Starch

Mrs. Anne Turner, half-milliner, half-procuress, introduced into England the French custom of using yellow starch in getting up bands and cuffs. She trafficked in poison, and being concerned in the murder of St. Thomas Overbury, appeared on the scaffold with a huge ruff. This was done by Lord Coke's order, and was the means of putting an end to this absurd fashion.

“I shall never forget poor Mistress Turner, my honoured patroness, peaco be with her! She had the ill-luck to meddle in the matter of Somerse, and Overbury, and so the great earl and his had slipt their necks out of the collar, and left their and some half-dozen others to suffer in their stead.” —Sir Walter Scott: Fortanes of Nigel, viii.

Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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