Scots DID wear KILTS.. PRE-1600 by a long way

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Arkadian
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Scots DID wear KILTS.. PRE-1600 by a long way

Postby Arkadian » Wed Sep 26, 2007 1:37 am

Found this gem.
Its from a book called "An antidote to the English- the Auld Alliance 1295-1560" by Norman MacDougall.
Page 53.
"Scots abroad in medieval Europe could be identified either because they were known to be inhabitants of the Kingdom of Scotland and therefore vassals of the King of Scots, or alternatively by the European perception of the characteristics and mode of dress peculiar to the Scots.
In the case of the latter, we have the evidence of a disapproving Premonstratensian canon from the diocese of Cambrai, commenting on the barbaric appearance of a party of western Scots travelling through Flanders in 1147, either as pilgrims or, more probably, en route for the Second Crusade. The Flemish witness noted that the Scots wore a general covering down to the knee, closed over at the front and back, but open at the sides "and it was seen that some of these people were not wearing drawers."
The Scots were presumably Highlanders attired in some form of early kilt "producing" as Geoffrey Barrow delicately puts it when describing Highland elements in the Scottish host of 1296, "an effect of nakedness about the lower quarters of the body which had long struck foreign observers with amazement"

This is quite an academic book, but it is part of a series of general Scottish history, and so does not give sources.
But i'll hunt for the chronicle that the quote from the canon comes from, and it is great to have a plaid described as early as 1147, almost 200 years before Bannockburn, and therefore messing up the claims of the you guys, the re-enactors, and also of the stance of the NTS.
And for Geoffrey Barrow, the genius of the era of the Wars of Independence (his book "Robert the Bruce" is the bible of that period) to state categorically that Scots wore plaids at Stirling Bridge, blows the ALL other claims out of the water.
As i say, i'll be back with more sources as soon as they are in.
Arkadian



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Postby Alan_F » Wed Sep 26, 2007 4:47 am

Oh good grief......


They were wearing a garment that went down to the knees, so you jump to the conclusion that it must be a plaid. They were wearing the mantle, brat and leine, of which there is ample evidence. The source is a second-hand account written by a blind French monk who took his descriptions from people returning from Crusade. I know becase better qualified people have already been through this one and, apart from writing the account off due to it being second-hand, pointed out that the best that this could be is of people in the 'highland dress' off the time, aforementioned brat, leine and mantle.

And for Geoffrey Barrow, the genius of the era of the Wars of Independence (his book "Robert the Bruce" is the bible of that period) to state categorically that Scots wore plaids at Stirling Bridge, blows the ALL other claims out of the water.


Barrow is not the 'bible' of the period, if anything his books are used as an accompaniement to other works, with historians such as Penman, Nicholson or Oram being the best sources for the period. And not one of them states that the Scots wore plaids at any of the battles of the Wars of Independence. I'd also dearly love to know where he stated this - if it isn't in print and backed up with primary sources, then it's laughable to claim it as as source and I doubt Barrow would do such a thing.

Why not try to accept the evidence that's there?


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Postby Tuppence » Wed Sep 26, 2007 8:55 am

so what you're saying is that you still have no primary source evidence to quote, and that you're still happy to accept other people's research as law.

btw - closed at the front and back but open at the sides sounds to me like a variation on a leine, and not remotely plaid like to me.


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Postby PaulMurphy » Wed Sep 26, 2007 8:59 am

<YAWN>

deja vu...


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Postby Lindsay » Wed Sep 26, 2007 9:09 am

It's amazing that people, desperate to prove a point, will assume we've not already read these sources (along with countless others) during our research. I've actually got "An Antidote to the English" on my bookshelf.

I also fail to see how a wrap around garment like the plaid can be open at the sides.

Oh well...


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Postby Ayliffe's Steve » Wed Sep 26, 2007 9:21 am

I am not a historical boffin nor do I have the years of experience and research that many do on this forum but I would like to ask a couple of questions.

...and it is great to have a plaid described as early as 1147, ...


Perhaps it is the way I am reading this (had a late night and still have jet lag!) but it sounds like that you are trying to prove that plaids were worn then rather than simply trying to find out whether they were? I am not saying that this is the case but you should be aware that you post could be read in this way. :shock: :D

And for Geoffrey Barrow, the genius of the era of the Wars of Independence (his book "Robert the Bruce" is the bible of that period) to state categorically that Scots wore plaids at Stirling Bridge, blows the ALL other claims out of the water.


I am not sure how that can be so. Surely as open minded researchers we should look at as many substantiated claims as possible and take them in context to form a balanced view. Why should one source blow ALL others away?

