Question - 14c & 15c Pouches

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cadmus dave
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Postby cadmus dave » Thu Sep 29, 2005 7:10 pm

what can i say, we all gotta make a livin !! "you aint seen me...right" !!!! :wink:


he said something about having "salami in his slacks" i think !

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WhiteWolf
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Postby WhiteWolf » Thu Sep 29, 2005 7:26 pm

cadmus dave wrote:what can i say, we all gotta make a livin !! "you aint seen me...right" !!!! :wink:


Seen who???? :wink:



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Alan E
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Postby Alan E » Fri Sep 30, 2005 10:10 am

cadmus dave wrote: people didnt stick to the laws any more than we do now, ie.. people poached game and wildlife back then, we still do now !.
Dave.

Yes, but they wouldn't flaunt the results on their own clothes, at least if they were traceable (which most people were, since most lived their lives in small communities of one sort or another). Yes sumptuary laws (as well as game laws) were broken, but for an obvious peasant to flaunt the trimmings reserved for several steps above him/her, would be asking for trouble (unless they had a powerful local protector, as for example a reeve or miller would likely have).

Upshot is (IMHO), a peasant with local influence (local manorial official for example) might well flout the laws, carefully putting him or herself 'above' their neighbours; but a less influential small/subsistence farmer would be less likely to get away with that (not least because of the risk of neighbour's jealousy).

Does anyone have a good reference for who could wear what trimmings at different periods ? That information would allow Dave's LH customers (like me :lol: ) to decide just how much we're going to risk annoying the local officials :D .



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Chickun
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Postby Chickun » Fri Sep 30, 2005 10:17 am

Ah Alan - you beat me to it (and probably articulated a little better than I would :wink: )

As you say flaunting it would advertise the fact that you'd done wrong, and you'd be (unless protected) sorted out.

I was having a look and found this:

http://people2.clarityconnect.com/webpa ... haucer.htm

It's late 14th and lists the tertiary sources although not the primary ones unfortunately.



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WhiteWolf
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Postby WhiteWolf » Fri Sep 30, 2005 10:34 am

The third paragraph reads

Sumptuary laws in England in the year 1363 forbade craftspeople from buying or wearing cloth that cost more than 4 shillings and that cloth could not be made of silk, silver, or gold. Their clothes could not be embroidered and their accessories could not be made of silver or gold. The veils of their wives could only be made of cloth that was made in English lands that was not made of silk. They were also forbidden from wearing furs except for lamb, rabbit, cat, or fox.


nicked from http://people2.clarityconnect.com/webpages5/breaker/chaucer.htm

does this mean its ok to use?

WW 8)



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Alan E
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Postby Alan E » Fri Sep 30, 2005 11:10 am

WhiteWolf wrote:...does this mean its ok to use?

WW 8)


"OK to use" would be ... ask your group (you were joining one, right ?) and look at your character ... How would he answer the question from the local official responsible for the Land-owner's warren, when he (probably surrounded by a group of hired heavies) said "where did you get that rabbit-sking then?" ?

If your character and his wife and childer can get around that, then fine ... use rabbit. Possibly he might have had spare money to but them ? But if a subsistance farmer probably working a number of days on the landlord's land as part of his rent, that's unlikely (he'd be more likley to sell the results of his poaching).



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Chickun
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Postby Chickun » Fri Sep 30, 2005 11:19 am

Also as I said it's mid-14th; sumptuary laws may well have been tightened up by the 15th C to exclude rabbit fur as was mentioned in a previous post. So it depends upon time, place and "level" of person who was being portrayed. Would it fit in with the rest of your kit and the social standing of your group, i.e. could you justify having it?



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WhiteWolf
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Postby WhiteWolf » Fri Sep 30, 2005 11:30 am

Alan E wrote:
WhiteWolf wrote:...does this mean its ok to use?

WW 8)


"OK to use" would be ... ask your group (you were joining one, right ?) and look at your character ... How would he answer the question from the local official responsible for the Land-owner's warren, when he (probably surrounded by a group of hired heavies) said "where did you get that rabbit-sking then?" ?


Bought it from this Chav in the pub Sir :wink:

Yup we have joined Milwr and a nicer bunch of Mercernaries you couldn't meet.

If your character and his wife and childer can get around that, then fine ... use rabbit. Possibly he might have had spare money to but them ? But if a subsistance farmer probably working a number of days on the landlord's land as part of his rent, that's unlikely (he'd be more likley to sell the results of his poaching).


Ok I'm getting the idea that I may have to hide the fur in the mittens again :wink:


WW 8)

P.S.

Thanks guys, with being new to all this all this information helps.



