch, polished. Puffed and ribbed armour, in imita- 
tion of the slashed dresses of the day, is also occa- 
sionally met with ; we have engraved a suit here from 
a drawing of one in the Meyrick collection, with the 
two-handed sword of the time resting on the shoulder. 

Snil of puffed and ribbed armour, temp. Henry VIII., in the Meyrick 

The breast plate was still globose, but towards the 



middle of this reign rose to an edge down the centre 
called the tapul— a revival of an old fashion. To- 
wards the end of the reign the breast-plate presented 
a salient angle in the centre. The tilting helmet dis- 
appeared altogether about this period, and ahead-piece 
called a coursing-hat was worn with a men ton mere. 
The helmet was adorned with the streaming plumes 
before mentioned. (Vide engraving from great seal 
of Henry VIII.) The gauirtlets were mostly made 

of overlapping plates without fingers. 

To the list of weapons, we have to add tho per- 
tuisane or partizan, a variety of the pike or spontoon. 
The Asiatic art of inlaying weapons with gold was 
introduced about this period into Europe by Benve- 
nuto Celini, and blades so adorned were called damas- 
quinee, from the practice originating at Damascus. 
The hackbut, first mentioned in the reign of Richard 
III now became common; and to the match-lock 
was now added the wheel-lock, also invented by the 
Italians. It was a small machine for producing 
sparks of fire by the rapid revolution of a wheel 
aUinst a piece of sulphuret of iron held like the flint 
in the modern musket, only that the cock was on the 
side where the pan now is. The spring which turned 
the wheel was attached to a chain formed like those 
in watches, and wound up by an instrument called 
a spanner ; a catch was connected with the trigger, 
which, being pulled, liberated the wheel, and the cock 
having been previously brought down upon it, the 
friction of the pyrite produced the fire. This piece 
was called the fire-lock as well as the wheel-lock, 
though differing greatly from the later invention so 

The pistol and its variety, the dag or taeke, are 
also of this period, the difference consisting only in 
the shape of the butt-end ; that of the former termi- 
nating in a knob like the pommel of a sword-hilt, and 



that of the latter being merely cut in a slanting 

Military costump, temp. Henry VIII., from drawings in the British Museum. 
Cotton. MS. Augustas II. 

Tiie pike was introduced into France by the Sw'ss 
in the time of Louis XL, and soon became an infantry 
weapon throughout Europe. Pikeinen composed a 
principal part of the English army from the reign of 
Henry VIII. to that of William lit. 


It would he strange indeed if we were at a loss 
for an illustration of the female costume of any period 
of this reign, considering that Henry married no less 
than six wives in the course of thirty-eight years, 

4 Vide page 253. The pistol superseded the mace in the hands 
of officers during this reign, and a most interesting specimen of 
the mace and pistol combined was pnrcha-cd for li e national col- 
lection at the sale of Mr. Brocas's armour. 



anil consequently ensured us so many portraits of 
noble and princely dames by the best painters of his 
day. We must beg, however, to refer our readers 
to Lodge’s popular and beautiful work for the prints 
engraved from them. 

In number and name, the principal parts of a 
lady’s dress continued unchanged ; the only novelty 
in the latter being the mention of the partlet and 
waistcoat. The partlet is supposed by Mr. Strutt 
to have taken the place of the gorget, which had lat- 
terly been used only for mourning habiliments, and 
called the barbe. Our fair readers will perceive in 
the costumes of this period a covering for the neck 
and throat, similar to what is now called a habit-shirt ; 
and this we have reason to believe was called the 
partlet. It sometimes had sleeves attached to it, and 
was made of stuffs of the most valuable and deli- 
cate kind. In the inventory we have so often quoted, 
appear “two partelets of Venice gold, knit, two 
partelets of Venice gold, caul fashion, two partelets 
of white thread, and two partelets of white lawn 
wrought with gold about the collars.” The partelets 
are seen in numberless portraits of this period, most 
beautifully embroidered with gold. 

The waistcoat was a similar garment to that of the 
same name worn by the men. “ Two wastcotes for 
women being of clothe of silver, embroidered, both of 
them having sleeves,” is an entry in the same inven- 

t0 The gowns of the nobility were magnificent, and 
at this period were open in front to the waist, showing 
the kirtle, as the inner garment or what we should 
call the petticoat was then termed. Their fashions 
were various in detail, though possessing the general 
character of the costume of the time. 

“ Gowns of blew velvet, cut and lined with cloth 
of gold, made after the fashion of Savoy, were worn 

v 3 



by the ladies accompanying Henry at a masque 
in the sixth year of his reign; and Anne of Cleves, 
the same writer tells ns, wore, on her first interview 
with Henry VIII., “a ryche gowne of cloth of gold 
raised, made round, without any trayne, after the 
Dutch fashion V 

Seven yards of purple cloth of damask gold are 
allowed for a kirtle for Queen Catherine (ol Arraiton) 
in a wardrobe account of the eighth year of Henry’s 
reign. The ladies’ sleeves were as distinct from their 
body vestments as we have already found the men s, 
and attached at pleasure to the gown or waistcoat. 
Much splendour was lavished on this part of the 
dress, and its various fashions were singularly quaint 
and elegant. Amongst the inventories of this reign 
we find three pair of purple satin sleeves for women ; 
one pair of linen sleeves, paned with gold over the 
arm, quilted with black silk, and wrought with 
flowers between the panes and at the hands ; one 
pair of sleeves of purple gold tissue damask wire, 
each sleeve tied with aglets of gold ; one pair of 
crimson satin sleeves, four buttons of gold being set 
on each sleeve, and in every button nine pearls 5 6 . 

5 A variety of gowns, single and lined, and of the most cost y 
materials, are enumerated in an inventory taken of .he royal 
wardrobes at the Tower, as belonging to “ her majesty and my lady 
the princess.” 

6 The dress of Queen Catharine (Parr) is thus described by 
Pedro de Qante, secretary to the Spanish Duke de Najera, who 
visited Henry VIII. in the year 1543-44. “She was dressed in 
a ‘ delentera’ of cloth of gold, and a ‘saya’ , i. e. pelbcoat or 
kirtle) of brocade, with sleeves lined with crimson satin, and 
trimmed with three-piled crimson velvet; her train was mote 
than two yards long. Suspended from her neck were two crosses 
and jewel of very rich diamonds, and in her head-dress w ere many 
and beautiful ones. Her girdle was of gold, with very large pen- 

The same writer describes the Princess Mary, afterwards 
queen, as a person of pleasing countenance, and “so much be- 



Mali tlie chronicler, who revels in the description 
of the splendid shows and pageants ot all ages and 
describes with as much minuteness and confidence 
those which took place in the fourteenth as he does 
those of which he was an eye-witness in the six Jeer i 1 
century, may be trusted respecting the latter, at least 
as far as suits our purpose. At a banquet ^ven in 
the first year of Henry’s reign, upon Shrove-bunday, 
in the parliament-chamber at Westminster, he speaks 
of six ladies who formed part of a show towards the 
close of the evening, “ whereof two were appareyled 
in crimson satyn and purpull, embroidered with 
golde, and by vynettes ran floure de bees of golde, 
with marvellous ryche and strange tires on their 
heads: other two ladies in crimosyn and pmpu , 
made iike long slops, embroudered and fretted wit 1 
o-olde after the antique faseton, and over the slop 
was a shorte garment of clothe ot golde scant to the 
knee, facioned like a tabard, all over with small double 
rolles, all of flatte golde of damask fret and fringed 
■rolde and on their heads skaynes (scarfs), and 
wrappers of damaske golde with flatte pypes that 
strange it was to beholde: the other two ladies 

were in kirtles of crvmosyne and purpull satyn, em- 
broudered with avynet of pomegranattes of golde; 
all the garments cut compass-wise, having demy 
<leevts, and naked down from the elbows —(the first 
appearance of bare arms since the time ot the ancient 
llritons), — “ and over their garments were vochettes 
of plesaunces rouled with crymsyne velvet and set 
with letters of golde l.kecaractes (query, characters.) 
Their heades rouled in pleasauntes and typpets like 
the Egipicians, embroudered with golde ; their laces, 

rs*"*- *• * 

"“pun) or .iolei-colooted piled velvet, «Hh > l.e.d-dreu ol 
man} rich stones. 



necks, arms, and handes covered in fine pleasaunee 
black; some call it lumberdynes, which is marveylous 
thinne, so the same ladies seemed to be uigrost or 
blackmores.” What are the descriptions of the court- 
newsman in our days to this ? What joy for ‘ the 
Morning Post’ or ‘the Court Journal’ to have 
their columns filled with a report of the dresses w orn 
at such a fancy ball as this given at Westminster in 
1509, “ for all the ambassadours which were here out 
of diverse realmes and countries.” 

The various head-dresses of this period will be best 
understood from the engraving. The cap or coif, 
familiarized to us as the “ Mary Queen of Scots’ 
cap,” seems to have been introduced about this pe- 
riod. Those worn by the ladies at an entertainment 
given at Greenwich in the third year of Henry’s 
reign were “ all of golde.” The French hood was 
another head-dress in fashion at this time (if indeed 
it were not the name of the cap just mentioned). Hol- 
lingshed tells us that Anne of Cleves, the day after 
her arrival in England, wore a French hood after the 
English fashion, which became her exceeding well. 
The miniver, or three-cornered caps, were worn 
throughout this reign. They were white, says Stow, 
and three-square, and the peaks full three or four 
inches from the head. The aldermen’s wives made 
themselves bonnets of velvet, after the fashion of 
miniver caps, but in the time he wrote, a. d. 1631, he 
adds, they were almost forgotten. 


appear m numberless prints of the time 7 . In the 
history of John Winchcomb or Witcomb, the famous 
clothier, called Jack of Newbury, he is described as 

7 Vide in particular “the Great Bible’’ printed in 1539, with 
engravings on wood, said to have beeu designed by Hans Holbein 



going to Henry VIII. dressed in a plain russet coat, 
a pair of white kersie slopps, or breeches*, without 
welt or guard (i. e. lace or border), and stockings of 
the same piece, sewed to his sloppes ; and his widow, 
in the same work, is described, after having laid aside 
her weeds, as coming out of the kitchen in a lair 
train gown stuck full of silver pins, having a white 
cap on her head, with cuts of curious needlework- 
under the same, and an apron before her as white as 
driven snow. Her wedding dress is also specified it; 
the same history in the following manner; the bride 
being habited in a gown ot sheep s russet and a kirtle 
of fine worsted, her head attired with a billiment 
(habiliment) of gold, and her hair as yellow as gold 
hanging down behind her, which was curiously 
combed and plaited according to the manner of those 
days, was led to church by two boys with bride laces, 
and rosemary tied about their silken sleeves. 1 he 
maidens employed in spinning are said to have been 

“ In pe/licoals of slamcl red, 

And milk-white kerchers on their head, 

Their smock sleeves like to winter’s snow 
That on the western mountains How, 

And each sleeve with a silken band 
Was faiily tied at the hand.” 

Here we have the first mention of the petticoat in 
the present sense of the word, and henceforward we 
find it used synonymously with kirtle. 

Articles of dress at this period, even among the 
middle ranks, were frequently bequeathed in wills; 
William Cheryngton Yeoman, ot Water-beche, 14th 
August, 1540, leaves “ to my mother my holy- 
day gowne. 3 ’ Nicholas Dyer, of Tevershain, 29th 
October, 1540, “ to my sister Alice Bichendyke, 

• The term “ s/opp" is now unceremoniously transferred to the 
nether garments — wherefore we cannot pretend to determine. 
A dealer in ready clothing is still called a slop-seller. 



13s. 9d., which she owed me, two kerchief * offujlland 
&c. John Holden, rector of Gamlingay, 29th Oc- 
tober, 1544, leaves to Jone Grene “ my clothe frock 
lined with sattin of cypress.” These entries are from 
wills in the Ely registry. 

Howe, the continuator of Stows Annals, informs 
us that many years prior to the reign of Queen Mary 
(and therefore as early as the time of Henry V III. at 
least) all the apprentices of London wore blue cloaks 
in summer, and in the winter gowns of the same 
colour, blue coats or gowns being a badge of servi- 
tude about this period. Their breeches and stock- 
ings were usually made of white broad-cloth, “ that is 
round slopps or breeches, and their stockings sowed 
up close thereto, as they were all but of one piece. 
The “ city flat cap,” so often mentioned by writers of 
the time of James and Charles, was probably the cap 
of Edward VI.’s time, worn by the citizens long after 
it had gone out of fashion at court. V9 hen appren- 
tices or journeymen attended upon their masters or 
mistresses at night, they went before them holding 
a lantern in their hands, and carrying a long club 
upon their shoulders. Some apprentices wore dag- 
gers in the daytime, behind or at the side. Sir 
Walter Scott has drawn an admirable picture of the 
brawling ’prentices of James’s time from these ma- 
terials, in his ‘ Fortunes of Nigel.’ 


underwent a considerable change at the Reforma- 
tion ; but we must refer our readers to the portraits 
in Lodge’s work and the Great Bible before men- 
tioned for their pictorial illustration. Vide also the 
print after Holbein, of Henry VIII. granting their 
charter to the barber-surgeons, for the official costume 
of the reign 

KttIGN OF EDWARD VI., 1547—1553; AND MAR* 

General costume of the reign9 of Edward VI. and Queen Mary. 

Fir. a, Sir J. Tjrrell in the reign of Edward VI. from Strutt. Ihe rest 
from Fox’s Book of Martyrs, temp. Mary. 

The reigns of Edward VI. and Mary introduce 
us to the small flat round bonnet worn on one side 
the head, and preserved to this day in the caps of the 
boys of Christ’s Hospital, whose whole dress is in- 
deed the costume of the citizens of London at the 
time of the foundation of that charity by the young 
and amiable Edward. Blue coats were the common 
habit of apprentices and serving-men, and yellow 
stockings were very generally worn at this period. 
The jackets of our firemen and watermen are also of 
this date, the badge being made in metal and placed 



nn the sleeve in the sixteenth century, instead of em- 
broidered on the breast or back of the garment itself 
as previously. Minstrels, players t and ah retainers 
of the nobility were thus attired. In the y ear 155G a 
remonstrance front the privy council was presented Ut 
the lord president of the north, s'ating that certain 
lewd persons, to the number of six or seven iri a 
company, naming themselves to be the servants of 
Sir Francis Lake, and wearing his livery or badge 
upon their sleeves, have wandered about these north 
parts representing certain plays reflecting on her 
majesty and King Philip, and the formalities of the 

The preposterously broad or square-toed shoe was 
ousted by proclamation during Mary’s reign, and the 
trunk-hose, as the stuffed upper stocks were now 
called, were nearly covered by the long flaps or skirts 
of the coats and doublets 

The well-known print, after Holbein, of Ed- 
ward VI. founding Christ Church Hospital, presents 
us with the official and ecclesiastical costume of this 


of these tw 7 o reigns underwent no material alteration. 
The projection of the tapul gradually descended from 
the centre of the breast-plate till it completely dis- 
appeared, and the waist was considerably length- 
ened. The morion came into general use. Brigan- 
dine jackets were worn by the archers, with steel 
skull caps. In Mary’s reign the waist again short 
ened, and by the statute of die 4lh and 5th of Philip 
and Mary, we learn (hat the military force of the 
kingdom was composed of demi-lancers, who supplied 
the place of the men-at-arms ; pikemen, who wore 
back and breast-plates with tassets, gorgets, gaunt 
lets, and steel hats; archers, with steel skull-caps 



Powder-flask of the reign of Mary, in the Meyrick collect!* n. 

and brigandines ; black bill-men or halberdiers, who 
wore the armour called almain rivet, and morions or 
sallets; and haquebutiers similarly appointed A 
long wheel-lock dag and pistol of the reign of Ed- 
ward VI., and a pocket wheel-lock pistol of the reign 




of Mary, are engraved here trom the originals in the 
Meyrick collection, and a powder-flask of the :atter 
period, from the same source, presents us also with 
an equestrian figure in the costume of the time. *1 he 
flask held the coarse powder for the charge, the finer 
for priming was held in a smaller case called a 
touch-box. Cartridges, according to Sir S. Meyrick, 
were first used for pistols, and carried in a steel case 
called a patron, about this time. 

of these two reigns was composed of the fashions 
which immediately preceded them, and the few 
novelties introduced will be found described in the 
next chapter, under the reign of Elizabeth. 




Chapter XVII. 


Karl; costume of Queen Elisabeth, from a miniature portrait forming part 
of the collection alluded to, page 219. 

We begin this chapter, as in duty bound, with the 
costume of the sovereign whose reign we are about 
to investigate, and shall proceed at once with the 
dress of the ladies of this period, leaving the habits 
of the gentlemen, both civil and military, for the 
conclusion of the chapter. It seems an act of supere- 
rogation to attempt to describe the personal cos- 
tume of “ Good Queen Bess.” Her great ruff rises 
up indignantly at the bare idea of being unknown 
or forgotten. Her jewelled stomacher is picpied to 
the extreme, and her portentous petticoats strut out 
with tenfold importance at the slight insinuated 
against their virgin mistress, who lived but for con- 
quest and display, and thought infinitely less of 



bringing a sister-queen to the block than o ) failing to 
make an impression upon a gentleman-usher. But 
with all due respect to her rulF and devotion to the 
petticoats in general, we must beg to observe, that the 
best-lmown portraits of Elizabeth are those exccu ed 
towards the close of her reign, and which belong as 
much to the seventeenth as to the sixteenth century. 

Through the kindness of Mr. Dominic Colnaghi, 
we have the gratification of presenting our readers 
with an unpublished portrait of the queen, from a 
curious painting executed at the commencement of 
her reign, representing her in a dress as similar as 
possible to that of her sister and predecessor, m a 
portrait painted by the same hand and in the same 
collection ; the upper dress being a sort ot coat of 
black velvet and ermine, fastened only on the chest 
and flying open below, disclosing the waistcoat and 
kirtle or petticoat of white silk or silver embroidered 
with black. She wears a ruff, it is true, but not the 
famous one to which she owes at least half her repu- 
tation. Her neck is also encircled by a gauze kerchief 
or scarf, knotted like that worn by Queen Maiy. 

Stubbs, who wrote his ‘Anatomy of Abuses in this 
reign, notices the peculiar fashion of this masculine 
habit and its enormous sleeves. ‘‘The women, 
says lie, “have doublets and jerkins as the men 
have, buttoned up to the breast, and made with 
wino-s, welts, and pinions on the shoulder-points, as 
man's apparel in all respects ; and although this he 
a kind of attire proper only to a man, yet they blush 
not to wear it.” 

About the middle of this reign the great change 
took place that gave the female costume of the six- 
teenth century its remarkable character. The body 
was imprisoned in whalebone to the hips ; the P ar *®* 
let, which covered the neck to the chin, was removed, 
and an enormous ruff, rising gradually from the Iroi* 



of the shoulders to nearly the height of the head be- 
hind, encircled the wearer like the nimbus or glory of 
a saint. From the bosom, now partially discovered, 
descended an interminable stomacher, on each side 
jf which jutted out horizontally the enormous var- 
dingale , the prototype of that modern-antique, the 
hoop, which has been so lately banished the court, 
to the great joy of all classes of his majesty’s sub- 
jects saving only the metropolitan dressmakers. The 
cap or coif was occasionally exchanged for a round 
bonnet like that of the men, or the hair dressad in 
countless curls, and adorned with ropes and stars 
of jewels, and at the close of the reign (for the 
first time) with feathers. 

The perfection of this costume is familiar to us, 
as we have before noticed, in the portrait of Elizabeth 
taken in the dress in which she went to St. Paul’s to 
return thanks for the defeat of the Spanish armada, 
a. d. 1588, engraved by Crispin de Passe, from a 
drawing by Isaac Oliver. 

In addition to the ruff, she wears a long mantle 
of some delicate stuff, with a high-standing collar 
edged with lace, and expanding like wings on each 
side of the head. This was probably made of fine 
lawn or cambric. 

In the second year of her reign began the wearing 
of lawn and cambric ruffs, they having before that 
time, says Stow, been made of holland, and now, 
when the queen had them of this new material, no 
one could starch or stiffen them ; she therefore sent 
for some Dutch women, and the wife of her coach- 
man Guillan became her majesty’s first starcher. 

In 1564 Mistress Dingham Vander Plasse, a 
Fleming, came to London with her husband, and 
followed the profession of a starcher of ruffs, in which 
she greatly excelled. She met with much encourage- 
ment amongst the nobility and gentry of this country, 

z 3 


biut;sh costume. 

and was the first who publicly taught the art of 
starching, her price being four or five pounds for 
each scholar, and twenty shillings in addition for 
teaching them how to seeth or make the stare 1. 

Stubbs falls foul of this “ liquid matter which they 
call starch," wherein he says “ the devil hath learned 
them to wash and dive their ruffs, which being dry 
will then stand stiff and inflexible about their necks. 

It was made, he tells us, of wheat flour, bran, or 
other grains, sometimes of roots and other things, 
and of all colours and hues, as white, red, blue, pur- 
ple and the like. He mentions also “a certain 
device made of wires, crested for the purpose, and 
whipped all over either with gold, thread, silver, or 
silk ” for supporting these ruffs, and called “a snpper- 
tasse or under-propper.’’ These “ great ruffs or 
neckerchers, made of hollande, lawne, cambric, and 
such cloth,’’ so delicate that the greatest thread in 
them “ shall not be so big as the least hair that is, 
starched, streaked, dried, patted, and underpropped 
by the suppertasses, “ the stately arches ot pride, 
sometimes overshadowed three or four orders 0 
minor ruffs placed gradatim one beneath the other 
and all under “ the master devil ruff, ’ which wasitse.f 
clo°*ged with gold, silver, or silk lace of stately price, 
wrought all over with needlework, speckled and 
sparkled here and there with the sun, the moon the 
stars, and many other antiques strange to behold : 
some are wrought with open work down to the midst 
of the ruff and further ; some with close work ; some 
with purlid lace and other gewgaws, so clogged, so 
pestered that the ruff is the least part of itself, bome- 
times they are pinned up to their ears, and sometimes 
they are suffered to hang over the shoulders like 
flan's or windmill sails fluttering in the air. 

Their gowns, continues the satirist, be no less 
famous than the rest, for some tire of silk, som* ot 



velvet, some of grograin, some of taffata, some of 
scarlet, and some of fine cloth, of ten, twenty, or 
forty shillings the yard ; but if the whole garment be 
not of silk or velvet, then the same must he layed 
with lace two or three fingers broad all over the 
gown ; or if lace is not fine enough for them, he 
^ys they must be decorated with broad gardes of 
velvet edged with costly lace. The fashions too of 
the <rown were as various as its colours, and “ chang- 
ing with the moon; for some be of the new fashion, 
and some of the olde ; some with sleeves hanging 
down to the skirts trailing on the ground, and 
cast over their shoulders like cow-tails ; some have 
sleeves much shorter, cut up the arm, drawn out 
with sundry colours, and pointed with silk ribbands, 
and very gallantly tied with love-knotts, for so they 
call them.” Some had capes reaching down to the 
middle of their backs faced with velvet or fine taffata, 
and “fringed about very bravely;” others were 
plaited and crested down the back “ wonderfully, 
with more knacks” than he can express. 

