Purfylle: Origin of Purfylle

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Origin of Purfylle

The term to 'purfylle' has been used since the middle ages.



Purfle  |  Purfyled  |  Purfles
Above are a few links to references, etymology, various forms, spelling variants and the origin of  'purfylle'.

Below are some of my favourite excerpts from the above links. I have given my interpretation in italics after each reference.

I have endeavoured to provide the reference and it's corresponding date of publication for each excerpt.


1325 in Rel. Ant. II. 19
Hir wede, Purfiled with pellour doun to the teon. 
Her weed (dress/gown) pufiled with pellour down to the tee.

1386 Chaucer Prol. 193, 
I seigh his sleues ypurfiled at the hond With grys. 
I see his sleeves purfled at the hand with greys.

1460 Wisdom Stage Dir., in Macro Plays 36 
A mayde, in a wyght clothe of golde..purfyled with menyver. 
A maid in white cloth of gold..purfled with miniver (fur).

1500 Melusine xxxv. 240
Robes of cloth of gold, & fourred with Ermynes, & purfylled all with precyous stones. 
Robes of cloth of gold, and furred with ermines and purfylled all (over) with precious stones.


1548 Hall Chron.Hen. VIII 214 
The knightes of the bath in uiolet gounes with hoddes purfeled with Miniuer lyke doctors.
The knights of the bath in violet gownes with hoods purfylled with miniver like doctors.


1625 Fletcher Woman's Prize iii. ii,

Line the gown through with plush perfumed, and purfle All the sleeves down with pearl!
Line the gown through (throughout) with perfumed plush (velvet), and purfle all the sleeves down with pearls.

W. Taylor in Ann. Rev. I. 332 
Like a garment embroidered in chenille, and purfled with beads, and spangles, and foil. 

H. Ainsworth Tower of Lond. (1864) 4 
The Bishop of Ely, who, in his character of lord high chancellor, wore a robe of scarlet, open before, and purfled with minever.

1430 Lydg. Min. Poems (Percy Soc.) 57 
A lewde wretche to were a skarlet gowne, Withe a blac lamb furre without purfile of sable. 
A lewd wretch to wear a scarlet gown with a black lamb fur without an purfil (edge) of sable.

Holland Amm. Marcell. xiv. vi. 10 
Inner garments..beset with long jagges and purfles.

Bailey, 
Purfile, a Sort of antient Trimming for Womens Gowns, made of Tinsel, Thread, &c., called also Bobbin-Work. 

Holland Pliny xiii. xi. I. 392 
To weave and purfle letters in their cloths, after the manner of embroiderie.

1470 Compl. Christ 284 in Pol. Rel. & L. Poems (1866) 178 
What shalle than prophyte þi gowne purfylled? 
What shall, than prophet, this gown be purfylled (with).

Treat. Galaunt141 
So many purfled garmentes furred with non sequitur With so many penyles purses hath no man sawe. 
So many purfled garments furred with non sequitur. With so many penniless purses has no man seen.. 

Holland Livyvii. i. 250 

All of the Patritij, sitting like Consuls, with their purfled and pourpled long robes in yvorie chaires of estate.
....with their purfylled and purpled long robes in ivory chiars of estate. 

Milton Comus 995 
Flowers of more mingled hew Then her purfl'd scarf can shew.
Flowers of more mingled hew (colour) then her purfylled scarf can show. (*shew* I just LOVE old spelling )

Langl. P. Pl. A. ii. 9 
Þenne was I war of a wommon wonderliche cloþed, Purfylet with pelure þe ricchest vppon eorþe.
Then was I (a)ware of a woman wonderfully clothed, purfylled with paper xx the richest upon earth. 
Here is a link to the ebook of 'The vision of William concerning Piers the Plowman in three parallel texts [microform] : together with Richard the Redeless (1886)'

1450 Knt. de la Tour (1906) 30
Thus she shall be beter purfiled and furred thanne other ladies and gentill women.

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