THIS OBJECT IS PART OF THE PROJECT 'A HISTORY OF CORNWALL IN 100 OBJECTS'.
LISKEARD AND DISTRICT MUSEUM. Cornwall was one of the most fought over places in the English Civil War. This helmet belonged to Major Thomas Johnson, a Parliamentarian soldier who fought at Braddock Down, between Liskeard and Lostwithiel, on 19th January 1643. The helmet is unusual in that it retains its cloth camouflage (to stop light reflecting off the armour), and also its padding which made it more comfortable to wear.
Major Johnson was born in Leicestershire in 1609. He lived at Liskeard Park or Lodge from 1651 until his death in 1666 and is buried in the chancel of Liskeard church with an epitaph and coat of arms.
Although Cornwall is generally regarded as a Royalist area, there were plenty of Parliamentarians, especially in east Cornwall. Battle lines were drawn up by religion - high church for the king and Presbyterian or Puritan for parliament. Battles were fought at Braddock Down and Stratton in 1643, and Lostwithiel in 1644.
Photo: Bernie Pettersen