A manner of apology: Sir Robert Stapleton and archbishop Edwin Sandys in an Elizabethan cause célèbre

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)


This article investigates the significance of Elizabethan dress and behaviour in conveying unspoken messages, in particular accusations and insults. It takes as a case study the appearance of Sir Robert Stapleton and his confederates at the York Assizes in 1583, where they had been ordered to make an apology to the Archbishop of York, Edwin Sandys. The case reveals how dress and conduct were significant in conveying nonverbal messages, but also that this form of communication was open to interpretation. It will be argued that, because the meaning of dress and symbols was culturally constructed, the message they communicated was as reliant on what was 'read' by an audience as it was on what the wearer intended to convey.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)147-160
Number of pages14
JournalTextile History
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2012


Cite this