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Kevin P Molloy




Location: USA
Joined: 17 Feb 2006

Posts: 105

PostPosted: Tue 19 Jun, 2007 4:48 pm    Post subject: Sheilds used in Ireland 1200 to 1600AD         Reply with quote

I am interested in any information on the sheilds portrayed in the John Derrick plates in which "the English put the Irish army to flight". The sheilds used by the irish appear to be steel,are they? What kind of sheilds are these? What time period were they used in ireland? When were they first introduced? What were there dimensions? How were they used and did any other troops use them besides the cavalry? Can I get an authentic reproduction today? Any and all information would be appreciated. Thanks.

http://www.lib.ed.ac.uk/about/bgallery/Galler...eland.html

Kevin Patrick Molloy
"The Prince of Firceall of the Ancient Sword is O'Molloy of the Freeborn Name"... O'Dugain(d.1372AD)
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Craig Peters




PostPosted: Tue 19 Jun, 2007 10:05 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Judging by the fact that the woodcuts appear to be from either the late 16th C or the 17th c, I'd say it's pretty safe to assume that the shields are rotellas. They are indeed metal, and seem to have been a 16th and 17th century style. I don't think one can get any more specific about when they were introduced than this, since we don't really know. It's quite possible that the Irish didn't even carry them, and that what you are seeing is depictions of an Irish army with military equipment that was familiar to an English wood cut maker. They're probably around the same size as a Viking shield, so anywhere between 1 and a half to 3 feet wide. Mercenary's Tailor sells them http://www.merctailor.com/catalog/product_inf...cts_id=77, as does Arms and Armor of Minnesota: http://www.arms-n-armor.com/armor021.html

See here for more info: http://www.myArmoury.com/feature_shield.html

By the way, is there any reason why the title of your post refers to such a broad period in history?
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Merv Cannon




Location: Brisbane, Australia
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PostPosted: Tue 19 Jun, 2007 11:10 pm    Post subject: Irish Shields         Reply with quote

Hi Kevin....... The Irish used Targes very similar to the Scottish ones, both decended from the Viking shield, up to fairly late ( not sure exactly when the last Irish dude used one ) ..... but it seems to me that the Irish are asking the same questions ! There doesent seem to be many (recent) books on Irish gear and most of the info seems to be tucked away in the old Journals of the Royal Irish Association. Funding out about Irish gear is a bit like trying to find a proverbial Lepracon. You can try asking Niall Murray from ......http://www.geocities.com/na_degad/ ...... he's very helpful.
In the Johm Derrick plates, the Hobilar troopers are retreating with the (steel) shields slung over their backs to try and deflect English lances . These, I'm sure, would have been taken from English troops and had the St.George cross quickly scrubbed off. As far as I know, most basic Kern still used the Targe........they certinally wouldnt have thrown them away as the Irish were quite traditional, but the English could have destroyrd them at sometime as they did in Scotland.

Cheers

Merv ....... KOLR
http://www.lionrampant.com.au/

"Then let slip the dogs of war ! "......Woof !
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Sean Flynt
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myArmoury Team

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PostPosted: Wed 20 Jun, 2007 7:39 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

See this thread:

http://www.myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t...ight=irish

I haven't updated since the original post, so you'll have to use the Search function to find more recent discussion of Irish arms.

-Sean

"Everywhere I have searched for peace and nowhere found it, except in a corner with a book"- Thomas a Kempis (d. 1471)
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Kevin P Molloy




Location: USA
Joined: 17 Feb 2006

Posts: 105

PostPosted: Wed 20 Jun, 2007 11:50 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

"By the way, is there any reason why the title of your post refers to such a broad period in history?"

Yes the reason is I'm currently interested in all Irish arms and armour used during the Gaelic resurgence.

Kevin Patrick Molloy
"The Prince of Firceall of the Ancient Sword is O'Molloy of the Freeborn Name"... O'Dugain(d.1372AD)
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Kevin P Molloy




Location: USA
Joined: 17 Feb 2006

Posts: 105

PostPosted: Sat 23 Jun, 2007 8:52 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Craig wrote
"It's quite possible that the Irish didn't even carry them, and that what you are seeing is depictions of an Irish army with military equipment that was familiar to an English wood cut maker"

This is an interresting theory. I had not thought about that. Does anyone know of any other sources for these type of shields being used by the irish? Maybe a museum piece? Other paintings? Bog finds? River finds? Anything?

Kevin Patrick Molloy
"The Prince of Firceall of the Ancient Sword is O'Molloy of the Freeborn Name"... O'Dugain(d.1372AD)
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Craig Peters




PostPosted: Sat 23 Jun, 2007 10:14 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Kevin P Molloy wrote:
Craig wrote
"It's quite possible that the Irish didn't even carry them, and that what you are seeing is depictions of an Irish army with military equipment that was familiar to an English wood cut maker"

This is an interresting theory. I had not thought about that. Does anyone know of any other sources for these type of shields being used by the irish? Maybe a museum piece? Other paintings? Bog finds? River finds? Anything?


I just want to state for the record that I could be completely wrong about this. The reason I suggest it though is because it's something not uncommon in medieval and Renaissance art. When you look at the Maciejowski Bible, for instance, you learn very little from the images about what life was like in Biblical times, but you get a good look at what it was like in the 13th century. Likewise, images of battles were often illustrated later than they actually occurred, and the illustrations nearly invariably more accurately illustrate the clothing, weapons, and technology of contemporary times, rather than earlier times. A late 13th century depiction of the First Crusade usually has knights in long flowing surcoats, with what appear to be Type XII swords, and heater shields, which is appropriate for 13th century, not late 11th century, knights.
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David Evans




Location: Rotherham, West Riding
Joined: 09 Sep 2004

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PostPosted: Sun 24 Jun, 2007 9:07 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Craig, I'm afraid you're probably correct. The Derricke images are more in the nature of propaganda than factual images. The impression of the English troops is mostly right, just some little bits are out. The amount of armour shown being worn is excessive, most pike threw away the arm pieces, shoulder and lames because they were cumbersome. The shot didn't bother with helmets. There are no coats or cassocks shown being worn even thro they were always issued to all troops meant for Ireland. There is no evidence "Border" Horse wore mail shirts that I've seen. Light Horse were meant to wear jacks or back and breastplate with sleeves of mail. I've yet to find anything that shows that Light Horse were issued shields. I'm alwyas not impressed by the image of Demi Lancers shown on the march, I don't think anyone was daft enough to summon Demi Lancers to serve in Ireland!

The Irish are overblown and somewhat idealised. I'd doubt the clothing shown, without some stronger evidence!
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Stephen Curtin




Location: Cork, Ireland
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PostPosted: Sun 26 Jun, 2011 2:48 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

After some thought on this, I think that it is possible that Irish hobilars didn't even use shields. Kevin, I seem to remember you had a reference from a Spanish visitor in 1396, and he describes the equipment of Irish cavalry as, lances, swords, long knives, mail shirts, and round iron helms (like those of the moors or saracens), but no mention of shields. So it's possible that the person who gave shields to the horsemen from the images was wrong, I mean he also has the kerns armed with axes, when they should be armed with spears, javelins, and darts.
Éirinn go Brách
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