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William P




Location: Sydney, Australia
Joined: 11 Jul 2010

Posts: 1,436

PostPosted: Sat 04 Jul, 2015 5:03 am    Post subject: Gallowglass arms and armour (16th C) for reenactment combat         Reply with quote

I have a friend interested in composing a kit for reenactment based around the irish gallowglass from the 16th century however it seems that sources are a tad thin on the ground and some are consideres suspect

for example the famous picture by albricht durer and another one by a polish artist shows often fairly shaggy, barefoot kerns and men without much plate which was very common in many forms by the 16th century.

essentially what armour was available?

for weapons, the sparth axe and ring pommel greatsword/ longsword is already known plus the prediliction for javelins and bows and the long irish scian

what one handed swords were in use by the irish and how common and by what classes were shields used in ireland, i know of one example of a studded, leather faced targe not dissimilar to the famous highland targe.

also what usage of gauntlets do we have. failing any local usage, i suppose it would be sensible for a reenacent fighter to subtitute using english or scottish gauntlets of the same time period? (since they are required under the rules of reenactment field fighting) Im also aware of the thread by sean flynt showing a number of links to toher threads however many of those are very old. but i do have them noted

the last part asks about clothing, shoes, hats, belts and other domestic apparel, better yet are there any reenactment groups that specialise/ have a focus on the irish armies?
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Neal Matheson




Location: sussex UK
Joined: 08 Feb 2009
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PostPosted: Sat 04 Jul, 2015 6:52 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

After you have looked at the Irish armies feature on myArmoury it might be worth checking out the osprey books on the subject "Galloglass" by Fergus Canan (sp?) or the Irish wars by Ian Heath. Then look at the excellent living history group Claiomh. There are some very knowledgable people here and some who have made good weapons and overall impressions. There is an article on Gaelic archery in this month's Primtive Archer too...

Durer pretty much accords with most sources......

good luck and it would be lovely to see what you come up with.

Neal

http://www.seeknottheancestors.com/
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Mart Shearer




Location: Jackson, MS, USA
Joined: 18 Aug 2012

Posts: 1,281

PostPosted: Sat 04 Jul, 2015 8:38 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Perhaps you'll find this thread useful.
http://www.myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t...allowglass

Some sort of arms like those found on Almain Rivets, perhaps?
Sean Flynt wrote:
Códice de Trajes (1529)



The Winchester Almain Rivet armor for comparison, c.1520:
http://www.winchestermuseumcollections.org.uk...%201701%7D


The National Museum of Scotland has the cast of the effigy of Donald MacGill'easbuig from Finlaggan, Inner Hebrides, 1541.
http://nms.scran.ac.uk/database/record.php?usi=000-100-046-134-C
https://www.flickr.com/photos/94328122@N06/sets/72157642301266953/


The Trachtenbuch of Cristoph Weiditz has an example of women's clothing in Ireland around 1530-1540.
http://dlib.gnm.de/item/Hs22474/343/jpg/2000

ferrum ferro acuitur et homo exacuit faciem amici sui
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Mart Shearer




Location: Jackson, MS, USA
Joined: 18 Aug 2012

Posts: 1,281

PostPosted: Sat 04 Jul, 2015 9:28 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Edmund Spenser, A Veue of the present state of Irelande, Part II, 1596

Quote:
Iren: Yes, I thinke there be; but as good never a whit as never the better. For what doe statutes avayle without penaltyes, or lawes without charge of execution? for soe ther is another like lawe enackted against wearing of Irish apparell, but never the more it is observed by any, or executed by them that have the charge: for they in ther private discresions thinke it not fitt to be forced upon the pore wretches of that Countrye, which are not worth the price of English apparell, nor expediente to be practysed against the better sorte, by reason the the Country (say they) doe yeeld noe better: and were ther better to be had, yet theise were fitter to be used, as namely, the mantle in travelling, because ther be noe Innes wher meate or beding might be had, soe that his mantle serves him then for a bed: the lether quilted Jacke in jorninge and in Campinge, for that it is fittest to be under his shirte of maile, for any occasion of suddayne service, as ther happen many, and to cover his thine bretch on horsbacke.
------------
Iren: Noe: all these which I have rehearsed to you, bee not Irish garmentes, but Englishe; for the quilted leather Jacke is oulde Englishe; for yt was the proper weede of the horseman, as you may reade in Chaucer, where he describeth Sir Thopas apparrell and armor, when he went to fighte against the gyant, which shecklaton, is that kinde of gilden leather with which they use to Imbroder their Irishe Jackes. And there likewise by all that discripcon yee may see the very fashion and manner of the Irishe horseman most lively sett out, in his longe hose, his shoes of costlie cordwaine, his hacqueton, and his haberjon, with all the rest thereunto belonginge.
------------
Eudox: It seemeth then that you finde no faulte with this manner of rydinge; whie then woulde you have the gilded jacke layed awaye?

