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the growth of the beard from -portraits, and other remains of antiquity, I find that it never flourished more in England, than in the century preceding the Norman conquest. That of Edward the Confessor was remarkably large, as appears from his seal in Speed's "Theatre of Great Britain." After the conqueror took possession of the kingdom, beards became unfashionable, and were probably looked upon as badges of disloyalty, as the Normans ,worc only whiskers. It is said, that the English spies took thpse invaders for an army of priests, as they appeared to be without beards.
observed, kind of
much the fame which was worn by Henry VIII. in the former part of his reign, is now worn by the yeomen of the guard. It is no less remarkable, that the most conspicuous and distinguishing part of a cardinal's habit, which had been banished from England ever since the death of cardinal Pole, is also now worn by the lowest order of females, and is called a cardinal.
I take the reign of Mary £0 be the æra of ruffs and farthingales, as they were first brought hither from Spain. Howell tells us in his "Letters," that th,e Spanish word fora farthing;ile literally translated, signifies co'ver.infant, as if it was intended to conceal pregnancy. It is perhaps of more honourable extraction, and might signify coverinfanta.
A blooming virgin in this asje
seems to have been more solicitous
to hide her se in, than a rivelled old woman is at present. The very neck was generally concealed; the arms were covered quite to the wrists; the petticoats were worn long, and the head-gear, or coifure, close; to which was sometimes fastened a light veil, which fell down behind1, as- if intended occasionally to conceal even the face. i
If I may depend on the authority of engraved portraits, the beard extended and expanded itself more during- the short reign; of Edward VI. and Mary, than from the conquest to that period. Bishop Gardiner has a beard long and streaming like a comet. The beard of cardinal Pole is thick and bushy; but this might possibly be Italian. The patriarchal beard) as I find it in the tapestries of those times, is both long and large; b* this seems to have been the invention bf the painters, who drew the canoons. This venerable appendage to the face, was formerly greatly regarded. Though learned authors have written for and against almost every thing, I never saw any thing written against the beard. The pamphlets on the "Unlore"linsss of Love-locks, and the "Mischief of long Hair," made much noise in the kingdom, i» the reign of Charles I.
. I. I Z A B E T H.
J ,E are informed by Henttner, t!tat the English, in the reign of Elizabeth, cut the hair close on the middle of the head, but suffered it to grow on either fide. -;"
As it is usual in dress, *■ other other things, to pass from one extreme to another, the large jutting coat became quite out of fastlion, in this reign, and a coat was worn resembling a waistcoat.
The men's ruffs were generally of a moderate size, the women's bore a proportion to their farthingales, which were enormous.
We are informed, that some beaux had actually introduced long swords aud high ruffs, which approached the royal lta.idard. This roused the jealousy of the queen, who appointed officers to brealc every man's sword, and to clip all raffs which were beyond a certain length.
The breeches, or to speak more properly, drawers, fell far short of the knees, and the detect was supplied with long hose, the tops of Which were fastened under the drawers.
WilVam, earl of Pembroke, was the first who wore knit stockings in England, which were introduced in this reign. They were presented to him by William Rider, an apprentice near London-bridge, who happened to see a pair brought from Mantua, at an Italian merchant's in the city, and made a pair exactly like them.
Edward Vere, the seventeenth earl of Oxford, was the first that introduced embroidered gloves and perfumes into England, which he brought from Italy. He presented the queen with a pair of perfumed gloves, and her portrait was painted with them upon her hands.
At this period was worn a hat of a singular form, which resembled a close-stool pan with a broad brim. Philip II. in the former reign, seems to wear one of these utensils upon his head, with a narrower
brim than ordinary, and makes at least as grotesque an appearance, as his countryman Don Quixote with the barber's bason.
The reverend Mr. John More, of Norwich, one of the worthiest clergymen in the reign of Elizabeth, gave the best reason that could be given, for wearing the longest and largest beard of any Englishman of his time;. namely, "That no act of hisTife might be "unworthy of the gravity of his "appearance" I wish as good a reason could always have been assigned for wearing the longest hair, and the longest or largest wig.
