Clothing of the Bristol Trained Bands (1574)

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Dansknecht

Clothing of the Bristol Trained Bands (1574)

Post by Dansknecht »

Hello!

I'm looking for specifics on the clothing issued to the Trained Bands of the city of Bristol upon Elizabeth's arrival in 1574, as I'd like to reproduce a set in the near future. I've managed to find the following...

A cap, a linen canvas doublet, red gascon hose, and a blue coat in the style of Gascony.

So...

-The cap could be the Monmouth sort or a brimmed bonnet. Given Bristol's colors and a painting of some soldiers and sailors (John White's illustration of Inuits attacking a pinnance or shallop), it might be red.

-The doublet, lacking visual sources, would be cut in a fashion that mirrored those of the mid-1560's through the mid-1570's. I would guess that it'd be white, given their popularity. It also seems likely that it'd have stuffed cloth buttons, or possibly thread wrapped wood, but am uncertain about this as well. Probably lined in white linen.

-The gascon hose are the easy part, the color's given and its likely that they were made of broadcloth or some other weave of wool.

-What exactly is a coat in the Gascon style? I'd initially thought it was something similar to those worn by the servants/soldiers (???) in the Fete at Bermondsey painting, but am not so sure any more.


So like I said, I have an idea of the basic garments, but does anyone have any more information?

Thanks!!!

-Dan

-

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Bevis Gittens
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Re: Clothing of the Bristol Trained Bands (1574)

Post by Bevis Gittens »

I was trawling Amazon the other day and saw "The Bluecoats: Clothing the Elizabethan Soldier 1572-1603" by David Evans. It looks like a small booklet (£4.00) and I have no idea if it is any good but might be of interest?

Amazon link: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Bluecoats-Cloth ... QVZ7DIGYUN

Bevis

PS What are 'Gascon' hose? :?
Bevis G
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Dansknecht

Re: Clothing of the Bristol Trained Bands (1574)

Post by Dansknecht »

Hello!

"The Blue Coats" is where part of this information came from (the cap, doublet, and hose), and the part about the coats came from "Elizabeth's Army" by C.G. Cruickshank, but I can't seem to track down any more. It might very well be that the specific details were never recorded.

Gascon hose or Galligaskins are very very full breeches that end right above the knee- gathered or pleated into a waistband and legbands, and potentially bombasted or stuffed for fullness.

Thanks!!!

-Dan

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Re: Clothing of the Bristol Trained Bands (1574)

Post by Dathi »

Dan


I'm the fool who spent a damm good few hours hunting all that stuff down and I have absolutely no idea what they mean by a coat in the style of Gascony! All I can find is a mention in Defining dress: dress as object, meaning, and identity on page 12 where they mention the Juppe or Gaskyn coat for riding.

The style is fairly popular, turning up in Lancashire levies in 1574, 1575 and 1577 where there are a few more details. Try page 89 of here http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=TkYJ ... q=&f=false

Dansknecht

Re: Clothing of the Bristol Trained Bands (1574)

Post by Dansknecht »

Mr. Evans then? Wonderful book, I just wish there was more!

I tried searching for Juppe and Gaskyn Coat and came up with this... http://www.employees.org/~cathy/images/womans_coat.jpg

The explanation accompanying it suggested it might be an alternate name for a cassock, and it certainly resembles many such garments we identify as cassocks. If they indeed had false sleeves as the one depicted has, it shares something in common with some of the cassocks in Lant's Roll. It looks as though it was yet another example of civilian fashion following that of the military, and the guards certainly reinforce that idea.

I'm uncertain if it is the same garment, but both Ian Heath's "Armies of the Sixteenth Century" and the Osprey Elite "Armada 1588" books show artists' interpretations (based off primary sources) of billmen clad in what might very well be the elusive "Gaskyn Coat." Unfortunately, I don't have either book with me here at college, so I can't check to see if the original sources/inspiration are listed.

Clearly I've still got some searching to do...

