Men's hose c1545 - evidence requested

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EnglishArcher
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Men's hose c1545 - evidence requested

Postby EnglishArcher » Tue Aug 25, 2009 5:24 pm

There seems to be a dearth of canonical evidence for men's hose of the mid 16th century.

In particular I'm looking for evidence for separate hose and nether-hose. I've seen plenty of re-enactors wearing them and I'm hoping it's not just a (re-enactor) backwards-extrapolation from Elizabethan fashions.

If anyone could point me in the direction of primary sources I'd be really grateful.

So far, the Hampton Court paintings (Embarkation at Dover, etc.) and the Cowdray engravings are the best I can find; but none of them has anything I'd call 'conclusive'. Let's just say, at best, 'debatable'. :D

Joined hose, often with slashing and paning, seems to have been the standard.


Thanks in advance.


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Postby Gandi » Tue Aug 25, 2009 9:24 pm

what makes you say 'debatable' out of interest?


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Postby Grymm » Wed Aug 26, 2009 9:09 am

Depends whether you look at teeny internet pics or the real thing. It's difficult to see on this
Image
But FotCoG and Embarkation are a bit larger
Image
if the trunks and netherstocks are the same colour................
Ah can't be ars.... bothered, already dealing with one lot of 'research' that ignores stuff that the 'researcher' didn't agree with/proved them wrong/mucked up their idea of how the world should have been.


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Postby EnglishArcher » Wed Aug 26, 2009 11:51 am

My primary period of interest (and where I've done most study) is the mid 14th Century. My experience (and references) for the mid 16th Century are limited at the moment.


Unfortunately, forums seem to have become a place where a question asked is often a sly or sarcastic dig at a person, or group's, work or research. Often, genuine requests for information are misinterpreted this way too.


As Grymm quite rightly says: there are many out there who use evidence to support a pet theory - how they would really 'like it to be'. Believe me, I probably meet as many of these people as Grymm does; and they drive me to distraction, too!


In this case, I have no axe to grind one way or another.


Clearly, in the 2nd Qtr 16th Century there was a transition in men's hose, from the medieval joined hose to the two-part breech and nether-hose (or whatever terminology you care to choose - again, I'm open on this).


Was the transition :-

A) Joined hose -> slashing/paning of joined hose -> separation into breech/stocks

B) Joined hose -> separation into breech/stocks -> slashing/paning of breeches

C) Joined hose -> breech as over-hose, over joined hose -> reduction of hose to nether-hose (My wife's theory!)

D) None of the above?

(A) and (B) seem similarly likely; and you could effectively argue one way or the other. I'll dismiss (C) for the moment but it was to deal with a problem I'll talk about below.


On a practical note: it's perfectly possible to get incredibly tight-fitting hose with wool (despite what most medieval re-enactors tell you!). However, whilst getting a tight fit around the calf is relatively straightforward to get a good fit above the knee requires that the hose be supported. In joined hose this support comes from the waist.


Looking at the artwork, all the slashing is above the knee; and much is mid-thigh or higher.


So, more questions:

If it is the breech that is slashed/paned and separate from the hose, what is holding the hose up to maintain the hose tension above the knee?

Are the slashed, upper parts of the hose joined to the lower, tighter-fitting parts (i.e. a joined hose)?


One could argue that the second option is the better supported by the evidence we can see:

- Upper and lower hose are often the same colour (although the design doesn't preclude having different materials for upper and lower)

- Where the slashing/paning is high on the leg, the hose below is still very well fitted.

- There doesn't appear to be any evidence of garters around the knee to support the hose.


Construction of these paned-joined hose is rather complicated but tends to fit in with the development of multi-part, pieced tailoring that was developing in the 16th Century.


In the same artwork though (as evidenced by the image Grymm has posted) we see men wearing what look more obviously like highly paned breeches (which, curiously, sit closer to the knee)


So, are we seeing both types of hose at the same time? I suspect so.


And how typical were these hose for the common man? Complex construction would suggest high cost (status); although many say TFOTCOG features many people of the 'middling sort'.


