The First Special Exhibition of National Portraits of 1866 – Richard Lane’s Last Public Appearance?

One key artifact gives a clear account that a portrait of Sir Richard Lane once existed – a copy of a “catalogue” of the portraits available to visitors of the 1866 Special Exhibition of National Portraits in London.  Interestingly, I have recently come across evidence indicating this “catalogue” wasn’t originally planned to be provided by the organizers of the event!  If it hadn’t been, I suspect his portrait (and with it any chance of knowing what the man looked like) would have been truly lost to the larger world…

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The “Lost” Portrait of Sir Richard Lane

The satisfying thing about Richard Lane as a subject of historical research is that although his early life was one of obscurity, the political drama he was swept into brought about a fair number of useful historical artifacts related to him.  Perhaps in the end, those bits and pieces will yield a rich and tangible sense of who he was.  But, this isn’t Hollywood – history is about building knowledge based on facts, very much like building a legal case. And sometimes, the facts you need simply may not exist. What can really be known about a man who lived 400 years ago?  Who was he really? What was important to him?  And if you could have met him, what would he have looked like?

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Richard Lane: Ancestor of Thomas Jefferson!

Yes, that’s right.  Maybe you’ve heard of him?  Our 3rd President and author of the Declaration of Independence?  I knew Richard Lane’s sister married a man named “Randolph”, and that some of their sons had helped found early Virginia, but I didn’t expect this… Continue reading “Richard Lane: Ancestor of Thomas Jefferson!”

Maximillian Norreys: argumentum, quod vita est, quod fit, dum nos faciens ad alia factus consilia!

So I have an assignment for you – do a google search on “latin translation” and plug the title of this article into it. Everyone should know about this amazing tool the good folks at Google have brought into our world!  And make no mistake – after the curse of  targeted advertising, they owed us one!

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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”

Welcome to the (very real) Quest to Find the “Lost Lord Keeper” of the 1600’s English Civil War

In the Spring of 2015, I was browsing the antique book stores in the antiques district of South Broadway in Denver, Colorado.  Gallagher’s Books is one of those fun bookshops that just knows what they are doing: interesting books for all tastes, but no room for junk. No matter where you look, you find titles that draw your eye…

I hadn’t really planned on buying anything. I was feeling social, and seeing cases filled with older books, I was curious how far back the inventory of retail antique book stores might go. I took a sip of coffee and playfully asked the proprietor, “What’s the oldest book you have?”  I was expecting something in the mid-1800s.  Very early 1800s, perhaps? I couldn’t recall – when was the printing press invented again?  Sue smiled gamely and replied, “Actually, I think I have one from the middle 1600s…”

Continue reading “Welcome to the (very real) Quest to Find the “Lost Lord Keeper” of the 1600’s English Civil War”