The Resolution of the Women of London to the Parliament

Wherein they declare their hot zeal in sending their husbands to the warres, in defence of King and Parliament, as also the proceedings of the King at York, with their full determination in maintaining this their Resolution, to the admiration of the Reader. This was a political tract published during the ‘phoney’ war of 1642 before hostilities had been declared and whilst King and Parliament were still jockeying for position.

There was obviously a lot of activity at the time (notice that George Thomason has added the date Aug 26 over the picture), as on the first page the anonymous author mentions ‘daily noise of Drummes’ and ‘the powder which is continually spent, together with the cracking of Guns in the streets’ . Perhaps there was an ulterior motive in this exhortation to the men as she goes on; ‘our continual scolding shall make them goe to the warres, and then we will in our husbands absence, live as merrily may be, drinke, feast and walk abroad’.

The woodcut is obviously reused. The speech bubble has been crudely added and there is no reason in the text for the man  to be wearing cuckold’s horns  or holding a writing tablet, but it’s a nice image of a respectably dressed couple from the time. She is wearing a wide brimmed hat with plumes, a fine laced kerchief and cuffs, waistcoat with sleeves of a different colour to the body, a decorated petticoat and apron. He has a hat through which his horns protrude, a short tabbed doublet, plain band with breeches and hose.


Screen Shot 2013-09-04 at 11.28.02

6 Comments to “The Resolution of the Women of London to the Parliament”

  1. Sorry, but what does this image mean? Does it show that wives want their husbands to go to war, so that they won’t need to live under a dominance of their husbands as it was a patriarchal society back then?

    • The meaning is unclear because the image is a reused block from an earlier work. Stuart Peachey has identified it as an orphan, i.e. the original use is yet to be found. The thrust of the text is that the women want the men to go so they can enjoy themselves in their absence. I suspect the illustrator was trying to doctor the woodcut to show this.

      • In which book or article by Peachey can I find this?

      • Hi Antonio, the reference is in Volume 28 of Clothing of the Common People by Stuart Peachey, Pub. HMA 2013. The ‘Peachey’ reference number is CP1625nlo[27]. Interestingly however there are several woodcuts of an identically dressed gentleman which become obvious looking through the doublet book (volume 10) of Clothing of the Common People. For instance: CP1618s [1.1c] ‘Poor Sailor’, CP1624s [1b] and CP1618s [1.1c] for instance, which gives a range for the original date of the clothes worn from 1618-1625.

  2. is there a digitized copy online of the whole ballad?

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