Posts tagged ‘petticoat’

February 21, 2017

Anthropometamorphosis

=man transform’d: or, the artificiall changling historically presented, in the mad and cruell gallantry, foolish bravery, ridiculous beauty, filthy finenesse, and loathsome loveliness of most nations, fashioning and altering their bodies from the mould intended by nature; with figures of those transfigurations. To which artificiall and affected deformations are added, all the native and nationall monstrosities that have appeared to disfigure the humane fabrick. With a vindication of the regular beauty and honesty of nature. And an appendix of the pedigree of the English gallant. This book was written by John Bulwer and first published in 1650. The second edition in 1653 had added woodcuts. Here is the author from the front page of the second edition looking suitably authorial dressed in one of those artistic cloaks that artists seem to like (maybe it gives good reason not to paint all those messy costume details) with a plain falling band (spot the overlapping edges) and a nice decorative tassel on his bandstring.

John Bulwer. Anthropometamorphosis: man transform'd (London, 1653)

John was a doctor, but took a sabatical to write several books exploring the body and communication by gesture which was a particular interest. This tome as the title suggests is all about how the body can be altered from its natural state by clothes, tattoos, body adornments etc. Some of his information came from Dutch colonial settlers and the work has been described as one of the first studies in comparative cultural anthropology. The fronticepiece is very interesting and some of the characters depicted appear later in the book. For our purposes the lady bottom centre is worth studying as not many rear views appear in contemporary illustrations. You can see the petticoat gathers, the cut of her bodice and the rear of her kerchief. I also quite like the guy on the left with a face in his bum. Perhaps literally talking out of it?

 

anthrometamorphosis-plate

Anyway, what drew the book to me was this image of a girl in a tight laced bodice and the descriptive text. It’s in chapter 20 (he calls them scenes); Dangerous Fashions and desperate Affectations about the Breast and the Waste. The girl is wearing a linen coif on her head, a tightly laced bodice with sleeves and a nice layered kerchief.

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John is pretty forthright in his opinion. He says: ‘Another foolish affection there is in young Virgins, though grown big enough to be wiser, but that they are led blindfold by Custome to a fashion pernicious beyond imagination; who thinking a slender waste a great beauty, strive all that they possibly can by streight-lacing themselves, to attain unto a wand-like smallnesses of waste, never thinking themselves fine enough untill they can span their Waste. By which deadly Artifice they reduce their Breasts into such streights, that they soon purchase a stinking breath; and while they ignorantly affect an august or narrow Breast, and to that end by strong compulsion shut up their Wasts in a Whale-bone prison, or little ease; they open a door to Consumptions, and a withering rottenness.’

Good advice I say. There’s a lot more to look at in this book, particularly the appendix on the English Gallant. I shall return,

 

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February 10, 2017

Strange Nevves from Newgate

…and the Old-Baily: or The proofs, examinations, declarations, indictments, conviction, and confessions of I. Collins, and T. Reeve, two of the Ranters taken in More-lane, at the Generall Sessions of gaol-delivery; holden in the Old-Baily the twentieth day, of this instant Ianuary, the penalties that are inflicted upon them. The proceedings against one Parson Williams for having four wives, and Iohn Iackson a Scots minister, condemned to be drawn, hanged, and quartered, for proclaiming Charles Stuart, King of England, with the strange and wonderfull judgement of God shewed upon one T. Kendall, a Ranter in Drury-lane who fell down dead as he was affirming that there is no God, or hell to punish. Published according to order

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A scurrilous 17th century tabloid, published in London in 1652, although someone has handwritten 1650 on the cover. The text details criminal trials in London the previous week and include John Jackson a Scots minister sentenced to death for supporting King Charles, ‘one Williams’, convicted of multiple bigamy, and two ranters arrested for ‘blasphemy’ in Moor Lane. The scene is pictured on page three along with a rather racy description.

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The text says ‘Collins, Reeves and others were sat at table eating a piece of beef. One of then took it in hand and tearing it assunder said to the others “This is the flesh of Christ, take and eat” The other took a cup of ale in his hand and threw it into a Chimney Corner saying ‘This is the blood of Christ“. And having some discourse of God it was proved that one of these said “That he could go into the House of Office and make a God every Morning“. By easing of his body and blowing through two pieces of Tobacco Pipes he said “That was the Breath of God“. There was also proved many other Blasphemous Words and uncivil behaviour, as the kissing of one another’s Breeches, more lively represented by this figure: (naughty picture alarm, but notice the length of his shirt tails)

 

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The bad people (crime never prospers children) were punished to six months in prison. The chap above has separated the breeches and doublet by unhooking the two and is holding up the long tails of his shirt. The naughty lady has a nice coif, a waistcoat and petticoat plus I suspect an apron and kerchief.

