Produced by the Royal Commission on Historical Manuscripts.
Discusses the cleaning of garments in the eighteenth century, with emphasis on evidence from Scottish inventories.
Extracts from Letters From Bath by the Reverend John Penrose, 1766-1767 (eds. Brigitte Mitchell and Hubert Penrose) on the subject of dress. The letters in the book were written to the six children left at home in Cornwall while the Reverend Penrose went to Bath to have his gout treated. The letters record the reaction of an educated, simple, and forthright man to the diversions, absurdities, and materialism of Bath. Given that the appearance of a clergyman, and of his family, was a matter of importance, and given the numerous Cornish visitors to Bath, it appears that Mrs Penrose decided that the Reverend’s clothes, and even her own, were perhaps not quite sufficiently ‘decent.’ Therefore, sensible and economical shopping was undertaken to reestablish an appearance suitable for a clergyman’s family in comparison with those fashionable ‘Others’ so widespread in Bath.
Transcript of a list of clothing c.1580-1610.
The vast wardrobe of Queen Elizabeth I is legendary: in her own time some of the richly embroidered gowns were displayed with other treasures to dazzle the eyes of foreign visitors to the Tower of London. The quantity of clothes recorded in the inventories taken in 1600 would seem to suggest sheer vanity, but a survey of work carried out in the Wardrobe of Robes throughout the reign reveals a different picture. It is one of careful organisation and economy. This copiously annotated work is illustrated with photographs of portraits, miniatures, tomb sculptures, engravings, woven textiles and embroideries. Two indexes are provided, the first of paintings, persons, places, and events, while the second, partly a glossary, enables the reader to quickly trace information on fashionable dress and accessories.
Part of a special section on National Trust historic houses and collections in England and Northern Ireland. The writer discusses the furnishing of Tattershall Castle, Lincolnshire, England, between ca. 1450 and 1550. She describes the contents of a 16th-century inventory of the castle’s textiles, which include hangings depicting religious and political subjects and rare carpets. She compares the Tattershall inventory with that of Caister Castle, Suffolk, to determine the distribution of hangings and bedding among large communal rooms and the smaller rooms of the household members, suggesting that the large amount of mattresses and bolsters listed at Tattershall were used in the keep’s 20 small rooms and in adjacent buildings. She stresses Tattershall was commensurate with its occupier’s royal connections – the first Duke of Suffolk, who was Henry VIII’s representative in Lincolnshire.
A summary of the sumptuary legislation passed by the English parliament, and the Proclamations on Apparel which were passed by the Council.
Uses evidence provided by the account books of the Petre family to examine what was worn by a daughter, from ages twelve to sixteen, of the rising gentry in the mid-sixteenth century. An appendix gives transcriptions from the accounts. The article also includes a glossary.
Includes many extracts from inventories and accounts, and an appendix transcribing a probate inventory of 1720.
Dicusses the evidence for eighteenth-century dress in Samuel Richardson’s novel of 1740, Pamela or Virtue Rewarded.
Based on records such as parish registers and wills, looking particularly at the contribution of women.
The writer discusses clothing and textiles mentioned in the volume of 166 probate inventories of 1617-20 published by the Bedfordshire Historical Record Society in Bedfordshire, England, in 1938. The volume was a pioneer work in the detailed study of probate inventories, particularly those of people of lesser rank – husbandmen, yeomen, artisans, and laborers. The inventories show textiles and clothes in people’s homes, along with other household possessions, often recorded room by room as they were when the owner died; those completed with details of clothing bring more clearly to the mind’s eye the men and women who were living and working in Bedfordshire in the early 17th century. The writer discusses the range of clothes recorded in the inventories, including items of men’s and women’s clothing, details of fabric and color, examples of household linen, evidence for spinning and weaving within such households, and evidence for the making and buying of clothes at this time.
Conversation manuals by two Huguenot refugees who taught French in London. Printed as The French Schoole Maister (1573, 1582) and The French Garden (1605). Includes a dialogue in a seamstress’s shop.
Note on the information available in the East India Company archives.
Discusses the survival of textile swatches (often with accompanying documentary evidence) in Languedocian archives. These swatches include samples of English textiles.
