‘The Soldier Bishop’


Hanging in The Great Hall is a fantastic portrait of ‘The Soldier Bishop’, Peter Mews. Born in Purse Caundle, Dorset in 1619, he fought bravely for The King in The Civil War. He continued to work for the Royalist Cause until The Restoration. He was appointed as Bishop of Winchester in 1684. He resisted The Monmouth Rebellion but did intercede on behalf of the victims of Judge Jeffreys ‘Bloody Assize.’
A puzzling feature of this portrait is the large black spot placed upon his cheek. Various theories have been offered as to why, one is that he was ‘black marked’ for his Royalist role in the Civil War, however as this is painted much later in life, well into the Reign of Charles II, it is more likely to be the wound he suffered from his action in The War, covered by a patch, after all his nickname in later life was ‘Old Patch’

He died in 1706 and is buried in Winchester Cathedral.

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