caps

Caps were a small white cotton or linen head covering with strings or ribbons to tie it under the chin. They were sometimes called a mob cap or coif.

At the Fancy Ball following the Abergavenny Eisteddfod in 1838, Lady Llanover and one of her friends wore a cap made of blonde rather than muslin: many of the Welsh costumes worn at the ball were made of fine fabrics rather than traditional materials.

There appear to have been three main types in Wales:

  • a simple almost hemispherical cap with no frills. These were found in many parts of Britain and Europe.

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  • a cap with goffered frills around the face. These found in some of the more remote parts of 19th century Britain, Wales, Cornwall and Scotland where, it has been assumed, older women still wore old-fashioned costumes at that time.

 

This is a modern replica.

 

 

 

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Example from Bangor Museum

Photograph by John Thomas, c. 1875 A group of women from Ysbyty Ifan almshouses. All the women are wearing caps with goffered frills, but none are wearing Welsh hats.

GOFFERING is the process of heating fabric with goffering irons to smooth a frill of pleats without leaving a crease, as an smoothing iron would. Occasionally, the frills around the face were described as ‘quilled’.

Such caps required a lot of fabric:

Mae gen aunty Liza â las fawr,
Las yn troi fynu a las yn troi lawr,
A dwylath a hanner a gambric a lawn
Pwy dalith am rheini heb wybod a Siôn

(Aunty Liza has a cap with a large lace,
Lace turning up and lace turning down,
With two yards and a half of cambric and lawn
Who will pay for those without Siôn knowing)
1870s Carmarthenshire

 

Cards1

 

  • a cap with long frills, known as lappets, (and possibly, kissing strings) which hung down onto the chest. This appears to have been restricted to Wales, but further research is required on their distribution.

Print of a Cardiganshire girl, ascribed to Lady Llanover, 1834

 

 

 

 

Welsh examples of caps rarely had lace ornamentation until the mid to late 20th century.There are a few references to lace in the descriptions below. Some Welsh hats, especially children’s, have a lace ribbon sewn on the inside, at the junction of the crown and brim, as a representation of a cap.

Kerchiefs

The cap was mentioned by visitors from at least the 1730s but some visitors noted that the women in parts of Wales  (especially south Pembrokeshire and in the north) wore one or more kerchiefs over their heads instead of, or as well as a cap.

Rite of passage?

In some cultures, the cap might have been worn following marriage. For example, most married women in Ireland wore the white cap or border called the caipín lása [lace cap], an ornamental white frilled cap with two or three rows of lace around the front.’ (Mahon, Brid, Rich and Rare, The Story of Irish Dress, (2000) p. 61)  and that a women who didn’t cover their hair was unmarried. (Kinmonth, Claudia, Irish Rural Interiors in Art, (2006), p. 92)

There is some evidence that this was practiced in the woollen districts of England.

Young women wore their hair down their back, while married women wore mob-caps. (Bamford, Introduction to the works of Tim Bobbin, 1850)

There is a suggestion that this custom was followed in some parts of Wales:

The young women wear on the head only a narrow ribbon to tie the hair, and a cap; but in some parts, immediately after marriage, a handkerchief is added. This is made into a triangle by being doubled, is thrown over the head, folded under the chin, and the long ends tied into a knot at the back of the neck. If the climate does not make such a head-dress indispensable, we would not defend its use, for nothing has so much tendency to produce pain in the head as too much tightness and warmth.

Blackwell, John, Rev, (Alun, 1797 – 1840), curate of Holywell and Rector of Manordeifi (Pembrokeshire), ‘On the Advantages Resulting from the Preservation of the Welsh Language and the National Costumes of Wales.’

There is no evidence that women wore black caps following the death of a relative.

Almost every illustration and description of women in Welsh costume suggests that the majority wore caps:  very few illustrations of Welsh women show their hair. It has been suggested that women wore their caps at all times, inside and out. Only Charlotte Skinner, (1808, below) implies that some women wore neither a cap or hat indoors.