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Alan E
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Postby Alan E » Fri Sep 30, 2005 12:44 pm

I like reading (and re-reading) some of the books about relationships between landlords and peasants - I'll try to put a short list together when I get home next if you like. I don't get the time to research primary sources, fortunately there are authors who do and publish for the mass (non-professional-historian) market ('though you have to be careful about their personal bias). Anyways, these books (whilst fairly dry for the most part) give a good feel for the struggle for existence that most people had, and for how they managed to (in some cases) climb the ladder to a more stable life (as well as how they went down again). This is good for working out reasons why your kit gets upgraded later for example (got appointed reeve of a couple of villages m'lord was having trouble with ... me and me mates sorted the b'grs out and er... acquired a few trinkets by the way), or for why some bits of kit are flasher than others (last year I got pretty prosperous when I followed m'lord on a raid [across the border/into france/select timeline and local war] and acquired this nice dagger ... but you can see where the wire grip binding is removed - silver that was, had to sell it last month to feed the familly).... etc



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WhiteWolf
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Postby WhiteWolf » Fri Sep 30, 2005 12:51 pm

Alan E wrote:I like reading (and re-reading) some of the books about relationships between landlords and peasants - I'll try to put a short list together when I get home next if you like.


Cheers Alan

that would be great, rather than us just taking pot luck on Amazon or in Smiths.

WW 8)



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JC Milwr
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Postby JC Milwr » Fri Sep 30, 2005 1:21 pm

Being mercenary archers, some of whom are mounted archers (horse is round the corner, honest), our groups characters do have a bit more money than the average peasant :) (ie some)

The way I look at it is this: if someone is going to wear/own something a little out of the ordinary, be ready to defend the item in and out of a character,and/ or have some knowledge associated with it.
Whitewolf, by the time you've decided what to make with the rabbit skins and actually made it, you'll be the groups sumptuary law expert, and well able to talk your way out of any corners!

Mercenaries travel far more than the average peasant as well, which gives the opportunity for claiming you got stuff miles away!



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Alan E
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Postby Alan E » Fri Sep 30, 2005 2:01 pm

A man after my own heart JC ... My own long boots are completely atypical for an archer of my period. I should be wearing short boots with clump sole (what's it called?) and hobnails, but who wants to walk across France (or anywhere further than the nearest house serving ale) ? My riding boots mean all I have to do is acquire a horse (your horse Frenchy? :twisted: Certainly not, it's mine now!) and my pay is doubled :)



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WhiteWolf
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Postby WhiteWolf » Fri Sep 30, 2005 2:21 pm

Ok Here we go found this

Edward III's Sumptuary laws of 1363 states....

.... 'men of handicraft' and yeoman - the aristocracy of the lower deck in the social strata - are limited to cloth worth 40s (*). and forbidden any fur save that of lamb, cony, cat or fox; and carters, ploughmen,shepards, and all below the yeoman level are to wear no cloth but blanket or russet wool and girdles of linen.


Nicked from English Society in the Later Middle Ages 1348 - 1500 by Maurice Keen.

(*) This states 40s. and not 4s as in the quote from the chaucer website.

So JC, can I have my fur hat? :wink: :D

WW 8)



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Chickun
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Postby Chickun » Fri Sep 30, 2005 2:45 pm

I suppose it depends upon what status you are portraying!

40s would make a lot more sense than 4s.



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gregory23b
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Postby gregory23b » Fri Sep 30, 2005 2:54 pm

WW's last quote points to a question I was ging to ask, what do you all mean by a peasant? For a while it was drifting off into kings and nobles and mud eaters, phew he says, that was headed off at the pass. WW's quote mentions men of craft, artisans/yeoman types people with a trade and or land ie a better and higher income than the mud munchers.

If in our realm of re-enactment we are portraying the 'average' ie not mud grubbers then we must be the 'men of craft/yeomen' otherwise it might be hard to justify the extensive levels of kit that people seem to have.

Coincidentally I have asked the same question of an SCAer elsewhere who was harping on about 'peasants' as of they were the only section of society other than kings and nobles.


middle english dictionary

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Chickun
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Postby Chickun » Fri Sep 30, 2005 3:12 pm

At the danger of drifting slightly off subject...

If you were not noble (1st Estate), i.e. you were not "Sir", and you were not a clergyman (2nd Estate), then you'd be technically a peasant, 3rd estate. Wouldn't there be several levels of this 3rd estate (as there were in the other two) dictated by mainly wealth, and by what period you were living in?

For example it is well know that the "feudal" system and levels of freeman/villen etc etc etc had pretty much died out by the 15th C as a result of mainly, but not exclusively, the black death and the resultant labour shortage. Also the increase in mercantile wealth blurred any class distinctions.

