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Graeme Rimer

Graeme Rimer is Curator Emeritus at the Royal Armouries.

Following an early fascination for arms and armour, from the age of 15 Graeme spent school and college holidays as a volunteer at the Royal Armouries at the Tower of London. After training for several years to become a conservator in the arms and armour collections of the Wallace Collection in London, he returned to full-time education, and in 1975 returned to the Tower of London in a curatorial role as Museum Assistant. He has remained with the Royal Armouries ever since, holding a number of senior collections-related posts. He was appointed Academic Director in 2004.

From 1988 to 1995, Graeme Rimer chaired the Fort Nelson Project Group: the body working to establish the Royal Armouries artillery museum, near Portsmouth. From 1993, as part of the Royal Armouries Leeds museum project, he was coordinator for the development of the War Gallery.

In Leeds, he has had close involvement with several of the many temporary exhibitions prepared by the Royal Armouries, including ‘Portraits from a Prison Camp’, ‘Treasures from the Tower’ (in the Kremlin, Moscow), ‘Buffalo Bill’s Wild West’, and ‘Wheellock Firearms of the Royal Armouries’.

Graeme has published a number of articles and larger works on arms and armour related topics, and lectured to a wide variety of audiences in the UK, Europe and North America. He worked with Thom Richardson to complete the catalogue of the English Civil War armoury from Littlecote House.

He has contributed to research into several significant archaeological projects, e.g., the Mary Rose, the Towton 1461 battlefield and mass grave excavations, and the Alderney Wreck (an English warship of about 1590), and has contributed to the official publications related to these projects.

He was Assistant Editor of the Journal of the Arms and Armour Society from 1980 to 1982, and Editor from 1982 to 1986. He is now Editor of the Royal Armouries own bi-annual journal Arms & Armour.

He has contributed to a number of factual film projects, including two History Channel USA television series entitled ‘Arms in Action’.

Graeme Rimer was Chairman of the Museums Weapons Group, representing the interests of publicly-funded UK museums with collections of weapons. He also represented the Royal Armouries on the Executive committee of ICOMAM (The International Committee of Museums and Collections of Arms and Military History), and the Programming Committee of the International Medieval Congress, Leeds University.

He is a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London, a Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Gunmakers of London, as well as being a member of the Arms and Armour Society, the Society of Archer-Antiquaries and the Attingham Society. He is also a keen motorcyclist and is a member of the Institute of Advanced Motorists.

Recent publications

  • (In collaboration with Thom Richardson) A catalogue of the collections originally contained in the English Civil War armoury at Littlecote House, Wiltshire.
  • ‘A decorated 17th century English stonebow’, Guide to the 20th Park Lane Arms Fair, London, 2003, pp.45-48
  • ‘The Royal Armouries: Moving into the 21st century’, Canadian Journal of Arms Collecting, 40.4 (November 2002), pp.127-133
  • ‘John Jacob’s pistols’, Royal Armouries Yearbook, 7 (2002), pp.87-93
  • ‘Wheellock Firearms of the Royal Armouries’, Royal Armouries, 2001, 64p.
  • (Chapter on Weapons in:) A Ship Cast Away About Alderney, Investigations of an Elizabethan shipwreck, ed. Jason Monaghan and Mensun Bound, Alderney Maritime Trust, 2001, pp.64-76
  • (Chapter on Weapons in:) Blood Red Roses: The archaeology of a mass grave from the battle of Towton AD 1461, ed. Veronica Fiorato, Anthea Boylston and Christopher Knüsel, Oxbow Books, 2000, pp.119-129
  • ‘Ezekiel Baker’s ‘cradle jigg’; for the guns of King George IV’, Royal Armouries Yearbook, 5 (2000), pp.51-57