MGM 2008 - The Last Great Cavalier At Worksop's Harley Gallery

By Joanna Shimwell | 13 May 2008
Photo of two actors dressed as a 17th century man and woman, in a flamboyant pose

Actors will bring William's exploits to life. © Harley Gallery

Exhibition preview: Passions and Defeats, Sir William Cavendish at Harley Gallery, Nottinghamshire, until March 2010.

The story of the last great cavalier, a man who built castles in Bolsover and Nottingham, is being brought to life in an exhibition at the Harley Gallery in Worksop.

The exhibition, Passions and Defeats, looks at the 17th century exploits of Sir William Cavendish, through objects that once belonged to the Royalist and keen horseman.

On Saturday May 17 2008 there's a one day event at the gallery, where visitors can meet William Cavendish, his wife Margaret and their housekeeper Miss Anne as interpreted by actors from drama group Annamation. The colourful costumed performances will take place at 11am, 1pm and 3pm in the courtyard and the characters will be around the gallery all day to meet visitors.

"It’ll be an entertaining event for the whole family to enjoy,” said Rachel Byles from the Harley Gallery.

Oil portrait of a cavalier wearing a large lace edged collar in the 17th century fashion

William Cavendish, from a private collection, image © Harley Gallery

Highlights of the exhibition include full-length portraits of Sir William, 1st Duke of Newcastle and Lady Margaret; weaponry and armour from the English Civil War along with William’s silver riding spurs, saddle and a silver-topped footman’s staff.

The cavaliers' love of the arts is shown with superb examples of Fanelli bronze statues and a book of works by poet and playwright Ben Jonson. Visitors can also enjoy the decorative and fine arts owned by William that reflect his passions and connections to the Stuart Royal family.

Sir William Cavendish’s role in the local architectural history of the East Midlands is also part of the exhibition. As well as building Bolsover Castle, of which a silver model is on show, he masterminded several other extravagant building projects.

Shows the Renaissance in the Regions logo.

Joanna Shimwell is one of our three Renaissance East Midlands arts writers, reporting on MGM 2008 events all over the region for the whole month of May. Renaissance is the groundbreaking initiative to transform England's regional museums, led by MLA, the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council.

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