Civil Costume

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—

1 Chaucer's Canterbury Tales, however, furnishes us with some characteristic dresses, which we shall notice in regular rotation.

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. The curious and authentic portrait of Richard, preserved in the Jerusalem Chamber at Westminster Abbey, represents him in a robe embroidered all over with roses and the initial letter of his name; and the effigies of Richard and his queen Anne, engraved by Hollis from their monument in Westminster Abbey, present us also with splen-

Richard Deposition
Civil costume of the reign of Richard II., from illuminations in a MS metrical history of his deposition, marked Harleian, 1319.

did specimens of embroidered garments. 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—

" There was great pride among the officers And of all men surpassing their compeers Of rich array and more costious Than was before or sith and more precious.

Yemen and gromes in cloth of silk arrayed, Satin and damask in doublettes and in gownes. In cloth of greene and scarlet, for unpayed (unpaid for). Cut worke was great both in court and townes, Bothe in men's hoodes and also in their gownes, Broudur (embroidery) and furre and goldsmith's worke all newe

In many a wyse each day they did renewe."

Chronicle, chap. 193.

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

Chaucer, who wrote his Canterbury Tales' towards the close of this reign, puts a twofold 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 6r bending,1 and sem-

9 Most of these are heraldic terms. " Barring " signifies striping horizontally; "paling," longitudinal divisions; %

blable waste of cloth in vanity; but there is also the costly furring in their gowns, so much poun-soning (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 scan* tiness of clothing as be these cut slops or hanse-lines• that through their shortness, he says, and the wrapping of their hose, which are departed of two colours, white and red,4 white and blue, white

" bending," diagonal stripes; and " ounding" or " nndeing," a waved pattern or edge. "Indenting and " winding * need no explanation.

8 Strutt has not attempted a derivation for this word. " Hanselein " 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 iack which Froissart 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 London in a courte jacques of cloth of gold, u & la fachon d'Almayne." The little jack or jaques was afterwards called iaquette by the French, and jacket by the English, as the shortened roc or tunic had been called roquette and rocket previously. The 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 that we are aware of, and seems to be derived from the German tchleppe, which signifies « anything trailing." (Schleppe kleid is " a gown with a tram.") " These cut slops or hanseleing," therefore, evidently means these shortened gowns or coats, or little jacks.

4 White and red were the colours assumed by Richard II. as his livery, and were consequently much worn by the cour-

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 parti-coloured dresses, which commenced about the reign of Edward II., are certainly more singular than elegant, and have a particularly grotesque appearance, when, as in an illumination representing John of Gaunt sitting to decide 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 of Lancaster. The parti-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 endeavouring to outshine his neighbour in the richness of his habit and the novelty of its form. The author of an anonymous work called the £ Eulogium,' cited by Camden, and apparently of this date, says, the commons were besotted in excess of apparel,<c some in wide surcoats reaching to their loins, some in a garment reaching to their heels, close before, and strutting out on the sides, tiers of his reign. The mayor, accompanied by the citizens of London in a very large company on horseback, met Richard II. and his queen on Blackheath, all of them being clothed in the king's colours—that is to say, in party-coloured gowns of white and red, and conducted them first to St. Paul's Church and then to the Royal Palace at Westminster, (Knighton.)

so that at the back they make men seem like women, and this they call by a ridiculous name, govme. Their hoods are little, tied under the chin, and buttoned like the women's, but set with gold, silver, and precious stones. Their lirripipes or tippets pass round the neck, and hanging down before, reach to the heels, all jagged.0 They have another weed of silk which they call a paUock Their hose are of two colours, or pied with more, which they tie to their paltocks, with white lachets called kerlots% 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

8 Vide MS. in Harleian library, No. 219.

9 This "weed" is mentioned bvPierce 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 connexion and communication with Spain was so near and so frequent. Paletoque still exists in the Spanish dictionary, and is rendered a kind of dress like a scapulary, which was a monk's frock, generally without sleeves (according to Du Chesne). The word paletoque seQms compounded 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 It had.either been originally, or it afterwards became, the dress of the common people, as paleto signifies, in Spanish, a clown, and the word paltoquet, in French, means clownish.

