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Clerical Dress

Drew Keane from Georgia Southern University wrote me:
A priest at this time may or may not wear a cassock--as it was but street clothes, not a prescribed vestment. For preaching, the Geneva tabs and gown would be worn--the gown only while in the pulpit, the tabs thoughout the services. A highchurchman would have donned a surplice and tippet (in pre-industrial times these were full-length, with a generous amount of fabric) for the service, removing it and taking the preaching gown before the sermon, and resuming the white vestment and black scarf to continue the service. An academic hood may or may not have accompanied all of this, depending on circumstances.

The clergyman would changed clothes in the vestry room.

The garments allowed during the Regency were usually plain as all efforts were made to avoid any resemblance to practices in the church of Rome, while still setting the celebrant apart during divine services.

A minister could be paid a “surplice “ fee for conducting baptisms, weddings, and funerals.

Surplice: A white garment worn over the preaching gown.


Geneva bands


Preaching gown

Bishops wore the Rochet – the white garment– also called the Episcopal Surplice. The black garment is the Chimere. The archbishop appears to be wearing a black gown under his rochet. He is wearing Geneva bands of fine linen. The Chimere is usually made of black satin.

Bishop with lawn sleeves

A clergyman in tippet, surplice, gown and hood. The Black scarf like item is the tippet. It is different from a stole , though similar in shape,. The stole was narrower and changed color with the liturgical year. The stole was considered unlawful at this time. The hood was worn by those with a university degree.

The Cope:
The cope was usually only worn at cathedrals, for state processionals and services on major feast days. The Principal minister and his two assistants, singers, and others in procession could wear the cope.

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