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Edinburgh Research Explorer A Suit of Silver Citation for published version: Wilcox, D 2014, 'A Suit of Silver: The Underdress of a Knight of the Garter in the Late Seventeenth Century' Costume , vol. 48, no. 1, pp. 21-45. DOI: 10.1179/0590887613Z.00000000035

Digital Object Identifier (DOI): 10.1179/0590887613Z.00000000035 Link: Link to publication record in Edinburgh Research Explorer Document Version: Peer reviewed version

Published In: Costume Publisher Rights Statement: Wilcox, D. (2014). A Suit of Silver: The Underdress of a Knight of the Garter in the Late Seventeenth Century. Costume , 48(1), 21-45. 10.1179/0590887613Z.00000000035

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Download date: 27. Jan. 2019

A Suit of Silver: The Underdress of a Knight of the Garter in the Late Seventeenth Century By DAVID WILCOX This paper describes the cut and construction of the doublet and hose worn as underdress to the robes and insignia of the Knights of the Most Noble Order of the Garter at the English Court under Charles II. This example belonged to Charles Stuart, sixth Duke of Lennox and third Duke of Richmond (1639-1672), who was created a knight of the Garter in 1661. It is interesting on several counts: the dominant textile is a very pure cloth of silver; the elaborate hose are constructed with reference to earlier seventeenth-century models; the garments exemplify Charles II’s understanding of the importance of ceremony to successful kingship. The suit was conserved for an exhibition at the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh and the essay gives some account of discoveries made through this process. In addition the garments are placed in the context of late seventeenth-century dress. KEYWORDS:

Charles II, Charles Stuart, sixth Duke of Lennox and third Duke of

Richmond, Order of the Garter, ceremonial dress, seventeenth-century men’s clothing, seventeenth-century tailoring


The National Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh, UK has in its possession a set of clothes comprising a late seventeenth-century ceremonial doublet and trunk hose, part of the underdress of the robes of the Order of the Garter (Figures 1 and 2). 1 The garments are made of cloth of silver and were once worn by Charles Stuart, sixth Duke of Lennox 1

and third Duke of Richmond (1639-1672), who was created a knight of the Garter in 1661. In 2007, the National Museum of Scotland began the conservation of these garments in preparation for a major exhibition on Scottish silver. This essay is in part a product of that process, describing their material construction, but also an examination of the context of the garments’ ceremonial role in the robes of the knights of the Garter. The essay also seeks to show that such clothes had a strategic role in the exercise of kingship, relating them to similar ceremonial practices in European courts. During the conservation work, the author also visited Drummond Castle, Crieff, UK to look at the doublet and hose associated with the Most Noble Order of the Thistle which belonged to James Drummond, fourth Earl of Perth (1648-1716) and which date from the period 1687-1703. 2 The order was revived in 1687 by James II of England and VII of Scotland (1633-1701). This visit enabled a comparison between these two sets of ceremonial underdress, and consideration of them in relation to the Garter Robes used to dress the memorial wax effigy of Charles II (1630-1685), made shortly after his death, which survives in Westminster Abbey Museum, London, UK. These findings will also be discussed in this essay.


The doublet and hose had been preserved at Lennoxlove House, Haddington, UK but were donated to the National Museum of Scotland in 1947. 3 They were in poor condition at that time, as can be seen in a surviving photograph, reproduced in François Boucher’s History of Costume in the West. 4 They were then conserved in the 1960s in a manner fashionable at that time, with adhesive net. 5 By the time of the most recent conservation exercise in 2007, the garments were in need of considerable attention. 6 The conservation in essence consisted of undoing the earlier conservation work 2

carried out in the 1960s and making good with more up-to-date, although painstaking, reversible techniques to stabilize the textiles for the future. A detailed account can be found in the paper prepared by the conservators for conference in 2009. 7 The conservators worked extremely systematically, recording each stage of the unpicking of the garment (mostly stitching that had been done by earlier conservators, but finally some original stitching), carrying out remedial work before re-assembling the garments. The present author had already examined the clothes and constructed pattern diagrams based on observation and measurement and so already had a working knowledge of the clothes. It was agreed that the author would construct toile copies of the garments, building these up in sections so that conservation staff could understand the pattern shapes, how they related to the completed garments and how they were assembled. 8 The finished toiles were also used as models from which the exhibition display stand could be constructed accurately, without risk of damage to the originals. Research staff at the National Museum of Scotland also undertook the analysis of the silver used in various parts of the garments, principally the cloth of silver, the decorative silver lace used to outline the garments, the copious applications of ribbons and the metal point cuffs applied to the sleeves. When conservation was complete the garments were mounted for display on a bespoke stand, as part of an exhibition demonstrating one of the many uses of silver metal. The conserved doublet and hose can be seen in Figures 1 and 2.


In 1660, Charles II returned to England from a long period of exile to take up the English crown (Figure 3). He had been strongly advised by William Cavendish (15931676), Earl of Newcastle, to restore the trappings of kingship, that ‘ceremony though it is nothing in itself yet it doth everything – for what is a king more than a subject, but for


ceremony and order [...] you cannot put upon you too much king’. 9 ‘Nothing keepes upp a King more than seremoney, and order, which makes Distance, and this bringes respecte and Duty’. 10 He also advised, regarding the distribution of honours, that Charles stick with the nobility and gentry: ‘what doth itt coste your Majestie, a blew Riban, a privey Counsellorshipp’ to make ‘great men [...] well pleased, & your Majestie safe.’ As well as the cost-effectiveness of such gestures, he seems here also to be counselling against the selling of honours cheaply, a practice that had tainted the court of James 1 of England and VI of Scotland (1566-1625). 11 In his years of exile in a variety of European courts, Charles had witnessed their ceremonies, dress and fashion and would have been conscious of the value of this form of control and display. From Patricia Wardle’s studies of Edmund Harrison (15901667), the King’s embroiderer, it is clear that with the Restoration there was an immediate re-activation of the Great Wardrobe and the Department of Robes. 12 Harrison had been Embroiderer to Charles I and with his return from exile, became Embroiderer to Charles II. Many other such craftsmen resumed their roles in the machinery of royal display. (There could be a heavy price paid for royal patronage, though, as craftsmen often waited years for accounts to be settled; Harrison himself anticipated in his will that he would still be owed substantial sums at the time of his death and made provision accordingly. 13 Charles II’s tailors John Allen and Claude Sourceau were still waiting for payment for the coronation robes five years after the event). 14 By his actions both during his exile and on his return to England in 1660, Charles II seems to have been dedicated to maintaining the Order of the Garter (founded in 1348 during the reign of Edward III (1312-1377)), which had been a feature of the court of his late father, Charles I (1600-1649). Even when a few years into his reign Charles II was compelled to make economies, cutting the number of court


