Archive for ‘Children’

April 10, 2013

The Teares of Ireland (Part 2)

Careful now, some of this is restricted viewing, showing some properly nasty torture, though I’m enlarging the panes not for sensationalism, but to point out the women’s clothes of some of the poor people badly treated in the stories.

The first pane isn’t too clear, but shows Lady Blany and her children left to suffer by being” lodged in straw” (oh the horror!) after her husband had got away riding bareback. Not too much detail to see here, but she and her children are wearing kerchiefs around their necks and one daughter has a coif on her head. The hanged man is still in his boots and slashed doublet.

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The second picture shows Arthur Robinson’s 14 year old daughter having her tongue removed. She’s wearing a smart two or three-layered linen kerchief and a tight wasted bodice. Poor girl. Luckily for Arthur, though I suspect not for his daughter, he was away in Dublin at the time.


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Third image shows a poor woman being hanged presumably for being a friend of the Minister. She’s been hanged in her petticoat and apron. As the text says “Was there ever such Barbarisme among the Heathen?”


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April 9, 2013

The Teares of Ireland

wherein is lively presented as in a map a list of the unheard off cruelties and perfidious treacheries of blood-thirsty Jesuits and the popish faction : as a warning piece to her sister nations to prevent the like miseries, as are now acted on the stage of this fresh bleeding nation / reported by gentlemen of good credit living there, but forced to flie for their lives… illustrated by pictures ; fit to be reserved by all true Protestants as a monument of their perpetuall reproach and ignominy, and to animate the spirits of Protestants against such bloody villains. Written by James Cranford and published in 1642. This is as you may imagine a lurid tale of atrocities in Ireland during the rebellion of 1641. There are 12 plates throughout the book, uncredited, though the British Museum attributes them to Wenceslaus Hollar. First picture (© The Trustees of the British Museum) is a kind of picture book compendium of all the pictures.

Teares of Ireland



Here a more detailed look at the first two images. Owen Macke-onell according to the text was a servant who overheard the plans by Irish Catholic gentry to effect a coup and take over the government of Ireland. He is shown in the first picture, presumably in his servant’s livery doublet, breeches, falling band and shoes being menaced by some soldiers smartly dressed in doublets and boots.

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The second pane is a bit more lurid. One scene of rape and torture enacted by an Irishman in doublet and breeches and the second image, a crowd of protestants stripped and chased off into the hills by a similarly dressed mob of “papists”.



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March 27, 2013

Portrait of a Family

Painting by William Dobson from around 1645, though it was probably finished by another artist after Dobson’s death. The painting is thought to be Richard Streatfield and his family. There are several pointers in the picture to indicate that the family had recently lost members, probably children. The skulls top right and the half clothed child bottom right suggest this, as does the bunch of cherries that the youngest child holds. The two adults are dressed in their best blacks, Richard in a doublet fashionably unfastened at the bottom and a plain band with decorative band strings around his collar. His wife in a black bodice with a lace edged coif, gathered cuffs to her smock and a complicated arrangement of linen around her shoulders fastened with black strings. The child on the left could be dressed in brown doublet and breeches with a cloak, or possibly a dress with hanging sleeves (to be used as leading reins) and plain linen. The smaller child in a kind of all-in-one garment with hanging sleeves and a matching cap. To see this painting you need to go to the Yale Centre for British Art, New Haven, Connecticut, USA

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This detail shows the understated decoration of the linen on the two grown-ups.

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And here the child in closer detail.

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February 1, 2013

The Saltonstall Family

Thought to have been painted by David des Granges in 1636 or 37, this picture hangs in the Tate Gallery. In fact it’s worth checking out the gallery’s webpage on the history and symbolism of this picture. The picture is thought to show Sir Richard Saltonstall and his family. The wan figure in the bed is probably his dead wife Elizabeth. This is a picture of a well-to-do family dressed in their best clothes, designed to impress.

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Sir Richard wears a short textured silk doublet with what looks like embroidery along the seams. The sleeves are slashed revealing a high quality shirt and his cuffs and band are stylishly laced. His breeches are fashionably tight and the ties at the lower end match his doublet. Heeled shoes, high crowned hat and some light gloves finish off the collection.

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The two children, who could be male or female, although the larger child could be a boy, have matching dresses. The smaller one on the left also has an apron to keep the dress clean whilst the elder has a band and cuff with lace to match that on Sir Richard

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The two women, thought to be his two wives are dressed in white. The lady on the bed in what looks like a smock with lace insertions, a very high status item, with a laced hood possibly around her head. The seated woman in a satin dress and layered, laced kerchief.

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January 29, 2013

The Doctor’s Dispensatory

The whole Art of Physick restored to practice and The Apothecary’s Shop Opened. London 1657. A bit late for the 1640s I admit, but there is a nice illustration on the front cover of this book, one of those ones that you read and by the time you get to the end, you imagine you’ve got most of the ailments described within.

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Here’s the doctor and two ladies who have brought him a sample for examination. M’lady looks a tad worried. Perhaps a course of leeches? The doctor is in his professional clothes, a gown to prove he went to university and what looks like a canterbury cap which presumably also indicates his training for this sort of thing. The lady is smartly dressed in bodice and petticoat with a sharp neckerchief, apron and chaperone hood. The goodwife behind is in slightly lower class garb, (what we can see), with a linen coif on her head, the baby wrapped in a blanket.


