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DavidZahir
10-27-2009, 09:53 AM
Regarding Regency England, circa 1815.

1. What was the difference between nightgowns of a lady (i.e. a squire's widow) and of a personal maid?

2. What was the law (and the practice) regarding duels?

pdr
10-27-2009, 01:00 PM
Duels were illegal in 1815.

The material of the nightgown. A fashionable lady would have a silk one, coloured and trimmed, and possible fashionable in style. A lady's maid would wear a plainer one in white cotton.

Shakesbear
10-27-2009, 01:26 PM
Regarding Regency England, circa 1815.

1. What was the difference between nightgowns of a lady (i.e. a squire's widow) and of a personal maid?

2. What was the law (and the practice) regarding duels?


It really depends on how much money the squire's widow had to spend - her night gown would have been made of a very fine cotton and would have have been embroidered, with, depending on personal taste, flounces and frills. In all probability it would also have been white. including the embroidery. The maids would have been of a heavier type of fabric and without any decoration - unless the mistress had given her an old nightgown as a perk. Types of fabric used were muslin, calico (there are varying weights and colours of this fabric). Silk may have been used - but only, imo, by someone who wanted to swank!

Can I recommend this site to you, The Costumer's Manifesto

http://www.costumes.org/history/100pages/regencylinks.htm#Women

and please ask me if you need any more info - it is a sort of specialist area of mine.

As for duels - hmph! I know that at some point they were outlawed in England - but I can't find the date! I'll have a rummage in some of the books I have stacked up and see what I can find.

Shakesbear
10-27-2009, 01:30 PM
Duels were illegal in 1815.

The material of the nightgown. A fashionable lady would have a silk one, coloured and trimmed, and possible fashionable in style. A lady's maid would wear a plainer one in white cotton.


Interesting! Because the Duke of Wellington took part in a duel in 1829. See here: http://www.kcl.ac.uk/depsta/iss/archives/wellington/duel08.htm

DavidZahir
10-27-2009, 07:25 PM
It really depends on how much money the squire's widow had to spend - her night gown would have been made of a very fine cotton and would have have been embroidered, with, depending on personal taste, flounces and frills. In all probability it would also have been white. including the embroidery. The maids would have been of a heavier type of fabric and without any decoration - unless the mistress had given her an old nightgown as a perk.Many, many thanks! This actually gives me an idea.

And I was all-but-certain duels were illegal, but I'm also utterly certain they still took place.

Shakesbear
10-27-2009, 07:34 PM
Many, many thanks! This actually gives me an idea.

You are welcome.



And I was all-but-certain duels were illegal, but I'm also utterly certain they still took place.

They were and they did! I think the last duel was in 1852, but not entirely sure.

mscelina
10-27-2009, 07:34 PM
Just because they were illegal doesn't mean they didn't still happen. Gentlemen of the Regency era went to great extremes to keep their duels "secret" from the authorities, although almost every man of substance would have known about a duel and bet on the outcome in the clubs.

And I second the Costumer's Manifesto site, by the way. It's an outstanding source of information about clothing and fashion.

Shakesbear
10-27-2009, 07:39 PM
Crossposting! What larks!

mscelina I do agree with your comments about dueling. What did eventually stop the practice was, I think, some one being hung for killing his opponent in a duel.

Sarpedon
10-27-2009, 08:01 PM
I thought the last duel was in the 1960s.

In the USA, duels continued to be common right up to the 1860s, especially in the South. (I seem to recall that two southern generals killed one another in a duel during the Civil war). In the 1890s a French general fought a duel with the Prime Minister, though neither was killed. So I'd imagine it would also be common in Britain at the same time period. One of the side effects of duelling becoming illegal was that they frequently became less lethal.

Shakesbear
10-27-2009, 10:43 PM
Sarpedon the date I gave was for England - it might well be later else where.

Sarpedon
10-28-2009, 01:34 AM
After that, the custom was to take a short trip to France.

mscelina
10-28-2009, 01:42 AM
Or a long trip to France, depending on where Napoleon was.

Shakesbear
10-28-2009, 01:56 AM
1815 - June 18 Battle of Waterloo - after that it did not matter where Boney was!

pdr
10-28-2009, 09:29 AM
that as day wear and evening wear in 1805 - 1815 meant women wearing muslin and not silk then silk became a favourite for night wear in the form of very pretty and coloured nightgowns and wrappers.

Correction - Lord Lansdowne’s Act made duels illegal in 1828, but various local authorities had banned them taking place on their patch long before then. Duels were generally frowned on but idiots still managed to conducted them. Each man had a second, who was supposed to try and patch up the quarrel, a doctor had to attend, and the insulted man chose the weapon.

Shakesbear
10-28-2009, 11:24 AM
that as day wear and evening wear in 1805 - 1815 meant women wearing muslin and not silk then silk became a favourite for night wear in the form of very pretty and coloured nightgowns and wrappers.

Correction - Lord Lansdowne’s Act made duels illegal in 1828, but various local authorities had banned them taking place on their patch long before then. Duels were generally frowned on but idiots still managed to conducted them. Each man had a second, who was supposed to try and patch up the quarrel, a doctor had to attend, and the insulted man chose the weapon.

Thanks for the information about the duelling act.

Hmmm... muslin and other types of cotton fabrics were used for day wear, walking dresses. There was a ban on importing French silk so, as I understand it, silk was produced in England and was used mainly for evening and ball gowns and also for court wear. I have to admit to never seeing a silk nightgown for that period in all the time I've been researching costume, but that is not to say they did not exist. Going off to do some more research ...

DavidZahir
10-28-2009, 07:20 PM
Ah, thank you! Exactly the information about dueling that I needed for Baneworth!

Tsu Dho Nimh
10-31-2009, 05:07 PM
Regarding Regency England, circa 1815.

1. What was the difference between nightgowns of a lady (i.e. a squire's widow) and of a personal maid?

Material: The richer you were, the more diaphanous the material. Lady might wear sheer muslin, maid wears a coarser material. Both were usually white or unbleached muslin.

Although, a thick flannel nightie for winter might show up anywhere.

The amount of handwork on the gown: rich women might have elaborately tucked and embroidered ones with lace trimming, maid would have some tucks and embroidery, because the tucks can also help with the fitting, and embroidering a hem or seam is a secure finish.

However, a thrifty squire's wife or widow might have worn a very practical muslin nighty. Look at the ones in Pride and Prejudice - they were classic style for decades on either side of 1800.