As I said, I have no axe to grind on this subject. The more evidence I look at the more all the options look plausible. Ultimately, I'm looking to construct garments that recreate a discernable (and perhaps one could say 'obvious') 'look and feel' of the period. Where I can't find extant artefacts I have to fall back on artwork.


Hopefully, the more experienced of you can suggest a course of action.


Again, many thanks in advance.


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Postby Gandi » Wed Aug 26, 2009 1:32 pm

No sly dig intended, merely the simple question 'why debateable?'

Your second post though clarifies matters as I believe what you are asking is simply put as "were the top and bottom of the leg covering garments seperate items or one?"

Would that be correct?

I have yet to see an illustration that would show the two items separately other than the German knitted examples shown
Image
Image
Image

although we have no evidence to say if they ever had associated stockings . The only time I have seen the two worn as obviously seperate items is in pictures of reenactors, which I would thing goes more to show the modern 'shorts and t-shirt comfort' mentality than it does acurate historical behaviour.

Wills and inventories of the reign of Henry VIII that I have seen only refer to hose not upper and lower which would either indicate that they were indeed treated as one item or that they are not referred to as hose perhaps?

Previous discussion on how to reconstruct this type of garment by Historic Royal Palaces has come to no concrete conclusions I believe. Theories as to how the lower hose are suspended ranged from sewing them directly to the upper hose fabric, although one then has to decide how the upper part is made both taught enough to suspend the lower AND loose enough to allow for the 'bloused' look of the slashing.

Sewing the lower part to the lining of the upper part.

Attaching the lower to the upper by clothing hooks, a theory that could explain why many are found but few are seen in art.

Or that no physical attachment takes place, rather that the lower extends sufficiently up the leg and either friction or some form of loose gatering takes place above the knee and hidden by the upper part of the garment.

I personally feel that currently there is no 'correct' answer to this question and that the various solutions that I have seen all have some degree of merit to them. In my opinion, short of a decent description in a document, a clear painting or a surviving garment all that we are left with is various peoples ideas and theories as to how best to reconstruct the garment; all of which will lead to reconstructions that will outwardly look like the pictures we see.

My gut feeling based on no real evidence is that the lower are attached to the lining of the upper and the whole is treated as one garment....but what do I know eh! Now off to deal with that same research as that nice Mr Grymm :twisted:


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Postby Grymm » Wed Aug 26, 2009 4:01 pm

British Library has an illustration from c.1540 of an English captain of foot wearing v tight hose up to knacker level and what look like slashed 'pumpkin' breeches in a different colour. In fact if it wasn't for the date you'd swear it was 'Lizabeeethan'.

FotCoG has a few hiccups in it too, the 'Turkish' musos were put in as the Turks were allied with the Fro...French when the painting was done(15-20yrs after the event I believe) And people always want to be shown in their best regardless of social level, plus it's largely a military encampment so does that mean that the fashions are military not civvy, the two aren't necessarily the same and don't get me (or indeed Gandi) started on f*@king jerkins (gherkyns, gyrkynes, jerkyns, gerkyns) for working men.

Mary Rose collection is good remembering again that they are sailors and from recent evidence alot of them are furriners.

My thinking is that poorer folk are still on 'joined' hose with a tudory cod, military and those aping them have fancy uppers constructed on a canvassy base and perm joined to the lowers and sailors dress like sailors.

But I'm sleep deprived and have a toothache so it could all be utter dangly bits.


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Postby gregory23b » Wed Aug 26, 2009 4:09 pm

Oh pray tell us about the gerkyns, we need to know more, I have this theory that all men wore pinked leather Gherkins, especially if they were cooks ;-)


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Postby EnglishArcher » Wed Aug 26, 2009 4:17 pm

No sly dig intended, merely the simple question 'why debateable?'

Your second post though clarifies matters as I believe what you are asking is simply put as "were the top and bottom of the leg covering garments seperate items or one?"

Would that be correct?


Um, yes. I should really learn to summarise! :oops:

Thanks for the images.

