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you will see the latter with an equally highcrowned hat, or rather cap, (as it is apparently without a rim,) but similarly surmounted with the single feather, stuck within a band of gold twist. This cap may be of black cloth, or, more probably, of beaver. The fashion of the highcrowned bonnet, or hat, continued down to the reign of Elizabeth. The mention of such a hat is humorously introduced by Shakspeare, in his " Taming of the Shrew." It occurs in a dialogue between Vincentio, and Tranio, the chief servant of his son, Lucentio. Tranio discovers Vincentio beating his fellow-servant, Biondello, and thus impudently addresses his old master:
TRANIO. "Sir, what are you, that offer to beat my servant?" VINCENTIO. "What am I, Sir? nay, what are you, Sir? Oh! immortal Gods! Oh! fine villain! a silken doublet! a velvet hose! a scarlet cloke! and a copatain hat! Oh! I am undone! I am undone! While I play the good husband at home, my son and my servant spend all at the university."
The commentators thus remark:
"A copatain hat] is, I believe, a hat with a conical crown, such as was anciently worn by well-dressed men.-Johnson. "This kind of hat is twice mentioned by Gascoigne (see Hearbes, p. 154):
'A coptankt hat made on a Flemish block;'
and again in his Epilogue, p. 216:
With high copt hats, and feathers flaunt a flaunt.'
"In Stubbs's Anatomie of Abuses,' printed 1595, is an entire chapter On the hattes of England,' beginning thus:
"Sometimes they use them sharpe on the crowne, pearking up like the speare, or shaft of a steeple, standing a quarter of a yard above the crowne of their heads,""&c.-STEEVENS.
On reference to Minshieu, I perceive he gives the following definition : “A Coppe, topcrest—tuft-plume-or combe on the head of bird or beast-à Belg. kop, i. e. caput, the top or head.” And amongst other derivations he gives the following: Br.(i. e. British, or Welsh) kapan -kop-kopa-kap.
Near the town of Warminster is a lofty conical hill, surmounted with a barrow, and called “ Cophead Hill,” bearing not a bad sem
“ blance to the high-crowned bonnet, or hat, of ancient days. The gentle rise of the barrow on the centre of the crown is very characteristic of the rising, or tump, often seen in the centre of the high-crown hat, ergo, Cophead Hill is—the hill, with the tuft, or cop, on its head.
I have thus extended this very imperfect sketch of the history of the hat from the times of John Halle down to the days of Elizabeth, inasmuch as this fashion extended to her time; it will be irrelevant to pursue it further, but if, borne away by (as in your mind) the seductiveness of the subject, you should e'en wish to extend your researches, seek for “ Stubbs on the Anatomie of Abuses,” an early printed octavo book of great rarity, and of high price. Stubbs was (as Dibden remarks in his “ Bibliomania,”) “ the (3) Prynne of his day,” a disgusting, and conceited, Puritan, who, like the man of Banbury, would have hung
“ his Cat on Monday For killing of a Mouse on Sunday.” * Drunken Barnaby's four Journeys to the north of England. A ryghte wittie and merrie booke. See note (4) to this Essay.
And read also the amusing Essay by J. A. Repton, Esq., in the 24th vol. of the Archæologia, entitled “Observations on the various Fashions of Hats, Bonnets, or Coverings for the Head, chiefly from the reign of. King Henry VIII. to the eighteenth Century.” This Essay is illustrated with several plates.
Having thus closed my observations on the hat of John Walle, I will now proceed to consider its appendage-the feather. The etymology of this word, as given by Minshieu, is this: “A Feather. Belgic, Veder. Teutonic, Feder, à Gr. itepov, i. e. ala auis, q. e. mérepov, a-hérouai, i. e. volo, as, quia ejus adminiculo siue auxilio aues in aerem attolluntur et volant.”
Man, in a state of nature, has, perhaps, made the earliest approach to ornamental dress by the use of the feather. Shelvock, in his “ Voyage round the World ” (speaking of the inhabitants of the southern part of California,) says, “ the men go quite naked except their heads, round which they wear a band of red and white silk-grass, adorned on each side with a tuft of hawk's feathers.” Numerous instances might be given, similar to the above, of the instinctive bias of the human mind in favour of the feather, as a personal decoration. Its use, amongst the inhabitants of the American Con tinent, appears, on its first discovery, to have been universal. The tribes of North America were thus more simply arrayed; but the inhabitants of Mexico, Peru, and other Southern States, were splendidly decorated with the_brilliant plumage of those birds, which adorned their native woods; and there can exist no doubt, that an ornament, so easily procured, was often resorted to by the early people of every nation. The low cup, generally formed of the skin of some animal, we may reasonably suppose, was the earliest attire for the head, and, if the fellen hot did come into use amongst the Saxons, we may presume, that it at first partook of the already established form of the cap.
The cap and feather seem so naturally allied, that the native ambition of man is proverbially thus called into notice, and we may well askwhere is the man, who does not like to place a feather in his cap? Ay! so strong is the bias of human nature, that the fool, as well as the wise man, seeks to be thus arrayed. For the feather we all long-for the feather we all strive !
The feather came into more general use, as an article of dress, in the reign of Edward, the Third, denominated by Planche as “ one of the most important æras in the History of Costume.” It was at first always single, and, generally, worn upright in front of the cap, bonnet,
I shall refrain from discussing the long, disputed origin of the coeval plume of the Black Prince—it is not necessary so to do ; and I have yet very many subjects, which await my leisure. I must beg, therefore, to refer
you to the pages of Planche ;* but, from this time, probably, the 'ostrich feather, as com, merce increased, became more generally used;
“* British Costume," p. 139.
and in the reign of Henry, the Fifth, the nodding plume was seen to wave on the helmet of the warrior; nevertheless the use of the single feather also was extended to the days of John Halle. The feather of the “feasaunt” was often resorted to, and such an one, we may infer, from its appearance in his hat, was thus selected by him. A feather also decorates the cap, or hat, of the vain " Galante," but, unlike our worthy hero, he seems by the way-side to have picked up, and (having no brooch) to have stuck within the gold twist, the feather of a goose !
Henry, the Eighth, delighted in the feather, as a decorative article of dress. In the account of the ancient picture of the famous interview at Guisnes, between him and Francis, the First, in the year 1520, (Archæologia, vol. 3, p. 211) is this passage : “ The King's Majesty mounted on a stately white courser, most richly caparisoned, the trappings, breast-piece, head-stalls, reins, and stirrups, being covered with wrought gold, highly embossed. The King hath on his head a black velvet hat with a white feather laid on the upper side of the brim.” In another painting (since destroyed at the unfortunate fire at Cowdray) he is depicted, as visiting the camp near Portsmouth, and as wearing on his head “ a black bonnet, ornamented with a white feather.” At other times,
At other times, the gay Henry wore a magnificent plume of feathers on his helmet, called the Pennachio. In the “
Anonymiana of Pegge (Cent. 7, 82), it is thus described :
King Henry VIII., when he entered Bologne, had one, consisting of eight feathers of some