used by the Irish in the bloody combats to which this unprovoked insult and aggression gave birth are thus described by Giraldus:—" The Irish use three kinds of arms—short lances and two darts, as also broad axes excellently well steeled, the use of which they borrowed from Norwegians and Ostmen. They make use of but one hand to the axe when they strike, and extend their thumb along the handle to guide the blow, from which neither the crested helmet can defend the head, nor the iron folds of the armour the body; whence it has happened in our time that the whole thigh of a soldier, though cased in well-tempered armour, hath been lopped off by a single blow of the axe, the whole limb falling on one side of the horse, and the expiring body on the other." This latter weapon was called by the Irish the tuagh-catha, or battle-axe. There is a hill in the county of Gal-way called Knock-Tuagha, the hill of axes, from the circumstance of the Irish having gained a victory over the English there by means of their axes. To these " three sorts of arms" Giraldus himself adds another, the sling:—" They are also very dexterous and ready, beyond all other nations, in slinging stones in battle, when other weapons fail them, to the great detriment of their enemies." And in a description of a battle in the Annals of Innisfallen it is related that the stones came in such rapid showers, that they blunted the arrows in their flight!
Of the ladies' dress we know nothing further than that it may be inferred from a passage in the Annals of Innisfallen they wore a variety of ornaments, as, when the wife of King O'Roorke was taken prisoner, in the year 1152, her jewels became the spoil of the enemy.
The only female figures in the illuminated copy of Giraldus above mentioned are attired in long tunics after the Anglo-Norman fashion. There can be little doubt, however, that they wore the mantle fastened on the breast by a bodkin or brooch; and in an Irish romance, quoted by Mr. Walker, we hear of the fair Findalve's spacious veil hanging down from her lovely head, where it was fastened by a golden bodkin.—Vol. ii. p. 23. The weariK of bodkins in the hair is so common to this day ic Spain, that we can scarcely question the fashioc having been derived from that country.
the ecclesiastic costume was of course that of the Romish church throughout Europe ; and our readers are therefore referred to the corresponding etei in England.
In the fourteenth century we find that scarlet cloaks were worn by the Irish chieftains. Amongst the spoils left by the sons of Brian Ràe, when they fled from Mortogh, a.d. 1313, were shining scarlet cloaks,5 and the barbaric splendour or quaintness of the Irish chiefs seems to have caught the fancy of the English settlers in the reign of Edward III., as we find the use of the Irish dress prohibited to them in the celebrated statute of Kilkenny, passed during the administration of Edward's son, the Duke of Clarence. One clause in this act ordains that the English here shall conform in garb and in the cut of their hair to the fashion of their countrymen in England. Whoever affected
5 Scarlet cloaks were made for the Irish chiefs by command of King John, who addressed an order to the arch- | bishop of Dublin to that effect Rymer's Fcedera.
that of the Irish should be treated as an Irishman; and we need not point out to our readers that the statute evidently meant " ill treated/' so early had the woes and wrongs of that unhappy country begun !
Irish frieze was at this time, however, an esteemed article in England, for a statute passed in the twenty-eighth year of Edward III.'s reign exempts it from duty under the description of " draps appellez frize-ware queux sont faitz en Ireland."
In the reign of Richard II. we have first a description, by Froissart, of the four Irish kings who swore allegiance to that monarch, by which it appears that the truis had been abandoned, or at this time was not a part of the regal habit: for Henry Christall, who gave Froissart the information, complains that they wore no breeches,6 and that consequently he ordered some of linen cloth to be made for them, taking from them at the same time many rude and ill-made things, "tous d'habits comme d'autres chose," and dressing them in houpelands of silk furred with miniver and gris: " for," he adds, " formerly these kings were well dressed if wrapped up in an Irish mantle." They rode without saddles or stirrups, the old Irish fashion.
• But by breeches or brayes may be meant drawers, always so called at that time, and to go without which was esteemed both in England and France at this period a penance and a shame; and Christall's ordering them to be made of " linen cloth " is in favour of our supposition, as to supply the place of truis he would have ordered garments of woollen cloth, and by the name of hose or chausses.
On Richard's first visit to Ireland, in 1394, all the Leinster chieftains laid aside their caps, skeins, and girdles, and did homage and swore fealty on their knees to the Earl Marshal of England; and the same ceremony was performed by the principal chiefs of Ulster to Richard, himself at Drogheda.
