Battle of Bannockburn 2007

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guthrie
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Post by guthrie »

Thats annoying. I was thinking of the Murthly Hours (Written in around 1280):
http://www.nls.uk/murthlyhours/index.html

But it seems it was illustrated in Paris and contains miniatures drawn by English. So the question remains, do we have any pictures of what Scots of that period were wearing?

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Colin MacDonald
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Post by Colin MacDonald »

Arkadian wrote:
Arkadain impressive lsit of secondary sources

Primary so you understand means first hand not a rehash of the evidence
they will be in my my research paper, it's not an essay :wink:
Super! Can we just have them now, please, I'd be very interested to see them.

Your solicitor chum must be awfully sure of him or herself to make such a statement about flag burning without (AFAIK) any recent case law to support it. Did he or she mention whether accompanying the "political protest" with a personal attack on an individual would strengthen or weaken your case?

Also, you may want to knock off generalising from individual comments to "[us] lot". There's no groupthink here, and while I'm trying to see the funny side of you seeing an "anti Scottish" conspiracy, the joke is wearing a bit thin.

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Post by zauberdachs »

Gentlemen,

The folk in the bottom of this illustration are from the Lanercost chronicle and are definitely Scotsmen. This is a contemporary image.

For more easily accessible web based information on primary sources go to: http://medievalscotland.org/clothing/refs/

NOW LISTEN CLOSELY YOU LOT!!!

I want to you all to read this info before posting.
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Post by guthrie »

What I see in that picture is a great many men wearing braes, and single leg hose pointed to said braes. They also have shirt or tunic like garments over their upper body, cut very full.

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Post by Colin MacDonald »

Thanks for that. Crib notes:

Of the 4 relevant resources (<= circa 1300):

The first talks only about Scots^W Scots and/or Irish circa 1093 being "'Barelegged' or 'Barefoot".

The second just documents the depiction of an akheton which is indistinguishable from those shown on other contempory 13th/14th European sources.

The third is again just a 'bare legged' reference from circa 1100, although the original latin word, crure, can variously be translated as leg, thigh, knee, shin or foot, so it could equally be 'bare footed', or imply braies but no hose, or even (in the context of the Carlisle Charter seal) just that the braies are 'bared', i.e. not covered by a tunic. Also, it's a second hand source, and may be referring to Irish rather than Scots.

The Carlisle Charter seal (bigger facsimile follows) shows garments which are rather distinctive. However that are almost, but not quite, entirely unlike anything that could be remotely described as a plaid, belted or otherwise. A very short baggy hooded tunic, or a mantle with arms, perhaps. Producing an interpretation of such a garment is on my to-do list, but I'll obviously need to patch my braies up thoroughly first. ;)

Image

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Post by zauberdachs »

the really important source is:

Martin, Martin, "A Description of the Western Islands of Scotland," in A Description of the Western Islands of Scotland Circa 1695, ed. Donald J. Macleod (Edinburgh: Birlinn, 1994). (1 Jan 2000 )

"The first habit wore by persons of distinction in the islands was the leni-croich, from the Irish word leni, which signifies a shirt, and a croach saffron, because their shirt was dyed with that herb. The ordinary number of ells used toake this robe was twenty-four. It was the uppper garb, reaching below the knees, and was tied with a belt round the middle; but the islanders have laid it aside about a hundred years ago."
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Post by Colin MacDonald »

Eh? Is that relevant to circa 1314? With respect, that's a vague third hand description (Old Shuggy told me that his grandfather told him that in the olden days...) of a very baggy belted yellow tunic or shirt from circa 1600. Is it even worth attributing much significance to for 1600, let alone earlier?

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Post by Hobbitstomper »

Am I right in saying that 24 ells of fabric would be 18 yards!

My heavy gambeson has about this much fabric in it and it weighs 20lb.

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Post by zauberdachs »

I think for our discussion it tells us that:

Highlanders wore Irish dress prior to roughly 1595. Not the plaid or tartan material in other forms but Linen based Irish dress.

That they stopped using it roughly 1595. So even if you minus 50 or 100 years it still isn't going to be acceptable for 1314.


The other sources just tell us bear legs and mantles this spells it out for us and dates it. Excellent.
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Post by Alan_F »

zauberdachs wrote:I think for our discussion it tells us that:

Highlanders wore Irish dress prior to roughly 1595. Not the plaid or tartan material in other forms but Linen based Irish dress.

