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David Butchee




Location: Houston Texas
Joined: 15 Jul 2009

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PostPosted: Sat 01 Feb, 2014 6:40 pm    Post subject: Medieval canteens?         Reply with quote

I've been trying to figure the answer to this question for the longest time; did medieval soldiers ever carry on their persons a canteen of sorts or anything that held water? I cannot seem to find any evidence that they did, I am mainly looking for evidnce of between 10th through 12th century.
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Quinn W.




Location: Bellingham, WA
Joined: 02 May 2009

Posts: 197

PostPosted: Sat 01 Feb, 2014 9:21 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I just finished a wax-sealed leather canteen for my 14th c kit before learning it was actually more of a 15th c thing. You can see the result here: http://www.myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t...t=scabbard
I am aware of at least one example from the Mary Rose excavation (again, Tudor era) but I'm not so sure they were around before then.

Perhaps a bladder might be appropriate for earlier kits? That's just a guess but surely they needed some way to stay hydrated on the go.

"Some say that the age of chivalry is past, that the spirit of romance is dead. The age of chivalry is never past, so long as there is a wrong left unredressed on earth"
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Harry Marinakis




Location: Kingdom of Ăthelmearc
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PostPosted: Sat 01 Feb, 2014 11:36 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

FYI

http://www.larsdatter.com/canteens.htm

http://forums.armourarchive.org/phpBB3/viewto...ht=bottles

http://www.livinghistory.co.uk/forums/viewtop...mp;t=27693

http://www.historiclife.com/pdf/Flasks.pdf

http://www.larsdatter.com/canteens.htm

http://livinghistory.ie/viewtopic.php?t=1815&f=7
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Matthew Bunker




Location: Somerset UK
Joined: 02 Apr 2009

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PostPosted: Sun 02 Feb, 2014 2:42 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

There's a ceramic costrel in Winchester museum, dated to the 10th century, which mimics a leather one.


 Attachment: 183.04 KB
winchester costrel.JPG


"If a Greek can do it, two Englishman certainly can !"
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Dan Howard




Location: Maitland, NSW, Australia
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PostPosted: Sun 02 Feb, 2014 2:53 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The English used leather water bottles but they apparently weren't used on the contient. It was considered uncouth and barbaric. When talking about English water bottles, the French joked that the English "drank from their boots".
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Mark Griffin




Location: The Welsh Marches, in the hills above Newtown, Powys.
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PostPosted: Sun 02 Feb, 2014 3:06 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

plenty of leather and pottery costrels about in a variety of sizes and patterns. You can also play football with them... :-). Seem to rectal there are some pewter ones about in the continent but can't remember any found in England. I'm happy to be educated in that area.
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Mikko Kuusirati




Location: Finland
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PostPosted: Sun 02 Feb, 2014 3:48 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Dan Howard wrote:
The English used leather water bottles but they apparently weren't used on the contient. It was considered uncouth and barbaric. When talking about English water bottles, the French joked that the English "drank from their boots".

Was that because the French did not use personal canteens at all, or because they did not use leather bottles?

The subtle tongue, the sophist guile, they fail when the broadswords sing;
Rush in and die, dogs -- I was a man before I was a king.
-- R. E. Howard, The Road of Kings
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Mark Moore




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PostPosted: Sun 02 Feb, 2014 4:41 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I can't see much of a use for a canteen. In most of continental Europe and the British Isles, water is pretty handy. There are exceptions though. I would imagine that water was stored in barrels on a cart. Personal canteens or bottles or pouches or whatever would probably contain 'other beverages'. Big Grin .......McM
''Life is like a box of chocolates...'' --- F. Gump
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Matthew Bunker




Location: Somerset UK
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PostPosted: Sun 02 Feb, 2014 9:27 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Mark Griffin wrote:
Seem to rectal.


Surprised

"If a Greek can do it, two Englishman certainly can !"
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Moses Jones




Location: Oregon
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PostPosted: Sun 02 Feb, 2014 9:48 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

It is still true in Northern Italy. I, coming from the US bring a water bottle wherever I go, especially when I go to Fiore class. The Italians all look at me as if I'm weird and have asked me if I have magic water inside it, then they go get a drink from the bathroom, icky.
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Matthew Bunker




Location: Somerset UK
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PostPosted: Sun 02 Feb, 2014 10:16 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Moses Jones wrote:
It is still true in Northern Italy. I, coming from the US bring a water bottle wherever I go, especially when I go to Fiore class. The Italians all look at me as if I'm weird and have asked me if I have magic water inside it, then they go get a drink from the bathroom, icky.


Bit off topic but why 'Icky'?

I'll still get my drinking water from the taps in my kitchen or bathroom. Why would I buy bottled?
When in Italy (or at least Rome) you can get cool, clean water from the public drinking fountains.

"If a Greek can do it, two Englishman certainly can !"
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Mikko Kuusirati




Location: Finland
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PostPosted: Sun 02 Feb, 2014 10:30 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Matthew Bunker wrote:
Moses Jones wrote:
It is still true in Northern Italy. I, coming from the US bring a water bottle wherever I go, especially when I go to Fiore class. The Italians all look at me as if I'm weird and have asked me if I have magic water inside it, then they go get a drink from the bathroom, icky.


Bit off topic but why 'Icky'?

I'll still get my drinking water from the taps in my kitchen or bathroom. Why would I buy bottled?
When in Italy (or at least Rome) you can get cool, clean water from the public drinking fountains.

Same up here in Finland, but from what I hear the tap water isn't nearly as, uh, reliably potable in many parts of the US.

