• Dress and Dress Materials for a 'Serving Maid', c. 1600

    This list is taken from an article in the National Library of Wales Journal, vol. 1, number 2 (Winter 1939). The article got the list from the manuscript of The Register Note-Book of Thomas Rowlands, which D. R. Thomas published as an Appendix to Y Cwtta Cyfarwydd, and which is now among the Wigfair MSS in the National Library (N.L.W. MS. 12,447).

    Modern English (post-1500)
    N.L.W. MS. 12,447
    Published in 1600
    Renaissance Clothing and Textile Terms
    1600 AD - 1699 AD

Entrys

Introduction

Little has been written so far regarding the clothes worn by Welsh women in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, and reliable infor mation is scarce. The Wigfair collection of manuscripts in the National Library contains one manuscript which throws some light on this subject. N.L.W. MS. 12,450 consists of lists of payments made by Ieuan ap Rees ap David of Wigfair to his serving maid 'Ellin vawr'. Many of the payments are in kind, and most of the entries relate to payments for clothes, materials, and the making up of these materials into clothes for Ellin, the said 'serving maid'. It is interesting to note that while the more complete list is in Welsh, a briefer and incomplete list in English, tallying, in so far as it goes, with the Welsh list, is also included. From the note at the beginning of the English list it would appear that both were compiled, or, as is more probably the case, copied, from an older original, as the result of an impending lawsuit in which Ieuan ap Rees ap David was the defendant and George Gryff' ap d'd ap m'dd and 'Ellin' his wife were the plaintiffs. It appears therefore that these lists were copied after Ellin's departure from Wigfair and after her marriage to George Gryff' ap d'd ap m'dd.

Ieuan ap Rees ap David of Wigfair, a member of the well-known Lloyd family of that place, and father of John Lloyd of Wigfair, burgess and recorder of Denbigh (ob. 1618), is said to have died in 1610 (see The History ... of Powys Fadog ... by J. Y. W. Lloyd, Vol. V, p. 303); although the year of his death is given as 16oo, with the added information that he was 'an aged gent', by D. R. Thomas in the introductory chapter to Y Cwtta Cyfarwydd ... London, 1883**. It is interesting to note that included in the Wigfair collection of manuscripts is a letter (N.L.W. MS. 12,401) in the autograph of the well-known Welsh poet Sion Tudur (ob. 1602) addressed to 'vy anwyl gar a chyfaill Ieuan ap Rys ap Davydd' (see Bulletin of the Board of Celtic Studies, Vol. VII, pp. 112-117). In the same collection there are also several deeds, dated circa 1577, in which Ieuan ap Rees ap David appears as a party to the transfer of land or in financial transactions. In these deeds he is designated 'gentleman'.

The approximate date of the death of Ieuan ap Rees ap David being known, it is safe to assume that the lists relate to a time preceding that date, although it has to be borne in mind that the Welsh list appears to have been copied by his son, as it is endorsed 'Payments made to Elin my fathers mayd'.

Taking into consideration the number and variety of the clothes supplied to 'Ellin Vawr' by Ieuan ap Rees ap David, and the fact that they were intended for a serving maid, it would appear that the payments covered a number of years. Ieuan appears to have been a generous employer, as several of the items are described as having been made of his own cloth, and for these no charge was made.

It is interesting also to find the prices of the various articles of clothing mentioned, as well as the sums paid to the tailor, the fuller, and the dyer. While gloves were to be obtained for threepence a pair, and shoes at prices ranging from sixteen pence to two shillings a pair, a felt hat bought at Chester cost eight shillings, whilst another felt hat cost ten shillings. Linen or linen cloth was widely used for smocks, aprons, and partlets, while jerkins and petticoats appear to have been made usually of cloth or flannel. Stockings were made of wool or of 'kersie', some of the kersie being home-made and some of it being obtained 'o'r dre'.

In addition to such utilitarian articles of wear as smocks, petticoats, and aprons, Ellin was also supplied with linen and strings for her ruffs, fringe for her petticoats, a silk girdle for which eighteen pence was the amount paid to Richard the 'pedler', and a fillet for her hair.

The respective Welsh and English lists are printed below.

Rhoi at i chwaer Siann y brynnv pethe ag oedd yn Rhaid iddi hi

Translation:

The first money that the said Ellin hadd of the said def[endan]t to buy unto her some thing by her sister Jane

Pence: vi

I dalu am llivo gwlan iddi hi

Translation:

Item paid for dieinge of wolle for her.

Shillings: iiij

*Am wlan iddi hi

Am skidie iddi hi

Translation:

Item paid for shooes to the said Ellin

Shillings: ij

Arrian a royese Agnes vch Ieu'n i nechwyn iddi hi ag a delais i trosti hi

Translation:

Item the def[endan]t paid for the said pl't' Ellin to Agnes vch Ieu'n wch the said Agnes hadd lente to the said Ellin

Pence: iiij

Am liain main iddi hi

Translation:

Item paid for fyne Cloth to her

Shillings: iij

*llathen o gersi gwyn or eiddo i fy hvn.

Translation:

*Item shee hadd a yarde of white kersie of wch was the def[endan]ts his owne kersie

Am llifo y kersi ymma yn bvwch

Translation:

Item for dyeinge of the same kersie in pwyck<

Pence: iiij

Am wregis iddi hi

Translation:

Item for a girdell for her iijd.

