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Years 1399-1485 page 10


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In the costumes of the short reign of Richard III. the gentlemen appear again in top-boots,

with spurs, and enormous long toes. They have the long tight hose, which are fastened to the doublet with laces or points, as they were called; and we are told that the poor boy, Edward V., when in the Tower, convinced that his uncle meant to murder him, neglected fastening his points, or otherwise attending to his dress. The doublet was open in front, showing a stomacher, and over this was worn a short loose gown, plaited before and behind, with full slashed sleeves. These gowns and doublets were of the richest and most brilliant velvets and satins. On the head was a small cap, generally round and closely fitting, with a roll of fur round it, or turned up at the side with a feather, jewelled up the stem. The hair was worn thick and bushy behind.

The ladies had now, in a great measure, discarded the steeple caps, and wore the hair thrown backwards, in a caul of gold, and over it a kerchief of the finest texture, stiffened out and descending to the back. Some of these kerchiefs were very large. Their gowns were as before, with turn-over collars and cuffs of fur or velvet. On state occasions, the hair was suffered to fall in natural ringlets, and the ermined jacket was worn with a kirtle and mantle. These dresses were very rich with crimson or other bright velvet, cloth of gold, chains and jewels; the shoes being of tissue cloth of gold. They wore also a singular plaited neck covering called a barbe.

The armour through this period was of solid plate, varied in every reign by too many small particulars to be enumerated here. In Henry IV.'s reign, increase of splendour in arms and armour was visible. The basnet was ornamented by a rich wreath, and the jupon, or surcoat, had its border cut into rich foliage, spite of the prohibition. In Henry V.'s reign was introduced the panache, or crest of feathers, stuck into a small pipe on the top of the basnet. The petticoat or apron of chain was replaced by horizontal plates of steel, called tashes or tassets, forming a sort of skirt, and extending from the waist to about the middle of the thigh. In this reign the two-handed waving or flaming sword was introduced. In Henry VI.'s reign the sallet or German steel cap superseded the basnet. In Edward IV.'s the armour was distinguished by its very globular breastplates, and immense elbow and knee plates. Every joint was double covered, and in Richard's reign, the pauldrons, or shoulder plates, and the knee and elbow plates, generally large, fan-shaped, and of most elaborate workmanship, were still more striking. Such it is seen in the effigy of Sir Thomas Peyton, in Isleham Church, Cambridgeshire. Over this armour was worn, not the jupon, but a tabard of arms, loose like a herald's, as in Edward IV.'s reign.

CONDITION OF THE PEOPLE.

We have thus endeavoured to present the reader with as complete a view as possible of the state and appearance of our ancestors of the fifteenth century - a century which seems to close the more strictly feudal ages, which printing, literature, reform of religion, and the discovery of a new world were hastening to terminate, and to inaugurate a wholly new period, and new state of society. This century was by no means favourable to the intellectual or moral advance of the people. It was spent in fighting and in perpetual revolution, alarm, and violence, and the national character suffered no little in consequence. The destruction of high, principle and kindly affection amongst the higher classes spread to the lower. "We have seen that voluptuousness, epicurism, and perjury were every-day sins. The people were superstitious; running after pilgrimages, saints, fastings, and flagellations; whilst they had so abandoned the very heart of Christianity - love of God and love of neighbour, that they began to burn God's children and their own brothers for opinion.

Swearing had become so English a characteristic that Englishmen had already acquired the epithet of "God-dammees;" and Joan of Arc told the Earls of Warwick and Stafford that they would never conquer France, though they had 100,000 more God-dammees with them. There was a spirit of ferocity awoke in the people by their long familiarity with blood and violence which even infected the women, who, many of them, took up arms, and were as fierce as the men. The women of "Wales acquired an infamous celebrity for their horrid mutilations of the soldiers of Lord Mortimer; and Rymer says that, at the siege of Sens, there were many gentlewomen, both French and English, who had long fought in the field, but now also lying in arms at sieges. Sir John Fortescue, chief justice of the King's Bench, writes that there were more men hanged for robbery in England in one year than in France or Scotland in seven; and the ignorance and luxurious effeminacy of the clergy deprived the people of much chance of improvement from that quarter. Perhaps no period of our history, with much military fame and general vigour of character, presents us with so little that is elevated in moral character, or attractive in its social features.