So where is the line drawn between Noble/Yeoman and Yeoman/Peasant? I don't think it's that simple that you can say "I am a Yeoman" like it was a badge of rank or a job title. Medieval society was structured but not in a formal way, well not for the 3rd estate anyway, like it was for the other two? I think a more important indicator of status and social standing was "I am retained by Lord x for whatever reason", or "I have this job in public life" rather than "I am a yeoman, therefore I must have this blah blah blah".

Any thoughts?



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WhiteWolf
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Postby WhiteWolf » Fri Sep 30, 2005 3:22 pm

So how would you fit ......

Lesser Knights (not Sirs)
Richer esquires
Lesser esquires
and
Merchants

Into this three tier system?

WW 8)



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JC Milwr
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Postby JC Milwr » Fri Sep 30, 2005 3:28 pm

I reckon a fur hat is no problem (you won't be wearing it half the season anyway ;)) Fur pouches might be a bit SCA, but hats and collars? Nay hassles :)

There's a list somewhere (which I shall hunt out one day) of wages in 14th Century I seem to recall, and archers (and all regular soldiers) got paid quite well, cos of them being skilled an' all. Especially mounted archers, who (for theose about to squeak about loosing a longbow on horseback) rode about the battlefield to get to where they were wanted, dismounted, shot, and presumably got back on again to ride somewhere else if required.

Plus several of our lot have been on campaign in France, which, if survived, was pretty lucrative! (or their fathers did, for later date events)

http://www.gamedev.net/reference/articl ... cle251.asp is quite interesting, although note the caveat at the top.



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Alan E
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Postby Alan E » Fri Sep 30, 2005 3:41 pm

gregory23b wrote:... what do you all mean by a peasant? ... WW's quote mentions men of craft, artisans/yeoman types people with a trade and or land ie a better and higher income than the mud munchers.

If in our realm of re-enactment we are portraying the 'average' ie not mud grubbers then we must be the 'men of craft/yeomen' otherwise it might be hard to justify the extensive levels of kit that people seem to have.

...


Well what I meant by peasant was a member of the peasantry :lol:. Yes it was loosely used but I thought I clarified it by "if you are a small/subsistance farmer" (that was before JC's clarification that the group are all mercenary archers - an excuse I too use to justify the quality of woolen cloth in my fashionable_but_untrimmed houpelaund, the bronze handle of my bollock-knife and the longsword that I occasionally carry around (something I 'acquired')). The 'average' would surely have come from the mud-grubbers after all, many merc. archers would be sons of farmers and crafts famillies would often have started with someone 'escaping' (loose language again) to the towns and working their way into a guild.

Me ... I'm not average, I'm the son of a butcher who was prosperous enough to get me an edycashion - I can read and write and got sponsored into the university - never actually attended any monkish lectures of course, spent my time honing fighting skills against the town and eventually sold my skills to the King. :P



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WhiteWolf
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Postby WhiteWolf » Fri Sep 30, 2005 3:46 pm

mounted archers got 6d a day
foot archers were paid between 2d and 4d a day

WW 8)



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Chickun
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Postby Chickun » Fri Sep 30, 2005 3:50 pm

WW:

Lesser Knight - Gentry - If a guy was a knight he'd be a "Sir" by definition
Richer esquire - gentry
Lesser esquire - gentry
merchant - "peasant" - 3rd estate (tecnically)

Note that a merchant may well have a lot more money than all three of the above, hence all the grief about sumptuary laws :D

I don't know how you'd differentiate the top three in terms of status when you talk about lesser/greater - presumably you mean blokes that have varying amounts of lands and incomes? They'd all technically be part of the same class. The esquires aren't actually dubbed but they'd still be "part of the club" and of noble birth. They may or may not aspire to knighthood. Note that knighthood, by the late 15th C anyway, was often avoided due to the onorous public duties that it involved and the financial costs. Apparently there was an entry in the Paston Letters that when told about their son's acceptance into knighthood John Paston Snr's response was basically "doh, what did you do that for!?" (thanks Neil).

The point of the argument is that you may have money (gained by whatever means) but the ideas of the sumptuary laws were that if you weren't "on the list" then you'd not be allowed to wear the expensive gear, unless there were extenuating circumstances such as being retained by the local Sheriff or whoever who could offer protection, depite being able to afford it or not.



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Alan E
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Postby Alan E » Fri Sep 30, 2005 3:53 pm

WhiteWolf wrote:So how would you fit ......

Lesser Knights (not Sirs)
Richer esquires
Lesser esquires
and
Merchants

Into this three tier system?

