The Seventeenth Century

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brings the pencil once more to the aid of the pen. Mr. Walker has engraved what he terms tc a rude but faithful delineation of O'More, a turbulent Irish chieftain, and Archer, a Jesuit retained by him, both copied from a map of the taking of the Earl of Ormond in 1600." O'More, ne tells us, is dressed in the barrad, or Irish conical cap, and a

Archer, a Jesuit, and O'More, an Irish Chief, from Walker's Hist.

scarlet mantle. Archer's mantle is black, and he wears the high-crowned hat of the time. Both appear to be in the strait truis. . Morryson, a writer of the reign of James I., describes elaborately but coarsely the dress of the Jrish in his time. The English fashions, it would appear from him, had amalgamated with the Irish amongst the higher orders, and produced a costume differing not very widely from that of similar classes in England; but " touching the meare or wild Irish, it may truly be said of them, which of old was spoken of the Germans, namely, that they wander slovenly and naked, and lodge in the same house (if it may be called a house) with their beasts. Amongst them the gentlemen or lords of counties wear close breeches and stockings of the same piece of cloth, of red or such light colour, and a loose coat and a cloak or three-cornered mantle, commonly of coarse light stuffe made at home, and their linen is coarse and slovenly, because they seldom put off a shirt till it be worn; and those shirts in our memory, before the last rebellion, were made of some twenty or thirty elles, folded in wrinkles and coloured with safron. . .

Their wives, living among the English, are attired in a sluttish gown to be fastened at the breast with a lace, and in a more sluttish mantle and more sluttish linen, and their heads be covered after the Turkish manner with many elles of linen ; only the Turkish heads or turbans are round at the top, but the attire of the Irishwomen's heads is more flat in the top and broader in the sides, not much unlike a cheese mot if it had a hole to put in the head. For the rest in the remote parts, where the English lawes and manners are unknown, the very chiefs of the Irish, as well men as women, goe naked in winter time."

Speed, who wrote in the same reign, and confirms the account of Spenser and Morryson respecting the large wide-sleeved linen shirts, stained with saffron, their mantles, skeins, &c., adds, " that the women wore their haire plaited in a curious manner, hanging down their backs and shoulders from under the folden wreathes of fine linen rolled about their heads:" a custom in England as ancient as the Conquest, and, though not mentioned by Giraldus, a fashion we have little doubt of equal antiquity in Ireland. Engravings of a wild Irish man and woman, of a civil Irish man and woman, and of an Irish gentleman and gentlewoman, are here given from the figures round Speed's map of Ireland.14 .

It was in the reign of James I., says Mr. Walker, that the Irish dress was to feel the influence of fashion, and to assume a new form. The circuits of the judges being now no longer confined within

14 Like the Highland figures in the Scotch map, they may be but the fanciful representations of an artist, or carelessly drawn from the description only of the writers of the time. The long hanging shirt-sleeves are certainly not visible.

Louisiana Grandfather Clause
Wild Irish man and woman ; civil Irish man and woman: from Speed's Map of Ireland.

the narrow limits of the pale, but embracing the whole kingdom, the civil assemblies at the assizes and sessions reclaimed the Irish from their wildness, caused them to cut off their glibbs and long hair, to convert their mantles into cloaks (as then worn in England), and to conform themselves to the manner of England in all their behaviour and outward forms. The order from the Lord Deputy Chichester, in his instructions to the Lord President and Council of Munster, to punish by fine and imprisonment all such as shall appear before them in mantles and robes, and also to expel and cut all glibbs, is dated May 20th, 1615.

Irish gentleman and woman, from Speed's Map of Ireland.

For some years this statute was rigorously enforced, but Charles I. in the tenth year of his reign caused an act to be passed at Dublin " for repeale oi divers statutes heretofore enacted in this kingdom of Ireland," and once more permitted the beard to flourish on the upper lip, allowed the use of gilt bridles, peytrels, and other harness, and left the Irish generally at liberty to wear either their own national apparel or the English dress of the day, as might suit their fancy or convenience.

The periwig found its way to Ireland in Cromwell's time, and the first person who wore it is said to have been a Mr. Edmund O'Dwyer, who lost his estate by joining in the opposition to the parliamentary forces. He was known amongst the vulgar by the appellation of " Edmund of the Wig."

During the Commonwealth an order was issued by the Deputy Governor of Galway, grounded on the old statute of Henry VIII., and prohibiting the wearing of the mantle to all people whatsoever, which was executed with great rigour ; and Harris says, " from that time the mantle and trouze were disused for the most part."

Sir Henry Piers also, in his description of the county of Westmeath, about this period, says, " There is now no more appearance of the Irish cap, mantle, and trouzes, at least in these countries."

That they were worn, however, to a much later period in some provinces, we gather from the letter of Richard Geoghegan, Esq., of Connaught, to Mr. Walker, who has published an extract from it in a note to his work :—" I have heard my father say," writes Mr. Geoghegan, " that he remembered some male peasants to wear a truis, or piece of knit apparel, that served for breeches and stockings ; a barraid or skull*cap, made of ordinary rags, was the ornament of the head; a hatted man was deemed a Sassanach (Saxon) beau. Brogues uirleaker, that is, flats made of untanned leather, graced their feet, and stockings were deemed a foppery." And in an earlier part of his letter, speaking of the dress of the female peasantry of Connaught, he says, "Long blue maples in the Spanish style, bare feet, awkward binnogues or kerchiefs on their heads (generally spotted with soot), and madder-red 'petticoats, were and are the prevalent taste of the ladies

It will be obvious from the above extracts that, from the earliest notice of Ireland to a late period in the last century, the national dress was handed down from generation to generation amongst the peasantry, and that many noblemen and gentlemen wore it within the last two hundred years. Persecution, as usual, but attached them more strongly to the prohibited garb; and it is probable that the free exercise of their fancy granted to them by Charles I. conduced more to the ultimate neglect of the long-cherished costume of their ancestors than the peremptory order to abandon it issued by the officer of Cromwell, or even the exhortations of the Romish clergy to that effect, which are acknowledged to have been of little avail. Certain it is that the Lord Deputy's court at Dublin was in Charles's reign distinguished for its magnificence ; the peers of the realm, the clergy, and the nobility and gentry attending it being arrayed of their own free will in robes of scarlet and purple velvet, and other rich habiliments, after the English fashion.

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