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Here is the apothecary opening his shop as it were. The customer in a typical 1650s short doublet, unbuttoned at the lower end to show off his shirt linen and, of course his codpiece (or fly as we would call it). Open breeches at the leg and some smart shoes. The apothecary looks to be wearing a coat, or maybe a heavier weight doublet and wide brimmed hat. Obviously not a college man.


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January 18, 2013

Deborah Hopton and Her Son

Painted in 1649 by James Gandy, this picture hangs in the Royal Albert Memorial Museum in Exeter. As far as I can work out, Deborah, later Dame Deborah was married to Edward Hopton, no relation of the Royalist general Ralph Hopton, but also a King’s man. His brothers however fought for the parliament cause. Definitely by the sword divided!

Anyway, here is Deborah and her young son and what looks like a rottweiler puppy peeking out from their skirts. Deborah is wearing a cream satin gown made up of petticoat skirts and a long-tabbed, low-cut bodice with gathered sleeves that reach just below the elbow. Her son is not yet breeched and his petticoat skirts are covered with a practical apron that doesn’t quite reach the floor. He also wears a white work cap and possibly sports the kind of hanging sleeves that could just be used as leading reins. Anyone who has a small child of this size will know how useful they would be!

Deborah Hopton (c.1627–1702), and Her Son

January 2, 2013

The Barbarous & Inhumane Proceedings

Against the Professorsof the Reformed Religion within the Dominion of the Duke of Savoy Aprill the 27th 1655. As Also A True Relation of the Bloody Massacres, Tortures, Cruelties, and Abominable Outrages committed upon the Protestants in Ireland……….Which began October 23 1641.

Printed in London 1655

WARNING! Some of these images may cause distress! This book pulls no punches in its anti-papist propaganda, but there are some really good original costume images here, so I hope you’ll forgive the sensationalism from 4 centuries ago.

First of all a pictorial representation of a small part of what became known as the massacre of 1655 in the Dukedom of Savoy, part of modern Italy. The soldiers drawn may be from Europe but the clothes are definitely English in style, simply cut coats and breeches, plain boots and shoes together with broad brimmed hats. I’ll gloss over what exactly is going on in the picture, I think you can read that for yourself.

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The next three images show the bloudy Masacer (sic) in Ireland 1643. Notice here how the short waisted doublets and tightly cut doublets of the Papists (left) create a long, slim outline. The officer with the pistol wears a diagonal scarf tied at the hip, and the good guy on the right has a wide falling band trimmed with lace. Spot also the smoke rising from the burning match held by the musketeer extreme left.

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Nice image here of an older couple in their house before a roaring fire. The wife seems to have dressed hair and the master of the house a lace edged day cap on his head. Sadly no costume details on the children.

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I’ve seen several woodcuts of children on pitchforks,, but there are sone top details in this one. The child in the foreground in his/her smock, the back view of the women’s coifs (coives?) and the full beard on the musketeer frame right.

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December 4, 2012

Portrait of An Unknown Boy II

To complete the trilogy, this boy, painted by Cornelius Johnson is wearing a doublet so similar to that of the unknown Fownes portrait that it could almost be the same garment. It appears to be made of silk and has slashes in the sleeves and body to show the shirt beneath. The slashes look like they have been edged in black bobbin lace. He has again left the doublet unfastened from just below the chest to show more detail in his shirt. He has some expensive looking cutwork lace on his falling band too. This picture is kept by the National Trust at Antony in Cornwall. He is not the Earl of Effingham by the way. The title wasn’t created until 1837.

Portrait of an Unknown Boy

December 4, 2012

Portrait of an Unknown Boy

In a grand setting. Painted in the style of Edward Bower, this is very similar to the portrait in the previous post. The suit worn by the boy is smarter and less showy in style, though still expensively decorated with braid, or lace as it was confusingly called in the 1640s. The sleeves are only slashed along the inside seam this time and, although the lower doublet buttons are unfastened, here there are no lace decorations to pull through. Still, the bobbin lace looks good and is matched again on the cuffs and band. I really like the looped gold decoration on his breeches legs, just above an expensive looking pair of white leather boots. Notice also that the gold decoration on his suit is matched by the hat band around the wide-brimmed example on the table. This picture is in the National Trust collection.

Portrait of an Unknown Boy in a Grand Setting

October 21, 2012

Portrait of a Lady and Her Son

By Edward Bower the parliamentarian artist famed for his portrait of Charles I during the King’s trial in 1648. I can find nothing out about this picture except that it came up for auction a few years ago and was bought by a private collector. This rather serious pair are dressed in their finery for the picture. The boy wears a smart brown doublet and breeches with open sleeves with matching thread-wrapped bead buttons four of which have been left rakishly unfastened for his shirt to poke out. He has matching band and cuffs with a rather nice knotted tasselled end to his bandstrings. The lady wears a rather sombre black petticoat and bodice, picked out with red ribbons and a couple of expensive looking pearl strings. The layers of cutwork lace on her cuffs and neckerchief are particularly splendid.