Royal Armouries (Biographical details)

Royal Armouries (institution/organisation; British)

Also known as

Royal Armouries; Tower of London Armouries; Tower Armouries



On 26th November, 1914, approximately 887 objects were transferred, on permanent loan, from the Royal Armouries at the Tower of London, to the British Museum. Approval had been given for the transfer of Greek, Prehistoric and 'Oriental' weapons.
The 'Oriental' weapons had arrived at the Tower in c.1860, after the East India Company's Museum became a department of the India Office in Whitehall. These weapons were not, therefore, connected with the British and European armour that was traditionally held in the Tower.
Charles ffoulkes (1868-1947), Curator of the Armouries (1913-1938), played a significant role in organising the transfer of these objects. In 1903, Charles Hercules Read (q.v.), Keeper of British and Medieval Antiquities and Ethnography (1896-1921; curator from 1880), had urged the British Museum Trustees to move all of the armour from the Tower to the British Museum - this was rejected.


Charles Ffoulkes, 'Arms and the Tower', Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1939 (esp. p.72).