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"Sir William Stanley of Holt Standard." Topic

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Paskal Supporting Member of TMP10 Nov 2019 4:37 a.m. PST

Hello All,
Who knows the standard (not the banner) of Sir William Stanley of Holt in Bosworth?
Thank you.

MajorB10 Nov 2019 5:43 a.m. PST

His standard would be absed on his coat of arms. See:

for a possible rendition.

Paskal Supporting Member of TMP10 Nov 2019 6:14 a.m. PST

The standards have nothing to do with the banners…

Rabelais10 Nov 2019 6:20 a.m. PST

You mean the swallowtail standard?

I know I've looked for it before, but didn't find anything. You may have to reconstruct it. So it'd be red, with one or more deer's heads. With a motto and possibly some other stuff :)

MajorB10 Nov 2019 8:36 a.m. PST

The standards have nothing to do with the banners…

I didn't say they did.

MajorB10 Nov 2019 8:38 a.m. PST

So it'd be red, with one or more deer's heads. With a motto and possibly some other stuff :)

Where do you get the red from? The Stanley family livery was blue and white.

Rabelais10 Nov 2019 8:41 a.m. PST

Freezywater has Thomas Stanley's livery as tawney and green, and William Stanley as red.

MajorB10 Nov 2019 8:56 a.m. PST

Freezywater has Thomas Stanley's livery as tawney and green, and William Stanley as red.

How odd.

Rabelais10 Nov 2019 8:58 a.m. PST

Thomas Stanley's standard is in Howard De Walden's "Banners, standards, and badges, from a Tudor manuscript in the College of Arms" It's described there as tawney and green.

MajorB10 Nov 2019 9:29 a.m. PST

As I said:


Rabelais10 Nov 2019 9:43 a.m. PST

We appear to be at cross purposes. That's the Stanley coat of arms, the livery colours don't always derive from the colours on the coat of arms.

Paskal Supporting Member of TMP10 Nov 2019 9:46 a.m. PST

It's William that interests us…

It's amazing that we do not know his standard, I'm looking for …

Help me,thank you.

MajorB10 Nov 2019 10:10 a.m. PST

That's the Stanley coat of arms, the livery colours don't always derive from the colours on the coat of arms.

Ah, that's true. But the original question was about the standard – which would be more likely based on the coat of arms rather than the livery.

MajorB10 Nov 2019 10:11 a.m. PST

It's William that interests us…

It's amazing that we do not know his standard, I'm looking for

There's an awful lot that we don't know about the WOTR.

Rabelais10 Nov 2019 10:24 a.m. PST

It may be that William Stanley's standard is not recorded anywhere, in fact that seems probable as it can't be found in the usual places. You may just have to do without. Maybe give him a livery banner instead? White deer's head on red.

vividchris10 Nov 2019 10:53 a.m. PST

hello , my take / guess on his standard is a normal sized English standard in red / with natural coloured eagle attacking baby in basket {as his brother has as the main badge on his green/ tawny standard}, which is a family heraldic crest, with a black crescent on the eagle for William ,as in his coat of arms , ive seen an illustration with wings folded down on Thomas eagle crest and extended for williams ,and for william small white harts head badges in same manor as eagle feet his brother uses ,5 to 6 of these , "sans charger" is a Stanley motto or sans charger et droit ,this is of top of my head I think there are other mottos ,and of course a cross of st George on the hoist

coopman10 Nov 2019 12:12 p.m. PST

"There's an awful lot that we don't know about the WOTR".

Absolutely true. We don't even know the no. of troops in each army at many of the battles. When I painted my armies I looked at the livery color lists online and chose the color combinations that I wanted to paint up, regardless of whose side they were on. I am not one to obsess about "this color livery was only worn by some of the Yorkists" or whatever. I know that this is not historically accurate, but I just don't care enough to bother about it.

Paskal Supporting Member of TMP10 Nov 2019 11:20 p.m. PST

Well done for the description of a standard for William Stanley …

It's true that we must not focus too much because for the battles of a distant past alas we are little or poorly documented.

