• Women brought to court for the illegal wearing of velvet under current sumptuary laws in Wiltshire, 1542, excerpted from the article "Some Wiltshire Wives" in Wiltshire Notes and Queries

    Excerpted from the article "Some Wiltshire Wives", in in Wiltshire Notes and Queries

    Modern English (post-1500)
    Published in 1542
    Renaissance Clothing and Textile Terms
    1500 AD - 1599 AD

Citations

The statute alluded to in the below quoted documents was the Bill for great Horses 33 Henry VIII cap 5 6
"If the wife of any person or persons were any velvet in the lining or other part of her gown other than in the cuffs or purfels of her gown or else were any velvet in her kirtell or were any petticoat of silk that then the husband of every such wife shall find one stoned horse of the stature above in this act recited in height xiiij handfullis or shall incur the abovesaid penalty and forfeiture of ten pounds."

By the same act the Justices of the peace were directed to enquire of defaulters against the statute The wearing of velvet was in these cases of course taken as a sign of the husbands being sufficiently prosperous to afford the costs of the gelding and weapons.

...Whyche doo saye vppon their othes that Braghtwood Robyns the wyff of John Robyns of the Cytye of New Sarum aforesayd in the Countye aforesayd clothyer the syxe and twentyeth daye of September laste paste in the Cytye of New Sarum aforsayd yn the Countye aforesayd dyde weare a gowne commonlye called a Kassocke of black cloth wth a cape of Blacke velvett yn the same gowne the sayed John Robyns her husband at the sayed sixe and twentyeth daye of September not havynge fendinge kepynge nor maynteynyng of his owne proper costes and expences one geldinge able and mete for a light horseman wth suffycyant harnes and weapon for the same accordynge to the forme of the statutes yn suche case provyded

Item they saye vppon their othes that Elizabeth Jefferey the wyff of John Jeffereye of the same Cytye mercer lyckwyse the thyrtyth daye of September now also laste paste in the Cytye aforesayed dyde yn lycke manner weare a Gowne commonlye called a Kassocke of black clothe wtt a cape of Blacke velvett in the same gowne the sayde John Jeffereyes her husband at the sayed thyrtyth daye of September not havyng fyndyng kepyng nor maynteynynge &c as before

Item they do lyckewyse present vppon theyr othes that Johane Rychardes the wyfte of Davyd Rychardes of the same Cytye glover lyckewyse the seven and twentythe daye of September now also laste paste at the Cytye aforesayed dyde in lycke manner weare a gowne commonlye called a kassocke of Russet cloth with a cape of Black velvett yn the same gowne the sayed Davyd Ryrhardes her husbande &c &c as before

Item they also present vppon theyr othes that Marye Tyler the wyff of Thomas Tyler of the Cytye aforesayed yeoman lickewyse the sayed seven and twentyeth daye of September now also laste paste at the Cyttye afore sayde dyd yn lycke manner weare a gowne commonlye called a Kassocke of Russet clothe a cape of blacke velvett yn the same gowne the sayed Thomas Tyler &c &c as before

Item they do lickewyse present vppon theyr oaths that the wyff of John Webbe of the same Cyttye gentylman lyckewyse the thyrde daye of October now laste paste at the Cyttye aforesayed dyd yn lycke manner weare a gowne commonly called a Kassocke of blacke clothe with a cape of blacke velvett in the same gowne And also one kyrtell of Black with a yarde of Black velvett vppon the same kyrtell the sayed John Webbe her husband &c &c as before

Item they do also present vppon theyr othes that Katheryne Webbe the wyfe of William Webbe of the same Cyttye lyckewyse the sayed thyrde daye of October now also laste paste at the Cyttye aforesayd dyd yn lycke manner weare a gowne commonlye called a Kassock of Black clothe wth a yarde of black velvett vppon the same Kassock And also one kyrtell of Blacke grogayne wth a garde of blacke velvet vppon the same kyrtell the same William Webbe her husband &c &c as before

Item they doo lyckewyse present vppon theyr othes that Elizabeth Estcourte the wife of Gyles Estcourte of the same Cyttye gentylman lyckewyse the eyghtenthe daye of October now also laste paste at the Cyttye aforesayed dyd yn lycke manner weare one kyrtell of Blacke worstede wth a garde of velvet vppon the same kyrtell the same Gyles Estcourt her husband &c &c as before

Item they doo also present vppon theyr othes that Sybyl Eyer the wife of John Eyer the younger of Sarum aforesayed gentilman lyckewyse the nyne and twentythe daye of September now also laste paste at the Cyttye aforesayed dyd in lycke manner weare a gowne commonlye called a Cassock of Blacke clothe with a garde of blacke velvet vppon the same cassock the sayed John Eyer &c

And whether that the severall wyves of the severall persons before mencyoned be gyltye of the wearinge of the severall garmentes wth those severall partes and parcelles of velvet before vppon them severally presented contrarye to the forme of the Statute yn that case provyded ye or not the sayed Jurye doo praye the discharge and Judgement of the Justyces of the Quenes maiestyes honourable Courte of the Exchequer

Item they doo also present vppon theyr othes that Johane Mathew the wyf of Edmund Mathew of the Cytye aforesayd merchant lyckewyse the syxtenth daye of December now also laste paste at the Cytey aforesayd dyde yn licke manner weare a gowne commonlye called a cassocke of Russett cloth with a cape of black velvet yn the same Gowne the sayed Edmunde Mathew her husband then at the tyme of the wearinge of the sayed apparel not havynge fyndynge kepynge susteyninge and maynteyning of his owne proper costes and expences one gelding able and mete for a light horseman wth suffycyent harnes and weapon for the same

In Wyttenes wherof vnto thes presents as well the commyssyoners as the Jurye aforesayed have sett theyr severall handes and sealys the daye and yeare fyrste above wryten

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