WW 8)

Lesser knights are Sirs (hence 'Sir Knight'); a knight may well not be rich, but is always given a knighthood by someone else of that 'fraternity' (which is essentially what it originally was). Those originating from the third estate (technically peasants - no matter how rich they were) could be knighted, but the more conservative elemnts (such as Chaucer) frowned on that.
Esquires - rich or poor - were essentially of the knightly class (lesser nobility) but not knighted. Kevin Costner's "the poorest un-armed squire" is another piece of b'sh1t to spot in that film.
Merchants were an economically mobile group who gave the system a hard time. Many would originate from the third estate (largely because mercentile adventure - actually trying to make a profit, rather than acquiring riches by grant or conquest, was frowned upon for the nobility,although some obviously indulged in it).

Remember, the three tiers were not necessarilly related to relative riches - you could have a knight poorer than a peasant (local official), but the former would still be 'sir' to the latter, even when borrowing money from him.

And within the third estate (peasantry) there were the free and the unfree, the unfree often richer than the free ... and you can be free yet still owe servile (unfree) services (but the courts might then decide you were unfree, changing the definition in effect) ...
complex bgrs those ancestors of ours :roll:



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Alan E
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Postby Alan E » Fri Sep 30, 2005 3:57 pm

WhiteWolf wrote:mounted archers got 6d a day
foot archers were paid between 2d and 4d a day

WW 8)

yeah, that's why I wear riding boots, after all you can always acquire a horse, but your feet have to fit in the stirrups and the previous owner's boots may not fit.



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WhiteWolf
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Postby WhiteWolf » Fri Sep 30, 2005 4:06 pm

I think I'll take up Nuclear Physics its less complecated :wink:



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Alan E
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Postby Alan E » Fri Sep 30, 2005 4:13 pm

WhiteWolf wrote:I think I'll take up Nuclear Physics its less complecated :wink:

Then as now it was knowing how to work the system, and get your guesses right - there were peasants who became v. rich and powerful, and landlords of both the first and second estate (including ArchBishops) who got it wrong and lost loads, especially following outbreaks of plague and rebellion (like through the C14). Interesting times !



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JC Milwr
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Postby JC Milwr » Fri Sep 30, 2005 4:36 pm

WW:

Bear in mind that the events we end up at 3/4 of them no-one else gives a stuff about authenticity, and/or there will be a huge range of standards. However I try and chivvy Milwr into a fairly high standard cos it is much more satisfying (IMO), and when we do end up at events with a high standard (or one end has a high standard, e.g. Tewkesbury), there's no hassle and we fit right in! Thus, if there's something you desperately desire that's a bit dubious, there will be some shows you can get away with it! (Won't list them here, bit cheeky ;))

I personally just don't get people who buy loads of armour, weapons etc but still prance around in nylon tabards and walking boots, it just misses the point to me, somehow! Get it right just feels right, which is part of the point of doing re-enactment in the first place, rather than just LARPing! or joining the SCA.



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WhiteWolf
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Postby WhiteWolf » Fri Sep 30, 2005 5:04 pm

JC Milwr wrote:WW:

Bear in mind that the events we end up at 3/4 of them no-one else gives a stuff about authenticity, and/or there will be a huge range of standards. However I try and chivvy Milwr into a fairly high standard cos it is much more satisfying (IMO), and when we do end up at events with a high standard (or one end has a high standard, e.g. Tewkesbury), there's no hassle and we fit right in! Thus, if there's something you desperately desire that's a bit dubious, there will be some shows you can get away with it! (Won't list them here, bit cheeky ;))

I personally just don't get people who buy loads of armour, weapons etc but still prance around in nylon tabards and walking boots, it just misses the point to me, somehow! Get it right just feels right, which is part of the point of doing re-enactment in the first place, rather than just LARPing! or joining the SCA.


If We are (and we most definatley are) going to do this, We want to do it right so you (being a bully :wink: ) and setting high standards of authenticity is fine by us. Hence all the Questions and queries.

WW 8) & Lady P

P.S.

Wots SCA??



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cadmus dave
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Postby cadmus dave » Fri Sep 30, 2005 6:13 pm

k, so seeing as how hardly anybody plays the role of a farmer or lower peasant, you can all wear rabbit fur !!! whooopeeee.. come and feel the quality madam !! (and if you realy want to be authentic, you could always say the coloured ones where cat skin !)
:twisted:
Dave the RABBIT FUR seller !!!


he said something about having "salami in his slacks" i think !

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WhiteWolf
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Postby WhiteWolf » Fri Sep 30, 2005 6:21 pm

Cat's not going to like reading that :wink:

WW 8)



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JC Milwr
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Postby JC Milwr » Fri Sep 30, 2005 6:37 pm

Cue Blackadder 3 quote....

On looking at a cheap ermine cloak:
"Oooo, look at that, real cat!"

PS SCA is the Society for Creative Anachronism, an American invention to make up for the lack of real history ;) (Googling will give you more than you ever wanted to know).




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