Patterns for caps, were published in The Workwoman’s guide, plate 9 (Tozer, Jane and Sarah Levitt, Fabric of Society: A Century of People and their Clothes 1770–1870, (1983), p. 75)

TERMINOLOGY

1808
Culyer (see below) used the term ‘plaited’ to describe caps.

1834
‘mob cap’ =  cap hir-glyst see Blackwell’s essay, 1834, below

1853
Elizabeth Gaskell (see below), compared the cap with a mutch (a Scottish woman’s close-fitting cap.)

(1860s) Ynys Môn
Het fawr uchel (yn gyffredin o silc) a chantal llydan fflat uwch hen gap gwyn wedi ei startsio, a’i grimpio yn y ffrynt.
W.T., Pan oedd fy Nain yn Ugain Oed, Y Ffordd Gron, Cyf. II, Rhif 9, Gorffannaf, 1932, td. 199, illustration
(translation:
(1860s) Anglesey
A large tall hat (most often of silk), with a wide flat brim worn over an old white cap, starched, crimped [or ‘goffered’] in the front.
W.T., When my grandmother was twenty years old, Y Ffordd Gron, July, 1932, translated by Huw Roberts)

1868
the real old costume – gown stwff, het Carlisle, a chap wedi cwilio, and do not object to anyone who might appear in the pais a bedgwn. [gown of stuff – a type of wool, Carlisle hat (presumably a Welsh hat), a goffered cap, and skirt and bedgown.]
The term cwilio is spelled incorrectly. The Welsh word for goffer is cwicio;  goffered is cwiciog.
North Wales Chronicle (Bangor, Wales), Saturday, April 18, 1868

REFERENCES TO CAPS
Some of the following are from first-hand observations, but several, including the references to the women of Pembrokeshire wearing kerchiefs over their heads instead of caps, may well be derived from Wyndham, but John Evans, in 1804, suggests that this was restricted to the south.

1730 Between Tregaron and Cardigan
A Piece of Black Gauze, or Crape (as I take it) in form of Skull-Cap comes over the head and is pinned close under the chin; over this a Man’s Hat lopped.
Loveday, John, (1711-1789). Markham, Sarah, John Loveday of Caversham, 1711-1789: The life and tours of an eighteenth century onlooker. (Wilton: Russell, 1984) p. 62

1774 (Pembrokeshire)
There is a particularity in the dress of the Pembrokeshire women, which, because it differs from the rest of the Welsh, I shall describe.
The women, even in the midst of summer, generally wear a heavy cloth gown with a hood hanging from it behind, and instead of a cap, a large hankerchief wrapt over their heads and tied under their chins.
Wyndham, Henry Penruddocke (1736-1819), A gentleman’s tour through Monmouthshire and Wales, in the months of June and July, 1774.  (1st Edition London, 1775);  (2nd edition London, 1794) pp. 76-78.

1791 Llandovery
They do not show much of their hair, but confine it with a kind of short cap, rounded at the ears, and tied under the chin.
Morgan, Mrs, A Tour to Milford Haven, in the Year 1791, (London, 1795), p. 274

1795 Pontypridd
[A guide to a waterfall] She was apparently 12 or 14 of a pleasing fair countenance, her white hair hung on her shoulders, she wore a round hat (as is the custom) without a cap,
Drake, William, [3 letters to his father, Tour of Wales], Centre for Buckinghamshire Studies, D-DR/8/13/ letter 2, p. 3

1796 [north Wales]
The women are generally without Shoes and Stokens [Stockings], and wear a Man’s hat over a coif or mob cap or sometimes a colour handkerchief.
Sykes, Christopher, Sir (1749-1801), Journal of a Tour in Wales, 1796, NLW MS 2258C (Typescript copy of his tour of Wales)

1798 Oswestry 
‘the dress, particularly of the women, was different from our English cottagers – large bordered caps under a broad-brimmed felt hat and blue cloath [sic] being very generally worn.’
Harford, C.J., UCNW (Bangor) ms 35