Considers the evidence provided by the records of infants who had been sent by the Foundling Hospital to wet nurses in Berkshire between 1741 and 1760. The evidence comprises clothing lists and fabric samples. Extracts from the clothing lists are included in this article.
An analysis of the Day Book 1692-1703 of Edward Clarke of Chipley, Somerset (1650-1710), MP for Taunton, reveals evidence of his expenses on clothes for his children. He also describes where the family shopped and who did the shopping, what materials were used and what they cost, who made the clothes and whether clothes were refurbished. The article uses the correspondence of Edward and his wife Mary to show how fashion and clothes were an enduring interest and subject of discussion in both town and country.
This article examines some of the purchases of personal clothing by Henry Temple, first Viscount Palmerston (1676-1757) recorded in his surviving account books, and goes on to discuss whether he could be said to have had separate town and country wardrobes. A version of this paper was presented at the Costume Society Symposium: ‘Town and Country Style’ in 2007 and is based on the author’s research for a doctoral thesis on the subject of Henry Temple’s personal papers at the Broadlands Estate.
A brief survey of hats ordered by lady customers of James Lock’s hatmaking business in London. Founded by Robert Davis in 1676, this business was eventually inherited by his son-in-law, James Lock I, upon Davis’s death. Lock ran it from 1783 to 1805, taking his son George James Lock into partnership in 1794 and retiring shortly afterward to leave his son to carry on it. A number of surviving ledgers covering the period between 1783 and 1805 provide a picture of the different ways in which ladies ‘shopped’ at Lock’s and the way in which families remained as loyal customers. A brief discussion of hat types produced by the business is followed by a list of ladies’ hat orders.
The Glasgow ‘Tobacco Lords’ were the subject of a classic study, but there has been no overall survey of their successors, the Scottish cotton masters. This article draws on a rich and surprisingly underused source, the wills and probate inventories of Scottish cotton merchants and manufacturers, to give a fuller picture of a group, which played a key role in Scotland’s early industrialisation. It also casts light on the early decline of the cotton industry in Scotland by demonstrating how, as profits declined, the cotton masters, who had always had diverse business interests, began to move into more lucrative areas of investment, such as coal mining, iron manufacturing, railways, shipping and overseas trade.
Extracts from the Wardrobe Accounts for the trousseau of James I’s daughter, Elizabeth of Bohemia, who was married in 1613.
The article introduces the cap and letter dated the 30 April 1536 sent to the mayor and inhabitants of the City of Waterford by King Henry VIII, traces the history of caps of maintenance in England prior to that and points to its apparent uniqueness being officially styled as a cap of maintenance in a royal letter for use in mayoral ceremonial.
It also introduces William Wyse the bearer of the cap; educated at court and later Mayor of Waterford. It discusses Wyse and Waterford’s loyalty during the Geraldine rebellion, how the cap was a token of the king’s recognition of Waterford, and grants of land and a knighthood to Wyse. A record of the history and use of the cap is made, comparing it with contemporary royal caps of maintenance and caps/hats of fashion. Its assembly, materials and decoration are recorded and discussed.
A study of the clothing accounts of Martha Dodson, a wealthy widow of the gentry class in 18th-century England. Dodson’s household accounts from June 1746, when she was 62 years of age, and June 25, 1765, three months before her death at 81 years of age, show her purchases of fabric and clothing, which were mostly made in London; her informal and undress wear; her outdoor garments; her stays and shoes; and the alteration, repair, and upkeep of her clothes. They reveal the wardrobe of an older woman who respected the social customs of her class and balanced the acquisition of new goods with economy, and fashion awareness with decorum. Studied in conjunction with the accounts of other contemporary gentry families, they shed light on the choice of goods available, consumer preference, and the balance of new purchases with the alteration and repair of existing items.
Short article concerned with two letters in the collection of Bath Public Library which provide evidence of the practice of ‘shopping by proxy’. Both letters are transcribed in full.
Includes transcription of payments made, many of which relate to dress and textiles.