The author of the metrical chronicle of the deposition of Richard II., who accompanied him on his Irish expedition, went with the Earl of Gloucester to see MacMorough, king of Leinster, and describes him as riding full speed down hill on a horse without a saddle, bearing in his hand a long dart, which he cast from him with much dexterity. To this description is appended an illumination portraying MacMorough in the act of performing this feat, and attended by some of his toparchs. We have engraved it here as an illustration of the irish armour and weapons of the fourteenth century.
MacMorough, it will be perceived, wears a bascinet, but without visor or camail, and a long coat of mail, over which is thrown the mantle; and a capuchon like that worn by the English from the time of the Conquest, and which may be indeed the. ancient Irish caputium, hangs behind him down his shoulders. His followers wear the capuchon, and no bascinet. The king is bare-footed, and apparently bare-legged, and rides without stirrups. Froissart
tells us, on the authority of Christall, the Irish have pointed knives with broad blades, sharp on both sides; they cut their enemy's throat and take out his heart, which they carry away.7
the fifteenth century urnishes us with very little direct information; but by an act passed in the reign of Henry VI. it
7 C. 24. In the army of Henry V., at the siege of Rouen, 1417, were several bodies of Irish, of whom the greater part had one leg and foot quite naked. The arms of these were targets, short javelins, and a stranqe kind of knives, Monstrelet's Chron. chap. v. The " skein^ was the strange kind of knife. The "one leg and foot naked" was a curious uniform.
seems to be intimated that either the English affected the Irish, or the Irish the English costume, as it is set forth that " now there is no diversity in array betwixt the English marchours and the Irish enemies, and so, by colour of the English marchours, the Irish enemies do come from day to day to other into the English counties, as English marchours, and do rob and pill by the highways, and destroy the common people by lodging upon them in the nights, and also do kill the husbands in the nights, and do take their goods to the Irishmen: wherefore it is ordained and agreed that no manner of man that will be taken for an Englishman shall have no beard above his mouth, that is to say, that he have no hairs on his upper lip, so that the said lip be once at least shaven every fortnight, or of equal growth with the nether lip; and if any man be found amongst the English contrary hereunto, that then it shall be lawful to every man to take them and their goods as Irish enemies, and to ransom them as Irish enemies." Whether this similarity of dress was assumed by the Irish enemies for the purpose of facilitating their inroads and depredations, or the consequence of long neighbourhood and inter* communication, does not appear. The long moustaches worn at this period must certainly have been retained by the English in imitation of the Irish, as beards were not worn in England during the reign of Henry VI. except by aged or official personages* The faces of military men even are seen closely shaved. Another act was passed in this reign forbidding the use of " gilt bridles and peytrals, and other gilt harness."
The military and female costume of persons of distinction appears, from the few monuments preserved of this period, to have resembled the corresponding contemporary habits in England; but it is probable, as we shall shortly show, that the ancient national Irish dress was still worn by the generality of the people, and, oddly enough, on the heels of the statute of Henry VI. above quoted, forbidding the English to dress like the Irish, because there was no diversity, comes an act passed by Edward IV., ordaining that " the Irishmen dwelling in the counties of Dublin, Myeth, Wrial, t and Kildare, shall go apparelled like Englishmen, and wear beards after the English manner, swear allegiance, and take English surnames," proving • that a diversity did exist even in the English pale.
In the reign of Henry VII., Sir Edward Poy-nings, in order that the parliaments of Ireland might want no decent or honourable form that was used in England, caused a particular act to pass that the lords of Ireland should appear in the like parliament robes as the lords are wont to wear in the parliaments of England. This act is entitled 4 A Statute for the Lords of the Parliament to wear Robes,' and the penalty for offending against it was a hundred shillings, to be levied off the offender's lands and goods.
In the sixth year of the same monarch's reign a warm dispute appears to have existed between the glovers and shoemakers about " the right of making girdles, and all manner of girdles." Fine cloth, silk, taffeta, and cloth of gold, are mentioned as worn by the nobility at this time, and worsted and canvas linen for phallings and mantles by the poorer classes. Felt caps are also recorded.
the sixteenth century enlightens us considerably, not only as to the dress of its own particular period, but respecting the ancient Irish costume, of which we have hitherto caught but brief and imperfect glimpses. Pursuing our original determination to set down under each date such documents only as of right belonged to it, we have not interpolated the descriptions of writers of the twelfth century with those of writers of the sixteenth ;.but, having given these early evidences in their integrity, we may without fear of confusion refer to them occasionally, when the elaborate accounts of such authors as Holinshed, Spenser, and Camden appear to illustrate the obscure allusions of their predecessors.