Their petticoats, he says, were of the best cloth and 
the finest die, and even of silk, grograin, &c., iringec 
about the skirts with silk of a changeable colour. 
“ But what is more vain,” he adds, “of whatever the 
petticoat be, yet must they have kirtles, for so they 
call them, of silk, velvet, grograin, taffata, satin, or 
scarlet, bordered with gards, lace, fringe, and 1 can- 
not tell what.” Here the kirtle is again distinguished 
from the gown and petticoat, and is evidently the 
garment worn immediately under the gown, and at 
this time completely discovered by it, the skirt or 
train of the gown or robe being only just visible on 

each side of the figure. 

The nether stocks or stockings, we are told, were 
of silk, jarnsey, worsted, cruel, or the finest y arn » 
thread, or cloth that could possibly be had ; and 

20 0 

British costums. 

they were “ not ashamed to wear hose ot all kinds of 
changeable colours, as green, red, white, russet, 
tawney, and else what not” — ■“ cunningly knit” too, 
and “ curiously indented -in every point with quints, 
clocks, open seams, and every thing else accordingly.’’ 

As early as the third year of Elizabeth, we read 
that Mistress Montague, the queen’s silk woman, 
presented to her majesty a pair of black knit silk 
stockings, made in England, which pleased her so 
much, that she would never wear any cloth ho-e 
afterwards ; not only on account of the delicacy of 
the article itself, but from a laudable desire to en- 
courage this new species of English manufacture by 
her own example. Soon attei this, says Stow', 
William Rider, then apprentice to Thomas Burdet, 
at the bridge foot, opposite the church of St. Magnus, 
seeing a pair of knit worsted stockings at an Italian 
merchant’s, brought from Mantua, borrowed them, 
and having made a pair like unto them, presented 
them to the Earl of Pembroke, which was the first 
pair of worsted stockings knit in this country. 

In Stubbs’ time we perceive stockings of silk, 
worsted, and yarn, had become common. 

In 1599, William Lee, master of arts, and fellow of 
St. John's College, Cambridge, invented a stocking- 
frame. Lee was born at Wood borough, in Not- 
tinghamshire, and is said to have been heir to a good 
estate. Tradition attributes the origin of his inven- 
tion to a pique he had taken against a townswoman 
with whom he was in love, and who, it seems, neg- 
lected his passion. She got her livelihood by knit- 
ting stockings, and with the ungenerous object of 
depreciating her employment he constructed this 
frame, first working at it himself, then teaching his 
brother and other relations. He practised his new 
invention some time at Calverton, a village about 
five miles from Nottingham, and either he or h^ 



brother is said to have worked for Queen Elizabeth 
The other stocking manufacturers used every art bn 
bring his invention into disrepute ; and it seems they 
effected their purpose for that time, as he removed 
from Calverton, and settled at Rouen in Normandy, 
where he met with great patronage ; but the murder 
of Henry IV. of France, and the internal troubles 
subsequent to that event, frustrated his success, and 
he died at Paris of a broken heart. Stow says that 
Lee not only manufactured stockings in his frame 
but “ waistcoats and divers other things. 

The ladies’ shoes were of many fashions. “ They 
have corked shoes, puisnets, pantoffles, and slippers,’ 
says Stubbs; “some of black velvet, some of white, 
some of green, and some of yellow, some of Spanish 
leather, and some of English, stitched with silk and 
embroidered with gold and silver all over the foot, 
with other gewgaws innumerable.” 

The cork shoes here mentioned continued in 
fashion amongst the ladies the greater part of the 
seventeenth century. 

“ Then,” exclaims the censor, “ must they have 
their silk scarfs cast about their faces, and fluttering 
in the wind, with great lapels at every end, either of 
gold, or silver, or silk, which they say they wear to 
keep them from sun-burning. When they used to 
ride abroad, they have masks and visors made of 
velvet, wherewith they cover their faces, having holes 
made in them against their eyes whereout they look ; 
so that if a man knew not their guise, he would think 
that he met a monster or devil. ’ 

A gain : “ their fingers must be decked with gold, 
silver’, and precious stones ; their wrists with brace- 
lets and annulets of gold and costly jewels; their 
hands covered with sweet-washed (i. e. perfumed) 
irloves, embroidered with gold and silver ; and they 
must have their looking-glasses carried with them 



wheresoever they go;" and he is especially indignant 
against those who “ are not ashamed to make holes 
in their ears, whereat they hang rings and other 
iewels of gold and precious stones.” 

A pocket looking-glass was the common com- 
panion of the fashionables of both sexes at this time. 
The ladies carried it either in their pockets or hang- 
ing at their sides, and sometimes it was inserted in 
the fan of ostrich or other feathers — one of the 
most elegant appendages to the costume of this 
period, and lately brought again into fashion, though 
more as an ornament for a room than as a substitute 
for the folding fan of ivory, which, however beauti- 
fully carved, is certainly not comparable to it either 
for use or elegance. 

We have slightly mentioned the fashion ot wearing 
the hair at the commencement of this chapter; we 
will conclude with the more elaborate account by 
Stubbs. He says it must be curled, frizzled, crisped, 
laid out in wreaths and borders from one ear to the 
other, and, lest it should fall down, must be ‘‘ under- 
propped with forkes, weirs,” &c., and ornamented with 
great wreathes of gold or silver curiously wrought, 
bugles, ouches, rings, glasses, and other such gew- 
gaws, which he being “ unskillful in women s tearms, 
cannot easily recount. “ Then upou the toppes of 
their stately turrets stand their other capital orna- 
ments ; a French hood, hatte, cappe. kircher, and 
such-like, whereof some be of velvet, some of this 
fashion, and some of that;” cauls made of net- 
wire that the cloth of gold, silver, or tinsel, with 
which the hair was sometimes covered, might be seen 
through ; and lattice caps 1 with three horns or cor- 

1 In an ordinance for the reformation of gentlewomen's head- 
dress, written in the middle of Elizabeth’s reign, it is said that 
none shall wear an ermine or lattice bonnet unless she be a jjcf* 
tlewoman born, having arms. Harleian MSS. No. 1776 



ners like the forked caps of popish priests: “and 
every merchant’s or artiticer’s wife or mean gentle- 
woman indulged in these extravagant fashions ” 


Fig. a, English truly of q»»l >v, I r>77. from Weigel’s wornl-mits; b, K, glUi 
lady of quality, 1588. from Caspar Rntz. 

In the 


an entire change was perfected in this reign. We 
say perfected, because it had commenced almost in- 
visibly during the reigns of Henry \ III. in England, 
and still earlier abroad ; and during the brief reigns 
of Edward VI. and Queen Mary had made gradual 
progress, and apparently in the very opposite direc- 
tion to fashions in general ; that is, from the lowly to 
the noble ; till at the accession of Elizabeth, the pe- 
culiar habit which has taken its name from her, viz., 
the Elizabethan costume,” appeared in all its 



beauty, or deformity, as our readers may th.nk be.t 
Tlie large trunk hose, the long-watsted doublet, the 
short cloak or mantle with its standing collar, the 
ruff the hat. band and feather, the shoes and roses, 
are all seen in the earliest paintings or prints of 
neriod and the positive date of the introduction 
either seems to be a difficult and a debated question 
even to those who lived nearest the time. 

To begin with the hose, which, since their sep - 
ration into upper and nether stocks, have had rather 
an ambiguous existence. As early as the reign of 
Henrv VII. we perceive instances of the u PPe f P a ^ 
bein^of a different pattern to the lower; and Hah 
describes hosen so varied in his account of the ban- 
quet at Westminster in the first year of the reign of 
Henry VIII. The bases or skirts to the coats and 
iackets of that reign descending nearly to the knee, 
rendered any alteration in the upper stock invisible, 
but occasionally a glimpse is caught of either he 
upper stock “ bombasted out, or of independen 
breeches, no longer mere drawers, of ample dimen- 
sions descending as low as the border of the bases, 
rudiment of the latter, these large 
breeches or sloppes became an important and splen- 
did part of apparel; and while the 'ong hose were 
either supplanted by. or new christened, the trauset , 
the upper stock, or the breeches worn over them, 
received the name of trunk-hose, and were stutied 
slashed paned, and ornamented in the most quaint 
and extravagant manner, the nether stock settling for 
tood and all upon the lower part of the leg, under 

the modem denomination of stocking. f 

Strutt quotes the following curious note from e 
manuscript in the Harleian library.-" Memorandum. 
That over the seats in the parliament-house there 
were certain holes, some two inches square in the 
walls, in which were placed posts to uphold a scaf- 
fold round about the house within, for them to sit 



upon who used the wearing of great breeches stuffed 
with hair like wool-sacks, which fashion being left the 
eighth year of Elizabeth, the scaffolds were taken 
down, and never since put up. ’ “ Eke date on this 

memorandum,” Strutt adds, “ is not very perfect, but 
I think it is anno 33 Eliz.” The fashion of wearing 
that particular sort of large breeches might have 
been left in the eighth year of Elizabeth, certainly, as 
we have no mode of ascertaining the identical de- 
scription to which the writer refers, the form varying 
in almost every representation ; but the fashion of 
wearing great, nay', enormous bree.ches, rather in 
creased" than fell off during the reign of Elizabeth, 
and they were worn preposterously large by James I. ; 
and Henry IV. of France, who ascended the throne 
in 1589, within two years of the date of the memo- 
randum, is generally painted in precisely the same 
costume : and this circumstance gives us faith in the 
testimony of Randal Holmes, who says, “ About the 
fortieth year of Elizabeth the old fashions which men 
used at the beginning of her reign were again re- 
vived, with some few additions made thereto, such as 
guises, double ruffs, &c.” 

But let us apply to our old friend Stubbs, who has 
anatomized these abuses, and afforded us so much 
information already respecting the costume ol the 

ladies. . 

He begins by assuring us that no people in the 
world “ are so curious in new fangles” as those of 
this country, and first describes their costly shirts of 
cambric, holland, lawn, and the finest cloths, wrought 
throughout with needlework of silk and curiously 
stitched with open seams, and many other knacks 
beside, which rendered them so expensive that some 
cost “ horrible to hear! ” ten pounds apiece a long 
price, doubtless, for a shirt at any time the meanest 
worn costing a crown, or a noble at least. The 
great ruff’s worn by the men, he describes almost in 



the same words as those in which he descanted upon 
the ruffs of the ladies ; adding, however, that every 
body will have them whether they can afford them 
or not, and sooner than go without, will sell or 
mortgage their land on Shooters Hill, Stangate 
Hole! or Salisbury Plain ; or risk the loss of their 
lives at Tyburn with a rope : in token whereof, he 
says, “ they have now newly (1595) found out a 
more monstrous kind of ruff, of twelve, yea, sixteen 
lengths apiece, set three or four times double ; and 
it is of some fitly called ‘ three steps and an half to 

the gallows.’ ” • 

And now we come to the trunk-hose or breecnes, 
which he tells us are of divers fashions and sundry 
names : the French hose, the Gallic hosen, and the 
Venetian. The French hose are of “two divers 
making ; the common sort contain length, breadth, 
and sideness sufficient, and they are made very- 
round ; the other sort contain neither length, 
breadth, nor sideness proportionable, being not past 
a quarter of a yard on the side whereof some be 
paned or striped, cut and drawn out with costly 
ornaments, with editions adjoined, reaching down 
beneath the knees.” These closer-fitting hose were 
most probably the sort that came into fashion in the 
eighth year of Elizabeth, as mentioned by the writer 
of the foregoing memorandum, as they are seen upon 
the figure of Henry III. of France, a. d. 1574-1oS 9, 
(vide Monlfaucon’s Monarchic Francaise,) with the 
editions, or ennons attached, which were not tags 
or tubes at the ends of ribands or laces, as Mr. • 
Strutt has conjectured, but one or more rolls ter- 
minating the breeches below the knee, as a com- 
mon French dictionary would have informed him. 

“ The Gallic hosen,” Stubbs continues, “ are made 
very large and wide, reaching down to the knees 
only, with three or four gardes apiece laid down 
along the thigh of either hose. The Venetian hosen 



reach beneath the knee to the gartering-place of the 
leg, where they are tied finely with silken points, 
and laid on also with rows or gardes, as the other 
before.” They were made of silk, velvet, satin, 
damask, and other precious stuffs, costing, sometimes, 
if we may believe the writer, a hundred pounds a 
pair; but in that case we should imagine either 
magnificently embroidered or adorned with precious 
stones. To these are added boot-hose ot the hnest 
cloth, and also splendidly embroidered from the 
n-artering-place upward, with “ birds, beasts, and 
antiques,” and made wide enough to draw over all, 
and lono - enough to reach the waist. 

Of the doublets worn in these days we find as 
great a variety as of the hose. They fitted the body 
very closely from the commencement of the reign, 
and the waist gradually lengthened to its conclusion. 
In Stubbs’ time they wore what afterwards obtained 
the name of the long peasecod-bellied doublet, 
quilted and stuffed with four, five, or six pounds ot 
bombast, the exterior being of satin, silk, taffata, 
grograine, chamlet, gold or silver stuff s as iec , 
iao-o-ed, cut, carved, pinched and laced with all kind 
of costly lace of divers and sundry colours.’ Ihese 
bombasted doublets formed a point in front,hangmg, 
over the girdle, and, allowing for a littlp ca ncature 
is to this day the body dress of our old and inestima- 
ble friend Punch, whose wardrobe of Italian origin 
dates as nearly as possible from this identical period. 
Over these were worn coats and jerkins, some with 
collars, some without, some close to the body, some 
loose, which they called mandillians 2 , covering the 
whole of the body like sacks or bags, some buttoned 

* Mandevilles, which Randal Holmes, describes “ as a loose 
banning garment,” and “ much like to our jacket or jumps, but 
without sleeves, only having holes to put the arms through; yet 
some were made with sleeves, but for no other use than to lang 
on the back.” 



down the breast, some under the arm, and some 
down the back, some with flaps over the breast, some 
without, some with great sleeves, some with sma.l, 
and some plaited and crested (striped) behind, and 
curiously gathered, some not; one man ha\ing as 
many sorts of apparel as there are days in the year. 
They had cloaks also of white, red, tawney, black, 
green, yellow, russet, violet, &c., made of cloth, 
silk, velvet, and tafFata, and after the Spanish, 
French, and Dutch fashions : some short, scarcely 
reaching to the girdlestead, or waist ; some to the 
knee, and others trailing on the ground, resembling 
gowns rather than cloaks, and guarded with \ebet 
guards, or else faced with costly lace of gold, silver, 
or silk, three or four fringes (fingers ?) broad down 
the back, about the skirts, and every where else. A 
new fashion in the author’s time was to guard the 
cloaks, round -bout the skirts, with bugles, and other 
kinds of glass, “and all to shine to the eye.’’ 

Besides, he tells us these cloaks were so faced aud 
lined that the inner side cost as much as the outer. 
Some had sleeves and some hoods to pull up over 
the head ; some were “ hanged with points and tas- 
sels of gold, silver, and silk and, in conclusion, be 
asserts that the day had been when a man might have 
bought two cloaks for less money than the cost of 
one at the time he wrote, they had such store of 
workmanship bestowed on them. 

The nether stocks or stockings, and shoes and 
slippers of the men, he describes as similar to those 
of the women. The former with quirks and clogs 
about the ancles, and the latter “ corked,’’ of all 
colours, and richly ornamented. The pantoffles or 
slippers he especially ridicules, exemplifying the 
difficulty of keeping them on the feet in the street, 
aud asking how they should be handsome when 
they go flap, flap, up aud down in the dirt, casting 
up the mire to the knees of the w'earer ? 



Of hats and caps he enumerates a vast variety. 
Some sharp on the crown, pearkingup like the spear 
or shaft of a steeple standing a quarter of a yard 
above the crown of their heads, some more, some 
less, to please the fantasies of their inconstant minds. 
Some flat and broad on the crown, like the battle- 
ment of a house, some with round crowns and bands 
of all colours; others again wore their hats without 
bands, which Stubbs calls a new fashion, which they 
father on the Frenchmen ; and all these hats or caps 
of velvet, taffata, or sarcenet, were ornamented with 
great bunches of feathers, which had latterly become 
so much the rage that every child wore them, and 
many got a good living by dyeing and selling of them. 
To these head-coverings, he adds some made of a 
certain kind of fine hair, which they call beaver hats, 
of twenty, thirty, and forty shillings apiece, fetched 

U>sl line '>f I ha roign of KlUalutli *l.ont 1538, from John Weijfi'* WOtd 

2 A 3 



from beyond sea, whence a great sort of other varie- 
ties do come. 

The flat hat, or cap of estate, worn by the knights 
of the Garter, was changed for one witli a higher 
crown of the fashion of the time, but no other altera- 
tion took place in the dress. 


of this reign seldom comes lower than just beneath 
the hip, complete suits being used only for justing, 
and not always even for that purpose, knights often 
appearing in the lists without armour for the legs or 
thighs. The breast-plates were made much thicker, 
in order to be bullet proof ; the tassels of them began 
to be made of one plate each, but marked in imita- 
tion of several. The point of the tapul reappeared 
at the bottom of the breast-plate, and projected 
downwards, in conformity with the shape of the 
peasecod-bellied doublet described, p. 267. Opposite 
are engraved the variously-shaped morions of the time 
of Elizabeth, in chronological order, and a selection 
from the figures embossed oil the last gives the 
military costume of the close of her reign (about 

Carabines, petronds, and dragons are frequently 
mentioned amongst the fire-arms of this period. The 
petronel was so called from poitrinal, being fired 
with its straight and square butt-end held against 
the chest. The dragon received its name from its 
muzzle, being generally ornamented with the head 
of that fabled monster, and the troops who used it 
subsequently acquired the name of Dragons and 
Dragoons from this circumstance. The origin of 
the appellation of the carabine or carbine is dis- 
puted. One derivation is from the vessels called 
Carabs, on board of which it has been presumed 

Morions of the rcijn of Elizabeth, in the Meyrick collection. The costume from the last of the series, temp. 1590 






Fire-arms, niu>ket est, and bandoliers, temp. Elizabeth, from theMeyrick 

they were first used. Troops called Carabins, a sort 
of light cavalry from Spain, are first mentioned 
a. d. 1559. Our engraving exhibits a dag (fig. a), 
a pistol (fig. 6), and a dragon (fig. c), and the butt- 
ends of a carabine (fig. d), a petronel (fig. e), and 



a demi-haque or hack-butt (fig./), all with wheel- 
locks, and of the reign of Elizabeth, from the armoury 
at Goodrich Court. 

The rest was introduced for the long heavy match- 
lock musket, during the reign of Henry III. in 
France (vide fig. g ). Bandoliers or sets of leathern 
cases, in each of which a complete charge of powder 
for a musket was carried to facilitate the loading of 
a piece, were used till the close of the seventeenth 
century (vide fig. A), when they were superseded by 
the cartridge-box. 




Chapter XVIII. 

REIGN OF JAMES I„ 1603—1625. 

The costume of the reign of James I. was little 
more than a continuation of the dress of the latter 
part of Elizabeth’s. The long-waisted or peasecod- 
bellied doublet remained in vogue, and the conical- 
crowned hat and large Gallic or Venetian hosen, 
slashed, quilted, stuffed, and guarded (or laced), were 
worn as before. The increase in size, from the 
quantity of stuffing used in the garments, we may 
partly trace to the pusillanimous character of the 
new monarch. Dalzel, a cotemporary of James, 
informs us, in his ‘ Fragments of Scottish History,’ 
that that monarch had “ his cloathing made large, 
and even the doubletts quilted for (fear of) stellets 
(stilettoes) ; his breeches in great plaits and full 
stuffed. He was naturally of a timorous disposition, 
which was the gretest reason of his quilted doubletts. 

The ruff was occasionally exchanged for a wide 
stiff collar, standing out horizontally and squarely, 
made of the same stuff, and starched and wired as 
usual, but plain instead of plaited or pinched, and 
sometimes edged like the rutf with lace. These col- 
lars were called bands 

1 Both the band and the ru.T were in this reign stiffened with 
yellow starch, in preference to all other colours. This fashion is 
said to have been introduced from France by » Mrs. Turner, who 
was afterwards executed for poise rang bir Thomas Overbury. 
Vide page 292. Inthe play of Albumazzar, published a. d. 1614, 
Armelina asks Trincalo, “ What price bears wheat and saffron, 
that your band is so stiff and so yellow ?” Bulver speaks of the 
« Cobweb-lawn yellow starched ruffs.” Pedigree of the English 
Gallant, p. 530. 



Towards the close of James’s reign, however we 
perceive a slight alteration. Short jackets or doublets, 
£ith tabs and false sleeves hanging behind, succeed 
to the long-waisted doublets, and the hose, insteac 
of being slashed or laced, were covered with loose 
broad straps, richly embroidered or adorned w 
buttons, and discovering the silk or velvt 'i 
the narrow intervals between them. Vide portrait 
of Henry, Prince of Wales, page 278. The stockings 
were gartered beneath the knee, and the garters 
fastened in a large bow or rosette on one side. The 
loose Gallic hosen were still worn, and fastened to 
the doublet or jacket just above the tabs by lnnume- 

13 In a MS. in the Harleian Library is the following 
description of the dress of the famous George \ dhers 
Duke of Buckingham, the favourite ot James 1. n 
was common with him at any ordinary dancing to 
have his clothes trimmed with great diamond buttons, 
and to have diamond hatbands, cockades and ear- 
rings ; to be yoked with great and mamtold knots of 
pearl, in short, to be manacled, fettered, and impri- 
soned in jewels : insomuch that, at his going over 
Paris in 1625, he had twenty-seven suits of clothes 
made, the richest that embroidery, lace silk, velvet, 
gold and gems could contribute; one of winch was 
f white uncut velvet, set all over, both suit and 
cloak, with diamonds, valued with fourteen thousand 
pounds, besides a great feather stuck all over with 
diamonds, as were also his sword, girdle, hatband, and 
spurs ’’ The following extract from a letter ol James I. 
to the same nobleman, and to the Prince of Wales, 
whom Buckingham had accompanied to Madrid 
1623, relates also to the fashion of wearing jewe s in 

the <‘ h i at s"end you,” writes the king to his son “ for 
youre wearing, the three bretheren that ye knowe 



full well, but newlie sette, and the mirroure of 
Fraunce, the fellow of the Portugall dyamont, 
quiche I vvolde wishe you to weare alone in your 
iiatte, with a little blakke feather;” and to Bucking- 
ham he says, “ as to thee, my sweete gossippe, 1 
send thee a faire table dyainont, quiche I wolde once 
have gevin thee before if thou wolde have taken it, 
and Thave hung a faire pearle to it for wearing on 
thy hatte, or quhaire thou plaisis, and if my Babie’' 
(as he always called Charles) “will spaire thee the 
two long dyamonts in forme of an anker, with the 
pendant dyamont, it were fit for an admiral to weare . 

