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Welsh Stuffs

Posted: Sun Jun 13, 2010 4:47 pm
by IagotheHungry
Hallo,
Just wondered if anyone had any idea if there are examples cited anywhere of Welsh soldiers wearing: one shoe (got to grip on mountain-sides, see :wink: ) a black shield, a short haircut and a 'tache. I'm particularly interested in the latter, because I'd like an excuse to grow a moustache again!

A friend of mine has told me these were all features in the 10th-12th centuries, but I've had a lot of trouble finding any references, particularly contemporary ones.

Cheers!

Re: Welsh Stuffs

Posted: Sun Jun 13, 2010 4:56 pm
by Phil the Grips
This image is responsible for the "one shoe" part-
Image

Someone can probably tell you where it is from

Re: Welsh Stuffs

Posted: Tue Jun 15, 2010 11:13 am
by Cap-a-pie
Might be worth sending a PM to "gwyddal" he does post on the forum now and then - and is a mind of information when it comes to anything Medieval and Welsh. Seem to recall he mentioned that the current theory from some academics, on the single shoe, is that it is nothing to do with obtaining a good grip on the mountainside but more of a pictorial representation of wealth compared to others.

Re: Welsh Stuffs

Posted: Tue Jun 15, 2010 3:04 pm
by IagotheHungry
Cheers guys, will do. I've no idea where it came from obviously, so any leads or theories are worth following :)

Re: Welsh Stuffs

Posted: Sat Dec 04, 2010 1:54 am
by The_Maille_Tailor
The image is from the 'Littere Wallie' If thats of any help?
Its a 'doodle' if you will be the scribe on a C13th text if I remember correctly.
I can find out which one when I'm at uni next.
There's a good theory that the portrayal of shoes on Irish, Welsh and Scots troops in this period is more to do with social status than their usefulness in combat.
In other words, the Irish have no shoes, being the least civilized, the Welsh one shoe being more so, and the Scots a pair being closest to civilized.

Re: Welsh Stuffs

Posted: Sat Dec 04, 2010 1:37 pm
by IagotheHungry
Ah yes, I think I read about the status idea somewhere just recently.

That's great, it'd be lovely if you could, thanks very much! :)

Re: Welsh Stuffs

Posted: Sat Dec 04, 2010 2:05 pm
by The_Maille_Tailor
No probs,
I'll be in again on Monday and will be able to dig out the book then.

Re: Welsh Stuffs

Posted: Wed Dec 15, 2010 3:23 pm
by Brother Ranulf
With regard to Welsh shields and moustaches/haircuts, Giraldus Cambrensis is a reliable late 12th century source. In his "Description of Wales", Book 1 chapter11 he states that the styles of his day date back to the time of the Romans, so they can certainly be applied to pre-Conquest Wales.

"Both the men and the women cut their hair short and shape it round the ears and eyes. Like the Parthians the women cover their heads with a flowing white veil which sticks up in folds like a crown. . . . the men shave their beards, leaving only their moustaches. This is not a new habit but one which goes back to time immemorial . . . Sometimes they shave their heads too, so that they can move more freely . . . Of all the people I have seen the Welsh are the most particular in shaving the lower parts of the body."

In chapter 8 of the same book he refers to the Welsh using round shields, handfuls of arrows and long spears.

No mention of black shields (I would be interested if anyone knows of such a reference).

Short hair was certainly the Welsh style - but if it had to be cropped around the ears and eyes it can not have been "short" in the modern sense, simply shorter than the contemporary English fashion, which was often very long. Bare legs and feet, cloaks and belted tunics were the most common common clothing for men - Giraldus mentions meeting the son of a prince dressed exactly in that way. There was nothing like the same class structure in Wales as in Norman England, so for the Welsh at least "status" had little meaning.

Re: Welsh Stuffs

Posted: Thu Dec 16, 2010 12:26 pm
by IagotheHungry
Brother Ranulf wrote:Of all the people I have seen the Welsh are the most particular in shaving the lower parts of the body."
So does this mean I have to start shaving my legs? :crazy:

That's great, thanks Ranulf! :)

Re: Welsh Stuffs

Posted: Wed Dec 22, 2010 1:27 am
by The_Maille_Tailor
Brother Ranulf wrote: There was nothing like the same class structure in Wales as in Norman England, so for the Welsh at least "status" had little meaning.
As long as you take this reference in its context of the late C12th, rather than as an explanation of how the Welsh were attired throughout the medieval period, you will be ok.
There is a reference from Froissart about how Welsh soldiers were trouserless in the french wars, wore red tunics, rawhide shoes, spent their money on dairy products, drank nothing but buttermilk and fought everything in sight! (nothing new there then?) 8-) :D

Got the reference from 'Littere Wallie' for the one shoed figures for you now, and am working on the translation.

Re: Welsh Stuffs

Posted: Thu Jan 06, 2011 1:26 am
by IagotheHungry
That's great, thanks so much again :)

Re: Welsh Stuffs

Posted: Thu Jan 06, 2011 2:15 pm
by Thor Ewing
The_Maille_Tailor wrote:Got the reference from 'Littere Wallie' for the one shoed figures for you now, and am working on the translation.
Could you post the Latin please?
I'd love to see what it says - not just about shoes either.

Best, Thor