Iren: I would not have that laied away, but the abuse thereof to bee put awaye; for beinge used to the ende that it was framed, that is, to be worne in warre under a shirte of male, yt is allowable, as also the shirt of mayle, and all his other furniture: but to be worne daylie att home, as in Townes and civill places, yt is a rude habitt and most uncomelie, seeminge like a players painted coote.


Trinity College, Dublin MS 1440, The Book of De Burgos, fo. 24r, Seaan MacUilliam Mhic tSeaain/Sheaan son of Oliverus, son of Sheaan son of Richard, c.1571-1580.

ferrum ferro acuitur et homo exacuit faciem amici sui
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Mart Shearer




Location: Jackson, MS, USA
Joined: 18 Aug 2012

Posts: 1,281

PostPosted: Sat 04 Jul, 2015 10:21 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jessica Finley's notes and patterns for a saffron-dyed 16th century Leine:
http://fuhlendesigns.com/saffron-dyed-leine/#more-89

ferrum ferro acuitur et homo exacuit faciem amici sui
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David McElrea




Location: Canada
Joined: 26 Nov 2003

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PostPosted: Sat 04 Jul, 2015 10:40 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

If you're interested in the Galloglass, you should also check out Claiomh, an Irish Living History group whose specialty lies in this period. Many of the illustrations in the Osprey book reflect their work.

You can find them here: http://www.claiomh.ie/, but their Facebook page will give you a greater selection of photos:

https://www.facebook.com/ClaiomhLivingHistory/photos_stream
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Stephen Curtin




Location: Cork, Ireland
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PostPosted: Sun 05 Jul, 2015 3:47 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

William P wrote:
I have a friend interested in composing a kit for reenactment based around the irish gallowglass from the 16th century however it seems that sources are a tad thin on the ground and some are consideres suspect

for example the famous picture by albricht durer and another one by a polish artist shows often fairly shaggy, barefoot kerns and men without much plate which was very common in many forms by the 16th century.

essentially what armour was available?


I wouldn't say sources are thin on the ground.  We have lots of evidence for what armour gallowglass used, it just might not be what some people wish it was.  Basically cotún (aketon), mail shirt, pisane, and helm is all that was worn, even by those who could afford plate armour.

William P wrote:
for weapons, the sparth axe and ring pommel greatsword/ longsword is already known plus the prediliction for javelins and bows and the long irish scian

what one handed swords were in use by the irish and how common and by what classes were shields used in ireland, i know of one example of a studded, leather faced targe not dissimilar to the famous highland targe.


Single handed swords were probably more common amongst gallowglass than longswords/greatswords.  For the most part swords are sidearms, axes and spears were the primary weapons, though some probably did use two handed swords.  Albions Kern, Laird, and Caithness, are good examples of the kinds of swords that would be suitable.

As for shields, we have evidence for Irish cavalry, and light infantry (kern) using shields, but not much for gallowglass.  The closest thing to evidence I know of for gallowglass using shields, is a Highland grave slab showing an axe, a sword, and a buckler.  As long axes are the weapon that gallowglass are famous for, a buckler makes the most sense of any kind of shield.

William P wrote:
also what usage of gauntlets do we have. failing any local usage, i suppose it would be sensible for a reenacent fighter to subtitute using english or scottish gauntlets of the same time period? (since they are required under the rules of reenactment field fighting)


Again we have evidence for gauntlets in use in 16th century Ireland, but not by gallowglass.  Like you said, I would just go a pair of English, or Scottish, gauntlets when in combat, and remove them when not.

Éirinn go Brách
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Sean Flynt
myArmoury Team


myArmoury Team

Location: Birmingham, Alabama
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PostPosted: Sun 05 Jul, 2015 7:04 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Try this link: http://www.myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t=5844
-Sean

"Everywhere I have searched for peace and nowhere found it, except in a corner with a book"- Thomas a Kempis (d. 1471)
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