ceremonies, he maintained the Garter feast. 15 Charles II had himself been installed as a knight of the Garter shortly before his eighth birthday, in 1638. 16 Medals were struck to celebrate this event. 17 As a child he had longed to be part of this elite group. The order constituted a small band of privileged men: the sovereign, Prince of Wales and a group of (no more than) twenty-four knights, appointed by the monarch. There were also occasions when membership of the order might also be bestowed as a mark of honour to a foreign prince or monarch. 18 Charles II had become head of the order on the death of his father Charles I, and he had worn the insignia of the order throughout his years of exile. It was his one badge of kingship. He had also continued to create new knights of the Garter, appointing sixteen new knights in the period before the restoration of 1660 and a further four on his immediate return to England. 19 A study of Charles II’s appointments shows that he used this highly prestigious ‘gift’ as a political tool. When a position fell vacant, Charles would let a number of years pass before an appointment was made, thus holding out the possibility of preferment to his nobles, inspiring loyalty in the hope of reward. During the period of exile, awards had been made in a bid to ensure the loyalty of key nobility. 20 As King of Scotland (crowned 1651) he had tried to have the Scottish ‘Honours’ sent to him in Paris, but this request went unheeded. 21 Consequently he wore the Garter Star on his coat, with a blue sash across his chest and the Garter itself below his left knee on public appearances. On other days he wore the Lesser George around his neck. 22 From this it can be seen that there was no break in the continuity of the order during the Commonwealth, but there was lacking the means to enact its ceremonies with sufficient splendour and generosity, especially from 1654, when Charles left France and the sheltering hospitality of his cousin Louis XIV (16381715) and had to pay his way. It is significant that one of the first things Charles did on his return to England in May 1660, on his progress from Dover to London, was to hold


a Garter ceremony at Canterbury. 23 The Order of the Garter was almost synonymous with kingship for Charles. Both his father Charles 1 and his grandfather James 1 and VI had upheld the tradition of the order and the magnificence of its ceremonies, with the dazzling public processions and elaborate elite ceremonies of the Garter feast. Both had also regularly worn the Garter emblems as part of their dress. The donning of the Garter George had been a daily part of Charles 1’s dressing ritual. 24 The trappings of the robes and regalia were frequently to be seen in portraits, miniatures and medals generated for the Stuart dynasty. It was an order of chivalry similar to that of L’Ordre du Saint-Esprit in France and the Hapsburg Order of the Golden Fleece. Charles I had a new Garter badge designed to incorporate the silver rays that were a motif of the Ordre du Saint-Esprit, helping to underline its sacred significance. The emblem of the garter and its motto were frequently used to signify qualities of kingship – religious faith, virtue and personal authority - and were part of the apparatus of royal propaganda, helping to underpin the symbolic order and the Stuart monarchs’ public image as mediated through portraits, prints, medals and coins. 25 It was against this background that the new design for the robes of the Order of the Garter was made on his return to England and kingship – with Charles deliberately opting for a design which, although new, reflected the earlier Stuart Court. This is in many respects similar to his treatment of the crown jewels. These had been broken up and sold by Parliament after the execution of Charles I in 1649. The new crown jewels made for the Coronation of 1661 were a faithful copy of the originals. 26 The Coronation itself was similarly arranged: Charles had ordered that ‘the records and old formularies should be examined’ using tradition to add ‘lustre and splendour to the solemnity’. 27 Thus it was that, regarding the design of the Garter robes, Charles was


concerned lest the underhabit or underdress ‘followed too much the modern fashion, never constant and less comporting with the decency, gravity, and stateliness of the upper Robes of the Order’, and decided on a short doublet and ‘the old trunk-hose or round breeches, whereof the stuff or Material shall be some such Cloth of Silver, as we shall chuse and appoint’. 28 He wanted there to be fixed in the public mind, through carefully managed display and ceremony, a sense of continuity with the past and implicit in this, his right to rule. There was perhaps too a sense of measuring up to European royalty as there are similarities in the design of the underdress with those of the Ordre du Saint-Esprit, which Charles would have seen at the French court during his period of exile. 29


Charles Stuart was one of four noblemen to be elected and installed as a knight of the Garter, during a three-day feast commencing 15 April 1661 at Windsor Castle in honour of St George, the patron saint of the Order of the Garter. 30 Windsor Castle was the traditional home of the order. The feast was held a week early, instead of the traditional St George’s day, 23 April, because in 1661 that day had been set for Charles II’s Coronation ceremony. 31 Charles Stuart was born in 1639, the only child of George Stuart, ninth Seigneur d’Aubigny, and Katherine Howard, daughter of the second Earl of Suffolk. 32 At the age of six, he was created Baron Newbury and Earl of Lichfield. In 1658, aged eighteen, he crossed to France and took up residence in the house of his uncle, the Seigneur d’Aubigny. As cousin and supporter of Charles II, he returned with the king to England in the spring of 1660. Later that year, with the death of his cousin Esmé, Charles Stuart succeeded as third Duke of Richmond and sixth Duke of Lennox. By 1666 he had been 7