In the reign of Henry VIII. an act was passed ordaining " that no person or persons, the king's subjects, within this land (Ireland), being or hereafter to be, from and after the first day of May which shall be in the yeareof our Lord God 1539, shall be shorn or shaven above the ears, or use the wearing of liaire upon their heads like unto long lockes, called glibbes., or have or use any haire growing on their upper lippes, called or named a crommeal* or use or weare any shirt, smock, kur-chor, bendel, neckerchour, mocket or linen cappe coloured or dyed with safron, ne yet use or weare in any of their shirts or smocks above seven yardes of cloth, to be measured according to the king's standard, and that also no woman use or wear any kyrtell or cote tucked up or imbroydered or garnished with silke or couched ne laid with usker, after the Irish fashion, and that no person or persons, of what estate, condition, or degree they be, shall use or weare any mantles, cote, or hood, made after the Irish fashion ;" and any person so offending was liable not only to forfeit the garment worn against the statute, but certain sums of money limited and appointed by the act.
8 Amongst the unpublished MSS. in the State Paper Office is another earlier order of Henry VIII., dated April 28, 1536, for the government of the town of Gal way, in which these moustaches are called crompeanlis. The inhabitants are also ordered " not to suffer the hair of their heads to grow till it covers their ears, and that every of them wear English caps. That no man or man-child do wear no mantles in the streets, but cloaks or gowns, coats, doublets, and hose shapen after the English fashion, but made of the country cloth, or any other cloth that shall please them to buy."
" Crom " signifies in the Celtic anything crooked, also the nose ; " pean " is the beard of a goat; and u lis " wicked or mischievous. " Crompeanlis " is therefore one of those curious compounds continually met with in this ancient language, and resembling Greek in the condensed force of expression.
In this act, and in the order quoted in the note, we find mention made of the custom of dyeing the shirts and tunics with saffron, said by many writers to have existed in Ireland from the earliest period, but without their quoting any ancient authority in support of their statement. Henceforth we find frequent allusions to it; but it is certainly not mentioned by Giraldus,9 Froissart, or the author of the Natural History before quoted.
In the reign of Elizabeth we find Spenser strongly recommending the abolition of " the antient dress." The mantle he calls " a fit house for an outlaw, a meet bed for a rebel, and an apt cloke for a thief." He speaks of the hood "as a house against all weathersand remarks that, while the mantle enables him to go "privilie armed," the being close-hooded over the head conceals his person from knowledge on any to whom he is endangered. He also alludes to a custom of wrapping the mantle hastily about the left arm when attacked, which serves them instead of a target : a common practice in Spain to this day, and probably derived from thence. His objections to the use of mantles by females are as strongly and more grossly urged ; and of the long
• Unless by " some colour" and " various colours " we are at liberty to conclude that saffron or yellow was amongst them. Had it been the prevailing colour, he would surely have particularized it; and yet, on the other hand, the shirt and truis in the illuminated copy before mentioned are both frequently painted a light yellow or tawny.
platted or matted locks, called glibbs, he speaks in terms of equal reprobation: " they are as lit masks as a mantle is for a thief, for, wheresoever he hath run himself into that peril of the law that he will not be known, he either cutteth off his glibb, by which he becometh nothing like himself, or pulletfi it so low down over his eyes that it is very hard to discern his thiefish countenance."10 He concludes, however, by admitting that there is much to be said in favour of the fitness of the ancient dress to the state of the country, " as, namely, the mantle in travelling, because there be no inns ^here meet bedding may be had, so that his mantle, serves him then for a bed; the leather-quilted jack in journeying and in camping, for that it is fittest to be under his shirt of mail, and for any occasion of sudden service, as there happen many, to cover his trouse on horseback; the great linen roll which the women wear to keep their heads warm after cutting their hair, which they use in any sickness ;
10 Hooker, who translated Giraldus in 1587, adds this note upon the Irish manner of wearing the hair: " The Irish nation and people, even from the beginning, have beene alwaies of a hard bringing up, and are not only rude in apparell, but also rough and ouglie in their bodies. Their beards and heads they never wash, cleanse, nor cut, especiallie their heads; the haire whereof they suffer to grow, saving that some do use to round it, and by reason the same is never combed it groweth fast together, and in process of time it matteth so thick and fast together that it is instead of a hat, and keepeth the head verie warme, and also will beare off a great blowe or stroke: and this head of haire they call a gliba, and therein they have a great pleasure."
