'With Swords by their Side: Arms & Armour of the Civil Wars' - a talk by Keith Dowen

23-06-21 - 23-06-21,
7:30 PM - 9:00 PM

Admission: ££5 Adults, £4 Students/Friends of the Museum

Location: Via Zoom

With the nation having enjoyed many years of peace and lacking a standing army from which to obtain equipment, the opening months of the Civil War in 1642 witnessed both King and Parliament vying for control of the nation's arms stores. Although both sides also drew on native arms producers, the scale of the conflict also forced them to look abroad for supplies. Drawing upon surviving pieces, documentary sources and artistic depictions, this talk will examine the production, use and effectiveness of arms and armour during this turbulent period.

Keith Dowen is Assistant Curator of Armour at the Royal Armouries in Leeds. After working at the Wallace Collection in London for a number of years as a long-term volunteer conservation department assistant and freelance arms and armour researcher, Keith was appointed Assistant Curator of European Armour at the Royal Armouries in October 2014. The following year he was awarded an MA in Medieval and Renaissance Studies from University College London, having written his dissertation on the evolution of armour in early 14th century Europe.

Keith has lectured widely, both in the UK and abroad, on a range of subjects encompassing both arms and armour and British military history. In 2012 he was appointed Honorary Deputy Editor of the Journal of the Arms and Armour Society and in 2016 he joined the editorial board of Acta Militaria Mediaevalia. Since joining the Royal Armouries Keith has been heavily involved in a number of on-going museum projects across the UK concerning the display and interpretation of 17th century arms and armour and has organised a number of specialist seminars. Keith is also involved with the identification and cataloguing of finds of medieval arms and armour from archaeological sites in Poland.

Keith’s main area of interest focuses on the Thirty Years War and British Civil Wars and he has spent a number of years researching buff-leather coats and the manufacture, supply and design of 17th century armour. Other major areas of research include the evolution of armour in the 14th century, particularly with regard to the early development of plate, and the equipment of the common soldier from the 12th to the 16th centuries.

This is part of a 4 part lecture series, discounted Season Tickets for which can be purchased here.

The other talks in this series are:

Wednesday 9 June at 7.30pm - Stuart Orme on 'Making a Soldier: Cromwell's First Campaign'

Wednesday 16 June at 7.30pm - David Flintham on 'Rediscovering London's Lost Civil War Defences'

Wednesday 30 June at 7.30pm - Prof Steve Murdoch on 'History v. Heritage: the Mythology of Marston Moor'

Click on the links for individual tickets to these talks.

PLEASE NOTE: These talks will be held online via Zoom. Joining details will be sent out a few days before the talk. Talks will be recorded and put on a private stream for ticket holders to view after the talk if they miss it or wish to re-watch.

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