History Nuggets: Colorful Pilgrims

Pilgrim men did not wear black breeches, square white-collar and cuffs, wide buckled belts, black steeple hats with a buckle, nor did Pilgrim women wear full black skirts, white aprons and dark capes. Pilgrim adults and children wore bright solid colors since their religion did not object to colorful clothing.

The Pilgrims, in fact, wore a wide variety of colors. We know this because when a person died, an inventory stated their belongings  for the purpose of probate: and the color of garments often appeared.   For example, long-time church member, Mary Ring, died in Plymouth in 1633, and her estate included a “mingled-color” waistcoat, two violet waistcoats, three blue aprons, a red petticoat, a violet petticoat, blue stockings, and white stockings. In addition, she owned gray cloth, blue cloth and red cloth, ready to make additional clothing. Plymouth’s Church Elder William Brewster, who died in 1644, owned green pants, a red cap, a violet coat, and a blue suit. And Governor William Bradford, when he died in 1657, owned a green gown, violet cloak, and a red waistcoat.  Fascinating…

Inspirational photo by Pixabay

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