Further on in the text is the story of another Ranter, Mr Kendall who was caught and tried for lewd behaviour in Drury Lane, discoursing with a woman whom he called his Fellow Creature (I think we all know someone like Mr Kendall) and was persuading her to have his pleasure with her and said there was no God or Divell, affirming that all things come through Nature. Here he is in pictures.

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Neither did Mr Kendall prosper, even in his smart suit and cloak, for no sooner had he made the appointment than he was struck dead on the spot. As the text goes on to say, “A Sinner doeth wickedly an hundred times and his Dayes be prolonged yet remember for all this he must come to Judgement“.

Quite

 

November 16, 2015

Dorothy Bonham

And an unknown boy, painted by an unknown artist around 1638-41. Dorothy, or more correctly Dame Dorothy may or may not have been Lady in Waiting to Elizabeth I in her youth and was also rumoured to have played a part in foiling the Gunpowder Plot, though later investigation revealed that her part was choosing the story as the subject of a tapestry that she made after the event! Dorothy died in 1641 apparently from being pricked by an infected needle (though this may have been fabricated too to attract visitors to the Hall) shortly after this portrait was completed. A popular story has her body walled up and her ghost walking the corridors of Ightham Mote. Sadly also not true, the grand Dame was safely interred in the local churchyard, but why let the facts get in the way of a cracking story?

Anyway, this picture caught my eye because Dorothy is not dressed in the latest fashion unlike the rather sad little boy in pink stood next to her. She is wearing a black petticoat and bodice over which she seems to have a red partlet or (perhaps a sleeveless waistcoat) covering her body and a large starched ruff around her neck. She’s keeping her head warm with a black hood and possibly a lace coif underneath. The boy is in a fashionable pink suit; matching doublet (slashed sleeves to show his shirt), breeches (trimmed with ribbon) and short cloak with a laced linen falling band and cuffs with matching ribbons on his shoes and pink hose.

Dorothy Bonham

Dorothy was some looker, forty years earlier. Both paintings are at Ightham Mote House  in Kent.

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January 6, 2015

A Word to Fanatics, Puritanism and Sectaries

 or, New preachers new! Green the felt-maker, Spencer the horse-rubber, Quartermine the brewer’s clarke, with some few others … With an authentic portrait and memoir of Mr. Praise-God Barebone ..by John Taylor the Water Poet, London 1642

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Here the splendidly named Praisegod Barebone (though not as splendid as his brother who went by the almost unbelievable name of ‘If Christ Had Not Died, Thou Hads’t Been Damned’, known to his friends for short as ‘Damned Barebone’)  is expounding the word from his tub to an assembled group of London citizens. He’s wearing doublet and breeches with a neat little hat. The ‘congregation’ are mostly smartly dressed in doublet and cloak whilst a goodwife at the top has petticoat and waistcoat with a kerchief over the top.

Praisegod, as well as being a leather seller as we can see was active in politics after the war, being returned in 1653 to the nominated assembly that replaced the Rump Parliament. Barebones was also heavily involved in the turmoil surrounding the return of the monarchy. He was against it!

April 10, 2014

The history of the Most Vile Dimagoras

An epic poem by John Quarles published in London in 1658. Slightly beyond our time, but this picture caught my eye today because of the cap being worn by the cavalry trooper in the foreground.

He is dressed in a short jump coat with slashed sleeves, breeches and riding boots. On his head he is wearing a montero cap, a woollen peaked cap with skirts that fold down for protection in bad weather. There aren’t many of these caps in illustrations from England, though they do appear in literature and seem to have been reasonably common for soldiers of the period. Nice simple sword too. The lady he is menacing has free flowing hair, often a sign of distress and a petticoat and bodies. The cavalry in the rear may also be wearing montero caps, though it’s tricky to tell.