married twice and was twice widowed. In 1667 he married for a third time, to Frances Theresa Stuart (1647-1702). This marriage was a much talked about event, as ‘La Belle Stuart’ was a favourite of Charles II. (She was the model for the figure of ‘Britannia’ which was first used on medals struck to celebrate naval victories over the Dutch). In 1671, Charles Stuart was sent as ambassador to Denmark in an attempt to persuade that country to join England and France in an attack on the Dutch. He died there the following year, aged thirty-three, but was later buried at Westminster Abbey. The absence of children from his marriages meant that his titles reverted to the Crown. The titles Duke of Richmond and Duke of Lennox were revived a few years later, in 1675, for Charles II’s natural son by his mistress Louise de Kérouaille. Charles Stuart’s widow did not remarry and Charles II granted her a pension of £1000 a year. Before she died, in 1702, she purchased Lethington Tower and estate (East Lothian, Scotland) as a present for her nephew’s son Walter, Master of Blantyre, the house to be renamed ‘Lennoxlove’ in memory of her gift to him. 33 It was through this family line that the cloth of silver doublet and hose and the blue velvet mantle survived, remaining at Lennoxlove House through the centuries, even though there have been several changes of ownership of the house. In 1946, Lady Hersey and Major Robert Baird sold Lennoxlove House to the Duke of Hamilton and the doublet and trunk hose were donated to the National Museum of Scotland. The portrait of Charles Stuart wearing his Garter robes and regalia was painted by Sir Peter Lely (1618-80) around 1668 and this painting survives at Lennoxlove House along with the Garter mantle. 34 (There is also another copy of the portrait in the North Carolina Museum of Art, see Figure 4). These surviving items of dress are relatively rare as Garter robes were supposed to be returned after death to the College of Arms and the jewels to the Sovereign. 35



A useful account of the detail of the ceremonial costume associated with the order can be found in Alan Mansfield’s book on the subject. 36 It is worth listing here the elements that make up the ceremonial outfit. The clothing elements are the Mantle, the Surcoat, the Hood, the Cap and the Underdress. The Garter itself could be a relatively simple fabric garter embroidered with the motto, ‘Honi soit qui mal y pense’, or a more elaborate affair such as Charles II’s own gold-mounted, jewel-encrusted garter with its 250 diamonds and a miniature portrait worked in the gold of the buckle. The other insignia were the Collar, the George, the Lesser George and the Star. At the time of the Restoration, the mantle was a full semicircular cloak of blue silk velvet which was lined with white silk taffeta. King Charles II’s mantle required twenty yards of velvet and had a train two yards long. Those of his ‘Knights subject’ had no train, simply reaching to the ground and made from around fifteen yards of velvet. 37 This is borne out by the mantle of Charles Stuart which survives at Lennoxlove House, which is ground length, without a train. An examination of this surviving mantle showed that it could be constructed easily from fifteen yards of velvet. The garment itself is a simple semicircle made of parallel lengths of velvet, cut from velvet 20 inches/50.8 centimetres wide, with the nap running in the same direction. In essence it is similar to the cut and construction of the surviving mantle of Christian IV of Denmark (1577-1648) dating from 1603 – the blue velvet is the same width - but without the train. 38 On the left of the mantle was worn an embroidered badge of the order – a white shield with St George’s cross framed by a garter with the motto. This too appears on the mantle of Charles Stuart at Lennoxlove. The garment was completed with a stand collar and two long blue and gold cords attached, ending in large tassels. The mantle was supplied by the Royal Wardrobe at this time. 39 It is likely that Charles


Stuart had two such mantles, one which was kept permanently at Windsor and another which was worn on all other occasions. 40 The Surcoat during the seventeenth century was a simple garment of crimson velvet. It can be seen clearly in a portrait of Charles II by John Michael Wright (16171694) and in the portrait of Charles Stuart by Sir Peter Lely (Figure 4). 41 It was also known as a ‘gown’ or ‘kirtle’. Janet Arnold mapped a pattern of a surviving surcoat and this resembles in style the one seen in the Wright and Lely portraits. 42 The Hood was a relic of the fifteenth-century chaperon which by the seventeenth century had become a padded ring of velvet with a narrow liripipe streamer. It was worn over the right shoulder. The Cap was of two forms during the Restoration, a low soft crowned cap of black velvet or a narrow brimmed hat of black velvet. There exist a number of sketches from the mid-1660s made by Sir Peter Lely of knights of the Garter in full ceremonial dress, one of which survives in the collection at the Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg. It is thought to be of Charles Stuart, Duke of Richmond and Lennox and the striking interest of the portrait is the form of the hat worn with the Garter robes. This can be seen as almost like a top-hat in shape, with pleated crown and feather plume. 43 The hat on Charles II’s memorial effigy in Westminster Abbey has a stiff, pleated crown about six inches high and is trimmed with a tall plume of white ostrich and black heron feathers (which were wildly expensive at that time). The Underdress of the costume consisted of the short doublet and trunk hose under discussion here, along with a linen shirt with lace cuffs and lace collar band. White silk stockings were also worn. The memorial effigy of Charles II was found to wear small clothes or drawers with the stockings attached, and this arrangement seems to have continued into the nineteenth century. 44 This practical arrangement must have been necessary even with the trunk hose of Charles Stuart as the trunks do not extend


far over the thighs, unlike those of the late sixteenth and earlier seventeenth century. The Scottish Order of the Thistle underdress which survives at Drummond Castle, also had a pair of inner breeches or linings with pearl-knitted silk stockings attached, and which were worn under the cloth of silver petticoat-like hose. 45 The other elements of Garter dress are the insignia referred to above. The Collar was a chain of twenty-six enamelled garters, each linked to its neighbour by stylized knotted cords of gold. This was worn outermost, across the chest, the ends secured to the costume with white satin ribbons. Hanging from the collar was an enamelled gold model of St George on horseback, spearing a dragon. The Lesser George was similar in design to the George but the gold emblem was attached to a ribbon which was worn round the neck. The Star was a badge, either embroidered or of silver and enamel which was worn on outer garments when the Garter mantle was not in use. Knights were not supposed to wear their robes and regalia outside appointed ceremonies, and the Star was a way of displaying their status and fellowship outside those times. This rule was broken immediately after the ceremonies of April 1667, when the king and his knights were seen to ride around until dark, still in their robes, drawing scandalized comment from Pepys in his diary. 46


