WOTR Alleigences.

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Fox
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Post by Fox »

Well, I'm a little nervous of speaking, if you're the Dave Key I'm assuming you are, because your historic knowledge has proved to be very in depth and accademic in the past.

Nevertheless, and not minding whether I appear an idiot or not.....

(1) At Barnet, I'm sure I read a moon was mistaken for a sun. Anyone?

(2) Most WotR battle re-enactments (and indeed medieval battle re-enactments of any size generally) are fought in 3 battles. Tewkesbury has been done that way for as long as I can remember. Any that aren't have so few numbers as to be representative of a single battle or a much smaller skirmish anyway.

(3)
Dave Key wrote:In a modern 're-enactment battle' where numbers are smaller and less cohesive ... the chance of confusion is far greater.
I'd be interested to know why you think that's specifically a feature of modern re-enactment. Descriptions of warefare through the ages show that even the most ordered units get split up, turned the wrong way, or generally become disordered, especially when losing.

It seems to me the problem is not one in which whole units clash accidentally, I'm sure that was rare (and is in re-enactment), but one in which you want to know if that bloke(s) on your flank is one your's or there's.

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Post by craig1459 »

Fox wrote:
(1) At Barnet, I'm sure I read a moon was mistaken for a sun. Anyone?


"Friendly fire" - Oxford routed Hastings men and followed after them, on returning to their "lines" in the poor visibility, the Lancastrians mistook their mullet (star) for the sun of Edward IVs men and attacked them instead
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Post by gregory23b »

Also the 'star with streamers' apparently another variant on the star.

A real shame, coz we had 'em bang to rights, De Vere Rock!
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Post by Allan Harley »

It was the Star in Streamers allegedly mistaken for a Yorkist Sunne in Splendour

I would argue if it wasn't important why did nobles such as Buckingham have so many liveries made in his colours - could be possibly just to show off.

Also its not at the start of a "pre-set" or formed battle when recognition is important- its when it starts to break down. If you are from Devon why should you know who is on your side from say Yorkshire
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Post by Dave Key »

Fox wrote:Well, I'm a little nervous of speaking, if you're the Dave Key I'm assuming you are, because your historic knowledge has proved to be very in depth and accademic in the past.

Nevertheless, and not minding whether I appear an idiot or not.....

(1) At Barnet, I'm sure I read a moon was mistaken for a sun. Anyone?

(2) Most WotR battle re-enactments (and indeed medieval battle re-enactments of any size generally) are fought in 3 battles. Tewkesbury has been done that way for as long as I can remember. Any that aren't have so few numbers as to be representative of a single battle or a much smaller skirmish anyway.

(3)
Dave Key wrote:In a modern 're-enactment battle' where numbers are smaller and less cohesive ... the chance of confusion is far greater.
I'd be interested to know why you think that's specifically a feature of modern re-enactment. Descriptions of warefare through the ages show that even the most ordered units get split up, turned the wrong way, or generally become disordered, especially when losing.

It seems to me the problem is not one in which whole units clash accidentally, I'm sure that was rare (and is in re-enactment), but one in which you want to know if that bloke(s) on your flank is one your's or there's.


Fox,

Don't feel nervous, nothing unreasonable in what you said/questioned and I've many a time made a fool of myself so I'm not going to judge. Anyway in my opinion only fools are afraid of loooking stupid, it's often the 'stupid question' that challenge everything and opens a door to something really interesting. A will become apparant ....

Anyway with regard to what you said ....

1. Warkworth's Chronicle

"But it happened so, that the Erle of Oxendfordes men hadde uppon them ther lordes lyvery, bothe before and behynde, which wa a sterre withe stremys, wiche [was] myche lyke Kunge Edwardes lyvery, the summe with tremys."

So ...
a) "star with streamers"
b) "had upon them their lords livery, both before and behind"
Now (b) is interesting and thanks for making me recheck and re-read it ... the wording is crucial. because it suggests it was not the flags as I was suggesting but it also equates 'livery' not with a colour or a jacket ... but specifically the badge (the before & behind being the key words).


2. Glad to hear Tewkesbury is fought in 3 battles. As I mentioned I've not seen a big re-enactment battle in afew years so I happily stand corrected.
:D

3. I'm not suggesting it's an exclusively 'modern re-enactment' phenomena but English battles (in both senses of the word) tended to be relatively static, and when we're talking hundreds or thousands in a block it is by it's nature more definable than we're ever going to see in a WotR display ... also the way most re-enactments are fought would I suspect (again I am happy to be corrected here) bear little resembleance to their original counterparts in terms of organisation, combat style or troop composition etc etc etc.