For example for the shire levy outfits it is also a problem.

TMP link

Paskal Supporting Member of TMP11 Nov 2019 3:33 a.m. PST

And I was told that Sir William Stanley at the battle of Bosworth was not important enough to have a battle standard. He only had a livery banner and personal arms banner !?

Incredible! Maybe that's the explanation?

vividchris11 Nov 2019 4:13 a.m. PST

as to no standard at all its a possible reason for no info for sure, all depends if you want to make the effort to have one I suppose , on that note dieu et ma foy is a Stanley motto , and sans charger ma virite not et droit ,as well as san charger , red crescent more likely than black

Rabelais11 Nov 2019 4:26 a.m. PST

Think that should be 'sans changer ma virite.' 'Sans Changer' is the current Stanley motto.

Can't imagine anyone looked at 'sans changer' on Thomas Stanley's flag with a straight face.

Paskal Supporting Member of TMP11 Nov 2019 5:29 a.m. PST

With Sir William it was a question of rank, but he had 3000 at Bosworth.

His rank was Sir not Lord.

No standards for a sir, only a banner and a Livery banner?

MajorB11 Nov 2019 11:18 a.m. PST

His rank was Sir not Lord.

No standards for a sir, only a banner and a Livery banner?

Not quite. You only get a banner if you are a knight banneret or higher rank. Even higher rank (Earl or Duke?) for a standard.

Rabelais11 Nov 2019 11:41 a.m. PST

Most likely that details of his standard don't survive. He probably had one, there are much less important knights with standards recorded in De Walden's "Banners, Standards and Badges."

Instructions on standards from Landsdowne MS 255 give a knight's standard as having a length of 4 yards as opposed to 6 yards for an Earl and 7 for a Duke.

Paskal Supporting Member of TMP12 Nov 2019 12:09 a.m. PST

To be entitled to a long standard, one must be a baron, viscount, count, marquis, duke, prince or king?

And lord what is it generic as a term?

Rabelais12 Nov 2019 2:07 a.m. PST

Lord is a generic term. The list of standard lengths is:

The King's Standard eight or nine yards.
The Duke's Standard seven yards.
The Earl's Standard six yards.
The Baron's Standard five yards.
The Banneret's Standard four yards and a half.
The Knight's Standard four yards.

Paskal Supporting Member of TMP12 Nov 2019 9:10 a.m. PST

So william stanley would have had one of four yards and a half?

Rabelais12 Nov 2019 3:28 p.m. PST

I guess so. After Tewkesbury, anyway.

Paskal Supporting Member of TMP13 Nov 2019 12:02 a.m. PST

Rabelais, the bosses of citadelsix will not agree and be happy with you.

Rabelais13 Nov 2019 2:26 a.m. PST

That's OK. I'm not always happy with Citadelsix's choice of heraldic clip-art.

The bottom line here is that William Stanley's standard is almost certainly unknown, which is why no-one makes it. So you will have to make a plausible one yourself, or just go with livery and heraldic banners instead.

Paskal Supporting Member of TMP13 Nov 2019 9:43 a.m. PST

Yes, I agree with you, because when Citadelsix's stood up to me that Sir William Stanley was not important enough to have a standard, I found it really weird, because the night before Bosworth, Henry Tudor found Sir William important enough to go see him …

What do you think about the banners, stadard and livery banners of the WOTR of Citadelsix's ?

Rabelais13 Nov 2019 11:40 a.m. PST

I don't have any of the Citadel Six banners. Some of the clip art they used doesn't look very 15th century IMO, and some of the heraldry is wrong I think. But it's probably the biggest range, so if you forced me at gunpoint to use pre-made banners, I'd go with them.

Paskal Supporting Member of TMP14 Nov 2019 6:21 a.m. PST

@ Rabelais :

We found heraldic errors in the Freezwater sheets :

TMP link

also if you or another member could indicate those of Citadelsix's, it would be nice thank you.

