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 de-clared 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 separated the gold from the dross, and antiquities are now considered valuable
* At the same time we mast observe, that his descriptions of ancient costume are not always to be relied upon. The armour of Richard Cceur-de-Lion in ' Ivanhoe' is of the sixteenth rather than of the twelfth century.
only in proportion to their illustration of history oi 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 springy of information and a fresh source of effect. Its study, embellished by picture and enlivened by anecdote, 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 the various events and 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 trowsers: 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 stare ?— Cato's long wig, flowered gown, and lacker'd chair."
And is the representing Paris in a Roman dress, as was done by West, the President of the Royal Aea-.
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, certainly; but not more so than the Phrygian, the proper costume of the person represented. And is it pardonable in a man of genius and information to perpetuate 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 imagination.
The assertion so coolly hazarded by some writers, that chronological accuracy is unattainable in these matters, will be refuted, we trust, by every page ol 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 contemporary records and monuments which may serve him as tests of the authenticity of later compilers.
Careless translation has done much to deceive, and the neglect of original and contemporary 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 with which the most egregious mistakes have been copied by one writer after another, apparently without 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 have, 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 centuries jumbled together, and the references to them in the text are scattered over the volumes ^n the most bewildering manner.* This material * A new Edition of « Strutfs Dress and Habits, and Regal defect is remedied, we trust, in our publication; and it is scarcely necessary to point out the advantage of finding every information respecting the dress or armour of a particular 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 to the 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 Prsecipuorum Populorum, tam Virorum quam Fffiminarum, singulari arte depicti. By John Weigel, cutter in wood. 1 vol. fol. Nuremberg, 1577.
Habitus Variarum Orbis Gentium. By J. J. Boissard, 1581.
and Ecclesiastical Antiquities/ has been published since the first appearance of this work, which may be more safely consulted.
Habit! Antichi e Modern! di diverse Parti del Mondo. By Caesar Vecellio. 8vo. Venice, 1590.
Sacri Romani Imperii Ornatus, item Germanoram diversarumque Gentium Pecnliares Vestitus; qnibng ac-cednnt Ecclesiasticorum Habitus Varii. By Caspar Rutz, 1588.
Berteli! Diversarum Nationum Habitus. 12mo. Patav. 1591.
Diversarum Gentium Armatura Equestris, 1617. Ornatus Muliebris Anglicanus. By Wenceslaus Hollar. 4to. London, 1640.
A Collection of the Dresses of different Nations, ancient 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. New Edition. London, 1842.
Regal and Ecclesiastical Antiquities. By ditto. 1 vol. 4to. New Edition. London, 1842.
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. j 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. 8 vols. fol. London.
Encyclopedia 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 Ancient Armour from the Collection at Goodrich Court. By Joseph Skelton, F.S.A. With the descriptions of Dr. S. R. 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.
Skene's Highlanders of Scotland. 2 vols. London, 1837.
To preclude the necessity of long references we here subjoin a list of the principal authorities quoted 1 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 will 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.
Herodotus. Plutarch's Lives. Cosar's Commentaries. % Diodorus Siculus. Polybius. Strabo.
Pomponius Mela: Geography. Tacitus: Life of Agricola Manners of the Germans. Pliny's Natural History. Solinus: Polyhistor. Dion Cassins. ^ Herodian.
Livy. Ovid. Martial.
The Welsh Triads Taliesin: Poems Llywarch Hen:
Elegies Anuerin: The Go-dodins
Vide Archaologia Britannica, Oxford, 1707 ; Davies* Celtic Researches, London, 1804 ; Myvyrian, Archaeology of Wales, 2 vols* London, 1801; Dissertatio de Baidis, Sec. 8vo. 1764; Owen's Cambrian Biography. London, 8vo. 1803; and Treatise on the Genuineness of the Poems of Anuerin, Taliesin, Llywarch Hin, &e.; 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. Paulas Diaconus.
Theganus: Life of Louis le D£bonnaire. Bede.
Adhelm, Bishop of Sherborne. MS. Brit Mus. Royal, 15 et 16.
