‘The inordinate excess in apparel’: Sumptuary Legislation in Tudor England

Leah Kirtio


The purpose of this paper is to explore the nature of sumptuary legislation in sixteenth century England. It argues that the aims of sumptuary legislation were threefold: that legislators sought to maintain the stability of the common weal through social regulation, moral regulation through the moralization of luxury goods, and to regulate England’s economy, by prohibiting foreign trade in luxury goods, in order to stimulate the home economy and the burgeoning wool and stocking trade.

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