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Armour of Sir Thomas Sackville, Lord Buckhurst
  • Full Armour
  • Armour of Sir Thomas Sackville, Lord Buckhurst
  • Royal Workshop, Greenwich
  • Jacob Halder (died 1608)
  • Greenwich, England
  • Date: c. 1587 - 1589
  • Medium: Steel, leather, gold and copper alloy
  • Weight: 32.03 kg
  • Weight: 36.7 kg, with the plackart
  • Inv: A62
  • Location: Arms and Armour III
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Further Reading

    A fine armour for war, made in the Greenwich royal workshop during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, probably for Thomas Sackville, Lord Buckhurst (1536-1608), richly decorated with etched and gilt strapwork and borders. The main decorative theme is a dynamic ‘zigzag and guilloche’ pattern, against a blackened and granulated background.

    Consisting of:

    BURGONET, made up of a SKULL with high roped comb, a tubular plume-holder at the back and set to the left, close to which the comb is roughly pierced; pointed PEAK or fall, pivoted at the sides (the pivots are modern), the edge turned under, roped, and extended to cover the lower part of the brow; triple-barred FACE-GUARD, made in one piece, the bars of diamond section springing from a plate hollowed for the chin and piercing the peak, where they are locked with a wire passing through eyelets, and secured to the right cheek-piece with a hook and staple; hinged CHEEK-PIECES, each fitted with an oblong projecting key to engage a slot on the falling buff (see below, pieces of exchange), and a stud to which it was also secured by a clasp; both cheek-pieces and the skull have neck-plates of a single lame. The whole is decorated with brass-capped rivets for the lining bands (the parts remaining are either of canvas or the backings of velvet).

    GORGET, comprised of front and rear assemblies, each of four plates, three collar plate and a larger base-plate, hinged on the left side and fastening with studs and keyhole slot on the right; the upper edge is turned over to a hollow roping.

    BREASTPLATE, of full peascod form, strongly roped at the top and at the gussets, the lower edge flanged outwards to receive the removeable tasset assembly (see below); on either side are hinged steel side-straps (pierced with three holes each) to secure the backplate; that on the left side is a restoration (now broken), and there are two sprockets to which the plackart, or reinforcing breastplate, was secured; at the top are two holed sprockets for the hinged shoulder straps on the backplate.

    FRONT SKIRT AND TASSETS, combined as a single assembly, made up of a single skirt lame, onto which the articulated tassets are attached by means of two pairs of articulation rivets. The skirt lame is set with holes at the sides, through which pass the pierced studs mounted on the waist flange of the breastplate; they are then secured with hooks provided next to the holes on the skirt plate. The tassets are each composed of four lames, attached to each other by means of internal leathers (modern), the outer edges turned and roped. Together with the waist plate the tassets are shaped to accommodate and accentuate the distinctively rounded, voluminous form of Elizabethan trunk hosen.

    BACKPLATE, with turned and roped edges, flanged at the base to form a narrow skirt, which is indented at the midline. At the sides are pierced studs to engage the hinged steel side-straps on the breastplate; at the top are long, hinged shoulder straps, also of steel, pierced with three holes and furnished with locking-pins. The shoulder straps are also set with vertical posts (each with a sprung catch; both modern restorations) for attachment of the pauldrons; the right pauldron post is mounted on a pivoting hinge, itself set on a projection on the inner side of the shoulder strap, to increase the mobility of the right arm and shoulder.

    PAULDRONS, almost symmetrical, the right only slightly cut away at the front to accommodate the spear or lance, of five lames extending in front covering the gussets of the breastplate, the upper lame embossed with a small bulge to accommodate the pierced studs and pins on the breastplate, with keyhole slots at the top for the shoulder posts, the lower lames furnished with brass buckles and upper arm straps.

    VAMBRACES, each composed of an enclosed upper cannon with turning-joint having three upper articulation lames, the main plate cut out for the bend of the arm where it is furnished with a narrow lame; bracelet couter with an enclosed wing or tendon guard, two articulated lames, one above and one below the main plate, and a single inner articulation lame protecting the top of the inner elbow, a feature common to the armour of the Greenwich school; lower cannon, of two main plates hinged longitudinally and fastened with a pierced stud and hook; At the forward edge of the cuff is a separate wrist lame, pivoted to subtly increase the mobility of the hand.

