THE BIRTHDAY SUIT AND THE HUSSAR’S UNIFORM

On January the 16th, 1788, Prince George commissioned a Birthday Dress Suit of unparalleled splendour.
The accounts show:-

To making a birthday dress suit coquelico sattin coat & breeches and silver tissue waistcoat all richly embroid’d in silver & colours & an applica on the seams etc – £197/10/-
Own sattin lining. – no charge
Silk sleeve lining & pockets – 11/9
Back body lining & pockets to vest – 12/6
Waistband lining & pockets – 8/-
28 rich embroid’d buttons at 36/- doz – £4/4/-
28 heart do. at 18/- doz. – £2/2/-
Sewing silk and twist 10/-

TOTAL: £207/9/9
(Coquelico is the colour of the wild red poppy),

The Ladies’ Magazine reported that on the Queen’s official birthday “The Prince of Wales was arrayed in a superb dress: the coat was a pale ruby ground, covered with rich work of white and silver, and beautifully embroidered down the seams with silver; the star of St. George was formed of brilliantes; the loop also was of diamonds; the waistcoat was of white and silver, highly rich and beautiful.  The hat in which his highness appeared in the evening at the ball, had a beautiful brilliancy.”

This looks like an accurate-enough description of the above suit as made by Louis.

The Hussar’s Uniform, ordered on the 30th of March was even more elaborate, though much less expensive because of the lower cost of the materials

To making a light blue Hussar jacquet & waistcoat, both with sleeves trim’d in figure with broad and narrow gold braid lace, & edged with fur (own lace & fur) £10/10/-
3 ½ yds blue cloth at 20/- – £3/10/-
3 ½ yds blue shag to line jacquet at 8/- – £1/8/-
Shaloon sleeve lining and pockets 5/-
Cotton to line vest thro’ and sleeves 8/-
2 ½ doz large gilt ball buttons at 6/- doz. – 15/-
10 doz breast do at 3/- doz. – £1/12/-
Sewing silk and twist 10/6
Making the cap to do. 5/-
Making the long pocket with the arms – 5/-
To making a buff waistcoat for do, trim’d with gold braid in figure (own broad & narrow gold braid) 10/6
1 ½ yds buff cassimere at 10/- – 15/-
3 doz gilt breast butt’s at 3/- doz. – 11/3
Cotton backs body lining & pockets – 8/-
Sewing silk and twist – 2/6
To making a buff cassimere trousers trim’d with gold braid in figure 10/6
3 ½ yds buff cassimere at 10/- – £1/15/-
Sewing silk & twist &c – 2/6
To a pair flannell drawers to wear with the trousers – 7/6
To a pair silk bettels for do. – 10/6

TOTAL: £25/1/9

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4 Responses to THE BIRTHDAY SUIT AND THE HUSSAR’S UNIFORM

  1. Charles Bazalgette says:

    Nancy Mayer http://www.susannaives.com/nancyregencyresearcher/has advised that the birthday suit was probably to be worn at the Queen’s birthday celebrations, as this is the only close date. She said: "The Birthday suit was probably made for the Queen’s official birthday celebration which was in January. The King’s official birthday was in June. The prince’s birthday was in August."Thanks to Nancy for this.

  2. Charles Bazalgette says:

    The above comment was confirmed as the amendment above shows. The newspaper report for the Queen’s official birthday describes the suit quite accurately.

  3. Charles Bazalgette says:

    I have a glossary almost complete. Not very long, but covers the fabrics mentioned in the accounts. Louis spelled some of them in an eccentric way which made it more fun.

  4. Charles Bazalgette says:

    Thank you!

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