Thursday, March 19, 2015

'The Butcher' ....Curtgeld

The fee for the mighty Analogue Hobbies Painting Challenge is a painted 28mm figure. This goes to Curt who runs the show and it has become known as the Curtgeld. This years theme is Anti-Hero.

John Clifford, 'The Butcher' 9th Baron Clifford

A 'War of the Roses' character whose father was killed in 1455 at the first Battle of St Albans.
John went on to lead the Lancastrian right wing at at the Battle of Wakefield (December 30th, 1460). The battle was a success for the Lancastrians. John was Knighted the next day. It was when he became notorious through history because of what is attributed to him during that time. After the battle the Yorkist cause believe he committed murder. Captured nobles and relatives usually at that time became ransomed but Edmund Rutland (17 at the time) a son of Richard Plantagenet (3rd Duke of York who died in the same battle) was executed on Johns orders and perhaps by John himself. Edmund was said to have been wounded and defenceless when he was killed. Attempting to escape the slaughter over Wakefield Bridge but was overtaken and killed. Gruesomely his head ended up on the gates of York along with his father and Uncle (Richard Neville, 5th Earl of Salisbury).

Perhaps it was revenge for the death of his father or all the battle adrenalin was still to leave Johns body that led to the execution but the result was vengance being sworn by Edmunds older brother the future King Edward IV (in wales during the battle). It may have been Edward who also gave John the friendly nickname 'the Butcher'. The aftermath of the Battle of Wakefield saw increased bitterness and revenge upon revenge. From that point onwards victorious sides executed opposing leaders. Perhaps no more ransom deals. 

Fast forward to Dintingdale March, 1461, and its battle time again. John Clifford carelessly removes his gorget (neck protecting piece of armour). A fatal error which results in an arrow to the throat and another body thrown into a pit with many others.

Anti-hero, rogue, ruffian? Well he was a leader of fighting men. He was at the center of a deed some considered most foul. What wargamer would not want a character in their force with the alias 'The Butcher'. A nickname given by his enemy as well. His Yorkist opponents certainly would have seen him as a villain and no hero. However the Lancastrians may have seen it as a point of pride to be fighting alongside 'the Butcher'. This real life violent man went on to be included in Shakespeare's, Henry VI.

The Miniature is a Perry Plastic but is from parts found in three different sets. I thought it was only a good fit that I did something from this period as I spent most of my hobby time during the challenge building and painting my own War of the Roses force.

Cheers from Brendon (The Kiwi)


  1. Great paint work, and nice to have a personality on the table. And of course the Wars of the Roses are full of them.

  2. That's a lovely piece of modelling Brendon! Got to have characters like this in your army!

  3. Thanks for the comments Natholeon, Rodger and Phil.