 

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April 4, 2014

A Catalogue of the Several Sects and Opinions (Part 4)

The Anabaptist. believed that candidates for baptism should be able to make a confession of faith at the same time and as such rejected the accepted method of baptising infants. This was a hot topic in the 1640s and long tracts were written about it putting both sides of the argument. Both the candidate and the baptising minister are stripped to their underclothes, this being one of the only images from the period of a man wearing (under) drawers.

 

 

 

Screen Shot 2014-04-03 at 13.13.56Poore men contrive strange fancies in the braine,

To cleanse that guilt which is a Leopard staine:
‘Tis but a fain’d conceit, contended for,
Since water can but act its outward matter:
Regenerate, new-born; these babes indeed
of watry Elements have little need.

Familists were a mysterious sect founded in the 16th century by Henry Nicholls (HN in the rhyme) and believed that things were ruled by nature, not directly by God as the popular opinion of the times would have it. They also rejected infant baptism and the movement appealed to the cognoscenti; artists, musicians and intellectuals. This chap is looking rather superior in a tall hat and coat.

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Were all things Gospell that H.N. hath said,
A strange confused worke were newly laid:
A perfect state, like Adams, is pretended,
Whilst out wardly each day God is offended:
No Sabboth, but alike all daies shall be,
If Familists may have their Liberty.

Seekers were probably the forerunners of Quakers. They rejected the organised church system, preferring to wait for God’s revelation. Our seeker is wearing a tabbed doublet rather than a coat and is proffering his hat in a respectful way.

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All Ordinances, Church and Ministry,
The Seeker that hath lost his beaten way,
Denies: for miracles he now doth waite,
Thus glorious truths reveal’d are out of date:
Is it not just such men should alwaies doubt
Of clearest truths, in Holy Writ held out.

The Divorcer. Not another sect, but someone who didn’t believe in the sanctity of marriage. The law allowed divorce in certain circumstances but this guy is obviously taking the law into his own hands. Mr and Mrs are wearing nice tall hats, the wife also in a smart petticoat and kerchief whilst the husband has a coat and plain falling band. I trust the staff is no bigger than his thumb!

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To warrant this great Law of Separation,
And make one two, requires high aggravation:
Adultry onely cuts the Marriage-knot,
Without the which Gods Law allowes it not.
Then learn to seperate from sin that’s common,
And man shall have more Comfort from a woman.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

March 12, 2014

Popular Errours

Or the errours of the people in physick, first written in Latine by the learned physitian James Primrose Doctor in Physick. The Latin version was published in 1638, but the English translation came out in 1651 and featured this image. It was a defence of the arts of the learned physician against quack and untrained doctors written in an entertaining style, presumably so that he could reach the largest audience possible.

The picture shows a poor fellow in his sick bed, being ministered to by a doctor, but also a well meaning goodwife who is trying to help but is being restrained by an angel of mercy. She is wearing a petticoat, waistcoat, long apron, ruff collar and a wide brimmed hat over a linen coif. The doctor in a gown, cap and ruff and the ill fellow in his shirt and night cap.

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Here is a closer image of the woman. I’m still not completely sure what she is wearing on her upper half. Perhaps her apron reaches to her chin and she has tucked it under her stiffened bodies? There is a lovely poem on the facing page which represents the busy body trying to take over:

Screen Shot 2014-03-12 at 08.40.02Loe here a woman comes in charitie
To see the sicke, and brings her remedie.
You’ve got some grievous cold, alas! (quoth she)
It lies sore in your bones, no part is free.
His pulse is weake, his vrine’s colour’d high,
His nose is sharpe, his nostrills wide, he’le die.
They talke of Rubarb, Sene, and Agaricke,
Of Cassia, Tamarinds, and many a tricke,
Tush, give the Doctors leave to talk, I’ve brought
pepper posset, nothing can be bought
Like this i’th ‘Pothecaries shoppe; alone
It cures the Fever, Strangury, and Stone;
If not there’s danger, yet before all faile,
Ile have a Cawdle for you, or Mace-ale:
And Ile prepare my Antimoniall Cuppe
To cure your Maladie, one little suppe
Will doe more good, and is of more desert
Then all Hippocrates, or Galens Art.
But loe an Angell gently puts her backe,
Lest such erroneous course the sicke doe wracke,
Leads the Physitian, and guides his hand,
Approves his Art, and what he doth must stand.
Tis Art that God allowes, by him ’tis blest
To cure diseases, leave then all the rest. 

