Archive for July, 2013

July 30, 2013

Sir Henry Slingsby and Dr Hewitt Beheaded

At Tower Hill,  June 8th 1658. Etching from the time. Hewitt and Slingsby were caught up in the machinations of politics at the time and were plotting for the restoration of the monarchy. Hewitt was well known for his preaching and had been chaplain to the Royalist Earl of Lindsay as well as marrying his sister. Slingsby had fought with distinction in the war and the shirt he wore on the day pictured below is available to view in Knaresborough Castle Museum (don’t miss the tunnel tour if you go). Sadly for the good Doctor and Sir Henry, they don’t seem to have pulled much of a crowd, though Dr Hewitt’s speech and the account of his trial were both popular publications in the days that followed.

The executioner is wearing a coat and breeches and some kind of cap and the soldiers and the three or four onlookers surrounding the scaffold are  dressed similarly though with brimmed hats and the odd cloak. It must have been a cold June in 1658.

Hewet beheaded

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July 22, 2013

Pelham Corbet

Painted in or around 1634 by John Souch, Pelham fought in the civil war for the royalist side and was captured at Shrewsbury. Here he is pictured in a fine embroidered or brocade white doublet, (although the sleeves could be separate and held in place by the parti-coloured strings on his shoulders) a long buffcoat with silver decoration, red breeches with pointed decoration, and a fine pair of white, soft leather high-heeled boots. He also has a fine feathered hat, a nice pair of gauntlets, a wide gorget around his neck and he is holding a leading staff, the kind of polearm that looks good but actually isn’t that much use on the field of battle. It’s a badge of rank rather than a weapon. The portrait is held somewhere in an unnamed private collection.

Pelham Corbet John Souch

July 15, 2013

Ferdinando Fairfax

Painted by Edward Bower, sometime before he died of an infection resulting from a gangrenous foot in 1648. Ferdinando second Lord Fairfax of Cameron was member of parliament for Boroughbridge and fought on the side of Parliament during the war. His son Thomas was the famous parliamentary commander. He has put aside his armour in this picture and seemingly embraced peace in his civilian clothes, although it could also symbolise the fact that he was relieved of army duties by the Self Denying Ordinance of December 1644. He is wearing a sleeved cloak which has a complicated arrangement of buttons and loops allowing it to be worn as a coat or a cloak with a hanging collar which you can see unbuttoned on his right side. Presumably it’s just about to fall off. He’s wearing it over a white doublet with plain cuffs and band of good quality linen. The portrait hangs in the York Museums Trust collection.

Ferdinando, 2nd Lord Halifax

July 9, 2013

The English Gentleman and Gentlewoman

The front page engraving by William Marshall to the third edition of Richard Braithwaite’s book published in 1641, basically a guide to what was acceptable behaviour. It wasn’t a small book. As the author said in his introduction:

“I had purposed that this work should have been digested into a portable volume, to the end it might bee more familiar with a Gentleman’s pocket, not to pick it, but that hee might picke some good from it: But since the Volume would not beare it, you must with patience beare with it, and with more trouble beare it, by inlarging your pocket to contain it.”

There are loads of details here worth looking at.

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The gentlewoman is wearing long skirts to her petticoat, a tabbed bodice, a fine layered kerchief and a ribbon in her dressed hair.

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The gentleman has a tall hat, wide falling band, short doublet and breeches with a splendid pair of boots. He is also sporting a fine coat with turned back cuffs in an off the shoulder manner, though notice that his falling band is arranged over the coat.


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This ragged fellow contemplating a tortoise in the garden is more modestly dressed in a plain doublet, breeches and shoes.

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Here is a selection of smartly dressed gentle-women, in petticoats, bodices and a variety of kerchief styles.


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And this lady is wearing what I can only describe as a “nursing smock”, split to the waist and pulled open for use. What it does reveal though, apart from the obvious is the pleats on her petticoat waistline.


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July 4, 2013

Sir Humphrey Style

the first and last Baronet Style painted by an artist from the circle of Adrien Hanneman at an unknown date, though obviously from the period. This painting came up for sale at Christies in London in 2012. Sir H is wearing  a sumptuous doublet, probably made from silk velvet. Notice the way the artist has painted the way it catches the light, this is very characteristic of that kind of fabric. Just a plain falling band though I don’t think he needs anything more fancy.

Humphrey Style, 1st Baronet (c1596-1659)  *oil on canvas  *76 x 63.8 cm



The buttons are not painted in detail, just a few brush strokes, but they look like woven thread ones with some gold bullion thread included in the weave..


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