Rabelais14 Nov 2019 11:52 a.m. PST

Long time since I looked, but iirc Warwick's was wrong and Thomas Clifford had impaled arms for some reason (which even if correct, meant they'd be useless for his son, John Clifford).

Paskal Supporting Member of TMP14 Nov 2019 11:56 p.m. PST

Warwick's was wrong ? Explique.

Rabelais15 Nov 2019 2:23 a.m. PST

Arms are impaled when they should be quartered I believe. Unfortunately, I didn't keep much in the way of references when I was doing WOTR, it's such a murky period that a lot of things you need to decide for yourself. Warwick's arms were more likely to have been:,_16th_Earl_of_Warwick#/media/File:Coat_of_Arms_of_Sir_Richard_Neville,_16th_Earl_of_Warwick,_KG.png

Paskal Supporting Member of TMP15 Nov 2019 3:09 a.m. PST

Bravo and you know other mistakes like this with Citadelsix's ?

Rabelais15 Nov 2019 5:10 a.m. PST

They're based on the Freezywater heraldry books. I have a word doc of corrections for them if you want it, but I've no idea where it came from so you'd have to decide for yourself whether it's reliable or not. Anyway, if you want it, give me your email somehow :)

Paskal Supporting Member of TMP16 Nov 2019 9:42 a.m. PST

No need the forum is enough LOL …

Warspite117 Nov 2019 5:05 a.m. PST

I am currently re-writing the Lance and Longbow Society's list of livery colours and you should be aware that things are not as hard and fast as they may appear.

Several people are known the have changed colours or wore more than one colour and I have been grappling with this as I write the new list.

I quote from my list's notes:

"It was while compiling and checking this list that I chanced across a paperback history of John Howard, the first Howard Duke of Norfolk (died 1485 at Bosworth). Entitled 'Richard III's Beloved Cousyn', by John Ashdown-Hill, the book throws several curved balls which do not fit my list below. It has been an article of faith among wargamers and model-makers that the heraldic standard colours become the livery colours worn by the troops. Thus blue on top of the standard and wine-red below become Edward IV's blue worn on the right (our left as we view it) and wine-red worn on the left (our right as we view it). I was already aware of one divergence from this, repeated in my first list, when I reported that Anthony Woodville (theoretically green, from his standard) actually wore blue and orange-tawney at a tournament in 1478. Ashdown-Hill reports other diversions from what I had regarded as the norm or dare I say it 'standard' practice (smile). OK… they call me Atilla the Pun.

On page 25 of his book he reports the Talbots of Shrewsbury wore 'dark green' and not the red and black or scarlet and black of their standard. Worse follows… The Mowbray Dukes of Norfolk are reported to have distributed crimson to their supporters including Howard himself. The Mowbray standard was blue and red or blue and tawney. Howard himself accepted, and wore, Edward IV's own blue and wine-red at times and distributed Edward's colours to his own followers. Moving on, when Howard adopted a livery colour of his own, and for his household, he apparently chose BLACK yet his standard shows red. Hmmmm! In support of this Ashdown-Hill cites several examples of the purchase of black velvet in Howard household accounts and is able to demonstrate that this was the household colour and not just a mourning colour, as had previously been suggested by other authors. For example one purchase was well after the death of his first wife and included cloth for his second wife and her children. He also notes that later Howards continued to issue black in the next century.

The author also notes that Edward IV sometimes made gifts of expensive cloth to nobles in THEIR colours, not his own, and thus we find in 1480… "to the Lord Howard… blac velvet IX yerdes" [black velvet 9 yards]. To cap this, in November 1482, Howard sent his daughter four yards of what was specified to be the Howard livery of black velvet. I was aware that Henry VI occasionally issued livery that was not in his own white and blue and I had assumed that this was either royal privilege, following current fashions or else just another aspect of his mental health problems. So what we are faced with here is a much more fluid approach to livery than I had previously thought.

