Clerical bands are a relic of the ancient amice, a square linen tippet tied about the neck of priests during the administration of mass (Discontinued by the parochial clergy the latter part of the 19th century, but still used by clerics on the Continent.)
The eighth Henry, as I understand, Was the first prince that ever wore a band.
John Taylor, the Water Poet (1580–1654).
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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