The Military Habit

presents us with few striking novelties. Very globular breast-plates, immense elbow-plates, and large tuilles (only one for each thigh) terminating in a sharp angle, are characteristic of this reign, but they are not universal. The sollerets were still enormously long and j)ointed, in accordance with the piked shoes of the time. The steel pikes, however, retained the old name of cracowes, while those of the boots and shoes were new christened pouleines. Helmets appear little worn except for tournaments, and the visored salade is the general head-piece of knights in battle, sometimes surmounted by a wreath and crest. The morion first appears in this reign. The skull-caps of steel called casquetels and capellines, with the large oval ear-pieces, are frequent, and the gorget and apron of chain-mail are indented or escalloped at the edges. The surcoat and jupon are seldom seen, but a tabard of arms, worn loose like the herald's, occasionally supplies their place. The military belt is still worn, and the jazerine jacket and nearly all the armour of the preceding reign may be found in illuminations of the present.

The shield is without alteration. Halberts are first mentioned about this period, though the name was derived from the earliest pole-axe, which the Germans called alle-barde or cleave all. The voulge, a variety of the glaive or guisarme, and the genetaire or janetaire, a kind of Spanish lance, are added to the catalogue of offensive weapons, and the hand-gun became common. Swords and bucklers are first assigned to archers in this reign. Chanfrons, with spikes projecting from them, were adopted about 1467. Spurs as before.

Grose, on the authority of a MS. in the British Museum, says that, in the year 1471, Edward IV. landed at Ravenspurg in Yorkshire, having among his troops three hundred Flemings armed with hange guns, which, if not a corrupted reading for hand-guns, may have been so called from a long hasp of iron generally affixed to them, and by which they might be hung at the girdle.

the costume of the ladies of the reign of Edward IV. is no whit behind that of their lords in extravagance or splendour. Mon-strelet tells us that, about the year 1467, the ladies left off the fashion of wearing tails to their gowns, and in their room substituted borders of lettice and marten skins, or of velvet and other materials, as wide and sometimes wider than a whole breadth of the stuff. They wore on their heads round caps, gradually diminishing to the height of half an ell, or three quarters, as some had them with loose kerchiefs atop, hanging down sometimes as low as the ground. They began to wear their girdles of silk much larger than they were accustomed to do, with the clasps more sumptuous, and collars of chains of gold about their necks much quainter than before (" plus cointement"), and in a greater variety. Paradin says the ladies ornamented their heads with certain rolls of linen pointed like steeples, generally half, and sometimes three quarters of an ell in height. These were called by some, great butterflies, from having two large wings on each side resembling those of that insect. The high cap was covered with a fine piece of lawn hanging down to the ground, the greater part of which was tucked under the arm. The ladies of a middle rank wore caps of cloth, consisting of several breadths or bands twisted round the head, with two wings on the sides like ape's ears; others again, of a higher condition, wore caps of velvet half a yard high, which in these days would appear very strange and unseemly. It is not an easy matter, continues the author, to give a proper description in writing of the different fashions in the dresses of the ladies, and he refers the readers to the ancient

Female costume of the reign of Edward IV.

Figs, a and b, from Royal MS. 14, E, 2 ; c, Ibid. 19, E. 5, dated 1478; d, Ibid. 15, E. 4, dated 1483; e, Harleian MS. 4373; the others from Cotton collection, Nero, D. 9.

tapestry and painted glass, in which they may see them more perfectly represented. " To these he might have added," says Mr. Strutt, " the illumi* nated MSS., wherein they are frequently enough to be met with;" but his readers might have satisfied themselves still more completely, as indeed ours may do, by a glance at the costume of Normandy.

Female costume of the reign of Edward IV.

Figs, a and b, from Royal MS. 14, E, 2 ; c, Ibid. 19, E. 5, dated 1478; d, Ibid. 15, E. 4, dated 1483; e, Harleian MS. 4373; the others from Cotton collection, Nero, D. 9.

The peasantry of Rouen, Caen, Caux, &c., to this day, wear the identical steeple caps with the butterflies' wings that, three hundred and sixty years ago, towered upon the heads of the gentle dames of Paris and London. The evanescent caprice of some high-born fair has given a national costume to the paysannes of Normandy, who have reverently copied for nearly four centuries the head-dress worn by their mothers before them.

Addison, in the Spectator, has a pleasant letter on this subject, comparing the steeple head-dress to the commode or tower of his day; and, following Paradin, he says, " The women might possibly have carried this Gothic building much higher had not a famous monk, Thomas Conecte by name, attacked it with great zeal and resolution. This holy man travelled from place to place to preach down this monstrous commode; and succeeded so well in it that, as the magicians sacrificed their books to the flames upon the preaching of an apostle, many of the women threw down their head-dresses in the middle of his sermon, and made a bonfire of them within sight of the pulpit. He was so renowned, as well for the sanctity of his life as his manner of preaching, that he had often a congregation of twenty thousand people, the men placing themselves on the one side of his pulpit, and the women on the other, that appeared (to use the similitude of an ingenious writer) like a forest of cedars with their heads reaching to the clouds. He so warmed and animated the people against this monstrous ornament that it lay under a kind of persecution, and, whenever it appeared in public, was pelted down by the rabble, who flung stones at the persons that wore it. But notwithstanding this prodigy vanished while the preacher was amongst them, it began to appear again some months after his departure; or, to tell it in Monsieur Paradin's own «words,—the women that, like snails in a fright, had drawn in their horns, shot them out again as soon as the danger was over."1*

In a MS. copy of Froissart, in the Harleian Library, a waggish illuminator has ridiculed the steeple cap and its appendages by drawing in the margin a swine walking upon stilts, and playing the harp; its head being decorated after the prevailing fashion. By the sumptuary laws of this reign the wives of esquires and gentlemen, knights bachelors and knights under the rank of lord, unless they were knights of the Garter, were forbidden to wear cloth of gold, velvet upon velvet, furs of sable, or any kind of corses worked with gold, and to the former was forbidden the use of figured satins, and even of stuffs made in imitation of it, or of the finer cloths of velvet or gold. The wives of persons not having the yearly value of forty pounds, and widows of less possession, their daughters, &c., were forbidden to wear girdles 19 Spectator 98. See also Argentre's Histoire de Bretagne, ornamented with gold, silver or gilt work, or any corse of silk made out of the realm, or any cover-chief exceeding a certain price, or the furs of martens, foynes, and lettice, with a variety of minor prohibitions. The word corse is said by Strutt to mean here the corset or stays, it being derived from the French corps; and a pair of stays consequently called at first a pair of bodies, from whence our word bodice. Something^ like a bodice certainly appears about this time, that is to say, the body of the dress is visibly laced in front over a sort of stomacher, as in Switzerland and many parts of the Continent to this day; but any kind of " corses worked with gold," we take simply to mean any materia] of a certain quality so embroidered. The expression " any corse of silk made out of the realm," has certainly no reference to stays or even to the body of a gown; for in Bichard III.'s letter from Tork, quoted in page 267 of this work, there is an order for " one yard three quarters corse of silk meddled with gold," and "as much black corse of silk for our spurs." So that corse here seems to signify the quality of the silk itself—from corps, body, substance.

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