It is the summer of 1983 and a just turned 16 years old G is making his only ever trip to Warwick Castle with his older sister, her husband, their baby daughter and G's best mate. It is a lovely August day and the party are laid out on the green in the centre of the castle enjoying the warmth and fresh air. Young niece is busy crawling around eating daisies or something, as happy as can be.
Move on to the gift shop and the purchase of a certain tankard.
Striding forwards nearly 30 years, G is clearing his late mother's house and finds that tankard again. G is also slowly building up info on the Bannockburn era of Anglo-Scots warfare. The tankard stands out like a beacon in the dark and G decides he must paint its subject matter.
But it is yellow, a colour G does not like to paint, though has attempted on a few occasions, notably with his TYW Swedish Yellow Regiment and on the recently completed Sir William Pennington.
It had to be done.
I do not know whose retinue Ralph de Monthermer was part of, but he was there, at Bannockburn I mean. Graham Turner's painting in the Osprey Campaign Bannockburn book shows him alongside such worthies as Marmaduke de Thweng, Humphrey de Bohun, Earl of Hereford, and the late Gilbert de Clare, Earl of Gloucester, so I am going for the joint Gloucester/ Hereford battle, of which he is my first member.
I have several more exmples of heraldry from this particular battle within Edward's army, so he will be joined soon by de Bohun and co.
|The tankard. Ralph de Monthermer, earl of Hertford (and later of Gloucester). There is some interesting blurb on the back about his life, how he was imprisoned by Edward I for secretly marrying his daughter, Joanna, etc.|
|Slightly dark photo. His arms are Or, eagle displayed vert armed and langued gules. Why is green such an uncommonly used colour in heraldry?|
|Slightly better photo (?)|
|The other side. Astute viewers may have noticed that I tried to copy the details of the tankard picture, not just the heraldry, by giving him a sword in his right hand, for example. Fireforge Games parts made up the figure again.|