In the pink: the strange case of Trinity College Dublin
According to the frontispiece of Taylor’s history of the University of Dublin, published in 1845, the MA hood of Trinity College was once lined with pink.1 However in Gutch’s table of 1858 the MA lining is listed as dark blue, and it has been given as blue (with various qualifications of the shade) by every authority since then. It is natural to assume that the academic dress of Trinity College was, since the University’s eventual foundation in 1591, developed from and subsequently influenced (although not constrained) by that of Oxford and Cambridge. Indeed, Hargreaves-Mawdsley asserts (p. 146) that the academic dress of Trinity ‘was almost entirely copied from Cambridge, and in a few cases from Oxford’. I shall argue below that the influence of Oxford was in fact considerably more pronounced than this quotation allows, but in either case the pink lining of the MA presents us with a conundrum.