    Fingered GAUNTLETS with pointed cuffs, the inner side consisting of three lames, with two more forming a base of the thumb, in the Greenwich manner, with etched and gilt bands like the rest; five metacarpal plates, embossed knuckle-plate and scaled fingers. The gauntlets have clearly been disassembled at some point, perhaps for cleaning in the 19th century; this is indicated by the fact that the knuckle plates are currently mounted upside down – the one of the shaped knuckles on each plate is slightly smaller than the other three, and is intended to cover the main knuckle of the little finger, however it is currently located over that of the forefinger. The scales for the right thumb are missing, as are also several scales for the little and ring fingers on both gauntlets.

    CUISSES, each formed of eight articulating thigh plates, working on sliding rivets and internal leathers; poleyn made up of a main knee-plate with side-wing and one articulation lame one above and two below, the lowermost edge roped and pierced a pair of holes to accept pins mounted on the greaves.

    GREAVES, each comprised of main front and rear plates hinged and fastened with two pierced studs and hooks, the rear plate extended downwards over the back of the ankle and foot with five articulation lames and a heel plate, the front plate having three lames at the front transitioning into a larger arched plate extending down over the sides of the foot. A small rowel spur, etched and gilt, is riveted onto the heel plate. A third hook and pierced stud fastening, mounted on the heel-plate, engages through a hole in the frontal arch plate, from which continue the integral SABATONS, themselves composed of four lames overlapping downwards, an intermediate plate, and four lames and toe-cap overlapping upwards.


    Falling BUFF, attached to the burgonet when the garniture is configured for heavy cavalry service. Quite thick and heavy (probably at least partially shot-proof), of five plates – a middle chin-plate, cut with slots on either side at the trailing edges to engage with the oblong stops mounted on the cheek-pieces of the burgonet; two falling face-plates above; and two neck plates below. The upper face-plate is pierced at the top with four horizontal slits forming the sight (two on each side of the central bridge), the upper edge strongly roped and with a short projection in the centre which braces the peak; hinged steel clasps on either side (provided with a hole to fit over the stud on the cheek-piece), fastened with hooks, are employed to lock the buff onto the front of the burgonet. The face-plates are held in the raised position by spring-catches. The lower neck-plate is pointed and finished with roping and a row of brass-headed lining rivets. There are no breaths.

    PLACKART, or reinforcing breastplate, shaped to fit very closely over the primary breastplate, to which it is secured by pierced studs and hooks. The folding lance-rest, pierced with four holes, is secured with two bolts; it is locked by a spring when in either a vertical or horizontal position. Crucially, the primary breastplate is fitted with its own tapped holes and bolts on the right side, so that the lance-rest can be used without the plackart. The two upper corners are cut away to accommodate the steel shoulder-straps.

    STIRRUPS. Each arch-shaped, the sides widening towards the base, where they are pierced by three holes; the treads composed of two inner bars (twisted) between two outer bars, the front one serrated on the upper edge; fixed eye, or box, is provided at the top for the stirrup leather. Notably, these are the only pair of Greenwich stirrups known to survive. The stirrups belonging to the Cumberland garniture existed at least until the 1920s, when they were stolen when that armour was in the collection of the American media baron Clarence H. Mackay (between 1922 and 1932); their present location, if they still exist, is unknown (personal communication, Stuart Pyhrr).

    If this is indeed the field garniture of ‘Lord Buckhurst’ recorded in the Almain Album (see below), then it is complete apart from the saddle steels, which are lost. There is certainly no evidence on any of the extant parts that there ever were any other pieces for joust, tourney or formal combat on foot. As a small but very efficiently and elegantly conceived garniture for the field, A62 had at least four essential configurations: (1) for infantry service in the field, employing only the cuirass (worn without the skirt and tassets assembly), burgonet and gauntlets, the arms and shoulders being protected by mail sleeves; (2) light cavalry use, wherein the skirt and tassets could be added; (3) medium cavalry or ‘demi-lance’, adding the pauldrons, vambraces, cuisses and falling buff, and with the lance-rest mounted on the primary breastplate; and (4) heavy cavalry, with the plackart (the lance-rest relocated) worn over the primary breastplate and the greaves and sabatons completing the full leg armour.