That they stopped using it roughly 1595. So even if you minus 50 or 100 years it still isn't going to be acceptable for 1314.


The other sources just tell us bear legs and mantles this spells it out for us and dates it. Excellent.
They stop wearing it (although Gallowglass seem to continue wearing it) around the time of the collapse of highland economy and the clothing they were wearing was relatively expensive.

The battle reenactment is a fairly new thing.

Wreath laying at the NTS site has been going on for many many years.

The wreath laying on Saturday 23rd had nothing to do with the SNP, They moved their rally to the 16th and laid wreaths then.
Allan, no-one here has anything against wreath-laying, we just don't like someone coming onto this forum and hectoring the people here for not wanting to take part in it, it's not what we're there for.

An incident occured during the night including a flag burning.
( question - was this witnessed by /disturbed the reenacters incampment? )
It was witnessed by several of the re-enactors, none of whom seemed amused by it.
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Post by Lady Wolfshead »

Just wanted to say thanks to Allan for his calm and considered post.

Bannockburn should be open to all, so we should respect anyone who wishes to pay tribute to the site (in their own way). The re-enactment and the wreath-laying ceremony both went well on the day so lets move forward and make the Bannockburn re-enactment better and respect that there may be others who wish to lay wreaths next year again too.

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Post by Colin MacDonald »

Am I right in saying that 24 ells of fabric would be 18 yards!
Using a 37" Scottish ell, it's 24 2/3 yards, or in metric terms, a shedload.
zauberdachs wrote:I think for our discussion it tells us that:

Highlanders wore Irish dress prior to roughly 1595. Not the plaid or tartan material in other forms but Linen based Irish dress.
Honestly, I don't think it even tells us that much. We don't know what Martin's sources are, so I'm really not minded to treat it as more than an interesting anecdote.

The other sources just tell us bear legs and mantles this spells it out for us and dates it. Excellent.
...legs or thighs or knees or shins or feet, on Scots or Irish... circa 1100... ;)

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Post by zauberdachs »

ha! You've got a point Mr MacDonald, but if you takes this strict criteria on all the available evidence what do we have? The answer is b**ger all really :)

The evidence we have overall fits in the Martins suggestion so I think it is a valuable summary.
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Post by zauberdachs »

Alan_F wrote:They stop wearing it (although Gallowglass seem to continue wearing it) around the time of the collapse of highland economy and the clothing they were wearing was relatively expensive.
This is really interesting. What are the primary or secondary sources for this?
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Post by Lady Wolfshead »

Okay, going to say this a bit louder now! Please can we move on to improve Bannockburn as an event.

This year, for the first time, NTS managed to hold a tartan-free event so they have listened to what the re-enactors had to say. Repeating all the bad things that have happened in previous years will NOT help to improve this event. If you do not wish to attend it yourselves that is your choice but please don't continually slate the event or it will never be given the opportunity to recover from previous year's mistakes.

We have few enough events to go to north of the border and I really don't want to see this one take a nose-dive just at the point when we are getting somewhere.

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Post by Alan_F »

Nigel wrote:We as a group try to support scottish events Lanark this year is a major for us
And to me that's what the problem is: There are people like Nigel, Fox, Cleggy and others who are more than happy to travel for the better part of a day (or two) to get to a Scottish event and despite this there are people there who think that they have some sort of right to treat them like s**t. Wrong.
And it doesn't matter how much hard work myself and others are prepared to put into this event to make it work, until the moron element is kept away it will continue to not work - and for those muppets who think that acting like a total a**e towards the english at the event is oh so bloody clever, think how stupid you'll look when you've driven all the english away from the event.

To improve things can I suggest that:

1. People give up on the idea that it has to be strictly 14th century - if kit is out by 100 years either way it will still look good and still there won't be any tartan.

2. Better advertising - I'm happy to turn up in kit to advertise the event. I'm happy to put up posters around the central belt as well and I won't charge for it.

3. Better communications: Let people know in advance when it will be and what is required and make sure that emails are returned - NTS is a big organisation and I'm sure that many of its volunteers would be happy to help out.
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Post by Lady Wolfshead »

To improve things can I suggest that:

1. People give up on the idea that it has to be strictly 14th century - if kit is out by 100 years either way it will still look good and still there won't be any tartan.

2. Better advertising - I'm happy to turn up in kit to advertise the event. I'm happy to put up posters around the central belt as well and I won't charge for it.

