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Royal & Abbey – King James VI

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Despite his depiction in art, King James VI was notoriously neglectful of his appearance!

While his own appearance was often described as “dishevelled”, and he chose to bath just once a year, King James expected his courtiers to promote the Stuart court as a centre of culture and fashion to the rest of Europe.  Members of his court would compete with one another to distinguish themselves by wearing increasingly rich clothing and novel accessories. Some even ended up bankrupt in their pursuit of high fashion.

James himself is said to have adopted the habit of wearing deeply padded clothing, in fear of being stabbed by potential assassins, but perhaps it was just to hide his spindly, weak appearance.

As King of England, he bought a new suit every 10 days, which is probably just as well if he was bathing so infrequently!