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WOTR Alleigences.

Posted: Fri Sep 14, 2007 10:11 am
by Marcus Woodhouse
I'm curious as to how many WOTR groups there are and to which branch of the Plantagenants they hold their alliegence to. I know that there are groups like the Glouscesters who are Yorkist in one guise but as the Warwick Garrison can play at being Lancastrain and that Buckinghams Retinue would be mainly Lancastrain unless they were able to give the Woodvilles a good doing. And that the Wydvellies were Lancastrian until 1461 and then Yorkist until 1483 and then Tudor. Does this mean that at events groups are expected to fight according to the affiliation that their houshold would have historically adhered to? What happens if not enough Yorkists/Lancastrains turn up for a re-enactment? How does it get sorted out?

Posted: Fri Sep 14, 2007 11:00 am
by Alice the Huswyf
Warwick finally started to move allegiance starting with incidents in 1468, so the Warwick Castle Garrison would have to work to dates too (taking into account just how cross he was by date).

Yes, such groups do have to bear in mind who they were 'in with' at events and act accordingly.

Unless there is a shortage of enemy, in which case it is sorted out efficiently at the daily Captain's meeting in the morning for the good of the event (that the public have paid come to see).

I hold no allegiance whatever to Jo of the Clarences/York Levy becuase she gave me a floury drubbing, amongst other abuses yet to be settled.......

Posted: Fri Sep 14, 2007 11:18 am
by tonw
Well as a Ferrers we are supposed to be Yorkist but we've fought for everyone at some point or other.

We generally try to take to the field as Yorkists but that doesn't always work

The Stanleys have it the best

Posted: Fri Sep 14, 2007 12:14 pm
by kate/bob
William Stanley always fought Yorkist, unless he fought Tudor! He never fought for the Lancastrians.

Thomas Stanley didn't change sides really, he was just very good at not quite getting to battlefields or sending a sick note from his mum!

Posted: Fri Sep 14, 2007 12:32 pm
by Dave B
We, Like many small groups, have avoided being a 'named' household or wearing an actual historical livery.

So it's people like us that end up being mercinary scum for whichever side needs more numbers.

Posted: Fri Sep 14, 2007 2:00 pm
by Panda
Nothing wrong with being merc scum. It's what I always do when I fight muddyy evil. THat way I always win :twisted: :P

Posted: Fri Sep 14, 2007 2:31 pm
by Allan Harley
This is just a suggestion but why don't groups have a "home" and an "away" livery

Just because for your own events, preference you are say Yorkist - you could always try the "darkside" for once

Also why not continental colours?

Posted: Fri Sep 14, 2007 5:28 pm
by StaffordCleggy
For those (like me) who are in 'named household' groups you should - in theory - have your own livery, an English Livery & possibly a generic one ALA Murray & Blue for York or Red & Black for Edouard Prince of Wales (Lancaster).
Doesn't have to be a whole livery either, a simple bend over your own household's colours (where applicable) or just worn over your unadorned harness.

Bucks are pretty much always Lancastrian (we made cr@p choices!) unless fighting for Dicky3 at Bosworth.... oh dear! :cry:

Posted: Fri Sep 14, 2007 6:35 pm
by Dave B
StaffordCleggy wrote: you should - in theory - have your own livery, an English Livery & possibly a generic one ALA Murray & Blue for York or Red & Black for Edouard Prince of Wales (Lancaster).
Should you? is it the case that everyone who faught for a particular lord would have livery?

Personaly I think that whilst bends/sashes are OK, the full on livery is overrepresented in some groups, Not wrong, just too much of it.

Posted: Fri Sep 14, 2007 6:57 pm
by StaffordCleggy
Dave, if you are attempting to portray a household unit of soldiery then yes, a proper livery would be correct i reckon. After all Mrs Paston did aske her husband John 2nd whether she should buy some scarlet cloth/if her husband would buy some scarlet cloth as the servants needed new livery gowns. My point being that the Pastons were not high enough up the social scale to be setting fashions, merely to be following them if they could afford to.
As to English liveries, that's just to give your group a fall-back position if needed - depending on what you are portraying obviously. We (mostly) have English liveries for this reason.
An extra affiliated livery is debatable, some don't want the cost which is understandable but for me, if you are portraying houshold men* then a livery coat would be correct.

