November 26, 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 five of the 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.
The style of the plates is very similar to a drill book published in Europe in 1607 with engravings by Jacques de Gheyn. In fact there are a number of european and english drill books starting from de Gheyn, using exactly the same poses but every time updating the clothes.
More rear views here, number 13 is wearing a montero cap and interestingly number 16’s coat has no back seam, and is slit to the waist, something that would only really work with a well fulled broadcloth that wouldn’t fray easily along the edge. 15’s coat in contrast looks like it is hemmed.
This is number five in the series. I took the photos from the original book.
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.
May 29, 2014
………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?
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.
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.
April 10, 2014
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.
June 24, 2013
Or the Survey of Husbandry Surveyed. This book was written by Walter Blith in 1649 and was one of the very first attempts to put into print how land could be improved by good husbandry. Blith had fought in the war on the parliamentary side and had been involved in the sequestration of Royalist land after the war, some of which he bought for himself. The frontispiece for the revised 1652 edition was designed to show as the reader looks down the page how by degrees the country turns from war to more peaceful pursuits.
Here at the top are , on the left a troop of cavalry and on the right some foot soldiers, pike and musket. Mostly clad in soldier’s coats and breeches and a selection of soft hats and helmets.
Bottom right is a ploughman in a natty felt hat and ribbon decorated breeches.
Bottom right a labourer with some kind of spade digging a trench. He’s got a rather battered felt hat, or possibly a montero cap, buttoned up coat and unconfined breeches.
And right at the bottom a surveyor. This guy is a bit more well dressed, with a short doublet, breeches, wide hat and some smart riding boots.
July 10, 2012
Etching by Hollar, after, or very similar to some Abraham Bosse french engravings. Published between 1636 and 1644 there are some interesting costume details here, though not strictly English, I thought they were good enough to show here.
The Busye. Well to do couple in possible late 1630s style. Quality bodice with balloon sleeves for M’Lady and laced doublet and falling band for her escort.
The Overdoo. I’m not entirely sure what he’s doing with the syringe, but quality paned doublet with cutwork falling band and simple clothes for the woman whose coif looks almost Tudor. Maybe a French influence?
The Damee. This rascal is dressed as the archetypal cavalier, down at heel and just a bit ragged.
The Swillbottle. Interestingly this chap seems to be in his underpants, though this is the only image I’ve ever seen of something like this. Maybe a monmouth cap on his head? Good close up of a shirt opening, something you don’t often see in images.
Sweetlipps. A serving man, cloth over his arm and a smart livery coat and plain band. Is that a pineapple or an artichoke?
A mere scullion, with a knitted cap that in older days would have been called a Statute Cap. Another shirt worn without a doublet and a cook’s apron.
The Graceless. Smart suit and plain band, but check out the ribbons on his breeches and the boot hose worn with shoes.
The Fflye. He wears a peakless montero cap. Not sure if they were ever worn in England but they appear in at least two Bosse engravings.
The Sleplove. Paned doublet and cutwork falling band with bandstrings.
April 20, 2012
..of a pot of good ale. Full of wit, without offence, of mirth without obscenitie, of pleasure without scurrilitie, and of good content without distaste”. Poem from 1642. The woodcut is poorly reproduced, but here is a group of revellers sat outside the alehouse, quaffing their beer and smoking up a storm. The tapster is bringing another jug of ale out and doffing his hat. While most seem to be dressed in standard doublet and breeches, it’s the fellow in the foreground facing away from us that I’m interested in. I suspect he’s wearing a montero, though it would be tricky to prove, it does look very much like the segmented crown and (poorly folded) skirt of the fashionable cap worn by soldiers and huntsmen.
January 1, 2012
From the Thomason tracts, an anonymous single page pamphlet from 1642. Real quality clothes on the soldier, Col Thomas Lunsford of the Tower of London in the only real depiction I know of an English montero cap. Nice bandolier of “boxes” on the bishop too!