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The King's Servants: Men's Dress at the Accession of Henry VIII REVISED 2ND EDITION


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Arrives soon! Get it by 01-06 Dec.
01-06 Dec.

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  • Materials: paper

Written by Caroline Johnson; edited by Jane Malcolm-Davies and Ninya Mikhaila

The King's Servants offers a detailed insight into clothing at the beginning of the 16th century. It provides a vivid picture of Henry VIII’s early court using evidence from royal warrants and account books in The National Archive.

Printing a Second Edition has allowed us to correct mistakes that escaped notice in the first edition, and to make improvements in response to comments by readers. The most significant change is the expansion of the index of key terms into a comprehensive glossary. In addition, ambiguities have been clarified, typographical errors have been corrected and instructions and patterns have been streamlined.

Caroline Johnson’s transcriptions and translations of more than 200 hand-written pages of the original 16th century Latin and English documents have revealed a wealth of fascinating facts about expenditure on garments for servants at the Tudor court. The typical clothes worn by middling men during the decades between the battles of Bosworth (1485) and Flodden (1513) are described and reconstructed in this beautifully illustrated book.

Previously unpublished documents, including bundles of orders for clothes, and parchment books recording payments to such people as mercers, drapers, tailors, cordwainers and silkwomen, are carefully analysed to provide details of the usual allocation of dress to different ranks of servants at the royal court. The book focuses on the middle-ranking men who were clerks, messengers and huntsmen.

There is also information on trends in men’s fashion at the turn of the century as the documents investigated demonstrate Henry VII’s expenditure as well as his son’s. A noteworthy inclusion is an early livery issued to Henry VII’s newly-founded Yeomen of the Guard, who were resplendent in green and white damask coats embellished with lavish gold embroidery.

The book offers a survey of relevant pictorial sources such as effigies, brasses and stained glass plus rare glimpses of archaeological artefacts from the late 15th and early 16th century. These, together with the archival information, have provided sufficient evidence for reconstructions of the typical royal servant’s everyday wardrobe to be made and these are illustrated in high-quality colour photographs.

The book also features comprehensive patterns for a man’s complete costume during the early Tudor period. These were devised by Ninya Mikhaila with other experienced costumiers, including Sarah Thursfield (The Medieval Tailor’s Assistant) and Jane Huggett (Clothes of the Common Woman, 1480-1580).


• 52 pages with colour illustrations throughout
• Detailed line drawings and diagrams by Michael Perry
• Sumptuous full-colour photographs by Henrietta Clare
• Patterns for shirts, doublet, hose, coat, jacket and bonnets with advice on appropriate fabrics and comprehensive making instructions

This book is also available as part of a combined offer with its companion publication, The Queen's Servants: https://www.etsy.com/listing/482981212/combined-book-offer-the-kings-servants?ref=shop_home_active_2. The two books are offered at a price of £30, which is a savings of £4 over their standard cost when purchased separately.


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01-06 Dec.

29 Nov.

After you place your order, TheTudorTailor will take 1-3 business days to prepare it for dispatch.

30 Nov.-02 Dec.

TheTudorTailor puts your order in the post.

01-06 Dec.

Estimated to arrive at your doorstep 01-06 Dec.!

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2,833 reviews

5 out of 5 stars
5 out of 5 stars

Speedy service and arrived quickly from the UK to Canary Island, Spain. Very informative book, well-researched, with lot of pictures, drawings and patterns. I love it! Thanks!

Luis Martin 25 Oct, 2020

5 out of 5 stars

I love the Berner Mantel and I made this with the pattern from this book.

Janine Kloubert 09 Jun, 2015

5 out of 5 stars

Bought to compliment the Tudor tailor. I’m working on this period at the moment and research is hard to come by so this book fills that gap in my cutting book library

robert sutherland 18 Dec, 2021

5 out of 5 stars

Speedy service and awesome text. Very much worth it.

Christina Johnson 03 Jan, 2015

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