Monday, January 15, 2018

Etiquette and Cockades

Prince Charles Edward Stuart wearing a cockade – A cockade was pinned on both the side of a man's tricorne or ‘cocked hat,’ or on his lapel. Women could also wear it on their hat or in their hair. In pre-revolutionary France, the cockade of the Bourbon Dynasty was all white. In Great Britain, supporters of a Jacobite restoration wore white cockades, while the recently established Hanoverian Monarchy used a black cockade. In the 18th and 19th centuries, coloured cockades were worn throughout Europe, to show the allegiance of their wearers to some political faction, their rank, or as part of a servant's livery. Military uniforms used cockades as well.

Origins and Etiquette of “Cockade” Under Inquiry 

The origin of the cockade is still under investigation in the columns of the Justice of the Peace

A correspondent cites the Clarendon Press Dictionary, which gives “Cockade” : A corruption of cockard, a. F. cockarde, derivation of Coc-Cock according to Littre, so called from the cock's comb. But the first appearance of the word is in Rabelais, in the phrase ‘bonnet a la coquarde,’ explained by Cotgrave (1611) as a ‘Spanish cap, or fashion of bonnet, used by the most substantial men of yore; also any bonnet or cap worn proudly, or peartly on the one side.’ 

Here, coquarde appears to be the feminine of coquard: adj. ‘foolishly proud, saucy... malapert, as such a malapert cockscomb’ as a ribbon, knot of ribbons, rosette, or the like, worn in the hat as a badge of office or party, or as part of a livery dress. The cockade worn in the hat by coachmen and livery servants of persons serving under the Crown, is a rosette of black leather, originally a distinctive badge of the House of Hanover, as the white cockade was of the House of  Stuart and its adherents.” 

Then follows a reference to the use of the word at various dates from 1160 to 1846. It is worn, as all know, by livery servants of persons serving under the Crown, but not necessarily all such persons, and the particular persons so serving must be ascertained by long established custom. No doubt many persons, for some obscure reason not easily understood, unless they be “foolishly proud, saucy, or malapert,” now and again assume the badge whom “etiquette” does not acknowledge as entitled to the privilege. – San Francisco Call, 1909

Etiquette Enthusiast, Maura J Graber, is the Site Editor for the Etiquipedia© Etiquette Encyclopedia

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