As the queen lest no less than three thousand different habits in her wardrobe when she died, and was possessed of the dresses of all countries, it is somewhat strange that there is such a uniformity of dress in her portraits, and that she should take a pleasure in being loaded with ornaments.
At this time the stays, or bodice, were worn long-waisted. Lady Hunsdon, the foremost of the latnes in the procession to Hunsdon house, appears with a much longer waist than those that follow her. She might possibly have been a leader os the fashion, as well as of the procession.
HENRY Verc, the gallant earl of Oxford, was the first nobleman that appeared at court, in the reign of James, with a hat and white feather; which was some times worn by the king himself.
The long love-lock seems to have been first ' in fashion amon> the
beaux beaux- in this reign, who sometimes .stuck flowers n their ears. ', William, earl of Pembroke, a man far from an effeminate character, is represented widj earrings,
James appears to have Jest the beard in much the fame state as he found it on his accession to the throne,
The cloak, a dress of great antiquity, was more worn in this, than in any of the preceding rei.,ns. It continued to be in fashion after the restoration of Charles II.
It is well known that James I. used to hunt in a ruff and trowfers.
We learn from Sir Thomas Over. bury, that yellow stockings were worn by some of the ordinary gentlemen in the country.
Silk garters, puffed in a large knot, were worn below the knees, and knots, or roses, in the stioes.
Wilson informs us, that the .countess of Essex, after her divorce, appeared at court "in the ** habit of a virgin, with her hair «' pendant, almost to her feet:" the princess Elizabeth, with much more | ropriety, wore hers in the fame manner, when stie went to be married to the prince Palatine.
The head of the countess of Essex seems to be oppressed with ornaments; and ihe ap; eais to have exposed more of the bosom than was seen in any former period.
The ladies began to indulge a strong passion for foreign laces, in the reign of James, which rather increased than abated in succeeding generations.
The ruff and- farthingale still continued to be worn. Yellow starch for ruffs, first invented by the French, and adapted to tfc« fallow complexions of that people, was introduced by Mrs. Turner, a physician's widow, who had a principal hand in poisoning Sir Thomas Overbury. This vain and infamous woman, who went to be hanged in a ruff of that colour, helped to support the fashion, as long as she was able. It began to decline upon her execution.
The ladies, like those of Spais, were banished from court, during the reign of James, which was, perhaps, a reason why dress under, went very little alteration during that period.
It may not be impertinent to re? mark, that the lady of Sir Robert Cary, afterwards earl of Moamouth, was mistress of the sweet ;or perfumed coffers to Anne of Denmark; an office which answer. ed to that of milt ess of the robe* at present.
It appears from portraits, that Iong coats were worn by boys, tilj they were seven or eight years of age. We are told by dean Fell, that the famous Dr. Hammond was in long coats, when he was sent to Eton school.
When James came to the crown, there was in the wardrobe, in the Tower, a g eat variety of dresses of rour ancient kings; which, to the regret of antiquaries, were sooa given away and dispersed. Such a. collection must have been of much greater use to the studious in venerable antiquity, than a review of the "ragged regiment" in West, minster Abbey. • , jjp
.-.;• ■» Chauei Charles I.
IN this reign, the hat continued to be worn with mi'ch such a son of crown as that described in the reign of Elizabeth; but the brim was extended to a reasonable breadth. Hats inclining to a cone, a figure very ill adapted to the hum nTiead, occur in the portraits of this time.
The hair was worn low on the forehead, and generally unparted: some wore it very long, others of a moderate length. The king, and consequently many others, wore a love-lock on the left fide, which Was considerably longer than the ttft of the hair. The unseemliness of this fashion occasioned Mr. Prynne to write a book in quarto, against love-locks.
The beard dwindled very gradually under the two Charles's till U was reduced to a slender pair of whiskers. It became quite ex"nct in the reign of James II. as if its fatality had been connected with that of the house of Stuart.
The ruff, which of all fantastic nodes maintained its possession the songeO, Was worn, for some time, »'ter the accession of Charles; but "had almost universally given place to the falling band, when Vandyck was in England.