    The DECORATION consists of sunken bands, deeply etched and gilt on a formerly heat-tinted or blued ground (most of which has by now been polished away leaving bare steel). The broader vertical bands contain a flowing design of interlacing etched and gilt guilloche on a granulated and blackened ground, through which runs a narrow gilt zig-zag band; the borders have a smaller, simpler version of the same motif, consisting of single undulating riband threaded with a thin gilt line running through its midst, also on a granulated and blackened ground. The edges of the broad bands and the plates are decorated with even narrower borders, filled with minute etched foliage, fully-gilt. The smooth blued surfaces were once a rich, iridescent azure-purple, traces of which remain, especially on the helmet and gauntlet; in the Almain Album (see below), this cosmetic heat-treatment is indicated with a brick-red wash – feeding the myth that some Greenwich armours were ‘russeted’ or browned. The edges throughout are bordered with brass-capped rivets for the lining bands.

    The workmanship of this armour is of a high quality, but like the other extant products of the Greenwich workshop, there are no armourer's marks. A62 is almost completely without restoration, except for the substitution of many modern brass rivets for the old steel brass-capped rivets during cleaning and re-strapping in the past, and the recent restoration of the posts on the steel straps of the backplate which carry the pauldrons.

    English, made in the Royal Workshop, Greenwich under Jacob Halder, c. 1587.

    Skelton I, pl. XXIX; Meyrick Catalogue, p. xiv and no. 740 (?); Dillon, Armourer’s Album, pls. XXX-XXXI; Laking, European Armour IV, pp. 17, 63-76, figs. 1151-3

    Compare the slightly later gauntlet (A276) from the blue and gold Greenwich garniture in the Royal Collection, made for Henry Frederick, Prince of Wales.

    This armour was produced during the time when Jacob Halder was Master of the Greenwich workshop. Halder is first mentioned in a list of workmen at Greenwich in 1553-4, and was almost certainly of German origin, like many of his fellow craftsmen. He is first recorded in a list of Almain armourers of about 1557. In 1531 an armourer of the same name, possibly his father, is recorded as residing in Augsburg in the house of Anna, widow of the armourer Briccius Helmschmid. Jacob Halder became Master Workman of the Almain Armoury at Greenwich in 1576, in succession to John Kelte (or Kelke), which office he held until his death in 1608.

    A drawing probably of this armour is present in the Almain Album (see below), now in the Victoria and Albert Museum (inv. no. D.593&A-1894, plate 43) and is inscribed ‘My Lorde Bucarte’, referring to Thomas Sackville (1536-1608) who was knighted and raised to the peerage on the same day, 8 June, 1567, when he took the title of Baron Buckhurst; he later became Earl of Dorset, in 1604. In early life he devoted himself to literature and music, then to politics and diplomacy. He entered into a vast inheritance upon his father's death in 1566, and, being sagacious, cultivated and of magnificent habits, found favour with Queen Elizabeth I, and was sent to France on official visits in 1568 and 1571. He was constantly employed as a Commissioner at State trials, and was deputed in 1586 to announce the death sentence to Mary Queen of Scots, a painful duty which he performed with much consideration for the victim, receiving from Mary a Calvary which is still at Knole, the house and estate (near Sevenoaks, in Kent) granted to Sackville by the Queen in 1566. His mission as ambassador to the Low Countries in 1587 was less successful: he had too literally obeyed his instructions and was reprimanded with scorn for the ‘shallow judgment which had spoiled the cause, impaired the Queen’s honour and shamed himself’. Buckhurst quickly came back into favour however, taking charge of the defence of the strategically important Sussex coast during the Armada invasion in 1588. He was made a Knight of the Garter the same year and was sent to the Netherlands again in 1589 and 1598. The accession of James I did not affect his fortunes, and in 1603 he was appointed Treasurer for life: he died suddenly at the Council Table at Whitehall in 1608.

