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 contain their " livelie effigies," handed down from the woodcuts of their own time; while all the previous monarchs are, like the visioned line of Banquo, imaginary creations, with so strong a family resemblance, even in their dresses, that we may exclaim with Macbeth, the
" Other 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 impressions upon the pliant but retentive mind of youth is worse than leaving it a blank altogether. To a child a picture is a picture, and it is as easy and much wiser to place the authentic instead of the fictitious 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 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; ruffs 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 Westminster 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 garmentes 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, powdered 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 Lancas-
o ter 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 possessing less than two hundred marks per annum, except the sons and heirs of the privileged parties, who might wear black velvet doublets, coats of 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 forbidden to all persons under the rank of knight hood. The commonalty and servingmen 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 shirt was pinched, t. 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 acceptance of a monarch by Sir Thomas Gresham to Edward VI.; and Howe, the continuator of Stow's Chronicle, adds that Henry VIII. never wore any hose but such as were made of cloth. In an inventory of his apparel, however, preserved in the Harleian Library, we find mention of several pair of silk hose—one short pair of black silk and gold woven together; one of purple silk and Venice gold, woven like unto a cawl (i. e. of open or net work), lined with blue silver sarcenet, edged with a passemain (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 o 2
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 indifferently applied to each by writers of this century. Howe evidently means stockings only; but these richly embroidered and lined hose, mentioned in this inventory, were, we strongly suspect, the upper portions of the coverings for the legs, which we now frequently find slashed, puffed, and embroidered distinctly from the lower ; for the same document introduces 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;" another, 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 certain portions of stuff used for " stockyng 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 auglettes or aglets
(?. e. aiguillettes), to the doublet, of equal magnificence. In the earliest inventory we have quoted, after the enumeration of many splendid doublets,&c., for the king's use, we read of " a doblet 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 sometimes called the jerkin, the coat, or the gown, according to fancy or circumstances. A dobelet, jaquet, and hose of blue velvet, cut upon cloth of gold, embroidered, 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, demicoats, riding coats, coats with bases or skirts, walking coats, tunic coats, and coats of leather, &c., with sleeves, linings, facings, and embroideries of all descriptions.1 When Henry
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, " being of little flagonne's cheynes of gold."
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 traverse-wise, that the ground little appeared; and about this garment was a rich guard or border, very curiously embroidered ; the sleeves and the breast were cut and lined with cloth of gold, and tied together with great buttons of diamonds, rubies, and orient pearles."
The frocke 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 shameu, 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 vestments 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 of 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 of damask gold, pirl of Morisco work, with knops of Venice gold, cordian raised, either sleeve having six small buttons of gold, and in every button a pearl, and the branches of the flowersset with pearles," are amongst many entries of the same description; the sleeves were also ruffed or ruffled at the hand, as we perceive in the portrait of Henry. An entry occurs of a pair of sleeves " ruffed at the hande, with strawberry-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 magnificence 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 but one. They seem to have been superseded by the waist-coat, 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 occasionally 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 tawny cloth lying there, which had been sent to be made into a gown for Sir Philip Calthrop, took a fancy to the colour, and ordered the tailor to buy as much of the same stuff for him, and make him a gown of it, precisely of the same fashion as the knight's, whatevei that might be. Sir Philip, arriving some time afterwards to be measured, saw the additional cloth, and inquired 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 bounets of sundry shapes and materials, some only bordered, others laden with feathers, are characteristic of this reign.8 The chaperon or hood has quite vanished
2 The chapeau montanbyn is mentioned by Hall as a hat or cap, of this period. Henry VIII. is said to have worn 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 long 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 considerable time. Beards and moustaches were worn at pleasure.
The collar and the great and lesser George, as at present worn, were given to the knights of the Garter 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 velvet hat of the fashion of the time superseded the chaperon, which was still however worn for ornament only, hung over the shoulder, and thence called the humerale; 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.9
one with a rich coronal; the folde of the chapeau lined with crimson satin, and on that a brooche with the image of St. George. (Chronicle, reprint, p. 598.) " Hattes of crimosyne velvet" hattes after dauncers' fashions, with fesaants' feathers in them;" "bonnettes of white velvet wrapped in flat golde of damask," cum mult is aliis, may be foand recorded in the chronicles of this time.
3 Ashmole's History of the Order.
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