William of Poitou: Gesta Gulielmi Ducis. Printed in Duchesne's Historise Normanorum Scriptores Antiqui. Folio. Paris, 1601. William of Malmesbury: 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. Anglo-Saxon Poems of Judith and Beowulf. Aimion: History of France. Printed in Duchesne's Historise Normanorum Scriptores Antiqui. Folio. Paris, 1619. Encomium of Emma, in 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. Copenhagen, 1772—92.
Arnold of Lubeck. Ibid.
Bartholinus: On Contempt of Death.
Torfaeus: History of Norway.
Asser: Life of Alfred. Printed by Camden in his collection, entitled Anglica, Normanoricnm, Hibernica, . Cambrica, a scriptoribus veteribus scripta. Folio. ' Frankfort, 1603.
John Wallingford: Printed in Gale's Historic» Britan-nicse et Anglicance Scriptores. 2 vols, folio. Oxford, 1689—91.
Ingnlph: Histoiy of Croyland Abbey, and English History, in Savil's Scriptores.
Florence of Worcester: Chronicle. Printed in 4to., London, 1592.
Ordericus Vitalis: Ecclesiastical History.
Wace: Roman de Ron. Printed by M. Pluquet. Rouen, 1827.
Henry of Huntingdon: Histories. Printed in Savil's Scriptores.
Johannes de Janua.
Anna Comnena: Alexiad.
Matthew Paris : Historia Major Anglise; Vita Abbatum; Chronica, &c. 2 vols, folio. Pans, 1641.
John de Meun r Romance of the Rose; various MSS.
William de Lorris \ in the Mus. Brit.
Gerrase of Dover /P™itedm Sir Twysden's Hirtori®
\ Dowglas, Monk of Glastonbury: Harleian MS. t Pierce Ploughman : Vision. | Chaucer.
.¿Eneas Sylvius: History of Bohemia.
Henry Knyghton. Printed in Sir R. Twysden's Scriptores.
Monk of Evesham. Printed by Hearne. 8vo. Oxford, , 1729.
Thomas of Walsingham: Historia Brevis. Printed in
Camden's Collection. Harding's Chronicle. Printed by Grafton. London, 1543. Gower. Occleve.
St. Remy. Printed by Sir N. H. Nicolas in his History of the Battle of Agincourt. 12mo. London, 1827. Elmham. Printed by Hearne. 8vo. Oxford, 1727. Lydgate: Poems; various MSS. in Mas. Brit Philip 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 Pynson. London, 1508.
Hall Union of the Families of York and Lancaster. Folio.
London,1548—50. Holinshed: 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. 1611.
Stubbs: Anatomy of Abuses. Bulwer: Pedigree of the English Gallant Militarie Instructions for the Cavalrie. Cambridge, 1632. Randal Holmes: Notes on Dress; Harleian MS., written about 1660.
Spectator; Rambler; Adventurer; Gray's Inn Journal; London Journal, &c.
Dion Cas&ius and Xiphilin. i Isidore.
^ Gildas. Printed in Bertram's Scriptores. 8vo. 1757. * Matthew Paris. Winton: Chronicles. Fordnn: Chronicles. Froissart: Chronicles.
John Lesley: History of Scotland. 4to. 1578.
George Buchanan: History of Scotland; in his works,
2 vols, folio. Edinburgh, 1714. John Major: History of Scotland.
David Linds&y of Pittscottie: History of Scotland, from 1437 to 1542. ^ Heron.
Giraldus Cambrensis, translated by Sir R. Hoare: History of the Conquest of Ireland and Topographia Hibernica, edited by Camden. 1602. Henry Christall: cited by Froissart in his Chronicles. Monstrelet: Chronicles. Spenser.
Stanihurst: in Holinshed's Chronicles. : Camden: History t>f 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; Dogdale's Monasticon and History of St. Paul's; The Archfflologia; The Antiquarian Repertory; Camden's Remains; Ashmole's History of the Order of the Garter; i , Illustrations of Northern Antiauities j Montfaucon's Monar-
chie Française; Turner's History of the Anglo-Saxons; Willemenrs Regal Heraldry ; Sandford's Genealogical History; Collectanea de Rebus Hibernicis; Keatmg's History of Ireland ; Ledwicke's Antiquities of Ireland ; King's Munimenta Antiqua ; Pennant's Works ; Lord Somers' Tracts, The Archœological Journal, and the Journal of the British Archœological Association.
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