Sergeant's Sashes

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IagotheHungry
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Sergeant's Sashes

Post by IagotheHungry »

Ooh, a can of worms, let's open it shall we? *looks for tin opener* :p


Ok, so I know there were orders in 1727 issued saying that sergeants should wear sashes, prior to this were they standard? Or were halberds the only sign of rank?

In all the old school books it says that people wore sashes in the ECW. Now I've read all sorts; officers only wore them, NCOs and officers, only cavalry, only cuirassiers, and all combatants wore them. Anybody have a definite on who exactly wore these blimmin' things on the field? I have read a contemporary book stating that cuirassiers ought to wear "scarfes" of a colour to suit their unit, but sergeants of foot?
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Merlon.
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Re: Sergeant's Sashes

Post by Merlon. »

The wearing of the scarf is what marks an officer, their scarves being bigger than the basic ones worn by Sergeants and Cavalrymen.

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. 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).

Officers and sometime Sergeants wore their own clothes. Sergeants carried halberds as a mark of their rank, the butt of which was used for discipline and as a marker when organising the ranks. Lieutenants and Captains would carry partisans as a mark of their rank. Majors and above would either carry batons or leading staffs at their own whim.

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Andy R
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Re: Sergeant's Sashes

Post by Andy R »

From the restoration through to 1727 (taking your date as correct) Sergeants only had the halbard as a badge of rank as far as I know.

What I know is limited to secondary information on the whole, but not seen a sergeant with one from Chuck II to Marlborough (with the exception of certain times when all ranks of certain arms wore them)
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IagotheHungry
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Re: Sergeant's Sashes

Post by IagotheHungry »

Ok, so, if sergeants AND officers wore scarfes, is there any primary(ish) evidence of sergeants wearing scarfes on the field pre-1700s? I can't find any pictorial evidence myself, only officers. I have a picture of the Foot Guards in the later 1600s, but the officers only are in scarfes here. Unfortunately, the internet's hidden it, but it was c.1680 with pike and shot, and orange or gold coloured scarfes worn by pike-armed officers, sergeants carry halberds only.

Ooh, I spelt scarf the old-fashioned way, how nerdy of me XD
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Re: Sergeant's Sashes

Post by Andy R »

I think 1685ish pike Sgt did as pikemen of the time wore a scarf/sash as a matter of course.

other than that sort of thing, I am afraid not..
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Re: Sergeant's Sashes

Post by John Waller »

I received your letter with my mistress' scarf and Mr. Molloyne's hatband, both which came very seasonably, for I had gathered a little money together, and had this day made me a soldier's suit for winter, edged with gold and silver lace. These gifts I am unworthy of. I have nothing to tender you for them but humble and hearty thanks. I will wear them for your sakes, and I hope I shall never stain them but in the blood of a cavalier.

Extract from a letter by roundhead sergeant Nehemiah Wharton written in September 1642.
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Re: Sergeant's Sashes

Post by John Waller »

I received your letter with my mistress' scarf and Mr. Molloyne's hatband, both which came very seasonably, for I had gathered a little money together, and had this day made me a soldier's suit for winter, edged with gold and silver lace. These gifts I am unworthy of. I have nothing to tender you for them but humble and hearty thanks. I will wear them for your sakes, and I hope I shall never stain them but in the blood of a cavalier.

Extract from a letter by roundhead sergeant Nehemiah Wharton written in September 1642.
Those who live by the sword get shot by those who don't.

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Re: Sergeant's Sashes

Post by IagotheHungry »

That's tremendous! Primary literary evidence, no less! Thanks very much for that.

Ok, so they definitely did wear them at least some of the time, although from the sounds of it they were pretty dear, I know harquebusiers were given an allowance for them specifically, so presumably not all Foot NCOs could afford them without some extra dosh (or getting the Mrs to buy one!)

:)
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Andy R
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Re: Sergeant's Sashes

Post by Andy R »

Remember that quote is 1642, so ECW period when there is no doubting their use. But restoration to 1727......
Young men have often been ruined through owning horses, or through backing them, but never through riding them: unless of course they break their necks, which, taken at a gallop, is a very good death to die

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Re: Sergeant's Sashes

Post by Merlon. »

Most of the OPs questions relate to ECW matters and this question tends that way. Like many questions asked on many forums, a bit of tightening up would not go amiss

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Re: Sergeant's Sashes

Post by Andy R »

B'ahh, after lookimg at the pictures of the Oxford Blues I am late 17th century orientated right now.

Come back after the ABH for more common sense :crazy:
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Re: Sergeant's Sashes

Post by Dathi »

Remember that quite late into the 17th Century the Sargeant was an officer. There was no clear gap between the Captian, Lieutenant, Ensign, Sargeant and Drummers. They were all counted as officers in muster lists. There was no Commissioned Offficer/Non Commissioned Officer divide.