If my Babie will not spaire the anker from 

his mistresse, he may well lend thee his rounde 
brooche to weare, and yett he shall have jewells tc 
weare in his hatte for three great dayes.” 

In Dekker’s Horn-book, dated 1609, we read, 
“ When your noblest gallants consecrate their hours 
to their mistresses and to revelling they wear feathers 
then chiefly in their hats, being of y* fairest ensigns 
of their bravery;’’ and John Taylor, the water poet, 
reprobates the spendthrift and the gallant, who 

<i Wear a farm in shoe-strings edged w ith gold, 

And spangled garters worth a copyhold , 

A hose and doublet which a lordship cost; 

A gaudy cloak three mansions’ price almost ; 

A beaver band and feather for the head, 

Prized at the church’s tythe, the poor man’s bread. 

Silk, worsted, and thread stockings were now 
almost universally worn, and cloth or woollen stock- 
inos considered unfashionable. 

°In ‘The Hog hath lost its Pearl,' a play by Ro- 
bert Taylor, printed 1611, one of the characters 
remarks, that good parts, without the habiliments 

• The Duke of Buckingham was Lord High Admiral. 



of gallantry, are no more set by than a good leg in a 
woollen stocking. 

In the History of Jack of Newbury, a merchant is 
described in a grave-coloured suit, with a black 
cloak; and in a comedy by Dekker, published a. d. 
1612 3 , a man is told to walk “ in treble ruffs like a 

The hat worn by the knights of the Garter at this 
time was high-crowned, and feathers having been 
latterly neglected (perhaps in favour of the jewelled 
hatband, which is frequently seen in this reign unac- 
companied by a plume), were re-introduced in the 
tenth year of James’s reign. Some variation appears 
also in the colour of the mantle of foreign princes ; 
that sent to Frederick, Duke of Wurtemberg, in 
the fourth year of this reign, is stated to have^ been 
“of a mixed colour; to wit, purple and violet. 

The riband also, to which the lesser George, or 
medal, was appended round the neck, was during 
this reign changed from black to blue. One of blue, 
or sky colour, is ordered in the twentieth of James I. 4 

The viscount’s coronet, composed of an unlimited 
number of pearls round a circlet of gold, dates from 
this reign, and was first worn by Viscount Cranbourn, 
created 20th August, second of James I 

armour and weapons. 

James I. is stated to have remarked of armour, 
that it was an excellent invention, for it not only 
saved the life of the wearer but hindered him from 
doing hurt to any body else. The increasing use 
and improvements in fire-arms combined with other 
causes to bring it into disrepute, and before the close 
of this reign the armour of the heaviest cavalry ter- 
minated at the knees. Henry, Prince of Wales, 

3 Entitled * If this be not a good Play the Devil » in it. 

4 Ashmole’s History of the Order. 

2 B 



Henry, Prince of Wales, from Drayton’s Polyolbion, 1613. 

appears only armed to the waist in the abo%e 
engraving, copied from Drayton’s Polyolbion. 

Amongst the cavalry, the intercourse with Spain 
changed the name ot lancer into cavalier. The 
infantry consisted of pikemen and musketeers; and 
during this reign the caliver, a matchlock that could 
be fired without a rest, came greatly into use, and 
ultimately superseded the long fire-arm altogether. 
A military treatise, published in 1619, by Eduard 
Davis, gentleman, tells us, that “ a soldier must 
either accustom himself to bear a piece or a pike. H 
he bear a piece, then must he first learn to hold the 
same ; to accommodate his match between the two 

j *M Ii8 I. 


„ ■ _ Tqitips T • b a Inn-einot: a swine’s feather 

rf.tlin.toSvT’*. the P buUofa pistol: all from the Mryrick collection. 

foremost fingers and his thombe, and to plant the 
great end on his breast with a gallant souldier-h e 

grace His flaske and touch-box must keep his 

powder, his purse and mouth his bullets; in skirmis i 



his left hand must hold his match and piece, and the 
right hand use the office of charging and discharging.” 

To the rest for the musket or matchlock was 
added in James’s time a long rapier blade, for the 
defence of the soldier when he had discharged his 
piece. It was called the sweyne’s feather, “ hog’s 
bristle,” and sometimes the Swedish feather, having 
been perhaps a Swedish invention. See one en- 
graved above from the Meyrick collection, fig. c, 
with a morion and bourginot of the same period, 
figs, a and b. The butt-end of the pistol in this 
reign became elongated. Vide fig. e. 


of this reign presents us with few variations. The 
portrait of Anne of Denmark, queen of James 1., 
exactly resembles, in the general character of the 
dress, that of Queen Elizabeth, painted by Holbein. 

The enormous vardingale was worn throughout 
this reign by the nobility ; and Bulwer, in his pedi- 
gree of the English Gallant, tells us the following 
amusing story concerning this “ unnatural disguise- 
ment — When Sir Peter Wych was sent ambassador 
to the Grand Seignor from James I., his lady ac- 
companied him to Constantinople, and the Sultaness, 
having heard much of her, desired to see her; 
whereupon Lady Wych, attended by her waiting- 
women, all of them dressed in their great vardin- 
gales, which was the court-dress of the English 
ladies at that time, waited upon her highness. The 
Sultaness received her visitor with great respect, but, 
struck with the extraordinary extension or the hips of 
the whole party, seriously inquired if that shape w as 
peculiar to the natural formation of English women, 
and Lady Wych was obliged to explain the whole 
mystery of the dress, in order to convince her that 



she and her companions were not really so deformed 
ae they appeared to be. 

The ruffs and bands or collars worn at this time 
by the ladies were generally stiffened with yellow 
starch like those of the gentlemen. In the old play 
called ‘ Lingua, or the Combat of the Tongue and 
the Five Senses for superiority,’ published A. D. 1607, 
we have a curious list of the articles of a fashionable 
lady’s wardrobe. “ Five hours ago,” says one ot the 
characters, “ I set a dozen maids to attire a boy like 
a nice gentlewoman, but there is such doing with 
their looking-glasses ; pinning, unpinning; setting, 
unsetting; formings and conformings; painting of 
blue veins and cheeks. Such a stir with sticks, combs, 
cascanets, dressings, purls, fall squares, busks, bodices, 
scarfs, necklaces, carcanets, rabatoes, borders, tires, 
fans, palisadoes, puffs,- ruffs, cuffs, muffs, pusles, 
fusles, partlets, friglets, bandlets, fillets, corslets, pen- 
dulets, amulets, annulets, bracelets, and so many lets 
(i. e. stops or hindrances), that she is scarce dressed 
to the girdle ; and now there is such calling for 
fardingales, kirtles, busk-points, shoe-ties, and the 
like, that seven pedlars’ shops, nay, all Stourbridge 
fair, will scarcely furnish her. A ship is sooner 
rigged by far than a gentlewoman made ready 1” 

°I„ ‘ the London Prodigal,’ published a d. 1605, 
Civit says to his sweetheart,—” Frances, I’ll have thee 
go like a citizen, in a guarded gown and a French 
hood and in * Eastward Hoe,’ a comedy of the 
same date, Girt red says to her sister, — “ Do you wear 
your quoif with a London ticket, your stamen petticoat 
with two guards, the buffen gown with tuttatfelie 
cap and the velvet lace.” And grogram gowns, 
lined throughout with velvet, durance petticoats, and 
silver bodkins are mentioned by her as other parts of 
the apparel and ornaments of citizens’ wives and 

2 b 3 



Chapter XIX. 

1625 — 1660 . 

The reign of Charles I., 1625 — 164R, introduces us 
to the most elegant and picturesque costume ever 
worn in England, and from the circumstance of its 
being the habit of the time in which Vandyke painted, 
it has acquired the appellation of the Vandyke dress. 
It has been familiarized to us not only by the num- 
berless prints from the works of that great master, but 
through the medium of theatrical representations, 
being, of all costumes, perhaps the best adapted for 
the stage, and therefore generally selected for such 
plays as are not fixed by their subject to some other 
particular era. For the same reason, with pardon- 
able licence, plays founded on incidents of the reign 
of Charles II. are acted in costumes of the reign 
of Charles I.; but the point was rather strained by 
the late Mr. Kemble, who formed out of the habits of 
the three reigns of Elizabeth, James, and Charles 
a conventional costume for the whole of Shakspeare's 
historical plays, from King John to Henry Mil. 
The intention was, however, a laudable one. Mr. 
Garrick had broken ground, by assuming a fancy 
dress for the part of Richard III., but he played 
Macbeth to the last in a court suit of sky-blue and 
scarlet laced with gold. Mr. Kemble’s good sense 
and determined spirit induced him to reform this 
altogether; and though, to the antiquary, it was as 
ridiculous to see the “ gracious Duncan” in trunk- 
hose as in velvet breeches and silk stockings, the 



absurdity was not so striking to the million, and 
stage effect was infinitely heightened by the chunge. 
Of late years the taste for spectacle has at least had 
the good effect of inducing managers and actors to 
pay stricter attention to these matters, and two or 
three of Sliakspeare’s plays were revived a few sea- 
sons back at Covent Garden theatre, with their cos- 
tume corrected by the writer of this work, under the 
sanction of Mr. Charles Kemble. Much, however, 
remains to be done. Richard III. still wears the 
trunks of .Tames I., with the plumed hat of Charles 
If., and the “majesty of Denmark,” supposed to 
have been buried before the Conquest, revisits “ the 
glimpses of the moon” in armour of the seventeenth 
century. The French are far before us in this mat- 
ter, as they are indeed in nearly every thing else 
connected with dramatic entertainments. But to 
return to the time of Charles I. The picturesque 
habit of which we have spoken was introduced about 
the middle of his reign. At the commencement, the 
fashions of the later years of his father's reign seem 
to have been preserved, and there was scarcely a 
nation in Europe that had not contributed its share 
to them. In Ben Jonson’s comedy of the * New 
Inn,’ first acted in 1629, a beau observes — 

“ 1 would put on 

The Savoy chain about my neck, the ruff, 

The cuffs of Flanders ; then the Naples hat 
With the Rome hatband, and the Florentine agate, 

The Milan sword, the cloak of Geneva set 
With Brabant buttons; all my given pieces, 

My gloves, the natives of Madrid,” &c. 

And in his ‘ Tale of a Tub,’ a later performance, men- 
tion is made of “ long sawsedge hose, and breeches 
pinned up like pudding-bags and long breeches, 
in imitation of the Dutch fashion, are said to have 



been worn in this reign, and by Chart* I. 
latter we take to be the breeches resembling short 
trousers, descending almost to the boot-top, an 
either Singed or adorned with a row of points or 

ri AUh S ; commencement of the civil war, when theroy- 
alist party began to be denominated Cavaliers, and the 

rlpS^ Snnd-H^ .he co«.m. of Eoghrnd 
was as divided as its opinions ; but the dress of the 
Cavalier was gallant and picturesque in the extreme 
It consisted of a doublet of silk, satin, or velvet, with 
large loose sleeves, slashed up the front ; thecola" 
covered by a falling band of the nchestpomtlace 
with that peculiar edging now called \andxke, a 
short cloak was worn carelessly on one shoulder. 
The long breeches, fringed or pointed, as we t.ave 
alreadv mentioned, met the tops of the wide boots, 
which were also ruffled with lace or lawn A broad- 
leafed Flemish beaver hat, with a rich hatband and 
plume of feathers, was set on one side the head, and a 
Spanish rapier, hung from a most magnificent ba! rick 
or sword-belt, worn sashwise over the nght shoulder. 
The doublet of silk or velvet was frequently ex- 
changed in these troublous times for a butt coat 
which was richly laced, and sometimes embroidered 
with gold or silver, and encircled by a broad silk or 
satin scarf tied in a large bow, either behind or over 
the hip, in which case the short cloak was perhaps 
dispensed with'. In some instances a buff jerkin, 
without sleeves, was worn over the doublet. Allu- 
sions are frequent in the old plays of tins period to 
these defensive garments*. Cnarles I., in the twelfth 

i The artist is particularly referred to Bleau's Atlas for autho- 
rities for nearly all the varieties ol costume, both cuil and 

'"'‘The’ Duke' "of* Albemarle, who compiled his observations on 
military affairs in 1646 , recommends icstead of the taccs or tassets 



year of his reign, determined to restore the mantle* 
of the order of the Garter to its original colour, and it 
was accordingly worn, on the installation of the 
Prince of Wales, of a rich celestial blue ; the sur- 
coat and humerale remained crimson ; the hat was of 
black velvet as before. As early as the second year of 
his reign he had ordered the badge of the order (the 
cross surrounded by the garter) to be worn by the 
knights on their daily dresses, and in 1629 it was 
formed into a star by surrounding it with rays as it 
is at present. 

The beard was worn very peaked, with small up- 
turned moustaches; the hair long in the neck, and 
sometimes, it should seem, powdered. John Owen, 
Dean of Christchurch and Vice-Chancellor of Oxford, 
appears, in 1652, “ in querpo like a young scholar 
with powdered hair, snake-bone bandstrings, a lawn 
band, a large set of ribands pointed (i. e. tagged) at 
the knees, Spanish leather boots with large lawn tops, 
and his hat most curiously cocked” (i. e. the flap 
turned up) : a dress well enough for a young gal- 
lant, but, as Strutt truly observes, “ improper enough 
for a clergyman.” In the treble portrait of Charles 
I., by Vandyke, the king wears a jewel in one ear 

Although it does not furnish us with any particular 
information, we cannot refrain from quoting in this 
place the description of the dress of Oliver Crom- 
well, as given by an eye-witness. Sir Philip Warwick. 
“ The first time that I ever took notice of him,” says 
that gentleman, “ was in the beginning of the Par- 
liament held in November 1640, when I vainly 
thought myself a courtly young gentleman, for we 
courtiers valued ourselves much upon our good 

« a girdle of double buff, eight inches broad, to be worn under 
the skirts of the doublet, to which it is hooked.” He also atVijoj 
the use “ of * good long buff glote for the left hand.” 



clothes. I came one morning into the house wed 
clad, and perceived a gentleman speaking whom I 
knew not, very ordinarily apparelled; for it was a 
plain cloth suit, which seemed to have been made 
by an ill country tailor ; his linen was plain, and not 
very clean ; and 1 remember a speck or two of 
blood upon his little band, which was not much 
larger than his collar ; his hat w r as without a hat- 
band; his stature was of a good size; his sword 
stuck close to his side.” 

Helmets or head-pieces of the time of Charles I. and Cromwell. 

THE ARMovtt 

at this period, being still considered very cumbrous, 
was, with the exception of helmets, back and breast- 
pieces with tassets, which were worn by the pikemen 
and musketeers, confined to the pistoliers and heavy 
horse. Many noblemen and officers contented them- 
selves with a cuirass over a btift coat ; and some 
entire regiments of cavalry were thus armed, and ac- 
quired from thence the name of Cuirassiers. Dra- 
goons, first raised in France in the year 1600 by the 
Marshal de Brisac, were now part of our F.nglish 
army, and wore at this time “ a buff coat with deep 
skirts and an open head piece with cheeks.” 



According; to a treatise publislied at Cambridge, 
called 4 Militarie Instructions tor the Gavalrie,’ dated 
163-2. we find that force divided into four classes : 
“ the lancier. the cuirassier, the harquebouse and 
carbine, and the dragone. ’ 

The lancier was to wear a dose casque or head- 
piece, gorget, breast and back (pistol and culiver- 
proof*), pauldrons, vambraces, two gauntlets, tassets, 
culessets, culets or guarde de reins, a good sword 
(stiff, cutting, and sharp-pointed), with a girdle and 
hanger so fastened that he might easily draw it ; a 
buff” coat with long skirts to wear between his armour 
and his clothes ; his lance either of the usual or pike- 
shape, only thicker at the butt-end, eighteen feet 
long, with a thong pf leather to fasten it round the 
right arm ; one, if not two pistols of sufficient bore 
and length; a flask, cartouch-box, and all appur- 
tenances fitting. 

The cuirassier, armed as we have described, with 
pistols hanging at his saddle, and a pod sword, stiff 
and sharp-pointed like the lancier; he is also to wear 
a scarf, the only sign of company or uniform at this 
time, when the buff coat and cuirass concealed the 
clothes, though scarlet had been long the prevail- 
ing colour of the royal troops, and was retained by 

The harquebusier, “by the late orders rendered in 
by the council of war,” is to wear, besides a good buff 
coat, a back and breast like the cuirassier, more than 
pistol-proof, a head-piece, &c. ; a harquebuss, two 
feet and a half long, hung on a belt by a swivel , a 
flask, touch-box, and pistols. 

The carbineer is to have a good butt coat, a car- 

5 Culiver or caliver, corrupted from calibre, a fire-arm of the 
particular bore ordered by government, and lighter than usual 
match or wheel-lock. “ Put me a caliver into Wart’s hanu. 
Henry IV. p. 2 . 


bine of petronel hanging as the harquebuss, a sword, 
girdle, and hangers, a flask and a touch-box. 

“ The dragone,” we are told, “ is of two kinds, 
pike and musket' the pike is to have a thong of 
leather about the middle of it for convenience of 
carrying. The musketeer is to have a strap fastened 
to the stock o^ his piece almost from the one end 
to the other, by which, being on horseback, he 
hangeth it at his back, keeping his burning match 
and the bridle in the left hand." 

In 1645 the harquebussiers were accounted the 
second sort of cavalry, and wore triple barred hel- 
mets, cuirasses with guard de reins, pauldi ons and 
vambraces ; at the same time the drag. -t ns hanged 
their muskets for the shorter piece caller! a dragon, 
from whence they had derived then name abroad, 
and in 1649 they carried the ealiver. 

The pot-helmet or open head-piece with cheeks 
(fig. a), the single and triple-barred lie mets worn 
by°the dragoons and harquebussiers ol this period 
(figs, b and c), are engraved above from the ori- 
ginals at Goodrich Court. 

The modern fire-lock was invented about this 
period, and the improvement was suggested by a pe- 
culiar fire-arm called the snaphaunce , from its l-eing 
invented and used by a set of Dutch marauders 
called snaphans or poultry-stealers: the light <4 the 
match betrayed them, and they could not aih.rd to 
purchase the expensive wheel-lock, they therefore 
substituted a flint, for the pyrite, and an upright 
moveable furrowed piece of steel in lieu of the wheel ; 
the cover of the pan being pushed back, the piece of 
steel was brought to stand over it and the spark 
elicited as at present. The snaphaunce was known 
as early as Elizabeth’s time; but the fire-lock dates 
from about 1635. Before this invention the wheel- 
lock w r as frequently called the fire-lock ; but that 



term was afterwards used lor tlie modern piece alone. 
The musket-rests and sweyne’s feather were aban- 
doned during the civil wars. 



at the commencement of the reign underwent no 
change. The French hood and the vardingale were 
still worn, and the high-crowned hat was adopted by 
citizens’ wives and country-women, particularly of the 
puritanical party. 

0«tlfW»nan. CitW* Wifr. Countrywoman. 

From Speed’s Map of Kngland. 

The following is “ a catalogue” of the apparel and 
ornaments of a fantastical lady of fashion, by the 
anonymous author of the dramatic pastoral called 
• Rhodon and Iris,’ said in the title-page to have been 
first acted May 3, 1631, at the florists’ feast at 

2 c 



Norwich. The speaker acknowledges it to be “ aa 
tedious as a tailor’s bill but it is interesting to us 
for the names it contains of “ all the devices ’ lie is 
“commanded to provide, videlicet:” — 

11 Chains, coronets, pendans, bracelets, and ear-rings ; 

Pins, girdles, spangles, embroyderies, and rings; 
Shadowes, rebatoes, ribbands, ruffs, cuffs , falls, 

Scarfes, feathers, fans, maskes, muffs, laces, cauls. 

Thin tiffanies, cobweb lawn, and fardingals, 

Sweet fals, vayles, wimples, glasses, crisping-pins, 

Pots of ointment, combes, with poking-sticks and hodkines, 
Coyfes, gorgets, fringes, rowles, fillets, and hair-laces, 
Silks, damasks, velvets, tinsels, cloth of gold, 

Of tissues with colours of a hundred fold ; 

But in her tyres, so uew-fangled is she, 

That which doth with her humour now agree, 

To-morrow she dislikes ; now doth she sweare 
That a loose body is the neatest weare; 

But ere an houre be gone she will protest, 

A strait gowne graces her proportion best; 

Now calls she for a boisterous fardingall, 

Then to her hips she’ll have her garments fall; 

Now doth she praise a sleeve that’s long and wide. 

Yet, by and by that fashion doth deride ; 

Sometimes she applauds a pavement-sweeping traine, 

And presently dispraiseth it againe; 

Now she commends a shallow bande so small, 

That it may seem scarce any bande at all ; . 

But soon to a new fancy doth she reele, 

And calls for one as big as a coach- wheele : 

She’ll wear a flowing coronet to-day, 

The symball of her beauty’s sad decay; 

To-morrow she a waving plume will try, 

The emblem of all female levitie: 

Now in her hat, then in her hair is drest; 

Now, of all fashions, she thinks change tho best t 
Nor in her weeds alone is she so nice. 

But rich perfumes she buys at any price ; 



Storax and spikenard she burns in her chamber, 

And daubs herself with civet, musk, and amber ; 

Waters she hath to make her face to shine, 

Confections eke to clarify her skin ; 

Lip*salve», and clothes of a rich scarlet dye 
She hath, which to her cheeks she doth apply ; 

Ointment, wherewith she pargets o’er her face, 

And lustrifies her beauty's dying grace,” &c. &c. 

Massinger, in his ‘ City Madam,’ printed a. » 
1659, gives us to understand that the French hood, 
and the buffin gown mentioned in the previous reign, 
were at that time out of fashion. “ My young ladies 
in buffin gowns and green aprons — tear them off! — 
and a French hood too — now ’tis out of fashion — a 
fool’s-cap would be better !” In the same play Luke 
describes the dress of a rich merchant’s wife in the 
speech he makes to the city madam : — 

“You wore 

Satlin on solemn days ; a chain of gold, 

A velvet hood, rich borders, and sometimes 
A dainty minever cap ; a silver pin 
Headed with a pearl, worth three-pence, and thus far 
You were priviledged— no one envied it — 

It being for the citie’s honour that 
There should be a distinction made between 
The wife of a patrician and a plebeian. 

* • • * * 

Since your husband was knighted, as I said. 

