Clothing the Poor in 17th Century Sussex

Sunday 15 November 2020

1pm – 4.30pm

The course

This half-day course focuses on the clothing of poor men, women and children living in 17th-century Sussex, including those living in the poorest households who were dependent upon parish welfare to get by.  We will look at the amount and variety of clothing owned by the poor and how they acquired it (e.g. ready-made, second hand) and at what poor men and women thought about their own clothes.  Participants will have the opportunity to examine replica 17th-century clothing produced as part of the Museum’s Historic Clothing Project and we will also visit Poplar Cottage to learn about the practicalities of clothes maintenance, including laundering and storage.

The tutor

Dr Danae Tankard is a social and cultural historian, specialising in the 17th century and working predominantly on the county of Sussex. She is a Senior Lecturer in History at the University of Chichester and from 2005 to 2016 was also the Weald & Downland’s social historian.  This course draws on content from her recent book, Clothing in 17th-Century Provincial England (Bloomsbury, 2020).

Participant information

It is advisable to wear suitable clothing as we will be visiting Poplar Cottage on site.


£40 per person, including tuition and afternoon teas and coffees. If you have any dietary requirements please let us know in advance. The Museum cafe will be open or you can bring a packed lunch.


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