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?

Screen Shot 2014-01-14 at 08.33.26

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