January 15, 2014
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?
June 13, 2013
Attributed to Emmanuel de Critz and painted around 1656 this double portrait is kind of a companion to the previous post of John the Elder and his wife, though notice the difference 20 years have made to the clothes Hester is wearing compared to John the Elder’s wife. There is more colour here and Hester’s bodice is much more boned and fitted to the wearer. The sleeves are made from quite a lot of fabric if you notice the gathers at the cuff. She also wears a double layer of linen around her neck, but the lines are softer, less severe somehow and there is an elaborate fastening across her chest. She also wears a black hood or chaperone on her head and is holding a sprig of myrtle which echoes John’s profession as a gardener but which also symbolises her fidelity. John the Younger on the other hand, apart from being bareheaded is dressed almost identically to his father in the earlier portrait, black doublet with a plain linen band. Note though how many buttons he has on his doublet front and cuffs. Yet again, thanks to the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford where the picture resides for allowing me to post it here. © 2011 University of Oxford – Ashmolean Museum
May 15, 2013
Painted in or around 1643 this picture has been attributed to Theodore Russell. Catherine was the wife of Lord Brooke the prominent parliamentarian and general who was killed by a royalist sniper whilst directing the siege of Lichfield. This portrait must have been finished after his death as Catherine wears widows weeds and holds a posy of significant flowers. She is wearing a black bodice over a white linen smock with a doubled kerchief which is tied at the throat with bandstrings and a gossamer-thin black linen hood or chaperone on her head. She also wears a white linen coif tied with strings under her chin. Picture courtesy of Roy Precious Antiques and Fine Art. It’s still for sale as as the time of posting.
The posy included pink laurel which was associated with honour, triumph and eternal life. I think there may also be some rosemary here for remembrance. I’m not sure what forms the pinked black edge to the bodice. It looks like a very fine black linen but if it’s part of the bodice it’s tricky to tell. Notice how white and fine her linen is though. This was a wealthy lady.
This close up shows the ties used to keep her coif and kerchief in place. Interestingly you can also see the top of her smock which is much lower than the neck line of her kerchief. Usually both are of about the same height, but in this case the kerchief is tied very high up her throat.
March 26, 2012
of the Hogfaced Gentlewoman called Mistress Tannakin Skinker. Printed in London in 1640. Miss Skinker came from the Low Countries and her mother had been bewitched before she was born. A sad tale, but the gentleman wears a rather smart doublet and breeches with ribbons decorating the leg openings all topped by a voluminous cloak. The gentlewoman herself in a gown over a petticote and a chaperone hood. The thing about this image is comparing it with the second picture which is obviously a reuse of the plate, with the head and shoulders rather crudely replaced.
The Welshman’s Compliments or the true manner how Skinkin Wooed his sweetheart Maudlin after his return from Kenton Battaile. This one printed in 1642. March 4th to be precise. A 17th century spot the difference. Even his name is similar!
February 17, 2012
Painted by Robert Walker, sometime between 1640 and 1655. Elizabeth has a black hood or chaperone on her head and a very fine linen cape, so fine that you can see the outline of her bodice beneath it.
February 3, 2012
From the seasons set of engravings by Hollar. Again there are some interesting things in the details of this familar image.
Here you can see clearly M’Lady’s mask and that she’s possibly wearing a coif beneath her chaperone. The string under her chin may be keeping it on her head. Two layers of lace edged kerchief under her fox (?) fur. A paw is visible on her shoulder.
Good stout pair of lady’s shoes with a fancy rosette tie and lace or cutwork edge to her petticote edge and up the front.
And a street scene. Cheapside in the background is really busy. Notice the dogs playing on the right hand side.
January 24, 2012
Wife of the good Colonell, she wrote an account of her husbands exploits in the conflicts of the 1640s and became one of the early biographers of the war. Lucy is wearing some very fine clothes, noteably an embroidered stomacher and laced kerchief. Her laced smock can be seen above the stomacher, between the edges of the kerchief. She also has a black chaperone over her plain linen coif and possibly her wedding ring on the fourth finger.