November 25, 2015
From The Military Discipline wherein is Martially Showne the Order for Drilling the Musket and Pike, published by Thomas Jenner, London 1642. This is plate one of a drill book published just before the wars broke out. I’ve no reason to suspect this is anything other than portraits of the trained bandes of London at their postures. These guys are dressed in high status clothes, braided breeches and slashed sleeves. Not the kind of clobber you would wear to take the the field. This is first in a series. I took the photos from the book.
November 17, 2015
of Prince Roberts malignant she-monkey, discovered to the world before her marriage. Also the manner of her marriage to a cavaleer and how within three dayes space, she called him cuckold to his face, London 1643
One of those anti-royalist pamphlets referring to Prince Rupert’s selection of pets. His poodle Boye was also the subject of some derision but here is his monkey, presumably about the blow smoke cheekily in the face of her cuckolded husband.
She is wearing a hood tied beneath her chin, a short petticoat effort hiding her simian modesty (this is not standard 1640s fashion as far as I can tell) and a shoulder belt for her sword. The cavalier is wearing a long buttoned coat with turn back sleeves over a short doublet and tapered breeches. His linen band is smart with a modest lace edge and his riding boots (spot the spurs) are folded in the common style to show off his boot hose.
November 16, 2015
And an unknown boy, painted by an unknown artist around 1638-41. Dorothy, or more correctly Dame Dorothy may or may not have been Lady in Waiting to Elizabeth I in her youth and was also rumoured to have played a part in foiling the Gunpowder Plot, though later investigation revealed that her part was choosing the story as the subject of a tapestry that she made after the event! Dorothy died in 1641 apparently from being pricked by an infected needle (though this may have been fabricated too to attract visitors to the Hall) shortly after this portrait was completed. A popular story has her body walled up and her ghost walking the corridors of Ightham Mote. Sadly also not true, the grand Dame was safely interred in the local churchyard, but why let the facts get in the way of a cracking story?
Anyway, this picture caught my eye because Dorothy is not dressed in the latest fashion unlike the rather sad little boy in pink stood next to her. She is wearing a black petticoat and bodice over which she seems to have a red partlet or (perhaps a sleeveless waistcoat) covering her body and a large starched ruff around her neck. She’s keeping her head warm with a black hood and possibly a lace coif underneath. The boy is in a fashionable pink suit; matching doublet (slashed sleeves to show his shirt), breeches (trimmed with ribbon) and short cloak with a laced linen falling band and cuffs with matching ribbons on his shoes and pink hose.
Dorothy was some looker, forty years earlier. Both paintings are at Ightham Mote House in Kent.
October 5, 2015
The royalist mayor of Devizes who kept the Swan in the town was painted by an unnamed artist in 1643 He’s wearing a tall crowned felt hat and what looks like (from the cuffs) a brown coat over a black doublet. On top of the whole layered ensemble is a paler brown cloak and a neat linen falling band. The portrait is in the Wiltshire Museum collection
April 26, 2015
or, A militarie magazine of the truest rules, and ablest instructions, for the managing of warre Composed, of the most refined discipline, and choice experiments that these late Netherlandish, and Swedish warres have produced. By Robert Ward printed in London 1639. A mammoth tome listing everything Mr Ward thought would be worth including to help anyone who wanted to wage war. I’ve skipped over all the descriptions, skimmed through the pike & musket formations and singled out four images of chaps engaged in nefarious activities for your enjoyment.
This first man in a coat, hat and falling band is setting light to a fuse to blow a mine laid beneath a fort. As it says in the text: “This kinde of undermining hath beene very Anciently used both by the Greekes, and Romans, and of late daies by the Hollander, whereby they have much annoyed their Enemies, and blowne up their Out-Workes” I would definitely be annoyed.
This fellow is making grenadoes out of canvas bags. He’s wearing a doublet and closely fitting breeches. As it says : “Some grenadoes are made of canvass with divers Pistoll Barrells charged with Powder and bulletts and covered over.” Nasty
These guys are making more grenadoes out of solid pots. They are wearing nicely tailored doublets, wide hats and close fitting breeches. The man on the left is putting his foot forward so we can see how well made his shoes are.