*By household men i mean those who are directly employed about the Lord's Household rather than raised from his outlying manors & holdings & areas of influence. Those men would IMHO be most likely to be wearing just a badge or bend or both.

Troops needed a simple & easily seen form of recognition if only to prevent the 'blue on blue' scenario. For that reason some form livery recognition would be vital.

Having said that, i've been Thomas, Lord Stanley at one event this season!

Posted: Sat Sep 15, 2007 7:20 am
by Nigel
cleggy been peerring into my wardrobe of kit

where there hangs my usual Glos livery an English one and a balck and red one jsut in case (more moantague as he was govenor of pontefract)

Posted: Sat Sep 15, 2007 10:55 am
by Marcus Woodhouse
Do any of you know roughly how many Yorkist/Lancastrian/Any Way The Wind Blows groups there are?

Posted: Sat Sep 15, 2007 11:47 am
by StaffordCleggy
Marcus, that's a difficult one to answer as the period is split between the Fed, L&M & the MSS groups. Fed & L&M groups tend to be members of both organisations so don't double up, but i believe there are Oxford & Stafford groups within the MSS (don't know for certain as i'm not a MSS member).
Also, there are groups who's allegiances changed with the wind, or groups who's Lords were bumped off early in the wars & so become a different 'household' after a certain date if you get my drift.

In short (boom boom!) i have no soddin' idea!

(I'm now off to burn my England 'rugby' shirt..... :evil: )

Posted: Sat Sep 15, 2007 12:00 pm
by gregory23b
Cleggy, the Pastons' livery could be taken to mean just a cloth allowance, not necessarily of any specific colour in the field sense, scarlet being a type of cloth, not just a colour, although it could be both at the same time or green scarlet etc. However her reference to cloth for bends does point to military identification. Food can be a livery item, for example.

Also re household wearing the colours of the lord, well, possibly, theoretically liveries were restricted to the servants of the body, that is not necessarily the whole household, so bloke x who is part of the household is not necessarily entitled to wear or display (more the point) colours.

The Paatons mention the Duke of Suffolk's men mobbing a court - wearing their master's colours - a noteworthy point it would seem.

"the full on livery is overrepresented in some groups, Not wrong, just too much of it."

Certainly it is disproprtionate, a hangover from old school WOTR, 'livery coats'!! a coat is an expensive item, and given the rules about casual display of 'allegiance' colours, the supposedly average portrayal is somewhat way way above 'average'. Dopey billmen wearing a coat - it has to be ordered and made, is materially intensive and has restrictions on use, why is dopey billman wearing one, when a 'billman' is a lower end of the order guy who doesn't even have a bow? Coats for officers, gentlemen, different degrees of quality and finish according to their place in the order.

Posted: Sat Sep 15, 2007 12:44 pm
by Dave B
Thanks Jorge, you put that much better than me.

I'd like to see far more troops with just a rough bend of cloth or whatever, as well as much more archers and in the latter end of wotr more handgunners.

Posted: Sat Sep 15, 2007 12:49 pm
by StaffordCleggy
There is also reference to Sir John Paston being required to bring men for service with his retained Lord (can't remember whether it was Suffolk or Norfolk right now) & the quote "and ordain them with jackets of my livery".
Paston was expected to fund this outlay & would presumably hope to gain some form of recompense at a later date. Of course this is only applicable to the Magnates who could afford such indulgences but it does at least show a tendency towards the idea of equipping men with such items - at least some men.
The City of York sent troops equipped with new coats to the wars as an expression of civic pride as well.

Does depend on whom you are trying to portray of course, no point calling yourself a 'Household' if you are all walking around in knackered kit with broken & rusty armour & no point in calling yourself something like 'yeomanry' if you are all walking around in expensive shiny kit.

Personally i try to show a Household man of His Grace of Stafford. Therefore although not a Knight or Man-at-Arms i do wear some plate protection but it is mismatched & does not cover all of me (plackarts, bevor, arm splints, mitts & sallet). The idea is to show that some of the kit is personal equipment & yet other stuff like the old & battered placks are kit loaned from the Lord's armouries. A great noble like Stafford (as we know from the De Vere account) would most likely have had access to a store of bits of armour & field weaponry. If i recall correctly the De Vere account would have been easily able to kit out (to varying degrees) around 250-300 men straight off the bat. These would have formed to core of his raised troops i believe.
There are also accounts that claim Humphrey Stafford caused some 2000 Knot badges to be made & distributed to his men - most likely these blokes would not have been wearing livery coats/jackets, just the knot & possibly some red & black fabric bends.
All about context.