The reverend hood cast off, your borrowd hair 
Powdered and curled, was, by your dresser’s art, 

Formed like a coronet, hanged with diamonds 
And richest orient pearls ; your carkanets 
That did adorn your neck, of equal value ; 

Your Ilungerland bands and Spanish quellio ruffs, 

Great lords and ladies feasted to survey 



Embroidered petticoats; and sickness fain’d 
That your night-rails, at forty pounds apiece, 

Might be seen with envy of the visitants ; 

Rich pantables (slippers) in ostentation shown, 

And roses worth a family.” 

And tit this time accordingly we find a change m 
the female costume, which renders it equally elegant 
with that of the other sex. The hood and vardingale 
disappear, and with them the yellow starched ruffs 
and bands. In Killigrew’s Parson’s Wedding, pub- 
lished in the next reign, he alludes to the time 
when “ yellow starch and wheel vardingales were 
cried down 4 .” The wearing of yellow starched ruffs 
had indeed declined from the time that Mrs. Turner, 
a physician’s widow, who had a principal hand in 
the poisoning of Sir Thomas Overbury, was exe- 
cuted 5 : she went to the gallows with a yellow ruff 
round her neck, and it consequently became un- 
fashionable. Bulwer says, “ it is well that the fashion 
died at the gallows with her that was the supposed 
inventrix of it.” But she was not the inventrix : it 
originated in France. Mrs. Turner is said to have 
introduced it into England. The habit of a lady of 
the close of Charles’s reign is given on the facing 
page, from a print after Hollar ; it is distinguished 
by its rich full sleeves and elegant falling collar edged 
with lace. The hair too is dressed after the fashion 
revived in our days, and the approach to the costume 
of Charles Il.’s reign generally indicated. The mask 
was much worn in this reign. 

The ladies of the republican party were chiefly 

4 A. D. 1 G 15. But in a pl»y, pr nted as late as 1661, called 
1 the Blind Lady,’ a serving-man says to a chamber-maid, “ You 
had once better opinions of me, though now you wash every day 
your best handkerchief in yellow starch.” 

5 Rowel’s Letters. 



English lady of quality, a . I 1 . 1640, from Hollar’s ‘Ornatua Muliebris.’ 

distinguished by the plainness of their attire and their 
adherence to some of the more staid and sober articles 
of the old dress, such as the hood, the high-crowned 
hat, &c. 

c o 



Chapter XX. 


CVirles 11. and his Queen, from Heath’s Chronicle, 1662. 

With the restoration of the house of Stuart, Fashion 
aWo regained the throne, from which she had been 
driven by the stern and puritanical republicans, and, 
like the ‘‘merry monarch” with whom she returned, 
many were the mad pranks she played m jMdrnu- 
o| her ioy ; many the excesses she committed. Taste 
and elegance were abandoned for extravagance and 



folly; and the male costume, which in the time of 
Charles I. had reached the highest point of pic- 
turesque splendour, degenerated and declined from 
this moment, and expired in the square coat, cocked 
hat, full-bottomed wig, and jack-boots of the follow- 
ing century. 

The birth of these odious articles may be traced to 
Charles II. ’s reign; at the commencement of which 
a few fantastical additions to the Vandyke costume 
injured but did not totally destroy it. The doublet 
was made exceedingly short, open in front, without 
any under waistcoat, and displaying a rich shirty 
which bulged out from it over the waistband ot 
the loose breeches, which, as well as the large full 
sleeves, were exceedingly ornamented with points 
and ribands. Beneath the knee hung long drooping 
lace ruffles, and the falling collar of lace, with a high- 
crowned hat and plume of feathers, still preserved 
some of its old gallant cavalier character; but the 
fashions of the court of Louis XIV. of France soon 
found their way across the water “ to Whitehall^ 
Stairs,” and the servile imitation of the courtiers ot 
the Grande Monarque gave rise to that absurd and 
detestable monstrosity, a periwig. His majesty, it 
appears, when a little boy, had remarkably beautiful 
hair, which hung in long waving curls upon his 
shoulders, and the courtiers, out of compliment to 
their young sovereign, had heads of false hair made 
to imitate his natural locks, which obtained the name 
of perukes. When the king grew up, he returned the 
compliment by adopting the article himself, and the 
perruque or peruke speedily lodged upon the heads 
and shoulders of all the gentlemen of England, 
under the corrupted appellation of a periwig ‘. 

1 Holme spells it “ perawicke.’ - A letter was written by 
Charles II. to the University of Cambridge forbidding the mem- 
bers to wear podwits smoke tobacco* and read their sermons! 



“ Misfortunes never come single,” says the pro- 
verb. So extraordinary a head-dress as the periwig 
demanded a different covering to the high-crowned 
hat or broad-leafed Spanish sombrero. Down went 
the crow n and up went the brims at the side ; a row 
of feathers was placed round it in lieu of the chivalric 
plume, and the first approach was made to the 
cocked hats of the eighteenth century. 

As early as the year 1658 the petticoat-breeches 
had made their appearance in England ; and the 
fashion of wearing large stirop hose or stockings, 
two yards wide at the top, with points through several 
eyeletholes, by which they were made fast to the pet- 
ticoat-breeches by a single row' of pointed ribands 
hanging at the bottom, was brought to Chester from 
France in that year by one William Ravenscralt, 
whose name has from this circumstance been res- 
cued from oblivion by Randal Holmes, the Cheshire 
herald, whose notes on dress, in the Harleian 

and when he was at Newmarket, Nathaniel Vincent, doctor o 
divinity, fellow of Clare Hall, and chaplain to his majesty, preacned 
before him in along periwig and holland sleeves, according to 
the fashion in use amongst gentlemen at that time. This foppery 
displeased the king, who commanded the Duke of Monmou.h. 
then chancellor of the university, to cause the statutes concerning 
decencv of apparel among the clergy to be put m execution ; 
which w as accordingly done. Strutt’s Dress and Habits, vol. 11 . ; 
Hone’s Every Day Book, vol. i.; Ath. Oxon. vol. n. col. 103o 
It must be remembered, however, that false hair was worn by 
both sexes and in great profusion during the reigns of Elizabeth 
and James I.: and the expression “ a robustious periwig pated 
fellow,” is used by Shakspeare in Ins Hamlet, written about 
1600. In i hat passage, however, he most probably alludes to 
the character wig worn by a tragic actor, and not to a general 

^When the Marquis of Buckingham and Prince Charles went 
to Paris in 1623, in their way to Spain, “for the better veiling ol 
their visages his highness and the marquis bought each o. them 
a periwig somewhat to overshadow their foreheads. See l\c iq. 
Woltoniante- p. 85. 



Library, were written about 1660. Under the date 
of 1659 Holmes gives the following description of a 
gentleman’s dress: “A short-waisted doublet and 
petticoat-breeches, the lining being lower than the 
breeches, is tied above the knees; the breeches are 
ornamented with ribands up to the pocket, and half 
ttieir breadth upon the thigh ; the waistband is set 
about with ribands, and the shirt hanging out over 
them.” These petticoat-breeches at length assumed 
the shape of the skirts or bases to the doublets and 
jerkins in Henry VIII. ’s time ; and, with the usual 
caprice of fashion, the doublet or jacket, which was 
so short at the beginning of this reign that it scarcely 
came below the breast, was, towards the conclusion 
ol it, elongated to the middle of the thigh, with 
sleeves to the elbows, terminated by rows and 
bunches of ribands, from under which bulged forth 
the sleeves of the shirt, ruffed and adorned also pro- 

Charle* II. and a p«*nrticr, Iron* a ►earn* print i»y Knit borne. 



fusely with ribands ; in this shape, with buttons and 
button-holes all down the front, it became in fact a 
coat, and accordingly, in an inventory of apparel 
provided for Charles II. in 1679, we find a complete 
suit of one material, under the familiar designation 
of coat, waistcoat, and breeches. Pantaloons are 
mentioned in the same inventory, and a yard and a 
half of lutestring allowed for them. Holland drawers, 
and flannel and cotton trousers, are also amongst the 

Long and short kersey stockings are reckoned 
amongst the exports in the Book of Rates, as it 
stood in the twelfth of Charles II. ; and we also find 
there stockings of leather, of silk, of woollen, and of 
worsted, for men and children; Irish stockings, and 

Coctame of the close of Charles II."* reign. from the prim of the funeral a* 
General Monk, 167^. 

CHAR1.ES ll 


the lower end of stockings, which, Mr. Strutt ob- 
serves, are probably what are now called socks ; and 
among the imports, hose of crewel, called mantua 
hose, and stockings of wadtnol. 

Neckcloths or cravats of Brussels and Handers 
lace were worn towards the close ot this reign, and 
tied in a knot under the chin, the ends hanging down 

The costume of the knights of the Garter became 
in this reign exactly what it is at present. The cap 
of estate, with its ostrich and heron plume, and the 
broad blue riband worn over the left shoulder and 
brought under the right arm, where the jewel or 
lesser George hangs, being introduced in theii pre- 
sent form shortly before the publication of Ashmole s 
History of the Order. 

The baron’s coronet, composed of six pearls set at 
equal distances round a circlet of gold (four of which 
only are seen in engravings), dates from this reign. 


was nearly that of the Civil Wars and the Common- 
wealth ; but armour was gradually falling into dis- 
use. Vambraces were abandoned by hargobussiers 
in the first year of the Restoration ; and the helmet 
and corslet or cuirass, or the gorget alone, worn over 
a buff coat, formed the total defence of steel at this 
period worn by the officers. 

“ The arms, offensive and defensive,” says the sta- 
tute of the thirteenth and fourteenth of Charles II., 
“are to be as follows: the defensive arms (of the 
cavalry), a back, breast, and pot, and the breast and 
pot to be pistol-proof. The offensive arms, a sword 
and a case of pistols, the barrels whereof are not to 
be under fourteen inches in length, l'or the foot, a 
musketeer is ordered to have a musket, the barrel 
not under three feet in length ; a collar of bandeliers, 


bkitish costume. 

Gorget and steel skull-cap, from the Meyrick collection. 

with a sword. Pikemen are to be armed with a 
pike made of ash, not under sixteen feet in length, 
with a back, breast, head-piece, and sword.” 

The present familiar names of the regiments com- 
prising the British army commence from this reign. 
The Life Guards were raised in 1661; composed 
and treated, however, like the Gardes du Corps of 
the French, being formed principally of gentlemen 
of family and distinction, who, themselves or their 
fathers, had fought in the civil wars. In the same 
year the Blues were also embodied, and called the 
Oxford Blues, from their first commander, Aubrey, 
Earl of Oxford. The Coldstream Foot-guards date 
their formation from 1660, when two regiments were 
added to the one raised about ten years previousl 
by General Monk at Coldstream, on the borders o. 
Scotland. To these were added the 1st Royal Scots, 
brought over from France at the Restoration ; the 
2d, or Queen’s, raised in 1661 ; the 3d, or Old Buffs, 
from their accoutrements being composed of buffalo 
leather, embodied in 1665; the Scotch Fusiliers 
(now the 21st foot), raised in 167S, and so called 
from their carrying the fusil, invented in France in 



1630, being a firelock lighter than the musket, but 
about the same length ; and the 4th, or King s Own, 
raised in 1680. During this reign the bayonet was 
invented at Bayonne, whence its name ; it was some- 
times three-edged, sometimes flat, with a wooden hilt 
like a dagger, and was screwed or merely stuck into 
the muzzle of the gun. Bandoliers were still worn 
iu 1670, but had been gradually growing into dis- 
esteem, according to Sir James Turner, for the last 
thirty years. Cartridge-boxes of tin, upon the prin- 
ciple of the old patron of Elizabeth’s time, are 
strongly recommended by Lord Orrery. 

Bayonets of the earliest form, from the Meyrick collection. 


of the days of Charles II. What a bevy of beauties 
does the mere mention of it conjure up to our recol- 
lection. The lovely Hamilton, the blushing Bagot, 
the bewitching Stewart, the tender-eyed Temple, La 
triste Heretiere, Nell Gwyn. Who has not doated 
on them in the Memoirs of Grammont, or on the 
walls of Hampton Court. Charles II.’s beauties 
were the very reverse of their mothers in dress as in 
demeanour. The starched ruff, the steeple-crowned 
hat, the rigid stomacher, and the stately fardingale, 
were banished with the gravity and morality of their 
wearers. A studied negligence, an elegant deshabille, 
is the prevailing character of the costume iu which 
they are nearly all represented ; their glossy ring- 
lets escaping from a simple bandeau of pearls, or 
adorned by a single rose, fall in graceful profusion 

2 D 



upon snowy-necks, unveiled by even the transparent 
lawn of the band or the partelet, and the fair round 
arm, bare to the elbow, reclines upon the voluptuous 
satin Detticoat, while the gown, of the same rich 
material, piles up its voluminous train in the back- 

The numerous and splendid engravings from 
paintings of this period, to be met with in every 
printseller’s window or private portfolio, render en- 
gravings of this costume perfectly unnecessary. 


Chapter XXI. 

IGS5— 1702. 

Portraits of William III., from prints of the time ; the first after a painting 
by Visscher. 

The two brief reigns of James II. and William III. 
are distinguished by scarcely any novelty in the civil 
costume. ° The petticoat-breeches were again ex- 
changed for those which tied beneath the knee ; but 
the latter were made to sit closer than of yore, and 
the stockings drawn over them to the middle of the 
thigh. The periwig became more monstrous, and it 
was the fashion for the beaus to comb their perukes 
publicly, for which purpose large combs of ivory or 
tortoise-shell, curiously chased and ornamented, were 
carried in the pocket as constantly as the snuff-box, 
which had latterly also become an indispensable ap- 
pendage to a fine gentleman. At court, in the mall, 



und in the boxes of the theatre, a gallant of these 
days combed bis peruke during a conversation or 
flirtation with the same air that a modern exquisite 
would twirl his moustaches. The full-bottomed wig 
was worn by the learned professions and those who 
affected particular gravity. Farquhar, in his comedy 
of ‘ Love and a Bottle,’ written in 1698, remarks that 
“a full wig” is imagined as “infallible a token of 
wit as the laurel.” 

The broad brims of the hats were now frequently 
turned up on two sides ; they were ornamented by 
several feathers placed round them, or by bows of 
ribands. To turn up the brim or flap of the hat 
was, in the language of that day, to cock it, and 
each gallant cocked his hat according to his own 
fancy, or after the style of some leader of fashion. 

William III., from a print dated 1594. 



One mode was called after the unfortunate Duke of 
Monmouth, the Monmouth cock. 

To the broad-falling bands had now succeeded the 
small Geneva bands, like those worn by our modern 
clergymen and councillors 1 , and the rich neckcloth or 
cravat of Brussels or Flanders lace was worn by the 
nobility and men of fashion exceedingly long, and 
the ends passed through the button-holes of the 
waistcoat. Shoe-buckles began to displace the 
rosettes ; some difficulty exists in assigning an exact 
date to their introduction : buckles for shoes are 
mentioned as early as the reign of Edward IV., but 
they were most likely used to fasten the strap that 
crossed the instep on one side of the shoe, and must 
have been exceeding small, as they do not appear in 
any illumination or effigy. The earliest date we 
have heard assigned to the shoe-buckle, properly so 
called, is 1680. They became general in the reign 
of Queen Anne. 


The helmet is now seldom worn, and the full flow- 
ing wig contrasts itself most ridiculously with the 
steel cuirass. 

Carabineers , so called from the fire-arm they car- 
ried, began to be embodied in James II.’s time, and 
were formed into regiments in the reign of William 
III. They wore breast and back plates, and iron 
skull-caps sewn in the crowns of their hats (vide 
engraving, page 300). They were armed with swords, 
and carried pistols in holsters; the carbine slung 
behind by a belt and swivel. 

James II. added to the British cavalry the 1st, or 
King’s regiment of Dragoon Guards, 6th of June, 
1685; and the 2d, or Queen’s Dragoon Guards, in 

1 Except that instead of being two small pieces worn for 
distinction merely, they were bona tide collars, the ends of which 
hung negligently out over the waistcoat. 

2 D 3 



the same year. They were trained to act either on foot 
or on horseback, the men being armed with firelocks 
and bayonets in addition to their swords and pistols. 

To the infantry were added the fifth and seventh 
regiments (the latter called the Royal Fusiliers), both 
embodied in 1685, and the Welsh Fusiliers, or 
twenty-third regiment, in 1688. 

The bayonet was still a dagger, but the ring, added 








be * 








to the guard at first for defence, was brought, into 
great use at this time on the Continent. In one of 
William III.’s campaigns in Flanders a French re- 
giment advanced against the British (wentv-fi th, 
with bayonets fixed by a ring over the muzzle. 
Lieutenant-Colonel Maxwell ordered his men to 
screw their bayonets into the muzzles of their mus- 
kets to receive the French, who he expected were 
coming to the charge, when the latter suddenly threw 
in a heavy fire, to the astonishment of the British, 
who could not understand how it was possible to fire 
with fixed bayonets. They, however, recovered 
themselves, charged, and drove the enemy out of the 
line. This improvement suggested the socket bay- 
onet, which was shortly afterwards invented and 
displaced entirely the pike. Two bayonets are en- 
graved here of the time of William III.; the im- 
proved one, with the ring at the side of the guard, 
has a blade two feet long. 


remained unaltered during the reign of James II. ; 
but some Dutch fashions appear to have followed 
the court of William and Mary. The bosom, which 
had been for some years past indelicately exposed, 
was again consigned to the guardianship of the 
jealous and formal stomacher. The elegant full 
sleeve of the gown was replaced by a tight one, with 
a cuff above the elbow, in imitation of the coats of 
the gentlemen, from beneath which fell a profusion 
of lace in the shape of ruffles or lappets ; and a long 
glove, in the portrait of Queen Mary by Visscher, 
(vide second engraving, p. 308,) completes the en- 
velopment of the arm in satin, lace, and leather. 
The hair, which had latterly been permitted to fall 
in natural ringlets upon the shoulders, and seldom 



Costume of Queen Mary, from two prints of the time. 

borthened with more ornaments than a jewel or a 
flower, was now combed up from the forehead like a 
rising- billow, and surmounted by piles of ribands 
and lace, disposed in regular and alternate tiers*, or 
the ribands were formed into high stiffened bows, like 
the lately fashionable coiffure a la Giraffe, and covered 
or not, as it might happen, by a lace scarf or veil, 
that streamed down each side of the pinnacle. Far- 
quhar, in his comedy of ‘ Love and a Bottle, men- 
tions “ the high top-knots and Swift, the “ pin- 
ners edged with colberteen,” as the lace streamers 
were called. The fan in its modern, or what would 
now be termed “old fashioned” shape, is seen in the 
hands of the Duchess of Portsmouth and Queen 
Mary, having superseded its picturesque predecessor 
during the reign of Charles II. 

« This head-dress was sometimes called a tower, but is more 
generally known under the extraordinary, we should almoJ 
think satirical, denomination of a commode ! 



In the 


the only novelty is the peruke. Archbishop Tillot- 
son is the first prelate represented in a wig. It is 
however of moderate dimensions, and not much un- 
like a naiural head of hair. In one of his sermons 
the pious primate alludes to this innovation : “ I can 
remember,” says he, “ since the wearing the hair 
below the ears was looked upon as a sin of the first 
magnitude; and when ministers generally, whatever 
their text was, did either find or make occasion to 
reprove the great sin of long hair, and if they saw 
any one in the congregation guilty in that kind, they 
would point him out particularly, and let fly at him 
with great zeal." 

3i 0 


(’hapter XXIT. 


Gentlemen of the reigns of Queen Anne, Georeel, and II., from Jeffrey's 
collection, published in 1757* 

a, 1700-15 ; 6, 1735 ; c, 17-15; d, 1735. 

We have at length arrived at the last period the 
fashions of which can be a subject of interest or 
inquiry to our readers. With 


vanished every relic of our chivalric costume except 
the sword, which still completes the full dress of the 
court of St. James’s. 



Square-cut coats and long-flapped waistcoats with 
pockets in them, the latter meeting the stockings, 
still drawn up over the knee so high as to entirely 
conceal the breeches, but gartered below it ; large 
hanging cuff’s and lace ruffles; the skirtsof the coats 
stiffened out with wire or buckram, from between 
which peeped the hilt of the sword, deprived of the 
broad and splendid belt in which it swung in the pre- 
ceding reigns ; blue or scarlet silk stockings with 
gold or silver clocks ; lace neckcloths ; square-toed 
short-quartered shoes, with high red heels and small 
buckles ; very long and formally-curled perukes, 
black riding-wigs, bag-wigs, and nightcap-wigs ; 
small three-cornered hats laced with gold or silver 
galloon, and sometimes trimmed with feathers, com- 
posed the habit of the noblemen and gentlemen 
during the reigns of Queen Anne and 

GEORGE i. (1714 — 27.) 

Minuter fashions were of course continually arising 
and disappearing, adopted and named after some 
leader of the ton, or in commemoration of some pub- 
lic event. The famous battle of Ramifies, for in- 
stance, introduced the Ramilie cock of the hat, and 
a long gradually-diminishing plaited tail to the wig, 
with a great bow at the top, and a smaller one at the 
bottom called a Ramilie tail , and the peruke itself a 
Ramilie wig, which was worn as late as the reign of 
George III’ Tying the hair is said to have been first 
introduced by the noted Lord Bolingbroke. (See 
Nash’s Collect, for Worcestershire, i. 561.) The 
cocked hat had a variety of shapes in the reign of 
Queen Anne. In No. 526 of the Spectator, “John 
Sly, a haberdasher of hats and tobacconist,’’ is di« 
rected to take down the names of such country gen- 
tlemen as have left the hunting for the military cock of 



the hat upon the approach of peace ; and in No. 532 
is a letter written in the name of the said John -1), 
in which he states that he is preparing hats for the 
several kinds of heads that make figures m the realms 
of Great Britain, with cocks significant of their 
powers and faculties, llis hats for men of the facul- 
ties of law and physic do but just turn up to give a 
little life to their sagacity ; his military hats glare 
full in the face ; and he has prepared a familiar easy 
cock for all good companions between the abo\e- 
mentioned extremes 

the reign of GEORGE ix. (1727 — 60) 

produced no alteration in the general character of 
the dress'; but to the catalogue of wigs we find 
added the tye-wig and the bob-wig, the latter some- 
times worn without powder. The Ramilie tail was 
followed by the pigtail, which appears in prints ot 
this reign as early as 1745, and some young men 
wore their own hair dressed and profusely powdered. 
In the Rambler, No. 109, dated 1751, » a letter 
from a young gentleman, who says his mother 
“ would rather follow him to the grave than see him 
sneak about with dirty shoes and blotted fingers, 
hair unpowdered, and a hat uncocked; and, in 
1753 the Adventurer, No. 101, contains a descrip- 
tion of the gradual metamorphosis of a greenhorn 
into a blood. “ I cut off my hair aud procured a 
brown bob periwig of Wilding, of the same colour, 
with a single row of curls just round the bottom, 
which I wore very nicely combed and without pow- 
der Mv hat, which had been cocked with great ex- 
actness in an equilateral triangle ,1 discarded, and 
purchased one of a more fashionable size, the fore 

> November 25, 1712, John Sly writes to say he has seen or late 
French ha's of a prodigious magnitude pass by his observatory. 



corner of which projected near two inches further 
than those on each side, and was moulded into the 
shape of a spout.’’ The fashion, however soon 
changed, for we find he afterwards altered Ins hat 
by considerably elevating and shortening the fore 
corner of it till “ it no longer resembled a spout, 
but the corner of a minced pye.” 