From Maria Hayward’s investigations it seems clear that Charles II’s wardrobe was principally influenced by Claude Sourceau, a French tailor whom he employed from the late 1640s to 1671. 47 Working in partnership with him from 1660 was John Allen, a tailor who had travelled with Charles II throughout his period of exile as a member of his permanent household staff and who continued to work as his personal tailor during the first decade of the Restoration. 48 The fashion at this date among the elite was a


preference for French clothing and French craft skill and Sourceau was in a position to pass on information about the latest fashions. It may be that the ultimate architect of the design of the underdress of the Garter robes was Claude Sourceau, as he would have knowledge of the underdress of the Ordre du Saint-Esprit. The design of the doublet and hose of cloth of silver would have to gain the king’s personal approval before this style was ever executed for himself and for his knights. In that sense, the garments of the underdress discussed here do not reflect the taste or habits of Charles Stuart, Duke of Richmond and Lennox. The clothes were a given, their design approved by the king, reflecting his desires and taste rather than those of his kinsman. But it may be said that Charles Stuart was not so very different in his tastes as his patterns of consumption show him working to maintain the required level of aristocratic display. He spent considerable sums on silks, ribbons and garnitures, gold and silver lace, furs and muffs, and on liveries for his household staff. He made use of five tailors, one of them French, for he had estates in France. Like most of the elite, he had much less need of woollen cloth, choosing to dress mostly in velvet, silk, satin or in mixed cloths of silk and wool. 49


The Doublet The doublet is a relatively simple garment, cut from cloth of silver, mounted on to plain weave unbleached linen and lined throughout with cream tabby-weave silk (see Figures 5-7). The cloth of silver tissue has a base of cream, closely woven, ribbed silk tabby, with supplementary wefts of fine silver strips, held down by every other warp. The cream silk warp is very fine and loosely spun. The silver strips have been cut from


silver foil, each strip approximately 200 microns wide and a thickness of 8 – 10 microns. Examination of fragments of silver taken from the textile showed the silver to be of high purity (99%) and also confirmed that the strips had been sheared rather than drawn. 50 The pure or unalloyed nature of the silver meant that it had flexibility and ductility, qualities necessary for use as a textile. It is likely that the cloth of silver was of French manufacture as English silk weavers were not then in a position to challenge the best French silks. 51 The doublet is short waisted, that is, it is in a style designed to show an expanse of shirt in the gap between the doublet and the trunk-hose. These garments were never designed to connect in the way that Elizabethan and Jacobean clothes did, tied together by points or, as later, hooking together. But the doublet does carry vestiges of the earlier styles. The bottom edge is finished with a set of six rectangular skirt tabs, echoing the tabs in earlier styles of doublets, although here they do not overlap, indeed there is a small gap between each one. This seems to be a deliberate feature of the doublet’s design. Each tab is ornamented along its top edge, below the waist seam, with a row of stitched eyelet holes. The eyelets of this doublet have no practical function, for although they are real enough, the back of each tab is lined with a piece of silk which covers them. They seem to be a remnant of doublets of the era of Charles I, where the eyelets worked on the skirt tabs, just under the waist seam, had a real function, as trussing laces connecting doublet to hose were threaded through these. 52 These trussing laces eventually became replaced by non-functional decorative ribbons. Curiously, the tabs of the Garter doublet have small metal eyes sewn to their lining, just above the hem edge; their function is not clear as there are no corresponding hooks on the trunk-hose waistband. The doublet has no stand collar, but a neckline bound with cream silk. The sleeves are not quite full length, thus allowing for a puff of shirt sleeve to show at the wrist and the tight gathering of fabric at the front


seam amplifies this effect. Both sleeves have a small tuck on the underarm to allow them to fit the armholes. The cuff edges are also trimmed by a double layer of metal thread lace (point), one narrow (3.0 centimetres), one deep (9.5cm), and a line of narrow metal thread braid (0.7cm) where they join the sleeve. Figure 8 shows a detail of the cuff lace, the metal thread of which has a silk core wrapped round with fine strips of silver foil. These silver lace cuffs are finished with bunches of ribbons, similar to those found on the trunk-hose, with eighteen ribbons on the left sleeve and nineteen on the right. The left-hand centre front of the garment has a row of twenty-one buttonholes, each 2 cm long, while the right-hand centre front has a corresponding line of twentyone passementerie buttons, each with a diameter of 1.1 cm, depth of 0.65 cm, and set 0.5 cm in from the edge. These buttons have a wooden core worked over with metal thread in a basket-weave pattern. There is one additional button, of the same kind, attached to the right-hand front, at shoulder level. The function of this button remains unclear, since the doublet was largely obscured by the surcoat which sat over it. The doublet is further ornamented with strips of metal thread bobbin lace, width 3 cm, which outline the front, back, shoulders, skirt tabs and sleeves. The pattern of their application is shown in Figure 8, while an x-radiography image shows the lace’s intricate design more clearly (Figure 9). Like earlier seventeenth-century doublets, the Garter doublet has triangular belly pieces attached to each front section, set between the linen support and the silk lining (Figure 7). These are made from two layers of whalebone sandwiched between layers of stiffened white linen. One layer of whalebone strips is set parallel to the centre front edge, while another layer overlaps this, set on the diagonal. Figure 10 shows a photograph of this detail, revealed when the lining was removed during conservation. Stylistically the doublet is similar to those of the 1660s in that it relates to the


fashion of the times. It does however depart in some details. When compared with an example from the Verney Collection, Claydon House, Buckinghamshire, UK the Garter doublet differs in that it has a simple, slightly curved, side seam while the Verney doublet has a side-back dog-leg seam. 53 This latter was common in mid-seventeenth century doublets. The Verney doublet has sleeves composed of fabric strips, another fashionable feature of the period, while the Garter doublet has simple unslashed sleeves. 54 There is another garment from this period in the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, a silver-gilt silk tissue doublet, with slashed sleeves. 55 It shares some design features with the Garter doublet in having skirt tabs, each with a row of blind eyelet holes and also a similar braiding pattern on the doublet body. It too has the stepped or dog-leg seam at the side back, although this is not immediately obvious as it is covered by decorative silver-gilt lace. Like the Verney doublet it has ‘slashed’ sleeves, though in this case, the cuts have all been made to the sleeve and are not independent strips. 56 The garment also has the fashionable short length of the period. Both these doublets, the Verney and the V&A, have belly pieces like the Garter doublet. They also have stiffened stand collars, unlike the Garter doublet with its simple bound neckline. The Trunk Hose The trunk hose are essentially constructed in two parts: the upper part which forms the distinctive puffs of fabric and the lower part which is neatly fitted to the crotch area and is ungathered (this piece resembles low cut swimming briefs - see Figure 11). Of the two sections, it is the upper section which is more complicated in its construction (Figure 12). Each upper leg section is formed from a rectangle of cloth of silver constructed from three widths of the fabric. The complete selvedge width of the cloth has been used and this is about 18 ins/45.72 cm. In the middle of each three-width 15