I am not having a go at you or anything especially as this is way out of my period (my specialty runs from current day to 5 minutes ago and covers what I can see) but I thought I would chime in anyway. :lol:


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Postby zauberdachs » Wed Sep 26, 2007 9:54 am

I've seen this as well. The author does not list where he found his source, so I've never been able to track it down outside of this book which is a shame as there could be more detail that he doesn't cover simply because it isn't relevant to his immediate point.

Problem is that a plaid isn't really open at the sides and closed down the front and back. You ether have it up and then you are only open at the front (like a shawl) or you have it down and you are open everywhere. Of course if you wrap it round your upper body it doesn't really cover much of anything and you'd be exposed on most of your upper body.

I can show you how to put on a plaid and you can see what it looks like at some future event if you'd like?

Below is an image of someone in a tartan tunic/leine like garment from the 16th century. More obviously open at the sides.
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t_belted_plaid_289.jpg


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Postby zauberdachs » Wed Sep 26, 2007 10:07 am

Incidentally you should read "wild scots" by M Fry.

In it he goes on at some length, quite rightly, about the current fashion for tartan as being the product of a visit from King George IV and that all the "tartan lore" we have today was created in the early 19th century by a small elite of rich, anglo-scots, aristocratic, unionist Tories :)

This is history that is proven beyond reasonable doubt, but is conveniently ignored to sell people small statues of "brave heart and their "family" tartans ;)


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Postby Lindsay » Wed Sep 26, 2007 10:18 am

It is also worth pointing out that Barrow's book "Robert the Bruce and the Community of the Realm of Scotland" (I'm assuming this is the book that is meant) was first published in 1965 and a lot has happened in Academic research since then.

If this book is the bible on the period, it is probably also worth noting that not everything in the real bible should be taken at face value! :wink: [/b]


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Postby Ian Macintyre » Wed Sep 26, 2007 1:15 pm

The quote is a common one in these discussions and it always comes back to the fact that it could be describing many many different historical items of clothing.

Good book though and a fine resource for its main subject matter.


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Postby Colin MacDonald » Wed Sep 26, 2007 2:20 pm

Why such cycnicism?

Clearly what this source is describing is a Feileadh Mhor [1] that has been carefully wrapped around the torso, belted to hold it on [2] and then very carefully slit from the armpit down to the hem on both sides.

Now, it might seem wasteful to have to sew the whole outfit back together each evening, but bear in mind that any scraps can be wrapped around ones medyevul hiking boots to make them completely orfentic.

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Postby Arkadian » Wed Sep 26, 2007 2:35 pm

wait till i can find the original quote from the [Premonstratensian canon in Flanders, and it will be something we can use in debates concerning this.
But to me this certainly reads like a belted plaid, hanging to the knee, and perhaps brooched or pinned at the shoulder, there by making it look open at the sides.



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Postby zauberdachs » Wed Sep 26, 2007 2:55 pm

Arkadian wrote:wait till i can find the original quote from the [Premonstratensian canon in Flanders, and it will be something we can use in debates concerning this.
But to me this certainly reads like a belted plaid, hanging to the knee, and perhaps brooched or pinned at the shoulder, there by making it look open at the sides.


I can't help but think if Scotsmen where running around wearing such a distinct garment that more comment would have been made of it.

In the 16th century onwards there are heaps are people describing such an unusual garment because it is truly exceptional. However prior to this point in time nobody really comments on it. This is not for a lack of exposure to Scotsmen, as we all know Scots have always got around and there is evidence for them getting around.

In fact there is another description from this period that describes Scotsmen as being similarly attired to people from Catalan, which basically means a big open sided tunic/mantle garment.


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Postby Phil the Grips » Wed Sep 26, 2007 3:05 pm

Colin MacDonald wrote:[2] Doubtless with a belt indistinguishable from that worn by modern weightlifters.

You forgot the Slaine-style silver boar's head with ruby eyes attached to it ;)


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Postby Nigel » Wed Sep 26, 2007 3:20 pm

zauberdachs wrote:I've seen this as well. The author does not list where he found his source, so I've never been able to track it down outside of this book which is a shame as there could be more detail that he doesn't cover simply because it isn't relevant to his immediate point.

Problem is that a plaid isn't really open at the sides and closed down the front and back. You ether have it up and then you are only open at the front (like a shawl) or you have it down and you are open everywhere. Of course if you wrap it round your upper body it doesn't really cover much of anything and you'd be exposed on most of your upper body.

I can show you how to put on a plaid and you can see what it looks like at some future event if you'd like?

