The Female Costume

of this reign was as splendid and fantastic the male. The parti-coloured dresses of the previous reigns were still in vogue, with numerous varieties of the cote-hardie, the waistcoat or spencerlike vest described in the last chapter, some of them probably Bohemian fashions introduced by

14 History of Chivalry, 2 vols. 8vo. London, 1825.

Queen Anne.15 Gower, in his ' Confessio Amantis,' particularly alludes to " the new guise of Berae," and describes, in the same poem, a route of ladies mounted on fair white ambling horses, with splendid saddles, " evrich one ride on side " (t. e. sideways), another fashion said to have been introduced by Anne of Bohemia, and at this time a mark of high rank.10 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 period. 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 c shows a lady " in kirtle alone," as the ancient romances tell us they sometimes " served in hall," with the " gentil body and middle small," much spoken of in this and the previous century, and the girdle over the hips with the gypsire attached to it, part of which only is seen in figure

19 Camden expressly asserts that Queen Anne brought in high head attire piked with horns and long trained gowns for women (p. 196). But long trained gowns were in fashion, as we have seen, as early as the 12th century; so that Anne cpuld only have revived them. High pikeu head attire was most likely introduced by Richard's second wife Isabella.

In figure d the exterior garment is so long as to be gathered up and carried over the arm ; and figure e presents us with a shorter but more splendid variety of it, with 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 they are less frequent, and when they do occur, are wider and of the same stuff as the dress. The gowns, kir-tles, and mantles were frequently emblazoned with

Century CostumesBritish Female Costume
Female costume, close of the 14th century. Fig. a, from Royal MS. 16, G. 5 ; 6, Royal MS. 20, C. 1; c and d, Har-leian, 4379 ; e, from the Liber Regalia, Westminster Abbey.

armorial bearings (like the jupons or surcoats of the knights, or the tabard of the hprald, which first appears about this time17), or covered with devices (as

17 Previous to the fifteenth century, heralds, or at least messengers, 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 persevaunts eke we have just learned from Grower) and mottoes, like the garments of the other sex. " Bien et loyaul-ment" is a motto mentioned by Chaucer as worked on the facings and borders of a lady's dress; and the trains of the gowns were so enormously long that a tract was written by some divine in this reign, entitled ' Contra Caudas Dominaram' (Against the Tails of the Ladies).

The parson, in the ( Canterbury Tales,' speaks in general terms of the outrageous array of the women.

We have read in the last chapter of the quaint attire of ladies attending tournament^ and public shows; and in this reign we hear of four and twenty ladies18 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, having their dresses, shields, and trappings decorated with Richard's livery of the white hart, with a crown of gold round its neck, and a chain hanging thereto.19 The hair was still worn in a gold fret or caul of

Arrayed in elothes of white velvet, And every man had on a chapelet; Scotchonis and eke horse harneis indeed They had in sute of them who fore them yede."

. According to Legh, however, those who wore such escutcheons were simply knight-riders : Poursuivants wore ihe tabard: but with the sleeves in front 18 Froissart says *( sixty."

18 Caxton, Addition to Polychronicon, c. 6. fol. 397. We should not quote Caxton for the reign of Richard II. were he not supported by Froissart.

network, surmounted frequently by a chaplet of goldsmiths' work, a coronet, or a veil, according to the wearer's rank or fancy.

A fret of golde she had next her here*

Chaucer, «Legend of Good Women' " And everich on her head

A rich fret of golde, which withonten drede Was full of stately net stones set, And every ladv had a chapelet On her head of branches fair and green," &c.

Ibid. * The Flowre and the Leaf:

In this latter instance the chaplet is allegorical; but it 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 4 Canterbury Tales.' The Wanton Wifeof Bath wore coverchiefs.

" full fine of ground, I durste swere that they weiged a pound That on the sonday were upon her hedde, Hire hosen weren of fine scarlet redde, Ful streite yteyed and shoon full moist and new,

Upon an ambler easily she sat, Ywimpled well and on hire hede an bat As brocle as a bokeler or 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 described, but her girdle was barred with silk, the collar of her shift and the tapes of her white volupere (cap or head-kerchief—-the word probably derived from the French enveloper) were embroidered

l'arliament assembled for the deposition of Richard 11., from an illumination in the Ilarleian MS. No. 1319.

co l'arliament assembled for the deposition of Richard 11., from an illumination in the Ilarleian MS. No. 1319.

with black silk: her apron or barn-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 worn by fig. c. in p. 210); 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.

the mourning habits x of this reign are represented in a splendid MS., preserved in Westminster Abbey,20 by which we perceive that the usual garments were now made of black, as well as the cloak 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 of 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.