This last fellow is about to set off an array of powder pots designed for use in a battle. The text describes these: “These Engines are of use to discomfit an Enemy in a pitcht Battell, the manner of framing them, is according to this following Description: there must bee prepared, either of Earth, or of timed Lattin, the Mouths of them are to be foure inches Diameter, and the height of them sixe, on either side of these is a hollow quill formed of Earth or sodred of Lattin, about the bignesse of a Tobacco-pipe; these are to goe from the toppe of these Pottes just to the bottome to convey the the traine of Powder to the Touch-hole at the bottome” I’m only slightly concerned about the disembodied hands on the other two fuses. Maybe they were removed to protect their identities?
March 31, 2015
A posture from The Military Discipline wherein is Martially Showne the Order for Drilling the Musket and Pike, published by Thomas Jenner, London 1642. This copy of the book is adorned with nineteen engraved plates showing musketeers and pikemen in various drill postures and modes of dress. This musketeer is clad in montero cap, a doublet with slashed sleeves, plain falling band (or perhaps shirt collar), tapered breeches with shoes and hose folded down over what are presumably a pair of garters. He’s sporting some nice ribbon bows on his breeches and shoes too. This is very much the ‘Trained Band’ look, for the weekend soldier not really something you’d see on the field of battle.
Here’s a closer version. Notice the match he is holding between his fingers is alight, ready to fire his musket.
March 12, 2015
Painted by an unknown artist, Francis Hammond was a career soldier who had fought on the Continent and even though he was getting on, in the Civil War, noteably leading the royalist Forlorn Hope at Edgehill in 1642. We have already seen his brother, Robert Hammond who was involved in the Kentish Uprising.
He’s clad in what looks like full armour with gilt rivets, though often this was something that was reserved for portraits rather than something you’d wear on the field. His scarf is nicely embroidered and fringed and his falling band, though plain has very fine hems and a nicely knotted bandstring tassel. The portrait is part of the Canterbury Museums Collection.
February 6, 2015
King Charles painted in a smaller version of the picture that would eventually become the famous portrait in his robes for the Order of the Garter. It’s earlier than our period, but worth looking at for the detailing of his clothes which I’m pretty sure are accurate given the way Mytens (or one of his followers) has also rendered the texture of the carpet and the sheen on the table covering.
His hat is generously plumed and his falling band (that is almost completely lace) lies over the red and white robes of the order. His shot silk doublet is high waisted and of the 1630s style with sharply angled tabs and ribbon points. You can see how stiff the tabs are by the fact that the right hand edge of his robes are held back behind the right front tab. The sleeves are slashed and gathered in a way that accentuate his slender arms but also shows the fine linen of his shirt beneath. His matching breeches are quite closely cut and the silk seems to have been slashed or pinked as an extra decoration. He’s also wearing a very fine pair of white shoes with jewelled rosette ties and some oddly mismatched blue hose on his lower legs. Yet again many thanks to Phillip mould and Co for permission to use this copywrite image from their website
February 6, 2015
By Sir Peter Lely, painted sometime in the 1640s. She’s wearing a black bodice or waistcoat (difficult to see any detail in the way Lely has depicted it) with her smock showing above the neckline and a plain linen kerchief pinned over the top. It’s a very sober portrait, but she has dressed her hair with a string of pearls and at least one drop earring. This picture came up for sale via Phillip Mould and Co who were also kind enough to grant permission for me to use this image.
February 3, 2015
Painted by a follower of Gilbert Jackson in 1634. This unnamed dapper gentleman of 30 is looking at us with a real ‘devil may care’ gaze, with his hand securely in the pocket of his breeches, an unusual stance in a painting from this date. He is wearing a neatly tailored grey doublet. If the painter’s depiction is accurate, this is a well made garment with sharp lines and very neat seams. The sleeve seams are open to display his shirt and ribbon points around his waist presumably hold his breeches up, though at this point, cord points were becoming decorative. The attachment to the breeches was more often than not achieved with metal hooks and eyes with the eyes being sewn to a girdle-stead fixed inside the doublet. He’s also wearing a plain-ish wide falling band with a narrow lace decoration (with matching cuffs) and pom pom decoration on his bandstrings. Nice row of closely spaced buttons down the front. The picture is in the Chequers Collection.