Below is an image of someone in a tartan tunic/leine like garment from the 16th century. More obviously open at the sides.


Ben of the top of my head wasnt this of highland 17th cnetury mercanries in germany >?


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Postby zauberdachs » Wed Sep 26, 2007 3:54 pm

That's correct mate, from the siege of Stettin in 1631 (16th century or 17th century what's the difference ;)

I wasn't claiming that this was a period garment from the 12th century, in case you're misunderstanding. My point was that this kind of garment better fits the description than a belted plaid :) It's basically a sleeveless tunic or leine (but in Tartan which I thought would help Arcadian better visualise the whole thing).


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Postby Alan_F » Wed Sep 26, 2007 6:23 pm

Arkadian wrote:wait till i can find the original quote from the [Premonstratensian canon in Flanders, and it will be something we can use in debates concerning this.
But to me this certainly reads like a belted plaid, hanging to the knee, and perhaps brooched or pinned at the shoulder, there by making it look open at the sides.


No, it sounds like a plaid to you because you want it to. In reality it would have been the dress that they would have actually worn, brat, leine and mantle. In the case of the poorest, possibly just a leine and mantle.


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Postby zauberdachs » Thu Sep 27, 2007 9:03 am

Here's two gems I came up with after a wee bit of poking around at the National Library a few years ago:

I found this in the Scottish Historical Review, Vol 28 page 23: From a pilgrim's guide to Compestella (?) it was written between 1139 and 1173

"The Navarrese wear dark clothes, short to the knees only, in the manner of the Scots and shoes which they call lavareas, of leather untanned, with the hair on, which they attach by straps about the feet, covering only the soles, and leaving the upper part bare. They wear woollen mantles of dark colour, hanging to the elbows, fringed like a cape"

and from "A history of the first crusade" written by Guibert of Nogent (1053-1124)

"you might see [the soldiers] of the Scots, fierce in their own country, unwarlike elsewhere, bare-legged, with their shaggy cloaks, a scrip hanging ex humeris, coming from their marshy homeland, and presenting the help of their faith and devotion to us, to whom their numerous arms would be ridiculous."


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Postby Colin MacDonald » Thu Sep 27, 2007 4:59 pm

Romanes eunt domus?

zauberdachs wrote:"you might see [the soldiers] of the Scots, fierce in their own country, unwarlike elsewhere, bare-legged,"


That's "cuneos crure intecto" in the latin.

Intecto seems to be unambiguously 'unclothed'.

Crur can be interpreted as: leg, shank, shin, or foot.

The root cuneo refers to wedge shaped, with doesn't even seem sensible in this context. Any ideas?


zauberdachs wrote:with their shaggy cloaks


"hispida chlamyde"

Chlamys isn't necessarily a cloak. The broadest interpretation is just "a large upper garment of wool". That could be a cloak/brat, or it could, arguably, refer to a plaid. I'm not saying that is does, only that there doesn't appear to be anything in the original that specifies that it's a cloak/brat. Taken in context with other sources, it probably does support the cloak/brat interpretation, but this particular translation isn't definitive.

Hispidus has variously been interpreted as rough, shaggy or bristly, all of which have slightly different meanings, if you're intending to make a replica.

One of the pitfalls of translations is that the generally accepted meaning of the original can be codified by act of translation. We shouldn't unquestioningly accept that crure means legs or chlamyde means cloaks in this context just because one translator chose to interpret them that way. Is there anything in the surrounding context that supports these specific interpretations, I wonder?

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Postby zauberdachs » Thu Sep 27, 2007 5:06 pm

Good work Mr MacDonald in highlighting the perils of translating sources :)

Whichever way you translate it, it doesn't look like good evidence for a plaid. I wouldn't traditionally have described a plaid as "rough, shaggy or bristly" however this calls to mind the hood/poncho they found on the Isles with the fancy shaggy edging? The one in the National Museum? Does anyone have a name/picture?

cuneo -are [to secure with wedges; to shape like a wedge]. Hence partic. cuneatus -a -um , [pointed like a wedge].


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Re: Scots DID wear KILTS.. PRE-1600 by a long way

Postby Nigel » Thu Sep 27, 2007 5:25 pm

Arkadian wrote:Found this gem.

This is quite an academic book, but it is part of a series of general Scottish history, and so does not give sources.
And for Geoffrey Barrow, the genius of the era of the Wars of Independence (his book "Robert the Bruce" is the bible of that period) to state categorically that Scots wore plaids at Stirling Bridge, blows the ALL other claims out of the water.
As i say, i'll be back with more sources as soon as they are in.