1801 Pembrokeshire
The Pembrokeshire women differ in their dress from all those we have before seen, for instead of the neat bordered mob cap, they universally wear a silk Handkerchief round their head and tied under the chin, sometimes they wear several upon their head and shoulder, and I was informed that the more handkerchiefs, the greater the consequence of the wearer, but to my eyes they appeared all to be afflicted with the tooth ache or sore throat.
Mr M [Thomas Martyn], A Tour of South Wales, NLW MS 1340C, p. 98

(1801) Taff’s Well, Cardiff
Girl about 16, supported on one side by a crutch and the other by a venerable female friend; the girl was attired as is usual in this part of the principality in a little beaver hat similar to those worn by men, a neat plaited mob cap was tied under her chin
Manby, George William, (1765-1854), An historic and picturesque guide from Clifton, through the counties of Monmouth, Glamorgan, and Brecknock, (Bristol, 1802), p. 171

1802 Welshpool
the women universally adopt the long, heavy, blue cloak, and the round beaver hat, with a mob cap under it, the lappets of which, in full dress, are suffered to fall loosely on the shoulders.

A., L., Journal of a Welsh Tour, Monthly Magazine; or, British Register, vol. 14, (October, 1802), pp. 227-232; 303-307; Pembrokeshire Herald and General Advertiser, 19 September 1884, 26 September 1884, 3 October 1884, 10 October 1884, 17 October 1884. 10th August, 1802

1803 Pembrokeshire
The women’s attire is singular; it consists of a short jacket and petticoat entirely of brown woollen, like a riding habit, a close cap and long lappets, with a man’s beaver hat.
Malkin, B.H., Scenery, Antiquities and Biography of South Wales, from materials collected during two excursions in the year 1803. (London 1804), p. 482

1804 [Pembrokeshire]
The Flemmings … appear determined to exhibit their different origin in their mode of dress. That of the women in the Welsh [north] part is a jacket and petticoat of checked worsted, or lindsey wolsey stuff, with a cap tied under the chin, and a large, broad brimmed, high-crowned, beaver hat: while that of the women of this part of Pembrokeshire [the south] is a thick, heavy cloth gown and petticoat, with a hood hanging from it behind, generally of a dark colour, and instead of a cap, a large handkerchief wrapped about the head and tied under the chin: sometimes they wear over it a shallow crowned beaver hat, [derived from Wyndham, both tours, 2nd edition, p. 67]  similar to the milk maids of Gloucester and Somerset.
Evans, John, B.A., Letters written during a tour through South Wales, in the year 1803, and at other times … (London: 1804) p. 257

1804 on the way from St Lythams to Llantrisant
The dress of the country people is exactly similar one to the other, a small black beaver with a near mob cap under a woollen jerkin and petticoat the latter very short and when they go from home a large woollen cloak generally blue but sometimes red and some of them instead of a cap have a coloured bonet tied on their heads under their hats.
Near Cardiff
Many of the Country people were without shoes or stockings tho always well clothed.
Russel, Mary, Journal of a Week’s tour in south Wales from Gloucester, Cardiff Central Library, MS 1.663

1807 [Breconshire]
The younger females, when dressed, cut a smart appearance, with their white kerchiefs and aprons, scarlet cloth cloaks edged with fur, neat mob caps plaited and fastened under the chin with coloured ribbons – and men’s round beaver hats.
Cuyler, A.M., Recollections of a visit to Llanbeder in the County of Brecon with remarks on an excursion down the River Wye from Rhos to Chepstow including Abergavenny, Monmouth, Piecefield, Raglan etc by A.M.Cuyler 1807, NLW add MS 784a, p. 167-168

1808 Wales
Throughout the principality they invariably wear men’s hats, shoes and buckles; mob caps; over which they sometimes tie a handkerchief, the end of which hangs down between the shoulders.
Meyrick, S. R., The History and Antiquities of the County of Cardiganshire, 1808, pp. cci-ccii; 2nd edition, 1907, p. 91