On the other hand, having taken a look at the link you posted, it seems more likely now that the canvas of the doublet would be white and have stuffed cloth buttons.

I'm more inclined to believe the cap referred to a knit Monmouth cap as well, as a line from "The Ballad of the Caps" explicitly states "The Souldiers that the Monmovth wear," that combined with White's drawing seems like something approaching solid evidence, though I'd still like more.

Thanks!

-Dan

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Re: Clothing of the Bristol Trained Bands (1574)

Post by Dathi »

Dan

White Holmes fustian is unusual. The Lanacshire references are almost unique in saying white twice and mentioning fustian for Foot. Most references to fustian are for Light Horseman, as in Kent during the 1590's. Linen canvas is usually mentioned for doublets for Foot and I strongly suspect they'd be thinking of unbleached linen, rather than paying for white linen! Buttons are mentioned as being made so I'd say you're right on cloth buttons.

Have you seen this.http://wiki.umd.edu/psidney/index.php?title=Main_Page It's the FULL collection of plates form the Lant Roll. From Plate 24 is a good start. Stuart Peachy has made a cassock, based upon http://www.employees.org/~cathy/images/ ... attern.jpg The only tweak made was opening up the arm pits! Interestingly the complete coat is not that far off a soldiers coat of the 1640's. The last mention of a complete suit in the style of coat, doublet, breeches, hose, shirts, shoes and stockings is in September 1642.

I *think* the coat/cassock started out as based on the Tudor Livery coat with the rather large skirts and shrunk as fashion changed. Throw in external influences and there you go.... There's an article at http://www.extremecostuming.com/article ... socks.html that's interesting to read.


BTW Edition 2 is on the way but sadly doesn't add much more in the way of clothing details. I think I've found the bulk of the good references

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Re: Clothing of the Bristol Trained Bands (1574)

Post by Sophia »

Just a point if you do make a linen doublet ensure that you pre-wash all the fabric so you can wash it or be prepared to pay to have it cleaned. I speak from experience, you should see the state of the partially bleached fustian doublet I made for my husband after three weeks of daily wear at Kentwell.

Sophia :D
aka Thomasin Chedzoy, Tailor at Kentwell Hall

Dansknecht

Re: Clothing of the Bristol Trained Bands (1574)

Post by Dansknecht »

Hello!

I'm thinking the buttons must have been stuffed cloth, as I recall a mention of fabric being saved for them in one of the passages from "The Bluecoats." Certainly unbleached or half-bleached canvas.

I have seen the entirety of Lant's Roll, its amazing stuff. Interesting tidbits abound in there- one of only two examples of a baldric worn during the second half of the 16th century I'm familiar with amongst other things.

Why did Mr. Peachey open up the armpits? So the sleeves could be worn as decoration? With the exception of garments with intentionally false sleeves, one of the youth's sleeved jerkins from Janet Arnold's book, and the extant Spitzbergen doublet from closer to the middle of the 17th century, I'm unfamilar with other late Tudor garments that have this feature.

Speaking of those livery coats, I found it rather interesting that sets of blue hose and coats were issued to both soldiers and servants. There must have been some sort of significant difference in cut, design, and quality, else there must have been some confusion there. There certainly must have been social implications with the color blue... I haven't been able to track down evidence for anything more than blue coats, caps, and hose in England (no doublets, etc.) excepting some scare visual examples in a portrait of Sir Walter Ralegh (a dark blue on his son) and a powder blue suit worn by the Earl of Leicester.

I've been wearing a "white" wool doublet for the past year, and its absolutely trashed...dirt, leather dye, grass stains, black powder, and so on...but I still wear it! No way to wash it other than dry cleaning. As a result, I'm somewhat hesitant to make another white doublet, but am intent on reproducing this outfit (especially as a white doublet and the hose are ubiquitous enough in non-military contexts as well).

Thanks!!!

-Dan

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Re: Clothing of the Bristol Trained Bands (1574)

Post by Dathi »

Dan

The armpit hole as shown was too small to actually allow movement with the arms!

