Everybody knows that doctors wear scarlet, at least on red-letter days. Many are aware that, in addition to scarlet, Henry VIII’s Act lists cloth of the colours mulberry and violet as proper alternatives to black for the holder of a doctor’s degree, although considerably fewer know that this section of Henry’s Act applied only to the clergy. However, virtually nobody seems to be aware of the evidence that there was once a time when doctors, along with other important people, such as judges and bishops, sometimes wore green robes on formal occasions.6 The purpose of this short note is to call attention to this suggestive coincidence. [Excerpt].
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