Man in the Iron Mask, playing the cello in prison
There are conflicting theories as to who this man was. One is that he was Count Ercole Antonio Mattioli (Matthioli or Marchioly, 1640-1703), an Italian diplomat, arrested as Eustache Dauger in 1669, imprisoned by Louis XIV for 34 years, who died in the Bastille. Another theory, according to Voltaire, is that he was the older, illegitimate brother of Louis XIV -- this later formed part of Alexandre Dumas' Three Musketeers saga, in which the man is Louis' twin brother.
© Mary Evans Picture Library
Henry VIII demands one hundred pounds from the Abbot
King Henry VIII pictured with the Abbott of Reading Abbey who had been imprisoned in the Tower of London. Upon hunting in Windsor Forest Henry had disguised himself as a Royal Guard as a means to trick the abbot. He sat with the abbot whilst he ate his meal of sirloin steak. The Abbott mistakenly mocked the king's own greedy tendencies, claiming he "would give a 100 pound that I could eat as lustily" as the king. The abbot soon was held under arrest in the tower whereby the king later visited to claim his one hundred pounds. Date: c. 1540
© Illustrated London News Ltd/Mary Evans
Burrs Mill, Bury - Italian internees, WWII - Matania
Interior view of Burrs Mill, Bury, Lancashire, a former mill and bleaching factory, which was used to intern Italian prisoners during the Second World War. The building was dilapidated, with puddles and grease on the floors, and consequently most uncomfortable for inmates, many of whom were then sent onwards to the Isle of Man. The painting is by Italian artist Fortunino Matania, who had lived in the UK since 1904, was special artist of The Sphere magazine and had painted hundreds of pictures during the First World War from the Allied point of view. Matania was briefly interned, part of the British government's 'Collar the lot!' policy during war, but later released. It is likely that the figure standing, centre left, is him.
© The Estate of Fortunino Matania / Mary Evans Picture Library