Archive for January, 2014

January 31, 2014

The manner and form of the Arch-bishops Tryal in the House of Peers

An engraving appended to the end of A breviate of the life, of VVilliam Laud Arch-Bishop of Canterbury: extracted (for the most part) verbatim, out of his owne diary, and other writings, under his owne hand. / Collected and published at the speciall instance of sundry honourable persons, as a necessary prologue to the history of his tryall, for which the criminal part of his life, is specially reserved by William Prynne of Lincolnes Inne, Esquier, published in 1644. The engraving is by Wenceslaus Hollar.

As ever though, the best part of these crowd engravings is the little details that come out when you zoom in.

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At the back of the hall, in the foreground an splendid selection of coats and cloaks, showing the reverse side that you don’t often get in portraits. One or two caps being worn too and a dog seems to have sneaked in on the left hand side.

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An annotated group here. A marks the Archbishop in his gown and a black day cap. Unusual not to see him in his bishop’s robes, the rocket with white sleeves would have stood out had he been wearing it. B is black rod, C the Lieutenant of the Tower, D the council for Laud and E the clark who reads the evidence, looking very pleased with himself in a short cloak and laced band. F is a table.

 

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A small group of women here against the tapestried wall on the right hand side. G is the area reserved for members of the Commons, H is Henry Burton who had had his ears removed for criticising Laud in a pamphlet. Henry looks like he might be wearing a ruff. I marks various witnesses, one of whom was  Susannah Bastwick, smartly attired in linen kerchief and a coif. Susannah was the wife of John Bastwick who had also lost his ears in the pillory.

 

 

 

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January 17, 2014

A New Play

called Canterburie His Change of Diot. Which sheweth variety of wit and mirth : privately acted neare the Palace-yard at Westminster….Anon  (well it would be wouldn’t it?) 1641

Not so much a play, more a short series of sketches which probably lasted no more than five minutes, this is a scurrilous portrait and morality tale of Archbishop Laud in four acts. There are three illustrations that go with the text.

Act 1, the Bishop of Canterbury having a variety of dainties, is not satisfied till he be fed with tippets of mens ears. Enter the Bishop of Canterbury, and with him a Doctor of Physicke, a Lawyer and a Divine; who being set down, they bring him variety of Dishes to his Table…He knocking there enter divers Bishops with muskets on their necks, bandeleeres and swords by their sides.

Here is the jolly crew around the table. Archbish second on the left, I assume the  divine next with the ruff and the lawyer seated to his left. I think the doctor is standing far left, but he also looks like a serving man in doublet and breeches. A doctor ought to be wearing a gown. The  two bishops on the right have the aforementioned muskets and bandoliers.

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Act 2, he hath his nose held to the Grinde-stone. Enter the Bishop of Canterbury into a Carpenters yard by the water side, where he is going to take water, and seeing a Grindle-stone, draweth his knife, and goeth thither to whet it, and the Carpenter follows him.

This is in retaliation for the cutting off of the ears in act one it would seem. The Carpenter is in doublet and breeches with a small brimmed hat and wide linen band. The boy turning the wheel is dressed similarly, though it would seem he has the short “roundhead” hair cut of an apprentice and is also wearing a short apron.

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Act 3 he is put into a bird Cage with the Confessor. Enter the Bishop of Canterbury, and the Jesuit in a great Bird Cage together and a fool standing by, and laughing at them, Ha ha, ha, he, who is the fool now.

Here they are in the cage, the fool on the right is wearing the standard cap with bells and a cloak over doublet and breeches.

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Act 4 The Jester tells the King the Story.

Sadly no pictures!

 

 

January 16, 2014

Mercurius Democritus

Communicating many strange wonders, out of the world in the moon, the Antipodes, Maggy-land, Tenebris, Fary-land, Green-land, and other adjacent countries; published for the rightunderstanding of all the mad-merry-people of Great-Bedlam. One of those “believe it or not” publications, still popular today that was published periodically in the 1650s. This edition is from February 1654 and the picture shows a ghost that was seen in Smithfield by the local butchers, dressed in the clothes of a Lawyer called Mallet: pulling the meat off the Butchers Tainters; many have adventured to strike at him with Cleavers and Chopping-Knives, but cannot feel anything but Ayre,

Here is the ghost in a  short tabbed doublet and breeches, falling band and an odd kind of bonnet, over which garb he is wearing a lawyer’s gown. He also has high heeled shoes over which have been stuffed what look like ram’s horns, possibly to mark him out as a ghost. Usually ghosts are depicted in their winding sheets.

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January 15, 2014

Mercurius Civicus

Londons intelligencer, or, Truth really imparted from thence to the whole kingdome to prevent misinformation …A parliament propaganda newsletter produced roughly once a week from 1643 to 1646 which gave all the news from a London perspective, a bit like the seventeenth century Evening Standard. This is the front page from the April 4th-11th 1644 issue. The bye line at the top was:

The general Rendezvouz, the Oxford Junto frighted.

Waltham house taken by the London Brigade.

The Hamlets and the Southwarke Regiment advanced.

Several Speeches made at the Common Hall on Tuesday last

It’s not obvious however to which story in the text that the image depicts. It is particular to this edition, but doesn’t really correspond to any of the reports. It may be the Oxford Junto story, as there were several Digbys on the Royalist side, but I can’t be sure nor why they were so keen for help.

Anyway, it’s a nice image, (though not particularly detailed) of a group of men sat around a table in doublet and breeches with the ubiquitous wide-brimmed hats and those funny little triangles that look like falling bands but which I believe are the linings of their cloaks as they hang back off the shoulders. In the right hand side, there is a gentleman and a lady seated in a balcony. Although it’s a rough woodcut, you can see they are finely dressed and the lady is wearing a black hood or chaperone tied at her throat. Possibly the King and Queen? Who knows?

