The Royal Oak of Brittayne

Political propaganda from 1649, published in a book, Anarchia Anglicana by Clement Walker. This is stirring stuff, Cromwell is directing a bunch of soldiers and workmen as they chop down an oak tree that is hung with symbols of the English state, the crown and sceptre, the Bible, Magna Carta and Eikon Basilike, the book widely thought to be Charles’ posthumous autobiography. He is standing on a ball suspended above the mouth of hell and seemingly about to be struck down by a bolt of lightning.

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Here’s a close-up of two soldiers with axes laying into the tree. They’re wearing soldier’s coats simply cut with baldricks to hold their swords. Chap on the left has quite large cut outs in his shoes.

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A small bunch of what I think are workmen are cutting branches away with billhooks. They have no swords and are dressed in doublet and unconfined breeches with ribbon decoration. The doublet tabs are small and look like they are integral to the body of the doublet, rather than being sewn on as per higher quality examples. The guy in the foreground looks like he’s wearing a ruff.

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These two guys are making off with some of the boughs. i’m not sure what they represent, but they’re wearing tall crowned hats, ragged coats and breeches.

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