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Justin Lee Hunt




Location: North Baltimore OH
Joined: 28 Jun 2011

Posts: 38

PostPosted: Sun 24 Jun, 2012 10:52 am    Post subject: Scottish Rapiers         Reply with quote

I'm working on building a Scottish civilian kit for the 1600-1610-ish era and was wondering if there has been any known evidence to suggest that rapiers could have been carried by some Scots? Most of the information I find on weaponry from that region and time deals with claymores and dirks. I'm currently making my own dirk, but I was just toying around with the idea of carrying a sword other than the basket hilt variety. Bear in mind that the persona is a fairly well off dye merchant.
I opperate a website for my reenactment troop it's www.orderoftherouseclan.org Be sure to check out our forums www.orderoftherouseclan.proboards.com
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Ralph Grinly





Joined: 19 Jan 2011

Posts: 322

PostPosted: Sun 24 Jun, 2012 2:54 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hmmm..I have absolutely no knowledge of what would have actually been "normal" for merchants in Scotland at the time. But I feel that a Dye Merchant..if fairly well off or prosperous, would have had many Continental contacts and commercial dealings. As dyes form such an important part of fashion, I suspect he'd try to be "fashionable". A rapier, of some style or other would have been a def fashion accessory. Just how his local scottish bretheren would have taken to a rapier is another matter Happy
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David Wilson




Location: In a van down by the river
Joined: 23 Aug 2003

Posts: 774

PostPosted: Sun 24 Jun, 2012 6:40 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Certainly, especially in the Lowlands. In terms of fashion and culture, the Lowlanders were closer to the English than were their Highland brethren. But a wealthy or noble Highlander would also be familiar with English and Continental styles.
Although they are from a bit later time period, check out some William Hope (a 17th century Scottish fencing master) or Donald McBane (all-around badass) for some info on Scottish fencing, geared towards rapier and smallsword as well as broadsword (Mark Rector's Highland Swordsmanship is probably the most accessible work on these old masters).

David K. Wilson, Jr.
Laird of Glencoe

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Allen Johnson





Joined: 26 Aug 2003
Reading list: 29 books

Posts: 198

PostPosted: Mon 25 Jun, 2012 5:15 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Here is an image from the archives here that shows an English rapier mounted with a carved grip similar to many Dirk designs. The accompanying text claims the sword was made for a Scottish client.
http://www.myArmoury.com/albums/displayimage....mp;pos=289
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Mackenzie Cosens




Location: Vancouver Canada
Joined: 08 Aug 2007

Posts: 238

PostPosted: Mon 25 Jun, 2012 10:07 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Page 23 of Osprey's "The Border Reivers" show a 2 port rapier with branching inner guard (Norman type 4 ish) reportedly found in the wall of a house in Cumbria. Personally I see no reason why a wealth Scot would not carry such a weapon.

There are some of portraits of King James 6th with rapier, If the King is doing it, it has to be styling.



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GG Osborne





Joined: 21 Mar 2006

Spotlight topics: 1
Posts: 474

PostPosted: Mon 25 Jun, 2012 4:17 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Nice pic of King James playing with his rapier. (Yes, double entendre intended!)
"Those who live by the sword...will usually die with a huge, unpaid credit card balance!"
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Ryan S.





Joined: 04 May 2012

Posts: 132

PostPosted: Wed 27 Jun, 2012 10:56 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

There is a poem about the ascension of James to the English crown (and the Scots he brought with him). One line is about the Scots exchanging their weapons for rapiers. I will try and find the whole poem.
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Shel Browder




Location: Williamsburg, VA
Joined: 22 Jun 2012

Posts: 4

PostPosted: Thu 28 Jun, 2012 1:56 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

James VI and I was no friend of the highlanders and the culture of the Gaels and visited Scotland only once after his ascension to the English throne. He made a major step towards dismantling the Gaelic culture with the Statutes of Iona and the settlements of Lewis by protestants. In developing your persona, you need to decide where your loyalties are. As for swords, there seem to by many styles of hilts in paintings of Scottish nobility. But what kind of blades are they on?
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