Posted: Sat Sep 15, 2007 5:58 pm
by Allan Harley
The answer comes down to what an individual/group wishes to portray - But surely we should all be aiming to some reasonable standard.
10% Men@arms/knights
25% Retinue/household troops

50% commission/L&M raised men

5% Mercenaries/others

Then for each setting a standard that people can aspire to.

Still doesn't answer the question of why groups polarize into factions - still think a home/away strip is a good idea and for all an English livery/red cross an absolute must

Posted: Sat Sep 15, 2007 9:59 pm
by janes-wardrobe
In all the many years of re-enactment I can safely say that Steve's English livery has never been needed. In every group we've ever belonged to he's had the household livery coat.

At one point - correct me if I'm wrong - I thought L&M wanted everyone to have a blue and murray livery so thet L&M could put on a Yorkist block.

The York City Levy have a second strip - not exactly home and away as they're both Lancastrian colours. Most people will be familiar with the red and white bit how many have seen the yellow and blue Dacre livery? This second strip is not coats or bends but those tabard things I forget the proper name for. The group also has a supply of bends for newbies and people who haven't got their own livery coat yet.

I think it's useful to have an array of bends and coats but as someone already pointed out the City of York supplied new livery coats for each campaign and so it's wholly appropriate for some groups to be almost entirely dressed in livery coats.

Also in some groups 'minimum kit recommendations' are to have a livery coat as opposed to a coat - this way you can have one garment that acts as both nice warm coat and livery. Expnding to a nice posh coat as and when you want one.

How often would it actually be useful to have a second strip? Perhaps that would be a very appropriate use of bends - relatively inexpensive and don't take up much storage space.

Posted: Sat Sep 15, 2007 10:11 pm
by StaffordCleggy
Personally speaking, i have a livery coat that i wear around camp (when we are portraying part of the Stafford Household) & a livery jacket that i wear over my armour. That's simply because the jacket is way too big to wear without the padding & armour underneath, that's just me though.

Bends are a great & inexpensive idea, but the real problem lies in getting groups to wear a common colour(s) when on the field - everyone wants to wear their own groups colours y'see.

A simple Murray & Blue/red & black bend depending on which side you were on would suffice. It could be decorated with your own units badge or device so everyone would know who you are & who you are with.

I wanted an English livery :lol: & i may be mistaken but isn't it within the FED rules that we should all have one?
I do like the idea of an 'away strip' though. We could wear the Murray & Blue of Richard III if we portray the Staffords of Grafton who were Knights of the Body to His Grace - or we could be someone completely different of course!
The difficulty is getting your entire group to accept the expense, even though a bend is dirt cheap.

Posted: Sat Sep 15, 2007 10:18 pm
by janes-wardrobe
It certainly used to be in the Fed rules that everyone should have an English livery - which is why I made one for Steve.

I was heartily p*ssed off several years later to find the moths had used it more than we had.

It was just one of those tabard thingy's and it was cr*p wool - in the end I think I put it in the bin - it wasn't even fit to give away.

I do have an English livery coat - worn once in Belgium last year or was it 2005? that could be for sale - entirely hand sewn, linen lined...

Posted: Sun Sep 16, 2007 5:25 pm
by Marcus Woodhouse
I use an english livery (may i be forgiven for it by Blessed St. Patrick) with the Rampant wolf of Kidwally, edged in yellow as worn by troops raised by Sir John Dunne for the french campaign of 1475.

Posted: Sun Sep 16, 2007 5:28 pm
by gregory23b
Cleggy, there is a school of thought that combines livery and identifications, so you could in theory have a bend over another 'livery' - I will ask Dave key about that as he has done quite a bit of work in that area.

Posted: Sun Sep 16, 2007 10:28 pm
by StaffordCleggy
Personally i can't see why anybody would have a problem with making & wearing a simple bend of whatever colours, but i've had this conversation with certain posters on this thread (off line) & i believe there is a certain amount of resistance to the idea of wearing owt that isn't 'my livery' etc.

Margerite of Anjou distributed the feathers badge & the swan badge as symbols of Lancastrian allegiance did she not & the White Rose quickly became the overriding symbol of York. Why do we not wear these emblems? W e could change them depending on which side we are on that day, easy really isn't it?

