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It appears, then, that their ordinary habit consisted of the gown and jacket or jerkin, made of black or tawny chequered velvet, or black satin. Of the items, however, constituting this part of the inventory, several are mentioned as being very old, or decayed, evidently indicating that the wardrobes of this age descended from father to son; and, indeed, such was the richness of the material of which even the common garb of a nobleman of these days was composed, and so hereditary was it as to form and decoration, that it suited neither the pride nor the economy of the age to suffer such habiliments to pass into inferior hands.
The dress habit, in fact, though more showy in appearance, was not in reality much more expensive. It consisted generally of white or richly-coloured velvets, and the five following articles from this part of the catalogue will sufficiently point out its usual style.
"Item, one cremesyn sattan gowne, garded with cremesyne vellvett, and laid with fayre lace of golde, cs.
"Item, one shorte gowne of purple vellvett, with pomell lace of silver, xlvis. viiid.
“Item, one sleveless jackett of clothe of golde,
edged with p'chment lace of gold enamelled blewe, xlvis. viiid.
"Item, one doublet of cremesyn velvett, embrothered with golde, and lyned with lynnynge cloth, with a p'r of hosen of crem' vellvett of the same, embrothered, lxs.
“Item, one dublet of whit sattan, embr'd with sylv' and lyned with very fine lynnyne, and a p'r of hose of whit velvet suitable to the same, xlvis. viiid *.”
The taste for expenditure in dress appears, indeed, to have gone on increasing with the Clifford family; for in 1632, sixty years after this inventory of the second earl was taken, we have the following description of a single suit made for lord Clifford, which, as there is reason to suppose it differed little from the luxury of his brother peers, presents us with a striking idea of the magnificent manner in which the nobility of the age of Charles the First were accustomed to clothe themselves.
"For 13 yards of bezar-culler broade tabie, at 22s. the yard, 147. 17s.-For a yard and of tafety, for lyning the doublett, 17. 4s.—For 395 oz. 2 of gould and silver lace, plated, clouded, and whipt, in compass, rouning by measure to 38 dozen, at 58.
*Hist. of Craven, p. 327.
6d. the oz. 1087. 17s. 4d.-For 6 dozen of buttons, gould and silver, 17. 5s.—For 6 yards of gallon lace, and 1 of collers, 6s. 5d.—For 18 oz. and of collered silk, 17. 178.-To Macalla, for canvas and stiffening callicoe to interlyne the cloake, holland for the hose, fustian for pocketts; hookes and eyes, &c. 17. 9s.—For making suite and cloake, 97. 10s. -For a p'r of perle-culler stockings, 17. 16s.-For a paire of garters and roses, and 3 dozen of pointes suitable, all of rich gold and silver thrid, without mixture; one pair of gloves trim'd suitable, and a hatband stringed suitable, all of rich gold and silver thrid, without mixture, 137.-For 1 long button, a loope for the cloake, with gold and silver head, 2s. -The whole charge of this suite, and the furniture, is 1541. 4s. 9d*."
Reverting, however, to the inventory of 1572, we next meet with a group of articles descriptive of the Garter robes of the first earl of Cumberland, and which, as Whitaker has observed, cannot but lay strong hold on the imagination, and carry it back to the scenes
Where throngs of knights and barons bold
"Item, one kyrtle of cremesyn velvett, lyned with whyte sarsenet, and a hode for knyght of garter to weare at Seynt George feast, vil.
"Item, one robe of blewe velvet, lyned with sarcenet. The garter imbrothered thereon, and a yard of blewe silke and golde tyed at sholders, for the seide S. George's feast, vil.
"Item, one hole horse-harness for a trapper, sett with whit and blew, and enameled, and one covering of black vellvett, with a garde of gold, and enameled whyt and blewe, sutable for the same, xiiis. ivd.
“Item, one oth' harnesse of red vellvett,. cont'g vi. pieces; and one other harnesse of black velvett, imbrothered with silver gilted, cont'g vii. piece, xiiis. ivd.
"Item, iiii peice of clothe of tussaye, for covering of a courser at a tryumphe, edged with a frynge of red sylke and gold, liiis. ivd.”
I have added the last item, as the word triumph is used precisely in the manner of Milton in the quotation just given from L'Allegro, that is, in the sense of show, or mask, or revel, and as Shakspeare has explained it in the following passage:
And now what rests, but that we spend the time
Such as befit the pleasures of the court *.
It is probable that these trappings may have contributed, as the topographer of Craven suggests, to the magnificence of the Champ de Drap d'Or.
Of female apparel, the notices which this inventory affords us are somewhat scanty, being confined to a short account of the wardrobe of the lady Eleanor Brandon, the first wife of the second earl of Cumberland, and which is described as being in a chest in the great chamber in the high lodging, evidently meaning that at the upper end of the long gallery which had been built for her reception on her marriage. It consists of six gowns, two of which, from the value annexed to them, must have been dresses of great richness, namely,
One gown of black velvett, layed with powmet laice, vil. and
One gowne of cloth of tynsell, garded with blacke velvet, xiiil. vis, viiid.; two others were of black and purple satin, and two of black damask, of which last, one, made to open at the breasts, is called a nurse's gown, and was probably that used
* Hen. VI. p. 3. act v. sc. vii.