1808 Brecon
… a number of women on foot attracted the notice of my servant. …  a mob cap open at the ears; and men, women and children universally wear round black beaver hats.
Spence, Elizabeth, (1768-1832), Summer Excursions through parts of Oxfordshire, Gloucestershire, Warwickshire, Staffordshire, Herefordshire, Derbyshire, and South Wales, volume 2, p. 56-7

1808 Swansea
The head dress is composed of a mob cap with a coloured handkerchief tied so closely over the head, and crossed under the chin with a long corner hanging behind as would incline a stranger to suppose there was a universal tooth-ach amongst the common people. Above all this warm headdress, in the month of August, is added a black beaver hat.
Spence, Elizabeth, (1768-1832), Summer Excursions through parts of Oxfordshire, Gloucestershire, Warwickshire, Staffordshire, Herefordshire, Derbyshire, and South Wales, volume 2, pp. 112-113

1808 Meifod
The dress of the peasantry in this country consists of a mob cap, and when out of doors, a round black hat, but frequently the hair is the only ornament. Note: To this add, when out of doors, a blue cloak and round black hat
Skinner, Charlotte Jane, National Library of Wales ms 14537C, p. 27; Cardiff Central Library MS3.295, June 11th, (Typed transcript of extracts)

1812 Llangollen
The same style of dress prevails with the women and children; men’s hats over a mob cap fastened back at the ears,
Anon, (probably Henrietta Hurrell, Suffolk), A Journey through England and Wales, 1812, John Rylands Library, Manchester, Eng mss. 421, p. 73

1817 Aberystwyth
Her head-dress consisted of a mob cap, a black silk handkerchief tied under her chin and a low black beaver hat.
Fisher, Paul Hawkins, A Three weeks tour into Wales in the year 1817 (Stroud, 1818), p. 19

1819 Pembrokeshire
The women continue to wear mob-caps, chin stays and silk handkerchiefs, with black beaver hats, whether in hail, rain or sunshine, and not unfrequently and extra handkerchief serves as an additional ornament to their head-dress. The men in general evince by their dress the same independence of seasons.
Evans, Thomas, Walks through Wales; containing a topographical and statistical description of the Principality: to which is prefixed, a copious travelling guide … Illustrated by engravings and maps, etc. (1819, Second edition). Part II, p. 170

1824 [Cardigan]
It was market day – Mama purchased a Welsh woman’s muslin cap
Porter, Phoebe, Diary 1824, Worcestershire Record Office, BA 3940/68(i)

1827 [Neath]
The women carry on their heads, their mob caps white and not tyed under the chin- round beavor [beaver] hats
Two anonymous women from Norfolk travelled around Wales during June and July, 1827. Cardiff Central Library, 2.325 (Probably Mrs Judith Beecroft and her daughter Miss Laura Beecroft.) Part published in Williams, H., Stage Coaches in Wales, (Barry, 1977), 96

1830 Pennant’s slate quarries, Bangor
… a small village chiefly … through which the Welsh peasants were walking on their return from church. … generally well and warmly clad, their neat lace caps surmounted by a well brushed black beaver hat is the only distinction which I think can be observed from English women.
Sayer, Frances, East Sussex Record Office, SAY 3401, p. 8

1830 (about)
The dress of the females [of the lower orders] is pretty similar throughout the principality and consists of a blue striped flannel petticoat, a kind of bedgown of the same material, with loose sleeves, a broad handkerchief over the neck and shoulders, a neat mob cap, and a man’s beaver hat.
Anon, A guide to the beauties of Anglesey and Carnarvonshire : comprehending particular notices of Beaumaris, Carnarvon, Conway, Snowdon, the Menai Suspension Bridge, Bangor, and every interesting place or object deserving the attention of the tourist. (c 1830), pp. 7-8

