This is the webpage of a group whose aim is to improve the kit and clothes of a UK seventeenth century Civil War reenactment group, using the most up to date references and research. Feel free to comment on any of the subjects raised here and return often as I want to keep the discussion lively and ongoing.

Please look at the extra tabs on the right hand side. The newbie section is the place for basic kit if you're just beginning to reenact the 1640s. Haberdashery has lots of detail about colours, buttons, tapes etc.

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

The Montero Cap

In 1643, the Oxford Army was issued with coats, breeches and montero caps:
"all the common soldiers then at Oxford were new appareled, some all in red, coats, breeches and mounteers; & some all in blewe"
Sadly no one really knows what a montero actually looked like, the Oxford English Dictionary says:
"A cap of a type formerly worn in Spain for hunting, having a spherical crown and (freq. fur lined) flaps able to be drawn down to protect the ears and neck"
However as they were issued items it seems likely that they were a cap particular to the armies and there are  images of soldiers wearing caps that could just fit the bill, with triangular panels making the crown, some with peaks but all having a band around the crown that could be folded flaps This seems to have been a very practical hat for a soldier, not likely to be blown off in the wind and with an added feature of providing extra protection in the cold.

In this image, Colonel Thomas Lunsford is wearing a cap with a peak and a low rounded front, very much the classic reenactor's montero. Notice how thin the band is that goes around the cap.
The next two images are very similar, one after Bosse is a French engraving and the second from Farndon Church window in Cheshire of drummers wearing the same kind of cap, this time with a band that comes to a point, and either braid or piped seams as decoration, topped off with the ubiquitous feathers.


The last two are also similar, one is a Hollar engraving, the other by Abraham Bosse, entitled Envy, both show a peakless cap with piped seams or maybe braided decoration to the crown, which is made of more panels this time, maybe 12 or so and a folded band that comes to a point in front like the drummer's one. The right hand image also shows the folding of the band  though I suspect, having made a few, that the artist doesn't quite understand how they work. The detail does show though that the band is butt stitched together at the front. Both have a button on the top that covers the tricky part of the crown where the seams meet.

 Here are a couple of photos of a cap that I made with piped seams and an unbleached linen lining, an amalgam of the last two original pictures and the drummer's montero. In the second shot, the band has been unfolded to show how the cap could provide protection rather like a balaclava helmet.

This second example is made more to the Lunsford pattern with a rounded front to the band

And now a third example, my best take on the peakless Envy montero.


  1. referenced in chapter 35

  2. Thanks BJ, interesting. Not sure I can quote it as an original source though!

  3. Hello
    I just find this blog and found it fery interesting. Do You have any patterns for this montero? I've made one from pictures and photos, but now I'm thinking of making another - better one. As for monteros here You can see a montero on head of drummer:
    Those are paintings made by Tomaso Dolabella in 1640-42, showing polish army during peace talks with swedes in 1635. This unit is polish foraign type (cudzoziemski autorament) infantry. Quite interesting it is worn by drummer - like 2 of your examples (it looks like a kind of fashion amongst drummers to wear montero ;) )

  4. Good one. Have posted the link.

  5. Where were you when we needed you! We tried for years to find a pattern or even a clear picture that gave an idea of the construction.