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Re: Sergeant's Sashes

Post by John Waller »

Dathi wrote: There was no Commissioned Offficer/Non Commissioned Officer divide.
Except that some had commissions. Which surely is a divide?
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Re: Sergeant's Sashes

Post by Merlon. »

The only person issued with a commission - pre New Model Army - is the Colonel of the regiment. NMA and later, commisions are issued as down as Ensign, an after affect of the desire for political control of the army.

The Colonels then appoint the Captains Lieutenants and Ensigns.

The Captain then appoint the Sergeants. So using the commision criteria would only give one commisioned offer per regiment. Whereas the muster rolls include as far down as Sergeants as Officers

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Re: Sergeant's Sashes

Post by Dathi »

John Waller wrote:
Dathi wrote: There was no Commissioned Offficer/Non Commissioned Officer divide.
Except that some had commissions. Which surely is a divide?
I'm somewhat at a loss here. We have a fair few Commissions signed by various people (Lord Fairfax, Charles I, Marquis of Newcastle, Robert, Earl of Essex and more) down to Quartermaster of Horse. Which is probably what would be a SNCO rank today. I don't know of any commissions issued to ranks below Ensign BUT. Muster rolls count a Company as so many men and so many Officers pretty much all the time from the mid 16th Century into the late 17th Century.

My current craze for 16th Century Elizabethen lists a Footband as so many Officers, armed men, musket and shot.

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Re: Sergeant's Sashes

Post by Dathi »

Another point I uncovered in one of Mark Fissel's books. The employment history of some of the old veterans is pretty much Private soldier - transfer - Sergeant - transfer - Ensign/Lieutenant and upwards

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Re: Sergeant's Sashes

Post by Dathi »

Discovered this....

http://wiki.umd.edu/psidney/index.php?title=Plate_24

Look at the Captain and lieutenant. Only the Captain wears a sash, not the Lieutenant.

http://wiki.umd.edu/psidney/index.php?title=Plate_5

shows a lieutenant and ensign both without sashes

http://wiki.umd.edu/psidney/index.php?title=Plate_4

shows 2 sargeants, both without sashes.

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Re: Sergeant's Sashes

Post by Merlon. »

The 1587 Philip Sidney Funeral pictures are very detailed and indeed beautiful, but what do they actually show?
Elizabethan Trained Band individuals, i.e. a time when the "modern" rank structure was in its infancy. So it does not prove or disprove any aspect of the OP question.
Because IagotheHungry's questions have mostly had an ECW biase I gave an answer relating to the ECW. As with many questions asked here, the original question was actually quite vague, it is quite diffcult to actually establish to estblish what OP was asking about.

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Re: Sergeant's Sashes

Post by IagotheHungry »

*Leaps into the fray, fresh from the Isle of Man*

Well, it was vague on purpose, although I'm ECW in my re-enactment period, I simply meant pre-1727, as I said in the original question. There was no time constraint because I wanted to know how far back the wearing of a scarf to denote rank went.

The use of a scarf/sash by Sgts as a symbol of rank in the ECW, at least to some degree, is now fairly well established on here, thanks to you all for the awesome volume, so I think it now remains to bolster the evidence and see how far the tradition goes. Clearly they're being worn in the 16th century as well:-

If these funeral pictures are showing various ranks wearing them, or not, does this suggest that it was personal preference on the part of the individual soldier at this point (1570s) ?
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Re: Sergeant's Sashes

Post by Dathi »

IagotheHungry wrote:*Leaps into the fray, fresh from the Isle of Man*

Well, it was vague on purpose, although I'm ECW in my re-enactment period, I simply meant pre-1727, as I said in the original question. There was no time constraint because I wanted to know how far back the wearing of a scarf to denote rank went.

The use of a scarf/sash by Sgts as a symbol of rank in the ECW, at least to some degree, is now fairly well established on here, thanks to you all for the awesome volume, so I think it now remains to bolster the evidence and see how far the tradition goes. Clearly they're being worn in the 16th century as well:-

If these funeral pictures are showing various ranks wearing them, or not, does this suggest that it was personal preference on the part of the individual soldier at this point (1570s) ?
I think that the Lant Roll shows that the Captain of the Foot band is the only person who wears a scarf at that time.

I'm wondering if the scarfe spreads downwards through the officer ranks during the 30 Years War. But I'd have to have a look at every painting to see what's being depicted.

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Re: Sergeant's Sashes

Post by hobbit »

Hi,

First time posting here. In Blackmore's Arms and Armour of the ECW, plate 7 by Meulener shows a halberd armed figure wearing a red sash/scarf,

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