Takes as a starting point for discussion a notebook (the ‘Burns Journal’ or ‘G.K. No. 51’) of Gregory King (1648-1712). The article includes extracts from a range of King’s writings, and an appendix: Gregory King’s ‘Annual Consumption of Apparell, 1688’ taken from the ‘Burns Journal’.
The appendix includes transcriptions of accounts.
Henry VIII used his wardrobe, and that of his family and household, as a way of expressing his wealth and magnificence. This book encompasses the first detailed study of male and female dress worn at the court of Henry VIII (1509-47) and covers the dress of the King and his immediate family, the royal household and the broader court circle. Henry VIII’s wardrobe is set in context by a study of Henry VII’s clothes, court and household.
As none of Henry VIII’s clothes survive, evidence is drawn primarily from the great wardrobe accounts, wardrobe warrants, and inventories, and is interpreted using evidence from narrative sources, paintings, drawings and a small selection of contemporary garments, mainly from European collections.
Key areas for consideration include the King’s personal wardrobe, how Henry VIII’s queens used their clothes to define their status, the textiles provided for the pattern of royal coronations, marriages and funerals and the role of the great wardrobe, wardrobe of the robes and laundry. In addition there is information on the cut and construction of garments, materials and colours, dress given as gifts, the function of livery and the hierarchy of dress within the royal household, and the network of craftsmen working for the court. The text is accompanied by full transcripts of James Worsley’s wardrobe books of 1516 and 1521 which provide a brief glimpse of the King’s clothes.
Includes several hundred illustrations. Shows the types of signs used within the dress and textile trades, and is an extremely valuable guide to London shops from 1650 to 1800.
An examination of rural clothing in Essex, England, in Elizabethan times, using evidence from wills. The wills used are from the periods 1571-77 and 1597-1603, and there are no gentry among the testators, most of whom were yeomen, husbandmen, tradesmen, craftsmen, laborers, and the widows of such men. The wills provide a general picture of people with two or three sets of clothes, one of which was set aside for best or for Sundays. These were made of the same few inexpensive but hard-wearing fabrics, mainly russet and frieze, with leather and canvas as well for men; good-quality wools seem to have been nearly as little worn as silk. Information on colors is sketchy, but red petticoats and brownish colors of russet must have marked much of the female costume, and anyone who could afford it had black for their best clothes. Most clothing was apparently plain and unadorned, with the fashionable ruffs barely mentioned, and only the very richest people owned anything with any kind of trimming or wore any jewelry.
Includes discussion of legislation governing dress and fashion in Britain.
The account book of this town workhouse provides detailed records of a cloth-making enterprise.
Discussion of the manuscript evidence for gifts in kind made to Garter, particularly gowns and other items of clothing. Includes edited extracts from Paris, Bibliothèque National, MS anglais 107.
‘A collection of the dresses of different nations, ancient and modern. Particularly old English dresses. After the designs of Holbein, Vandyke, Hollar, and others. With an account of the authorities … and some short historical remarks … to which are added the habits of the principal characters on the English stage …’
Based on research for the author’s MA thesis, The Dress Inventories of the 2nd Duke and Duchess of Montagu, 1749 and 1747. Includes an Appendix comprising a transcription of ‘A List of Ye Wardrobe’.
Based on research for the author’s MA thesis, The Dress Inventories of the 2nd Duke and Duchess of Montagu, 1749 and 1747. Includes a Select Glossary, also an Appendix comprising a transcription of the ‘Inventory of Her Grace’s Things – 20 June 1747’.
Transcript of an inventory of 1619.
Detailed discussion of four detached pages from a volume of manuscripts relating to heraldry which include the powdering of ermine for various degrees of nobility and illustrations of noble ladies in ceremonial dress.
The writer discusses the clothing of Margaret, Parnell, and Millicent Crayforde from 1569 to 1575. The probate accounts of Edward Crayforde, gent of Great Mongeham in Kent, England, offer information relating to the provision of clothing for his three orphaned daughters. One of these accounts consists almost entirely of monies paid for their clothing for the period 1569 to 1575 until each girl, in turn, reached the age of 18. This detailed clothing information is of particular interest as it relates to a period covered by frequent sumptuary legislation, which aimed to stipulate the types of fabrics and trimmings that could be worn by members of each level of society. The writer examines in detail the clothing of the Crayforde girls in the order that they would have been dressed, as well as discussing hose, shoes, and other accessories. She concludes, among other things, that the type of outfits made for the three sisters, particularly Millicent, suggests that they had considerable pretensions to fashion.
