Encyclopedia of Medieval Dress and Textiles

Get access Subject: History
Edited by: Gale Owen-Crocker, Elizabeth Coatsworth & Maria Hayward
The single volume Encyclopaedia of Medieval Dress and Textiles of the British Isles c. 450-1450 is a unique work that intends to bring together in 582 signed articles the latest research from across the range of disciplines which contribute to our knowledge of medieval dress and textiles.

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Officers of the royal household

(2,395 words)

Author(s): Stephen Church
The wearing of clothes of distinction has marked out the rich in society for as long as societies have existed. In England, the tradition of kings and great men and women wearing luxurious items certainly goes back to the 10th century if not before. Recently, for example, Robin Fleming has demonstrated that the Anglo-Saxon élite in 11th-century England wore brightly patterned silks obtained at vast expense and with great difficulty from, mostly, the Byzantine east. Men such as Earl Harold Godwinesson, the future King Harold II (d. 1066), would have b…

Official dress

(1,081 words)

Author(s): Maria Hayward
Official dress, or the clothing worn by specific groups of men who held positions of authority in secular society, gradually developed a standardised form in the 14th and 15th centuries in the British Isles. This entry will focus on the official clothing worn by three groups of individuals: mayors and other important civic officials involved in local government, officials working in Edward III’s government in Ireland and the members of the legal profession. This official dress developed in parallel with the evolution of ho…