Westminster Palace: Analysis of the 1844 Trial of Strafford Painting (Part 2)

In the Part I article of the “Trial of Strafford” analysis I presented at Westminster this Spring, I provided an overview introducing the historical analysis I did and the groups depicted in that historic painting.  In this and the next article, we’re going to explore the depth of the stories painter Thomas Woolnoth laid onto that sprawling canvas in the early 1840’s.

In our time, Woolnoth would have been the videographer behind a BBC historical docu-drama of this pivotal event in English history. But in the early 1840’s even the earliest deguerrotype camera was a technical oddity, leaving Woolnoth only the brush and palette to carry his audience back to the floor of Westminster Hall in the spring of 1641.
Continue reading “Westminster Palace: Analysis of the 1844 Trial of Strafford Painting (Part 2)”

One of the most interesting days of my life….

There are days you will remember always. This was one of them!

Yesterday was quite a day.  You’d have heard about it last night, but I was simply too tired to do anything but have a glass of wine, savor a bit of chocolate and wonder at the day I’d just had.  Just because you put a lot of work into something doesn’t mean its going to lead somewhere interesting.  Nor does it mean that it will be well received, let alone be referred to as “scholarly”…

Continue reading “One of the most interesting days of my life….”

Designing a Memorial for a Historic Figure (and his Wife)

This quest really began when I wondered what it would be like to visit the grave of the author of the ancient book I’d recently purchased at a Denver antique book store. At first, I doubted there would be any discoverable record of him at all.  And initially, there wasn’t. My searches returned a sea of flotsam references to this or that person named “Richard Lane” over the centuries, or someone simply named “Richard”  who lived on a “lane” somewhere!  But when I began combining his name with words from the title of his 1657 book, I finally encountered articles that introduced me to the man. What I could read of him was intriguing, though.  I found myself repeatedly choosing to look into  “one more thing”  before setting it aside and going on with my life…

Continue reading “Designing a Memorial for a Historic Figure (and his Wife)”

Update on the Trial of Strafford Painting

“Proving” is an ambitious word.  How do you “prove” that a mid-1800s painter depicting an important historical scene was aware of and attempting to portray specific actors and their inter-relationships in a drama that was already more than 200 years old at the moment he first stood before his empty canvas? Clearly, Thomas Woolnoth went to pains to realistically portray the principals of the scene in “The Trial of Strafford”, but was he aware of Richard Lane and his  role? How much research did he do? How can we assert that he would have been aware of historical research that was being done in his own time?  Without  corroborating evidence, such assertions must be considered a hypothesis – one based on raw speculation…but, I think we can do better! Continue reading “Update on the Trial of Strafford Painting”

The Heraldic Arms of Richard Lane

With each answered question a new mystery springs! Is it possible the sketch of Richard Lane’s arms in Jean Chevalier’s diary was drawn later, from Chevalier’s description? Or were they incorrectly presented on the pall over Richard Lane’s casket? Continue reading “The Heraldic Arms of Richard Lane”

Summary Report of our London Visit

I’m going to need a vacation to recover from my “vacation”!  Although it’s good to be to be back home in “the colonies”, I am deeply grateful for every moment of the last week in the UK.  Continue reading “Summary Report of our London Visit”