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January 13, 2014

London’s Lamentation

Or a fit admonishment for city and countrey, wherein is described certaine causes of this affliction and visitation of the plague, yeare 1641. which the Lord hath been pleased to inflict upon us, and withall what meanes must be used to the Lord, to gaine his mercy and favor, with an excellent spirituall medicine to be used for the preservative both of body and soule.

Printed in London 1641, this little book was an exhortation to the people of London to act more responsibly in view of another of the periodical visitations of the plague in London. The city had been free of the plague for eleven years and I suspect most people had though it had gone for good. What the text reveals is the deep seated belief that any natural disaster was as a direct result of a lack of piety in the populace. The remedy for making sure the disease didn’t return is particularly telling:

…let the Patient that is in danger of any infection or any other disease take and use this spiritual medicine, first in the morning when thou arisest out of thy bed, fall down on thy knees, and give God thanks, that he hath preserved thee the night past from all dangers, and desire him of his mercy, to preserve thee the day following, bless his holy name and magnify him, for her is thy maker, and thou art his creature, thus passé away the day in the service of the Lord and at night , when thou list down to sleep, desire the Lord be thy keeper and defender.

This is the picture on the front cover. The top image shows how London still honoured the dead, even during the plague; (the one at the top dressed only in his shirt) bodies being carried to the burial grounds in coffins by workmen in short doublets and breeches and followed by mourners, the men in cloaks, the women in waistcoats and petticoat skirts. Graves were still dug by grave diggers (wearing caps). The lower pane shows a more rough and ready method of disposing the dead possibly used outside the city, with the dead being dragged to a communal pit on sleds or just by their boots.

 

British Library   E 166  (10)    tp

 

Good people all pray, fast and pray,

That is the chief and only way,

’twill cause the Lord his wrath to stay,

Let this be done, use no delay

 

Now death doth play an envious part,

He strikes full many to the heart,

Yet from grim death ne’re seeme to start,

 ’tis God that may release our smart

January 9, 2014

William Sealy aged 14

Painted by an unknown artist and hanging in the Blake Museum in Bridgwater. I’ve not been able to find out much about William apart from the dates of his birth and death (1635-1707) which date this portrait to 1649.

It’s quite a dark somber picture, but you can see some details here: the tassels on his band strings and the buttons on his doublet, fashionably open to display the linen of his shirt (which is also visible through the slashes on his sleeves). Tricky to spot any more detail, but there may just be a wide band of lace on his falling band and possibly some red-worked embroidery on the lining of his right hand sleeve.

William Sealy (1635–1707), Aged 14

January 8, 2014

A Sight of the Trans-actions of These Latter Yeares (part 3)

Two more plates from John Vicar’s book of 1646. These two sit together on page 25. The first image shows the execution of Archbishop Laud on 10th January 1645, though the text also makes reference to Alexander Carew who was beheaded in December 1644 and John Hotham and son (Captaine Hotham) who met their deaths in the same place a few days before Laud. All three were parliamentarians who had fallen out with the leadership. This shows the depth of feeling in 1645; that mere political opponents and the Archbishop of Canterbury were felt worthy of execution.

The soldiers standing around the scaffold from what we can see are wearing coats and broad-brimmed hats whilst the executioner is bareheaded and dressed in a short tabbed doublet, breeches and shoes with a neat apron to keep his clothes (relatively) clean.

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The second image shows the breaking of the great seal in 1646. This was a greatly symbolic act as the King’s seal attached to any bill passed by Parliament signified his approval. The fact that it was broken in front of the assembled Lords and Commons made it plain that Charles’ presence was no longer required.

The onlooking parliamentarians are dressed in doublets and breeches. The breeches are mostly decorated with ribbon bows below the knee. Several are sporting cloaks, even though this is taking place in August, and all have boots rather than shoes.

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January 7, 2014

A Sight of the Trans-actions of These Latter Yeares (part 2)

Continuing the images from the book by John Vicars from 1646. This one shows the execution of Mr Tompkins and Mr Challoner (I can find no christian names for either) who were involved in a plot to let a small royalist army into London to take the city for the King. There is an interesting eye witness account here.

The soldiers appear dressed in coats and breeches with broad brimmed hats whilst Tomkins and Challoner are sporting day caps or maybe hoods. Who knows?

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January 7, 2014

A Sight of the Trans-actions of These Latter Yeares

Emblemized with Ingraven Plates, which men may Read without Spectacles. A short book by John Vicars, published in London in 1646 showing some of the political episodes that had occurred before and during the war. Several of the plates were republished from All The Memorable Wonderstrikings of 1641, but this book from the same publisher, Thomas Jenner added text and (thankfully for us) some more images that take the story on to 1646.

The thrust of the text was solidly on the Parliamentary side and in this first picture we see a group of soldiers (in Somerset according to the text) burning what they considered were papist images and crucifixes. The image shows some decent details of the cut of their coats and breeches. Some nice brimmed hats too, and a couple of troopers on the left hand side seem to be sporting pot helmets, though its tricky to be sure. The officers have long boots and the men shoes. Note each soldier has a small linen band visible over the coat.

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January 6, 2014

Elizabeth, Lady Coventry

Painted by Cornelius Janssens van Ceulen in the 1630s, Elizabeth was wife to Sir Thomas, first Baron Coventry who was a career lawyer and involved in several high profile legal cases through the years before the wars, though treading a politic central line between the King and parliament, he managed to keep his position for many years.

Elizabeth is wearing a black dress, presumably bodice and petticoat skirt, though it is tricky to see any details, a black coif on her head, with a triple-layered kerchief around her neck and matching lace on her cuffs.

The painting is in the collection of the Sheffield Museums

Lady Coventry

 

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