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 already noticed them as early as the reign of Rufus; but the fastening of them to the knee might have been the peculiar fashion of Cracow. We have no illumination exhibiting them so fastened, although the points are represented of a preposterous length; but Major Hamilton Smith, in his 6 Ancient Costume of England,' mentions a portrait of James I. of Scotland, existing at Keilberg, near Tubigen in Swabia, a seat of the family of Yon Lystrums, wherein the peaks of the monarch's shoes are fastened 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 pokys, shaped like a bagpipe, and worn indifferently by servants 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 the servants were bringing up pottage, sauces, &c., their sleeves " would go into them, and have the first tasteand all that they could procure was meant to clothe their uncurable 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, u As it were a mede Alle full of fresshe flowres white a rede."

His locks

" were crull as they were laide in presse."

His yeoman was clad in "a cote and hoode of grene," his horn slung in a green baldrick, a silver figure of St. Christopher was on his 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' feathers, was tucked beneath his girdle, and he bore " a mighty bow " in his hand. In the ' Friar's Tale' another yeoman is described wearing a cour-tepyi 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 gipciere or purse of silk hanging at his girdle, white as milk.

The merchant is represented in " motley '* (t. e. party-colours), with a forked beard and a,

7 Camden says " a short gabberdin " was called " a court-pie," p. 196. He speaks also of *' a gorget called a chevesail, for as yet they used no bands about their neck "—but query if this latter related to female apparel.

" 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 taffata, and sendal or cendal. In the 4 Testament of Cresseyde,' Chaucer speaks of a physician in a scarlet gown, and " furred well, as such a one ought to beand he may mean scarlet by " sanguin," as scarlet and purple were terms used indifferently one for the other.

The sergeant-at-law's dress was a medley coat, with a girdle of silk, ornamented with small bars or stripes of different colours.8

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. His hose on holidays were of red cloth, when he also twisted the tippet of his hood about his head, a fashion amongst the gallants, as we have remarked in page 170.

The poor ploughman wore a tabard, with his hat, scrip, and staff.

8 A Harleian MS., marked 980, informs us that the sergeant-at-law's robe was formerly parti-coloured, in order to command respect, 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.

The shipman was dressed in a gown of /aiding to the knee, with a dagger slung under one arm by a lace round his neck.

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

" were yclothed in a livery Of a solempne and grete fraternite."

Their clothes were 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 6 Canterbury Tales9 rails at them for riding glittering with gold upon high horses, gayer than any common knight might go, wearing golden girdles and gowns of scarlet and green, ornamented with 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. Iu 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 de gris, " the finest in the land." His hood is fastened beneath his chin with a golden pin, curiously wrought, the great end being fashioned like a truest 2

lover's knot, or having one engraved on it. His supple boots and the bells upon his horse's bridle are mentioned as instances of his foppery and love of display. Even the parish-clerk, described by the miller, is said to be spruce and foppish in his dress. His hose were red, his kirtle sky-blue, set about with many points, and over it a surplice white as a blossom. His 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 fourteenth centuries. Hats, caps, and high bonnets are worn as well as chaperons. The latter have sometimes a single feather in front. Vide engraving at page 191.

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. Rymer mentions that in the ninth year of his reign Richard pawned certain jewels, " a la guyse de cerfs blancs;" and in the ward robe accounts of his twenty-second year is an entry of a belt and sheath of a sword of red velvet, embroidered with white harts, crowned, and with rosemary branches. An ancient author quoted by Holinshed (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 per* suasion 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. This man was the last (as saith mine author) which bare that device, and showed well thereby his constant heart towards his master." The white hart still remains, painted of a colossal size, on the wall over the door leading to the east cloister from the south aisle of Westminster Abbey. It is generally represented crowned, collared, and chained, and couchant under a tree. Other badges of this monarch were, the sun in splendour,8 and the pod of the Planta Genista, or broom, with which the rob» of his monumental effigy is covered.

The surcoat of the knights of the garter was, in the seventh year of Richard II., made of " violet in grain ;" in the eleventh year it was white, and

in the twelfth and nineteenth of " long blue cloth." Vide Ashmole's History of the Order.

Military costume, temp. Richard II., from Harleian MS. 1319.

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