1833 Bangor
The head-dresses of the elderly ladies are at once bizarre and gigantic. The calico cap forms the ground-work; over it is thrown a cotton coloured handkerchief, coming round the visage like a hood, and tied under the chin; another handkerchief is worn over this, bound across the forehead a la Turque, and a third is thrown over the whole in the manner of a hood, being doubled at right angles, the two ends fastened under the chin, the other two hanging gracefully down the back a la negligee. On the crown of the head is worn a black felt hat.
M.B. (Martha Rushbody, Milliner and Dress-Maker) North Wales Chronicle, 25.6.1833

1833 vale of Ffestiniog
a cotton handkerchief supplied the place of a cap being drawn close under the chin and over the ears; (ff. 108-110)
I was overtaken by a lass [on horseback] … She was dressed in the usual manner of the Welsh, with a handsome new broad brimmed beaver and frilled cap. (f. 144)
Letts, Thomas, Journal of Tour, NLW MS 22340B

1833 north Wales
The females retain the ancient cap, which they now surmount with a hat, in a manner both pleasing and peculiar.
Wright, George Newenham, Scenes in North Wales, (1833), p. 149

1833 [North Wales]
‘All the women among the lower orders in Wales, wear men’s hats over muslin caps, and a long blue cloth cloak.’
Sinclair, Catherine, Hill and Valley, or Hours in England and Wales, 2nd edition, 1839, p. 114

1834 Cardiff
[Report concerning the proposal that those attending the Gwent and Dyfed Eisteddfod, Cardiff, 1834 should wear traditional Welsh costume.]
few things can conduce to set a pretty face to greater advantage, as a morning dress, than the beaver hat and lace cap.
The Glamorgan Monmouth and Brecon Gazette and Merthyr Guardian, 17 May, 1834.

1834 Wales
The next article in the female dress is the ‘mob cap’. [cap hir-glyst] With all our predilection for everything national, we feel a difficulty in speaking well of this. In vain has nature given a neck of symmetry of the fair part of the population, while the broad lappets of the mob cap conceal all, and frequently a part of the face also. Were the lappets narrower, they would look better.
Blackwell, Rev. John (Alun, 1797-1840), curate of Holywell and Rector of Manordeifi (Pembrokeshire), On the Advantages Resulting from the Preservation of the Welsh Language and the National Costumes of Wales.’ The Welsh version was published anonymously under the title ‘Gwisgaid y Cymru in Cylchgrawn y Gymdeithas er Taenu Gwybodaeth Fuddiol am 1834, dan olygiad y Parch John Blackwell, B.A., (Llanymddyfri, gan D.R. and W. Rees, 1834), pp. 274-276. An English version was published in Beauties of Alun; being the Literary Remains, in Welsh and English, of the late The Rev John Blackwell, B.A., (Ruthin and London, 1851), edited by G. Edwards (Gutyn Padarn), pp. 253-266 which states that ‘This essay was intended for the Cardiff Eisteddfod, [1834] but sent in too late for the adjudication.’

1834 Near Llanidlos
A very pretty, rosy-cheeked, black-eyed daughter, of seventeen or eighteen, through the dense smoke that pervaded the apartment (as if to exemplify the fact that no seclusion from the world, or state of poverty, however abject, is capable of repressing the ruling passion which governs all female minds, viz. that of dress), was on her knees hard at work, on a bench in the corner, at what is called getting up frills, of which, no doubt, she was not a little vain; for the Welsh peasant girls pay more attention to their heads than their heels, and although you see many without shoes, you will rarely find one who has not a neatly plaited cap under her round beaver hat.
Medwyn, Thomas, The Angler in Wales: or Days and Nights of Sportsmen, 2 vols, London, Richard Bentley, (1834), I, p. 77

[1836] Pontrhydfendigaid Inn, Ceredigion
Carefully pinned to a curtain hung a very knowing lace cap, with borders of that extraordinary width and abundance seen only among the Welsh belles, and most beautifully “got up” as the ladies say.
Roscoe, Thomas, Wanderings and Excursions in South Wales … 1st edition 1836 and subsequent editions, 1854 edition, p. 34

1836 Wales
Young women wear mob-caps, pinned under the chin, and small round felt, or beaver hats, like the men. The elderly women commonly wrap up their heads in two or three coloured handkerchiefs, over which they put a large felt hat.
Charles Augustus Goodrich, The Universal Traveller: Designed to Introduce Readers at Home to an acquaintance with the Arts, Customs and Manners of the Principal Modern Nations of the Globe, … derived from the researches of recent Travellers, 2nd edition, 1836, p. 227 (subsequent editions: 1838, 1842, 1843, 1845) Repeated in Blake, A View of the World, 1841, p. 86.

