April 26, 2015
or, A militarie magazine of the truest rules, and ablest instructions, for the managing of warre Composed, of the most refined discipline, and choice experiments that these late Netherlandish, and Swedish warres have produced. By Robert Ward printed in London 1639. A mammoth tome listing everything Mr Ward thought would be worth including to help anyone who wanted to wage war. I’ve skipped over all the descriptions, skimmed through the pike & musket formations and singled out four images of chaps engaged in nefarious activities for your enjoyment.
This first man in a coat, hat and falling band is setting light to a fuse to blow a mine laid beneath a fort. As it says in the text: “This kinde of undermining hath beene very Anciently used both by the Greekes, and Romans, and of late daies by the Hollander, whereby they have much annoyed their Enemies, and blowne up their Out-Workes” I would definitely be annoyed.
This fellow is making grenadoes out of canvas bags. He’s wearing a doublet and closely fitting breeches. As it says : “Some grenadoes are made of canvass with divers Pistoll Barrells charged with Powder and bulletts and covered over.” Nasty
These guys are making more grenadoes out of solid pots. They are wearing nicely tailored doublets, wide hats and close fitting breeches. The man on the left is putting his foot forward so we can see how well made his shoes are.
This last fellow is about to set off an array of powder pots designed for use in a battle. The text describes these: “These Engines are of use to discomfit an Enemy in a pitcht Battell, the manner of framing them, is according to this following Description: there must bee prepared, either of Earth, or of timed Lattin, the Mouths of them are to be foure inches Diameter, and the height of them sixe, on either side of these is a hollow quill formed of Earth or sodred of Lattin, about the bignesse of a Tobacco-pipe; these are to goe from the toppe of these Pottes just to the bottome to convey the the traine of Powder to the Touch-hole at the bottome” I’m only slightly concerned about the disembodied hands on the other two fuses. Maybe they were removed to protect their identities?
March 31, 2015
A posture from The Military Discipline wherein is Martially Showne the Order for Drilling the Musket and Pike, published by Thomas Jenner, London 1642. This copy of the book is adorned with nineteen engraved plates showing musketeers and pikemen in various drill postures and modes of dress. This musketeer is clad in montero cap, a doublet with slashed sleeves, plain falling band (or perhaps shirt collar), tapered breeches with shoes and hose folded down over what are presumably a pair of garters. He’s sporting some nice ribbon bows on his breeches and shoes too. This is very much the ‘Trained Band’ look, for the weekend soldier not really something you’d see on the field of battle.
Here’s a closer version. Notice the match he is holding between his fingers is alight, ready to fire his musket.
March 12, 2015
Painted by an unknown artist, Francis Hammond was a career soldier who had fought on the Continent and even though he was getting on, in the Civil War, noteably leading the royalist Forlorn Hope at Edgehill in 1642. We have already seen his brother, Robert Hammond who was involved in the Kentish Uprising.
He’s clad in what looks like full armour with gilt rivets, though often this was something that was reserved for portraits rather than something you’d wear on the field. His scarf is nicely embroidered and fringed and his falling band, though plain has very fine hems and a nicely knotted bandstring tassel. The portrait is part of the Canterbury Museums Collection.
February 6, 2015
King Charles painted in a smaller version of the picture that would eventually become the famous portrait in his robes for the Order of the Garter. It’s earlier than our period, but worth looking at for the detailing of his clothes which I’m pretty sure are accurate given the way Mytens (or one of his followers) has also rendered the texture of the carpet and the sheen on the table covering.
His hat is generously plumed and his falling band (that is almost completely lace) lies over the red and white robes of the order. His shot silk doublet is high waisted and of the 1630s style with sharply angled tabs and ribbon points. You can see how stiff the tabs are by the fact that the right hand edge of his robes are held back behind the right front tab. The sleeves are slashed and gathered in a way that accentuate his slender arms but also shows the fine linen of his shirt beneath. His matching breeches are quite closely cut and the silk seems to have been slashed or pinked as an extra decoration. He’s also wearing a very fine pair of white shoes with jewelled rosette ties and some oddly mismatched blue hose on his lower legs. Yet again many thanks to Phillip mould and Co for permission to use this copywrite image from their website
February 6, 2015
By Sir Peter Lely, painted sometime in the 1640s. She’s wearing a black bodice or waistcoat (difficult to see any detail in the way Lely has depicted it) with her smock showing above the neckline and a plain linen kerchief pinned over the top. It’s a very sober portrait, but she has dressed her hair with a string of pearls and at least one drop earring. This picture came up for sale via Phillip Mould and Co who were also kind enough to grant permission for me to use this image.
February 3, 2015
Painted by a follower of Gilbert Jackson in 1634. This unnamed dapper gentleman of 30 is looking at us with a real ‘devil may care’ gaze, with his hand securely in the pocket of his breeches, an unusual stance in a painting from this date. He is wearing a neatly tailored grey doublet. If the painter’s depiction is accurate, this is a well made garment with sharp lines and very neat seams. The sleeve seams are open to display his shirt and ribbon points around his waist presumably hold his breeches up, though at this point, cord points were becoming decorative. The attachment to the breeches was more often than not achieved with metal hooks and eyes with the eyes being sewn to a girdle-stead fixed inside the doublet. He’s also wearing a plain-ish wide falling band with a narrow lace decoration (with matching cuffs) and pom pom decoration on his bandstrings. Nice row of closely spaced buttons down the front. The picture is in the Chequers Collection.
January 6, 2015
or, New preachers new! Green the felt-maker, Spencer the horse-rubber, Quartermine the brewer’s clarke, with some few others … With an authentic portrait and memoir of Mr. Praise-God Barebone ..by John Taylor the Water Poet, London 1642
Here the splendidly named Praisegod Barebone (though not as splendid as his brother who went by the almost unbelievable name of ‘If Christ Had Not Died, Thou Hads’t Been Damned’, known to his friends for short as ‘Damned Barebone’) is expounding the word from his tub to an assembled group of London citizens. He’s wearing doublet and breeches with a neat little hat. The ‘congregation’ are mostly smartly dressed in doublet and cloak whilst a goodwife at the top has petticoat and waistcoat with a kerchief over the top.
Praisegod, as well as being a leather seller as we can see was active in politics after the war, being returned in 1653 to the nominated assembly that replaced the Rump Parliament. Barebones was also heavily involved in the turmoil surrounding the return of the monarchy. He was against it!
October 27, 2014
Painted sometime before 1638 by an unknown British artist, Sir John Stanhope of Elvaston Castle was member of parliament early in the King’s reign and active in politics right through the 1630s until his death in 1638. He incurred the wrath of the Sherrif of Derbyshire John Gell by refusing to pay Ship Money. Gell revenged himself in the Civil War by defacing Stanhope’s monument in Elvaston Church.
Sir John is wearing a black doublet slashed both in the body and sleeves so the linen of his shirt is easily seen. His falling band is neatly darted and adorned with some sober lace and subtle bandstrings. Notice the wedding ring worn on a string around his neck. The painting is kept at the National Trust property of the Old Manor Norbury in Derbyshire.
October 26, 2014
Painted in 1635, I guess as a companion piece to the portrait of her husband Edward, and also by Cornelis Janssens van Ceulen. Elizabeth is pictured in a sober black satin bodice with just a tiny strip of her white smock peeping out above the neckline and a black lace scarf or sash draped across her right shoulder. Her hair is dressed but uncovered and she is staring straight out of the picture with the same gaze as her husband. Picture is in the collection of the Birmingham Museums Trust