Sunday, April 06, 2014


This is a portrait of Sir Walter Raleigh. I can't imagine being so bedecked...even for a sitting for an artist.

I've been told that the elaborate Elizabethan collars were as much practical as decorative. Someone said they were designed to deflect lice. When a louse fell out of one's hair, it landed in the folds of the collar and rolled out, away from the body. That could be true. Do any of our readers know?

Out latest Ocracoke Newsletter is a reprint of a 1948 article about the Mail Boat Aleta, "Boat Hauls Mail, More." You can read it here:


  1. Anonymous8:44 AM


    My memory is that the ruff first developed in the days of armor when a smaller version developed to protect the neck from being chafed by the armor itself.

    As time passed, they grew to their later Elizabethan form as a detachable, and therefore easily washable, article of clothing which prevented the dirty "ring around the collar" effects of the days before any regular laundering or cleaning of clothing had developed. You could "wash your ruff" and still wear the same clothing many weeks without cleaning. Of course, in the upper classes they grew to audacious proportion.

    Today the cone-shaped devices used around pets' necks to prevent them from biting themselves or tearing stitches after surgery are referred to as Elizabethan Collars.

    Trivially yours,


    1. Anonymous10:02 AM

      Thanks Donald...I love trivia.