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Fernando P




Location: Buenos Aires, Argentina
Joined: 13 Jan 2009

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PostPosted: Mon 29 Mar, 2010 8:00 am    Post subject: Tartans among the court of Robert the Bruce ?         Reply with quote

Hello,
Sorry for asking about clothing instead armor, it is the most difficult aspect for me. There is some people who say of using Tartans for a Robert I of Scotland period reenactment. I really don't know any evidence of it. Could anybody give a hand please?

Thank you,
Fernando

To die for...
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A. Spanjer




Location: USA
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PostPosted: Mon 29 Mar, 2010 8:48 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Well, they wouldn't have worn Kilts, first of all, they Robert the Bruce was a lowlander, second of all, it's several hundred years to early.

The Highlanders of this period probably wore some tartan, but I'm not sure. The lowlanders of this period wore clothes very similar to the English, with very little, if any, tartan.

Hope that helps, this isn't really my period of interest and I'm sure others on here are far more knowledgable in this area.

Na sir 's na seachain an cath.
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Christopher Gregg




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PostPosted: Mon 29 Mar, 2010 8:54 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Well. "Tartan" just didn't exist yet, really. Plaid wool fabric did, but it was just any random pattern the local weaver happened to make, or one that may have been specially ordered, perhaps. The concept we have of Clan Tartans or family Tartans didn't come about until the late 18th century. The Bruce would have been identified by Heraldic emblems or crests, if that's what you're trying to use to identify with. Scottish Nobility of the period would have looked very similar to England and the rest of Europe.
Christopher Gregg

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GG Osborne





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PostPosted: Mon 29 Mar, 2010 12:53 pm    Post subject: Tartans         Reply with quote

Ditto on what Greg has opined. Tartans did not exist as we understand them today until the Victorian era although some set patterns such as the Campbell/Black Watch could date from the middle of the 18th C. "Party" colored plaid patterns no doubt did exist but on;y in the Isles and west of the Great Glen and then not as family identifiers. NE Scotland and the Lowlands in general were much more English and Continental in their dress (pace Hollywood!). Take an average higher grade knight in England of the same era and you just about have it!
"Those who live by the sword...will usually die with a huge, unpaid credit card balance!"
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JG Elmslie
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PostPosted: Mon 29 Mar, 2010 1:04 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

tartan for the era of robert the bruce?

sort of the equivalent of doing a re-enactment of the Glencoe massacre of 1692. with the participants wearing modern British Army camo and webbing out of an army and navy surplus store, and civvy clothes bought from a shop in Fort William today...
and then saying the clothes are accurate.

as has been said, most of it is a good three or four centuries removed from the tartan tat dredged up by countless blue-facepainted comedians. Really the entire kilted tartan "highlander" image is a Victorian English creation, when enterprising woolen mill owners in the 1830's or so realised that there was a nice little captive market in selling their products to scottish earls/clan heads, at a discount, on condition that they reccommended the rest of the clan buy the same pattern...

for the Bruce, as has been said, you're much more likely to be looking at exactly the same equipment, clothing, patterning and general styles as the english of the same era.
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Jean-Carle Hudon




Location: Montreal,Canada
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PostPosted: Mon 29 Mar, 2010 4:20 pm    Post subject: tartans         Reply with quote

Fernando, listen to Gregg, and forget any reference to tartan as a badge of identity in the period and geographic area you are referring to. General medieval garb of that period will do fine. De Brus being of norman stock you can refer to what all the best dressed anglo-norman nobles were wearing during that period without fail.
On the other hand, if you do want to get creative in your story telling, I suppose you could be some poor lost gael wearing whatever material your local weaver made for you with garrish colours ( tartans) as the propensity by the celts to wear such outlandish multi coloured garb goes back to the time of the romans, but in Robert's court this would surely be an anachronism and the individual would probably feel a bit out of place.
Most of the Scots you can think of wearing what we call kilts these days fought either the French, the Americans, the Hindus and wherever else their English masters would send them.
The old tartans, with no known clan or family association, were worn during Jacobite times, but that is way past Robert's time.

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A. Spanjer




Location: USA
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PostPosted: Mon 29 Mar, 2010 6:03 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Christopher Gregg wrote:
Well. "Tartan" just didn't exist yet, really. Plaid wool fabric did, but it was just any random pattern the local weaver happened to make, or one that may have been specially ordered, perhaps. The concept we have of Clan Tartans or family Tartans didn't come about until the late 18th century. The Bruce would have been identified by Heraldic emblems or crests, if that's what you're trying to use to identify with. Scottish Nobility of the period would have looked very similar to England and the rest of Europe.


Oops, forgot to add that part. Worried

One thing though, tartan is the proper term, it's just that clan tartans didn't come into being until victorian times, but tartans had existed for thousands of years (though they may be called different things.) Plaid by the way, comes from the Gaelic word plaide (pronounced playd) meaning blanket.[/i]

Na sir 's na seachain an cath.
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Ed McV




Location: Ontario,Canada
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PostPosted: Tue 30 Mar, 2010 11:08 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

While it may be too early to describe fabrics used in the 13, 14 and 15 century as tartans we may call them district tartans and/or district checks. Two texts that describe them are;
District Tartans by Gorden Teall of Teallach and Philip D. Smith jr. and
Our Scottish District Checks by E. S. Harrison.
Tartans did not suddenly appear in the 17C but evolved from earlier fabrics/design.
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Thom R.




