Posts tagged ‘armour’

February 5, 2013

Sir William Fairfax of Steenton

The cousin of the more famous Thomas Fairfax, Sir William also fought with distinction on the Parliament side during the war. Here he is painted, possibly by Edward Bower in an outrageous black taffeta scarf in front of his campaign tent, a typical battle scene in the background. He’s wearing a sleeved buffcoat and armour ready for war, but his accessories are just a bit too over the top for action. The picture hangs in the National Trust property Hatchlands, near Guildford.

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Look at the metallic threads in the ribbons decorating his grey breeches and the end of his scarf, not to mention the perfectly starched linen double-layered white boot hose and spotless boots.



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This detail shows clearly the thickness of leather in his buff coat and the gilding on the fixings of his armour. You can also see the butt joined seam on the coat sleeve.




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Plain gauntlets agreed, but spot the metallic fringes.


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And just outside the battle rages on. He’s not been near a battle in this get up. I’d put money on it!


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January 11, 2013

Sir Henry Gage

Painted by John Weesop in the 1640s, this picture is in the National Portrait Gallery. Gage was a career soldier, having fought before the Civil War in the Low Countries and supported the King’s cause from Flanders until 1644 when he moved to Oxford and formed his own regiment. Hs most famous action was the relief of Basing House  in September of that year. Sir Henry wears a leather buffcoat with cloth sleeves sumptuously embroidered with gold thread, plain falling band and highly polished, “studio” armour. The slashes in his sleeves make it obvious exactly how much fabric there is in his shirt, always a sign of quality.


Sir Henry Gage Weesop

November 30, 2012

Sir Alan Brodrick

To add balance to the last post, Sir Alan was a royalist who took no active part in the wars but later was one of the Sealed Knot group of conspirators working to restore the monarchy in the late 1650s. The picture was painted in the 1640s by Robert Walker and is now in the Wandsworth Museum. Unlike the warlike Sir Arthur Hesilrige his falling band is not tied away with ribbon and he sports some decorative bandstrings and although his armour is just as impressive, I suspect it saw no action.

Sir Alan Brodrick by Walker

November 30, 2012

Sir Arthur Hesilrige

Painted by an unknown artist in 1640, Sir Arthur was one of the parliamentary movers and shakers before, during and after the war. He was one of the five members that Charles tried to arrest from the House of Commons in 1642, fought in the war, raising a troop of horse equipped with three quarter armour known popularly as his lobsters. He was also prominent on the political scene during the interregnum. He is portrayed in front of a backcloth in very shiny full armour and presumably a wide falling band tied with a black ribbon. This picture is in the National Portrait Gallery.

Arthur Hesilrige

November 19, 2012

Colonel Sir John Booth

Painted by Edward Bower. I can’t find anything about the good Colonel, apart from the fact that he came from Dunham Massey where this splendid picture hangs. Presumably he was a Parliamentarian as Bower generally painted like minded subjects. Let me know please if you know any more. He is arrayed in military splendour, but looks more like he’s just taken a break from a hunt in the woods. If you compare him with the picture of Denzil Holles you’ll see what I mean. Lovely candy stripes of braid or embroidery on his doublet and breeches, a fine pair of soft boots with spurs, buff coat with back and breast armour, fur lined glove on one hand and an armoured gauntlet on the left to protect the hand that holds the reins.The ensemble is finished with a black taffeta scarf (sash) tied at the rear, red ribbon bows on his breeches and a pair of outrageous tassels on the cord holding his tiny powder flask at the hip. Hopefully his firelock isn’t loaded. He may get a nasty shock if it goes off half-cock!

Update, from the NT website: The sitter was the fifth son of Sir George Booth (1566-1652) and Catherine Anderson, the daughter of Sir Edmund Anderson, Chief Justice of the Court of Common Pleas. He married twice: firstly to Dorothy St John, daughter of Sir Anthony St John, the younger son of Oliver, Earl of Bolingbroke; and secondly, in 1659, to Anne, widow of Thomas Legh of Adlington. In 1651 he was accused of conspiring with the Scots to restore Charles II and imprisoned in the Tower of London. He is buried in Chester Cathedral.

November 7, 2012

Denzil Holles

Painted by Edward Bower c1640. Denzil Holles was a prominent parliamentarian and fought during the war. He is mainly remembered as one of the five members that Charles tried to arrest at the House of Commons in 1642. This painting has a kind of gritty realism, the linen shirt and falling band are grubby and the sitter looks dishevelled, almost as if he’s just come from Edgehill. His armour is highly polished though and his doublet sleeved are banded with gold braid.


October 30, 2012

Stout Stukely

A tale of derring do from 1650. I’m not really looking at his clothes although he has a nice pair of boots and ribbons on his unconfined breeches. I like the battle scene in the background with two stands of pike flanked by muskets.

June 7, 2012

Marmaduke D’Arcy

Painted by John Weesop who was active during the wars. Marmaduke was a favourite of Charles II latterly and spent the 1650s in exile with his king in The low Countries, having previously fought with Lord Belasyse until the surrender of Newark. If you compare this portrait with the previous one of Sir Simon Fanshawe, Duke (as he was known to his friends) appears more the courtier than the practical soldier, with sumptuously embroidered sleeves, gilded fittings on his armour and lustrous silk scarf tied in a bow at the shoulder. One practical thing to note though is the knotted falling band, much the mark of a military man in the 1640s. Picture hangs in the Huntington Library in California

April 25, 2012

The Art of War

French book by the Lord of Praissac, “Englished” (traslated) by John Cruso in 1639 who had written a cavalry manual himself some years earlier. This is the only plate of actual figures in the book, it’s quite derivative of the Dutch engravings of Jacob de Gheyn from 1607, but perhaps Englished like the text and maybe updated, though the breeches in plates E and F certainly are very old fashioned for 1640!

February 24, 2012

Colonell Alexander Popham

Parliamentary member and Colonell of the Littlecote garrison painted on a horse in 1650 by an unknown artist. This painting hangs in the National Armies Museum in Leeds. Notice how he has tied his large falling band so it doesn’t flap around as he’s riding.