Blue on Blue was (as the Barnet example illustrates) an exception but by the nature of scale ... the bigger the block the more obvious the flank and the relatively fewer men physically 'on the flank' there are.

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Post by Allan Harley »

Dave,
Thanks for the comments put here - really interested to see they were referring to the mix -up being due to badges for Barnet - wonder how close they had top be to identify and/or size of badge to make this mistake.

The aim for most of us is to get as close as you can to the way skirmishes/ battles were conducted and normally now people stay with blocks/units much more than they used to. Its when units/commands break up at the end of a battle that teh "blue on blue" seems to occur with regularity - but this was probably as true then as now (although since your life was on the line then more likely to stab first and ask questions later)

The next thing - what can we do to make these sorts of things
a: More accurate
b: More realistic ( and no you can't go on with sharps)

But also keep the aspects that make people want to take part/watch. Also whats missing (one example - casualties of any shape or form until then end of a battle) - How can we change this?

To illustrate - we did a relatively small event at Ely a few years ago and one of the things I wanted to illustrate was that troops sometimes just din't want to be there or where brought to a location/battlefield under false pretences. So I wanted troops to run away - to achieve this some of the group (Who were not combatants) volunteered to come on the field and at the first cannon shot throw their weapons, helmets, liveries etc and run off - looked good
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Post by Wolf-Rampant »

Well done my continental friend (Marcus) for wearing the St George cross however that english motif does tend to curdle slightly with my (sir john's) welsh blood but we all have to show outwardly our alleigience (even if in reality ones surcoat may be two sided) lol :lol:

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Post by Cat »

As far as the 'football strip' comment goes, when Bucket took the field at Tatton with Willo's crew, in murray and azure in order to do a set-piece fight with Nobby, it caused an amount of rumbling and disquiet on our side. He said that it felt very strange, and that he could never have envisaged himself wearing those colours.
The response, in short was exactly that of a staunch L'pool supporter turning out in Man U. kit, and meeting his mates. He says he got an excellent fight(!).
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Post by Allan Harley »

Wolf - just think of Pilleth when wearing it and you smile a lot more
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Post by Dave B »

Was searching around on this and I found an article Dave Key wrote for Dragon No.12, which I found very usefull.

http://www.companie-of-st-george.ch/cms/sitefiles/dragon-12.pdf
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Post by Marcus Woodhouse »

Could the confusion over badges be why there are referecnces to troops calling "A Warwick! A Warick!" and " A Clarence! A Clarence!" ? Did they not have livery for everyone? Did groups fight each other over local rivalry? (Didn't one of the Grey's use the battle of Northampton as a good opportunity to kill off a love rival even though he was on the same side?) Were these warcries ever even mentioned? (Did Edward and Co. make them up to suit a political need?) I tend to be ready to fight (or run away) from anyone who doesn't wear the livery of my own group. I wonder if that happened way back when? Sorry about so many questions.
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Post by Chris, yclept John Barber »

Marcus Woodhouse wrote:Could the confusion over badges be why there are referecnces to troops calling "A Warwick! A Warwick!" and " A Clarence! A Clarence!" ?


Remember that only the professional heralds would know all the liveries and which sides they are on. Most troops wouldn't be able to recognise every livery and remember which side that lord is backing.

If the formal array broke up into a looser melee, and you found yourself facing a bunch of guys in pink with an ermine unicorn, would you be able to remember instantly who had that livery and which side they're on?

I know that as a re-enactor whose life doesn't depend on it I can't remember most units' liveries. If my life did depend on it and I lived in an era where less information was written down (and therefore memory is more often exercised and would tend to be better than in my cyber-enhanced life!), I might have developed a better memory. But even so, the armies wouldn't have 'colour recognition lessons' before every battle. (Remember the scene in Tora! Tora! Tora! where the pilot mis-identifies his own flagship?)

So pre-agreed battlecries would be an essential part of muddy-evil warfare. "Cry God for Harry, England and St George!" might have been written in the Tudor period, but the soldiers of the time would instantly recognise the concept.
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Post by Colin Middleton »

I remember one Tewkesbury facing off a man with no livery on. We circled a bit and then I decided to commit. To rouse my spirits , I gave a cry of "A York, A York!" before I struck. A puzzled expression crossed his face as he uttered the words "Yeah, I am."

At which point, we shook hands and went of to find some Lancastrians to kill!

I'm certain that rallying crys like that were used. They'll help bond the allegiences.
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Post by Dave Key »

Chris, yclept John Barber wrote:
Marcus Woodhouse wrote:Could the confusion over badges be why there are referecnces to troops calling "A Warwick! A Warwick!" and " A Clarence! A Clarence!" ?


