Archive for ‘Military’

May 29, 2014

The Military discipline

………wherein is martially showne the order for driling the musket and pike : set forth in postures with ye words of comand and brief instructions for the right use of the same.  Sold by Thomas. Jenner (at the foot of the Exchange in London) 1642.

An eight page drill book showing the standard pike and musket positions, published just before the war and including some nice plates of soldiers drilling in various costumes. These four caught my eye as they are all wearing the peaked cap with a folded outer skirt known at the time as a montero. There are scant few images of these hats from England in the 1640s, making these pictures quite rare to say the least.

 

The first chap seems to be dressed as an officer in long boots, nice breeches, gauntlets, armour consisting of back, breast and tassets and laced a falling band. His cap is decorated with plumes and conforms to the officer’s style with little room in the side skirt for folding. Why would you need protection from the cold when you could just go indoors?

 

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The second figure, a musketeer is dressed more plainly. Shoes instead of boots, though his hose have a turn down that echoes boot hose. His breeches are decorated with some kind of top stitching and extravagant ribbon bows. He also appears to be wearing a doublet with slashed sleeves beneath a buff coat and plain linen collar and band. The montero is also plumed, but there is more room in this one for folds in the skirt. If you look closely, there are also some stitches drawn in around the peak.

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The last guy, getting ready to spit his ball down his musket barrel has quite a lot of decoration on his kit, from the ribbon rosettes on his shoes, up the laced and pointed legs of his breeches to the slashed sleeve of his doublet and laced falling band. He’s quite a dapper fellow. His montero is again six panes and some sewing is visible on the crown this time.

 

Image 7

April 10, 2014

The history of the Most Vile Dimagoras

An epic poem by John Quarles published in London in 1658. Slightly beyond our time, but this picture caught my eye today because of the cap being worn by the cavalry trooper in the foreground.

He is dressed in a short jump coat with slashed sleeves, breeches and riding boots. On his head he is wearing a montero cap, a woollen peaked cap with skirts that fold down for protection in bad weather. There aren’t many of these caps in illustrations from England, though they do appear in literature and seem to have been reasonably common for soldiers of the period. Nice simple sword too. The lady he is menacing has free flowing hair, often a sign of distress and a petticoat and bodies. The cavalry in the rear may also be wearing montero caps, though it’s tricky to tell.

 

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February 4, 2014

Charles I and Sir Edward Walker

Painted by an unknown artist shortly after 1650, this is a study of Charles and his Secretary at War Edmund Walker, ostensibly on campaign. The poses are staged in a tableau of Charles dictating a despatch, or maybe a proclamation to go to the printers. It’s such a static scene that it almost looks like a wax work, though notice all the subtle differences, not just in the poses, but also the clothes they are wearing that mark Charles out as the leader and Sir Edmund as the follower

Both men are wearing the blue ribbon as members of the Order of the Garter. They are both also oddly colour coordinated with each other, wearing blue doublet and breeches embroidered with gold thread, though the King’s doublet is more finely figured. Their buff coats match, though again Charles’s is more highly decorated. Edmund’s linen is plain whilst the King’s is edged with lace. He is also sporting a gilded breastplate. The picture hangs in the NPG in London and is © National Portrait Gallery.

Charles & Walker

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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December 2, 2013

The Loyall Sacrifice

…..presented in the lives and deaths of those two eminent-heroick patternes, for valour, discipline, and fidelity; the generally beloved and bemoaned, Sir Charls Lucas, and Sir George Lisle, knights. Being both shot to death at Colchester, five houres after the surrender. This is the frontispiece of an anonymous sixteen page pamphlet by someone calling himself Philocrates published in 1648 shortly after the siege of Colchester was raised and the two Royalist commanders summarily executed in the aftermath. The booklet is a potted history of the siege and execution from the royalist perspective.

Both officers are depicted in buffcoats (though the account details Lucas pulling open his doublet to expose his breast to the aim of the firing party), hats, boots and unconfined breeches. The four musketeers who look rather uncomfortable with their weapons are bareheaded with soldier’s coats, breeches and shoes.

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November 29, 2013

Portrait of a Royalist Cavalry Officer

From the Bridgeman Art Library (hence the watermark). I can see no reason why this has been labelled as Royalist or cavalry, but there you are. It is undated, though to my eye, the clothes and the style of the portrait set it firmly in the Civil War period. The picture is in private hands somewhere and is  © Lawrence Steigrad Fine Arts, New York.

The officer is staring out of the picture quite nonchalantly and is standing defiantly foursquare in his buff coat and breeches. He looks like he’d rather be off out than stay indoors having his portrait painted.

The perfectly white sleeves of his doublet contrast with the black of his breeches and are brocaded (or perhaps embroidered) in an intricate pattern whilst his buff leather coat is also extravagantly laced at the front. His falling band is edged in a wide band of lace, though his cuffs don’t actually match, being ruffled but not edged with lace. Note also the line of buttons down the side of his breeches and around the bottom edge too. His boots are lined with red leather and the boothose edged with lace, though again not the same pattern as his band, which is either sloppy dressing or indicates that as a soldier he didn’t care too much! He is wearing spurs to indicate that he is off to ride a horse, though not necessarily in a cavalry regiment. His baldric and sword seem to be quite plain and businesslike which suggests that they have seen action.

 

Portrait of a Royalist Cavalry Officer, c.1640 (oil on copper), English School, (17th century) : Private Collection

November 29, 2013

Portrait of an Unknown Officer

This painting came up for auction in 2008 at Gorringes Auction House in Lewes and has been attributed to John Souch. It certainly looks like the style of the portrait painter from Chester and the clothes worn by the officer are spot on for the period. He is wearing a thick leather buff coat laced together down the front with silk satin sleeves seemingly laced in to the coat rather than attached to an underlying doublet. His falling band and cuffs are neat with matching lace edges and his sword hangs from a nicely embroidered baldrick. The magnificent plume on the helmet beside him nicely matches the colours of his lacings and the edges of his baldrick.

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September 24, 2013

Captaine Browne Bushell

Painted by an unknown artist in 1633, Captaine Bushell was a naval officer and something of a dashing rogue who captured the royalist pinnace Henrietta Maria in a night raid without a shot being fired in 1642. Later in 1643 he used his knowledge of artillery in the successful defence of Scarborough Castle, but changed sides the same year. He led several daring raids on parliament shipping after that and eventualy fell foul of his opponents, being executed in 1651, on the same block and using the very axe that was used for the King.

Here he is, well before those exploits at the time he married the girl he met in the Low Countries, bareheaded in a black doublet with red lining, cuffs and matching laced falling band with a black waist scarf and and embroidered baldric holding up his splendid mortuary sword. The picture hangs in Whitby Museum.

Captain Browne Bushell (1609–1651)