Showing posts from December, 2023

Cannons for the Catholic Confederacy

 The seventeenth-century siege was 'an affair of artillery', but the Irish had no proper artillery Raw Generals and Green Soldiers, Catholic Armies in Ireland 1641-1643 Padraig Lenihan The above quote sums up the state of the Irish Confederate artillery train  rather succinctly; plus, it also explains why they didn't fare particularly well in a war of sieges.  Demi-culverin Clearly the Irish had some guns, but what did they have and how many? Details are scant. The Irish did not have expertise in gun-founding, just two gun foundries existed in Ireland and they were in the Anglo Scottish settler communities: Boyle's foundry at Cappoquin and Blacknall's at Ballinakill.  Irish attempts at artillery manufacturing did not go well: Viscount Clanmalier had a tin cannon made that simply did not work; the leather cannon used at Ballyalla was even worse as it effectively blew up. They fared much better making fake cannons: a wooden cannon helped Daniel O'Dunne capture Cas

KeepYourPowderDry's Sixth Bloggiversary

 I really am still very surprised that people read this nonsense . And read it you clearly do. I am absolutely blown away by the reach of this niche of a blog, visitors have come from six of the seven continents of the world (surely it is only a matter of time before I bag my first visit from Antarctica). I must admit that I will probably be watching the hit counter, more than is healthy, sometime around the end of February as it nudges ever closer to half a million hits. Pushed the boat out this year, the KeepYourPowderDry annual staff party was held in colour. Saturday boy was off sick (again). Flemish Wedding Party, artist unknown. Image from Düsseldorfer Auktionshaus sale page 'Viewing' figures have grown exponentially this year; annual figures had settled down to just under 100k hits a year, but this blogging year it is just nudged over 161k. Wow. I genuinely, never actually expected anybody to read the blog. My ghast is well and truly flabbered. Why such an increase? Warl

Charles I's Private Life

The lead characters of the Wars of The Three Kingdoms tend to generate either a passion, or a hostility, that would make one believe that the events that took place happened in living memory rather than nearly 400 years ago.  With this in mind, there are all too many biographies and commentaries that are, to put it politely, hagiographies. The latest biography of King Charles I has landed on the doormat of Château KeepYourPowderDry*: "Charles I's Private Life" Written by Mark Turnbull who, if you are trying to remember why that name is familiar, has written a number of novels set during the Civil War, as well as writing and presenting the Cavalier Cast podcast. Whilst not tickling his keyboard he is also one of the co-chairs of the Northern region of the Battlefields' Trust. Mark writes in an easily accessible manner, and has clearly researched his subject in depth. Chapters are short and make 'a chapter before bed' an achievable target. Biographies of Charles

Wicker Man

Those of you 'tuning in' expecting an homage to 1960s/1970s 'journalist who travels' Alan Whicker - you misspelled Whicker... you forgot the 'h'. This post instead tips its hat to the seminal 1970s horror masterpiece 'The Wicker Man', which was released almost exactly 50 years to the day that this post was published.* As part of my side-project, dabbling around in C17th supernatural gaming courtesy of Witchfinder General  I keep an eye out for suitable figures. I came across a wicker man resin figure available from eBay seller Dreamholme Scenics. It always seemed to be out of stock, and only ever 'in stock' when the household budget was a bit tight. Well ,the stars have finally aligned, and I have bought one. This is one of, if not the best resin casting I have bought. Clean, no bubbles and a perfectly smooth, flat base. The arms are separate, and there is a separate door. Also supplied are two tiny, blink and you'll miss them, magnets. The m