Happy Tudor Halloween!: the Flat Hood

queen mary I of england

A young Mary I of England. Talk about letting yourself go…what the hell happened?

Bloody Mary’s Hood of Preference

Queen Mary I of England

Bloody Mary of Queen England looking like a bulldog in this sketch.

So let us wring our hands and shine the flashlight under our chins while your Blog Hostess spins the final chapter of the Tudor England headresses. The Flat Hood is last in the “hood evolution,” it’s name self-explanatory. Legend has it the Flat Hood is the fashion love child of the Gable and French Hoods. It’s obvious flat top with right-angle sides–the geometrical severity of its English daddy–yet is worn further back on the head, covering little hair–following the trend of its French momma. Mary I brought the Flat hood into style during her reign [1553-1558.] Given Queen Mary’s temperament and love of a good bonfire, something gives us the idea even fashion individuality wasn’t extremely popular.

Tolerance? Two Differnce Styles of Flat

Mary Fitzalan in a Flat Hood

Duchess of Norfolk

Queen Mary I; Mary FitzAlan, Duchess of Norfolk; and Bess of Hartwick, Countess of Shrewsberry were fans of those rigid ear-flaps and lacy borders. Do you think it’s closer to an English or French hood? Well, it’s certainly got that alluring boxlike quality, guaranteed to render it ineffectual in a downpour. Not ideal for run-off.

cecilia heron

As intolerant as Queen Mary was famed to be, she did allow a “Frenchier” version of the Flat hood as well. Thanks to the perpetually conflicting information of the Internet, We’re unsure if the Frenchy-Flat evolved later or simultaneously with the “Bloody Flat.” Boy, we’re just winging the monikers around today.

Anne Cressacre Moore,_by_Hans_Holbein_the_YoungerThe Frenchier style of Flat hood as seen on Anne Cressacre Moore (left) and Cecilia Heron (above). We believe both images were done by Holbein the Younger. Fun fact! Cecilia Heron was the daughter of the martyred Saint Thomas Moore and Anne Cressacre Moore his daughter-in-law. Maybe Queen Mary “tolerated” their version of the Flat hood because the Moore clan had always been devout Catholics. [Thomas Moore’s refusal to acknowledge Anne Boleyn as queen due to his seraphic beliefs led to his falling out with Henry VIII and eventual beheading.]

Then What’s Anne of Cleves Wearing?

The hood Anne of Cleves is wearing in the famous Holbein portrait could be a Flat hood. However, the Flat hood supposedly did not become a fashion until Mary I became queen. This doesn’t explain Anne of Cleves. (I don’t draw conclusions, I just report my findings…I’m not paid for that *narrows eyes*) Was it Anne of Cleves who introduced this hood from her native land much the way Anne of Brittany introduced the French hood?

anne of cleves and mary of guise

Are we nuts or does Anne’s veil recall the hood sported by a young Mary of Guise (right). It has been suggested that this portrait was Mary’s inspiration for the Flat hood, though we can see how much more of the hairline is covered. Ummm…it could be a stretch. [This would make an awful thesis.]

German Words Are Fun [and it is Friday]

Most likely Anne is wearing her own hood, known as a steuchlein. Like the gable hood it is made up of several layers, the unterhaube  (the coif/cap or literally “under-habit”), the wulsthaube (padded cap, translator called it “bulge habit”) and the haube (habit) covering, the schleiertuch. When you take a look at her, I’m surprised that Anne had so many layers going on under there. Mary of Guise certianly doesn’t have a wulsthaube under that monastic drapery.

Happy Halloween kids, whether you dress up or not. Your Blog Hostess is still working on hers…let me rephrase…trying to come up with an idea for one.

want more costumes?

1903 Ball at the Winter Palace


About ♔ la dauphiine ♔

Connecticut-based jewelry monger, history buff, Mets fan. On the hum-drum side, call me a lauded poet, novelist and ghost-writer. (That's right, I haunt prose.)
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it's not just a love-affair with my own voice

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