Foreword: This is the full article submitted for publication in the 2018 Annual Bulletin of the Société Jersisiase. This version includes significant additional content which could not appear in that publication, and benefits from the excellent editorial refinements of the editors at the Société Jersisiase. In this format, footnotes appear the end of the sections in which their references occur.Continue reading “A Man of Spotless Integrity: The Life and Legacy of the Lost Lord Keeper of the King’s Great Seal (Part I of III)”
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)”
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 it’s going to lead somewhere interesting. Nor does it mean that it will be well received, let alone be referred to as “scholarly”…
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…
To our ears, the “pound” is just another member of the family of global currencies–all related by the various exchange rates. But back in the 1600s, it meant much more than that…
“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”
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”