This latter fashion was succeeded by a larger cocked 
hat imported from Germany, and distinguished by 
the name of the Kevenhuller ; and, at the com- 
mencement of the reign of 

GEORGE hi. (1760) 

we are told “ hats are now worn upon an average six 
inches and three-fifths broad in the brim, and cocked 
between Quaker and Kevenhuller. Some have their 
hats open before like a church spout, or the scales 
they weigh flour in ; some wear them rather 
sharper, Tike the nose of a greyhound, and we can 
distinguish, by the look of the hat, the mode of the 
wearer’s mind. There is the military cock, and the 
mercantile cock ; and while the beaux of St James s 
wear their hats under their arms, the beaux of 
Moorfields Mall wear them diagonally over their left 
or rmht eye. Some wear their hats with the corners, 
which should come over their foreheads, in a direct 
line pointed into the air. Those are the Gawkies. 
Others do not above half cover their heads, which is 
indeed owing to the. shallowness of their crowns. 
The hat edged with a gold binding, the same in- 
formant tells us, was at that time the distinguishing 
badge of “ the brothers of the turf. In 1/70 the 
Nivernois hat was the rage. It was exceedingly 
small, and the flaps fastened up to the shallow crown, 
which was seen above them, by hooks and eyes. 
The corner worn in front was of the old spout or 

2 E 



shovel-shape, and stiffened out by a wire. Gold- 
laced hats were again general in 75; and in 78 
were adopted by many to give them a military or 
distinguished air, and to escape the press-gangs that 
were remarkably busy in that year-. 

Round hats began to be w-orn in the morning 
shortly after this date, and the French revolution, 
in 1789, completed the downfal of the three-cornered 
cocked hat on both sides of the channel. It was 
insulted in its decay by the nick-name of “ an Egham, 
Staines, and Windsor,” from the triangular direction- 
post to those places which it was said to resemble ; 
but a flat, folding, crescent-shaped beaver still called 
a cocked hat, but more correctly an opera-hat, dis- 
tinguished the beaux at the theatre, from whence it 
derived its name, and at full-dress evening parties 
till within the last few years, and the chapeau-de- 
bras, a small triangular silk article, the shadow of its 
gold-laced prototype, slipped under the arm of the 
courtier. The old original three-cornered cocked hat, 
banished from the fashionable world, has found a 
temporary refuge on the heads of the state coachmen 
of our royal and noble families, and enjoys a sort of 
life-interest in the pegs of Greenwich and Chelsea 
Hospitals, dropping to the earth with its veteran 
wearer. The opera-hat has given way to the crush 
hat, and the chapeau-de-bras is but just tolerated 
within the privileged precincts of the court. 

The wig was likewise doomed to feel the influence 
of the French revolution. During the latter half of 
the eighteenth century it had gradually diminished 
in size, and the practice of frizzing, plastering, and 
powdering the hair till it was at least as ugly as a w ig, 

8 For this and several other interesting facts concerning the 
fashions of the long reign of George III., we are indebted to the 
notes and conversation of a highly esteemed Octagenarian, whose 
veracity is as unquestionable as his memory is extraordinary. 



has even now some faithful followers. In 1772 a 
most macaw-like toupee and a portentous tad distin- 
guished a maccarom (vide print entailed Maccaron, s 
Courtship, published February 1, 1772) ; but the re- 
publican spirit of the Parisians revived the classical 
coiffure of Rome, and a “tfete h la Brutus put to 
flight the “ ailes de pigeon” of the ancient regime. 
The ba" still clings to the collar of the couitiei, 
thoughlhe wig, and even the powder, has been gra- 
dually dispensed with, and a solitary pigtail is now 
and then seen reclining on an elderly gentleman s 
shoulder, as if only to remind us 

“ That such things were 
And were most dear to us.” 

The square-cut coat and long-flapped waistcoat of 
the rei'rn of Queen Anne and the first two Georges 
underwent an alteration about the middle of the reign 
of their successor. The skirts were unst.flened, the 
waists shortened, and the cut of the present court 
suit introduced. Cloth became the general material 
for the coat, and velvet, silk, satin, and embroidery 
were reserved for court dresses, or waistcoats and 
breeches only. The latter were, from the close of 
George II.’s reign, worn over the stocking as at pre- 
sent and fastened first by buckles and afterwards by 
strings The shoes were worn with longer quarters 
and larger buckles 3 . The lace cravat was aban- 
doned about 1735, and a black riband worn round the 
neck lied in a large bow in front*. To this succeeded 

» I„ 1777 the Huttons of the coat and the buckles on the 
shoes were worn of an enormous size, and occasioned the pro- 
duct^ of a caricature called < Buckles and Bullous, or 1 m 
the thin", deme !’ A beau with steel buttons dazzling a lady, 
is the subject of another caricature ot the same year. 

• Thiy mus* not be confounded with the solitaire, which was a 
black riband worn loosely round the neck almost like an order of 
knighthood Vide portrait of Button, published by he Society. 

3 1 C 


white cambric stocks, buckled behind ; and to them 
(about 1789) the modem muslin cravat, in which it 
was, at one time, the fashion to bury the chin. 
About the same period the shirt-collar appeare 1 and 
the ruffle vanished. The coat was made with lapels 
and a tail, , being cut square in front above the hips 
as well as the waistcoat, which, deprived of its flaps, 
was soon made as ridiculously short as it had pre- 
viously been unnecessarily long 5 . Pantaloons and 
Hessian boots were introduced about the same pe- 
riod 6 : but from this time the fashions a e in the 
recollection of most of our readers. Short boots and 
loose trousers, the result of the visit of the Cossacks 
to London, have, together with frock-coats, rendered 
our costume more convenient and less formal, and 
could we exchange the heavy and tasteless bea\er 
hat for some light and more elegant head-co\ering, 
the dress of the present day, if not so pictur sque as 
that of Charles I.’s time, would at least have com- 
fort and durability to recommend it ; and an Eng- 
lishman, instead of being caricatured, as of yore, 
with a pair of shears in his hand as uncertain what 
fashion to adopt, might remain contented, and de- 
scribed as 

“ An honest man close buttoned to the chin, 

Broad-cloth without, and a warm heart within." 

Three orders of knighthood were added to that of 
the Garter during this century: 

1st. The order of St. Andrew, or the Thistle, in- 
stil uted by Queen Anne, who signed the statutes on 
the 31st of December, 1703. The knights wear a 
green riband over their left shoulders, appendant to 
which is the image of St. Andrew, with his cross 

* The short waistcoat is seen in prints as early aa 178G. 

6 Hessian hoots are caricatured in 1799. 



before him, in a circle of gold enamelled green, with 
the motto of the order, “Nemo me impune lacessit;” 
a collar composed of thistles and sprigs of rue linked 
together, enamelled green, with the figure of St. 
Andrew irradiated, appendant to it, encircled by the 
motto; and on the left breast a star, composed of St. 
Andrew’s cross, with four silver rays issuing between 
the points of the cross, upon a field Vert, a thistle of 
gold and green encircled by the motto. 

2d. The order of the Bath, instituted by George I. 
1725. Its insignia being a star of eight points 
Argent ; in the centre, three imperial crowns Or, en- 
circled by the motto “Tria juncta in uno;” a broad 
riband of a scarlet colour worn over the right shoulder 
with the badge appended to it, viz. — Azure, three 
crowns Or, surrounded by the motto. 

3d. The order of St. Patrick, instituted by 
George III., February 5, 1783'. 

In attempting to describe the 


we fling ourselves upon the generosity of those of 
the nineteenth, as a mere catalogue of the various 
articles introduced by fashion in our later days would, 
to make it complete, occupy more space than our 
limits can afford; and the very contemplation of 
them in the innumerable prints of the time has 
nearly bewildered us. An intelligent writer on this 
subject has remarked, that Fashion, from the time of 
George I., “ has been such a varying goddess, that 
neither history, tradition, nor painting has been able 
to preserve all her mimic forms ; like Proteus strug- 
gling in the arms of Telemachus, on the Phanaic 

"• The Guelphic or Hanoverian order was added by his late 
Most Gracious Majesty, George IV. 

2 e 3 



coasts, she passed from shape to shape with the ra- 
pidity of thought." And Addison tells us that there 
is not so variable a thing in nature as a lady’s head- 
dress, which rose and fell in his own memory above 

thirty degrees. . 

It is probable, however, that the inconstancy ot 
fashion is not very much greater now than it was 
shortly after the Norman invasion, and in almost 
every succeeding century have we quoted the lamen- 
tations of some poet or historian over the caprices 
and extravagance of his cotemporaries, male and 
female, lay and ecclesiastic. It is the multiplication 
of authorities that increases our difficulty with our 
information, but, on the other hand, (and we call the 
attention of our readers most particularly to this fact,) 
the costume of a nation is not disturbed by the intro- 
duction or abandonment of minute alterations and 
ephemeral fashions. Although we may scarcely find 
two figures dressed or armed precisely alike in a 
dozen ^coeval monuments or paintings, the general 
character of the time is stamped upon all, and to 
that we have, at first from necessity, and now upon 
principle, confined ourselves. 


was brief as it was “ happy and glorious.” The 
dress of the ladies during the greater part of her 
short and gentle sway resembled, in its general fea- 
tures, that of the time of James II. and William III. 
The tower or commode was still worn, and the 
gowns and petticoats flounced and furbelow ed so 
that every part of the garment was “ in curl, and 
a lady of fashion “ looked like one of those animals, ' 
says the Spectator, “ which in the country we call a 
Friezland hen.” But, in 171 1, we find Mr. Addison 



remarking, that “ the whole sex is now dwarfed and 
shrunk into a race of beauties that seems almost 
another species. I remember several ladies who 
were once very near seven foot high, that at present 
want some inches of five. How t they came to be thus 
curtailed I cannot learn ; whether the whole sex be 
at present under any penance which we know nothing 
of, or whether they have cast their head-dresses in 
order to surprise us with something in that kind 
which shall be entirely new, though I find most 
are of opinion they are at present like trees lopped 
and pruned that will certainly sprout up and flourish 
with greater heads than before.” He confesses him- 
self, however, highly pleased with the coiffure then 
in fashion, which, as may be seen by the later portraits 
of Queen Anne, was of a natural, and consequently 
elegant description ; the hair clustering in curls down 
the back of the neck, and though ha r powder was 
worn by some, her majesty's chesuut ringlets are un- 
sullied by that abominable composition. 

The praise the essayist lavishes upon the ladies’ 
heads he is shortly, however, obliged to qualify by 
his reprobation of a new fashion that sprung up a 
few months later. This was the introduction of the 
true heiress and successor of the fardingale — the 
enormous, inconvenient, and ridiculous hoop. In 
Sir Roger De Coverley’s picture gallery, his great- 
great-grandmother is said to have on “ the new- 
fashioned petticoat, except that the modern is ga- 
thered at the waist.” The old lady was evidently in 
the wheel fardingale, which projected all round, for the 
knight adds — “ My grandmother appears as if she 
stood in a large drum, whereas the ladies now walk as 
if they were in a go-cart;” the whalebone petticoat, on 
its first introduction, presenting a triangular rather 
than a hooped appearance. In the month of July 
»u that year, we find it was swollen out to an enor- 



mous size, so that what the ladies had losi in height 
they made up in breadth; and a correspondent, 
speaking of the unfashionable country ladies at sixty 
miles distance from London, says they can absolutely 
walk in their hooped petticoats without inconve- 

Hoods of various colours were worn by ladies at 
the opera in 1711-12, and cherry colour was the 
prevailing fashion of the latter year. Scarlet stock- 
ings were worn by fashionable belles, and the 
practice of taking snuff is mentioned in No. 344 of 
the Spectator as one that fine ladies had lately fallen 
into. The practice of wearing black patches on va- 
rious parts of the face is amusingly ridiculed in seve- 
ral papers, and its application to party politics satirized 
in the 81st number. 

The affectation of a male costume by ladies for 
riding-suits is repeatedly noticed and censured bv the 
Spectator. In No. 104 is a description of a lady in 
a coat and waistcoat of blue camlet, trimmed and em- 
broidered with silver, with a petticoat ot the same 
stuff, by which alone her sex was recognized, as she 
wore a smartly-cocked beavei hat edged with silver, 
and rendered more sprightly by a feather; and her 
hair, curled and powdered, hung to a considerable 
length down her shoulders, tied like that of a rakish 
young gentleman’s, with a long streaming scarlet 
riband. They also assumed the male periwig on 
those occasions, in addition to the coat, hat, and 
feather. An exceedingly little muff was in fashion in 
1710-11, and a black silk mantua is mentioned in the 
pleasant story of Brunetta and Phillis, No. SO. 



Ladies of the reign of George II., from J tficy’s collect! n. 
a, 1735 ; 6. 1745; c, 1755. 


boast of Hogarth for their illustrator, and intro- 
duce small frilled or puffed caps, loose gowns called 
sacques, and cloaks with hoods, termed cardinals. 
The hoop maintained its post, though it frequently 
changed its fashion. In 1735 we perceive it pro- 
jecting all round like the wheel fardingale ; the 
petticoat short and the gown without a train. In 
1745 the hoop has increased at the sides and di- 
minished in front, and a pamphlet was published in 
that year, entitled ‘ The. enormous abomination of the 
Hoop-petticoat, as the fashion now is.’ Ten years 
later it is scarcely discernible in some figures, and in 
1757 it re-appears expanding right and left into the 
shape which the court-dress of (leorge 1 II.’s reign has 
rendered familiar to us. In 1735 we find the heads 



still low and covered by small frilled caps, and Hat 
gipsy-looking straw hats of moderate dimensions, in 
1745-6 the caps are still smaller, but the hats larger; 
and a little bonnet, tied under the chin, appears almost 
of the last modern fashion. Aprons had become 
nart of the dress of a fashionable belle during the 
early part of this century, and in 1744 they reached 
to the ground. They were next shortened, and 
lengthened again before 1752, as a lady is made to 
exclaim in the Gray’s Inn Journal, TSo.J, that short 
aprons are coming into fashion again. In the same 
year we find a successor to the hood in the capuchin , 
or a new name for the old head-covering. 
Needlework! bid John come round with the coach 
to the door, and bring me my fan, gloves, and capu- 
chin in an instant.” And in the 8th number of the 
same work is an advertisement of the sale by auc- 
tion of “ the whole stock of a coquette leaving otf 
trade, consisting of several valuable curiosities, &c., 
amongst w'hich are mention® 1 , “a transparent capu- 
chin,” “ an elegant snuff-box with a looking-glass 
within it, being^ a very good pocket companion for a 
beauty,” directions for painting and the use of cos- 
metics, and “ the secret of putting on patches in an 
artful manner, showing the effect of their different 
arrangement, with instructions how to place them 
about the eve in such a manner as to give disdain, 
an amorous" languish,^ or a cunning glance ; trans- 
lated from the French.” 

With regard to ornaments, the watch and en/ 
adorned the waist; Jhe jewelled necklace sparkled 
on the bosom, and bracelets were worn over the 
long gloves. Shortly after the accession of 

GEORGE 111., a., d. 1760, 

a necklace, composed of several rows of gold chains, 
beads, or jewels, the first close round the throat, and 

CKORGE 111. 


(he others falling in festoons one under the other so 
as to cover the whole neck, was highly fashionable, 
and called “ an esclavage,” from the collar and chains 
with which the wearer seemed laden. In 1772, the 
print, called a Maccaroni Courtship, exhibits the same 
ridiculous toupee and curls by which the gentleman’s 
head-dress of the same day was made hideous. (Vide 
engraving, fig. a.) A pretty cap, called the wing or fly- 
cap, and resembling one still worn in Holland, con- 
cealed in some instances the deformity of the hair, 
revealing only the club in which it was worn behind 
(fig. 6) ; the cap was again surmounted by a bonnet 
laden with bows and bunches of ribands, and the gown 
was tucked up behind as country girls frequently wear 
it at this day. The maccaroni head-dress was followed 
by those mountains of curls, powder, flowers, and fea- 
thers, which rose “ alp above alp” upon the foreheads 
of our stately grand-mammas, fufilling the prophetic- 
fears of Addison, and which, notwithstanding every 
body wore them, w ere as much laughed at and carica- 
tured then as they would be at present. Several 
prints, published in the years 1776-7, represent these 
head-dresses composed like the figures in some ofour 
recent pantomimes constructed by the clown from the 
contents of the nearest green-grocer or butter-man. 
In one called ‘ the Green Stall’ the long side curls 
are imitated by carrots similarly disposed, and in 
another the slanting summit of the mountain is laid 
out as a parterre, and a gardener is seen at work in it ! 
‘The maiden Aunt,’ published July 4, 1776, exhibits 
a paroquet perched upon the powdered precipice, and 
completing with its wings and tail the ludicrous effect 
of the picture (fig. c). In 1778 and 1783 we still 
meet with varieties of this fashion, which certainly is 
not exceeded in absurdity and ugliness by the horned 
and heart shaped head-dresses of the fifteenth cen- 
tury. In 1783 a change appears to have taken 


Bllinsil COSTO M K. 

place, and a flat-crowued broad brimmed straw or 
silk hat, surrounded with ribands, is worn upon the 
hair, which lowered atop, bulges out at the sides 
like a bishop’s wig profusely powdered, while two 
ir three immense curls fall from beneath it upon the 
shoulders (fig. i). In 1786-9 an improvement ap- 
pears, which a modern writer attributes, in a great 
measure, to the taste ofSir Joshua Reynolds, Angelica 
Kauffman, Hopner, and the other painters of that day. 
The hair was worn full and flowing, we may almost 
say dishevelled ; but powder maintained its ground till 
1793, when it was discarded by her Majesty Queen 
Charlotte and the Princesses, and at length disap- 
peared, we trust for ever, from the toilets of a British 
beauty. Ladies wore white stockings even in mourn- 
in' 1- a-s late as the year 78. Mrs. Darner, the eccentric 
and celebrated sculptor, is said to have been the first 
female who wore black silk stockings in England; 
which circumstance, combined with other peculiar 
habits, obtained for her the epithet of “ Epic.nean 
in the newspaper epigrams of the day. Though the 
large hoop was, towards the close of the eighteenth 
century, only worn at court or in full dress, the pocket 
hoop is ridiculed in 1780 by a print in which a girl so 
attired is placed beside a donkey laden with a pair of 
panniers (fig. h). For the abolition of the court hoop 
we are indebted to the taste of George IV. The 
other excrescence lingered in fashion more or less till 
the French revolution in 89, which affected the fe- 
male as powerfully as the male costume of Europe 
Fashion, ever in extremes, rushed front high-peaked 
stays and figured satins, yard-long waists and hooped 
petticoats, Into the lightest and slightest products of 
the loom, which clung round the form, whether 
oraceful or ungainly, and were girdled absolutely 
- under the armpits. Let those who have laughed 
at the habits of our ancestors —let the Lady Patroness 

o - 


> ° 

< c 

5 O 

a *■** 



w a. -s 

G§ 3 . 

cts. o 
ci - = 

• i® t* 








of Almack’s, who would start hack with a scream of 
horror at the idea of figuring in the wimple and 
gorget of the thirteenth, or the coat-hardie and mon- 
strous head-dresses of the fourteenth, fifteenth, or 
even eighteenth century, peep into a lady's pocket- 
book or fashionable magazine, of which the cover is 
scarcely old — let her recall by such a glance the cos- 
tume in which she paraded Bond-street and the 
Park as lately as 1815 or 20, (remembering at the 
same time that the fashions of the reign of Rufus or 
Henry V. have been rudely copied by monkish illu- 
minators ignorant of the first principle of design, 
and their natural deformities made still more hideous 
by a total absence of taste and skill in the delineator, 
while those of the reigns of George III. and IV. 
have been displayed by creditable and even first-rate 
artists 8 , to the best advantage,) and then favour us 
with her honest opinion of the difference between the 
periods in ugliness and absurdity. 


dates from the commencement of the eighteenth een 
tury. Scarlet and blue had long been the two prin- 
cipal colours of the cloth ordered for the array of the 
king’s troops, in accordance with the blazon of the 
royal standard ; the guide from the commencement of 
heraldry for the liveries of retainers and domestics 
having been the armorial bearings of their lord or 
leader. But the men-at-arms were, during the early 
periods of our history, covered with mail or plate, 
and of the lighter armed troops the smallest number 

8 Many of the numbers of the Parisian work on fashions, from 
whence Mrs. Bell’s were taken, bear the initials of the admirable 
Horace Vernet now president of the French Royal Academy of 



perchance was brought into the field by the sove- 
reign himself, the host comprising the contingents 
outlie barons, and the followers of every knight 
Lit wearing the colours of the particular banners 
they starved and fought under. A white cross was 
the'-eneral badge of the English troops in the time 
of the crusades, and was worn as late as the ieign 
of Edward IV. In Henry VIII. s tune . we find 
soldiers in white coats with a red cross but these 
were most probably furnished by the city of London. 
And Stow speaks of the marching watch wherein 
the archers wore coats of white fustian, sl S’ ie 
the breast and back with the arms of the city (the 
red cross aforesaid). In the sixteenth and seven- 
teenth centuries scarfs of the roya. colours, orfany 
colours, were worn by officers either over the shoulder 
or round the waist, and sometimes round the ai m. 
As armour became abandoned, the necessity for un - 
form became more apparent, am scar t wi 
facino-s was definitively established as that of the 
British army during the reign of Queen Anne, at 

which timealso the pike ceased to be carried, and 
the musket and socket bayonet became the general 
weapons of the infantry. The cartouch-box supphed 
the place of the bandeher; every species of body 
armour was discarded, the gorget dwindling into the 
ornamental trifle now known by that name. 1 he 
red and white feather was worn in the reign of Queen 
Anne; the black cockade appeared about the time 
of George II.; but we have not been able to tiacc 
its origin, or fix the exact period of its introduction: 
it was perhaps assumed in opposition to the white 
cockSe! the P well-known badge of the Jacobite 
party. Italy furnished Europe with its harness of 
plate, anil Germany seems to have contracted for he 
supply of its uniform The Prussian sugar-loaf rap 
was adopted with the Prussian tactics; and the um- 



form of the grenadiers of 1745 has been handed 
down to posterity by Hogarth, in his ‘ March to 
Finchley.’ At that time the officer’s sash, which had 
succeeded to the scarf, was still worn like its pro- 
totype over the shoulder, and as in the Dutch army 
to this day. 