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Pictures for Years 1399-1485 page 10

Tournament
Tournament >>>>
Criminals conducted to Execution
Criminals conducted to Execution >>>>
Execution of a Criminal
Execution of a Criminal >>>>
Friar
Friar >>>>
Isabel Hervey
Isabel Hervey >>>>
Pilgrim buying a Glass Mirror
Pilgrim buying a Glass Mirror >>>>
Parish Priest in Ordinary Costume
Parish Priest in Ordinary Costume >>>>
Earl Rivers
Earl Rivers >>>>
Fac-simile of the Bible
Fac-simile of the Bible >>>>
Fac-simile of the Psalter
Fac-simile of the Psalter >>>>
Fac-simile of Caxton's Printing
Fac-simile of Caxton's Printing >>>>
Copyist at work
Copyist at work >>>>
Physician Bleeding a Patient
Physician Bleeding a Patient >>>>
Abbot Whethamstede of St. Albans
Abbot Whethamstede of St. Albans >>>>
Richard III. and his Queen
Richard III. and his Queen >>>>
Mason and Carpenter
Mason and Carpenter >>>>
Gatehouse of the Priory at Montacute
Gatehouse of the Priory at Montacute >>>>
Gatehouse at Helmingham, Suffolk
Gatehouse at Helmingham, Suffolk >>>>
Red Mount Chapel at Lynn, Norfolk
Red Mount Chapel at Lynn, Norfolk >>>>
Window of Crosby Hall, London
Window of Crosby Hall, London >>>>
Buttress of Beauchamp Chapel
Buttress of Beauchamp Chapel >>>>
Staircase at Charlton House, Kent
Staircase at Charlton House, Kent >>>>
Fireplace at Charlton House, Kent
Fireplace at Charlton House, Kent >>>>
Bay Window at Speke Hall
Bay Window at Speke Hall >>>>
Smithell's Hall, Lancashire
Smithell's Hall, Lancashire >>>>
Staircase leading to the Chapel, Smithell's Hall
Staircase leading to the Chapel, Smithell's Hall >>>>
Amusements of People of Rank
Amusements of People of Rank >>>>
Organ of the 14th Century
Organ of the 14th Century >>>>
Cannon of the 15th Century
Cannon of the 15th Century >>>>
Hand-Guns
Hand-Guns >>>>
Cannon. End of 15th Century
Cannon. End of 15th Century >>>>
Ship of War and Galley of the 15th Century
Ship of War and Galley of the 15th Century >>>>
Coins of Richard III
Coins of Richard III >>>>
Half-Groat of Henry V
Half-Groat of Henry V >>>>
Coins of Edward IV
Coins of Edward IV >>>>
Bedstead of the 15th Century
Bedstead of the 15th Century >>>>
Bed room Furniture
Bed room Furniture >>>>
Kitchen of the 15th Century
Kitchen of the 15th Century >>>>
The Knight's Return from the War
The Knight's Return from the War >>>>
Middle Classes in the 15th Century
Middle Classes in the 15th Century >>>>
Costume of Gentlemen
Costume of Gentlemen >>>>
Male Costume
Male Costume >>>>
Ladies headdresses
Ladies headdresses >>>>
Costume of the Reign of Henry V
Costume of the Reign of Henry V >>>>
Lady Margaret Pennebrygg
Lady Margaret Pennebrygg >>>>
Robert Skerne and Joan his Wife
Robert Skerne and Joan his Wife >>>>
Female Costume
Female Costume >>>>
Male Costume
Male Costume >>>>
Male Costume
Male Costume >>>>
Hats and Caps
Hats and Caps >>>>
Ladies' Head-dresses.
Ladies' Head-dresses. >>>>
Ladies' Head dresses
Ladies' Head dresses >>>>
Female Costume
Female Costume >>>>
Couvrechef, or Kerchief
Couvrechef, or Kerchief >>>>
Jewelry
Jewelry >>>>
Sir John Drayton
Sir John Drayton >>>>
Knight in complete Armour
Knight in complete Armour >>>>
Weapons of the Richard III's time
Weapons of the Richard III's time >>>>
Effigy of Richard Beauchamp
Effigy of Richard Beauchamp >>>>

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