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Costume in County Clare

Irish people as depicted by John Speed about 1612-18

The Gentleman of Ireland and The Gentlewoman of Ireland (left)

Status is displayed in the lady's jewellery ruff and obvious quality of the gown faric and in the gentleman's falling band, fashionable hat and shoes tied with laces. The thickness and bulk of the mantles is another indication of wealth. Women normally wore their mantles longer than those of the menfolk.

The Civill Irish Woman and The Civill Irish Man (left)

The civil (non-military) middle class male shows his fashion interest in decorative cuffs and doublet of peascod-belly style although his lady has an old-fashioned wimple-style linen covering her head and neck and bosom. She carries a baby in swaddling clothes.

The Wilde Irish Man and The Wilde Irish Woman (left)

The rustic wears shoes. The male has a glib hairstyle, jacket and trews. The strange coverings on the lower legs might be explained by the fact that the Dutch cartographers may not have understood the description of knee-length soleless stockings.


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