‘richesse in fassone and in fairness’: Marriage, Manhood and Sartorial Splendour for Sixteenth-century Scottish Kings

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Abstract

Marriage was a prominent ‘life-stage’ ritual linked to achievement of the hegemonic manly state in the period: it was associated with self-control and was seen as a stabilising force against the ‘follies of youth’. James IV (1488–1513), James V (1513–1542) and James VI (1567–1625)came to the throne as minors and their weddings provided particularly potent opportunities for shaping their identity both at home and abroad. Clothing was a crucial element of the social dialogue performed by both men and women in late medieval and early modern Europe. Dress, of the royal person and of others, was a mode of display in which all three monarchs invested heavily at the moment of their weddings. By offering a comparative analysis of the investment in sartorial splendour and the use of dress and personal adornment through a gendered lens, this article demonstrates how clothing and adornments were used to make statements about both manhood and royal status by three sixteenth-century Stewart kings attempting to secure their place in the homosocial hierarchy.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)378-396
Number of pages18
JournalThe Scottish Historical Review
Volume100
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2021

Keywords

  • Scotland
  • 16thcentury
  • dress and décor
  • James IV
  • James V
  • James VI
  • manhood
  • masculinity
  • marriage
  • ceremony
  • material culture
  • textiles

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