Remember that only the professional heralds would know all the liveries and which sides they are on. Most troops wouldn't be able to recognise every livery and remember which side that lord is backing.




With regard to 'confusion over badges' ... don't forget that Barnet is an exception rather than the norm. In Warkworth's Chronicle when Edward landed in 1471 to reclaim his 'inheritance' he claimed to be doing so in 'support' of Henry VI and ...

"therto afore alle peple, he cryed "A! Kynge Herry!" A! Kynge and Prynce Edwarde!" and wered ane estryche feder, Prynce Edwardes lyvery."

In this instane the two were almost interchangable. The real difference is in the clarity of the shout. Shouting "A! Ostrich Feather!" might not have the same clout ;-)


With regard to heralds ... don't get confused between Livery (badges and "murrey and blue" style colours) and Heraldry and a nobleman's "arms".

Heraldry adopted the badges and colours and amalgamated them with the 'Coat of Arms' to form the 'Achievement of Arms' wich includes the Suporters & Crest (often derived from badges) and the mantelling on the helm (often derived from the 'livery' colours).

Heralds would have been primarily interested in the personal 'Coat of Arms' ... this is what a Herald and pursuivant wear ... rather than the 'liveries' per se. This is not to say they wouldn't have known the badges and colours, but I'd suspect they were regarded very much as the poor relation of the personal arms (much as they are today by most modern heraldic scholars).

Look at a book of heraldry and you'll see scant reference to badges or 'livery' colours, certainly insufficient to really understand their true origins or when they merged into heralrdy 'proper'.

Don't forget that it was late in the C15th the Royal College of Arms was founded.

Indeed I'm not entirely convinced how far back these associations really go, most 'heraldic' illustrations of Standards actually date to the C16th (or post Wars of the Roses at best) even when describing the 'Standard of Edward IV' etc etc. What we typically see is a later formalisation of something altogether more fluid.


As to the cries ... I actually think the analogy with football crowds reasonable apt. A clear chant. Just as the badge is a clear visible symbol.

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Post by Chris, yclept John Barber »

Of course, you're right, Dave: when I wrote that only heralds would know the liveries I was overlooking the fact that they would know the coats of arms, rather than the liveries and badges.

But since most badges and liveries were derived from the Lords' coats of arms, the heralds would still be the most likely to be able to work out who they were facing. I believe that my point about the common soldier being unlikely to know the allegiances of all liveried groups on a battlefield still stands.
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Post by Dave Key »

Chris, yclept John Barber wrote:But since most badges and liveries were derived from the Lords' coats of arms, the heralds would still be the most likely to be able to work out who they were facing.


I'm not sure that this is strictly speaking true, especially in the early arms. In more modern heraldry where the coat is part of the achievement and the original meanings are largely lost/forgottten I'd agree with you.

However, in a C15th (and earlier) context badges did not necessarily have any direct association with a person, more what they were rather than who they were. To take a good case in point Warwick. The badges of the Earls of Warwick included 'the ragged staff', 'the bear' and the 'bear & ragged staff'. These were associated with the Earl of Warwick, regardless of who they were, Beauchamp or neville, had the same badge ... but not the same arms and neither arms contained the badges.

Similarly, the White Rose of York was not part of Edward's arms nor the Crescent part of those of the Percys.

and so on and so forth.

To take this to the greatest extreme, the arms of the King of England do not contain the badge of England and the badge was not derived from them, nor did the Scots, nor the Burgundian etc.


This doesn't mean they couldn't be associated/related. but they weren't typically ... especially at a period in history where they actually meant something.

Chris, yclept John Barber wrote:... the heralds would still be the most likely to be able to work out who they were facing. I believe that my point about the common soldier being unlikely to know the allegiances of all liveried groups on a battlefield still stands.


Having said all of that, the Heralds would still have know the associations of badge and man ... the accountants for Edward IV's French expedition of 1475 certainly did as they used them to identify the major noblemen. Also badges litter the decoration of a heraldic family tree for Edward IV (principally white roses and suns in splendour, but also crescents, black bull, white lion, white hart, fetterlock etc. ... none of which are from coats of arms but all established and known badges)

So with regard to your last point. I agree but not for the reasons you gave.

Hopefully that makes sense

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Dave

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Post by craig1459 »

It wasd also the custom, or a custom, to use canting badges which were a rebus

e.g.
Babington - babe-in-tun (a baby in a barrel)
Ferrers - horsehoe (Farrier)
and in Europe
Hus - the goose (Hus being medieval Czech for goose)

Thereby getting round having to know the heraldry - and of particular use for the illiterate masses
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