The subtle tongue, the sophist guile, they fail when the broadswords sing;
Rush in and die, dogs -- I was a man before I was a king.
-- R. E. Howard, The Road of Kings
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P. Schontzler




Location: WA, USA
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PostPosted: Sun 02 Feb, 2014 10:55 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Mikko Kuusirati wrote:

Same up here in Finland, but from what I hear the tap water isn't nearly as, uh, reliably potable in many parts of the US.


It's always potable, we're all victims of incredibly well executed marketing. Bottled water is often more expensive than soda.
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Mark Griffin




Location: The Welsh Marches, in the hills above Newtown, Powys.
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PostPosted: Sun 02 Feb, 2014 11:02 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Matthew Bunker wrote:
Mark Griffin wrote:
Seem to rectal.


Surprised


giving the context, think I'll stick by that.
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Mark Griffin




Location: The Welsh Marches, in the hills above Newtown, Powys.
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PostPosted: Sun 02 Feb, 2014 11:08 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Quote:
In most of continental Europe and the British Isles, water is pretty handy.


If you read 'The Arrival' documenting aspects of the 1471 campaign, a lot of it is concerned with marching about to find water and telling of the men and animals thirst. Also, finding water in dangerous circumstances or in the dark, would mean a small personal source close at hand would be very useful indeed. We now take water utterly for granted where as then its not so easy to find a decent potable source.

www.water.org for a modern take on the problems faced by many.
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Moses Jones




Location: Oregon
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PostPosted: Sun 02 Feb, 2014 11:28 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Matthew Bunker wrote:
Moses Jones wrote:
It is still true in Northern Italy. I, coming from the US bring a water bottle wherever I go, especially when I go to Fiore class. The Italians all look at me as if I'm weird and have asked me if I have magic water inside it, then they go get a drink from the bathroom, icky.


Bit off topic but why 'Icky'?

I'll still get my drinking water from the taps in my kitchen or bathroom. Why would I buy bottled?
When in Italy (or at least Rome) you can get cool, clean water from the public drinking fountains.



From the tap is fine, the bottle I use is reusable (canteen) and I fill it with tap water. But they get their water from the tap in the bathroom, that is why I say icky.

The point is, I use a canteen so I don't use bottled water, and I always have water then with me that I can refill from various taps, just not the ones in the bathroom that people touch with contaminated hands, which seems to be unheard of here in northern italy.
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Mikko Kuusirati




Location: Finland
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PostPosted: Sun 02 Feb, 2014 11:33 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Moses Jones wrote:
From the tap is fine, the bottle I use is reusable (canteen) and I fill it with tap water. But they get their water from the tap in the bathroom, that is why I say icky.

The point is, I use a canteen so I don't use bottled water, and I always have water then with me that I can refill from various taps, just not the ones in the bathroom that people touch with contaminated hands, which seems to be unheard of here in northern italy.

You are aware that the average kitchen is actually more "contaminated" than the average bathroom (especially public restrooms that get cleaned daily), right? Happy

The subtle tongue, the sophist guile, they fail when the broadswords sing;
Rush in and die, dogs -- I was a man before I was a king.
-- R. E. Howard, The Road of Kings
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Dan Howard




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PostPosted: Sun 02 Feb, 2014 12:28 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Yep. Any coins that you have in your pocket are far more contaminated than the taps in most bathrooms.
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Johan Gemvik




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PostPosted: Sun 02 Feb, 2014 12:53 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

A canteen doesn't necessarily contain water.
Low alcohol content beer can be cleaner than the water it's made from because of the yeast during the brewing process taking over the environment. It's one fairly easy way to ensure you get clean drink on the march.

Post-medieval but close to it at least, Swedish soldiers were allotted a huge amount of beer per day and also some Aqua vitae. Off the top of my head I can't remember if this was 1600s or 1800s but somewhere there and something that was kept up to modern day though they'd stopped the alcohol handouts (along with cigarettes) by the time I did military service in the mid 90s (to my mates chargrin reading about it in the old soldier manuals Wink ). My Dad got them in the late 60s though.

Leather bottles would for several reasons be unsuitable for high alcohol content liquids but might work for light beer.

In the old days of black powder the spirits were mainly issued to refresh wet gunpowder, but probably often ended up as water-freshener or entertainment drink and I suspect (pure guesswork though) they'd have to carry some or all of it on their persons to keep from being pilfered.
Maybe we can find some contemporary art depicting it? I'd expect glass or ceramic bottles.

"The Dwarf sees farther than the Giant when he has the giant's shoulder to mount on" -Coleridge
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Bjorn Hagstrom




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PostPosted: Sun 02 Feb, 2014 1:24 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

This old classic comes to mind:



A wooden coopered vessel by the look of it. According to an Archaeologist I know, there are a lot of finds of very fine coopered vessels of all sizes found here in south Sweden.

But apart from carrying your ration of alcoholic beverages. I assume there was no real need to carry water personally. And the key to my argument is horses. Wherever you had a medieval armed force, you had horses. Horses need large amounts of water, and the logistics of having the horses watered means that a camp would never ever be far away from a water source, and moving far without having a water source planned along the way was probably avoided. (Case in point: Horns of Hattin)

And if you have a stream nearby, sending a waterboy with a bucket and a scoop seems an easy enough way to keep you from the hassle of carrying yet another thing. Or at least making sure that what you carried was more valuable. Like beer.

One way to interpret the image is Dolnsteing wanting to contrast the professional german knecht (that carries only weapons and armour) agains the hillbilly Swede that comes with ill fitting pants and overloaded with useless gear for battle..

There is nothing quite as sad as a one man conga-line...
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