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|Big Edward's boy
Written by JulieW
(8/30/2005 2:45 p.m.)
in consequence of the missive, Little Edward (Letter 5), penned by Robbin
Shortcoating and breeching were two important events during the 18th century in the lives of children.
Very young children wore long robes called mantles. These long garments extended well beyond the children's feet. As a child grew and began to crawl and eventually walk shorter garments were necessary. This process of dressing a child in ankle-length skirted garments or frocks was called shortcoating. This process applied to both boys and girls.
As boys grew older they underwent an even more important rite of passage called breeching, that is put into breeches and no longer wearing the frock as shown in the above picture.
While girls and boys were shortcoated, only boys were breeched, obviously:-)
The picture above shows Sir Lawrence Dundas, the wealthy Scottish merchant and his grandson who has cleary NOT been breeched.
The portrait is by Johann Zoffany dated 1769, and you will note that pride of place is given to the stunning turkey carpet: this was usually covered up with a cove of green baize( paging Laurie C!Mrs Norris reference alert!!)
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