    Before it came into the possession of Sir Samuel Rush Meyrick, the history of A62 has yet to be satisfactorily established. A62 was no. IV in the unpublished catalogue, prepared for Meyrick in 1818, of a collection of arms and armour belonging to Domenic Colnaghi. Meyrick states that it was ‘brought from a Château in Brie which belonged to the Ducs de Longueville’. A62 appears to have been no. 1 in a list of the Colnaghi collection acquired by Meyrick around that time, now in the Royal Armouries library. The catalogue by J. R. Planche of the Meyrick Collection, when at South Kensington in 1869, gives (on page xiv) the further particulars that it was taken from the Château de Coulommiers in Brie, when this was ‘dismantled during the first great French Revolution’, and had been the property of Helionorus, the 8th Duke de Longueville. Problematically however, in the strictest sense there was no 8th duke of this name. The 8th and last duc de Longueville was Charles-Paris d’Orleans, killed at the crossing of the Rhine in 1672. The Château of Coulommiers in Brie was built by Caterina Gonzaga, consort of the sixth duke. At the time of the Revolution at the end of the 18th century, it was indeed owned by a member of the de Longueville family – the 8th Marquis de Bucy; he was guillotined and the château destroyed in the French Revolution. The family emigrated to England, one branch of which gave its name to Orton Longueville in Northamptonshire. Major Sergius Mortimer Emmanuel Rinalt de Longueville, 11th marquis de Bucy, died in this country in 1929.

    Since the confusion may stem from the conflation of the 8th Duc and the 8th Marquis, Meyrick’s statement that the armour ‘belonged to Helionorus, eighth Duke of Longueville . . . and came from the Château de Coulommiers en Brie, a castle belonging to the family’ must still be taken seriously; it is almost certainly not purely a fantasy dreamt up by a dealer, as Camp thought. Claude Blair has suggested that A62 might have been a diplomatic gift to Henri, 6th Duke of Longueville (1568-96), whose wife Caterina built the Château de Coulommiers, although, as he says, no record of such a gift survives. Alternatively, if the armour was that of Buckhurst, Blair proposed that it might have been passed on to his third son, Sir William Sackville (about 1568-1592), when he went to fight in France, where he was killed in the skirmish at Bures near Neufchâtel, in which the 6th Duke also took part on the same side. The Duke could therefore have been in a position to acquire this armour after the action, if it remained largely undamaged or if Sir William had been wearing another armour on the day of battle. It is possible, of course, that the armour was actually made for Sir William but under a royal warrant issued in his father's name.

    There is little evidence to suggest an alternative history for the armour’s presence in England between the time of its making and its acquisition by Meyrick. Although Queen Elizabeth I granted a reversion of the manor of Knole to Sackville in 1566, it was not until 1603 that he came into legal possession of the property, and in 1605 (three years before his death) the rebuilding of the house was completed. Knole Park was raided for arms on the 14 August, 1642 (at that time the seat of Edward Sackville, 4th Earl of Dorset) by the Parliamentary forces; five wagon loads of weapons and armour were then removed. It was ordered:

    That such as are rich Arms shall not be made use of, but kept safely for the Earl of Dorset: but such as are fit to be made use of for the service of the Kingdom are to be employed: an inventory to be taken and money to be given to the Earl of Dorset in satisfaction thereof.

    Whether the Buckhurst armour was included amongst the rich arms kept safely for the earl is unknown. The Inventory of ‘ye arms from Knowl 15 August 1642’ contains an item ‘Whit tilting Armor 3’, although A62 was not white but blued (see C. J. Phillips, Arch. Cantiana, XXXIII, November, 1918). The absence of any armour identifiable as A62 in the inventory of arms seized at Knole in August 1642 may however only mean that it was, at that time, stored in another Sackville house.

