From librarian to monarch

There are times when answering enquiries from members of the public can lead to the most unexpected results. Stuart Ivinson, librarian at the Royal Armouries, recounts the story of how his involvement in a project ten years ago saw his own likeness immortalised as that of one of England’s greatest monarchs. 2007 marked the 700th anniversary of the death of Edward I of England, the Hammer of the Scots and one of Medieval England’s greatest monarchs. He died on July 7th,Read more

St George in the Armouries

As you might suspect St George makes appearances throughout our collection but never more splendidly as on the silvered and engraved armour of King Henry VII, as Keeper of Tower Armouries, Bridget Clifford, explains. You don’t get more English than St George do you? Well perhaps Henry VIII, the tubby bloke with poor marital history – six wives: divorced, beheaded, died, divorced, beheaded, survived – who usually tops the polls of monarchs people remember. So for the quintessential depiction ofRead more

Meet Team England

Our Easter Tournament sees jousters from across the globe compete for personal glory and international bragging rights. Meet Team England, represented this year by Andy Deane and Steve Hemphill. Andy “Old Iron-arm” Deane As a young man-at-arms, in 1985, Andy strode out in front of an audience for his first ‘Trial by Combat’. Nervous, and with sword and shield in hand, he fought hard and well. That was it – he was hooked. As a boy, Andy only ever wantedRead more

Southampton and Shakespeare reunited

The armour of the 3rd Earl of Southampton took a trip last week, from its home at the Royal Armouries Museum, Leeds to appear in a new exhibition, Shakespeare: Staging the World, at the British Museum in London. The Earl of Southampton is the only acknowledged patron of William Shakespeare, and this three-quarter armour was recorded being worn by the Earl in a portrait. From this evidence historians were able to accurately establish the provenance of the piece. This beautifulRead more

Ladies Defend St George's Honour

In celebration of St George’s Day the Royal Armouries has a special connection with local archery club the Bowmen of Adel. The Royal Armouries Arrow was commissioned by the Royal Armouries and presented to the Leeds based archery club in 2005. The trophy arrow is housed within our Leeds Museum’s Tournament Gallery for safekeeping, then lent for presentation for the annual competition celebrating St George’s Day. The name of the winner and their club is inscribed on a shield which hangsRead more

Collections Up Close Special

With Royal Wedding celebrations in full swing this month we’re exploring armours which relate to one of the most influential marriages in British history. The Royal Armouries at the Tower of London is home to ornate armours which belonged to King Henry VIII and commemorate his marriage to Katherine of Aragon. Henry was crowned and married Katherine in 1509 when he was 17 years old and she was 23. Katherine had previously been married to his elder brother, Prince ArthurRead more