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Nathan Gilleland





Joined: 25 Apr 2008

Posts: 199

PostPosted: Mon 27 Sep, 2010 11:39 am    Post subject: 16th C. Beefeater Uniform         Reply with quote

Greetings all! I once again find myself in need of some assistance. I am running a group of actors who will be portraying Henry VIII's royal guard at the local renaissance faire this coming season. In trying to improve our presentation, I have opted to sew our own uniforms rather than use off-the-shelf costumes provided by faire management.
I greatly admire the uniforms worn by the royal guard in the show the Tudors . I know that they likely have inaccuracies of their own, but this is a rough idea of the form I am going for. Similar uniforms can be seen on the Minnesota royal guards, as well as the guards at the Bristol faire.

My issue is this:

I am unable to find a pattern for these uniforms. While I believe I can draft a pattern on my own, I would rather not reinvent the wheel.

Does anyone have links to a pattern of the beefeater tunic? Free is desirable, but not necessary. My concept sketch is below.



 Attachment: 67.28 KB
Photo 72.jpg


Seek Honor before Wealth,
Truth before Honor,
God Before all
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David Evans




Location: Rotherham, West Riding
Joined: 09 Sep 2004

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Posts: 229

PostPosted: Mon 27 Sep, 2010 11:49 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

First. May I strongly recommand the The King's Servants: Men's dress at the accession of Henry VIII at http://www.tudortailor.com/bookshoptks.shtml

And I mean strongly.

Second. The red is much later. If you're doing Henry VIII then I suggest White & Green as the Tudor Familiy colours. Red jackets appear in Elizabeth's reign. That's another point, it's not a tunic, it's a jacket....:-)

The Royal colours of Henry VIII will confuse people but tawny, murry, white and green are the correct colours

You need a halbard for onduty, a simpler hilt for the sword as that one is way too late. Ful leg hose and a doublet underneath the jacket and a Tudor bonnet/cap

Third. They're not Beefeaters. That's a a nasty word used by the French to describe any Englishman. They are correctly known as Yeomen Warders or Yeomen of the Guard. Which are 2 different bodies. One guards the Tower and one guards the Monarch...;-)

Whilst I remember. The pattern is here http://www.tudortailor.com/patternshop.shtml top left side
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Craig Shackleton




Location: Ottawa, Canada
Joined: 20 Apr 2004
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Posts: 307

PostPosted: Mon 27 Sep, 2010 12:50 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

This is also close (ish) to what you are looking for: LINK

They may have more options as well.[/url]

Ottawa Swordplay
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GG Osborne





Joined: 21 Mar 2006

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Posts: 474

PostPosted: Mon 27 Sep, 2010 4:14 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

If you have access to David Caldwell's excellent "Scottish Weapons and Fortifications." in the article on the evloution of early basket hilts, Caldwell illustrates several Yeoman Warders and Gentlemen-at-Arms that accompanied Henry to the Field of the Cloth of Gold. Although the references are to the semibasket hilted swords, the portraits are quite informative in a limited sort of way, especially as they show the small halberd carried by the Gentlemen-at-Arms.
"Those who live by the sword...will usually die with a huge, unpaid credit card balance!"
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Nathan Gilleland





Joined: 25 Apr 2008

Posts: 199

PostPosted: Tue 28 Sep, 2010 12:56 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks for the replies. Craig, that is close enough that I should be able to make it work. The pattern is also much more in my budget range.

A special thanks to David. The history background was something I was not aware of. I have adjusted the colors of the uniforms. I have attached a picture of the new guard uniform, as well as a fancier "Captain of the guard" version (per Faire management request)

The yellow will be toned down to a more creamy-gold color. I did not have a creamy-gold marker Razz



 Attachment: 71.23 KB
Picture 1.jpg
Standard Guard

 Attachment: 80.61 KB
Picture 2.jpg
Captain of the Guard

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Truth before Honor,
God Before all
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David Evans




Location: Rotherham, West Riding
Joined: 09 Sep 2004

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Posts: 229

PostPosted: Tue 28 Sep, 2010 2:42 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

You're going to love this. The jacket is half green/ half white. Draw a line down the middle and do one side in green and one side in white

The Yeoman were given about 2.25 metres of 150cm wide woollen cloth to make their jackets. 112cm of white and 112cm of green.

Have a look here http://userweb.port.ac.uk/~fontanad/maryrose/marquisonsmall.jpg

Found it. Look here at the first picture in this thread on Flodden

http://forums.armourarchive.org/phpBB2/viewto...ht=flodden
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Dan Rosen




Location: Providence
Joined: 21 Jan 2010

Posts: 80

PostPosted: Tue 28 Sep, 2010 5:34 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

It looks like you've drawn yellow shirts- I'd recommend white (or just very slightly off-white. Avoid "optic" white with a blue tinge) for the shirts- ideally fine linen.

We shouldn't be able to see their shirt sleeves in any case. In the period, it was the undergarment and though we see parts of the collar or chest of the shirt exposed in some Henrican-period artwork, having one's shirt sleeves out would look sloppy.

For your faire, you might attach close fitting sleeves (sewn in underneath the coat's floppy sleeves) and a sort of false doublet chest and collar underneath the base coat to give the impression that the guard is wearing a doublet underneath without the need to make full new garments and less layers for the wearers to cope with in warm weather.

-Dan Rosen

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