Pence: iij

Am ysane davedd iddi hi

Translation:

Item wollen hoase for her ixd.

Pence: ix

Am skidie eilwaith iddi hi

Translation:

Item for another paire of shooes for her ijs.

Shillings: ij

Am fenig iddi hi.

Translation:

Item for a paire of gloves for her iijd.

Am gorff pais iddi hi

Translation:

Item for a body of a petticoate for her

Pence: iiij

Am drwssio i ffais hi

Translation:

Item for mendinge of her petticoat<

Pence: ij

hett ffelt ynghaer iddi hi

Translation:

Item for a ffealt hat for her

Shillings: viij

Am dair llath o liain iddi hi yn grys

Translation:

Item for three yards of lynnen cloth to make her a Smock<

Shillings: iij, Pence: vj

Am farckloth Main iddi hi

Translation:

Item paid for anappron for her

Am ddevnyth gwregis iddi hi gen Alis vch david fy merch ynghyfraith

Pence: xij

Am farckloth o frethin dv

Pence: iij

Am gorff pais iddi hi

Translation:

Item for a body of petticoate to her

Pence: xvj

Am drwssio eilwaith i ffais hi yr Tailiwr kloff

Translation:

Item for mendinge of another petticoat for her

Pence: iij

Am grys iddi hi

Shillings: ij, Pence: ij

Am wnio y krys ag am snoden wallt

Translation:

Item for the Sowinge of a Smock for her & for a Snwde for her

Pence: iiij

Am lathen o liain ir pedler iddi hi

Translation:

Item for a yarde of Clothe to her

Pence: xvj

Am skidie iddi hi

Translation:

Item for another paire of shooes for her

Pence: xvij

Am sane davedd iddi hi gen Sioned ach sion

Translation:

Item another paire of knitte hoose for her

Pence: x

Am liain i drwssio ychrys

Translation:

Item for lynnen Cloth to mende her Smock<

Pence: iiij

Am wayv sane davedd iddi ichwaer Elnor

Translation:

Item for knitting of a paire of wollen hose for her

Pence: iiij

Am lathen o liain i wnevthvr kwrsi iddi hi

Translation:

Item for a yarde of Cloth to make her a kerchif

Pence: xij

Am hanner lathen o liain i wnevthvr partlett iddi hi

Translation:

Item for half a yarde of lynnen Cloth to make her a partlett<

Pence: x

Am hanner lathen o liain main iddi hi i wnevthvr Rwff partlett iddi hi

Translation:

Item for half a yarde of lynnen to make her a Ruffe<

Shillings: ij

Am par o fenig gen y pedler iddi hi

Translation:

Item for a paire of gloves

Pence: iij

Am wenith gen Elizabeth vch Ieu'n

Translation:

Item for wheat of Elizabeth vch Ieu'n wch was sould to the said Elizabeth & the pl't' Ellin hadd the money

Shillings: iiij, Pence: x

Am hayidd gen forys i brawd

Translation:

Item the said Ellin Received of Moris her brother in lawe money for Barly wch was sould the said moris

Shillings: ij, Pence: vj

Am wlan i wnevthvr dwy bais o beisie iddi hi

Translation:

Item for wolle to make her two petticoats<

Shillings: iij, Pence: vj

Am wnethvr y peisie hynny

Translation:

Item for the makinge of those petticoats<

Pence: iiij

Am bar o skidie

Translation:

Item shooes to her

Pence: xvj

Am frethin koch a gaed gen Sian i chwaer i wnevthvr pais iddi hi

Translation:

Item paied for redd cloth to her

Shillings: vj

Am ffrinsg ir bais honno

Translation:

Item for ffringe to the same petticoate<

Pence: xij

Am lathen o seckloth i wnevthvr korff ir bais honno

Translation:

Item for a yarde of seckloth to make her a body for the same petticoat<

Pence: viij

Am bedair lathen o liain iddi hi

Translation:

Item for fower yards of lynnen cloth for her

Shillings: iij, Pence: viij

*Am grys o gowarch tuytho om llain i fy hvn

Translation:

*Item a Smock of the def[endan]ts owne cloth

*Barckloth om brethyn i fy hvn

Translation:

*Item an appron of the def[endan]ts his owne wollen cloth

*Sane dafedd o waith gwraig Res ap Ieu'n ap ho'll .

Translation:

*Item a paire of wollen hoose of the def[endan]ts owne yarde

Am hanner lathen o liain a brynnais i yn y vaynol i wnevthvr Rwil iddi hi

Translation:

Item half a yarde of lynnen Cloth to make her a Ruffe<

Pence: x

Am lathen o liain aeth i orffen i ffartlett ag i wnevthvr dav gap iddi hi a wnaeth merch R'b't ap Hugh lloyd

Translation:

Item a yarde of Cloth to make her a partlett wth thothare half a yarde above spe'ied & to make her to cappes or litle kerchefs

Am wnevthvr y rain y vch R'b't ap Hugh lloyd

Translation:

Item for the makinge therof to R'b't ap Hugh lloyd his daughter

Pence: xij

*Dav bar o skidie a wnaethbwyd yn ty iddi hi

Translation:

*Item two paire of shooes wch were made in the house & gevin her

*Dav grys o gowarch Truytho om liain i fy hvn a wnaeth merch R'b't ap Hugh lloyd

Translation:

*Item two Smock for her of the def[endan]ts owne Cloth

XLS