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20 May 2020*CANCELLED* The Norman Knight; Arms and Armour and the Bayeaux Tapestry
15 April 2020*CANCELLED* Heritage from the Orient – The Birth of European Porcelain
18 March 2020*CANCELLED* Dame Zaha Hadid
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16 October 2019Three Great Families and their Gardens; a History of the Astors, Rothchilds & Sackville Wests
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20 March 2019Victoria and Albert - Art and Love
20 February 2019Lawrence of Arabia - Excavating a Legend
16 January 2019Sensation and Pleasure in 18th Century France
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*CANCELLED* The Norman Knight; Arms and Armour and the Bayeaux Tapestry Tobias Capwell Wednesday 20 May 2020

We regret that this lecture has been cancelled, but it has been re-scheduled for April 2022!

The Norman invasion of England in 1066 is commonly understood as the stage on which the medieval knight made his spectacular debut, fighting on horseback with spear and sword, trampling 'The Dark Ages' under the hooves of his warhorse and ushering in 'The Age of Chivalry'. Although there is some truth to this idea, the reality is more complex. Certainly the Norman way of knightly warfare was quite new in certain ways, as was their use of the image of the mounted knight in their art, foremost, the Bayeux Tapestry. This epic embroidery employs the knight in armour as one of its key visual elements. However, because Norman arms and armour is not very well understood by most historians, many of the subtleties of the 'tapestry' as a form of graphic storytelling have been overlooked or misunderstood. Here we delve deeper into the realities of war at the time of the Conquest to better appreciate the ways in which the Bayeux Tapestry was intended to be 'read' and interpreted.

Toby Capwell is Curator of Arms and Armour at the Wallace Collection in London and an internationally-acknowledged authority on Medieval and Renaissance weapons. He is the author of numerous books on the subject of arms and armour, including Masterpieces of European Arms and Armour at the Wallace Collection (2011; Apollo Magazine Book of the Year 2012); The Noble Art of the Sword: Fashion and Fencing in Renaissance Europe 1520-1630, ex. cat. (2012); Armour of the English Knight 1400 – 1450 (2015; Military History Monthly Illustrated Book of the Year 2017); ans most recently Arms and Armour of the Medieval Joust (2018). Toby also appears regularly on television, most recently on A Stitch in Time (2018; BBC4); as presenter and armour advisor on Richard III: The New Evidence (2014; C4), and as the writer and presenter of Metalworks: The Knight's Tale (2012; BBC4).

In 2015 Toby had the unusual honour of serving as one of the two fully armoured horsemen escorting the remains of King Richard III, from the battlefield at Bosworth to their final resting place in Leicester Cathedral.