A Gentleman's PurseWomen did not carry pocketbooks during the 17th to late 19th century, but they had at least one pair of invisible pockets sewn underneath their petticoat. A pocket was a handy place to keep everyday implements, such as a pincushion, thimble, pencil case, knife and scissors, but so far as money was concerned, coinage was heavy. Many pockets were handmade and they were acquired from the local haberdasher and presented as gifts. Yet despite the effort to conceal pockets, many were stolen from women by cutting the strings. Thus the common phrase "pickpocket" described a thief. The gentlemen had pockets sewn into the linings of their coats, waistcoats and breeches. However, they did have a purse. My guess would be that gentlemen carried no more than five or six shillings in the purse. Fauquier County VA Ancestors. See Names.
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