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The Tudor Society

The Elizabethan Ruff – Video

In today's Claire Chats video I talk about that essential accessory of the Elizabethan era, the ruff, and how it developed over time and how fashions changed.

And here's a gallery of portraits showing people wearing ruffs and Charles I wearing the falling band collar which took over from the ruff.

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  1. L /

    The yellow ruff in James 1st time was made popular by Anne Turner.
    Anne Turner, along with Lady Frances Carr (nee Howard) were convicted for the the murder of Thomas Overbury.
    Lady Frances and her husband Robert were convicted and found guilty of the crime of murder, and by rights should have hung, but Robert had been one of James 1st favorites, and their death sentence was commuted to inprisonment in the tower. They were eventually released but lived in obscurity for the rest of their lives.
    Anne Turner however wasn’t so lucky and was hung, wearing her yellow ruff, which went out of fashion shortly after.
    I believe the yellow colour was made from boiling saffron with the starch and the ruff was then left to soak for a while, I guess the longer it was soaked the more intence the yellow colour was.
    By the way I don’t believe that Robert Carr had anything to do with Frances’s activity concerning the murder of Thomas Overbury, but believe he was inplicated purely because he and Thomas had argued most violently over Robert’s relationship with Frances. So the freindship that Robert and Thomas once had was not as it had once been. Thomas’s death just seemed to coincidental to suggest that Robert wasn’t involved.

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The Elizabethan Ruff – Video