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PostPosted: Tue 30 Mar, 2010 11:34 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

plaids, woven by hand on looms, do have quite a long history. but tartans in the sense of your original question - no.

it is an interesting subject. horizontal looms seem to be (may be?) associated with the early development of plaids, and developed in Europe in the 11th century. However early plaids are very rare - most of the remnants we know of from the 13th c. are woven in a pile weave that leaves a diagonal chequered look if using mutiple colors.
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Lin Robinson




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PostPosted: Tue 30 Mar, 2010 7:54 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The general pattern for tartan may be quite old. The Romans mention that their Celtic opponents wore "striped woven garments" but whether the stripes ran in two directions is open to debate. None of these textiles have survived in a form that will answer the question.

That tartan was in use in Scotland as early as the 15th c. is probable, and it was probably earlier than that. A family, or clan or district connection, strictly speaking was almost surely not. As has been mentioned earlier, tartan for family names was invented by the woolen merchants of Edinburgh in the late 18th. c. Until that time it held little if any significance for the average Highlander and absolutely none for Lowlanders and folks on the borders. It was a material used for clothing and nothing more. When the disarming act was passed in 1746, it banned the wearing of tartan, carrying of weapons, bagpipes, etc. A very short time after the ban went into effect, tartan had virtually disappeared in Scotland as had the philabeg and belted plaid. When the ban was lifted in 1782, there was no general rush back to tartan clothing by the average Highlander. By that time they had become acclimated to plain textiles and trews. However, during the period of the ban, the Highland Regiments continued to wear the (government) tartan, carry weapons, march to the sound of the pipes, etc. Much has been made of this as a way to continue the martial activities and spirit of the Highland warrior, and I am sure it had some effect on that. But, joining the army was also an economic strategy because it provided food, clothing and shelter and some money to support the family. When the regiments mutinied several times in the 18th c. the reason for it was almost always due to a feeling by the troops that the government was not living up to its contract with them, and that usually involved being sent to places they did not want to go, and nothing to do with tartan, etc.

It is interesting that for a short time after "The '45" there were locations in England where the inhabitants became infatuated with Highland customs and manners and they actually put on plays, concerts and dances which were very Scottish in nature. Many of these locations had held Jacobite sympathies in the past. There are also a few paintings dating after the last rebellion which show Lowlanders dressed in tartan clothing.

All the devotion to the tartan is very much a modern invention, in spite of the probable antiquity of the material. Heck, the patterns invented in the late 18th c. are now over 200 years old.

The court of Robert the Bruce had no bagpipes, no kilted Highlanders and certainly no tartan.

Lin Robinson

"The best thing in life is to crush your enemies, see them driven before you and hear the lamentation of their women." Conan the Barbarian, 1982
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Jack W. Englund




Location: WA State
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PostPosted: Thu 01 Apr, 2010 6:17 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I will stay away from whether or not the "Tartan" existed. But if you are going to portray an individual "associated" with the Bruce,
1. The Bruce, ( Robert de Brus or Robert de Bruys) ( & his family ) Were of Norman "stock" ( Mother was "Gaelic" - Marjorie, Countess of Carrick & He inherited the "Title") He was born ( raised ?/) In Ayrshire ( SW part of the Lowlands ) They had "close ties with the Irish. Robt.s 1st wife was From Aberdeenshire, & His 2nd was the Daughter of Richard Óg de Burgh, 2nd Earl of Ulster. ( but the majority of the Irish did not support Him.
The Bruce @ the start of the "conflict" was also the Lord of Annandale (SE Lowlands)
The Irish even crowned Edward Bruce as High King of Ireland in 1316.


2. Sir James Douglas was born in Lanarkshire ( So. Central Lowlands)& may have been raised @ Douglasdale. As a young Man he spent 3 + years in Paris. He also was a Squire of William Lamberton, Bishop of St. Andrews,

3. Depending on the "Time"period, & "event",Those with him,
A. Lowland Scots would have worn the same clothing as Their "English" Counter parts.
B. Irish according to their "Rank"
C. Highland Scots according to their "rank", but IMHO, wearing The Breacan an Fhéilidh or Féileadh Mòr Tartaned or otherwise = NO. ( according to many "historians", @ this date these were not worn. The earlier 'brat' or woollen cloak = yes. Higher "ranks", may have "aped" English dress.

Just my 2 cents

Jack
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Mikael Ranelius




Location: Sweden
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PostPosted: Thu 01 Apr, 2010 7:50 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

In addition to what already has been said, "tartan" is actually a French term, tiretaine, (denoting a light, not fulled woollen cloth, as opposed to e.g. broadcloth). The generic Gaelic term would be breacan ("multi-coloured").

Wearing a breacan brat would be OK for portraying a Highlander or Islander. AFAIK the brat could also just as well be made out of plain, unpatterned wool.
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Fernando P




Location: Buenos Aires, Argentina
Joined: 13 Jan 2009

Posts: 11

PostPosted: Thu 08 Apr, 2010 6:13 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thank you all of you for your replies!
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