    The Greenwich royal armour workshop was founded by King Henry VIII in 1515, following the example of the Emperor Maximilian I and the Imperial court workshop at Innsbruck. Successive Master Workmen were Martyn van Royne (until 1521), Erasmus Kyrkenar (c. 1495-1567; appointed Master Workman in 1521), John Kelte (Master 1567-1576), Jacob Halder (Master 1576-1608), William Pickering (1607-8), Thomas Stevens (1618) and Nicholas Sherman (1628 until about 1637), when the line came to an end.

    The school, which developed a characteristic style early in its history –the recognition of which only occurred with the discovery of the Almain Album (see below)– is well-represented in the collections of the Royal Armouries, which includes armours of Henry VIII, Lord North, the Earl of Leicester, the Earl of Worcester, Sir John Smythe, and a helmet of Sir Henry Lee. In the Royal Collection at Windsor Castle there is another of Henry VIII’s Greenwich armours, along with garnitures made for Sir Christopher Hatton and Henry Frederick, Prince of Wales. In the R. L. Scott Collection, now in the care of Glasgow Museums, there are two important examples: the equestrian anime armour of William Herbert, 1st Earl of Pembroke (c. 1555), and the white armour of his son Henry, the 2nd Earl, c. 1575 (both preserved at Wilton House until the 20th century). Another, perhaps the Duke of Norfolk's, is in the possession of the Honourable Artillery Company, and the second armour of Sir Henry Lee is in the possession of the Armourers’ and Brasiers’ Company of London.

    A great deal of research was conducted into the Greenwich royal workshop during the mid- and late 20th century; the work up to 1952 has been carefully sifted and collected in Cripps-Day’s monograph, An Introduction to the Study of Greenwich Armour, privately printed in his series Fragmenta Armamentaria (vol. I, pt. II, wherein the Wallace armour is discussed on pp. 88-9). See also C. R. Beard in The Connoisseur, LXX (1924), pp. 176-7. In 1951 An Exhibition of Armour made in the Royal Workshops at Greenwich was held at the Tower of London, and included nearly all the surviving armours which are described in detail by Mann and Blair in the catalogue.

    Most of the surviving armours of the Greenwich workshops derive from English families, or have been preserved at Windsor Castle or the Tower of London, but a number are now in collections overseas. These include armours of King Henry VIII, Sir James Scudamore, George Clifford 3rd Earl of Cumberland and Henry Herbert 2nd Earl of Pembroke in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (inv. nos. 19.131.1; 11.128.1-.2; 32.130.6; 32.130.5), along with diverse other Greenwich armour parts; elements the ‘quatrefoils’ garniture of Sir Henry Lee, now in the Liverustkammeren, Stockholm; the blue and gold armour made for Friedrich Ulrich, Duke of Brunswick, preserved at Schloss Harbke until 1945 (Cripps-Day and Beard, Z.H.W.K., XI, p. 280; now in the Lauder Collection, New York, the gauntlets in the Metropolitan Museum, inv. no. 14.25.899); and the aforementioned parts now in Chicago.

    Since the exhibition held at the Tower in 1951, more Greenwich armour has come to light, including a boy’s splinted armour of the ‘middle’ period, c. 1550, from Cotehele, now in the Royal Armouries and a close-helmet, etched with the same pattern as the Scudamore armour, from Hengrave Hall, Suffolk, later in the possession of Dr. Richard Williams.

    The Greenwich Armourers’ Album now in the Victoria and Albert Museum, also called the Almain or Jacobe Album, formed part of the Paris dealer Frederic Spitzer’s collection until his death in 1890. It was acquired at the sale in 1893 (lot 3035) by the dealer, Stein, when it was recognised by the Baron de Cosson and acquired in 1894 by the Victoria and Albert Museum for 5,000 francs on the advice of Viscount Dillon.