3. Better communications: Let people know in advance when it will be and what is required and make sure that emails are returned - NTS is a big organisation and I'm sure that many of its volunteers would be happy to help out.
Great, I'm also happy to help advertise the event in the future.

I should qualify my earlier statement too and say that I agree nobody should be treated badly and suffer verbal insults when they attend an event, whether they have travelled 5 or 500 miles to get to it. Despite having an English accent I seem to have been fortunate at events up here and not received any insults.

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Post by Ayliffe's Steve »

We did Bannockburn three times:

First I enjoyed apart from being confronted by a p*ssed up MOP who wanted a fight after the battle. I was saved by a big Scottish re-enactor who simpy took the guys pint out of his hand and drunk it. Best way of calming someone down that I ever saw.

Second time I enjoyed it apart from some trouble from the locals on the Sunday.

Third time I enjoyed it apart from some trouble with the locals on the Saturday, a very short battle and the complete lack of a beer tent.

Overall it just strikes me as being a bit too far to travel for a show where it has always rained heavily and we have always had hassle from someone.
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Post by Fox »

Lady Wolfshead wrote:This year, for the first time, NTS managed to hold a tartan-free event...
That's blantly untrue; some previous Bannockburns have also been tartan free.

Of the ones I've been to only one was infected with tartan, there were three of them and we all know who they were.
Lady Wolfshead wrote:Please can we move on to improve Bannockburn as an event.
OK. This is what it would take for me to come back....

Move the event [again] so that it is not in June or July. I'm already turning away events on those months.

Create a descent social atmosphere.
I don't know what the bar was like this time, but it needs to stock something more than real ale and odd, expensive mead. Brother Martin and his many offshoots know how to run a good, varied bar. Observe that.
The bar needs an extension, even if only 'til midnight.
Perhaps run silly games.

Absolutely do not allow any other activity, particularly nationalist ones, on the same weekend as the re-enactment. It invites the wrong sort, and usually it has some psuedo-nonsence-history element that just annoys the re-enactors who've done the best to get period kit that they'll only use for this one event.

Move the event. The monument site is not a good one, the ground is poor for pitching tents, it doesn't drain well and is very exposed to the elements. There are plenty of other nearby fields, one must be better. This might also help with the point above.

Unlike Alan_F, I'm not for entirely giving up on the 14th Century idea.
Issue a kit guide. Ask people to read it and try to make their kit as close as possible.
Encourage to people to ditch items that are much later, like full plate.
But be understanding about helms, shoes and other essential, but expensive items. People will not initially kit up for a one-off out-of-period event.
Make people enthusiastic so that over time the kit gets better; aggresively pariahing new comers will not encourage their return.
Be proportional, does it really matter, for instance, if someone is wearing joined hose?
Most importantly don't be dogmatic, find out first. I was criticised for using my bardiche, too late, too 15thC. Since it's shape and size are taken from English 13thC weapon that's clearly not true.

I have a Sugarloaf helmet. It's valid time span is something like 1300-1325. I'd like to wear it again; please give me an event to do it at.

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Post by PaulMurphy »

Fox,

Come to Lanark - then we can discuss the merits or otherwise of Bannockburn events in the past in person.

However, I'd prefer you to say that there was a difference of opinions rather than that people (including me - thanks very much :roll: ) lied about what happened. You may disagree with the comments, and feel unappreciated after travelling a long way when someone criticises your choice of kit, but that doesn't make them liars. The web page of my comments from 2002 is still visible - http://www.histrenact.co.uk/histrenact/ ... inpage.php - and I'd welcome an explanation of which bits were "lies".

The problem for Bannockburn has always been that there are very few people who specialise in that period, and so there will always be difficulties in getting the kit together for enough people to make it all worthwhile. However, that doesn't mean we shouldn't try, and it is precisely because of events like Lanark that the number of people who are prepared to get the kit together is growing. If we could also stage decent events at Falkirk, Brander, Methven (good start last year!), Loudon Hill, on the Solway, in Tynedale, and so on, then the public would better understand their own history, and also come to realise that for every outstanding victory for the Scots, there were 2 or 3 disastrous losses, including losses against their own people, e.g. Dupplin Moor.

The people who persist in taking comfort from anti-English feeling don't encourage participation, but then I've had the same thing at events in England. Its good to step outside of your comfort zone occasionally...

