15c beggers

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aidanwallis
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15c beggers

Post by aidanwallis »

Hello
Does anybody now what clothing would have been worn by a begger in around 1483.
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auldMotherBegg
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Post by auldMotherBegg »

I suppose the most predictable answer would be 'rags'

But it might depend on where you are, and how long you've been a beggar... for not too long and you would be wearing patched and very worn stuff... sleeping rough under bushes, alot more ragged. Check out etchings by Rembrandt (I know, a little later period) or paintings by Breughel. Not British, of course, but a good start. There may be others but I can't think of them at the moment. Any kind of shoes, I would have thought, would have been hoarded for wearing in cities, or cold weather.

One thing you would have had was a licence to beg, (probably worn around your neck on a string?)... beggars were given a lead token crudely engraved with their name and location, to show they were allowed to do so in their home parish. Outwith this area, and they were subject to the law.

The beggar's token also makes an excellent talking point with MOP's, and is good for a wee cameo with your more 'well-to-do' pals, having to prove your legal status in the village, or whatever.

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glyndwr 50
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Beggars clothing

Post by glyndwr 50 »

I have worked as an extra fo many film units ,I once had to beat of some beggars in a scene From Henry the VIII.production .They were dress in hooded thread bare cloaks and badly worn leggings ,but the costume girls dressed them in anything period,but it was well worn and very unkempt.She said that beggers were like medieval tramps and relied on any handouts or clothes that the were given or could get .The easy answer would be beggers would wear what they could get hold of...

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Post by auldMotherBegg »

PS. Don't forget to wear dirt ! :lol: :lol: :lol:

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Post by Phil the Grips »

People would be very wary of vagrants and travellers so expect a beating every now and again due to th erisk of transmitting disease and threat of crime (just think of the rumours around modern gypsies).

You may also need some sores and injuries from being clapped in irons for vagrancy- one account (which I cant remember the name of but cited in Embleton's "Medieval Soldier") tells of vagrants near losing limbs while detained and awaiting a judge to ascertain their status.
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Karen Larsdatter
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Re: 15c beggers

Post by Karen Larsdatter »

There's a few more beggars amongst the links at http://larsdatter.com/lepers.htm and http://larsdatter.com/crutches.htm too.

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gregory23b
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Post by gregory23b »

There is the Catherine of Cleves beggar, a smallish chap in a rather outsized doublet hanging from his shoulders.

I suspect beggars could not afford to be fashion concious, given that for example there was a parliamentary law stating that the lower order men were to not wear closed hose, so you could happily have him in nasty open hose. Odd shoes, or very worn and patched ones.

The only major caution would be to over contrive the raggedness by selectively ruining parts with a cheese grater etc or adding ridiculously contrasting patches "ooh look I am a beggar".

Looking poor and vagrant is as demanding of ones skills as looking posh or even just day to day person.
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Post by Marcus Woodhouse »

Ask any of the Woodvilles, the all look like beggers to me.
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Post by Sir Thomas Hylton »

That'd be "Daft-beggars" whouldn't it ? :lol: 8)

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Post by Marcus Woodhouse »

Look I joined the Woodvilles because they are so scruffy they make me look good.
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Post by Sir Thomas Hylton »

I should have included a wink smilie :wink: :lol: :D :shock: 8)

Damn.... Knew I should have dressed down.... Too late I've already ordered the incandesent hose :P :wink:

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Post by Marcus Woodhouse »

This year has seen a surprising leap forward in smartness amongst them, next year we might even polish a peice of armour. No idea which peice or who it will belong to yet though.
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Post by Sir Thomas Hylton »

Break out the brasso :shock:

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Post by Marcus Woodhouse »

Not likely-it would ruin the red wool of my brig!
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Post by Sir Thomas Hylton »

Nice red Brig eh?! nice. Very nice. Wonder if you can get them in Yellow with black piping.?

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Post by Marcus Woodhouse »

If you have the cash then you can have them made any damn way you want.

It's having that cash that is the problem.
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Post by Sir Thomas Hylton »

Very true :(

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Post by smudge »

hmm.. ive heard that beggers often mutilated themselves to make them look more pitiful, i dont know how true this is. im not suggesting hurting yourself, but maybe bandaging a foot or eye.
i notice there are a lot of crutch users in the images posted, so maybe a bit of hobbling is in order.
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Post by Karen Larsdatter »

See Vagabonds, Poor Laws & Coney-Catchers for a discussion on this sort of thing:
Over time, the Government enacted a series of Poor Laws to deal with the problem of vagabonds. A legal distinction was made between the "impotent poor" (those too young, old, or sick to work) and "sturdy rogues" (healthy vagabonds). The laws established communal responsibility for support of the impotent poor. However, lawmakers assumed that sturdy rogues were just unwilling to work and condemned "foolish pity and mercy" for them.

The Ordinance of Laborers (1349) prohibited people from giving aid to able-bodied beggars, so "that they may be compelled to labor for their necessary living."

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Captain Reech
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Post by Captain Reech »

Sir Thomas Hylton wrote:Nice red Brig eh?! nice. Very nice. Wonder if you can get them in Yellow with black piping.?
Yes you can, and you know where to go if you want one! (But not yet, she hasn't finished mine 'cos she's 'too busy making other peoples kit' which is a poor excuse if you ask me.....)

Ahem, back on topic.

The 'Botcher' was a tradesman, often a retired Tailor or one who had fallen on hard times, who would travel the villages mending and altering old clothes so they would be servicable for the 'decent' poor. Patched and mended clothing would probably denote someone who had the means (and the pride!) to keep themselves decent at least. The homeless and those unable to afford even these meagre prices would most likely be in ill fitting, threadbare and torn cast offs, the things that could not be 'Botched' or items found or stolen. I like the idea of mismatched seperate hose and mismatched shoes (If anyone is interested in playing a beggar I've got the remains of some really awful old pairs of shoes that have been repaired too many times that they are now not even fit for the 'Kit Box'!) Dirt would be the other mark of destitution, I know MOP's assume all medieval people below the rank of King were constanly filthy, but we know better, (don't we?) and having a truly dishevelled individual hanging about the LH display would give a great contrast which could lead to an interesting conversation with those who ask intellegent questions!
Last edited by Captain Reech on Sat Aug 01, 2009 11:23 am, edited 2 times in total.
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aidanwallis
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Post by aidanwallis »

Captain Reech wrote:
Sir Thomas Hylton wrote:Nice red Brig eh?! nice. Very nice. Wonder if you can get them in Yellow with black piping.?
Yes you can, and you know where to go if you want one! (But not yet, she hasn't finished mine 'cos she's 'too busy making other peoples kit' which is a poor excuse if you ask me.....)
very good kit she make's too :D
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The Methley Archer
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Post by The Methley Archer »

Here's a 'tinker'.
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Karen Larsdatter
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Post by Karen Larsdatter »

The Methley Archer wrote:Here's a 'tinker'.
Hmm, I'd never really thought of Bosch's Wayfarer as a tinker, but I guess he could have been. Here's two versions he did of this painting:
http://www.wga.hu/html/b/bosch/5panels/02wayfar.html
http://www.wga.hu/html/b/bosch/4haywain/02pouter.html

As to tinkers ... I think of this guy (lower right-hand corner of the page) as being a tinker. :)
http://www.imagesonline.bl.uk/results.asp?image=072881

More images of peddlers and other itinerant tradesmen at http://www.larsdatter.com/peddlers.htm too.

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Post by tonimurray »

My boyfriend and I are thinking about being a couple from the 15th or 16th century for Halloween, and I think we'll follow thru with it now. Just need to find the right swords and knives!
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