Excerpt from Sussex Archaeological Collections, 1899, Vol. 42: Relating to the History and Antiquities of the County
One kind of medizcval head-gear has perba 8 dis appeared for ever, that worn by widows, and ofp which many examples appear on brasses, though I have met with n... one in Sussex. Its chief features consisted in the barbe, gorget, or whimple, and the veil. The former was often stifil plaited and seems to have sometimes covered the hea beneath the veil, as on a brass, circa 1440, at Stoke d'abernon, Surrey. These articles of apparel made the widow ap ear like a modern nun, and, indeed, the mediaeval wi ow was often closely allied to the con ventual state, and bound by vow not to re-marry, though holding property and living in the world. We have an example of one of these vowesses, as they were termed.
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