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Jack W. Englund




Location: WA State
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PostPosted: Sat 10 Jul, 2010 11:51 am    Post subject: Arms carried by the "Sots Border Reivers" ??         Reply with quote

What arms were carried by the "Scots Border Reivers ??

Jack
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Thom R.




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PostPosted: Sat 10 Jul, 2010 12:05 pm    Post subject: Re: Arms carried by the "Sots Border Reivers" ??         Reply with quote

Jack W. Englund wrote:
What arms were carried by the "Scots Border Reivers ??

Jack


Hi Jack! Depends on the time period - what time period are you interested in? If you haven't picked up a copy of Fraser's The Steel Bonnets I highly recommend you do so.......... tr
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Thom R.




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PostPosted: Sat 10 Jul, 2010 12:19 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Pulled Fraser off the shelf

From the muster of Durham (the Scots would have been about the same) 1581

Steel cap, jack, stockings, bootes and spurres, a Skottisch short sword and dagger , horseman's staff (lance) and a case of pistolls

Lance and sword and bow seems to be common early in the 16th c, later the caliver and pistol replaced the crossbow and longbow. The lance in particular seems to have been a main weapon from the late 1400s on, Fraser talks about it as do many of his primary sources from within period.
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Luka Borscak




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PostPosted: Sat 10 Jul, 2010 2:04 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Are Osprey's Border Reivers a good source for this? (I'm also interested in the subject...)
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Jack W. Englund




Location: WA State
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PostPosted: Sat 10 Jul, 2010 3:18 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I am most interested in the time period Mid 1500 - Early 1600.

Jack
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Gordon Frye




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PostPosted: Mon 12 Jul, 2010 3:54 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hey Jack, how goes it?

Anyway, the commonly accepted arming for a Border Reiver would have been first off a lance. This would be the light lance, as used by horsemen for thousands of years, with a straight shaft of ash or such, about 11-12 feet in length with a stout steel head on the end of it. Perhaps the butt would also be shod, but not necessarily. This would be his primary weapon, and though perhaps not effective against an armoured man, since most of the people to be encountered in the Borderlands were poorly armoured at best, it hardly mattered.

As his sidearm, a broadsword of some sort would have been carried, which by the mid-16th Century would have had a basket-hilt on it. Check out the "Collections" pages here for a very nice reproduction of one in the collection of Sean Flint. A Reiver would have had a solid dagger in his belt as well. Perhaps not the "Ale House Dagger" much disparaged by later English writers, but certainly something substantial and not an effete little thing.

Some of the more well-off Reivers in the earlier decades of the 16th Century carried small crossbows called a "latch", but by the middle decades of that century pistols were becoming rather popular. Certainly by the 1570's they were as common as dirt, both in wheellock and snaphaunce forms. In fact there is a letter from the English ambassador to Scotland describing to Lord Burliegh how the mechanism worked, and stated that "everyone here carries a pair on his person" (or words to that effect). Like their cattle-rustling descendants in the Wild West, the Reivers discovered that pistols are handy for disputing claims on horseback!

For defensive armour, as noted above there wasn't much, at least by Continental standards. Perhaps a maille shirt, but more likely a jack, and often a light helmet of some sort. Both burgonets and morions are mentioned, but so are sallets and just skull caps as well.

Pretty much the sky is the limit with a Borderer though. A chieftain would be well armed and armoured, while some of his retainers were very poorly armed and armoured indeed. Likewise their mounting, though they all were mounted on the sturdy little "Fell Ponies" of the area, able to make long raids on poor rations, just like their riders.

Hope this is sufficient. There's a fair amount of information out there on these guys. Check out this article over on Armour Archive, BTW: http://forums.armourarchive.org/phpBB2/viewtopic.php?t=44846

Cheers!

Gordon

"After God, we owe our victory to our Horses"
Gonsalo Jimenez de Quesada
http://www.renaissancesoldier.com/
http://historypundit.blogspot.com/
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Jack W. Englund




Location: WA State
Joined: 17 Sep 2007
Reading list: 6 books

Posts: 186

PostPosted: Mon 12 Jul, 2010 4:36 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Gordon, My Friend, I was hoping You would "poke Your nose in. Cool

Thanks for the info.

Jack
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