Sod it, i'm going to get myself a feathers badge made up, & a Yorkist bend for our one & only foray into the woollyback brigade (Bosworth). :wink:

Posted: Mon Sep 17, 2007 8:04 am
by gregory23b
"i believe there is a certain amount of resistance to the idea of wearing owt that isn't 'my livery' etc. "

Yes, the 'club colours' syndrome.

Quite sad really, liveried everything, 'our way', daft as we are not really living in the 15thc and people were possibly more pragmatic thatn we given them credit for.

Football supporters by any other name.

I remember when we went from households to one household and the idea of wearing Porkist livery was terrible, however that was just stupidity, plus murray and azure look better - very slimming. It is just cosmetic crap, nothing more.

Posted: Mon Sep 17, 2007 1:37 pm
by Allan Harley
Simon - you'll need it for Blore - your Yorkists this year :D

And Blue/Murrey, Blue & white, Red & Black - Red all bets covered - now wheres my fence?

Is the show and the spectacle the thing or we bloods and cripps?

Posted: Mon Sep 17, 2007 2:04 pm
by Dave B
If anyone could come up with a simple standard design 'yorkist' bend and a similar standard 'lancastrian' one, I'd be happy to make or have made one of each, then just wear them over my plain doublet or cote as required.

Does anyone have contempory illustations of something like that?h

Posted: Mon Sep 17, 2007 4:34 pm
by Man from Coventry
To answer Marcus's original question about household allegiances. relatively few households or city contingents were "loyal" to one side or the other for the entire Wars of the Roses, and no household was present at every battle, there were periods when many households either held no allegiance, or didn't make it to the battle.

From my past experiences of running major events typically groups portraying contingents that were physically present usually fight on their historical side i.e Savilles at Blore Heath. This is common sense and aids the portrayal. The remaining groups are parcelled out to even up the sides, with a slight preference for their current historical affiliation if there was one. This is of course influenced by other factors, such as whether there is a balanced mix of forces and whether there is any bad blood between groups in which case having them on the same said at opposite ends of the field is sensible.

There can be problems where there is an imbalance in forces and some groups will refuse to fight on the other side even if there group was not physically present "can't do that we're lancastrians, mate ". Typically also as G 23B states there is a team strip mentality even when a group does fight on the other side, they'll insist on wearing there own livery whether or not this aids the plot.

Sadly very few groups will make the effort/be prepared to alter or wear another groups livery/take on an alternate identity for the benefit of the scenario, although there have been a few exceptions in addittion to YCL and the Gloucesters already quoted. I remember the old "Hitchin era" Staffords converting their liveries to Salisbury's and Clarences fighting as Harringtons at the 1992 (Oakley Hall) Blore Heath.

Finally in respect of the Lancastrian and Yorkist bends. Here are my suggestions. Lancastrian - A red & black bend, with the badge of the Prince of Wales a single white ostrich feather either on it own own or held erect by the beak of a fettered swan was worn at Blore Heath and St Albans II and possibly Tewkesbury. Murrey and Blue, possibly with a white rose/sunburst for the Yorkists.

Posted: Mon Sep 17, 2007 5:39 pm
by StaffordCleggy
Allan Harley wrote:Simon - you'll need it for Blore - your Yorkists this year :D

And Blue/Murrey, Blue & white, Red & Black - Red all bets covered - now wheres my fence?

Is the show and the spectacle the thing or we bloods and cripps?

Now you tell me! How the hell am i going to get our lot into murray & blue in the next 3 days??????

Posted: Mon Sep 17, 2007 6:59 pm
by James The Archer
StaffordCleggy wrote:
Allan Harley wrote:Simon - you'll need it for Blore - your Yorkists this year :D

And Blue/Murrey, Blue & white, Red & Black - Red all bets covered - now wheres my fence?

Is the show and the spectacle the thing or we bloods and cripps?

Now you tell me! How the hell am i going to get our lot into murray & blue in the next 3 days??????
Red & Black - no problem have it in stock to make a band, Murry & Blue, stuffed "an't got none" (please forget double negitive), will have to have a look round at Blore.

Posted: Tue Sep 18, 2007 10:52 am
by Man from Coventry

Salisbury's (yorkist commanders) livery was red and black so you don't need to change.

If you want to go for that added level of authenticity you can add his badge conjectured to be a green or gold "griffin sejant" as the early staffs did in '92