that Shakespeares father came from Snitterfield, it seemed
appropriate that the ladies of the WI should be listening to
a talk by historian Nic Fulcher, on the subject of Elizabethan
of portraits and modern recreations of costumes he took us on
a journey, piece by piece, through a rich womans wardrobe.
It was no wonder that ladies maids were employed for the
good two hours needed to complete the toilette. Dressing oneself
was out of the question. The separate pieces were tied or pinned
to each other. In 1559, 24,000 pins were supplied each six months
to Queen Elizabeth the cost being pin money.
would spoil most materials, a washable linen chemise was worn
against the skin, its sleeves and neckline embroidered to show
beneath the partlet. This was an embroidered collar and front,
worn beneath the corset. Whalebone, reeds or wood stiffened
this, made in two halves and laced together front and back.
A carved wooden or metal busk was added to the front.
were replaced when the Queen received some pairs in knitted
black silk, leading, in 1589, to the invention of a knitting
machine. Another invention of 1595 introduced high-heeled shoes
for indoor wear.
types of farthingale (support for skirts) used vast amounts
of material, folded, pleated and pinned, some draped over a
bum-roll, many embroidered and decorated with jewels. Separate
over-sleeves, pinned at the shoulder, could be slashed for chemise
sleeves to be pulled through and puffed. Others were stuffed
with cotton, called bombast. Topping all was a full
sleeveless gown, revealing the front of a decorated skirt.
the most unusual piece was the ruff: starched and intricately
folded and worn round the neck by women and men. In later years
it was supported on a metal structure that framed the face like
in the meeting, Angela, our President, presented the new noticeboard
and reminded us of the Remembrance coffee morning on November
12, for which donations of cakes would be needed. She also asked
for nominations for two local charities, to be supported during
2, Norton Lindsay will be holding their annual Christmas Sale
of cards and gifts. Carole, our Secretary, announced visits
and activities in early January. On October 11th our speaker
will be Pauline Brace, telling us about the role of our local
women in wartime.