10 Erroneously entitled by Strutt ' Liber Regalis.' Vide Regal and Ecclesiastical Antiqu., edit 1842.

CHAPTER XII. reigns of henry iy. and v., 1399—1422.

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

reign of henry iv., 1399-1411.

The effigy of Henry IY. is one of the most splendid of our regal series. The crown is re markable for its magnificence. It is probably an imitation of the splendid "Harry Crown," broken and distributed by 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, garnished 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 Pudsey Esq., to Maurice Brunne, and to John Saundish, each a pinnacle of the aforesaid crown, garnished with two sapphires, one square balays, and six

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

pearls." These costly fragments were redeemed in the eighth and ninth years of King Henry VI.1

The long tunic with pocket-holes in front is richly embroidered at the openings and the borders of the sleeves. A cape covers the shoulders and descends in front to the girdle. The inner tunic has a roll-collar setting close up the neck, and the mantle of state, with a broad edging of embroidery, is connected not only by cords and tassels, but by a splendidly-jewelled band passing over the chest. The face has beard and moustaches, but the hair is not visible, being cropped very short all round, so short, indeed, that the poll appears shaven; a custom at the end of this reign and continued through the next.

The day before his coronation, Henry IV. made forty-six knights, and gave to each of them a long coat of a green colour, with strait sleeves furred with miniver, having large hoods lined with the same kind of fur, and fashioned like those of the prelates; and on the day of the ceremony the lords wore a long tunic, called a houppelandeof scarlet, with a long mantle over it, and the knights and esquires wore the scarlet houppelande without the mantle.

1 Rymer's Feeders, vol. ix.

* The Spanish word hopa is rendered " a long cassock with sleeves," and hopalanda, " the train of a gown worn by students." The honppelande was most probably therefore derived from Spain.

In the fourth year of his reign it was found necessary to revive the sumptuary laws enacted, but to so little purpose, by his predecessors. They were revived, and with considerable additions, but seemingly with as little effect. "No man not being a banneret, or person of high estate," was permitted to wear cloth of gold, of crimson, or cloth of velvet, or motley velvet, or large hanging sleeves open or closed, or gowns so long as to touch the ground, or to use the furs of ermine, lettice,8 or marten, excepting only " gens d'armes quant ils sont armez;" an odd exception at first sight, but it alludes to the loose surcoat over the armour, and the caps and hoods that were worn till the trumpet sounded, and the bascinet was hastily assumed for action.

Decorations of gold and silver were forbidden to all who possessed less than two hundred pounds in goods 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

" Letice, a beast of a whitish grey colour," Cotgrave. That this fur somewhat resembled ermine appears probable from an anecdote related by Bonnard, Cost. Vol. i, t>. 58.

leaves, and posies of various kinds, or any suchlike 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 uncertain 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 prohibition.

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

After a few introductory lines, be 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 bett (better); And if he for it paid, hath he no good

Some"afar men might lords know, By their array, from other folk; or now (bat now) A man shall study or muse a long throw Which is which: O lords, it fits you,

Amend this, for it is in your prow (power). If in yon and your men 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 4

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,

Who now most may bear on his back at once, Of cloth and furrour (furs) hath a fresh renown, He is a lusly 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

If a wight virtuous, but narrow-clothed, To lords' courts now-a-days go, His company is to myk (many) folk lothed. 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 of both sexes, the origin of which is differently accounted for. We allude to the collar of SS or Esses.4 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-appearance till the reign of Henry IY. is a sufficient answer to 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 derivation, and supported by the remark, that a " fleur-de-souvenance," the " forget-me-not," occasionally linked the double SS together; but we 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 of SS, should be to this day a mystery to the most learned and indefatigable antiquaries.

A great gold collar called of Ilkington, lavishly

4 See it engraved, page 216 of this work, as it appears round the neck of Joan of Navarre, Queen of Henry IV.

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 fi ve hundred pounds to the Bishop of Worcester, when raising funds for the French expedition in 1415.«

Another collar, called Pusan or Pysane d*Or, worked with antelopes, and set with precious stones, was pawned at the same time to the mayor and city of London,® and most probably had belonged to Henry IV., whose supporter and badge was an antelope. A gold chain wrought with letters and crowns, a sword garnished with ostrich feathers (the prince's), a gypsire of purple velvet garnished with gold, and numberless other jewels, &c., were pledged at the same time to various persons, and had formed part of the royal paraphernalia during this reign.

No alteration is noticed in the robes of the Order of the Garter during this reign. In the

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