Gandi, as you say, all the solutions have some merit and there isn't one 'correct' answer. (I think this is the 'debatable' part I was talking about!)

My thoughts are currently very similar to Grymms - using the lining to support the lower part of the hose, allowing the looser upper part. Time to experiment.

Thanks to both for the input. It has clarified my thinking immensely.

Right, about jerkins.... :twisted:


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Postby Grymm » Wed Aug 26, 2009 4:46 pm

G23b Phuq right off porridgew....... I may have to drink your Kitty pressie for that =oÞ

and an archers salute to you Mr English Archer nerrrrrnerrrrnernernerrrr :wink:


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Postby Gandi » Wed Aug 26, 2009 8:45 pm

British Library has an illustration from c.1540 of an English captain of foot wearing v tight hose up to knacker level and what look like slashed 'pumpkin' breeches in a different colour. In fact if it wasn't for the date you'd swear it was 'Lizabeeethan'.


c**k, I'd forgotten about that one! Probably the only one I can think of now where the upper and lower are of differing colours, assuming that the 'white' lower part is indeed cloth and not leg :twisted:

as for the Porto....pointless threatening you with washing up for that witty interjection, as you're twisted enough to enjoy it....sure we can come up with something though. The only gerkins I'll consider are pickled, sliced and stuck in my mutton bun on Saturday night :wink:

English Archer, let us know how you get on, would be very interested to see what you come up with.


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Postby Sophia » Thu Aug 27, 2009 11:12 am

I just thought I would throw this into the mix as as a possible solution to the layering issue.

Early tights??

Though the attached hose are knitted it would seem logical that one could do the same with cloth netherstocks.

Sophia :D


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Postby EnglishArcher » Thu Aug 27, 2009 1:48 pm

English Archer, let us know how you get on, would be very interested to see what you come up with.


Will do. Got a couple of customer garments to get out of the way, then the work on the Tudor kit starts in earnest.


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Postby Gandi » Thu Aug 27, 2009 5:07 pm

Sophia wrote:I just thought I would throw this into the mix as as a possible solution to the layering issue.

Early tights??

Though the attached hose are knitted it would seem logical that one could do the same with cloth netherstocks.

Sophia :D


Thanks Sophia...more grist to the mill :)


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Postby Sophia » Thu Aug 27, 2009 7:00 pm

I am trying to persuade some of the male Kentwell gentry who have tried Sally P's long silk hose to try this method rather than falling back on tights. Might also solve some of the decency issues concerning a certain pair of micro hose.

Soph :D


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Postby ada-anne » Mon Aug 31, 2009 12:51 pm

I just happened to be reading Melanie Schuessler's article on children's clothing in the Lisle Letters at the same time as seeing this thread: "She hath over grown all that ever she hath": Children's Clothing in the Lisle Letters, 1533-40, in Medieval Clothing and Textiles vol.3.

This analyses the orders, requests and bills for clothing for the Lisles' children. It's working in many cases from a translation of the original French bills, so I'm not sure of the terminology, but two listings for the youngest boy, who was very well dressed, caught my eye, around 1537: "seven pairs of hose (two of black serge, some with pullings-out of black or violet taffeta), six pairs of netherstocks...", and "four pairs of hose made for him and for making three pairs of netherstocks".

This certainly shows that hose and netherstocks existed as separate garments, since they come in different quantities. And the ones termed "hose" are the ones with the slashing and puffing.



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Postby Grymm » Mon Oct 05, 2009 11:54 pm

From: 'Letters and Papers: April 1539, 1-5', Letters and Papers, Foreign and Domestic, Henry VIII, Volume 14 Part 1: January-July 1539 (1894), pp. 330-348. http://www.british-history.ac.uk/

Stuff of my master's remaining at Hondesdon, 1 April 30 Hen. VIII.
A nightgown, furred with lamb, and faced with lusarnes. A jacket of tawny velvet and tawny satin. Doublets of crimson and other satin. A black velvet cap with a brooch with four men standing on a green rock. Hose of various colours. Upper and nether stocks, scarlet and black.


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