I can't find any difference in the cost or amount of cloth being used to clothe either soldiers or servants. Given that, I suspect that the same quality of cloth is being used to make a coat that's probably quite similar in look.


Unbleached is cheaper...which is why it's used. I don't think that the clothing issued lasted that long, certainly they expected to have to replace the bulk of the clothing every 6 months.

Blue appears to be a "servants" colour. Having asked about I would suggest a mid blue, something about sky blue.

Dansknecht

Re: Clothing of the Bristol Trained Bands (1574)

Post by Dansknecht »

Its been quite some time, but I'd like to resurrect this thread.

I'm currently trying to make an interpretation of what might be that coat in the style of Gascony. I'm almost done with the outer shell, but I'm trying to figure out whether or not it would have guards, as many military coats and cassocks had, and if so, what colors they might be.

Given that a coat was not specifically listed with other items to be provided for Bristol's soldiers in 1574, but was instead issued at a separate time (unfortunately, I don't any other information about them other than their style and their color), could it be that the blue Gascon coat might be from a county-wide muster?

Bristol was a part of Gloucestershire in the 16th century, wasn't it? I'm afraid I don't have a very good understanding of English geography.

If it was, does anyone have any information on Glouscestershire's uniform coats/cassocks? (if there are any records; I haven't been able to dig up anything). Are there any references to issues for Gloucestershire's soldiers during the Armada?

Thank you!!!

-Dan

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Re: Clothing of the Bristol Trained Bands (1574)

Post by Dathi »

Yep, Gloucestershire contains Bristol, at that time.

I've not found anything on coats issued in Gloucestershire locally so colours remain directly unknown. The only source therefore is the letters from the Privy Council to the Counties ordering the leving of men. Gloucestershire get hit for 60 men in March 1595. The letter from the Privy Council in this case orders "coates of good clothe well lyned and of blewe cullor". Mass levies across a number of counties at once do occasionally get direct instructions as to the colour of the coat. These colours mentioned are blue, mixed, russet, and sea green. These references disappear when the levies are clothed by Babington & Bromley.

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Re: Clothing of the Bristol Trained Bands (1574)

Post by Foxe »

Thought on the use of blue: a century later (1663) the clothing provided for sale to sailors in the RN included provision for blue or white shirts - what's interesting is that the blue shirts are significantly cheaper (3s 6d for a blue shirt, 5s for a hiwte, IIRC). I wonder how far the phrase 'blue collar' goes back...

Idle question: do we know any clothing details for Devon troops?
...and further this Informant saith not.

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Re: Clothing of the Bristol Trained Bands (1574)

Post by Phil the Grips »

Charity schools were also known as "Blue Coat" schools since the gowns they gave the pupils were made from blue cloth, being the cheapest, still seen with Christ's Hospital school.
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Re: Clothing of the Bristol Trained Bands (1574)

Post by Foxe »

From the OED:

Blue-coat: 1. a. Formerly the dress of servants and the lower orders; hence of almoners and charity children.

?c1600 Distr. Emperor I. i. in Bullen O. Pl. III. 169 Thou that has worne thy selfe and a blewe coate To equall thryddbareness. 1628 EARLE Microcosm. liv. 117 His antient beginning was a blue coat, since a livery.

2. a. One who wears a blue coat; e.g. an almsman, a beadle; a blue-coated soldier or sailor; a policeman.

1593 SHAKES. 1 Hen. VI, I. iii. 47 Draw men..Blew Coats to Tawny Coats. 1598 E. GUILPIN Skial. (1878) 52 A..swaggering blew-coate at an ale-house doore. 1608 DEKKER Belman Lond. Wks. 1885 III. 149 This counterfeit Blew~coate, running in all haste for his masters cloake-bag. 1699 BENTLEY Phal. 222 That the fame..could so soon reach Phalaris's ear in his Castle through his Guard of Blue~coats.
...and further this Informant saith not.

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