Loyalty – The 5th Marquess of Winchester
A late 17th century slide commemorating John Paulet, the 5th Marquess of Winchester [1598 -1675]. The Marquess was a staunch Royalist supporter and ally of Charles 1st. On every pane of glass in his manor Basing House he had etched with a diamond the family motto : Aymez Loyauté [love loyalty] and the house was called Loyalty. During the Civil War he agreed with Charles’s military advisers that Basing House, fortified and garrisoned, would be much to the Royalists’ advantage, as it commanded the main road from the West Counties to London. Royalist forces were garrisoned there. Winchester declared that if the king had no more ground in England but Basing House he would adventure it as he did and maintain it to the uppermost. The Siege of Basing House was one of the most remarkable episodes of the Civil War. With a small number of men, for three months from August 1643, Basing House resisted formidable attacks by Roundhead troops. Cromwell finally broke the siege in October and Winchester was taken prisoner and Loyalty House was pillaged and razed to the ground. He was charged with High Treason but survived the Restoration.
The slide is high carat gold and set with a portrait of the Marquess on a sky blue ground. To reverse in enamel the initial W surmounted by a marquess’s coronet on a duck egg blue ground and with black enamel arcaded sides and lugs. It measures 2/3 of an inch by 1/2 an inch. Extremely fine quality and beautifully executed.
The storming of Basing House by Cromwell
The Dowager Marchioness’s monument to her husband :
Here lieth interred the body of the most noble and mighty prince, John Powlet, Marquess of Winchester, Earl of Wiltshire, Baron of St John of Basing, first Marquess of England : A man of exemplary piety towards God, and of inviolable fidelity towards his sovereign ; in whose cause he fortified his house of Basing, and defended it against the rebels to the last extremity.