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Post by Alan_F »

Fox wrote:Unlike Alan_F, I'm not for entirely giving up on the 14th Century idea.
Issue a kit guide. Ask people to read it and try to make their kit as close as possible.
Encourage to people to ditch items that are much later, like full plate.
But be understanding about helms, shoes and other essential, but expensive items. People will not initially kit up for a one-off out-of-period event.
Make people enthusiastic so that over time the kit gets better; aggresively pariahing new comers will not encourage their return.
Be proportional, does it really matter, for instance, if someone is wearing joined hose?
Most importantly don't be dogmatic, find out first. I was criticised for using my bardiche, too late, too 15thC. Since it's shape and size are taken from English 13thC weapon that's clearly not true.

I have a Sugarloaf helmet. It's valid time span is something like 1300-1325. I'd like to wear it again; please give me an event to do it at.
How about we go for a compromise here and try this: Items such as joined hose, 15th century jacks, some helmets and weapons be allowed? That means people aren't going to be out of pocket for one event.
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Post by Lady Wolfshead »

This year, for the first time, NTS managed to hold a tartan-free event...


That's blantly untrue; some previous Bannockburns have also been tartan free.
I have seen tartan and/or plaids for at least 4 out of the 5 Bannockburn events. The one year that I'm not sure about, the main culprits for wearing plaids were away filming so it was less about NTS keeping them off the site and actively upholding the kit guide. This year was different.

The beer tent is definitely a failing at Scottish events and one that has already been mentioned as necessary for next year. Silly games would be fun and might help to keep people warm! :)
People will not initially kit up for a one-off out-of-period event.
Bannockburn isn't the only event that people can wear 14th century kit to. We now have Lanark and there has also been Caerlaverock for a number of years.
Move the event. The monument site is not a good one
Unfortunately, I doubt NTS own any of the farmland around the site and as they are the organisers of the event it is unlikely to move. Furthermore, I believe that the idea of NTS running the event was initially to raise money for a new visitor centre. If this is still part of their objectives then moving the site away from the current visitor centre would be counterproductive for them.

I am sympathetic to the problems that people have experienced in the past but I do feel that if you don't wish to attend the event it is not helpful to rehash the mistakes and difficulties made in previous years or declare loudly that you will not be coming back to the event on this forum. Let us build on this year's positive points, improve the overall event and, if it heads in the right direction, we hopefully will have a great event that is worth travelling long distances to come to.

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Post by guthrie »

My easy guide to get-awayable-with kit for Bannockburn:

Buy some cheap but reasonable wool and spend a few hours making up an appropriate Tunic, but make sure it isnt slit all the way up to your groin. Wear this over your joined hose and normal shoes, along with a coif or straw hat, and a belt with brass fittings.

Hey presto- someone who is perfectly acceptable looking for Bannockburn.

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Post by Fox »

PaulMurphy wrote:Come to Lanark - then we can discuss the merits or otherwise of Bannockburn events in the past in person.
I'd love to come; as it happens this year it falls at the end of a long run. I've heard great things about it. I would be more encouraged if I thought we might just share a beer, rather than ruin the weekend thinking about what's gone wrong at Bannockburn-past, :wink:
PaulMurphy wrote:...rather than that people (including me - thanks very much :roll: ) lied about what happened.
Ok, lied is a little strong. (I've gone back and edited my post a little).
Let's say, in the heat of your passion, you unreasonably exagerated.

I'd need the e-mail that was sent on Histrenact before the pictures. It's archived at work, I'll get the exact text tomorrow. To paraphrase it suggested that an entire 15thC style bill block had time-travelled in.
I challenged you at the time to show that on the photos, as I beleive that's completely untrue. You did not, and I could not find them.

That aside, I was very put out by your comments, a lot of people came to try and start the mommentum for an event and you were unnecessarily caustic, given that most people made an effort to adapt thier kit where they could. There were some obvous errors, but frankly those people may not have known better.

I know you claimed to be being positive, but let point a few things that may have reflected your tone.

The first was the only comment you actually made about my group, and we were long into a "heated debate" by then. I say that to show this wasn't a particular "you had a go at my group thing".
On Histrenact Paul wrote:The English parade seems to be led by the Royal Executioner.
Actually that's me. I don't know what you're saying but given the rest is supposed to be a critique the seems to be bit feels like a jibe of some sort.
Actually we provided the English king, which we protested about, but no one else wanted to do it; which is why I'm in front shouting provoctive things into the crowd. I let the Dracon bodyguard take over for the main tour of the arena.
On Histrenact Paul wrote:Behind a man who turns up for a battle with a walking stick and a knife
He was essentially unarmed and armoured. Not everyone who goes to a battle is a combatant. There is an an armoured and unarmoured woman behind him.

