Sir James Scudamore (1558–1619) was a prominent Elizabethan soldier and courtier. Also an enthusiastic jouster, he was praised in Edmund Spenser’s Faerie Queene (published 1596) as an example of chivalry personified.
This armor was part of a large garniture, which probably had exchange pieces to adapt it for cavalry, infantry, and possibly also tournament use. It was made in the royal workshops at Greenwich about 1595–96, perhaps in anticipation of Scudamore’s participation in the 1596 naval attack on Cadiz, Spain. Scudamore’s portrait, still in the possession of his descendants, shows him wearing this armor.
The remains of this and the earlier Scudamore armor (Metropolitan Museum of Art, accession number 11.128.1)were found, badly damaged and incomplete, in 1909, in Holme Lacy, the ancestral home of the Scudamores. The armors were restored and completed in The Metropolitan Museum of Art in 1915, by the armorer Daniel Tachaux. The parts made by Tachaux include the breastplate, backplate, and gauntlets.
This artwork is meant to be viewed from right to left. Scroll left to view more.
Use your arrow keys to navigate the tabs below, and your tab key to choose an item
Title:Armor of Sir James Scudamore (1558–1619)
Armorer:Made under the direction of Jacob Halder (British, master armorer at the royal workshops at Greenwich, documented in England 1558–1608)
Armorer: Breastplate, backplate, and gauntlets made by Daniel Tachaux (French, 1857–1928, active in France and America) in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Armor Workshop
Date:ca. 1595–96; restored and completed, 1915
Medium:Steel, gold, leather
Dimensions:H. 70 1/4 in. (178.5 cm); Wt. 50 lb. 7 oz. (22.88 kg)
Classification:Armor for Man
Credit Line:Frederick C. Hewitt Fund, 1911
Ex. coll.: Sir James Scudamore and Edwyn Francis Scudamore-Stanhope, 10th Earl of Chesterfield, Holme Lacey, Herefordshire, England.
London. H. M. Tower of London. "Exhibition of Armour Made in the Royal Workshops at Greenwich," May 22–September 29, 1951, no. 15.
Knight Frank and Rutley. Contents of Holme Lacy, Near Hereford.. London: Knight Frank and Rutley, January 31–February 3, 1910. p. 34, no. 413–14.
Brown, G. Elsworth. "A Suit of Armor and a Lawsuit." Magazine of Antique Firearms (April 1911), pp. 13–14.
Dean, Bashford. "The Armor of Sir James Scudamore." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin (June 1913), pp. 118–23, figs. 1–3.
Dillon Viscount Dillon. "The Chesterfield Armour in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York." The Archaeological Journal (1915), pp. 75–76, ill.
Dean, Bashford. Notes on Arms and Armor. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1916. pp. 63–68, figs. 2–4, ill.
Dean, Bashford. "The Armor of Sir James Scudamore." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin (March 1916), pp. 69–71, ill.
Dean, Bashford. "Notes on the Armour of Sir James Scudamore." The Archaeological Journal (1920), pp. 226–28.
Laking, Guy Francis, Charles A. de Cosson, and Francis Henry Cripps-Day. A Record of European Armour and Arms Through Seven Centuries. Vol. IV. London: G. Bell and Sons, 1920–1922. pp. 63–71, figs. 1145–49.
Beard, Charles R. "Missing Armours: A National Portrait Gallery Discovery." The Connoisseur (1924), pp. 176–77, 181 (a similar armor depicted in a painting).
Cripps-Day, Francis Henry. A Record of Armour Sales, 1881–1924. London: G. Bell and Sons, 1925. p. 152, nos. 413–14.
Grancsay, Stephen V. "Swords from the Dresden Armory." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin (February 1929), p. 90.
Dean, Bashford, and Robert T. Nichol. Handbook of Arms and Armor : European and Oriental, edited by Stephen V. Grancsay. 4th ed. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, October 1930. p. 142, fig. 95.
Cripps-Day, Francis Henry. "An Introduction to the Study of Greenwich Armour." Fragmenta Armamentaria (1934), pp. 88–89 (Scudamore armors discussed).
Tower of London Armouries. Exhibition of Armour Made in the Royal Workshops at Greenwich, 22nd May–29th September, 1951. London: H. M. Stationery Office, 1951. no. 15, pl. XIX.
Curtis & Henson. Catalogue of the Important Contents of Beningbrough Hall, York. London: Curtis & Henson, June 10–13, 1958. p. 57, no. 1182 (portrait of Sir James Scudamore wearing this armor).
Cornforth, John. "Kent Church Court, Heredfordshire, II, The House of Mr. J. H. S. and Lady Patricia Lucas-Scudamore." Country Life (December 22, 1966), pp. 1688–91 (Scudamore family discussed).
Wallace Collection and A.V.B. Norman. European Arms and Armour Supplement. Wallace Collection Catalogues. London: Printed for the Trustees by Balding + Mansell, 1986. pp. 33–36 (similarly decorated Greenwich armors discussed).
Williams, Alan, and Anthony de Reuck. The Royal Armoury at Greenwich 1515–1649: A History of Its Technology. Royal Armouries Monograph, Vol. 4. Leeds: Trustees of the Royal Armouries, 1995. pp. 101–102, ill.
Reuck, Anthony de. "Greenwich Revisited: or Gunpowder and the Obsolescence of Armour." The Journal of the Arms and Armour Society 15, no. 7 pp. 426–43.
Williams, Alan. The Knight and the Blast Furnace: A History of the Metallurgy of Armour in the Middle Ages & the Early Modern Period. History of Warfare, Vol. 12. Leiden: Brill, 2002. pp. 789–90.
Pyhrr, Stuart W. "Of Arms and Men: Arms and Armor at the Metropolitan, 1912–2012." The Metropolitan Museum of Art Bulletin (Summer 2012), pp. 14–15, figs. 17–18.
The Met Collection API is where all makers, creators, researchers, and dreamers can connect to the most up-to-date data and public domain images for The Met collection. Open Access data and public domain images are available for unrestricted commercial and noncommercial use without permission or fee.
We continue to research and examine historical and cultural context for objects in The Met collection. If you have comments or questions about this object record, please complete and submit this form. The Museum looks forward to receiving your comments.