January 13, 2014

London’s Lamentation

Or a fit admonishment for city and countrey, wherein is described certaine causes of this affliction and visitation of the plague, yeare 1641. which the Lord hath been pleased to inflict upon us, and withall what meanes must be used to the Lord, to gaine his mercy and favor, with an excellent spirituall medicine to be used for the preservative both of body and soule.

Printed in London 1641, this little book was an exhortation to the people of London to act more responsibly in view of another of the periodical visitations of the plague in London. The city had been free of the plague for eleven years and I suspect most people had though it had gone for good. What the text reveals is the deep seated belief that any natural disaster was as a direct result of a lack of piety in the populace. The remedy for making sure the disease didn’t return is particularly telling:

…let the Patient that is in danger of any infection or any other disease take and use this spiritual medicine, first in the morning when thou arisest out of thy bed, fall down on thy knees, and give God thanks, that he hath preserved thee the night past from all dangers, and desire him of his mercy, to preserve thee the day following, bless his holy name and magnify him, for her is thy maker, and thou art his creature, thus passé away the day in the service of the Lord and at night , when thou list down to sleep, desire the Lord be thy keeper and defender.

This is the picture on the front cover. The top image shows how London still honoured the dead, even during the plague; (the one at the top dressed only in his shirt) bodies being carried to the burial grounds in coffins by workmen in short doublets and breeches and followed by mourners, the men in cloaks, the women in waistcoats and petticoat skirts. Graves were still dug by grave diggers (wearing caps). The lower pane shows a more rough and ready method of disposing the dead possibly used outside the city, with the dead being dragged to a communal pit on sleds or just by their boots.

 

British Library   E 166  (10)    tp

 

Good people all pray, fast and pray,

That is the chief and only way,

’twill cause the Lord his wrath to stay,

Let this be done, use no delay

 

Now death doth play an envious part,

He strikes full many to the heart,

Yet from grim death ne’re seeme to start,

 ’tis God that may release our smart

January 6, 2014

Elizabeth Murray, Countess of Dysart

with her first Husband Sir Lionel Tollemache and her sister, Margaret Murray, Lady Maynard, painted by Joan Carlile in 1648. Elizabeth was a royalist sympathiser and a prominent member of the Sealed Knot during the Commonwealth but also numbered amongst her regular house guests the Protector Oliver Cromwell. Suffice to say, Elizabeth was a formidable woman, Countess Dysart in her own right and a regular traveller to the continent to visit exiled royalists, including Charles II.

Elizabeth and her sister are wearing the wide sleeved, low cut bodices with attached petticoat skirts that were popular in the late 1640s whilst Sir Lionel (who is characteristically in the background) is dressed in a long coat with a pair of long boots over matching black hose.

The picture hangs in the National Trust property Ham House, in Richmond-upon-Thames

Elizabeth Murray (1626–1698), Countess of Dysart, with Her First Husband, Sir Lionel Tollemache

November 29, 2013

Family Portrait

This picture came up for sale at Christies in London in 2011, and is described as “Family portrait, small three-quarter-length, in black, red and white dress”. It has scant provenance, and in fact is inscribed on the frame with a story of how it turned up: ‘This oil painting washed ashore at Rottingdean with other wreckage from the Australian ship “Simla”,: Run down by the ship City of Lucknow, Feb 25th 1884’. It’s a lovely picture of a typical family from the seventeenth century and has the look of those Dutch master paintings of ordinary folk that hardly ever turn up in portraits by English artists

The people in the picture are dressed in clothes that place the time of the picture in the 1640s or thereabouts, and seem to be as described, a family group. They mostly look at us from the picture, though the three figures on the right look across the picture at the eldest member of the family.  He is presumably the grandfather of the family and is dressed in a gown and ruff collar with a lace edged day cap. The husband and wife (I imagine) are in their best blacks. The wife with a neat plain layered kerchief and a black hood over hers (perhaps this refers to a lost child), whilst the man of the house is in a plain black doublet and a neat falling band. If you look closely though, he has left the lower buttons unfastened so you can see his shirt. The three children are all dressed in petticoats and aprons and there is no way to tell if they are boys or girls from what they are wearing. The seventh figure  is partly hidden by an open door and seems to be wearing a red waistcoat over petticoat skirts and an apron and kerchief.

Family portrait, small three-quarter-length, in black, red and white dress