I have seen several references to coat colours that say red lined white. Does this mean that the coat had white lines in it or is it that the lining of the coat was white? If it is the latter then why such a reference, was it because the arms would be slashed and therefore the lining would show?
with thanks in advance
Said of the regicide Henry Marten MP, "He would have prefered to command a regiment of whores than a regiment of horse"
You are both right, the lining shows through at the slashes.
This style of soldiers garment became obsolete in TYW / ECW but at the start of ECW it was still widely to be seen. If you have access to Ospreey Elite 25 you see on the cover an officer in that style.
The legend is that the Swiss took the Burgundian nobles silk dresses from the dead and put them over their own dress. The slashes from the arms allowed the linen to show. Landsknechts copied that style and spread it all over Europe. How much truth is in this legend is hard to tell.
It was an expensive style of clothing and so mostly limited to officers in later time. That it was worn by full regiments can be doubtet.
As I wrote I doubt that full regiments wore a slashed style and that this was older fashion.
It could be a turnback, that is in fact nothing else than the lining turned outside at the arms or collars. But most reconstructions show the dress of ECW / TYW without special "facings". Only the New model army seems to have used facings to distinguish units on a larger scale. With all units in red there was a reason for that, other formations can't have had this reason for coloured facings.
The problem with old descriptions is that they are often very vague. The origin of cuff facing was the turned ends of the sleeves, showing the lining. Later uniforms got a false lining for that. If a contemporary writer saw a unit in coats made to one standard size a lot of the men had to turn the cuffs for length. In other cases under short sleeves the undergarment shows. Mostly a white linen shirt. Contemporary engravings often show them as elaborated linen. Hardly worn by the poor bloody infantry.
Officers dressed themselves, surely choosing better material and often in totally different colours. A unit like Harry Barclay's with red coats lined blue may have looked very modern with facing like turned sleeves. But we have no idea if this colour combination was by intent or just by chance because the cheapest lining available was of that colour.
Our picture of the ECW foot soldier is still changing, in my youth a lot of reconstructions showed most with a buff coat, today we "know" that they wore cloth coats. Mercenaries from the continent and officers surely wore slashed style to look like veterans. Same with some standing units. The Great vellum book of the HAC show that style still in c. 1635.
There is one school of thought that lining colours were also symbolic - white for purity, Green for hope? (i think it was that). I don't remember any more and don't have the source at hand.
They must have been fairly important as Stuart Peachy's 'Flags & Colours..' shows that with the Gloucester relief, a reissue of coats (mainly in grey) seem to have had facing or lining colours included. The source indicates that one regiment was issued with 'Grey lined yellow' for example. This could possibly Hampdens who it is thought, initially wore green with yellow facings.