18th Century Clocked Stockings

Last updated: Jan 5, 2024

Extant examples

Portraits and illustrations


  • “His legs were formed in the exacteſt ſymmetry by the magnificent clocks of his ſtockings.” (Friendship in Death, 1728)
  • “This next the ſpoils of fifty lovers wears,
    Rich Dandin’s brilliant favours grace her ears;
    The necklace Florio’s gen’rous flame beſtow’d,
    Clitander’s ſparkling gems her finger load;
    But now, her charms grown cheap by conſtant uſe,
    She ſins for ſcarfs, clock’d stockings, knots, and ſhoes.”
    (Epistle III, to the Right Honourable William Pulteney, Eſq, Poems on Several Occaſions, 1731)
  • “a Negro Woman Dinah, about 24 Years old, a handsome likely Wench, of middle Stature, with a Callico Jacket, a blue Bays Petticoat, blue Stocking with white Clocks, and high heel’d Shoes.” (Boston Evening Post, October 20, 1735)
  • “Ann Hicks, alias Burford, was indicted for stealing a pair of worsted Stockings with Silk Clocks, value 2 s. the Goods of Henry Mitchell, Aug. 8.” (Trial of Ann Hicks, Proceedings of the Old Bailey, September 6, 1738)
  • “Styles, Pattison and I, on the 18th November, stole nine Pair of worsted Stockings; (some of them had red Clocks, and some of them white) we stole them out of Mr Ridler's Shop-window in Little Suffolk Street, near Great Suffolk Street, in the Haymarket.” Trial of John Pattison, James Styles, and Margaret Ellis, Proceedings of the Old Bailey, January 16, 1740)
  • Mr. Wild, on his arrival at Mr. Snap’s, found only Miſs Doſhy at home; that young lady being employed alone, in imitation of Penelope, with her thread or worſted; only with this difference, that whereas Penelope unravelled by night what she had knit, or wove, or ſpun by day, ſo what our young heroine unravelled by day, ſhe knit again by night. In ſhort, ſhe was mending a pair of blue stockings with red clocks: a circumſtance which, perhaps, we might have omitted, had it not ſerved to ſhew that there are ſtill ſome ladies of this age, who imitate the ſimplicity of the antients.” (The Life of Jonathan Wild, 1743)
  • “Pearson. They wanted some green Stockings with red Clocks
    Prisoners. Sir, we went into this Gentleman's Shop to buy a pair of green Stockings with red Clocks; he told us he had none under Half a Crown a pair, but 2 s. 2 d. was the lowest Price.” (Trial of Mary Dawson and Mary Goodman, Proceedings of the Old Bailey, February 26, 1746)
  • “Kent. I found one of the particular Sky-coloured Stockings that were in my Chest.
    Q. What Clocks had they?
    Kent. Gold-coloured Silk Clocks
    Thomson. I am a Servant to Mr. Kent; that particular Pair of Sky-blue I made for Mr. Kent about last March; they were to be embroider'd with Gold Clocks afterwards.
    Q. Did you see them after the Gold Clocks were put in?
    Thomson. Yes, I am sure 'tis the same.” (Trial of Samuel Mecum and Eleanor Mecum, Proceedings of the Old Bailey, September 3, 1746)
  • “I went to reach them a Paper of Stockings, at which Time, I perceived Elizabeth Mitchel to draw up to the End of the Shop, where she had no Business: They were very difficult in respect to Colour; they said they must have them handsome, and handsome Clocks.” (Trial of Elizabeth Mitchel and Eleanor Connor, Proceedings of the Old Bailey, December 5, 1746)
  • “The Prisoner came into the Shop with another Woman along with her, they asked for a Pair of Worsted Stockings with long Clocks.” (Trial of Ann Jones, Proceedings of the Old Bailey, January 16, 1747)
  • “The prisoner came to my shop the 28th of March, and asked to see a pair of blue stockings, with white clocks; I shew'd her some, and took notice how many pair there were; then she asked me to shew her a pair of white stockings with pink clocks; I said I had none such; then she wanted to see a pair of scarlet with green clocks.” (Trial of Mary Dunning, Proceedings of the Old Bailey, April 5, 1758)