    At first glance it can appear as though the armours recorded in the Album are arranged in chronological order. However, this is probably not entirely the case, as there is evidence that in the course of rebinding certain pages were displaced, and some of the drawings appear to have been executed in a group together at the same time and so may not represent a strict chronology.
    The Album, containing a series of watercolour designs for armours made at Greenwich, was compiled between 1557 and 1587. It contains twenty-nine armour designs on fifty-six sheets, each showing an armoured figure posed to delineate as much of the technical detail as possible. Additional associated sheets, facing or following the main design, depict any additional parts and pieces of exchange used to configure the armour for different forms of combat, including infantry and light, medium and heavy cavalry service, as well as form use in formal combats such as jousts, tournaments fought on horseback and on foot. The Album has lost some of its designs, the imprints of which can be seen on the reverse of some of the remaining pages. A number of the armours illustrated in the Album survive. Some of these exhibit minor differences from their Album representations, indicating that the designs were drawn up before the armours were made, rather than being some kind of record of work created later.

    Although the decoration of A62 corresponds with that depicted on the page of the Album entitled ‘My Lorde Buckarte’ (Buckhurst), this is not in itself evidence of its identity. More than one armour was produced by the Greenwich workshops with the same zig-zag and guilloche ornament. In 1956 Claude Blair discussed the various surviving armours and armour parts bearing the this pattern in relation to contemporary portraits and to the drawings in the Album in his article ‘A new-found Greenwich helmet’ (Connoisseur Yearbook, 1956, pp. 79-84). Therein he listed the evidence for the existence of four armours decorated with this distinctive scheme. In a paper delivered in 1963 at the IAMAM conference in London, Blair modified his dating of some of this armours.

    i. The burgonet and falling buffe, the right half of the waist-plate, both pauldrons and vambraces, but with extensive repairs and restorations, and a pair of laminated cuisses to the knee, of a white and gilt three-quarter armour for the field, dating from about 1595, are in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (inv. no. 11.128.2). This armour came from Holme Lacey in Herefordshire, the seat of the Scudamore family, and is presumably the armour worn by Sir James Scudamore (1558-1619) in the full-length portrait once in possession of the family, dated 1619, long preserved at Holme Lacy and until recently the property of Lady Chesterfield at Beningborough Hall, Yorkshire (sold 10 -13 June 1958, lot 1182). It is presumably not recorded in the Album because the last surviving drawing of the series pre-dates the making of this armour.

    Three armours, all blued and gilt and etched with the zig-zag and guilloche pattern, are depicted in the Album (Nos. ii, iii and iv below).

    ii. Drawings nos. 51 and 52 show respectively a three-quarter armour of similar design to no. i, and its extra pieces, consisting of a falling buffe, plackart, the three plates for a saddle, and a pair of stirrups. Drawing no. 51 is inscribed ‘My Lorde Cumpton’, that is, either Henry, 1st Lord Compton (1544-89), or more probably his son William, 2nd Lord Compton (1568-1630), created 1st Earl of Northampton in 1618. Nothing further is known of the later history of this armour, although Blair tentatively suggested that this may be the armour depicted in a miniature of an unknown man, in the British Royal Collection (RCIN 420895). A previous identification of this miniature as Lord Buckhurst was based only on the resemblance of the armour in which he is represented to A62 and to the drawing in the Album. It is not borne out, however, by comparison with other portraits of Buckhurst. The miniature is now tentatively identified as possibly the 2nd Lord Compton, and dated c. 1600.

    iii. Drawings nos. 54 and 55, which differ from no. ii only in being for a complete, head to foot armour. The owner's name is given as ‘My Lorde Buckarte’, that is, either Thomas Sackville (1536-1609), who was created Lord Buckhurst in 1567, or possibly his son Robert who was known by this title after his father had been created 1st Earl of Dorset in March 1603/4. Nothing is known for certain of the later history of this armour, although A62 has long been identified as the armour of Lord Buckhurst on the grounds of its similarity to these drawings.

    iv. Drawing no. 46 which shows the extra pieces for an armour for the field, tourney course, tilt, and possibly barriers; consisting of the reinforce fit below the sights of the field or barrier helmet, a two-piece wrapper for the tourney course, a plackart, a right full pauldron for use on all occasions except with a lance, burgonet, falling buff without a pierced sight, grandguard, guard of the vambrace, and manifer, the last three all for the joust, and a set of saddle steels. The drawing of the armour itself is missing but has left an impression on the page originally facing it, which shows it to have been a cap-à-pie harness fitted with a close helmet for the field. The owner's name has unfortunately not been transferred.

