Culture: Tudor English
Setting: early Tudor dynasty, England early-mid 16thc
Context (Event Photos, Period Sources, Secondary Sources, Field Notes)
* Gravett/Turner 2006 p4
"Knighthood in the Tudor period had come a long way since 1066. Increasingly, knights could be made from gentlemen who did not have a knightly background, while other eligible candidates were content to remain squires -- men of standing, yet happy to forego the expense and the burdens of sitting in parliament or attending law courts. Those who fought often did so as officers in an increasingly professional army."
* Gravett/Turner 2006 p16
"Men of rank wore full harness of steel that covered them from top to toe. Initially this might not differ from that worn at the end of the 15th century, a western European style derived from Italian forms with some German influences."
* Lipscomb 2009 p19-20
"Everyone had their place and station; all men were not created equal. This fact was displayed even in what people wore. Sumptuary laws governed the dress of each rank of society: no man under the degree of a lord could wear cloth of gold or silver, or sable (the brown fur of the arctic fox). Only Knights of the Garter and above could wear crimson or blue velvet. No person under knight could wear gowns or doublets of velvet. Those who owned land yielding £20 a year might wear satin or damask in the doublets, while husbandry servants, shepherds and labourers were forbidden to wear cloth costing more than two shillings a yard. The penalty for the latter was three days in the stocks. The threat of such punishment represented the belief that dissatifaction with one's lot could engender disorder, injustice and anarchy."
* Gravett/Turner 2006 p28-29
"Sumptuary laws were designed to ensure that men's position in society was reflected in their dress and appearance. Henry VIII produced the following version of the laws:
None shall wear ... cloth of gold or silver, or silk of purple colour ... except ... Earls, all above that rank, and Knights of the King (and then only in their mantles). None shall wear ... cloth of gold or silver, tinselled satin, silk, cloth mixed or embroidered with gold or silver, or foreign woollen cloth ... except ... Barons, all above that rank, Knights of the Garter, and Privy Councillors. None shall wear ... any lace of gold or silver, lace mixed with gold or silver, silk, spurs, swords, rapiers, daggers, buckles, or studes with gold, silver or gilt ... except ... Baron's Sons, all above that rank, shall wear ... velvet in gowns, cloaks, coats, or upper garments, or embroidery with silk, or hose of silk ... except ... Knights, all above that rank, and their heirs apparent. None shall wear ... velvet, upper garments, or velvet in their jerkins, hose or doublets ... except ... Knight's Eldest Sons and all above that rank."
* Gravett/Turner 2006 p21-22
"The sword remained the favoured arm of the gentleman. Military weapons at the beginning of the 16th century still had long thrusting blades but were wide enough to deliver a lethal cut from the sharpened edges. The hilt was still essentially a simple cross, the wooden grip bound in cloth or leather and often overlaid by cords or wire either twined round or in a lattice, to help prevent the hand sliding off but more importantly provided counterbalance to the blade, so that the point of balance was as near to the hand as possible; this made the sword less point-heavy and less tiring to use. Several styles of pommel had been developed, from a simple disc or flanged wheel to a scent-bottle style. This type of cross-hilt continued to be worn with armour by a few enthusiasts until after the third quarter of the 16th century. However, by the beginning of the century some infantry swords had already developed a half loop or a ring to guard the finger hooked over the blunted first section of blade to assist a swing. This form was then seen on the swords of gentlemen. By mid-century swords usually had finger-rings and side-rings, but frequently lacked the knuckle-guards and displayed none of the diagonal guards popular in Continental Europe. The estoc was also known in England as the tuck. The blade sometimes had three or even four unsharpened sides to produce a very stiff weapon for maximum thrust."
* Gravett/Turner 2006 p27
"Daggers were carried in a sheath on the right side, two staples on the locket attaching to the waist belt."