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English Costume by Dion Clayton Calthrop

English Costume by Dion Clayton Calthrop
THE COUNTRY FOLK - 1066 - 1307

By Pauline Weston Thomas for Fashion-Era.com

English Costume by Dion Clayton Calthrop
THE COUNTRY FOLK - 1066 - 1307

A PeasantThis costume history information consists of Pages 76 to 80 of the chapter on Country Folk dress in the years of the Norman Conquest of England in 1066 to the Reign of Edward 1 (1272 -1307) and is taken from English Costume by Dion Clayton Calthrop.  It features old peasant dress.

The 36 page section consists of a text copy of the book ENGLISH COSTUME PAINTED & DESCRIBED BY DION CLAYTON CALTHROP.  Visuals, drawings and painted fashion plates in the book have a charm of their own and are shown amid the text. The book covers both male and female dress history of over 700 years spanning the era 1066-1830.
This page is about Country Folk dress in the years from the Norman Conquest of England in 1066 to 1300 the last years of Edward 1.

For the Introduction to this book see this introduction written by Dion Clayton Calthrop.  I have adjusted the images so they are mostly 400 pixels high and can be used for colouring worksheets where pupils add some costume/society facts.
My comments are in italics.

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THE COUNTRY FOLK

From the Conquest to the reign of Edward I - 1066-1300

A PEASANT OF EARLY ENGLAND - WILLIAM I - HENRY IIIOld Peasant Dress 1066-1300

Until the present day the countryman has dressed in a manner most fitted to his surroundings; now the billycock hat, a devil-derived offspring from a Greek source, the Sunday suit of shiny black with purple trousers, the satin tie of Cambridge blue, and the stiff shirt, have almost robbed the peasant of his poetical appearance.

Civilization seems to have arrived at our villages with a pocketful of petty religious differences, a bagful of public-houses, a bundle of penny and halfpenny papers full of stories to show the fascination of crime and - these Sunday clothes.

The week's workdays still show a sense of the picturesque in corduroys and jerseys or blue shirts, but the landscape is blotted with men wearing out old Sunday clothes, so that the painter of rural scenes with rural characters must either lie or go abroad.

As for the countrywoman, she, I am thankful to say, still retains a sense of duty and beauty, and, except on Sunday, remains more or less respectably clad. Chivalry prevents one from saying more.

In the old days - from the Conquest until the end of the thirteenth century - the peasant was dressed in perfect clothes.

The villages were self-providing; they grew by then wool and hemp for the spindles. From this was made yarn for materials to be made up into coats and shirts. The homespun frieze that the peasant wore upon his back was hung by the nobleman upon his walls. The village bootmaker made, besides skin sandals to be tied with thongs upon the feet, leather trousers and belts.C11th Countryman Costume - Hooded Cloak

The mole-catcher provided skin for hats. Hoods of a plain shape were made from the hides of sheep or wolves, the wool or hair being left on the hood. Cloaks lined with sheepskin served to keep away the winter cold.

To protect their legs from thorns the men wore bandages of twisted straw wrapped round their trousers, or leather thongs cross-gartered to the knee.

The fleece of the sheep was woven in the summer into clothes of wool for the winter. Gloves were made, at the beginning of the thirteenth century, of wool and soft leather; these were shaped like the modern baby's glove, a pouch for the hand and fingers and a place for the thumb.

Medieval Peasant Dress - 1066-1300A coarse shirt was worn, over which a tunic, very loosely made, was placed, and belted at the waist. The tunic hardly varied in shape from the Conquest to the time of Elizabeth, being but a sack-like garment with wide sleeves reaching a little below the elbow. The hood was ample and the cloak wide.

The women wore gowns of a like material to the men - loose gowns which reached to the ankles and gave scope for easy movement. They wore their hair tied up in a wimple of coarse linen.

His hood is made from sheepskin, the wool outside, the hem trimmed into points. His legs are bound up with garters of plaited straw. His shoes are of the roughest make of coarse leather. He has the shepherd's horn slung over his shoulder.

The people of the North were more ruggedly clothed than the Southerners, and until the monks founded the sheep-farming industry in Yorkshire the people of those parts had no doubt to depend for their supply of wool upon the more cultivated peoples.

Picture these people, then, in very simple natural wool-coloured dresses going about their ordinary country life, attending their bees, their pigs, sheep, and cattle, eating their kele soup, made of colewort and other herbs.

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See them ragged and hungry, being fed by Remigius, Bishop of Lincoln, after all the misery caused by the Conquest; or despairing during the Great Frost of 1205, which began on St. Hilary's Day, January 11, and lasted until March 22, and was so severe that the land was like iron, and could not be dug or tilled.

C12th Peasant Country FolkWhen better days arrived, and farming was taken more seriously by the great lords, when Grosseteste, the Bishop of Lincoln, wrote his book on farming and estate management for Margaret, the Dowager-Countess of Lincoln, then clothes and stuffs manufactured in the towns became cheaper and more easy to obtain, and the very rough skin clothes and undressed hides began to vanish from among the clothes of the country, and the rough gartered trouser gave way before cloth cut to fit the leg.

On lord and peasant alike the sun of this early age sets, and with the sunset comes the warning bell -- the couvre-feu -- so, on their beds of straw-covered floors, let them sleep....

English Costume by Dion Clayton Calthrop
THE COUNTRY FOLK - 1066 - 1307.

This costume history information consists of Pages 76 to 80 of the chapter on Country Folk dress in the years of the Norman Conquest of England in 1066 to the Reign of Edward 1 (1272 -1307) and is taken from English Costume by Dion Clayton Calthrop.

The 36 page section consists of a text copy of the book ENGLISH COSTUME PAINTED & DESCRIBED BY DION CLAYTON CALTHROP.  Visuals, drawings and painted fashion plates in the book have a charm of their own and are shown amid the text. The book covers both male and female dress history of over 700 years spanning the era 1066-1830.
This page is about old peasant dress in the years from the Norman Conquest of England in 1066 to 1300 the last years of Edward 1.

For the Introduction to this book see this introduction written by Dion Clayton Calthrop.  I have adjusted the images so they are mostly 400 pixels high and can be used for colouring worksheets where pupils add some costume/society facts.
My comments are in italics.

You have been reading English Costume History at www.fashion-era.com © from the chapter on Peasant Clothing - The Country Folk 1066 -1300 from Dion Clayton Calthrop's book English Costume.

Page Added 5 August 2010. Ref:-P791.

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