Documentary evidence allows for a reconstruction of the tailor’s room and its operations at the Pantheon Opera, London, in the late 18th century. From February 1792, the theater held a season of opera seria, opera buffa, and ballet, for which scenery and costumes were made from scratch. The venture did not thrive, however, and the second seasons’ offerings were restricted to the cheaper endeavors of ballet and opera buffa. A fire destroyed the theater to the ground on Janaury 14, 1972, but many surviving costume-related documents, including a wardrobe book that records in detail the production of the theater’s costume shop from the first season and lists of dressers from both seasons, allow for a very full reconstruction of the process of making, developing, and caring for costumes at the theater. Following an outline of the evidence for the physical spaces devoted to the tailor’s shop, the writer discusses the staff involved in the creation of costumes and examines examples of the shop’s work and its schedule.
Monochrome plates and useful descriptions of costume from contemporary sources.
Autograph albums of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries with costume illustrations. Monochrome and colour plates.
The first section discusses the materials, construction, design and patterning of quilts. The second considers the historical and cultural contexts of quilting. An appendix is included: ‘Selected References to Quilts in Wills, Household Inventories, and Accounts (1400-1800)’.
Indenture made between William Lee and George Brooke in 1600 about knitting frame invention.
Includes an appendix ‘Representative examples of weavers’ stock-in-trade, 1660-1730’, compiled from probate inventories.
Gives an overview of the types of archival sources available for the textile, clothing and leather industry in Britain 1760-1914, as collated by the National Register of Archives.
Testaments are legal documents in Scotland drawn up to enable the court to confirm the executors for deceased persons’ estates and they may include an inventory of possessions and goods of the deceased. They date from the early sixteenth century to 1823 and have now been digitized, and can be searched by profession as well as name.
Describes in detail a book of fabric samples dating to the late eighteenth century. Many of fabrics are of mixed materials with linen, cotton, and occasionally silk combined with wool. The findings of technical analysis (including dye analysis) of yarn samples taken from a range of the fabrics are discussed. The conservation of the pattern book is also described.
The author reviews the earliest court minutes of the Merchant Taylors’ Company in London and comments on some of the few references they contain to garments from the 1560s and 1570s.
From the ‘Documents and Sources’ section of Textile History. Translation of an account written by Maximilien de Lazowski, a visitor touring around Norfolk in 1784.
Discussion of the jewellery inventory of Anne of Denmark, wife of James I of England.
Describes resources in this archive that may be of interest to dress historians.
Examines the relationship of seventeenth-century women to their clothing.
Includes an inventory of the haberdashery in the shop in 1571.
A discussion of the clothes worn by Samuel Pepys from 1660 on. On June 27, 1660, Pepys had been promoted to the post of Clerk of Acts, that is Secretary, to the Navy Board. Launching himself into this new life, Pepys was initially prudent in his spending. He occasionally replenished his wardrobe, acquiring new shirts, hats, gloves and caps, but his spending was modest. The writer goes on to quote extensively from Pepys’s diary on topics such as his silk suit, velvet coat made for the coronation of Charles II in April 1661, his decision to wear a muff in November 1662, and his uncertainty as to whether he should wear a wig or not.
Three volumes. Full transcript of the 1547 inventory taken after Henry VIII’s death.
Tailors’ bills and purchases of materials from household accounts of the Stiffkey Bacons for 1587-97.
Drawing on evidence derived from probate records, the writer discusses the relationship between urban and rural areas in the textile industry in northwest England in the early 18th century. The strong rural focus on production throughout this region – mainly in weaving and spinning – and the rural dominance of manufacturing in all sub-regions offers strong evidence for the sort of ‘bottom-up’ growth (drawing on traditional skills and a large and willing base of rural labor) that is suggested by proto-industrial theory. However, the important role played by the urban system in the finishing process and specifically the marketing and putting-out of textiles denies the subservient position attributed to it in this model. Although the picture that emerges is that of a network of towns that combined production from surrounding areas into an economic system based on the staple export of cloth, specialization according to cloth type cut across the proto-industrial interdependencies and undermined any uniformity in the relationship between town and country, with the particular role of each varying from place to place.