Slashed doublets, doublets with fl't sleeves, and cloaks, were much "> fashion.
Trunk breeches, one of the most roonstrons singularities of dress ever 'eeo in this, or any other age, were worn in the reigns of James and Charles I,
The points, which formerly used f° be seen hanging about the waist,
are seen dangling at the knees, in some of the portraits of this pe. riod.
Little flimsy Spanish leather boots and spurs were much worn by genr tlemen Qf fashion. It wji usual sor . the beaux in England and France, to call for their boots, and some think their spurs too, when they were going to a bnll, as they very rarely wore the one without the other.
Mr. Peck, the antiquarian, informs us, that he had, in his possession, - a whole length portrait of Charles; the # dress of which he thus describes; *< He wore a fall"ing band, a short green doublet, "the arm,-parts toward the shoul"der, wide, and flashed; zig-zag "turned up ruffles; very long "green breeches, (like a Dutchr "man) tied far below knee with ** long yellow ribbands; red stock"ings, great shoe-roses, and a "short red cloak, lined with blue, "with a star on the shoulder."
Ladies wore their hair low on the forehead, and parted in small ringlets. Many wore it curled like a peruke, and some braided and rounded in a knot, on the top of the crown. They frequently wore strings of pearls in their hair. Earrings, necklaces, bracelets, and other jewels, were also much worn.
Laced handkerchiefs, resembling the large falling band worn by the men, were in fashion among the ladies: this article of dress has been lately revived, and called a Vandyck.
Many ladies, at this period, are painted with their arms and their bosoms bare; and there is no doubt but they sometimes went with those parts exposed,'
Cowley, in his discourse "of ** greatness," censures some enormities in the dress of his time/ in the following terms. "Is any "thing more common than to fee « our ladies of quality wear such "high shoes as they cannot walk "in without one to lead them? "and a gown as long again as "their body; so that they cannot •« stir to the next room, without a *' page or two to hold it up."
The citizens wives, in this reign, seem to have had their domestic sumptuary laws, and to have adopted the frugal maxims of their husbands. There appears from Hollar's habits, to have been a much greater disparity in point of dress, betwixt them, and the ladies of quality, than betwixt the former, and the wives of our present yeomanry.
The dress of religion gave the highest offence to some gloomy zealots in this reign, who were determined to strip her of her white robe, to ravage the ring from her finger, to dispoil her of every ornament, and clothe her only in black.
IT appears by the broad seal of Charles II. in Sandford, dated 1653, that he wore long hair and whiskers. It also appears from the prints of him, in Sir William Lower's account of his entertainment at the Hague, the fame year, that he sometimes wore a lart^e cra\'at, and, at other times, a long falling band -with tassels. His ruffles were large, his doublet short, his boots were also short, with large tops, his hair long, with a lock on
the right side much longer than the rest.
Mr. Benlowes, in his " Theo"■ phila," published in 1652, has given us a print of a man of mode. In his hat, the brim of which is extended horizontally, is a large feather: it inclines much to die right fide, as if it were falling off his head. His hair is very keg, his ruffles are double, his doublet reaches no lower than the waistband of his breeches: his sword is enormous, and suspended to a belt, which comes over his right shodder; his breeches are large, with puffs like small blown bladders, quite round the knees; his boots are very sh»rt, with fringed tops, which are near as ample in their dimensions as the brim of his hat. It appears from the fame author, that black patches were sometimes worn by the beaux at the time of the interregnum. Short hair, short bands, short cloaks, and.kmg visages, frequently occur in the portraits of this period.
Mr. Benlowes has also given os prints of two ladies, by the hand of Hollar; one in a summer, the other in a winter dress. The former is without a cap, has her hair combed like a wig, except that which grows on the crown of the head, which is nicely braided, and rounded in a knot. Her neck-handkerchief is surrounded with a deep scolloped lace, and her cuffs ate laced much in the fame manner. The sleeves of her gown have many flashes, through which her linen is very conspicuous: her fan is of the modern make. The latter is represented in a close black hood, and a black mask, which just conceals her nose. She wears a fable tippet, and holds a larF