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On Appareling of Ministers and their Wives.


On Appareling of Ministers and their Wives.

James Dodson


General Assembly, 1575, Sess. 3, Mr. Robert Pont, Moderator.

[The brethren appointed to give their judgment concerning the habit [attire] of the ministers and their wives, presented the same to the Assembly, which was found good, and all the brethren serving the function of the Kirk, ordains to conform themselves and their wives thereto, and ordained effectuously to follow the same; whereof the tenor follows in their words:]

Forasmuch as an comely and decent apparel is requisite in all, namely in the ministers, and such as bear function in the Kirk; First, we think all kinds of broidering unseemly, all bagaries [i.e., jewel cases] of velvet on gowns, hoses, or coats, and all superfluous and vain cutting out, steeking [i.e., garnishing] with silks, all kind of costly sewing on passements [i.e., decorative laces], or sumptuous and large steeking with silks; all kind of costly sewing or variant hues in sarks [i.e., shirts], and kind of light and variant hues in clothing, as red, blue, yellow, and suchlike, which declares lightness of the mind; all wearing of rings, bracelets, buttons of silver, gold, or other metal; all kind of superfluity of cloth in making of hose; all using plaids in the kirk by readers or ministers, namely in time of their ministry, and using of office [1]; all kind of gowning, coating, doubletting [i.e., refers to close fitting body garments], or breeches of velvet, satin, taffeta [i.e., glossy silk or linen], or suchlike; all costly guilding of whingers [i.e., daggers] or knifes, and suchlike; all silken hats, and hats of diverse and light colours: But that their whole habit shall be of grave colour, as black, russet [i.e., a moderate to strong brown or reddish-brown], sad gray, sad brown, or serges, wirset [i.e., a type of worsted], camlet, grogram, leets, worset [i.e., another type of worsted], or suchlike [2]; and to be short, that the good word of God by them and their immoderateness be not slandered; and their wives to be subject to the same order.


[1] The reference here is to appearing in the pulpit ministry in clan colours. The Assembly finds such use of clan plaids unacceptable and liable to bring reproach on the ministry. ED.

[2] These words all describe the use of fancy, elaborate, twisted or embroidered fabrics. The Assembly also rejects these ostentatious displays as bringing reproach on the ministry. ED.