Archive for June, 2012

June 14, 2012

The Malignants Trecherous and Bloody Plot

Published in June 1643 this is a pictorial account of the Royalist plot to make London a base for the King. This later became known as Waller’s Plot after Edmund Waller who turned on his co conspirators to avoid execution. There are several panes worth looking at in closer detail.

THe first one shows the conspirators around a table and being brought communication by Lady Aubigny. The lady wears bodice, petticoat and neckerchief and has a chaperone hood on her head. The conspirators are obviously well to do with laced bands, high crowned hats and boots

The second pane shows the forces supposedly available for the assault on London. Notice the cavalry seemingly fully armoured, quite a rare sight and the club men, armed to the teeth with whatever they could find, hooks, bills, halberds and clubs.

Picture number three, two children of the King, ¬†guards and a pair of courtiers. Note the “at ease” posture of the soldiers and strangely three differently style doublets..

This one shows general thanksgiving on the foiling of the plot. General crowd scenes from the time seem to consist of cloak wearers. The right half depicts a cloaked preacher and an attentive (standing) congregation.

And the retribution. The mounted soldiers this time are in back and breast armour only. Spot the high class lady centre frame with uncovered head. I worry about the health and safety implications in the hangman’s trade. Nothing to stop him falling off the gallows. Outrageous!

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June 13, 2012

Bathsua Makin

Engraved by William Marshall sometime between 1640 and 1648, Bathsua, once described as England’s most learned lady was skilled in several languages,wrote books and at one time as the caption suggests, was tutor to Charles I’s daughter Elizabeth. Bathsua wears her hair uncovered, but well dressed and has a front lacing bodice and plain, undecorated neckerchief and cuffs. Very much the educated, well dressed lady.

June 13, 2012

Pepper and Puddle

From John Taylor’s booklet of 1643, this picture shows a group of obvious royalists on the left, (long hair, sword baldricks, boots) and a stereotypical group of roundheads (short hair, shoes, tabbed doublets) on the right, goading their dogs to attack each other. Nick Poyntz has blogged about the text and I would recommend you read it, link here, for the background to this image.

June 12, 2012

A Diary of the Siege of Colchester

Broadsheet printed in June 1648. Like the famous engraving of Naseby, this shows the siege works about the town and lists the forces in action. There are a few details worth picking out.

Here a church to the east has been surrounded with earthworks.

And here are a few regiments formed up on the ground to the west. Pretty close to where the railway line goes now!

On the title plaque there is an interesting selection of musical instruments.

June 12, 2012

Dobson painting Ashdown House

This picture hangs in Ashdown House near Newbury and shows a group of royalists enjoying a drink. The guy on the right has been identified as Prince Rupert, but there is some uncertainty about the other two. On the Number One London blog, there is a discussion about this painting. It is unfinished, but ¬†you can pick out some nice costume details. Rupert wears, for him quite a simple braided doublet and a very plain falling band, perhaps indicating that the three guys are on campaign, although the hat on his knee is covered with ribbons that match the hanging drapery. Notice his doublet is virtually unbuttoned and his band is tucked inside, not falling over the collar. The man in the middle also wears a plain unadorned doublet. Possibly the decoration is yet to be added along with the glass on the table to contain the wine that has been poured, but here is a picture of a plain 1640s doublet. The guy on the left is the least finished of the three but obviously wuold have been more richly dressed with laced band and sleeve seams open to show his shirt. It’s a shame Dobson didn’t finish the scarlet cloak thrown on a chair in the left foreground. It looks rather splendid even unfinished.

June 9, 2012

Sir Thomas Wharton

Painted by Van Dyck in 1639, Sir Thomas was a royalist and member of the Oxford parliament in exile during the war. Interestingly his brother Philip, Baron Wharton was prominent for Parliament, commanding a regiment in the Earl of Essex’s army for a while. Even allowing for Van Dyck’s customary embellishment of his subjects, Sir Thomas is sumptuously dressed as the military man, with an embroidered silk doublet and breeches, short buffcoat, tied with metallic cord and a red garter ribbon. Notice the shirt has been pulled out for effect where his buffcoat has been left untied. His falling band is plain, but his boots and boothose are quite magnificent. The ostrich plume on his hat isn’t a cheap accessory either. The original hangs in the Hermitage museum, St Petersburg.

Detail of the boots.

I’d love to know what the insignia is hanging from his left hip on a red scarf. I originally thought it was the Order of the Garter, but the riband ought to be a shade of blue and the medal definitely isn’t a lesser George.

June 9, 2012

Nathaniel Fiennes

Engraved by Hollar in 1644, the prominent parliamentarian and Lord Saye and Sele, pictured in an oval with mad hair. Fiennes looks like he just came from the battlefield with his falling band tied up with ribbon and his gorget over his buffcoat. A portrait of him in a sleeved buffcoat hangs at his ancestral home, Broughton Castle but here he has cloth sleeves attached and well braided. His coat is tied with decorative ribbons rather than the lacing which seems to go with all the museum coats still remaining.

June 7, 2012

Marmaduke D’Arcy

Painted by John Weesop who was active during the wars. Marmaduke was a favourite of Charles II latterly and spent the 1650s in exile with his king in The low Countries, having previously fought with Lord Belasyse until the surrender of Newark. If you compare this portrait with the previous one of Sir Simon Fanshawe, Duke (as he was known to his friends) appears more the courtier than the practical soldier, with sumptuously embroidered sleeves, gilded fittings on his armour and lustrous silk scarf tied in a bow at the shoulder. One practical thing to note though is the knotted falling band, much the mark of a military man in the 1640s. Picture hangs in the Huntington Library in California

June 7, 2012

Sir Simon Fanshawe

Painted by Dobson, Sir Simon was a royalist who was captured during the war and spent the rest of the 1640s in exile in France. He was also an associate member of the Sealed Knot during the interregnum.

Sir Simon wears a sleeveless buffcoat with pointed waistline, spirally laced and rather similar in style to the one held in Kensington Palace, reputed to belong to the King. Here’s a link to a blog post about it. The sleeves are embroidered or maybe laced (meaning braid), and may be part of a doublet or may just be attached to the lining of his leather coat. He has a falling band which is half linen/half lace and matching, though not identically coloured breeches. The colour of the breeches suggest that the sleeves are not part of a doublet/breeches combination but attached to his coat. He also has an almost impracticably long sword baldrick, which is fringed with metallic threads that match the decoration on his sleeves.

The portrait hangs in the Valance House Museum in Dagenham Essex.