The Sash my Royalist wore....

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David F
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The Sash my Royalist wore....

Postby David F » Sun Jan 25, 2009 1:03 am

Hello all,

I'm painting a Scots Royalist wargames army, and can't find a reference to the colour of officers sashes.
Did the officers of Montrose and Huntly wear the same red colour as their English counterparts, or did they follow the older Scots practice of yellow sashes?

Can anyone advise?


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Andy R
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Postby Andy R » Sun Jan 25, 2009 8:34 pm

I was told red - right after I painted all mine blue - d'ohh

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Postby Merlon. » Mon Jan 26, 2009 12:48 am

The colour of the scarf worn by officers was variable it could depend on the family colours of the armies leader, also personal taste as well as allegiance to a given cause. The wearing of the scarf is what marks an officer, their scarves being bigger than the basic ones worn by cavalrymen.
Red is the martial colour of England and is normally associated with Royalist cause, but was also used by Parliamentarian officers. Royalists wore blue scarves, but so did officers in the Northern Parliamentarian army under Fairfax.
Some Yorkshire officers wore yellow scarves, Colonel Eden was shot at Pontefract castle wearing a black scarf, whether that was a family colour or he was in mourning is unknown.
So based on English practice you could justify most colours of scarf. (The word scarf is used because that is what they are called in all the period documents, sadly sash is a modern appellation).

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Postby m300572 » Mon Jan 26, 2009 11:27 am

Try asking on the ECWS forum - but personally my scarf is blue silk (CO of Loudoun's Regiment of Foote)

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Neil Johnston
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Postby Neil Johnston » Mon Jan 26, 2009 5:51 pm

Weren't the blue sashes known as Montrose's fancies or something like that.....whimsies it was actually....although that was when he was in his Covenanter period...pre Royalist!!

I believe blue was the usual colour of scarves for the Armie of the Covenant. Derived possibly from the background colour of the saltire. It was also the colour of the Swedish army of Gustavus and there is some thought it was borrowed from them as so many Scottish officers had served with him ...presumably they already had one....thrifty!!!

Gordons are quoted (in Spalding I think) as wearing flesh (red/pink) coloured ribbons when the main component of the Royalist force at the Trot of Turriff.


David F
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Postby David F » Wed Jan 28, 2009 12:34 am

I know the Blue scarf, (thanks for the correct term Merlon) is the colour adopted by the Covenanter officers. As you point out Neil, by Montrose himself, (leastways according to Montrose's version of events!) Though more likely becouse it was the colour of the Swedish army.
Montrose is supposed to have adopted blue in answer to Huntly adopting black at the start of the First Bishops war.
But Huntly seems to have changed his mind very quickly.
So, did Huntly and then Montrose adopt the English royalist Red (as I think is likely), or did they, being a bit more conservative use the older Scots royalist colour of Yellow?
I'm just hopeing for a reasonable excuse to get a little extra colour on my figures, but I'm pedantic enough to want a reference.

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John Waller
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Postby John Waller » Mon Mar 02, 2009 3:06 pm

Probably your best bet would be to seek out contemporary paintings of Scots officers. A quick google brings up a few including a nice one of Lord Gordon sporting a crimson scarf.

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