Archive for January, 2013

January 29, 2013

The Doctor’s Dispensatory

The whole Art of Physick restored to practice and The Apothecary’s Shop Opened. London 1657. A bit late for the 1640s I admit, but there is a nice illustration on the front cover of this book, one of those ones that you read and by the time you get to the end, you imagine you’ve got most of the ailments described within.

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Here’s the doctor and two ladies who have brought him a sample for examination. M’lady looks a tad worried. Perhaps a course of leeches? The doctor is in his professional clothes, a gown to prove he went to university and what looks like a canterbury cap which presumably also indicates his training for this sort of thing. The lady is smartly dressed in bodice and petticoat with a sharp neckerchief, apron and chaperone hood. The goodwife behind is in slightly lower class garb, (what we can see), with a linen coif on her head, the baby wrapped in a blanket.


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Here is the apothecary opening his shop as it were. The customer in a typical 1650s short doublet, unbuttoned at the lower end to show off his shirt linen and, of course his codpiece (or fly as we would call it). Open breeches at the leg and some smart shoes. The apothecary looks to be wearing a coat, or maybe a heavier weight doublet and wide brimmed hat. Obviously not a college man.


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January 28, 2013

Old Sir George Booth

I suspect Old George was father of the George Booth I blogged about previously here, as this portrait (by an unknown artist) also hangs in Dunham Massey, now in the hands of the National Trust. Old George wears some kind of unidentifiable wrap over a linen shirt with an attached collar and decorative tassels on his bandstrings. He also has a black cap with lace edge, which could be part of a liner that could be removed for cleaning. There is an example of one of these in the collection of the Museum of London.

'Old' Sir George Booth (1566–1652), 1st Bt

January 28, 2013

A Looking Glass For Drunkards

or The Good Fellows Folly. Moderately Reproving all such as practise the Beastly Sin of Inordinate and Excessive Tippling: With an Admonition for the future to forbear the same. To the Tune of Fy, Dutchmen, fie! London 1641

Call to temperance in the form of a broadside ballad. Here are the carousers, enjoying the delights of the tavern in doublet, breeches, falling band and wide brimmed hat. I’ve seen this reenacted with gusto in ale houses over the years, especially the chap bottom left and the guy in the middle having “a little lie down”. We can now sing the song. All together now:

” Drunkard how can ye boast of your hard drinking?

Think you there is neither Heaven or Hell?

While ye do headlong post, to the pit thinking;

You take no care, but think all things is well,

Oh fie! Forbear, ’tis a sin that will cry;

And pierce the clouds and the heavens so high:

Fy drunkards fie!”




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January 22, 2013

The Taylor

Also from  Amos Commenius’s Visible world, or, A picture and nomenclature of all the chief things that are in the world, and of mens employments therein / a work newly written by the author in Latine and High-Dutch … ; & translated into English by Charles Hoole … for the use of young Latine-scholars. Printed in London 1659.

This picture shows a tailor’s workshop with the tailor cutting out on the right, dressed in short doublet, breeches and shirt peeping out between the two. This marks the image out for the 1650s. His assistant is sewing something whilst sat on a stool. Conventional wisdom has tailors sitting cross-legged on the table. Maybe the “boy” was too old and stiff for this, who knows? At least the stool is on the table!

Here’s the key from the text:

The Taylor 1. cutteth Cloth 2. with Shears 3. and soweth it together with a needle and double thred 4. Then he presseth the Seams with a pressing-iron 5. And thus he maketh Coats 6. with Plaits 7. in which the Border 8. is below with Laces 9. Cloaks 10. with a Cape 11. and Sleeve Coats 12. Doublets 13. with Buttons 14. and Cuffs 15 Breeches 16. sometimes with Ribbons 17. Stockings 18. Gloves 19. Muntero Caps 20, &c.

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January 22, 2013

The Shoo Maker


From  Amos Commenius’s Visible world, or, A picture and nomenclature of all the chief things that are in the world, and of mens employments therein / a work newly written by the author in Latine and High-Dutch … ; & translated into English by Charles Hoole … for the use of young Latine-scholars. Printed in London 1659.

It’s a picture dictionary, but here is a shoe maker in his shop shop working away at a shoe in a shirt and breeches. What makes it even more useful is the annotation provided so scholars can learn the Latin words and we can learn exactly what they called various shoes.

The Shoo-maker 1. maketh Slippers 7. Shooes 8. (in which is seen above the upper-Leather, beneath theSole, and on both sides the Latchets) Boots 9. and High-Shooes 10. of Leather, 5. (which is cut with a Cutting-Knife 6.) by means of an Awl 2. and Lingel 3. upon a Last 4.