    The fact that the Scudamore armour is not recorded in the Album, at least in the book’s present form, indicates that it cannot be assumed that the surviving parts of the other armours of this pattern are necessarily those shown in its drawings.

    In addition to A62 and the Scudamore armour, Blair listed surviving parts of two or perhaps three similarly decorated armours. Firstly are a field cuirass, a pair of pauldrons, and a pair of arms for field and now white and gilt (formerly blued and gilt, traces of bluing being preserved under some of the rivets; personal communication, Jonathan Tavares, 2018), formerly in the collection of the Duke of Ratibor at Schloss Grafenegg, Austria, sold at the Ratibor sale in Lucerne in 1933, and now in the Harding collection in the Art Institute of Chicago (inv. no. 2698; (Z.H.W.K., XIII, p. 247; Greenwich Armour Exhibition, Tower of London, 1951, no. 19, pl. XX). The left couter is pierced for the stud to secure the guard of the vambrace used for the joust. Secondly, there is a close-helmet for the field, joust and tourney, lacking its visor and upper bevor, the subject of Blair’s article, then in the collection of Dr. Richard Williams, but now in the Royal Armouries (inv. IV.577). Dr Williams bought it at the sale of the contents of Hengrave Hall, Suffolk, in 1952. Although it lacks its visor its purpose can be recognised by the fact that it is designed to turn on its gorget and has no neck-plates of its own, and by the presence of a pierced peg on each check-piece for the attachment of the wrapper for the tourney, and another on the left side of the skull for the lock of the grandguard for the joust. This helmet may originally have been blued. It is now covered with dark brown patination, with a considerable amount of gilding preserved in the strapwork and borders. Blair suggested that this might be part of an armour illustrated in a group of portraits of Peregrine Bertie, Lord Willoughby d’ Eresby (1555-1601), the original (or the earliest copy of the lost original) of which is probably the painting at Grimsthorpe; an 18th-century copy is in the Royal Armouries (inv. no. I.67). This shows him reclining on the ground wearing a tight-fitting peascod doublet of black cloth. This was painted over the cuirass, tassets, and pauldrons, but whether to represent some fine semi-transparent fabric or as a second thought on the part of the artist or of his patron is not clear. He wears vambraces and complete leg-harness with laminated cuisses. On the ground beside him are a close-helmet with jousting visor and a pair of field gauntlets. Suspended on a tree behind him on the right in the middle distance are a cuirass with its tassets, and a gorget. The helmet in the painting does not show the studs for the reinforces but, since it has a jousting visor and is, therefore, clearly not intended for use in the field, this is presumably due to inadvertence on the part of the painter, who has apparently placed the rivets of the hinge for the cheek- piece incorrectly. Blair very tentatively suggested that the armour in this portrait, and the drawing no. 46 in the Album (no. iv above) might be one and the same. Assuming that the Royal Armouries close-helmet was not part of the ‘one fayer tilt armor, furnished with head peece, shield and gauntlets’ of the post-mortem inventory of Sir Thomas Kyston the Younger (1541-1603) at Hengrave, somehow saved from the confiscation of the family armoury in 1643, Blair tentatively suggested that it might be the helmet in the portrait of Peregrine Bertie. The Grafenegg pieces, since they include a vambrace for the joust, may also have formed part of this garniture.

    Thirdly, there is a left field gauntlet from a white and gilt armour of this group, formerly in the collection of the late R. M. Lebrun, and now in the Musée d’ Armes, Liège (inv. no. 10276M-Lb12). This might be part of the Grafenegg armour.

    Since Blair wrote his article the identification of these armours has been further complicated by the appearance of a portrait of Sir John Burroughs with his son, dated 1619, showing the vambraces, gorget, and helmet with field visor of an armour decorated with this pattern (London art market in the late 1950s).