January 8, 2014
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.
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.
January 7, 2014
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?
January 7, 2014
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.
December 2, 2013
…..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.
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.
March 6, 2013
Political propaganda from 1649, published in a book, Anarchia Anglicana by Clement Walker. This is stirring stuff, Cromwell is directing a bunch of soldiers and workmen as they chop down an oak tree that is hung with symbols of the English state, the crown and sceptre, the Bible, Magna Carta and Eikon Basilike, the book widely thought to be Charles’ posthumous autobiography. He is standing on a ball suspended above the mouth of hell and seemingly about to be struck down by a bolt of lightning.
Here’s a close-up of two soldiers with axes laying into the tree. They’re wearing soldier’s coats simply cut with baldricks to hold their swords. Chap on the left has quite large cut outs in his shoes.
A small bunch of what I think are workmen are cutting branches away with billhooks. They have no swords and are dressed in doublet and unconfined breeches with ribbon decoration. The doublet tabs are small and look like they are integral to the body of the doublet, rather than being sewn on as per higher quality examples. The guy in the foreground looks like he’s wearing a ruff.
These two guys are making off with some of the boughs. i’m not sure what they represent, but they’re wearing tall crowned hats, ragged coats and breeches.
January 14, 2013
I found this picture in the online collection of the British Museum. Like a previous post called Soldiers in the Field, this one looks authentic, but has no real provenance from the 1640s, the description stating that the attribution of Richard Gaywood, one of the most prolific of 17th century engravers may be a mistake.
Having said that, this is a striking image. A musketeer in tall hat and soldier’s coat looks out of the picture in the classic “thousand yard gaze” of the campaigning soldier. He’s been in action; you can see that. His hat is battered. There are scars on his face and tears in his coat. He has also lost his left hand, which would make it tricky to say the least to fire his musket. We know he was at least originally a musketeer as he still carries a bandolier of boxes as the measured containers of black powder were known then. Details to note on his coat are the permanent turn-backs on his cuffs and the button closing evident below the bandolier and the lack of shoulder wings where the sleeve joins the body of the coat. His coat is open at the neck and shows what might be a knotted cloth. It does’t show the classic open neck and single tie of a 1640s shirt.
In the background are a number of corpses draped decoratively with linen rags and another figure in soldier’s garb who seems to have lost the will to live. Perhaps the musketeer is on the winning side and the rest amongst the losers. Who knows? The picture may even be authentic!
January 3, 2013
From the second page of illustrations, two scenes from what became known as the Bishop’s War. The first shows a bunch of soldiers in classic anti-episcopalian action, tearing down altar rails and removing pictures. Strange to think that this army was supposed to be fighting for the new prayerbook and Charles’ ideas of religious reform which included the very things being attacked here. Perhaps it should have made him think his ideas were a tad unpopular? Anyway, these soldiers are well dressed as far as I can tell, slashed sleeves, laced bands and hat plumes are all in evidence here, though the guy with the axe and his colleague stealing the silver from the altar are more simply dressed.
A classic view of the two armies Scots and English meeting. It wasn’t as cordial as the picture may have you believe, a battle was fought at Newburn which the Scots won, leading to a truce in lieu of a peace treaty for which Charles had to summon the Long Parliament to raise the necessary taxes. A few evident details of soldier’s coats and breeches and a smattering of morion helmets worn by the musketeers of both sides.
January 2, 2013
Against the Professorsof the Reformed Religion within the Dominion of the Duke of Savoy Aprill the 27th 1655. As Also A True Relation of the Bloody Massacres, Tortures, Cruelties, and Abominable Outrages committed upon the Protestants in Ireland……….Which began October 23 1641.
Printed in London 1655
WARNING! Some of these images may cause distress! This book pulls no punches in its anti-papist propaganda, but there are some really good original costume images here, so I hope you’ll forgive the sensationalism from 4 centuries ago.
First of all a pictorial representation of a small part of what became known as the massacre of 1655 in the Dukedom of Savoy, part of modern Italy. The soldiers drawn may be from Europe but the clothes are definitely English in style, simply cut coats and breeches, plain boots and shoes together with broad brimmed hats. I’ll gloss over what exactly is going on in the picture, I think you can read that for yourself.
The next three images show the bloudy Masacer (sic) in Ireland 1643. Notice here how the short waisted doublets and tightly cut doublets of the Papists (left) create a long, slim outline. The officer with the pistol wears a diagonal scarf tied at the hip, and the good guy on the right has a wide falling band trimmed with lace. Spot also the smoke rising from the burning match held by the musketeer extreme left.
Nice image here of an older couple in their house before a roaring fire. The wife seems to have dressed hair and the master of the house a lace edged day cap on his head. Sadly no costume details on the children.
I’ve seen several woodcuts of children on pitchforks,, but there are sone top details in this one. The child in the foreground in his/her smock, the back view of the women’s coifs (coives?) and the full beard on the musketeer frame right.
December 7, 2012
From the French publication ‘Histoire de l’entrée de la Reyne Mère dans la Grande Brétaigne’ by Jean Puget de la Serre from 1639 that details the Royal visit to England of Charles’ mother in law Marie de Medici. There are some nice details here of soldiers, pike and musket lining the route into the town, though always remembering that these images were probably drawn by a french artist.
A small group here, perhaps local militia, they’re not particularly well dressed apart from the officer who has a shoulder sash. No armour or fine buff coat here it seems.
These guys are just standing around chatting, they don’t seem to have spotted that the Queen of France is right in front of them. Notice the sergeant in long boots and the two muskets aimed in the general direction of the carriage!
Small group of horsemen following the carriage. All strangely bareheaded, maybe they’ve uncovered for the Queen. Nice sleeved cloak being worn by the one on the right.
Some common people here looking out of upper story windows. Sadly no real detail in the engraving, though all heads are covered even though they are technically indoors.