6 April 2015

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16 March 2015

Guest blog: The 17th Century Military Revolution on the Celtic Fringe (Charles Singleton, author)

Montrose’s Irish Brigade at the Battle of Aberdeen, 13 September 1644. Divisions of pike and musket deploy into firing lines to fight with the centre of the Covenanter Army at Aberdeen. Painting by Peter Dennis © Helion & Company Limited.

The significance of the role played by the Earl of Montrose (see previous interactive map) in upholding the Royalist cause in Scotland has been much discussed, though less has been written about the influence of the military tactics and technology Montrose was exposed to as a veteran of fighting in the Thirty Years War. Less still has been investigated about the impact of continental war-fighting techniques on Irish troops who fought aboard before returning to the domestic theatres of the 1640s and 50s.

In the guest article below, author Charles Singleton introduces both of these topics, explored in detail in his new book Famous by my Sword: The Army of Montrose and the Military Revolution, and suggests how they helped contribute to a 'Military Revolution' of the 17th century ...

9 January 2015

Commemoration, Holly Holy Day, Mass for a Martyr and 'Fortress Newark'

The parade of the King's Army on Horse Guard's Parade in 2012.

A number of annual events are scheduled to take place later this month:

  • Jan 24 Holly Holy Day 2015: Day commemorating the lifting of the Siege of Nantwich in 1644. Expect living history displays, cavalry, music, molly dancing, plough witches and other activities, with the battle re-enactment on Mill Island just on the west side of the town centre at 2pm.
  • Jan 25 (11am - 1pm): The King's Army of the English Civil War Society traces the route of the King's last walk from St James' Palace in the Mall to his place of execution at the banqueting House in Whitehall. The army will be draw up on Horse Guards Parade, with a wreath laid outside the Banqueting House.
  • Jan 31 (12pm): Sung Mass at Saint Mary de Castro, Castle Street, Leicester, to commemorate the 'Martyrdom of King Charles'.

An exciting series of events has also been announced for the May bank holiday weekend to celebrate the opening of the National Civil War Centre in Newark. Over the weekend of 3-4 May 'Fortress Newark' will feature re-enactments, displays, parades and living history to bring the Civil Wars to life, with up to 1000 members of the Sealed Knot, English Civil War Society and History Re-enactment Workshop taking part. More details can be found on the Events calendar.

30 October 2014

Cromwell and Hesilrig display @ NPG

The display at the National Portrait Gallery.

If you're in London over the next year a couple of small 17th century displays at the National Portrait Gallery are worth catching.

One explores the relationship between art and power during the period, while the other reveals an intriguing discovery about the collection's portrait of Sir Arthur Hesilrig ...