Liveries worne by Citizens at triumphs

A Survey of London. Reprinted From the Text of 1603. Originally published by Clarendon, Oxford, 1908.

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'Liveries worne by Citizens at triumphs', in A Survey of London. Reprinted From the Text of 1603, (Oxford, 1908) pp. 193-195. British History Online [accessed 25 April 2024]

Somewhat of Liueries worne by Cittizens of London, in time of triumphes, and other wayes.

1236. The twentieth of Henrythe third, The Mayor, Aldermen, Shiriffes and Cittizens of London rode out to meete the King and his new wife, Queen Elianor, daughter to Reymond Beringarius of Aragon, Earle of Prouince and Narbone. The Cittizens were clothed in long garments, embroydered about with gold, and silke of diuers colours, their horses finelie trapped, to the number of three hundred sixtie, euerie man bearing a golden or siluer cuppe in his hande, the kings Trumpets before them sounding, &c. as yee may reade in my Annales.

1300. The 29. of Edwardthe first, the saide king tooke to wife Margaret sister to Philip Le Bew king of Fraunce, they were married at Canterbury. The Queene was conuayed to London, against whome the Cittizens to the number of sixe hundred rode in one Liuerie of red and white, with the cognisances of their misteries embroydered vpon their sleeues, they receiued her foure miles out of London, and so conueyed her to Westminster.

1415. The 3. of Henrythe fift, the said king arriuing at Douer, the mayor of London with the Aldermen and craftes men riding in red with hoods red and white, met with the king on the Blacke Hith, comming from Eltham with his prisoners out of France.

1432. The 10. of Henry the sixt, hee being crowned in France, returning into England, came to Eltham towardes London, and the Mayor of London Iohn Welles, the Aldermen, with the comminalty rode against him on Horsebacke, the Mayor in Crimson veluet, a great veluet hat furred, a girdle of golde aboute his middle, and a Bawdrike of gold about his necke trilling down behind him, his three Henxemen, on three great coursers following him, in one sute of red, all spangled in siluer, then the Aldermen in Gownes of scarlet, with sanguine hoodes, and all the Comminaltie of the citty cloathed in white gownes, and scarlet hoods, with diuers cognizances embrodered on their sleeues, &c.

1485. The first of Henrie the seuenth, The Mayor, Aldermen, Shiriffes and Comminality, all cloathed in Violet (as in a mourning colour) mette the king at Shorditch, and conuayed him to Powles Church, where hee offered his Banners.

Thus much for liueries of Cittizens in auncient times, both in triumphes and otherwise, may suffice, whereby may be obserued that the couerture of mens heads was then hoodes, for neyther Cappe or hat is spoken of, except that Iohn Wels Mayor of London to were a hat in time of triumph, but differing from the hattes lately taken in vse, and now commonly worne for Noble mens Liueries. I reade that Thomas Earle of Lancaster in the raigne of E. the second gaue at Christmas in Liueries, to such as serued him, 159. broade cloathes, allowing to euery garment furres to furre their hoodes: more nearer our time, there yet remeyneth the counterfeites and pictures of Aldermen, and other that liued in the raignes of Henriethe sixte and Edwardethe fourth, namely Alderman Darbydwelled in Fenchurch street over against the parrish church of S. Diones, left his picture, as of an Alderman in a gowne of skarlet on his backe, a hoode on his head, &c. as is in that house (and else where) to bee seene: for a further monument of those late times, men may beholde the glasse Windows of the Mayors court in the Guild hall aboue the stayrs, the mayor is there pictured, sitting in habite, party coloured, and a hoode on his head, his Swordebearer before him with an hatte or Cappe of maintenance: the Common Clearke, and other officers bare headed, their hoodes on their shoulders: and therefore I take it, that the vse of square bonets worne by Noble men, Gentlemen, Cittizens and others, tooke beginning in this Realm by Henrythe seuenth, and in his time, and of further antiquitie I can see no counterfeyte or other proofe of vse. Henrythe eight (towards his latter raigne) ware a round flat cap of scarlet or of veluet, with a bruch or Jewell, and a feather, diuers Gentlemen, Courtiers, and other did the like. The youthfull Citizens also tooke them to the new fashion of flatte caps, knit of woollen yearne blacke, but so light that they were forced to tye them vnder their chins, for else the wind would be maister ouer them. The vse of these flat round cappes so far increased (being of lesse price then the French Bonet) that in short time some yong Aldermen tooke <to>the wearing of them, Sir Iohn White ware it in his Maioralty, and was the first that left example to his Followers, but now the spanish felt, or the like counterfeyte, is most commonly of all men both spirituall and temporall taken to vse, so that the French Bonet or square cappe, and also the round or flat cap, haue for the most parte giuen place to the spanish felte, but yet in London amongst the grauer sort, (I meane the Liueries of Companies) remayneth a memory of the hoodes of olde time worne by their predecessors: These hoodes were worne, the Roundelets vpon their heads, the skirts to hang behind in their neckes to keep them warme, the tippet to lye on their shoulder, or to wind about their neckes, these hoodes were of olde time made in colours according to their gownes, which were of two colours, as red and blew or red and purple, murrey, or as it pleased their Masters and wardens to appoint to the Companies, but now of late time, they haue vsed their gowns to be al of one colour, and those of the sadest; but their hoodes being made the one halfe of the same cloath their gownes be of, the other halfe remayneth red as of old time

And so I end, as wanting time to trauell further in this Worke.

NOW since that I haue given you an outward view of this City, it shall not be impertinent to let you take an insight also of the same, such as a Londoner borne discoursed aboue twenty years agone, for aunswere (as it seemeth) to some obiections, that then were made against the growing greatnes thereof. The author gaue it me, & therefore, howsoeuer I conceale his name (which it selfe pretendeth not), I thinke I may without his offence impart it to others, that they may take pleasure in the reading as I doubt not but he did in the writing. Long may they (that list) enuie, and long may wee and our posterity enioy the good estate of this Cittie.