How can this be rationalised? Black velvet is expensive as a material and the Howard list of approved recipients is quite short. It strikes me that some families may have had a higher ranking 'household' livery which was worn by close family and (maybe) VERY 'household' retainers and then a wider livery was worn in time of war and based on the colours of the long standard. It would be logical for the 'war-time' livery to be the same colours as the standard being flown in battle so as to allow the retainers to remember who they were fighting for and thus 'rally to the colours' quite literally. Remember most common fighting men were illiterate and the livery colours and the badges would have been important visual keys during battle. Witness what happened at Barnet when Neville men and the De Vere men accidentally fought each other after the alleged mis-identification in the fog".


Paskal Supporting Member of TMP17 Nov 2019 11:09 p.m. PST

Bravo Barry, but it's the colors of the livery worn on the livery costs in war by the billmen and longbowmen and based on the colors of the long standard, which otherwise we do not find more …

So far on new order nothing changed?

Warspite118 Nov 2019 3:47 a.m. PST

I am currently re-writing the Lance and Longbow Society's list of livery colours and you should be aware that things are not as hard and fast as they may appear.

Several people are known the have changed colours or wore more than one colour and I have been grappling with this as a write the new list.


Warspite118 Nov 2019 3:54 a.m. PST


As a rule it is the colour/colours on the long standard (not the square heraldic banner) which dictate the livery jackets.

So Edward's blue over dark red (claret or murrey) gives us blue on the wearer's right (our left as viewing) and red on the wearer's left (our right).



But, as I mentioned above, the Howard duke of Norfolk appears to have departed from that and Anthony Woodville probably did too.

It appears that the standard's colours were the general rule but there were some specific exceptions or deviations.


Paskal Supporting Member of TMP18 Nov 2019 11:07 p.m. PST

So for years players and collectors have been mistaken in painting the livey coats of their figurines?

And your new Lance and Longbow Society's list of livery colors will be on which booklet and when?

Warspite119 Nov 2019 9:03 a.m. PST

No past mistake.
English livery colours should always be based on the colours of the long standard. That is the established position. Having said that my recent researches suggest more variations than I was previously aware of.

I am planning to publish the revised liveries list in Hobilar, the journal of the Lance and Longbow Society and in my own wargame rules, Bills, Bows and Bloodshed which should be published later this year or early next.


Paskal Supporting Member of TMP19 Nov 2019 11:51 a.m. PST

Bravo !

Paskal Supporting Member of TMP20 Nov 2019 10:07 a.m. PST

@ Warspite1

On the sheet No. 7, Lord Stanley's standard is red and green? Should not it be tawney and green?

And as written Rabelais on a other topic, the Freezywater 'Standards, Badges and Livery colors' similarly presents the banner of John Mowbray as blue over red, even though the text makes it clear it is azure over tawney.

TMP link

And for Richard III on sheet N 7 his etendard is blue on red, same on the sheet n 27 for Edouard IV, his brothers Gloucester and Clarence and their father the Duc of York?

I only have 10 but they are full of errors!


May be a printing error?

How to use them?

Warspite120 Nov 2019 1:34 p.m. PST

Red and tawney were often confused. Remember that inks and paints fade with age or can change colour.

I have no idea what 'sheet no7' refers to.
Whose sheet no 7??


Warspite120 Nov 2019 2:12 p.m. PST


To answer your original question, my revised list shows the Sir William Stanley livery to be red but a song of the period said his men wore red and white. This song is noted by Chris Skidmore in his book 'Richard III' on page 362.

For a badge I would suggest the Stanley 'bucks head' or the Eagle and Child. Both were generic to the family. The bucks head is more likely as William had the same on his coat of arms.




Paskal Supporting Member of TMP20 Nov 2019 11:01 p.m. PST

I speak of the 'sheet no. 7' of Freezywater Publications 1992, this sheet is entitled Bosworth Standards and also of the WRF 27 entitled Yorkist Livery Banners.

Inks and paints fade with age or can change color, yes but then the opposite has happened.


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