expanse of silver cloth is worked a pocket slit to which a pocket bag is attached and the edges bound with silver metal-wrapped thread braid. On the right-hand side there is an additional pocket let in to the seam which joins the silver panels together and this again is edged with braid. In total there are three pockets. The larger pocket bags are formed from a rectangle of white linen to which has been stitched a facing of cream silk, while the small right-hand pocket, set in a seam, is formed from cream silk only (Figure 13). On the outside of each leg, along the axis established by the side pockets, a double band of silver bobbin lace, width 3 cm, is applied (Figure 12). On the left-hand side, both strips are present and extend just shy of the bottom edge. On the right-hand side, only one strip remains, although it does extend all the way to the bottom edge. At the front edge of each three-width silver panel, a deep pleat has been made in the cloth of silver to reduce the width and a further pleated tuck has been made to reduce the depth of the panel at the centre front (see diagram, Figure 12). In addition to these preparations, the bottom edge is reduced in circumference by multiple darting. Along the bottom edge a strip of white linen has been applied, extending all the way along the edge, except for the centre front pleat, and twenty-three darts have been stitched, catching silver and linen in each dart. By these means, the bottom edge has been stiffened and transformed into a circular shape, with a reduction on each leg to a circumference of 50.5 cm. At the top edge the cloth of silver has been gathered to fit the waist circumference. In order to shape each silver leg panel into a puffed shape, a length of stiffened white linen has been covered in white silk and the two pleated along both top and bottom edges to give the reduction necessary to match the waist and hip circumferences (Figure 13, upper diagram). This pleated lining, when stitched inside both legs and attached to the waistband, reduces the depth of the silver panels and throws the excess outwards as a puff. The technique of darting the bottom edges to reduce the circumference is to be


found in Jacobean trunk hose. 57 These two leg puffs are sewn together through a centre back seam, with the cloth of silver sewn independently of the pleated, stiffened lining. At the centre front, on the right-hand side of the fly opening, a buttonholed fly-piece has been stitched – it carries four buttonholes – and it is partly masked by the front pleat of the cloth of silver. There are no surviving buttons which correspond with the flypiece’s buttonholes. This upper puffed section is sewn to the upper edge of the short trunks-like piece which sits around the crotch. The waist edge of the trunk hose is completed by stitching to a waist band. This is formed from several short lengths of cloth of silver, supported by a strip of buckram. The silver strip has been turned over the top edge of the buckram and just below this fold, on the inside, has been stitched the pleated stiffened lining of the trunk hose. There is a single buttonhole worked on the left-hand side and it corresponds to a large button on the right-hand side. The button is 3cm in diameter and has a wooden domed core, worked over with silver threads. Along the waistband, on the outside, are stitched twenty bunches of ribbons. These are not very regular in their spacing. The ribbon bunches are composed of four types of ribbon, each cut about 50 cm long and folded and stitched in two ways (Figure 11). The ribbons are of silk, or of silver lace or a combination of both. The lower section of the trunk hose is cut from cloth of silver and is mounted on to a white linen foundation of the same shape (Figure 11). The cloth of silver is cut in one large piece with two smaller pieces giving extra width at the hips. The whole is lined with white silk, pieced together to give the same shape. Into the central front section extends the fly opening, which has been cut through and bound with a strip of silk. This opening is continuous with the fly opening in the upper section. There is a buttonhole on the left-hand side but no surviving corresponding button. It is to this lower garment section that a tier of ribbons is attached. The individual sites are marked


on the pattern, each representing a bunch of ribbons. They number thirty-five in total and they are composed of the same ribbons as those attached along the waistline, and again the spacing of the bunches is slightly irregular. An important thing to note about the completed trunk hose is that the garment is bifurcated, has a functional centre front fly opening and practical pockets and in these respects resembles earlier Jacobean models. Since Charles II’s Garter underdress of this time did not survive, the trunk hose of the Duke of Richmond are the closest in cut and style to the hose that can be clearly seen in high-definition in John Michael Wright’s portrait of Charles II, c. 1661-2 (Figure 4), where the king is shown wearing his Parliamentary Robes over his Garter costume. 58 While the style of the doublet relates directly to styles fashionable around 1660, a style identified especially with the French, the style of the trunk hose echoes the earlier Stuart period of James 1 and VI and techniques of their construction, where a large width of fabric is cleverly darted into a much smaller circumference, are to be found in those earlier examples. But while in the trunk hose of the early seventeenth century the gathered volume was made to fit the thigh, the Garter hose fullness in this example is made to sit around the hips. What is clear is that the design is an attempt to reference the past, but find a new way to fabricate this appearance, else why not copy the old style directly? And it is clear that the underdress of the Garter robes was in reality quite different in that earlier Stuart period; a portrait of James 1 and VI by Daniel Mytens, showing the king in his Garter robes, reveals that he is wearing full, long hose of white satin that reach to his knees. 59 The Garter hose of the 1660s resist fashion in that they are not petticoat breeches, which were extremely popular at this time and were commonly worn with a short-waisted doublet, but they collude with fashion in being heavily beribboned: the doublet and hose combined have at least 130


metres of ribbon, attached in bunches. 60 The fashionable gap between doublet and hose was maintained with this hybrid style and the expanse filled with the full folds of a generously cut shirt. Portraiture also shows that the shirts worn with these clothes were contemporary, with full, lace-trimmed sleeves and lavish lace collar bands. So although Charles II expressed a wish that the underdress should resemble the ‘old style’ and should stand apart from fashion, it is clear that this instruction was not strictly held to and presumably he approved this style for he wore it on ceremonial occasions, as evidenced in the John Michael Wright portraits.

