leeds museums and galleries

A Roman cavalry parade helmet, early 3rd century AD and probably made in the Danube valley.

This elaborately decorated helmet was made from a single sheet of metal. It has an eagle’s head on the crest, winged sea-dragons, and a feathered border that ends in a bird’s head.

It is too fragile to ever have been worn into battle. It would have been used as part of a ceremony or parade.

It is in the Norwich Castle Museum and Art Gallery

Image from the Leeds Museum and Galleries flickr: Helmet

The Honourable Elizabeth Ingram (later Mrs Hugo Meynell) (c.1789). John Hoppner (English, 1758-1810). Oil on canvas. Leeds Museums and Galleries.

Mrs Elizabeth Meynell (1762-1817) was the second sister of Lady Beauchamp and married Hugo Meynell (1759-1810) of the well-known Staffordshire fox-hunting family in 1782. Elizabeth is presented as an alluring and seductive beauty. The landscape background is remarkably abstract, using strong colour and thick impasto.

Coin moulds for forging ‘silver’ denarii.

They were found in Lingwell Gate in West Yorkshire, between Leeds and Wakefield. Dated to 180-225 AD they would have been used to create forgeries of official Roman coinage. This was a popular thing to do before the debasement of the silver coins in later years.

Image from the Leeds Museum and Galleries flickr: Moulds

The Letter (c.1924). Harold Knight (English, 1874-1961). Oil on canvas. Leeds Museums and Galleries.

After spending time in Paris, studying art under Jean-Paul Laurens and Benjamin-Constant, then at Staithes on the North Yorkshire coast, Harold Knight moved in 1907, with Laura, to Newlyn, a fishing port in Cornwall, where they became part of the famous Newlyn School.

Scotland Forever!
By Lady Butler.
1881.

The glorious charge made by the Scots Greys at the Battle of Waterloo on the 18th of June, 1815. Known widely as the Scots Greys the Regiment was actually titled at this time 2nd Dragoons (Royal British North Dragoons) and it wasn’t officially known as the Royal Scots Greys until the late 19th Century.

Interestingly too modern evidence suggests that the state of the ground on the 18th meant the Greys did not charge at a gallop and instead attacked at more of a trot. Though I must confess I need to read into this.

That being said, whatever the speed the charge it proved a success and along with the rest of the Union Brigade and the Household Brigade the charging British cavalry removed the French 45th Line Regiment from the fight.

After the famous charge the Greys would see itself used in a further four charges and by the end of the day just 1 in 16 of the men could still be fielded. In all 102 men of the Greys were killed and 98 wounded out of the 391 that began the day of the 18th of June.

The painting by Lady Butler can be seen in the Leeds Art Gallery in the UK.

To discover more of the history of the Royal Scots Greys (2nd Dragoons) and see some amazing artefacts do visit the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards Museum in Edinburgh Castle.