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EDWARDIAN MOURNING RITUALS

From “Funerals and Mourning” - Jack’s Reference Book – London 1908.

After a death write to all relations and intimate friends on a black-edged sheet of good notepaper a simple notice of the event – invitations to the funeral follow in a day or two.

The dress of the chief mourners is, for ladies, woollen materials trimmed with crape; and for gentlemen, black suits and ties, black gloves, and a plain black hat-band.

Widows do not universally wear “the widow’s cap”, which used to be obligatory for a twelvemonth, but for this period they wear their “weeds” generally as follows; crape dress,, large black silk cloak, crape bonnet and veil, plain muslin collar and broad cuffs.

“Deep Mourning” is considered to be woollen fabrics and crape, the crape covering the dress completely for the first year. Even diamonds may now be worn with deep mourning.

“Second Mourning” is dull black silk or cashmere, with or without crape.

“Half Mourning” is black and white.

“Complimentary Mourning” – black without crape.

Time of wearing mourning is as follows;
1) For a wife, the widower should wear mourning for two years.
2) For a husband, the widow should war deep mourning for the first
year, the crape being gradually reduced during the next nine
months, and plain black for the remaining three.
3) For a parent, twelve months, plain black being worn all the time.
4) For a child, the same as for a parent
5) For a brother, or sister, six months – half mourning during the last month.
6) For a grand-parent, nine months
7) For an uncle, aunt, nephew or niece, three months.
8) For a first cousin, six weeks.

N.B A wife “mourns” for her husband’s relations as for her own, the same rule applying for the husband.

Mourning rings and memorial cards are out of fashion.


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