The First of August in the Year of Our Lord, 1521 - Forty-Five past Six in the Eve
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thank those of ye who didst submit queries of curiosity to me over the last week
and encourage those who didst nay enquire of me, prithee, at thy leisure, to do
query do be from one Mistress Flyinby
"M'lady, I am curious why you have a dark and gloomy background,
instead of something more light hearted? You have such a light
hearted spirit about most of your entries . . . so I inquire. "
A MOST excellent and thoughtful query to be sure and one that most
definitely warrants a response. Although this layout doth appear gloomy,
it be naught without reason. It be well known that there be laws in
England that do regulate the dress of the social classes, these laws being known
as sumptuary laws. It doth serve to distinguish each of the classes from
the Royalty, to Nobility, merchant and middle class, to the peasantry and
working class. Black, being the most difficult of colours to match, dye
and maintain in fabric be therefore the most expensive, and be the preferred
colour of the nobility. If one doth look at my portrait in the upper left
corner of my musings, my dress do be of black velvet, ermine sleeves, black
velvet under sleeves and crimson trim along the neck line. And tis nay
true that the law prohibits anyone save for His and Her Majesties to wear the
be a more complete list of what one be permitted and what one may not be
permitted to wear and as thou mayest see, they do be most specific:
shall wear cloth of gold or silver, or silk of purple color except Earls,
all above that rank, and Knights of the King (and then only in their
shall wear cloth of gold or silver, tinseled satin, silk, cloth mixed or
embroidered with gold or silver, or foreign woolen cloth except Barons, all
above that rank, Knights of the Garter, and Privy Councillors.
shall wear any lace of gold or silver, lace mixed with gold or silver, silk,
spurs, swords, rapiers, daggers, buckles, or studs with gold, silver or gilt
except Baron's Sons, all above that rank, Gentlemen attending the Queen,
Knights and Captains.
shall wear velvet in gowns, cloaks, coats, or upper garments, or embroidery
with silk, or hose of silk except Knights, all above that rank, and their
shall wear velvet, satin, damask, taffeta, or grosgrain in gowns, cloaks,
coats, or upper garments, or velvet in their jerkins, hose or doublets
except Knight's Eldest Sons and all above that rank.
shall wear cloth of gold or silver, or silk of purple color except
Countesses and all above that rank. (Viscountesses may wear it in their
shall wear silk or cloth mixed with or embroidered with silk, pearls, gold
or silver except Baronesses and all above that rank.
shall wear cloth of silver in belts or kirtles except Wives of Knights and
all above that rank.
shall wear embroideries of gold, silver or silk (mixed) or headdresses
trimmed with pearls except Wives of Baron's Eldest Sons, all above that
rank, Baron's Daughters, Wives of King's Knights or Privy Councillors, or
Maids of Honor.
shall wear velvet in upper garments or embroidery with silk thread except
Knight's Wives and all above that rank.
shall wear velvet in kirtles or petticoats, or satin in gowns, cloaks and
other outer garments except Wives of Knight's Eldest Sons, Gentlewomen
attending Countesses, and all above that rank.
shall wear . . .satin, damask, taffeta or grosgrain in their gowns except
Landed Gentlemen's Wives and all above that rank.
might be interested in knowing the names of some of the colors we oft use in
textiles. Goose dropping green, puke (which do be a russet brown and quite
lovely I must admit), and puce. Velvets, damasks and brocades to be the
most favored for their richness and heaviness. We do be having a bit of a
mini ice age here in England and do favor the heavier fabrics.
dear flyinby, in brief, my layout and colors be naught indicative of my personal
nature or personality, but do be reflective of my station. I hath very
much enjoyed answering thy query and implore thee to do so again in the very