Predecessor of military uniforms and worn in the Middle Ages by men at the service of a nobleman, a king, a town or a province for identification. It consisted of clothing made up in colours associating the wearer to the service, sometimes with a coat of arms or cipher added. Soldiers, especially guard units, sailors and musicians, often wore liveries. The earliest known livery worn in Canada appeared in 1542. In the 17th century, when military uniforms became prevalent, livery colours were used to help determine the colours of national uniforms. French troops usually had grey-white uniforms trimmed with blue and/or red after the three colours of their royal livery. The British had red coats, trimmed with blue for ‘royal’ regiments and various colours for others, and this remains the royal livery used in Canada since 1760.
See also: Uniform