19th Century


Acquired from Sheila Cook

In common with many surviving items of clothing, the purpose and date of these two pairs of men’s footed leggings (see Related Item) remain speculative. This loose-fitting pair of fine white cotton is marked in laundry pen with the owner’s name ‘John Hamilton’ who may have had a skin complaint or allergy, wearing leggings to protect his legs from the fabric of his trousers. The second, machine knitted, pair incorporates areas of unspun wool fleece into the knitted fabric, lining the front and back of the calves and thighs and extending upwards over the buttocks at the back, forming a ridged appearance on the outer side. This produced a very warm undergarment that would be suitable for a man working outside in cold weather.

Additional Images

  • Leggings

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