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

What a corker!

XVI.258A – Tower Hamlets Rifle Volunteers Officer’s Helmet Conservation work has recently commenced on a Tower Hamlets Rifle Volunteers Officer’s regimental helmet, which will shortly be going on display at the Tower of London. The helmet is of the Home Service Pattern design, introduced in May 1878. The body of the helmet is made of cork, covered in black cloth, with two seams on each side. The chin chain is made of interlocking silver-plated rings, backed with leather and velvet.Read more

When was the last battle in England fought?

The last battle on English soil was fought on 18 December 1745, when dragoons of the Duke of Cumberland’s Government army caught up with the rearguard of the retreating Jacobite forces of Charles Edward Stuart – ‘Bonnie Prince Charlie’. The rebel Jacobites had advanced as far as Derby, but due to lack of support from the people of England decided to retreat back towards Scotland. By 18 December they had reached Penrith in Cumberland, and as the rearguard was passingRead more

Battle of Mons, 1914 – a Personal Account

The First World War erupted in August 1914, as German troops drove across Belgium meeting the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) based around Mons on the 23rd. The battle raged for several days as British and French forces were initially driven back until they held the Germans in early September and regained some lost territory. Housed in the Royal Armouries archive’s collection in Leeds is the diary of Captain Edward Stone. Captain Stone began the war as second-in-command of B CompanyRead 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