Archive for November, 2012

November 30, 2012

Sir Alan Brodrick

To add balance to the last post, Sir Alan was a royalist who took no active part in the wars but later was one of the Sealed Knot group of conspirators working to restore the monarchy in the late 1650s. The picture was painted in the 1640s by Robert Walker and is now in the Wandsworth Museum. Unlike the warlike Sir Arthur Hesilrige his falling band is not tied away with ribbon and he sports some decorative bandstrings and although his armour is just as impressive, I suspect it saw no action.

Sir Alan Brodrick by Walker

November 30, 2012

Sir Arthur Hesilrige

Painted by an unknown artist in 1640, Sir Arthur was one of the parliamentary movers and shakers before, during and after the war. He was one of the five members that Charles tried to arrest from the House of Commons in 1642, fought in the war, raising a troop of horse equipped with three quarter armour known popularly as his lobsters. He was also prominent on the political scene during the interregnum. He is portrayed in front of a backcloth in very shiny full armour and presumably a wide falling band tied with a black ribbon. This picture is in the National Portrait Gallery.

Arthur Hesilrige

November 27, 2012

The Lover or Nuptial Love

Written by Robert Crofts to please himself. Published in 1638 in London. Sadly the book isn’t as saucy as the title may suggest but is a manual about getting on with your wife. The front cover features a William Marshall engraving of a high status couple, who presumably are happily married having followed the advice contained within. The man is dressed in a well-cut doublet and breeches with wide laced falling band, matching cuffs with a pair of soft boots and spurs. The wife in beribboned bodice and petticoat with a cutwork kerchief that doesn’t quite hide a glimpse of cleavage.

November 23, 2012

Unknown Couple

Catchy title, I know, but this is a lovely portrait painted by John Souch in 1640 that hangs in the Grosvenor Museum in Chester. So touching that they are holding hands, but sad that we don’t know who they are after 350 years. The lady is wearing a real confection of linen around her neck. I’m not sure exactly how it is constructed, or even how to describe it but it is made of very fine see-through linen, accentuated by the large straight hems that frame the pieces and matched by the double cuffs of the same fine linen. She has a smart black petticoat which is parted down the centre to reveal a green under-petticoat with silver decoration. She is also holding a white tulip which matches her husband’s silk doublet. Strangely the artist has left the strain lines that indicate he’s put on weight since the doublet was first fitted! Interesting that the breeches don’t match his doublet but the fly buttons do.

November 21, 2012

Jeremiah Burrowes

From the front page of a book of lectures entitled An Exposition With Practical Observations of the Prophesy of Hosea. Jeremiah Burrowes (there are several variations of the spelling of his surname) was an Independant London minister who tried hard to see the good in everyone and unlike a lot of his contemporaries steered a middle course between the establishment and the innovators during the 1640s. He is pictured as most clerics were in their books from the waist up, holding a text, wearing a doublet and collared cloak (no, not a gown), with a skullcap and plain falling band

November 19, 2012

Sir Dudley Digges

Painted again by Cornelius Johnson sometime before he died in 1639, Sir Dudley was a well travelled diplomat, courtier and member of Parliament. He was also heavily involved in overseas trade and was a “Virginia Adventurer”, investing money in the Virginia Company of London. What I like about this portrait is the detail of his shirt, which has a falling band seemingly directly attached directly to the body of the shirt and the bobbin lace runs all around the collar and extends down the neck opening. This kind of decoration would not be seen when worn under a doublet, but was presumably designed for when the shirt was worn as shown, indoors under a loose coat or fur wrap as seen here. Definitely a high status shirt!

