In the 16th century there was a growing trend in social mobility with a merchant class rapidly emerging. This meant that for the first time there was a vein of English society that could afford to import luxurious and expensive cloth, materials, jewels and finished goods from abroad. As these items were previously only accessible to the King due to their cost it lead to consternation and grumbling amongst the upper classes as they strove to display their status to one another.
Earls and above, such as the Duke & Duchess of Suffolk were allowed to wear Sable Fur (The Tudors)
This presented problems within the Tudor court and in the country at large as it was essential for Henry VIII to maintain the social order and to project his image, that of his Queen and his closest relatives as the pinnacle of wealth, power and magnificence.
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