1836 [Margam]
We frequently observed the neatness of the women’s dress throughout Wales. They all wear nice full caps, with the hair neatly braided underneath a broad brimmed hat.
Williams, Esther, Diary, 1836, Cardiff Central Library, MS1.521, ‘Saturday and Sunday’

1837 Llandovery
Large town, fair day, our broad street full of people, women all in hats & caps with full borders, linsey bed gowns, striped petticoats & aprons all different colours the latter generally plaid.
Kenyon, Louise Charlotte, Shropshire Records and Archive Centre, 549/285 

1839 Llantwit
the ladies — oh! how staid, and prim, and discreet-looking a set of dames were they !—with how stately a gait they passed along of a Sunday towards church, their frizzled hair surmounted by a well crimped cap and sarcenet bonnet
Anon, The Vale of Glamorgan: scenes and tales among the Welsh (1839), p. 113

1840 [Machynlleth to Aberystwyth]
…it was fair day and we were much amused with seeing the county people journeying to [Machynlleth] … They were all very neatly dressed and wore hats which are very becoming and their caps are beautifully quilted and arranged under them …
Sarney, Elizabeth, A journal of a tour through Wales and Herefordshire, undertaken in September 1840, 1840, 22892 A, ff. 14-17

1840 Holyhead
It is more expensive to keep a wife in Wales than in Ireland by at least the value of a beaver hat—the Irish women wearing nothing but a cap in the open air, and the Welsh both cap and beaver. A common round hat, crowded over a muslin frill, is, I must say, as unbecoming a head-gear as could well be contrived—yet so dresses every peasant dame and lass in the land of Glendower.
Willis, N.P., Jottings Down in Wales, American Miscellany of Popular Tales, Essays, Sketches of Character, Poetry … by Transatlantic Authors (London, 1840), pp. 310-311

1844 [Aberystwyth]
The Welsh are a religious people, everyone was hastening to some place of worship and soon the crowded town was wrapped in the silence of the Sabbath. Then the youngsters indulged themselves with a turn on the parade, buxom lassies they were with the high-crowned hat so happily adjusted and the full-eared caps, so particularly adapted to the handsome Cambrian features.
Anon, An Account of a Tour in Wales, 1844, NLW MS 10566, ff. 45, 54

1844 [Carmarthenshire]
[An English visitor, Anne Beale, wrote a fictional account, based on observation, of the purchase of a hat by a young girl from the Llandeilo area of Carmarthenshire.]
The heroine, on her wedding day: ‘That Broad-brimmed, high crowned, shining hat conceals none of her beauty … whilst the full border of her lace cap, with its broad white satin strings, displays to advantage her delicate face. A white shawl, pinned over a new Welsh flannel skirt and petticoat, white gloves and a white satin bridal favour complete her … costume’.
Beale, Anne (1816-1900), The Vale of the Towey ; or Sketches in South Wales (1844), pp. 109, 616, republished as Traits and Stories of the Welsh Peasantry (1849), p. 301 

[1847]
On my first visit to Wales … the first to greet me … was my cousin Betsy. She had adopted the costume of the country and wore a mob [cap] with long ears, loosely pinned, which covered her chin and over that a beaver hat. I found great fault with her dress. p. 31
Nancy in her cloth coat and jacket, her head and face buried in handkerchiefs, under a large beaver hat. p. 59
Lane, Amy, (of Clifton), Sketches of Wales and the Welsh, (1847)

