The King's Beasts

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An illustrated presentation on how the Royal Beasts of King Henry VIII at Hampton Court Palace might have been painted. Patrick Baty acted as the consultant on matters of heraldry and colour.

Text of The King's Beasts

Patrick BatyArchitectural Paint and ColourI provide advice on many aspects of architectural colour Here is one of my more unusual projects...

The Kings BeastsA Recent Project

2009 The 500th anniversary of Henry VIIIs accession to the throne Patrick Baty was commissioned to carry out research on the colour of King Henrys heraldic Beasts for Hampton Court Palace

Beasts in HeraldryMythical creatures were often adopted as a personal device or emblem From earliest times each English monarch has used beasts to symbolise their descent and familial allegiances

Queen Jane SeymourKing Henry had a number of beasts carved to celebrate his marriage to Jane Seymour in 1536 These were found throughout the palace grounds and twelve of them lined the Moat Bridge

Hampton Court Palace

The remains of King Henrys original beasts were destroyed in the reign of King William III (1650-1702) New ones were designed and carved in 1909-1910

Hampton Court PalaceThe Moat Beasts were reinstated in 1911 They were not painted but what if they were?

Moat Beasts

The Crowned Lion of EnglandThe existing beasts on the Moat Bridge are currently unpainted

The Crowned Lion of EnglandHe supports a shield bearing the impaled arms of Henry VIII and Queen Jane A golden lion has been the royal beast of England since the early 12th century

Royal Arms 1405 1603used by King Henry VIII

Queen Jane Seymours Arms

Impaled Arms

King Henrys arms

Queen Janes arms

The husbands and wifes arms are joined

I obtained much information from hand-painted manuscripts of the 16th century

Henry VIIIs Crowned Lion

The Seymour PantherThe golden flames indicate his fragrant breath He bears the Seymour wings on his shield

The GreyhoundA favourite Tudor beast He bears the three lions of England on his shield

Henry VIIs Standard

The Greyhound of Richmond with the red rose of Lancaster

The YaleA Beaufort beast He has the body of an antelope, a lions tail and horns which can swivel round to counter attack from all quarters

The YaleThe Duke of Somersets YaleThe arms are: France modern and England quarterly impaled quarterly with 1) 2) 3) 4) Howard; Thomas of Brotherton; Warenne and Mowbray

The Tudor DragonUsed by Henry VIIIs grandfather as a token of his supposed descent from Cadwalader

King Cadwaladers DragonSemi-mythical king of Gwynedd, North Wales

The Queens UnicornThis beast supports Queen Janes sixquartered shield

The Royal DragonThis beast supports a shield bearing France modern and England quarterly

The Queens LionJane Seymours badge

This beast supports a shield bearing Queen Janes badge

White Lions

...of March

...of Mowbray

...of Henry FitzRoy

Black Bull of ClarenceHe supports a shield bearing the Tudor Rose, which symbolised the union of the houses of York and Lancaster Green and white were the Tudor livery colours

Black Bulls

The Queens PantherHe bears the impaled arms of Henry VIII and Queen Jane

Heraldic Panther

How the Moat Beasts might look if painted

2009 promises to be a colourful year at Hampton Court Palace

(The Baty Griffin)

Acknowledgements: College of Arms Historic Royal Palaces Sam Styles SJS Photos Museo Thyssen-Bornemisza, Madrid Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna, Gemldegalerie