In the London Chronicle for 1762, vol. xi., a 
writer says, “ 1 hope no person will think us disaf- 
fected, but when we meet any of the new-raised in- 
fantry wearing the buttons of their hats bluff before, 
and the trefoil white worsted shaking as they step, 
we cannot help thinking of French figure dancers.” 

In the reign of George III. the sugar-loaf cap of 
the grenadiers was exchanged for the present moun- 
tain or muff of bear-skin, and the abolition ot flowered 
and pomatumed heads, three-cornered cocked hats 
and pigtails took place during the last war ; the 
hat being first superseded by a cap with a shade and 
high brass plate in front (1S00), and finally by the 
present shako (1816). 

The coat and waistcoat followed the fashion of the 
time. The large skirts of the former were first 
doubled back to a button in the centre, a fashion 
preserved in the jacket that succeeded it (1S13) and 
the coatee (1820) of the present day, when the ne- 
cessity no longer exists. The white breeches and 
black gaiters were, during the last reign (1S23). 
exchanged for trousers, and the long white gaiters 
with black buttons and garters, worn as state dress 
by the foot guards, were at the same time exchanged 
for white trousers and gaiters. 

The three-cornered gold -lace cocked hat was re- 
tained by the life guards as late as their first cam- 
paign in the Peninsula, and their cropping and dock- 
ing have been commemorated by the waggish authors 
of the Rejected Addresses in their imitation of the 
ultra-loyal Fitzgerald 



tt Though humbled Gallia scoff, 

God bless their pigtail* though they’re now cut off.” 

The said pigtails having been shortened to seven 
inches in 1804, and taken ott’entirely in 1808. r l he 
cocked hat was succeeded by a helmet with a liorse- 
. tail flowing down the back (1812), alter the fashion 
of the French dragoons and cuirassiers, and as it fo 
make “ assurance double sure,’’ our gallant fellows 
were armed with the breast-plate immediately alter 
the battle of Waterloo, in which they had proved 
themselves more than a match for cavalry so de- 
fended. The bear-skin crest was substituted for the 
horse-tail (1817), and the grenadier fur cap was tried 
upon the heads of the life guards during the last reign, 
but speedily abandoned, being found too cumbrous 
and oppressive, and the helmet with its bear skin 
crest returned to 9 . The Blues exchanged their buff 
belts for their present white appointments in 1821. 
The principal change in the light cavalry was the 
revival of the lance and the equipment of the regi- 
ments so armed in the Polish uniform, and the last 
important alteration is that just made by his present 
Majesty, who has been pleased to command that 
scarlet shall be the uniform of every regiment in the 
service, with the exceptions of the rifle brigade and 
the life guards blue. 


was distinguished by no particular costume from that 
of the army till the time of George II. Naval com- 
manders wore scarlet in the reign of Elizabeth by 
her majesty’s order, and that order was confirmed 
by James 1. as we have stated in the proper place. 
During the subsequent reigns that regulation was 

9 While this work is passing through tha | ress, the grenadiet 
fur caps have been again ordered for the life guards. 

2 f 3 



neglected, and naval officers appear to have been 
habited according to their own fancy, and armed like 
the military, while their ships’ companies were some- 
times clothed like the land forces in the colours of 
their captain. Oar tars are too gallant to feel an- 
noyed by the information that their long-cherished 
uniform was first worn by a lady. In 1748 George II. 
accidentally met the Duchess of Bedford on horse- 
back in a riding-habit of blue faced with white, 
and was so pleased with the effect of it that, a ques- 
tion having been just raised as to the propriety of 
deciding upon some general dress for the royal navy, 
he immediately commanded the adoption of those 
colours 10 ; a regulation which appears never to have 
been gazetted, nor does it exist in the records of the 
Admiralty office, although a subsequent one, in 1757, 
refers to it. Epaulettes are a recent addition to the 
uniform, and were at first considered a species of 
dandyism. The heroic Nelson, who was in after- 
life so proud of his well-won stars and orders that 
he made himself a mark for the fatal bullet in his last 
action by an unnecessary display of them, declared 
in a letter, the extract of which was lately read at the 
Society of Antiquaries 11 , that he should certainly “cut 
the acquaintance ” of two officers (one of them the 
late gallant Sir Alexander Ball), in consequence of 
their mounting epaulettes in imitation of military 
foppery. The three-cornered cocked hat was worn 
by the common sailors as late as the reign of George 
III. In the London Chronicle, 1762, we are told 
that sailors wear the sides of their hats uniformly 

10 This traditionary, but certainly authentic information was 
communicated by Mr. Locker, one of the commissioners of Green- 
wich Hospital, to Mr. Ellis, and formed part of an interesting 
paper on the subject of the Naval Uniforms, read by the latter 
gentleman at the Society of Antiquaries, Thursday. March lSlh, 

J1 Thursday, March 18th, 1S30. 



tacked down to the crown, and look as if they car- 
ried a triangular apple-pasty upon their heads. An 
enormous pigtail is still worn by some of our 
“ jolly jack tars,” and has occasionally, we have been 
told, offered an effectual resistance to the edge of an 
enemy’s cutlass. 

His present Majesty, King William IV., himself a 
sailor, has changed the facings to scarlet, which, 
together with the gold-laced blue trousers introduced 
by King George IV. have given, in our humble 
opinion, much too military a character to the uniform. 
The costume consecrated by the victories of St. Vin- 
cent, Aboukir, and Trafalgar; the glorious badge of 
the hundred triumphs which have established our 
supremacy on the ocean, that was never seen upon 
a sauntering midshipman in the streets of London 
without awaking a glow of pride and gratitude in 
the hearts of those “ who live at home at ease,” has 
been confounded with the old artillery uniform, — a 
livery equally honourable we admit, and as highly 
distinguished, but certainly not so truly national as 
that of the service which England may be said to ' 
have created — which has grown with her growth 
and strengthened with her strength, and the decay of 
which will be the first melancholy signal of her own 

“ Britannia needs no bulwarks. 

No towers along the steep : 

Her march is on the mountain wave, 

Her home is on the deep 1” 



Chapter XXIII. 


Scotch brooch of silver, from Mr. Logan’s work 

No rational doubt can exist of the great antiquity of 
the national costume of Scotland ; that the chequered 
stuff which still forms it is the variously-coloured 
garment of the Gauls described by Diodorus, at one 
time the common habit of every Celtic tribe, but now 
abandoned by all their descendants except the hardy 
unsophisticated Gaelic mountaineer, is admitted, we 
believe, by every antiquary who has made public his 
opinion on the subject. But to the same extent that 
our credence is given to the fact is our wonder 
awakened that the existence of so peculiar a habit 
should have been passed unnoticed by every chroni- 
cler and traveller, whether native or loreign, for up- 


wards of a thousand years ! Yet such is the case, as 
far as we have been able to discover. The Scots are 
first mentioned by Porphyry towards the end of the 
third century; they are noticed again by Ammianus 
Marcellinus in 36U, and by Claudian in 390. Under 
the name of Caledonians, however, we have an ac- 
count of them by Tacitus as early as the close of the 
first century; but he merely describes them in general 
terms as in a state of great barbarity. 

Herodian, Xiphilin, and Isidore speak of them 
as naked savages, with stained or punctured bodies, 
wearing iron rings round their middles. Gildas de- 
scribes the Scots and Piets of his time as having 
only a piece of cloth tied round the loins; and the 
whole host of Saxon, Norman, English, French, aye, 
and Scotch chroniclers, down to the fifteenth century, 
are silent respecting a costume which must have ex- 
cited the curiosity of foreigners by its singularity, and 
constituted the pride of the natives from its antiquity. 

Fordun, the historian of Scotland, who wrote in 
1350, contents himself with describing the High- 
landers as “ of goodly person, but mis-shapen attire;" 
and Froissart, the minute and pictorial Froissart, in 
his account of Edward Ill.’s expedition in 1326, 
merely tells us, that ten thousand pairs of old worn- 
out shoes, made of undressed leather, with the hair 
on, were left behind by the Scotch on that midnight 
retreat which baffled the English, and terminated 
the inglorious campaign. 

The seals and monuments of the early kings and 
nobles of Scotland represent them armed and attired 
in the same fashion as their Anglo-Norman cotem- 
poraries. Illuminated MSS. afford us no assistance ; 
and Lesly, Buchannan, and Beague, all writers of 
the sixteenth century, bear the first unequivocal testi- 
mony to the existence and prevalence of a party- 
coloured ."'arm at in Scotland. To these three au- 



thors may be added the writer of a chronicle of the 
same date, preserved in Lord Somers’s Tracts, who 
tells us, “the inhabitants of the Western Isles de- 
lighted to wear marled cloths, specially that have 
Iona- stripes of sundry colours. Their predecessors 
used short mantles or plaids of various colours, sundry 
ways divi led, and amongst some the custom is ob- 
served to this day ; but for the most part now they 
are brown, most near to the colour of the hadder 
(heather), to the effect when they lie among the 
hadder the bright colours of their plaids shall not 
betray them.” 

At the same time John Major, who wrote the 
history of his native country in Latin, merely remarks 
their being without stockings or covering for the legs 
and wearing a cloak for an upper garment; and 
Lindsay of Piscottie, whose chronicle of Scotland, 
from 1437 to 1542 , is in the vulgar tongue, says, 

“ the other pairts northerne are full of mountaines, 
and very rude and homelie kynd of people doth in- 
habite, which is called the Reid-Shankis or \N\ld 
Scotes. They be clothed with ane mantle, with ane 
schirt, faschioned after the Irisch manner, going 
bair-legged to the knee;’’ but not a word of the 
chequered pattern of these garments. Indeed, unless 
“ faschioned after the Irisch manner” relates to their 
cut alone ; he implies by that expression that the 
shirt or body-dress was the leni-croich, or large 
saffron-coloured shirt worn by the Irish of that dav, 
and which Mr. Logan, in his ‘ History of the Gael, 
informs us, but without quoting his authority, was 
actually worn by the Scotch Highlanders 1 . 

The authentic portraits of royal and noble person- 
ages of Scotland engraved in Mr Lodge s beautitul 
work, comprising those of the Regent Murray ; George 
Gordon, Marquis of Huntley ; Henry, Lord Darnlev, 
1 History of the Gael. 2 vols. 8vo. London. 



King of Scotland ; David Leslie, first Lord of 
Newark; James Hamilton, Earl of Arran; James 
Graham, Marquis of Montrose; Archibald Campbell, 
Marquis of Argyll ; William Kerr, Earl of Lothian ; 
John Leslie, Duke of Rothes, &c. &c. exhibit no 
trace of a national costume, and the painting of the 
Surrender of Mary, Queen of Scots, atCarberry Hill, 
engraved by Vertu, and representing the royal and 
confederated Scotch forces in battle array, appears 
equally destitute of any distinction of dress, though 
the banners of the respective leaders are scrupulously 
emblazoned, and the artist, one should suppose, 
could not have been ignorant of the existence of 
a national habit at that time in Scotland a . 

There appears to us but one way of accounting 
for so strange a discrepancy. The striped and che- 
quered “garb of old Gaul’’ must have fallen into 
disuse throughout the southern and most civilized 
portions of Scotland at a very early period, and its 
manufacture and wear have been confined to the 
Western Isles and the remotest retreats of the ancient 
Celtic population, from whence it may have been 
gradually re-adopted by the Highland clans during 
the seventeenth century, and its popularity increased 
by its assumption by Charles Edward, “the young 
chevalier,” and the subsequent prohibitory statutes 
which the rebellion gave rise to. 

But it is time for us to retrace our steps and 
examine more narrowly into the texture, form, and 
manner of wearing this ancient and singular habit, 

* One or the earliest representations of a Highlander is to be 
found in Speed's maps of Scotland, published at the commence- 
ment of the seventeenth century. The figure has merely a che- 
quered mantle flung over its shoulders, being, with that exception, 
perfectly naked. The Highland woman is wrapped in a similar 
cloth, which is drawn over her head as well. No great dependence 
can be placed upon their fidelity. 



which is identified throughout modern Europe with 

the name Scotland. . 

With all our aversion from speculation and jealou. 
of tradition we find ourselves in this instance without 
other guides, and must consequently either lay down 
our pen at once or follow them with it to the verge 
of probability. We have already stated that the 
earliest known authorities who allude to the che- 
quered dress are of the sixteenth century. Heron, 
however, in his History of Scotland, says, ‘hat u* 
Arn-vle and the Hebridse, before the middle of the 
fifteenth century, tartan was manufactured of one or 
two colours for the poor, more varied for the rich. 

Now the word tartan is derived by Mr. Login 
from the Gaelic tarstin or tarsuin , “ across ; but the 
French had the word tiretame for a woollen clot > as 
early as the thirteenth century (vide p. 118), wtncti 
generally appears to have been dyed of a whole colour, 
and originally scarlet; while the true Gaelic term 
for the Highland plaid or mantle is acan-feile, 
literally the “ chequered, striped, or spotted cover- 
inn-” and, as we have already mentioned in the first 
chapter of this work, the party-coloured clotn woven 
by the Gauls and Britons was by them called breach 
and brycan , from breac , speckled or spotted. I he 
word tartan therefore, whatever may be its origin, is, 
we are inclined to believe, the name ot the material 
itself, and not of the pattern it may be worked in . 
In a wardrobe account of the time ot James ill. ol 
Scotland, a. d. 1471, quoted by Mr Logan, occurs 
an entry of “ an elne and ane halve of blue tartai.e to 

• Tarsa, tarsin, ana tartna is used for across a ‘ hwart ’ 
through, past, and would apply to the crossing of thread* in the 
sv easing of any sort of cloth, and, with the cxcep ion of *«««. 
which signifies a cross-beam, the root tars o^^/'naU. com- 
binations expresses things which cross so minutely as to deceive 
the sense, as the spokes of a wheel in motion, light shining through 
glass, &c. 



lyne his gowne of cloth of gold,” and of “halve an 
elne of doble tartane to lyne collars to her lady the 
queue;” and in 1485 our own Henry VII. displayed 
in Bosworth Field a banner of “yellow tarterne,” 
on which was painted a dun cow. That it was a 
stuff much used for banners as well as dresses in the 
fifteenth century appears evident from the order of 
Richard III. (in the document quoted page 215 of 
this work) for the furnishing of “ 350 pensills (small 
streamers) of tarteryn,” as well as the same number 
“ of buckram,” gonfanons “ of fustian,” standards 
and trumpet banners of sarcenet, &c., and it seems to 
have been superseded in modern days by the “ bunt- 
ing,’’ of which our ship-colours and other flags are 
now made 4 . 

Mr. Logan informs us that woollen cloths “ were 
first woven of one colour, or an intermixture of the 
natural black and white, so often seen in Scotland to 
the present day.” And we may add, that it will he 
recognized by our readers as the stuff lately rendered 
fashionable for trousers, under the name of “ shep- 
herd's plaid.” The introduction of several colours 
we have seen, however, dates from the earliest period 
of its manufacture, and it is asserted, both in Ireland 
and in Scotland, that the rank of the wearer was indi- 
cated by the number of colours in his dress, which 
were limited by law to seven for a king or chief, and 
four for the inferior nobility 5 ; while, as we have 
already quoted from Heron, it was “ made of one or 

4 As these tartans are charged at the rate of nearly sixteen 
shillings per yard, they must have been of a superior texture to 
the common breachan worn by the Western Islanders and the 
peasantry of Argyleshirc; the latter was the coarse homespun 
woollen cloth, and it is most probable that the former was that 
mixture of linen and woollen called linsey woolsey by the English 
and lirelaine by the French to this day. 

5 In the law of colours, the llbreachta of Tigheirnmas, men 
tiotted in page 354 of this work. 

2 a 



two colours” (that is to say plain, or merely chequered 
with another colour) “ for the poor.” Of the supe- 
rior breachans, Mr. Logan informs us, that green and 
black, with a red stripe, seems to have predominated ; 
and in an Italian MS. of the close of the fourteenth 
century, in the library of his Royal Highness the 
Duke of Sussex, containing a multitude oi illumina- 
tions illustrative of scripture history, the curtains 
of the tabernacle are repeatedly depicted of those 
identical colours disposed in the exact pattern of the 
modern tartan. 

This variegated stuff was also called by the High- 
landers calh-dath, commonly translated, as Mr. 
Logan informs us, “ war colour,” but ingeniously 
rendered by a friend of that gentleman, “ the strife of 
colours,” an etymology which has certainly the high 
merit of being as probable as it is poetical and charac- 
teristic. The epithet is exactly such as a Highland 
senachie would have applied to the splendid breachan 
of his chieftain. 

The breachan or plaid, we are told by the same 
writer, was originally a large mantle of one piece, 
belted round the body, and thence called “the belted 
plaid and he seems to consider that it was also 
called the triughas or truis, the word being derived 
from the root trus, gather, truss or tuck up ; that it 
formed of itself the entire ancient dress, and that the 
latter appellation was transferred to the pantaloons 
and stockings joined, w hich were adopted on the pro- 
hibition of the ancient dress. But not only have we 
positive evidence of the truis forming a remarkable 
portion of the original Gaulish, British, and Irish 
dress, but Mr. Logan himself almost immediately 
afterwards proceeds to describe them as either knit 
like stockings, or, according to the ancimt manner 
formed of tartan cloth, nicely fitted to the shape, and 
fringed down the leg ; adding that “ there is pre 


served a Gaelic saying respecting this garment ,” by 
which the quantity of stuff required for its making 
may be ascertained. We must surely, therefore, be 
under some error in understanding him to deny the 
antiquity of the truis. 

In support of his assertion, however, he quotes the 
historians Major and Lindsay,- who describe the 
Highlanders as bare-legged from the knee, and in- 
stances the many curious expedients resorted to in the 
rebellion to evade wearing breeches according to the 
royal order, with the declaration of an old Highland 
farmer, that 11 he would never lippen to a bodach that 
wore the breeks.” But their disuse by the lower 
classes, in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, 
is no proof of their non-existence at a much earlier 
period ; and if the truis were so much the object of 
their aversion and contempt, and not acknowledged a 
portion of their ancient national costume, how comes 
it that the young Pretender, who, during his romantic 
expedition into England, marched on foot from Car- 
lisle to Derby in the Highland garb at the head of his 
forces, and had assumed that garb undoubtedly for 
the sake of flattering the prejudices of his Gaelic fol- 
lowers, should have worn the obnoxious articles, as 
he certainly did? Vide engraving given herewith, 
from a portrait of him in that identical costume. 

Nay, more! If the truis are not parts of the 
ancient Highland dress, why are they named amongst 
the prohibited articles of apparel in the Act of 1747, 
quoted by Mr. Logan himself, and ordaining that 
“ neither man nor boy, except such as should be em- 
ployed as officers and soldiers, should, on any pre- 
tence, wear or put on the clothes commonly called 
Highland clothes, viz. the plaid, phillibeg or little 
kilt, trouze, shoulder-belts, or any part whatsoever ot 
what peculiarly belongs to the Highland garb, and 
that no tartan or party-coloured plaid should be used 
for great coats or upper coats?” We copy the para- 



graph from Mr. Logan’s own pages. The “ breeks, 
attempted to be forced upon the nether limbs of the 
brawny Highlanders, were the Lowland and English 
knee-bretche* or George II.’s reign, with all the 
buttons and buckles thereunto belonging. 

Prince Charles Edward Smart, from a portrait in the i. of 

Mr. G. A. Williams, Cheltenham. 

The phillibeg or kilt, in Gaelic, feile-beag t i. e. the 
“ little covering,” is another bone of contention 
amongst the writers on Celtic antiquities. At pre- 
sent it is a petticoat in the modern sense of the word, 
being a separate article of attire and put on like a 
woman’s petticoat; but originally, we have no doubt, 
it signified literally a “ little coat,” being the corre- 
sponding habit to the Irish cota, JilUuidth or fallings , 
and the British pais, which, with the mantle and the 
• Fitlead, in Irish, is used to express a garment folded or 
plaited , round the person, and JU/cad-beg would signify the 
“ lesser plaited dress.” 


trousers, formed the complete Gaulish or Celtic cos- 
tume. Kilt is a lowland Scotch or Saxon appella- 
tion, and also signifies a shortened or tucked-up gar- 
ment. “ To kilt” is to truss or tuck up. The lassie 
says, in the well-known song, — 

“ I’ll kilt my coats aboon my knee, 

And follow my laddie through the water.” 

The period of the separation of the ancient feile- 
beag into a waistcoat and kilt is at present unknown, 
but we imagine it to have been a comparatively receut 

The sporan or pouch is a distinguishing feature 
of the Highland costume ; but its first adoption, in its 
present peculiar and ornamented form, is equally in- 
volved in mystery. That of Simon Frazer, Lord 
Lovat, executed in 1746, is said, by Mr. Logan, to 
have been smaller and less decorated. A wallet, or 
dorlach, carried on the right side, was worn as early 
as the fourteenth century, as we have evidence, in 
the effigy of a knight in the cathedral church of Iona 
or I lcolmkill 7 ; and some such appendage to the 
girdle is of very early occurrence in the costume of 
most nations. The tasselled sporan is however more 
like the pouch of a North American Indian, than the 
European gypsire or aulmoniere of the middle ages, 
and its position in front is an additional peculiarity. 

Coverings for the head were little cared for by the 
hardy Celtic and Teutonic tribes ; but a cap or 
bonnet (cappan and boined ), answering the double 
purpose of a hat and a helmet, was occasionally worn 
by their chiefs, as much perhaps for distiction as for 
defence. Its material was originally leather, and its 
shape, amongst the Britons and the Irish, conical. 
The flat cloth bonnet, now worn in Scotland, we do 
not consider to have formed part of the primitive 
costume. If ancient, it is of Saxon, Norman, or 

1 Vide Hamilton Smith's Ancient Costume of England, &c. pU ‘41 

2 o 3 



Danish introduction. A cap, not very dissimilar, 
occurs in English costume as early as the reign of 
Henry III.; and one shape, though not the best 
known of the Scotch bonnet, bears a curious affiuity 
to the still earlier Phrygian cap worn by the Saxon, 
f he Anglo-Norman, and most probably the Dane, 
jts colour, blue, was very early distinguished as the 
favourite colour of the Caledonians, but the chequered 
band, which now generally surrounds it, according 
to General Stewart, originated as lately as Montrose's 
struggle, when it was assumed as a badge of the fallen 
family of the Stewarts ; the arms of their house being 
a fess, checquy azure and argent in a field, Or ; in 
which case we must presume it was originally white 
and blue. The general colours are now white and red, 
or red and blue, alterations likely enough to have 
been made by the victorious party, either then, in the 
time of Cromwell, when the cross of St. George 
(gules in a field argent) displaced the royal arms, 
or in the rebellions of 1716 and 1745, when red and 
blue had become the colours of the reigning family. 