besides their thick folded linen shirts, their long-sleeved smocks, their half sleeved coats, their silken fillets, and all the rest, they will devise some colour for, either of necessity, of antiquity, or of comeliness."
Stanihurst, who wrote in the reign of Elizabeth, and whose account of Ireland is published in Holin-shed's Chronicles, speaking of Waterford, says, " As they distill the best aqua vitae, so they spin the choicest rug in Ireland. A friend of mine, being of late demurrant in London, and the weather, by reason of a hard hoare frost, being somewhat nipping, repaired to Paris Garden clad in one of these Waterford rugs. The mastifs had no sooner espied him, but, deeming he had beene a beare, would faine have baited him ; and were it not that the dogs were partly muzzled and partly chained, he doubted not but that he should have beene well tugd in this Irish rug ; whereupon he solemnlie vowed never to see beare-baiting in any such weed."
In 1562, O'Neal, Prince of Ulster, appeared at the court of Elizabeth with his guards of Gallo-glachs, bare-headed, armed with hatchets, their hair flowing in locks on their shoulders, attired in shirts dyed with saffron (vel humana urina infectis); their sleeves large, their tunics short, and their cloaks shagged.11
This passage has been very loosely translated by 11 Camden, Hist Eliz., p. 69.
several writers, and the expression " thrum jackets" introduced, which is not at all borne out by the original, " tuniculis brevioribus et lacernis villosis." Amongst the rare prints collected by the late Mr. Douce is one presenting us with the Irish dress of this day, precisely as described by Camden, Spenser, and Derricke, with whose poetical and picturesque account of the kerns or common soldiers we shall close our account of the Irish in the sixteenth century:—
"With skulls upon their powles Instead of civil cappes, With speare in hand and sword by sides To beare off afterclappes; With jackettes long and large, Which shroud simplicitie, Though spiteful dartes which they do beare Importe iniquitie; Their shirtes be very strange, Not reaching past the thigh, With pleates on pleates they pleated are | As thick as pleates may lie; Whose sleives hang trailing downe Almost unto the shoe,19 And with a mantle commonlie The Irish kerne doe goe; And some amongst the rest Do use another wede, A coate I wene of strange device, Which fancie first did breed;
The long sleeve to the shirt or tunic " trailing down almost unto the shoe," while the body of the garment was so short and fully plaited, was a European fashion of the close of the fourteenth century, and, if not adopted from the English in Richard II.'s time, reached Ireland from Spain. The old Celtic tunic had sleeves tight to the wrists.
His skirtes be very shorte, With pleates set thick about, And Irish trouzes more to put Their straunge protractours out."
Now, on referring to the print we have mentioned, and'which is superinscribed, " Draun after the quicke," that is, from the life, we find the full-plaited shirts with long trailing sleeves; the short coat or jacket with half-sleeves, very short-waisted, embroidered, and " with pleates set thick about" the middle; the iron gauntlet, on the left hand, mentioned by Stanihurst ;18 the skull-cap, the mantle, the skein or long dagger, and a peculiarly-shaped sword in as strange a sheath, which corresponds exactly with those upon the tombs of the Irish kings engraved in Walker's History. The only variation from the descriptions quoted is in their being all bare-legged and bare-footed.
From these accounts we find the Irish of the fourteenth and sixteenth centuries wearing the mantle and hood or capuchium, the tunic, shirt or " phallings," and occasionally the truis or breeches and stockings in one piece, exactly as described by Griraldus in the twelfth century; still armed with the terrible hatchet received from the Ostmen, and the coat of mail adopted from them or their Norman kindred; while England with the rest of Europe had exchanged the hauberk for harness of plate, and run through every variety of habit which
the ingenuity or folly of man had devised during four hundred years.
Archer, a Jesuit, and O'More, an Irish Chief, from Walker's Hist.
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