Chapter Xiii

reigns of henry vi. and edward iv.,

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, 15, E. 6.

If any proof were wanting of the confusion and disorder of this unfortunate monarch's reign, it might be drawn from the apparel of his people, which appears to have been a jumble of all the fashions of past ages with every thing most ridiculous and extravagant 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 feature of the civil costume of the middle of the fifteenth century, was the civil costume of the middle of the fifteenth century, was the

Civil costume of the reign of Henry VI. The centre figure from a copy of Froissart, in the Harleian collection, marked 4880; the rest from a copy of Lydgate's Life of St. Ed., Harl. 2278.

more frequent appearance of caps and hats of fantastic 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 which trailed on the ground (vide fourth figure in the above engraving), was tucked into the girdle, or wrapped round the neck, or suspended the chaperon itself over the shoulder when removed from the head, according 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 extravagantly 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 vestment, with tight sleeves that protrude through openings 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.

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