A much older decoration of the bonnet is un- 
doubtedly to be found in the eagle feather, the pecu- 
liar mark of a chief, and the sprigs of holly, broom, 
and other plants assumed by the various clans ; a 
sort of natural heraldry which supplied the place of 



the emblazoned shield or embroidered badge, and 
preceded, it is most probable, the distinction of the 
family Tartans. Mr. Logan gives a curious list 
of the badges of this description appropriated by 
the different clans ; and some ot the Frazers and 
Mackensies were subjected to penalties for wearing 
them after the disarming act of 1745. 

The chequered stockings, gartered round the calf 
of the leg, are assuredly not of Celtic origin. To 
the Saxon or the Dane, whose cross garterings and 
half stockings or soccas. we have described in the 
second and third chapters of this work, the North 
Britons must surely have been indebted for this portion 
of their attire. The garter, as worn at present with 
a rose, is altogether a modern innovation. 

The primitive shoes have been described by Frois- 
sart from ten thousand specimens. Like the brogue of 
the Irish and the British esgid, they were made of 
untanned leather with the hair on. With the modern 
shoe came the shoe-buckle : its introduction is dated 
by Mr. Logan about 1680. 

The principal ornaments of the Celtic Gael were 
the brooch and the belt ; the first of silver, and 
sometimes of exceeding magnitude, embellished with 
cairn gorums, and other gems both native and fo- 
reign. Bruce’s brooch was long, and may be still in 
the possession of the MacDougles, of Lorn. Another 
similar relic is in the custody of the Campells, of 
Glenlyon, and is engraved in Pennant. The belt 
was also highly ornamented, principally with silver, 
from the earliest periods. Ferash or Fergus, a Scot- 
tish knight, is described in the Norse account of 
Haeo’s expedition as being despoiled of his beautiful 
belt by the victor 8 . 

To sum up our account of the ancient Highland 
dress in a few words, we see no reason for doubt- 
ing that it consisted of the mantle, close vest, and 
* Johnston’s translation, p. 99. 



trousers, worn by the ancient British and Irish, and 
Beh'ic Gauls, vvith scarcely any variation, with the 
brooch, bodkin, or fibula, the hairy shoes, the belt, 
and, in the earliest periods, perchance the torque. 

The Saxon and Danish fashions by degrees ob- 
tained in the Lowlands, and the intermarriages of 
the English and Scottish royal families, and the long 
and close alliance between Scotland and France, 
contributed to assimilate the costume of the court 
and the larger burghs and cities to that which pre- 
vailed at the moment throughout Europe. I he Gael 
or Wild Scots, as they were termed, kept aloof from 
the despised and detested Sassenaghs or Saxons, as 
they contemptuously termed their lowland country- 
men who had associated with, imitated the fashions, 
and adopted the language of the English colonists, 
and by the imperfect medium of oral tradition alone 
are we enabled to arrive at the little knowledge we 
possess of this singular and primitive people. The 
precise periods, therefore, when slight alterations took 
place in their national attire, if recorded at all, must 
be so in their national ballads, or in the retentive 
memories of their bards and elders, which are as 
remarkable as the excessive longevity of the High- 
landers in general. 


seems to have resembled to a very' late period the 
dress in which Boadicea has been described by 
Dion Cassius. A tunic or robe gathered and girdled 
round the waist, and a large mantle fastened by a 
brooch upon the breast. 

The former called the airisard appears from the 
poems of Alexander MacDonald to have been worn 
as late as 1740. 

White twilled cloth made from fine wool, and 
called cuirtan ”, was used for interior garments and 
“ Guil t” signifies trade or manufacture, and “ an" is a Gaelic 



hose, by those who indulged in such superfluities. 
The latter, denominated ossan, evidently from y 
were of different dimensions, and the larger sort was 
called ossan-preasach. 

The hair before marriage was uncoverd, the head 
bound by a simple fillet or snood, sometimes a lock 
of considerable length hanging down on each side ot 
the face, and ornamented with a knot of ribands — a 
teutonic fashion. When privileged to cover it, the 
curch, curaichd or breid of linen, was put on the 
head and fastened under the chin, falling in a taper- 
ing form on the shoulders. The female costume, 
especially of the higher orders, varied in the Low- 
lands according to the fashionable barometers of 
London or Paris ; but an “ English gentleman who 
visited Edinburgh in 1598, says, the citizens’ wives, 
and women of the country, did weare cloaks made 
of a coarse cloth of two or three colours in chequer- 
work, vulgarly called ploddan and “ plaiding” is 
still the term for the chequered tartans in the Low- 
lands. The large or full plaid is now worn only by 
elderly females ; but during the last century Bird 
tells us it was the undress of ladies in Edinburgh, 
who denoted their political principles by the manner 
of wearing it. 

For the 


of the Scottish nation we have store of authorities. 

Commencing with the Roman invasion, we find 
the Scots, like their southern kindred, stripping them- 
selves naked for fight. Stained from head to foot 
with their war-paint, and wielding long heavy swords 
and round targets ie . The inhabitants of the coast of 

diminutive : hence in the Celtic manner of compounding word* 
tuirtan would mean the lesser or finer manufacture. 

10 Tacitus in Vita. Agricola. Herodian. 



Fig. a, Highland target : 
I/Ochaber axe : 

b, a dirk or bidag: c, a Jedburgh axe, 
all in the Meyrick collection. 

d, a 

Strathmavern were called Catini, from their use ot 
the cat, a four-sided or four-spiked club, which they 
darted forward at their enemy and recovered by a 
leather thong attached to it. The Caledonians used 
also a spear, furnished with a similar thong, for the 
like purpose, and at the butt-end of the shaft it had 
a ball of brass filled with pieces of metal to startle the 
horses by the noise when engaged with cavalry. 

•The ringed byru of the Saxon, and the improved 
hauberk of the Norman, soon found their way across 
the border, but were adopted by the sovereign and his 
lowland chiefs alone ; for though the early monarchs 
of Scotland appear upon their seals in the nasal 
helmet, and the mascled, ringed, or scaly armour of 
the Anglo-Normans, we find the Earl of Strathearue, 
at the battle of the Standard, in 1138, exclaiming 
“ I wear no armour, yet they who do will not ad- 
vance beyond me this day.” 

In the next century Matthew Paris describes the 
Scottish cavalry as a fine body of men, well mounted. 



though their horses were neither of the Italian or 
Spanish breed ; the horsemen clothed in armour of 
iron network ", and from this period we find the seals, 
monuments, and chronicles of Scotland agreeing as 
nearly as possible with those of England, the Scotch 
being only later in their adoption of the improve- 
ments in armour, which generally originated in the 
south of Europe, and gradually travelled northward. 

The Highlanders, however, evinced their wonted 
contempt for the inventions of the Sassenach, and 
adhered to their ancient weapons and mode of war- 
fare. Body armour would they none; a» the old 
song says, they 

“ Had only got the belted plaid, 

While they (the Lowlanders) were mail-clad men.” 

Those who encountered Haco at Largs, A. d. 1263, 
were armed with bows and spears ; the former being 
a true Highland weapon, though the Gael could 
never cope with the English archers, who were pro- 
verbially said to bear each of them “ under his girdle 
twenty-four Scots,” in allusion to the twenty-four 
arrows with which each man was provided. Winton 
and Fordun both mention the clan Kay and the clan 
Quhale, in 1390, armed in the fashion of their coun- 
try with bows and arrows, sword and target, short 
knives and battle-axes ; and twelve years afterwards 
Donald, Lord of the Isles, broke in upon the earl- 
dom of Ross, at the head of his fierce multitudes, 
who were armed after the fashion of their country 
with swords fitted to cutand thrust 12 , pole-axes, bows 
and arrows, short knives, and round bucklers formed 
of wood or strong hide, with bosses of brass or iron. 
The short knife was the bidag or dirk of the Scotch, 

Si>b anno 1244, p. 436, 37. 

* The cut and thrust sword was the c/uidheamh-more or 



the . 9 kiene of the Irish. Although most probably it 
is far more highly ornamented at present than it was 

in those rude ages, the ancient style of decoration and 

pattern is preserved. The intricate tracery on the 
hilt is also seen upon the target or targai 

“ Whose orazen studs and tough W'-’« hide 
Has dashed so often death aside.’’ 

The target here engraved is preserved in the ar- 
moury at Goodrich Court . , 

The dirk or bidag from the same collection is ot 

the time of Henry VIII. , . A 

In 1318, every layman possessed of land, who had 
ten pounds’ worth of moveable property, was com- 
manded to provide himself with an acton (or haque- 
ton), and basnet (hascinet), together with gloves of 
plate, a sword, and a spear. Those who were not 
so provided were to have an iron jack, or back and 
breast-plate of iron, an iron head-piece or knapiskay, 
with gloves of plate ; and every man possessing the 
value of a cow, was commanded to arm himseli with 
a bow and sheaf of twenty-four arrows, or with a 
spear 13 . By the iron jack is meant the jacques c e 
maille, which was worn as late as the sixteenth cen- 
tury, at which period it is described by a French 
author, and the person who furnished Holmsbed 
with his account of Scotland. 

In 1385 an order was issued for every French and 
Scottish soldier to wear a white St. Andrew s cross 
on his breast and back, which if his surcuat or jacket 
was white, was to be broidered on a division of black 

In 1388 the Scotch army at the siege of Berwicke 

is Statutes of Robert I.j vide Cartulary cf Uberbrothock,p.233, 
M‘Farlane’S Irans, 

14 Acts of the Parliament of Scotland, vol. i. 


was astonished by two novelties— the appe- ranee of 
artillery, and the heraldic crests upon the English 
helmets; an ornament which had not been adopted 
in Scotland, though worn for nearly a hundred years 
in England. 

« Twa noweltves that day they si"’, 

Tiiat forwilh Scotland had been nane: 

Tymmeris (timbres) for helmctys war the tone, 

The tothyr crakys were of war.” 

During the reign of James I. of Scotland, archery 
was particularly encouraged, and an order was issued 
that all men aged upwards of twelve years “ should 
busk them to be archers.” James III. is said to 
have had ten thousand Highlanders with bows and 
arrows in the van ot his army ; and the army of 
James V. at Fala, immediately previous to the defeat 
at Solway in 1542, consisted of sixty thousand men, 
“ twenty thousand of whom carried pikes and 
spears, and twenty thousand were armed with bows, 
haberzions, and two-handled swords, “ which was 
the armour,” says Lindsay, “ of our Highlandmen. 
Bv this it would appear that in the sixteenth century 
the Highlanders, in the royal service at least, had 
been induced to wear the same body armour ; the 
word habergeon at this period meaning indifferently 
a breast plate or a short coat of mail. A French 
author in 1574 describes the Scotch as armed with 
a sword that was very large and marvellously cut- 
tinrr • and at this period the blades made by Andrea 
Ferara became highly prized in Scotland and when- 
ever procured were fitted into basket hilts, which 
fir-t appear about this time. An Andrea Ferara, 
with its original mounting, is here engraved from 
one in the Meyrick collection. 

The introduction of hand fire-arms nlded first the 

2 H 



pistol 15 and afterwards the musket to 
the weapons of the Highlander, who 
decorated them with silver as liberally 
as he had previously done his belt 
and his bidag; but the bow conti- 
nued to be used by him throughout 
the seventeenth century, and the last 
time it appeared as a British military 
weapon was in 1700, when the regi- 
ment of Royal Scots, commanded by 
the Earl of Orkney, was “ armed in 
the old Highland fashion, with bows 
and arrows, swords and targets, and 
wore steel bonnets. _ 

In the unfortunate rebellions of 
1714 and 1745, the Highland bidags 
and broadswords upon several occa- 
sions put the royal forces, cavalry 
and infantry, to the rout in less than 
seven minutes. The charge of the 
Highlanders is described by all writers 
as “almost irresistible. Firing their 
pistols as they advanced, they flung 
the discharged weapons at the heads 
of their foes, and if bullet and blow 
failed to bring down their opponent, 

15 The pistol was sometimes called dag, from 
the peculiar shape of itsbutt. The Highlanders 
called it lack. A Highland fire-lock Icc*. of the 
time of George II., the stock of iron and inlaid 
with silver, is engraved here from one in the 
armoury at Goodrich Court. A brace of snap- 
hauuce Highland tacks are in the same col- 
lection, dated 1626, with slender barrels 
which, as well as the stocks, are whol v of 

Ail Andrea Fcrara. with its originnl hilt, iu the Meyriok collection. 



they received the point of his bayonet on the target, 
and dirk or claymore was instantly through his body. 
Their muskets were invariably thrown away after the 
first volley, and as late as the battle of Killicranky 
they flung oiF their plaids on rushing into action, 
as their Celtic ancestors had done seventeen hundred 
years before them. 

Highland fire-lock tack, time of George II. 

Hf. c, battle-axe of the tovn-guard of Edinburgh; by battle-axe of the 
toim-guard of Aberdeen, from Mr. Logau*» woik. 



Chapter XXIV. 


Casting aside the wild romances with which the 
early history of Ireland is interwoven, to a greater 
degree perhaps than that of any other nation, we 
shall proceed at once, upon the authority of Tacitus, 
to state that the manners of the Irish differed little 
in his time from those of their ancient British 
brethren ; and to add, that from every evidence, his- 
torical or traditional, the difference was occasioned 
by the introduction at some very remote period, either 
by conquest or colonization, of a distinct race to its 
original inhabitants : — a fact which is substantiated 
by°the marked distinction still existing in the per- 
sons and complexions of the peasantry of the ear-tern 
and midland districts, and those of the south-western 
counties ; the former having the blue eyes and fiaxon 
hair, characteristic of all the Scythic or German 
tribes, and the latter the swarthy cheeks and raven 
locks, that bespeak a more southern origin, and point 
to Spain as the country from which they had ulti- 
mately past, and Asia-Minor, or Egypt, as the land 
of their fathers. 

In every part of Ireland, weapons and ornaments 
have been found precisely similar to those discovered 
in England, and proved to have been worn by the 
ancient Britons; and the description ot the Irish 
dress as late as the twelfth century, by Giraldus 
Catnbrensis, perfectly corresponds with that of the 
Bclgic-Gauls and southern Britons, transmitted to 




Ancient Irish weapons and ornaments : a, engraved battle-axe of bronze, in 
the possession of Crofton Croker, E*o ; b t spearhead of bronze; c, d, e, 
and /, brooches, bodkins, &c., from Walker's History of the Irish Bards. 

2 h 3 



us by the Greek arid Roman writers. Undisturbed 
by the Imperial Legions, the Irish retained their 
ancient arms and clothing for centuries after England 
had become a Roman province, and adopted the 
costume of its conquerors, and the truis or bracchae, 
the cota and the mantle fastened by a brooch or 
bodkin on the breast or shoulder, the torques and 
bracelets of gold and silver, the swords and battle- 
axes of mixed copper and tin, and spears and darts 
headed with the same metal that had gradually super- 
seded the garments of skins, and the weapons of 
bone and flint of the original colonists, as in the sister 
island, composed the habits and arms of the Irish 
chieftains during the early ages of Christianity, and 
to the period at which the authentic history of Ireland 

In the ninth century we hear of the Irish princes 
wearing pearls behind their ears ; a golden crown 
or helmet, of a form resembling the cap of a Chinese 
mandarin, and evidently of great antiquity, was dug 
up near the Devil’s Bit, in the county of Tipperary, 
in 1692 1 A collar of gold was offered by King 
Brian on the great altar at Armagh, at the com- 
mencement of the eleventh century 8 , twenty-four 
years subsequent to the period when, as Moore 

“ Malachy wore tne collar of gold 
He won from the proud invader.’ 

From these proud invaders, it appears that the 
Irish received, however, some of their first lessons 

1 Engraved in Keating’s History of Ireland. 

* According to the annals of Innisfallen, one of the few unsus- 
picious documents relative to the early history of Ireland. The 
book of Glen Daloch, popularly attributed to Benin, the disciple 
and successor of St. Patrick, commences in the eleventh century ; 
and the Brehon laws and the law of colours (llbreachla of 
Tigheirnmas) are of very uncertain though considerable antiquity 



in warfare, and adopted, in imitation of them, the 
terrible steel battle-axe, and the round red shield 
bound with iron. But these circumstances ar* 
gathered from the pages of Giraldus Cambrensis, 
who has given us a very interesting account of tha 
costume of the Irish in the 


Irish costume of the 12th century, from an illuminat' d copy of Giraldua 
Cambrensis, in the possession of SirT Phillips, Bart. 

“ The Irish wear thin woollen clothes, mostly black, 
because the sheep of Ireland are in general of that 
colour; the dress itself is of a barbarous fashion. 
The cochla or cocula, to which was sometimes added 
the larger mantle worn in Elizabeth’s time, was called 
the canabhas or fillead : they wear moderate close- 



cowled or hooded mantles (caputiis), which spread 
over their shoulders and reach down to the e bow, 
composed of small pieces of cloths of different kind* 
and colours, for the most part sewed together ; be- 
neath which, woollen fallins (phalinges) instead of a 
cloak, or breeches and stockings in one piece, and 
these n-enerally dyed of some colour. In riding they 
use no saddles, nor do they wear boots or spur*, 
carrying only a rod or stick hooked at the upper end, 
as well to excite their horses to mend their pace, as 
to set forward in full speed ; they use indeed bridles 
and bits, but so contrived as not to hinder the horses 
of their pasture in a land where these animals teed 
only on green grass.” 

Through the kindness of Sir Thomas Phillips, Bart., 
we are enabled to present our readers with some co- 
temporary drawings of the Irish costume trom an 
invaluable manuscript in that gentleman s collection, 
which was fortunately preserved from destruction by- 
being sent from Bristol one day previous to the late 
lamentable disturbances and conflagration: it is a 
copy of Giraldus Cambrensis, illuminated about the 
termination of the twelfth century, and the Irish cos- 
tume is particularly (and we have no doubt faithfully) 
distinguished from the Norman-English ; Dermod 
MacMurchard, king of Leinster, and the rest of his 
countrymen, being portrayed in the short tunic, 
fallings or cota, and the truis, with long beards and 
hair, and the Danish axe, and the Normans with long 
tunics, gartered legs, shaven faces, and the great broad- 
sword of the period. Vide figure of MacMurchard 
(the largest) and others of the Irish, at the head 

words il var Usque colon) m 
consutis," which certainly 
ay, what we shtwld now 

iiil patcnwoifc. 

3 Such at least is our version of the 
getieribus panniculorutnque plerumque 
describes, in rather a roundabout w 


of this section. The Irish mantle appears on the 
shoulders of many of the figures, but the mode of 
fastening it is not visible ; there are authorities enough, 
however, to prove that it was by a brooch or bodkin 
upon the breast 4 . It is singular that it is not party- 
coloured, as described in the text, nor is the hood 
attached to it. 

About the same period we learn, that when Prince, 
afterwards King John landed at Waterford, the Irish 
chieftains came to pay their respects to the son of 
their monarch, habited in their national costume, 
wearing linen vests, flowing mantles, long hair, and 
bushy beards, and approached the prince to offer him 
the kiss of peace, which the young Norman courtiers 
attendant on John considering a familiarity, pie - 
vented ; and not content with merely repulsing them, 
pulled the beards which had excited their derision, 
mimicked their gestures, and finally thrust them with 
violence from their presence. 


used by the Irish in the bloody combats to which 
this unprovoked insult and aggression gave birth are 
thus described by Giraldus “ The Irish use three 
kinds of arms — short lances, and two darts, as also 
broad axes excellently well steeled, the use of which 
thev borrowed from Norwegians and Ostinen. They 
make use of but one hand to the axe when they 
strike, and extend their thumb along the handle to 
guide the blow, from which neither the crested hel- 

« See engravings at page 353. The value of silver brooches or 
bodkins is decided in the Brehon laws. These instruments are 
known in Ireland by various names ; and are trequently alluded 
to in the old Irish poems and romaticcs. 



met tan defend the head, nor the iron folds of the 
armour the body; whence it has happened in our 
time that the whole thigh of a soldier, though cased 
in well-tempered armour, hath been lopped 08 by a 
single blow of the axe, the whole limb falling on one 
side of the horse, and the expiring body on the 
other.” This latter weapon was called by the Irish 
the tuagh-catha, or battle-axe. There is a hill in the 
county of Galway called Knock-Tuagha, the hill of 
axes, from the circumstance of the Irish having gained 
a victory over the English there by means of their 
axes. To these “three sorts of arms” Giraldus him- 
self adds another, the sling. “ They are also very- 
dexterous and ready, beyond all other nations, in 
slinging stones in battle, when other weapons fail 
them, to the great detriment of their enemies and 
in a description of a battle in the annals of Innis- 
fallen, it is related, that the stones came in such 
rapid showers, that they blunted the arrow-s in their 
flight ! 

Of the ladies’ dress, w e know nothing further than 
that it may be inferred from a passage in the annals 
of Innisfallen, they wore a variety of ornaments, as 
when the wife of King O’Roorkewas taken prisoner, 
in the year 1152, her jew-els became the spoil of the 

The only female figures in the illuminated copy 
of Giraldus, above mentioned, are attired in long 
tunics after the Anglo-Norman fashion. There can 
be little doubt, however, that they wore the mantle 
fastened on the breast by a bodkin or brooch ; and 
in an Irish romance, quoted by Mr. Walker, vve hear 
of the fair Findalve’s spacious veil hanging down from 
her lovely head, where it was fastened by a golden 
bodkin. Vol. ii. p. 23. The wearing of bodkins in 
the hair is so common to this day in Spain, that we 



can scarcely question the fashion having been derived 
from that country. 


was of course that of the Romish church throughout 
Europe; and our readers are therefore referred to 
the corresponding era in England. 

In the 


we find that scarlet cloaks were worn by the Irish 
chieftains. Amongst the spoils left by the sons of 
Brian Rae, when they fled from Mortogh, a. d. 
1313 , were shining scarlet cloaks 5 , and the barbaric 
splendour or quaintness of the Irish chiefs seems to 
have caught the fancy of the English settlers in the 
reign of Edward III., as we find the use of it prohi- 
bited to them in the celebrated statute of Kilkenny, 
passed during the administration of Edward’s son, 
the Duke of Clarence. One clause in this act or- 
dains that the English here shall conform in garb 
and in the cut of their hair to the fashion of their 
countrymen in England. Whoever affected that of 
Ihe Irish should be treated as an Irishman ; and we 
need not point out to our readers that the statute 
evidently meant “ ill-treated,” so early had the woes 
and wrongs of that unhappy country begun ' 

Irish frieze was at this time, however, an esteemed 
article in England, fora statute passed in the twenty- 
eighth year of Edward III.’s reign exempts it from 

5 Scarlet cloaks were made for the Irish chiefs, by command of 
King John, who addressed an order to the archbishop of Dubli« 
lo that effect. Rymer’s Feeder*. 



duty under the description of “ draps appeilez frite- 
vvare queux sont faitz en Ireland. 