November 19, 2012

Colonel Sir John Booth

Painted by Edward Bower. I can’t find anything about the good Colonel, apart from the fact that he came from Dunham Massey where this splendid picture hangs. Presumably he was a Parliamentarian as Bower generally painted like minded subjects. Let me know please if you know any more. He is arrayed in military splendour, but looks more like he’s just taken a break from a hunt in the woods. If you compare him with the picture of Denzil Holles you’ll see what I mean. Lovely candy stripes of braid or embroidery on his doublet and breeches, a fine pair of soft boots with spurs, buff coat with back and breast armour, fur lined glove on one hand and an armoured gauntlet on the left to protect the hand that holds the reins.The ensemble is finished with a black taffeta scarf (sash) tied at the rear, red ribbon bows on his breeches and a pair of outrageous tassels on the cord holding his tiny powder flask at the hip. Hopefully his firelock isn’t loaded. He may get a nasty shock if it goes off half-cock!

Update, from the NT website: The sitter was the fifth son of Sir George Booth (1566-1652) and Catherine Anderson, the daughter of Sir Edmund Anderson, Chief Justice of the Court of Common Pleas. He married twice: firstly to Dorothy St John, daughter of Sir Anthony St John, the younger son of Oliver, Earl of Bolingbroke; and secondly, in 1659, to Anne, widow of Thomas Legh of Adlington. In 1651 he was accused of conspiring with the Scots to restore Charles II and imprisoned in the Tower of London. He is buried in Chester Cathedral.

November 19, 2012

Sir William Brockman

Painted in 1642 by Cornelis Janssens van Ceulen, better known in this country as Cornelius Johnson. Sir William was a prominent Kent royalist who was arrested and imprisoned in London virtually at the start of the war and only released in 1645. He played a part in the second civil war of 1648 when he led a staunch resistance of Maidstone against Thomas Fairfax. This portrait shows him in somber tones in a smart black doublet and a neat falling band of fine linen and understated band strings. This picture hangs in the Maidstone Museum & Bentlif Art Gallery.


November 18, 2012

The Declaration and Standard of the Levellers of England

Delivered in a Speech to his Excellency the Lord Gen. Fairfax,on Friday last at White-Hall, by Mr Everard, a late Member of the Army, and his Prophesie in reference thereunto; shewing what will befall the Nobility and Gentry of this Nation, by their submitting to community.

A booklet printed in London 1649 basically reporting the representation of the Digger’s (or as they called themselves at the time, the True Levellers’) proposals to Thomas Fairfax. Their ideas amounted almost to modern communism; taking back common land for the people, digging and planting the land for the benefit of all. There is an interesting passage where Everard and Gerard Winstanley refuse to remove their hats in the presence of the Generall:

“It is observeable, That while Everard and Wistanley stood before the Lord Generall they stood with their Hats on, and being demanded the reason, said, Hee was but their fellow Creature: Being askt the meaning of that place, Give honour to whom honour is due. They seemed to be offended, and said, That their mouths should be stopped who gave them that offence.”

Anyway, the guys in the woodcut on the front page are dressed for cold weather, on the left in a dutch coat with large cuffs and on the right foreground in a collared, sleeveless cloak. Notice his falling band is pulled out so you can see it over the cloak. Both wear tall crowned hats and doublets. The woman in the rear looks to be wearing a petticoat and possibly an open gown over the top, though the quality of the woodcut makes it tricky to see any details clearly.

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November 16, 2012

A Pretious Treasury

or a New Dispensatory Contayning 70 approved Physical rare Receits. Most necessary and needfull for all sorts of people to have in their Families. Written by Salvator Winter and published in London in October 1649. It’s one of those books that claim to cure all ills and stop your hair falling out or going grey with a few pinches of pepper and a handful of herbs from the garden. It’s highly recommended! I particularly like A Medicine for the Squinsie: “Take the ashes of Centory, and the powder of white Dogs-turd, make it into a Plaister with Honey, spread it upon a cloth and lay it upon the griefe”. Nice.

Anyway, on the front cover appear a quack doctor and his assistant, presumably selling the concoctions described within. They are both dressed smartly in late 1640s short doublets and unconfined breeches. The Doc has his doublet open from halfway down so we can see the folds of his shirt  and a tall-crowned felt hat, whilst his boy is bareheaded, showing his cropped hair, possibly marking him out as an apprentice.