A different view of the Earl of Manchester

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The Earl of Manchester, whose regiment or ‘lifeguard’ we re-enact, was a pivotal figure in the first English Civil War from 1642-45.

The always-excellent The 1640s Picturebook blog has published an image of a painting, currently held by the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford, of The Earl of Manchester which gives a slightly different view to the standard ‘heroic’ poses we see in other paintings.

It’s dated around 1640, so just prior to the English Civil War but by this point the King of England, Charles I, had just engaged to two disastrous wars with Scotland – dubbed ‘The Bishops’ Wars’ over the power of the crown and the imposition of the English form of worship on the Scots. They are often referred to as the prelude to the English Civil War and within two years, Manchester would be amongst those former friends of Charles facing him across the battlefield at Edgehill in Warwickshire.

Manchester is a fascinating character from the period who is often overlooked by historians. We’ve recently put together a biography of him in our history section – please do go check it out!

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