Describes a survey of pattern books in the collections of museums, libraries, record offices and educational institutions in the North West of England. The material surveyed includes pattern books from the later eighteenth to the later nineteenth century.
Transmitted light photography has been used to record papers concealed within an 18th-century coverlet. The coverlet, which is made from fabric blocks pieced over paper templates, still has the papers inside it. Glimpses of exposed papers through damaged fabrics showed that they have manuscript and printed text on them. They provide a rare source that could yield information about the makers, the people who owned it, or those for whom the coverlet was made. The aim of this research has been to reveal and document this hidden layer.
Various sources never previously used allow for a fresh interpretation of the Barcheston Tapestry Works and the men behind it. When this tapestry manufactory was established by the will of William Sheldon in Barcheston, England, in 1570, its director was Richard Hyckes, who later heads the list of the workers in the royal repair shop within the Great Wardrobe for the years 1584-88. However, documentary sources demonstrate that Hyckes had already been Queen Elizabeth’s arrasmaker, head of that repair shop, from January 24, 1569. Moreover, contrary to assumptions based on gossip, contemporary independent evidence shows that Hyckes was not English but Flemish because that department was staffed, as it had long been, largely by Flemish workmen. The writer examines the sources available, Hyckes position in the Wardrobe, the early days of the tapestry works, Sheldon’s will, the connections between a number or royal arrasworkers with the tapestry works, and the roles of Hyckes and his son, Francis, as directors of the manufactory.
Part 1 of a two-part study of the life and work of Edmund Harrison, a leading embroiderer of the 17th century, treats Harrison’s life and his position in society. As a royal embroiderer at the courts of both James I and Charles II, Harrison’s career is proof that embroidery in England was far from an amateur pursuit. Part 1 comprises sections on Harrison’s origins and early career; duties as the king’s embroiderer; marriage and family connections; activities during the English Civil War, Interregnum, and Restoration; assets, debts, and bequests; and family and home life. Appendices include a list of items acquired by Harrison from the sale of Charles I’s goods and Harrison’s last will and inventory.
Edmund Harrison (1590-1667), known as the King’s Embroiderer, was a member of the Great Wardrobe, a branch of the King’s civil service. He worked under James I, Charles I, and Charles II, and his responsibilities included procuring materials, designing patterns, and running the embroidery workshops, which not only produced new work, but repaired and restored older work as well. Among the work produced by Harrison was work for the Master of the Robes (the King’s clothes, armorial work, and masque costumes), work for the Great Wardrobe (the stables, bed hangings, cloths of state, barge cloths, heralds’ tabards and liveries, banners and standards, the Order of the Garter, covers for bibles and prayer books, and ecclesiastical embroidery), and work for private patrons (the Corby Castle Pictures and the Sandys of the Vyne Chapel embroideries). Includes twelve appendices of extracts from accounts and other documentary sources.
John Shepley became the King’s Embroiderer in reversion in 1607 and became King’s Embroiderer jointly with Edmund Harrison in 1621 while retaining his position as embroiderer to the Prince of Wales. Charles I made Harrison the King’s Embroiderer in 1625, even though Shepley continued to work for Charles. Shepley’s accounts show records for embroidering such items as a Cloth of State, hangings, velvet coats for watchmen, and garters for the Order of the Garter. The fashionable embroidery for men’s apparel was subtle and usually sewn in the same color as the background fabric. Shepley also embroidered costumes for masques, velvet cabinet coverings, horse harnesses and reins, saddle pads, and complete tilting contest outfits for the prince and his entourage. The bills for the tilting outfits also included charges for candles, glue, paper and ink for drawing patterns, nails for embroidery frames, and wages for 64 embroiderers.
Includes a discussion of the evidence offered by household accounts and probate inventories.
In the second half of the sixteenth century a range of mixed-fibre, lightweight, cheap textiles were developed and were known to contemporaries as ‘new draperies’.