Sumptuary Jerkins

The vocabulary word for the day is sumptuary

From Colonial Laws of Massachusetts, 1651

. . .to declare our utter detestation and dislike that men and women of mean condition should take upon them the garb gentlemen by wearing gold or silver lace, or buttons, or points at their knees, or to walk in great boots; or women of the same ran to wear silk or tiffany hoods, or scarves which, though allowable to persons of greater estates or more liberal education, we cannot but judge it intolerable. . . .

It is therefore ordered by this Court, and authority thereof, that no person within the jurisdiction, nor any of their relations depending upon them, whose visible estates, real and personal, shall not exceed the true and indifferent value of £200, shall wear any gold or silver lace, or gold and silver buttons, or any bone lace above 2s. per yard, or silk hoods, or scarves, upon the penalty of 10s.

From Tudor England

None shall wear . . .cloth of gold or silver, tinseled satin, silk, cloth mixed or embroidered with gold or silver, or foreign woolen 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 studs with gold, silver or gilt. . . except . . .Baron’s Sons, all above that rank, Gentlemen attending the Queen, Knights and Captains.

None shall wear . . .velvet, satin, damask, taffeta, or grosgrain in gowns, cloaks, coats, or upper garments, or velvet in their jerkins, hose or doublets. . . except . . .Knight’s Eldest Sons and all above that rank.

Drat, I always wanted to have velvet in my jerkin. I suppose I’ll just have to keep flyin’ the flannel.