  • “John Burton was indicted for stealing seven wooden mould prints for clocks of stockings, value 5 s. July 14.” Trial of John Burton, Proceedings of the Old Bailey, September 12, 1759)
  • “Eleanor Ferrell, born in Ireland, talks good English, is of a short Stature, long visage, has brown Hair; Had on and took with her … a Pair of blue worsted Stockings, with white clocks” (The Pennsylvania Gazette, July 23, 1761)
  • “James Shannon. Mary Anthony asked for a pair of stockings with red clocks
    Patrick Shannon. Mary Anthony asked for a pair of blue stockings with scarlet clocks.” (Trial of Mary Anthony, Anne Claxton, and James Dollanson, Proceedings of the Old Bailey, January 14, 1768)
  • “A Servant, that from Ireland came,
    Catherine Waterson her name …
    Her hose blue worsted; clocks of white,
    And stuff shoes, as black as night.” (The Pennsylvania Gazette, December 14, 1769)
  • “He asked me if I had silk pieces, and if I had not some black silk stockings with French clocks.” (Trial of Samuel Gratrix and John Sharpless, Proceedings of the Old Bailey, April 29, 1772; see also The Lawyer’s and Magistrate’s Magazine)
  • “a MULATTO WENCH named PATT; had on two striped lincey petticoats, a striped linen short gown, a black bonnet, handsome check handerchief and a short brown bearskin cloak, half worn shoes and white yarn stockings with blue clocks.” (The New-Jersey Gazette, May 13, 1778)
  • “Roberts went into a stocking-shop, and bought half a dozen pair of silk stockings, at 12 s. 6 d. a pair; there, he told us, he changed another 10 l. note; there were two pair of light mottled stockings, two pair dark, one with clocks, and one without.” (Trial of William Archer and Thomas Roberts, otherwise Jones, Proceedings of the Old Bailey, April 25, 1781)
  • “My father keeps a hosier's shop, in Holborn; I was in the shop on Thursday a little before dusk, a little man much less than the prisoner, came into our shop, and asked for some silk stockings with clocks; I shewed him some.” (Trial of Charles Hughes, Proceedings of the Old Bailey, October 20, 1784)
  • “I went into the shop and asked her what she wanted, she asked for purple stockings with pink clocks, I told her we had no such thing.” (Trial of Elizabeth Scott, Proceedings of the Old Bailey, May 11, 1785)
  • “ELIZABETH GARNER sworn. … then the prisoner Conjuit said there is a pair at the corner of the window, of dark stockings with clocks, which we wish to look at; while I was getting them, I saw the tall prisoner take the pair of cotton; I did not see her take the pair of silk; I asked her four shillings for the dark stockings; she bid me three shillings; I told her we did not deal in that manner …
    PRISONER WOOD's DEFENCE. I went to buy my husband a pair of stockings; I asked for a pair of mottled stockings with clocks; she shewed me one pair: I told her, they were too good.” (Trial of Sarah Conjuit and Elizabeth, wife of John Wood, Proceedings of the Old Bailey, September 9, 1789)
  • “These are all goods of mine; but these four pair of stockings I can speak to particularly; they have lace clocks, which is not a common thing in a cotton stocking, and the rest I believe to be mine all of them … There is no mark, no otherwise than the particular clocks of these four pair of stockings; they are a very scarce article, and never made except to an order.” (Trial of Thomas Graham, Proceedings of the Old Bailey, September 17, 1794)
  • “About the 6th of June, the prisoner came into my shop, and asked to look at some silk stockings with open clocks; I shewed him some, they were not good enough.” (The Trial of Thomas-Henry Wiltshire, otherwise William Walden, September 12, 1798)