Arkadian


Not seeing any sources YET jsut an unattributed bit in a modern book keeping trying laddie you may even learn how to do reseach

As for an academic book not having a bibliography well the only ones I know of that ilk are published by ladybird


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Re: Scots DID wear KILTS.. PRE-1600 by a long way

Postby Alan_F » Thu Sep 27, 2007 6:26 pm

Nigel wrote:
Arkadian wrote:Found this gem.

This is quite an academic book, but it is part of a series of general Scottish history, and so does not give sources.
And for Geoffrey Barrow, the genius of the era of the Wars of Independence (his book "Robert the Bruce" is the bible of that period) to state categorically that Scots wore plaids at Stirling Bridge, blows the ALL other claims out of the water.
As i say, i'll be back with more sources as soon as they are in.


Arkadian


Not seeing any sources YET jsut an unattributed bit in a modern book keeping trying laddie you may even learn how to do reseach

As for an academic book not having a bibliography well the only ones I know of that ilk are published by ladybird


Nigel, it's because there are no sources: various historians have looked at this and found nothing to support it. But I suspect that's of little interest to the 'argument' put forward here which claims to have found proof where others have looked and found none.

Moreover, I would be vary wary of anyone who claims that an historian is supporting their claim without backing it up with a quote: "What he said in the pub to my mate" doesn't wash with me.


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Postby guthrie » Thu Sep 27, 2007 6:56 pm

I think we should just write to Professor Barrow and ask him. He isn't dead yet, is he?



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Postby Alan_F » Thu Sep 27, 2007 7:10 pm

guthrie wrote:I think we should just write to Professor Barrow and ask him. He isn't dead yet, is he?


Nope, he can be found here:

http://www.arts.ed.ac.uk/scothist/staff/gbarrow.html

But before we write, I want Arkadian to reveal his name so that we can say to the professor who is saying this and where. Seems only fair that if the man in question is being cited as a source, then he be allowed to know who is doing so.


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Postby guthrie » Thu Sep 27, 2007 9:36 pm

I'm not sure that matters. But it's worth a try. Perhaps both sides could write to him at the same time, but separately, then he can have a chuckle over the debate.



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Postby Arkadian » Fri Sep 28, 2007 7:47 am

Prof Barrow is a Prof Emeritus, thus retired but does consult now and then.
i am getting the sources. it's takign some hunting but i am doing it
oh, and btw this "laddie" is in his thirties......
why is it there's always the "let's slagg off the guy with a differing view" sentiment in here with few exceptions?
guys let's try to keep it clean eh?



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Postby Colin MacDonald » Fri Sep 28, 2007 9:14 am

Fair enough, and I actually respect your persistence. If we can turn up sources that unambiguously show or describe a garment akin to a plaid in a Scottish context around the time of Bannockburn, then I'll cheerfully make and wear one.

Until then though, I can't stress strongly enough that the only thing that's really persuasive is primary sources, and that ideally means the original text. Where we only have a translation or interpretation, we'll want to know how that interpretation was arrived at, again with reference to the primary sources that informed it.



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Postby Nigel » Fri Sep 28, 2007 9:15 am

Believe me iam keeping it clean

you come on here with a crap arguement are not even aprt of the community and you expect to be treated seriousley

can I suggest you find a site more suited to your weird outpourings
Last edited by Nigel on Fri Sep 28, 2007 9:47 am, edited 1 time in total.


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Re: Scots DID wear KILTS.. PRE-1600 by a long way

Postby Andy R » Fri Sep 28, 2007 9:23 am

Alan_F wrote:
Arkadian wrote:Found this gem.

This is quite an academic book, but it is part of a series of general Scottish history, and so does not give sources.
And for Geoffrey Barrow, the genius of the era of the Wars of Independence (his book "Robert the Bruce" is the bible of that period) to state categorically that Scots wore plaids at Stirling Bridge, blows the ALL other claims out of the water.
As i say, i'll be back with more sources as soon as they are in.


Arkadian


Nigel, it's because there are no sources: various historians have looked at this and found nothing to support it. But I suspect that's of little interest to the 'argument' put forward here which claims to have found proof where others have looked and found none.


Alan, you disappoint me.

As a former member of NFOE you should recognise a breech-clout with that description.

Open at the sides.

Hangs to the knee.

breech clout :wink:



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Postby zauberdachs » Fri Sep 28, 2007 9:27 am

Nigel wrote:Believe me boy iam keeping it clean


Believe him, he is :lol:

Incidentally Nige, what's with this "boy" shenanigans? You can't be any older than what? 25 ;)
Last edited by zauberdachs on Fri Sep 28, 2007 9:52 am, edited 1 time in total.


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