How do these garments relate to other ceremonial examples from this period? There are two surviving underdress suits of known provenance and date with which to compare the Duke of Richmond’s set. One set survives on the wax effigy of Charles II which is kept at Westminster Abbey Museum and which is dressed in Garter robes. The effigy was made shortly after Charles II’s death (1685) and was ready in the following year, 1686. 61 The set of doublet and trunk hose of cloth of silver to be found on the effigy of Charles II may or may not have belonged to him; there is no clear evidence either way. 62 The other surviving set belonged to James Drummond, fourth Earl of Perth and a knight of the Thistle. Presently held at Drummond Castle, this underdress of doublet and trunk-hose of cloth of silver dates from the period 1687-1716. 63 Both sets of garments are interesting in that even at this early date they show the tendency to ‘fossilization’ and the shift of once practical styles into a simplified symbolic form. The doublet found on the effigy of Charles II is similar to that of the Duke of Richmond, a short-waisted bodice, with shallow tabs set around the bottom edge, with the same pattern of ornamentation, but with some openings in the seams at centre back and on the sleeve front seam. The sleeves too are shorter, but in general a similar sort of garment to 19

the one under study here. However, the trunk hose have been dramatically simplified to a kind of short skirt or petticoat. This garment has some of the appearance of the earlier trunk hose with puffs of cloth of silver and ribbons (though only a few token bunches at centre front) but the garment is not bifurcated and simply wraps around the body, fastening at the back. That this is not an example unique to the effigy, indeed, not simplified for this occasion alone, can be shown by examination of the ‘trunk hose’ surviving as part of the Order of the Thistle robes and regalia. Here too, while the doublet has a recognisable form and style to that of the Duke of Richmond (although the body and sleeves are longer) there is found a similar simplification of the trunk hose to a decorated skirt or petticoat. This simplified style of hose continued in use as part of the Garter underdress through both eighteenth and nineteenth centuries until these foundations were replaced in the twentieth century by morning dress or service uniform. 64


The ceremonial underdress presented in this paper and which formed part of the uniform of the Order of the Garter during the early years of the reign of Charles II, remains interesting on several counts. The clothes were worn on ceremonial occasions, notably the Feast of St George, by members of an elite, privileged group, whose numbers were limited by statute. In its material form we see not the individual clothing choice of its wearer, Charles Stuart, Duke of Richmond, but a clothing style defined by the King and his tailors. This clothing reveals little about its owner and wearer, but a great deal about Charles II and his understanding of display and the performance of kingship. Both the creation of a new knight of the Garter and the gift of this clothing lay in his power and he used it for political ends. In these carefully preserved textiles we 20

see reflected the use of clothing to generate visual spectacle, to underline exclusivity by the use of expensive materials, to exercise control of a group of powerful aristocrats on whose loyalty the king depended, to maintain an illusion of continuity with the past – and by implication, Charles II’s right to rule. As Kevin Sharpe has noted, the legacy of the civil war and a decade of republic gave Charles II the difficulty of reconstituting monarchy. The arts of representing regality through images, display and ceremony were more vital than ever to survival. 65 After the Restoration, the images of Charles II wearing Garter robes are the most numerous and the most copied. 66 The underdress clothes themselves appear, by comparison with other examples, to be the earliest surviving design from Charles II’s reign and their construction reveals them to be of their time, related to fashionable clothing, despite some appearances to the contrary.

Acknowledgements The author would like to thank Naomi Tarrant, George Dalgleish, Jim Tate, Lynn McClean, Sarah Foskett, Helen Osmani and Margaret Wilson – all current or former staff at the National Museum of Scotland. Thanks are also due to the present Duke of Hamilton for permission to visit Lennoxlove House, where the author was able to examine the Garter Robe which belonged to Charles Stuart. Thanks are due to Dr Michael Peter of the Abegg-Stiftung for his valuable comments on the electron microscopy. REFERENCES


Doublet and Trunk Hose, c. 1665. Cloth of silver, silk. National Museum of Scotland, Chambers Street,

Edinburgh EH1 1JF, UK. NMS Registration Number A.1947.257. Donated by Lady Hersey Baird. 2

Drummond Castle, Muthill, Crieff, PH7 4HZ, Scotland, UK.



Lennoxlove House, Haddington EH41 4NZ, Scotland, UK.


François Boucher, A History of Costume in the West (London: Thames and Hudson, 1967), p. 259, fig.

572. 5 6

The garments had been conserved by adhering coarse nylon net, probably heat set, to damaged areas. The doublet and hose were conserved over the course of 2007, to be ready for the exhibition Silver:

Made in Scotland which opened at the National Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh in January 2008. See publication: George Dalgleish and Henry Steuart Fothringham, Silver: Made in Scotland (Edinburgh: National Museums Scotland, 2008), pp. 2-3. 7

Sarah Foskett and Lynn McClean, ‘Precious Metal: the conservation of a 17th century garter suit’ in

Conservation of Three-Dimensional textiles (7th North American Textile Conservation Conference Preprints: Quebec City, Canada, 2009), pp. 43-64. 8


Toile: a version of a garment made in inexpensive cloth to test a pattern. In U.S. known as a ‘muslin’. Jenny Uglow, A Gambling Man: Charles II and the Restoration (London: Faber, 2009), p. 112.



Tim Harris, Restoration: Charles II and His Kingdoms, 1660-1685 (London: Allen Lane, 2005), p. 68. Antti Matikkala, The Orders of the Knighthood and the Formation of the British Honours System

1600-1760 (Woodbridge, Suffolk: The Boydell Press, 2008), p. 41. 12

Patricia Wardle, ‘The King’s Embroiderer: Edmund Harrison (1590-1667) II. His Work’, Textile

History 26 (2) (1995), 139-184 (p. 140). 13

Patricia Wardle, ‘The King’s Embroiderer: Edmund Harrison (1590-1667) I. The man and his milieu’,

Textile History 25 (1) (1994), 29-59 (p. 43). 14

Anna Keay, The Magnificent Monarch: Charles II and the Ceremonies of Power (London: Continuum,

2008), pp. 5 and 235. 15 16

Uglow, A Gambling Man, p. 255. Ronald Hutton, Charles the Second: King of England, Scotland, and Ireland (Oxford: Clarendon,

1989), p. 2. 17

Kevin Sharpe, Image Wars: Promoting Kings and Commonwealths in England 1603-1660 (New

Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2010), p. 219. 18

A list of dates of the election of knights during his exile until 1661 can be found in A Perfect Catalogue

of All the Knights of the Most Noble Order of the Garter: From the First Institution of it Untill this


Present April, Auno 1661: Whereunto is Prefixed a Short Discourse Touching the Institution of the Order, the Patron, Habit, and Solemnities of it, with many other Particulars which concern the same. Collected and Continued by J. N. (London: Anne Seile, 1661), pp. 31-35. A number of European princes are honoured. 19 20 21

Keay, The Magnificent Monarch, p. 72; Uglow, A Gambling Man, p. 47. Keay, The Magnificent Monarch, p. 72. Keay, The Magnificent Monarch, pp. 57 and 75. The Honours of Scotland were the crown, heavy with

pearls, gilt spurs and the sword of state. Charles II was crowned king of Scotland in a ceremony at Scone Abbey, near Perth, on 1 January 1651. The present day Honours of Scotland are held at Edinburgh Castle, Edinburgh, EH1 2NG, UK. 22

Keay, The Magnificent Monarch, p. 75. The Collar was a chain of enamelled garters from which hung

the George, a model in gold and precious stones of St George on horseback. A smaller, more practical version of the George was the Lesser George or Hunting George, a jewelled badge depicting St George which hung on a wide blue ribbon worn around the neck. 23 24

25 26 27


Katharine Gibson, The Cult of Charles II, Paper 47 (London: Royal Stuart Society, 1997 ), p. 8. Sharpe, Image Wars, p. 242. Sharpe, Image Wars, pp. 242-243. Keay, The Magnificent Monarch, p. 5. Keay, The Magnificent Monarch, p. 4. Alan Mansfield, Ceremonial Costume: Court, Civil and Civic Costume from 1660 to the present day

(London: Adam and Charles Black, 1980), p. 59. 29 30

Valerie Cumming, Understanding Fashion History (London: B. T. Batsford, 2004), p. 106. The three-day celebrations began on 15 April, with the main ceremony on the 16th. A list of the four

new Knights of the Order of the Garter installed on this occasion can be found, alongside a list of all members of the Order in April 1661, in A Perfect Catalogue of All the Knights of the Most Noble Order of the Garter: From the First Institution of it Untill this Present April, Auno 1661 (London: Anne Seile, 1661), pp. 33-35. 31

For an account of the form of the three-day celebration, see: The order of the ceremonies used at the

celebration of St. Georges Feast at Windsor, when the sovereign of the most noble Order of the Garter is


present Printed by his Majesties special command, published in London and printed by Andr. Clark, for Sam. Mearne book-binder to the Kings most Excellent Majesty, 1671]. It seems that there was a tradition for the newly installed knights to gift their ordinary mantles to Garter King of Arms, once they had adopted their new Garter robes. See Lisa Jefferson, ‘Gifts Given and Fees paid to Garter King of Arms at installation Ceremonies of the Order of the Garter During the Sixteenth Century’, Costume, 36 (2002), pp. 18-35. 32

Biographical information drawn from the Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1901 (London:

Smith. Elder, and Co., 1885-1913), Vol 55 and John Callow, ‘Stuart, Charles, sixth duke of Lennox and third duke of Richmond (1639–1672)’, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004; online edition, Oct 2009 . 33

Frances Stuart was buried with her husband in Westminster Abbey. Unlike him, but like Charles II, she

was memorialised with a wax effigy. It has survived to the present, along with Frances Stuart’s pet parrot, and both can be seen at the Westminster Abbey Museum, London, SW1P 3PA. 34

Janet Arnold, ‘A Prelate’s Robe for the Most Noble Order of the Garter worn by the Right Reverend

Sir Jonathan Trelawny, 3rd Bart., Lord Bishop of Winchester, in 1707, Costume, 19 (1985), pp. 22-36. Janet Arnold mentions the preservation of the Garter mantle at Lennoxlove House in her introduction to this essay. Benign neglect seems closer to the truth. It seems that it was being used to line a cupboard, which is where it was discovered in 2005, during the renovation of the house (personal communication with Duke of Hamilton’s private secretary). The robe is in relatively good condition and is currently an exhibit at Lennoxlove House. 35

Janet Arnold, ‘The Kirtle, or Surcoat, and Mantle of the most noble Order of the Garter worn by

Christian IV, King of Denmark and Norway’, The Antiquaries Journal, 72 (1992), pp. 141-167 (pp.163164). 36 37 38

Mansfield, Ceremonial Costume, pp. 46-68. Mansfield, Ceremonial Costume, p. 50. Janet Arnold, ‘The Kirtle, or Surcoat, and Mantle of the most noble Order of the Garter worn by

Christian IV, King of Denmark and Norway’, The Antiquaries Journal, 72 (1992), pp. 141-167 (pp.163164). 39

Mansfield, Ceremonial Costume, p. 50.



Janet Arnold, ‘The Kirtle, or Surcoat, and Mantle of the most noble Order of the Garter worn by

Christian IV, King of Denmark and Norway’, The Antiquaries Journal,72 (1992), pp. 141-167 (p.163). 41

John Michael Wright, King Charles II, c.1660-65. Oil on canvas, 126.4 X 101 cm. London: National

Portrait Gallery. Object no. NPG531. This portrait of Charles II, seated, wearing Garter Robes can be viewed online at . 42

Janet Arnold, ‘The Kirtle, or Surcoat, and Mantle of the most noble Order of the Garter worn by

Christian IV, King of Denmark and Norway’, The Antiquaries Journal, 72 (1992), pp. 141-167. This essay contains a pattern diagram showing the cut of the crimson velvet kirtle or surcoat made for Christian IV in 1603. This is a simple, flared garment reaching to the calves, with tapered hanging sleeves. The surcoat of c. 1685 that was used to dress the effigy of Charles II is similar: it too is a flared garment of red velvet, but with simplified tubular sleeves by this date. 43

This image can be viewed at . Other figures from the procession

of Garter Knights can be seen in the exhibition catalogue: Oliver Millar, Sir Peter Lely, 1618-80: exhibition at Carlton House Terrace, London SW1 (London: National Portrait Gallery, 1978), pp. 80-87. 44 45

Mansfield, Ceremonial Costume, p. 60-61. Hazel Reid, ‘A Collection of Thistle Robes from Drummond Castle’, Costume, 8 (1974), pp. 51-55 (p.

