Sunday, 18 May 2014

The Duke of Somerset's Company.

Wars of the Roses armies in The Perfect Captain's rule system, 'A Coat of Steel', are certainly entertaining to put together. You don't need a huge number of figures to make up the contingents which are the building blocks for an army. In fact, I discovered that I had painted too many figures for the Duke of Somerset's Company and now I have a ready made contingent for the other company I'm going to paint as part of Somerset's Ward.
Below you can see the graphic of the company, containing just 24 figures! Each of these contingents is made up of my standard configuration of 1 bowman to every billman. To reflect the somewhat adhoc nature of the Lancastrians in 1471, other contingents will be made up entirely of Shire Levy archers, which require only 8 figures for a 4 stand unit.

I can find hardly any information about Sir Nicholas Hervey, except that he was born in Thurleigh in Bedfordshire in 1439 and that he was killed on the battlefield at Tewkwsbury. At 32 years of age, he may have been one of the more experienced commanders on the battlefield that day, but I can find no other references to him participating in any other engagement. He was outlived by both his father and his mother. He had two older and two younger brothers, two of whom, Thomas and John could certainly have fought alongside Nicholas at Tewkesbury, although this seems unlikely.

In 1471, Sir Nicholas was the Recorder of Bristol and when Queen Margaret arrived there on the 1st May, he joined the Lancastrians on their march to cross the River Severn. It is possible that Sir Nicholas was at the head of a contingent supplied by the city and so I imagine my contingent as Bristolians, but in the livery of the Duke, as company commander, rather than anything that may have been supplied by the city for them to wear at such short notice. Certainly, it was recorded by the author of the 'Arrivall' that Bristol supplied the Lancastrians with money, men and artillery.