Anglesea hats

There are two illustrations which name Anglesea hats. In one the crown has a greater diameter at the top than at the brim; in the other, the sides are almost vertical.


Henry Melton’s Hints on Hats, (London, 1865), p. 39








From  ‘The Whole Art of Dress’ by a Cavalry Officer, published in 1830








There are several images of both men and women wearing the former type.

Painting of a woman in the Moel y Don ferry, Anglesea, wearing a less exaggerated version of this shape of hat.



Campion, George Bryant, Sketches of the picturesque character of Great Britain from nature and on stone. (London: Ackermann, 1836), no. 6 ‘Welsh Peasants’







Campion, George Bryant, Sketches of the picturesque character of Great Britain from nature and on stone. (London: Ackermann, 1836), no. 5 ‘Welsh Harper’





The First Marquess of Anglesea (Henry William Paget, 1768-1854, of Plas Newydd, Anglesey) commented on hats at the 1821 eisteddfod at Caernarfon. It is not known which shape he was referring to.

At the well-attended and pleasant meeting of the Cambrian Eisteddfod at Carnarvon, the most noble, the Marquis of Anglesea, as president, while in his polite and fascinating manner was observing upon the appearance and fashion of the ladies, stated that he very much preferred and admired a beautiful face under a neat black hat, such as the lasses of Snowdon wore, to the large French bonnets that he then saw hiding several charming faces, and recommended the former dress of the Welsh ladies to the present foreign fashions. The advice of the noble president has had the desired effect, for nearly all the ladies at the last Pwllheli and Caernarvon hunts appeared in black hats which are, in complement to the president called ‘The Anglesea Hats’. All the beautiful faces of north Wales are likely to be soon protected by an Anglesea Hat’. (The Cambrian (newspaper), 10th November 1821)

This may have been based on a report in Welsh: Yn yr Eisteddfod yma, dywedodd y Llywydd, ardderchocaf Ardalydd Môn, yn ei ffordd enillgar arferol, ei fod ef yn hoffi gwyneb prydweddol o dan het ddu gryno, o’r fath a wisgai genethod yr Eryri, yn hytrach na’r cycwllau Ffrenging mawrion ag oedd ef bryd hyny yn weled yn cuddio amryw wynebau siriolwedd; ac efe a gymeradawai wisgoedd y boneddigesau Cymreig yn hytrach na’r defodau tramor presenol. Dywedir fod araeth y Llywydd Ardderchog wedi cael yr effaith ddymunadwy; ymddangosai agos yr holl foniddigesau yn helfeydd Pwllheli a Chaernarfon ag hetiau duon ar eu penau, y rhai o barch i’r Ardalydd a alwent “Hetiau Môn”. (Seren Gomer, 1821, p. 374)

This shape of hat was described as Spanish (possibly wrongly) when the Prince of Wales visited Swansea in 1881. It was suggested that a choir should be dressed in Welsh costume, with their head gear varying between the old, tapering Welsh tall hat, the Spanish style, broader at the top, and the “cockle” hat. (Cardiff Times, 22.10.1881)

Angleseas were also described as a shooter’s hat. (Sala, George, The Hats of Humanity, historically, humorously and aesthetically considered, a homily. (Manchester, [1868], p. 26)

There is an illustration of a tall, almost straight-sided hat with narrow brim called ‘The Anglesea’ in Loveday, R.S., The Tall Hat and its Ancestors, The English Illustrated Magazine, (1896), 276-282

Anglesea hats are mentioned, but not described in the archives of Christys’ hats.