53). 46

Samuel Pepys, The Diary of Samuel Pepys: A New And Complete Transcription, ed. by Robert Latham

and William Matthews, 11 vols (London: Bell and Hyman, 1970-1983), vol. 8, p.184. 47

Maria Hayward, ‘Dressing Charles II: The King’s Clothing Choices (1660-85)’, in Se vêtir à la cour en

Europe, 1400-1815, ed. by Isabelle Paresys and Natacha Coquery, Centre de Recherche du château de Versailles (Lille: Institut de recherché du septentrion et CEGES université de Lille 3, July 2011), pp.159176 (p.162). 48

Keay, The Magnificent Monarch, pp. 47-48. Charles also kept a shoemaker on his household staff.

Charles in exile was never unattended; his entourage was often as large as 300 persons, only a quarter of whom were actually in the king’s employ. John Allen seems to have made much of Charles’ day-to-day clothing. 49

Diana de Marly, ‘Fashionable Suppliers 1660-1700: Leading Tailors and Clothing Tradesmen of the

Restoration Period’, The Antiquaries Journal , 58 (2) (1979), pp. 333-351.



Jim Tate, ‘Analytical Research Section Report No. AR 06/30 Metal threads from the Garter Suit

(C&AR No. 13223)’, National Museums Scotland internal report, 2006. A micron is a micrometre (μm), a millionth part of a metre. Six fragments were examined. Dr Michael Peter of the Abegg-Stiftung, Riggisberg, Switzerland confirmed that the silver had been sheared, by examination of the scanning electron micrographs (personal communication). 51

Natalie Rothstein, ‘Silk in the Early Modern Period, c. 1500-1780’ in The Cambridge History of

Western Textiles, Vol. 12, ed. by David Jenkins (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003), pp. 528-561. 52

There are several doublets of this type in the costume collection of the Victoria and Albert Museum,

London, e.g. Doublet, silk and linen, 1625- 30. Object reference:170-1868. A pattern of this particular doublet can be found in Norah Waugh, The Cut of Men’s Clothes (London: Faber and Faber, 1964), p. 24. 53

Waugh, The Cut of Men’s Clothes, pp. 32-33.


More can be read about this doublet, from which Norah Waugh took a pattern, in Lesley Edwards’

essay ‘Dres’t Like a May-Pole’. A Study of Two Suits of c. 1660-62’, Costume, 19 (1985), pp.75-93. The Verney doublet and petticoat breeches have almost 200 metres of ribbon, applied in bunches. 55

Doublet, 1650-65. Silver-gilt silk tissues with silver-gilt bobbin lace, lined with silk taffeta and

reinforced with linen. Victoria & Albert Museum, London. Object number: T.91-2003. 56

The author was able to examine this doublet when it was on long-term loan to the National Museum of

Scotland, before it was acquired by the Victoria and Albert Museum. The doublet can be viewed online at . 57

Janet Arnold, Patterns of Fashion the Cut and Construction of Clothes for Men and Women c. 1560-

1620 (Macmillan: London, 1985), pp. 74-77. 58

John Michael Wright, King Charles II, c. 1661-62. Oil on canvas, 281.9 X 239.3 cm. London: The

Royal Collection, RCIN404951. There seems to be no absolute record of when this was painted, and there are suggestions that it was painted slightly later than this date. This portrait has a remarkable iconography, in that it shows the king as if we the viewers were being presented to him, therefore as his subjects. This composition adopts the form of earlier royal portraits and represents one more strategy by the king and his limner to generate an image that reinforces continuity with the past and by implication his right to rule.



Daniel Mytens, King James 1 of England and VI of Scotland, 1621. Oil on canvas, 148.6cm x

100.6cm. London: National Portrait Gallery, NPG 109. This portrait can be viewed at . 60

Wide, open-legged breeches had been around since c. 1650 but the style became exaggerated and

fashionable towards the end of the decade. Randle Holme (1627-1699) noted in his sketches of contemporary clothing that he first saw petticoat breeches being worn in his home town Chester in 1658. See Irene Groeneweg, ‘Men’s Fashion circa 1660: Some Historical Facts Concerning the Introduction of the Rhinegrave, Innocent and Justaucorps’ in Netherlandish Fashion in the Seventeenth Century (Riggisberger Berichte 19), ed. by Johannes Pietsch and Anna Jolly (Bern: Abegg-Stiftung, 2012), pp. 83-92 (p.85). 61

The Funeral Effigies of Westminster Abbey, ed. by Anthony Harvey and Richard Mortimer,

(Woodbridge: The Boydell Press, 1994), p.79. It was unusual and a departure from traditional form for Charles II’s effigy not to be displayed during the funeral obsequies. This may be on account of the king’s late conversion to Catholicism. His funeral also was low-key. 62

Maria Hayward, ‘Dressing Charles II: The King’s Clothing Choices (1660-85)’, in Se vêtir à la cour en

Europe, 1400-1815, ed. by Isabelle Paresys and Natacha Coquery, Centre de Recherche du château de Versailles (Lille: Institut de recherché du septentrion et CEGES université de Lille 3, July 2011), pp. 159176 (p. 166). 63

Hazel Reid, ‘A Collection of Thistle Robes from Drummond Castle’, Costume, 8 (1974), pp. 51-55.


Mansfield, Ceremonial Costume, pp. 60-61.


Sharpe, Image Wars, pp. 242-243. See also Kevin Sharpe, Rebranding Rule 1660-1714: The

Restoration and Revolution Monarchy (London and New Haven: Yale University Press, 2013). 66

Katharine Gibson, The Cult of Charles II, Paper 47 (London: Royal Stuart Society, 1997), p. 8.


teaches on the Performance Costume design course at Edinburgh

College of Art, now part of the University of Edinburgh since 2011. He also researches the cut of European men’s clothing from surviving examples, examining and mapping


garments for their cut and construction. His period of interest stretches from the early seventeenth century to the mid-nineteenth century. He has contributed to a number of projects at the National Museum of Scotland.