In the reign of Richard II. we have first a de- 
scription, by Froissart, of the four Irish kings who 
swore allegiance to that monarch, by which it appears 
that the truis had been abandoned, or at this tune 
was not a part of the regal habit : for Henry Chris- 
tall who gave Froissart the information, complains 
that they wore no breeches 6 * 8 , and that consequently 
he ordered some of linen cloth to be made for them, 
taking from them at the same time many rude and 
ill-made things, “tons d’habits comme d a utres 
chose,” and dressing them in houpelands ol silk 

furred with miniver and gns : “ r ° r ; he 

“ formerly these kings were well dressed if wrapped 
up in an Irish mantle." They rode without saddles 

or stirrups, the old Irish fashion. , 

On Richard’s first visit to Ireland, in 1394, a.! the 
Leinster chieftains laid aside their caps, skeins, and 
girdles, and did homage, and swore fealty on their 
knees to the Earl Marshal of England ; and the 
same ceremony was performed by the principal chiels 
of Ulster to Richard himself at Drogheda. 

The author of the metrical chronicle of the de- 
position of Richard II., who accompanied him on 
his Irish expedition, went with the Earl of Gloucester 
to see MacMorough, king of Leinster, and describes 
him as riding lull speed down hill on a horse without 
a saddle, bearing in his hand a long dart, uhich he 

6 But by breeches or brayes may be meant drawers, always *<* 
called at that time, and to go without which was esteemed both 
in England and France at this period a penance and a . 
and Christall’s ordering them to be made of c, " lh “ 

in favour of our supposition, as to supply the pi ' ' 

would have ordered garments of woollen cloth, and by the na .a 
of hose or chaussGs. 


cast from him with much dexterity. To this descrip- 
tion is appended an illumination pourt raying Mac 
Morough in the act of performing this feat, and 
attended by some of his toparchs. We have en- 
graved it here as au illustration of the 

M&cMoroogh, King of Leinster, and his toparchs, from MS. Harleian, 
marked 1319. 


MacMorough, it will be perceived, wears a bascinet, 
but without visor or camail, and a long coat of mail, 
over which is thrown the rfiantle, and a capuchon 
like that worn by the English from the time of the 
Conquest, and which may be indeed the ancient Irish 
caputium, hangs behind him down his shoulders. 
His followers wear the capuchon, and no bascinet. 
The king is bare-footed, and apparently bare-legged, 
and rides without stirrups. Froissart tells us, on the 

2 i 



authority of Christall, the Irish have pointed knives 
with broad blades, sharp on both sides; they cut 
their enemy’s throat and take out his heart, which 
they carry away 7 . 


furnishes us with very little direct information. But 
by an act passed in the reign of Henry \ I. it seems 
to be intimated that either the English affected the 
Irish, or the Irish the English costume, as it is set 
forth that “ now there is no diversity m array 
betwixt the English marchours and the Irish ene- 
mies, and so by colour of the Engl i-h marchours, 
the Irish enemies do come from day to day to otner 
into the English counties, as English marchours, 
and do rob and pill by the highways, and destroy 
the common people by lodging upon them in the 
uiohts, and also do kill the husbands in the nights, 
and do take their goods to the Irishmen : wherefore 
it is ordained and agreed that no manner ot man 
that will be taken for an Englishman shall hare no 
beard above his mouth, that is to say, that he ha\e 
no hairs on his upper lip, so that the said lip be once 
at least shaven every fortnight, or of equal growth 
with the nether lip ; and if any man be found 
amongst the English contrary hereunto, that then it 
shall be lawful to every man to take them and their 
goods as Irish enemies, and to ransom them as Irish 
enemies.” Whether this similarity of dress was 

1 C 24. In the army of Henry V., at the siege of Rouen. 141", 
were several bodies of Irish, of whom the greater part had one leg 
and foot quite naked ; the arms of these were targets, short javelws, 
and a stranqe kind of knives. Monstri let’s Chron. chap, v The 
“skein” was the strange kind of knife. The “one leg and foot 
raked” was a curious uniform. 



assumed by the Irish enemies for the purpose of 
facilitating their inroads and depredations, or the 
consequence of long neighbourhood and intercom- 
munication, does not appear. I he long moustaches 
worn at this period must certainly have been re- 
tained by the English in imitation ot the Irish, as 
beards were not worn in England during the reign 
of Henry VI. except by aged or official personages. 
The faces of military men even are seen closely shaved. 
Another act was passed in this reign forbidding 
the use of “ gilt bridles and peytrals, and other gilt 

The military and female costume of persons of dis- 
tinction appears, from the few monuments preserved 
of this period, to have resembled the corresponding 
cotemporary habits in England ; but it is probable, 
as we shall shortly show, that the ancient national 
Irish dress was still worn by the generality of the 
people, and, oddly enough, on the heels of the statute 
of Henry VI. above quoted, forbidding the English 
to dress like the Irish, because their was no diversity, 
comes an act passed by Edward IV., ordaining that 
“ the Irishmen dwelling in the counties of Dublin, 
Myeth, Wrial, and Kildare, shall go apparelled like 
Englishmen, and wtar beards after the English man- 
nerT swear allegiance, and take English surnames,” 
proving that a diversity did exist even in the Eng- 
lish pale. , 

Iii the reign of Henry \II.» Sir Edward Poy- 
Dings, in order that the parliaments of Ireland might 
want no decent or honourable form that was used in 
England, caused a particular act to pass that the 
lords of Ireland should appear in the like parliament 
robes as the lords are wont to wear in the parliaments 
of England. This act is entitled “ a statute for 
the lords of the parliament to wear robes,” and 



the penalty for offending against it was a hundred 
shillings, to be levied off the offender’s lands and 

In the sixth year of the same monarch’s reign a 
warm dispute appears to have existed between the 
glovers and shoemakers about “ the right of making 
girdles, and all manner of girdles." Fine cloth, silk, 
taffeta, and cloth of gold, are mentioned as worn by 
the nobility at this time, and worsted and canvas 
linen for phallangs and mantles, by the poorer 
classes. Felt caps are also recorded. 


enlightens us considerably, not only as to the dress 
of its own particular period, but respecting the ancient 
Irish costume, of which we have hitherto caught but 
brief and imperfect glimpses. Pursuing our original 
determination to set down under each date such 
documents only asof right belonged to it, we have not 
interpolated the descriptions of writers of the twelfth 
century with those of w r riters of the sixteenth ; but 
having given these early evidences in their in- 
tegrity, we may without fear of confusion refer to 
them occasionally, when the elaborate accounts of 
such authors as Holinshed, Spenser, and Camden 
appear to illustrate the obscure allusions of their 

In the reign of Henry VIII. an act was passed 
ordaining “ that no person or persons, the king’s sub- 
jects, within this land (Ireland), being or hereafter to 
be, from and after the fiFst day of May, w hich shall 
be in the yeare of our Lord God 1539, shall be shorn 
*r shaven above the ears, or use the wearing of haire 
iipon their heads like unto long lockes, called glibbet 



or have or use any haire growing on their upper 
lippes, called or named a crommeal 8 , or use or weare 
any shirt, smock, kurchor, bendel, neckerchour, 
inocket or linen cappe coloured or dyed with salron, 
ue yet use or weare in any of their shirts or smocks 
above seven yardes of cloth, to be measured according 
to the king’s standard, and that also no woman use 
or wear any kyrtell or cote tucked up or imbroydered 
or o-arnished with silke or couched ne laid with usker, 
after the Irish fashion, and that no person or persons 
of what estate, condition or degree they be, shall 
use or weare any mantles, cote, or hood, made after 
the Irish fashion and any person so offending was 
liable not only to forfeit the garment woi'n against 
the statute, but certain sums of money limited and 
appointed by the act 

In this act, and in the order quoted in the note, 
we find mention made of the custom of dyeing the 
shirts and tunics with saffron, said by many writers 
to have existed in Ireland from the earliest period, 
but without their quoting any ancient authority in 
support of their statement. Henceforth we find fre- 
quent allusions to it ; but it is certainly not men- 

• •Xmoix'st the unpublished MS. in the State Paper Office, is 
another < earher order of Henry VIII., dated April 28, 1563, tor 
the government of the town of Galway, in which these moustaches 
are called crompeanhs. The inhabitants are also ordered “ not 
to suffer the hair of their heads to grow till it covers their ears, 
and that every of them wear English caps. That no man ot 
man-child do wear no mantles in the streets, but cloaks or gowns 
coats, doublets, and hose shapen after the English fashion but 
made of the country cloth, or any other cloth that shall please 

lne “Crom” signifies in the Celtic any thing crooked, also the nose ; 
“Dean” is the beard of a goat; and “ lis,” wicked or mischievous. 
“ Crompeanlis” is therefore one of those curious compounds 
continually met wilh in this ancient language, and resembling 
Greek in the condensed force of expression. 

2 i 3 



tioned by Giraldus Froissart, or the author of the 
Natural History before quoted. 

In the reign of Elizabeth we find Spenser strongly 
.recommending the abolition of “ the antient dress/’ 
The mantle he calls “ a fit house for an outlaw, a 
meet bed for a rebel, and an apt cloke for a thief." 
He speaks of the hood “as a house against all 
weathers and remarks that while the mantle en- 

ables him to go “ privilie armed,” the being close- 
hooded over the head conceals his person from know- 
ledge on any to whom he is endangered. He also 
alludes to a custom of wrapping the mantle hastily 
about the left arm when attacked, which serves them 
instead of a target: a common practice in Spain to 
this day, and probably derived from thence. His 
objections to the use of mantles by females are as 
strongly and more grossly urged ; and of the long 
platted or matted locks, called glibbs, he speaks in 
terms of equal reprobation : “ they are as fit masks 
as a mantle is for a thief, for wheresoever he hath 
run himself into that peril of the law that he will 
not be known, he either cutteth off his glibb by which 
he becometh nothing like himself, or pulleth it so low 
down over his eyes that it is very hard to discern his 
thiefish countenance 10 .” He concludes, however, by 

9 Unless by “some colour" and “ various colours” we are at 
liberty to conclude that saffron or yellow was amongst them- Had 
it been the prevailing colour he would surely hare particu- 
larized it ; and yet, on the other hand, the shirt and tru.s in the 
illuminated copy before mentioned are both frequently painted a 
light yellow or tawney. 

10 Hooker, who translated Giraldus in 1587, adds this note 
upon the Irish manner of wearing the hair: “The Irish nation 
and people, even from the beginning, have beene alwaies of a 
Hard bringing up, and are not only rude in apparell but also 
rough and ouglie in their bodies. Their beards and heads they 
never wash, cleanse, nor cut, especial ie their heads; the haire 
whereof they suffer to grow, saving that some do use to round it, 
»ttd by reason the same is never combed it groweth fast together, 

national Costume of Ireland. 


admitting that there is much to be said in favour of 
the fitness of the ancient dress to the state of the 
country, “as, namely, the mantle in travelling, be- 
cause there be no inns where meet bedding may be 
had, so that his mantle serves him then for a bed ; 
the leather-quilted jack in journeying and in camp- 
ing, for that it is fittest to be under his shirt of mail, 
and for any occasion of sudden service, as (here 
happen many, to cover his trouse on horseback ; the 
great linen roll which the women wear to keep their 
heads warm after cutting their hair, which they use 
in any sickness ; besides their thick-folded linen 
shirts, their long-sleeved smocks, their half-sleeved 
coats, their silken fillets, and all the rest, they will 
devise some colour for, either of necessity, of antiquity, 
or of comeliness.” 

Stanihurst, who wrote in the reign of Elizabeth, 
and whose account of Ireland is published in Holin- 
shed’s Chronicles, speaking of Waterford, says, 
“As they distill the best aqua vitre, so they spin the 
choicest rug in Ireland. A friend of mine being 
of late demurrant in London, and the weather, by 
reason of a hard hoare trost, being somewhat nip- 
ping, repaired to Paris Garden clad in one of these 
Waterford rugs. The mastifs had no sooner espied 
him, but deeming he had beene a beare would faine 
have baited him ; and were it not that the dogs 
were partly muzzled and partly chained, he doubted 
not but that he should have beene well tugd in this 
Irish rug ; whereupon he solemnlie vowed never to 
see beare baiting in any such weed.” 

In 1562, O'Neal, Prince of Ulster, appeared at the 
court of Elizabeth with his guards of Galloglacks, 

and in process of lime it matleth so thick and fast together that it 
is instead of a hat, and keepeth the head vi rie warme, and also 
w ill beare off a great blowe or stroke, and this head of haire they 
call a glib a. and therein they have a great pleasure.” 



bare-headed, armed with hatchets, their hair flowing 
in locks on their shoulders, attired in shirts dyed with 
saffron (vel humana urina infeclis) ; their sleeves 
larn-e, their tunics short, and their cloaks shagged . 

This passage has been very loosely transited by 
several writers, and the expression “thrum jackets 
introduced, which is not at all borne out by the 
original, “ tuniculis brevioribus et lacerms villosw. 
Amongst the rare prints collected by the late Mr. 
Douce is one presenting us with the Irish dress of 
this day, precisely as described by Camden, Spenser, 
and Derricke, with whose poetical and picturesque 
account of the Kerns or common soldiers we shall 
close our account of the Irish in the sixteenth cen- 

“ With skulls upon their powles 
Instead of civill cappes, 

With speare in hand and sword by sides 
To beare off aftcrclappes ; 

With jackettes long and large, 

Which shroud simplicitie. 

Though spiteful dartes which they do beare, 

Importe iniquitie ; 

Their shirtes be very strange 
Not reaching past the thigh, 

With pleates on pleates they pleated are 
As thick as pleates may lie ; 

Whose sleives hang trailing downe 
Almost unto the shoe 1 *, 

And with a mantle commonlie 
The Irish kerne doe goe ; 

11 Camden, Hist. Eliz. p. 69. . , , 

i« The long sleeve to the shirt or tunic trailing down a mo. 
unto the shoe,-’ while the body of the garment was so short and 
fully plaited, was a European fashion of the close of ^fourteenth 
century, and if no* adopted from the English in Richard II. tVme. 
reached Ireland from Spain. The old Celtic tunic had sleete. 
tight to the wrists. 

Irish of the reign of Elizabeth, from a r ire print in the collection oi tile late Mr. Douce. 





And some amongst the 'est 
Do use another wede, 

' A coate I wene of strange device, 

Which fancie first did breed ; 

His skirtes be very shorte, 

With pleates set thick about, 

And Irish trouzes more to put 
Their straunge protractours out.” 

Now on referring to the print we have mentioned, * 
and w'hich is superinscribed, “ Draun after the 
quicke,” (that is) from the life, we find the full- 
plaited shirts with long trailing sleeves; the short 
coat or jacket with half sleeves, very short waisted, 
embroidered, and ‘‘with pleates set thick about the 
middle ; the iron gauntlet, on the left hand, men 
tioned by Stanihurst 18 ; the skull-cap, the mantle, 
the skein or long dagger, and a peculiarly-shaped 
sword in as strange a sheath, which corresponds 
exactly with those upon the. tombs of the Irish kings, 
engraved in Walker’s History. The only variation 
from the descriptions quoted is in their being all 
bare-legged and bare-footed. 

From these accounts we find the Irish of the four- 
teenth and sixteenth centuries wearing the mantle 
and hood or capuchium, the tunic, shirt or “ phal- 
lings,” and occasionally the truis or breeches and 
stockings in one piece, exactly as described by Giral- 
tlus in the twelfth century ; still armed w ith the terrible 
hatchet received from the Ostmen, and the coat of 
mail adopted from them or their Norman kindred ; 
while England with the rest of Europe had ex- 
changed the hauberk for harness of plate, and ran 
through every variety of habit which the ingenuity or 
folly of man had devised during four hundred years. 


brings the pencil once more to the aid of the pen. 
»s 41, 42, sub anno 1584. 



Archer, a Jesuit, and O’More, an Irish Chief, from Walker’s Hist. 

Mr. Walker has engraved what he terms “ a rude 
but faithful delineation of O’More, a turbulent Irish 
chieftain, and Archer, a Jesuit retained by him, both 
copied from a map of the taking of the Earl of Or- 
mond in 1600.” O’More, he tells us, is dressed in 
the barrad, or Irish conical cap, and a scarlet mantle. 
Archer’s mantle is black, and he wears the high- 
crowned hat of the time. Both appear to be in the 
strait truis. 

Morryson, a writer of the reign of the James I., 
describes elaborately but coarsely the dress of the 
Irish in his time. The English fashions it would 
appear from him, had amalgamated with the Irish 
amongst the higher orders, and produced a costume 
differing not very widely from that of similar classes 
in England ; but “ touching the or wild Irish 



it may truly be said of them, which of old was 
spoken of the Germans, namely, that they wander 
slovenly and naked, and lodge in the same house (if 
it may be called a house) with their beasts. Amongst 
them the gentlemen or lords of counties wear close 
breeches and stockings of the same piece of cloth, of 
red or such light colour, and a loose coat and a cloak 
or three-cornered mantle, commonly of coarse light 
stuffe made at home, and their linen is coarse and 
slovenly, because they seldom put off a shirt till it be 
worn ; and those shirts in our memory, before the 
last rebellion, were made of some twenty or thirty 
elles, folded in wrinkles and coloured with safron. . 

. Their wives, living among the English, 
are attired in a sluttish gown to be fastened at the 
breast with a lace, and in a more sluttish mantle and 
more sluttish linen, and their heads be covered after 
the Turkish manner with many elles of linen, only 
the Turkish heads or turbans are round at the top; 
but the attire of the Irish women’s heads is more flat 
in the top and broader in the sides, not much unlike 
a cheese mot if it had a hole to put in the head. For 
the rest in the remote parts, where the English lawes 
•and manners are unknown, the very chiefs of the 
Irish, as well men as women, goe naked in winter 

time.” . c 

Speed, who wrote in the same reign, and confirms 
the account of Spenser and Morryson respecting the 
lar^e wide-sleeved linen shirts, stained with saffron, 
their mantles, skeins, &c., adds, “ that the women wore 
their haire plaited in a curious manner, hanging 
down their backs and shoulders from under the 
folden wreathes of fine linen rolled about their heads: 
a custom in England as ancient as the Conquest, and 
though not mentioned by Giraldus, a fashion we have 
little doubt of equal antiquity in Ireland.” Engrav- 
ings of a wild Irish man and woman, of a civil Irish 



man and woman, and of an Irish gentleman and 
gentlewoman, are here given from the figures round 
Speed’s map of Ireland 14 . 

Wild Irish man and woman ; civil Irish man and woman, from Speed’s 
Map of Ireland. 

It was in the reign of James I., says Mr. Walker, 
that the Irish dress was to feel the influence of fashion, 
and to assume a new form. The circuits of the 
judges being now no longer confined within the nar- 
row limits of the pale, but embracing the whole king- 
dom, the civil assemblies at the assizes and sessions 
reclaimed the Irish from their wildness, caused them 

14 Like the Hiehland figures in the Scotch map, they may be 
but the fanciful representations of an artist, or carelessly drawn 
from the deacriplion only of the writers of the time. The long 
hanging shirt sleeves are certainh no ’visible. ^ 



Irish gentleman and woman, from Speed’s Map of Ireland. 


to cut off their glibbs and long hair, to convert their 
mantles into cloaks (as then worn in England), and 
to conform themselves to the manner of England in 
all their behaviour and outward forms. The order 
from the Lord Deputy Chichester, in his instructions 
to the Lord President and Council of Munster, to 
punish by fine and imprisonment all such as shall 
appear before them in mantles and robes, and also to 
expel and cut all glibbs, is dated May 20th, 1615. 

For some years this statute was rigorously en- 
forced, but Charles I. in the tenth year of his reign 
caused an act to be passed at Dublin, “ for repeale 
of divers statutes heretofore enacted in this kingdom 
of Ireland,” and once more permitted the beard to 
flourish on the upper lip, allowed the use of gilt 
bridles, pevtrels, and other harness, and left the 



Irish generally at liberty to wear either their own 
national apparel, or the English dress of the day, as 
might suit their fancy or convenience. 

The periwig found its way to Ireland in Cromwell’s 
time, and the first person who wore it is said to 
have been a Mr. Edmund O’Dwyer, who lost his 
estate by joining in the opposition to the parlia- 
mentary forces. He was known amongst the vulgar 
by the appellation of “ Edmund of the wig." 

During the Commonwealth an order was issued 
by the Deputy Governor of Galway, grounded on 
the old statute of Henry VIII. and prohibiting the 
wearing of the mantle to all people whatsoever, which 
was executed with great rigour; and Harris says, 
“ from that time the mantle and trouze were disused 
for the most part.” 

Sir Henry Piers also, in his description of the 
county of Westmeath, about this period, says, “ there 
is now no more appearance of the Irish cap, mantle, 
and trouzes, at least in these countries.” 

That they were worn, however, to a much later 
period in some provinces, we gather from the letter 
of Richard Geoghegan, Esq., of Connaught, to Mr. 
Walker, who has published an extract from it in a 
note to his work. “ I have heard my father say,” 
writes Mr. Geoghegan, “ that he remembered some 
male peasants to wear a truis, or piece of knit ap- 
parel, that served for breeches and stockings ; a 
barraid or skull-cap, made of ordinary rags, was the 
ornament of the head ; a hatted man was deemed a 
Sassanagh (Saxon) beau. Brogue- uirleaker, that is, 
fiats made of untanned leather, graced their feet, and 
stockings were deemed a foppery and in an earlier 
part of his letter, speaking of the dress of the female 
peasantry of Connaught, he says, “ long blue man- 
tles in the Spanish style, bare feet, awkward bin- 
nogues or kerchiefs on their heads (generally spotted 



with soot), and madder-red petticoats, were and art 
the prevalent taste of the ladies." 

It will be obvious from the above extracts that 
from the earliest notice of Ireland to a late period in 
the last century, the national dress was handed down 
from generation to generation amongst the peasantry ; 
and that many noblemen and gentlemen wore it 
within the last two hundred years. Persecution, as 
usual, but attached them more strongly to the pro- 
hibited garb, and it is probable that the free exercise 
of their fancy granted to them by Charles I. conduced 
more to the ultimate neglect of the long- cherished 
costume of their ancestors than the peremptory order 
to abandon it, issued by the officer of Cromwell, or 
even the exhortations of the Romish clergy to that 
effect, which are acknowledged to have been of little 
avail. Certain it is that the Lord Deputy’s court at 
Dublin was in Charles’s reign distinguished for its 
magnificence ; the peers of the realm, the clergy, and 
the nobility and gentry attending it being arrayed 
of their own free will in robes of scarlet and purple 
velvet, and other rich habiliments, after the English