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January 21, 2013

A Juniper Lecture

With the description of all sorts of women, good, and bad: from the modest to the maddest, from the most civil, to the scold rampant, their praise and dispraise compendiously related. Also the authors advice how to tame a shrew, or vexe her. By John Taylor, printed in London in 1639

The picture looks like a still from a seventeenth century version of Terry and June, with the wife in smock and coif with cross-cloth on top trying to get her poor hard-working husband out of bed with a ladle, whilst he defends himself with a chair leg. Notice also the discarded doublet on the floor and the upended chamber pot, the contents of which are probably washing towards her unprotected feet.

Wondering why this book is called A Juniper Lecture, I began to read the introduction, and here is the answer.

“It is said that Juniper being on fire is the most lasting wood in the World, and that if the fire of it be rak’d up in the Embers, or Ashes, it will not be extinguished in a year or more, which may bee alluded to some revengeful women, who being once offended, the fire of their malice will hardly be quenched in their Ashes, or Graves. Juniper is hot and drye in the third degree (as Galen saith) and the tongue of a scold is altogether combustible: It is full of prickles, so are a curst womans words very piercing to the ears and sharpe to the heart”

Jooone, Jooone!

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January 21, 2013

Henry Grey, Earl of Stamford

Painted in 1638 by Cornelis Janssens van Ceulen. Grey was a parliamentary officer who fought all through the war. Here he is painted in a round frame, looking just over our left shoulder as we look at him, in a military buffcoat and gorget over which is a fine linen falling band with wide lace. The fabric is almost fine enough to be see through, but not quite. His coat is secured with a profusion of gold laces and he’s also wearing a white, possibly linen doublet with slashed sleeves.

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January 18, 2013

Deborah Hopton and Her Son

Painted in 1649 by James Gandy, this picture hangs in the Royal Albert Memorial Museum in Exeter. As far as I can work out, Deborah, later Dame Deborah was married to Edward Hopton, no relation of the Royalist general Ralph Hopton, but also a King’s man. His brothers however fought for the parliament cause. Definitely by the sword divided!

Anyway, here is Deborah and her young son and what looks like a rottweiler puppy peeking out from their skirts. Deborah is wearing a cream satin gown made up of petticoat skirts and a long-tabbed, low-cut bodice with gathered sleeves that reach just below the elbow. Her son is not yet breeched and his petticoat skirts are covered with a practical apron that doesn’t quite reach the floor. He also wears a white work cap and possibly sports the kind of hanging sleeves that could just be used as leading reins. Anyone who has a small child of this size will know how useful they would be!

Deborah Hopton (c.1627–1702), and Her Son

January 15, 2013

This Canon’s Seal’d

…well forg’d, not made of lead. Give fire, O noe ’twill break and strike vs dead. Hollar’s satirical broadside from 1640 on the Laudian Canons which attempted to enshrine in canon law what William Laud and Charles I thought was the way ahead for the Church of England. Their ideas of government by bishops, service by the prayerbook and an attempt to reestablish a more aesthetic form of worship proved deeply unpopular and led not only to the execution of Laud, but was also one of the main causes of conflict in the 1640s.

Here the good Archbishop attempts to distribute an oath, presumably to legitimise the canons, by firing it out of a cannon. See where they went with the pun? Sadly the cannon is not up to the job and explodes as the ball leaves the barrel.

This Canon's Sealed

Several clerics are clustered around the cannon. Firstly the Archbishop of Canterbury in his square canterbury cap, rochet and chimere of an Anglican bishop, as well as a nice ruff pushed up by his standing collar. On his left a cleric in standard outdoor garb, doublet, breeches, open cloak, falling band and hat.

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Here are two more academic clerics, the guy on the left in what looks like a university gown and hood and on the right in a preaching or geneva gown. These two are often said to be puritans, but I can see nothing here that wouldn’t have been worn by an episcopalian churchman. As in the case of the armies, there was little to distinguish either side at first glance.

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Three bishops stand in the foreground. They have been identified as Matthew Wren, Bishop of  Ely, Thomas Morton, Bishop of Durham and John Williams, Archbishop of York. Wren and Morton are wearing gowns and Williams what looks like a fur lined tippet. All in regulation square caps.

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January 14, 2013

The Rump

or, An Exact Collection of the Choicest Poems and Songs relating to the late times and continued by the Most Eminent Witts from AD 1639 to 1662.

By Alexamder Broome, printed in 1662, engraving by Richard Gaywood. The plate was reworked several years later for another publication and the centre image was replaced. However, there are some nice details to look at.


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Centre top a woman in a pointed coif preaches from a tub whilst some soldiers and women look on.


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Here is the “puritan” on the left hand side in a ruff, doublet and breeches. He’s also wearing a belt bag on his waist belt.


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And the covenanter on the left. Note the check plaid, his trews and the engraver’s idea of a Scot’s bonnet.


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This picture from the opposite page shows a bunch of guys preparing to roast a rump of beef. All are wearing short tabbed doublets and unconfined breeches, a more 1650 fashion, which would coincide roughly with the date of publication. Nice shoes too!


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