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Presented to the Royal Armouries, September, 1987, by the Armor Department of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, who received it with the library of Stephen v. Grancsay, Curator and then Emeritus Curator of Armor.

Physical Description

Pen and ink drawing on paper of the Line of Kings in the Horse Armoury, Tower of London, showing all sixteen kings on their horses behind a wooden barrier. In the foreground a Yeoman Warder is showing the Line to two ladies and a child. The artist has illustrated the dense display of helmets, breastplates and backplates which were attached to the pillars and beams of the room differentiating between types, and has shown the decoration on the armour of the figure shown as Edward I, which confirms its identification as that of the Earl of Worcester. The tilting lances of Charles Brandon and possibly the figure representing Richard Duke of York can also be identified.


Dimensions: 236 mm x 390 mm (9.3 in. x 15 in)


Places Britain


Obviously related in date and subject to the aquatint titled 'Horse Armoury' by Rowlandson and Pugin in 'Microcosm of London', published 1809, the drawing shows in greater detail the arrangement of the armour and of the Line of Kings within the building. By comparison between the illustrations, the descriptions of the line in the guides and the plan of the Horse Armoury in the Public Records Office (WORKS 31/123) it appears clear that the visitor climbed the only staircase in the building, contained in the northern wing, was guided along the north wall of the building, and then down the secondary line of attendant armours, around the southern edge of the building and back along the Line of Kings, seeing them in reverse chronological order, ending with William the Conquerer. This arrangement suggests that the secondary line was inserted as an afterthought and that the original display consisted of the simple line although the secondary line was inplace by 1710, cf. watercolour of the line, I.69.

See A Borg 'Heads and Horses from the Line of Kings' 'Archaeologia' CV (1976)PP. 317-332