I picked those two I could have picked others. You critiqued a parade that was hours before a battle, when not everyone had bothered to put on full kit....

Actually the e-mail was much worse... I can publish it tomorrow if you'd like?

I didn't want to cover this ground again, so perhaps I was ill adviced to mention your name, it was a long while ago.

Nevertheless, how it made me feel was relevant to the point I was making.
PaulMurphy wrote:However, that doesn't mean we shouldn't try
I said the very same thing.

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Post by Dave B »

guthrie wrote:My easy guide to get-awayable-with kit for Bannockburn:

Buy some cheap but reasonable wool and spend a few hours making up an appropriate Tunic, but make sure it isnt slit all the way up to your groin. Wear this over your joined hose and normal shoes, along with a coif or straw hat, and a belt with brass fittings.

Hey presto- someone who is perfectly acceptable looking for Bannockburn.
A very sensible idea.

I might make one for next year. along with an exploding union flag.
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Post by Fox »

Lady Wolfshead wrote:Bannockburn isn't the only event that people can wear 14th century kit to. We now have Lanark and there has also been Caerlaverock for a number of years.
....
I am sympathetic to the problems that people have experienced in the past but I do feel that if you don't wish to attend the event it is not helpful to rehash the mistakes and difficulties made in previous years or declare loudly that you will not be coming back to the event on this forum.
You seem to have missed my point. I didn't say I wouldn't come back.
Fox wrote:In short, you'll probably not see lots of English at Bannockburn again.
Which is not the same thing at all.
But you'll notice that immediately other English people agreed.

There is lots of good 15thC re-enactment in England (and post Conquest in Nigel's case). There are not hordes of early 14thC re-enactors crying out to come to Scotland.

You'll have to accept that English groups prepared to travel and stretch their timeline are likely to find Lanark more attractive; most have some bad experience of Bannockburn, or acurate hearsay of the same.

That may not suit your cause, but you've already stated that some of this is not likely to change; it's not unreasonable for me to state my reservations about attending again.

All the positive attitude in the world will not bring the English back; if you want us back you'll have to take our views seriously.

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Post by Lady Wolfshead »

PaulMurphy wrote:Fox,

If we could also stage decent events at Falkirk, Brander, Methven (good start last year!), Loudon Hill, on the Solway, in Tynedale, and so on, then the public would better understand their own history, and also come to realise that for every outstanding victory for the Scots, there were 2 or 3 disastrous losses, including losses against their own people, e.g. Dupplin Moor.
More events in Scotland would be great. :)

Taking a fairly longterm view, I think we should also consider what will happen in 2014 if we allow the Bannockburn event to fall by the wayside. My fear is that someone would hastily organise an event for the anniversary and any Scottish group that showed interest would be invited to participate, including the Braveheart types. The publicity alone would be enough to condemn medieval Scottish history for all but the most academically minded!

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Post by Lady Wolfshead »

Fox wrote:You seem to have missed my point. I didn't say I wouldn't come back.
Fox wrote:

Fair enough. I had the impression that you wouldn't be back next year but might consider it after that.
if you want us back you'll have to take our views seriously.
I do wish to take your (everyone's) views seriously because what makes a good event for you, makes a good event for us too. We're all re-enactors wanting to enjoy our weekends! :)

In addition though we need to take responsibility for moving forward on this event and not dwelling on the bad points (that's for both those north of the border and south). Other than the rain, last weekend's event went pretty well but if I was the NTS looking at this forum I'd be put off by a lot of the comments made since the event.

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Post by Alan_F »

How about we put up a list of what we would like to see for the next Bannockburn and submit that to NTS?

I'll start with:

A beer tent - we do, after all, need somewhere communal for the evenings.

Keeping the tartan ban

Better communications - people need to know in advance when the event is

Better publicity - the event will stand or fall dependent on publicity and as I've said, I'm quite happy to promote the event.
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Post by guthrie »

Lady Wolfshead wrote: Taking a fairly longterm view, I think we should also consider what will happen in 2014 if we allow the Bannockburn event to fall by the wayside.
There are a number of us committed to avoiding that.
For starters, we have about 5 years in which to infiltrate the higher echelons of the NTS...
Then I think with Lanark as a springboard and the little thing we are working on, we have a fighting chance.

By the way, I have prior claim to dressing up as Walter Stewart and getting stuck in.

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