1853 Bangor
It happened to be market day and we therefore had an excellent opportunity of seeing plenty of country girls in their national costumes; I confess that I cannot say much for the beauty of either; the high, ugly hat stuck on the top of a cap having large frills on each side of the face being invariably the covering for the head, while the dress was made of a coarse flannel or linsey-woolsey kind of stuff.
[Bailey, Walker], A Journal of a short walking tour in North Wales 1853, NLW MS 12044, 28.7.1853

1853, (from a novel) [Description of a maid in a Welsh village]
The Square, stout, bustling figure, neat and clean in every respect, but dressed in the peculiar, old fashioned costume of the county, namely a dark-striped linsey-woolsey petticoat, made very short, displaying sturdy legs in woollen stockings beneath; a loose kind of jacket, called there a ‘bedgown’, made of a pink print, a snow-white apron and cap, both of linen, and the latter made in the shape of a ‘mutch’; these articles completed Sally’s costume, and were painted on Ruth’s memory.
Gaskell, Elizabeth, ‘Ruth’ 1853

1861 south Wales
The hats are broad-brimmed, high and mostly peaked in the crown; their use does not, however, date farther back than the reign of Elizabeth. Of late they have been much displaced by a small closely fitting bonnet cap, not unlike a jocky’s cap.
Hall, Mr and Mrs, The Book of South Wales, the Wye, and the coast, (1861), pp. 186-187

21.9.1861 Llanover
‘… about tea time Lady Llanover sent for me … Her dress was rather peculiar on the whole. She had on a stuff skirt tucked up all around, a black velvet jacket, a puce bow attached to her collar, no cap as I had anticipated, black silk stockings and little shoes with ribbon bows’.
Diary of Margaret Davies, later Margaret Mostyn Jones, servant to Lady Llanover at Llanover. She originally lived at Wern, Mostyn, near Holywell, Clwyd and was the daughter of Lord Mostyn’s bailiff. She married Rev. J Mostyn Jones; NLW MS 23511A, and typed transcript in NLW Maxwell Fraser bequest, CB5

1863, St David’s Pembrokeshire
the females … wear on their heads conical high-crowned hats with broad brims, beneath which appear the full and snow-white voluminous frills of a cap
J. F. N. H., A Remote Corner of Wales, Bentley’s Miscellany, LIV, London, 1863, pp. 399, 404

1868 (about) Narberth
{At the hiring fairs, the servants are} in “Pembrokeshire costume”, which consists of a high-crowned black beaver hat, set on the extreme top of the head; a white stiffly-starched cap under it,…
Allen’s Guide to Tenby, edited by Mrs F.P. Gwynne (W Kent and Co, London, and C.S. Allen, Tenby, [c. 1868], pp. 72-73

1870 Llanstephan
Some of the better class and others, on the Sabbath and holiday, wear lace caps, very nicely got up, and on top of the head is a tall crowned silk beaver hat, with wide brim, tapering slightly from the brim to the crown. The most youthful and gay wear this hat alone, without cap, instead of which the hair is dressed in a similar style to that adopted of late by the American ladies;
W, W.E.  [Whyte, William E.; Gwynn, Gwilym Iorwerth] O’er the Atlantic : or, A journal of a voyage to and from Europe: a graphic …‎, (New York, 1870), pp. 86-87
The author was born in Loughor and spent much of his youth in Llanelli, but emigrated to America.

1877 [Merthyr Market]
Women reign at most of the stalls. Here is a brisk Welshwoman selling lace caps to a crowd of elderly Welsh dames, who gravely remove their bonnets, untie their old caps, and try on the new with religious care; and a lively trade drives the cap-seller, for here every woman wears a cap of lace or muslin under her bonnet or her hat.
Sikes, Wirt, (1836-1883), (American Consul in Cardiff, 1876-1883), Harper’s magazine, Volume 54‎, (1877); Rambles and Studies in Old South Wales, (1881), pp. 50-52

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