Wednesday, 30 March 2011

George Neville, Third Lord of Bergavenny (1)

George Neville (1469-1535) Third Lord of Bergavenny.

This is the first of a two part post to illustrate the standard of George Neville along with showing the very first painted examples of the new Perry Tudor heads released earlier this month. The next post will feature the command group based and ready for action.

The image above is a pen and chalk drawing attributed to Hans Holbein the younger and dated to the early 1530's. One of the aspects which drew me to the Tudors was the change in portraiture to more lifelike imagery, you can really get a sense of character in the subject.

George Neville was a victim of Henry VII who fined him the astronomical sum of £70'650 for retaining 471 men in contravention of the 1507 statute of liveries which he put in place in an attempt to legislate against individuals building private armies. Neville was suspected of harbouring Yorkist sympathies and this punishment was an instrument to guarantee loyalty. Neville paid off a small amount and two years later the king died with his son issuing a pardon. Four years later and the rise in popularity is evident as we see Neville a general in middle ward of the King's army of 1513 and, from his own estates and recruitment.....he took a large retinue !

Being one of the principal commanders and with a sense of history Neville was an obvious choice to have his banner represented, that was the easy part..... as what is now a trend in my Tudor flag research, I had to do a fair bit of digging on this one.

Below left is an extract from a document of the College of Arms, dated 1513 (possibly executed to list the principal knights who went on the campaign) it is this example which I have based my final drawing upon. There is another surviving example which is similar but the banner is horizontally parted green and white with the motto over three scrolls, this is dated around 1530 so either the banner changed or there were variations, I chose to go for the red banner as it works better visually and is closer to the period I am interested in. The motto which features upon both depictions is 'Tenir promesse vient de noblesse' this translates as; 'To keep a promise comes from nobleness.'

Below right is the basic line drawing ready for painting along with a colour example, click the image to see the details in full. In the latter I have painted all of the 'fiddly bits' to completion but left the main bodies of colour in their shade tone so that they can be highlighted after affixing to the flag pole and folded.

Here we have the finished flag proudly held by a stoic standard bearer, the sharp eyed of you will notice he has one of the new Perry Tudor heads. This works quite well with the body and illustrates one of the poorer knights who could not afford the latest maximilian armour. As an extra treat here is a trumpeter with another of the heads.


  1. Really great stuff Stuart, your blog is not just wonderful painted minis, but a reference source for flags, heraldry and historical biogs - what more could a gamer ask for?

    Those Tudor heads look very good and will really set your army off for the early Tudor period.

  2. Beautiful work Stuart. I love the new Tudor heads and the flag.



  3. Excellent, and intelligent, conversion. Looking forward to seeing more of the same.


  4. Nice those Tudor heads. I will have to get some for my Henry VIII army!