17th Century military buff-coat to be conserved

A rare and important military leather buff-coat and doublet from the National Trust’s collection at Seaton Delaval Hall is to be conserved. The coat has recently been sent to Norfolk, birthplace of its owner, Jacob Astley, 1st Baron Astley of Reading, a prominent Royalist Commander in the English civil wars (1642-1651).

Work to conserve the coat will take place at the Trust’s Conservation Studio at Blickling in Norfolk. Over the coming months the leather buff-coat and the delicate doublet of silk, gold and silver thread will be carefully conserved before being returned to Seaton Delaval Hall to go on display later this year.

Sir Jacob Astley’s buff coat is an important part of the collection at Seaton Delaval Hall and helps tell a significant story in the history of the Astleys, a Norfolk family, who, in 1822, inherited the Hall through marriage. Sir Jacob was a great military figure and was one of the key Royalist Commanders during the English Civil Wars and saw active service at numerous major battles including Edgehill and Naseby. He also commanded the King’s infantry against the Scots at the battle of Newburn in 1640 – the battle taking place only 13 miles from Seaton Delaval.

Visitors can see portraits of Sir Jacob on display at Seaton Delaval Hall one of which was painted by Rhoda Delaval, wife of Edward Astley and one of the notorious ‘Gay Delavals’.

“It’s really fantastic that we are in a position to have the coat conserved through support received from players of People’s Postcode Lottery”, said Julie Hawthorn, House and Collections Manager. “The work will cost just over £11,000 and mean that we can show the coat, which is over 350 years old, for many more years to come. When visitors come to see the coat one thing that they will be amazed by is its size. The chest measures 86cms (34 inches)!”

Players of People’s Postcode lottery have awarded the National Trust £100,000. Kate Pearson, Deputy Head of Charities at People’s Postcode Lottery, said; “The work carried out by the team at National Trust to preserve historical gems is fantastic and we are delighted that our players are able to support this work.”

For more information contact:

Julie Hawthorn, House & Collections Manager

Tel. 0191 237 9100

Email: [email protected]


Buff coat © Michael Whittaker