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Guilherme Dias Ferreira S




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PostPosted: Fri 23 Feb, 2007 4:17 pm    Post subject: About the film Braveheart         Reply with quote

I have a curiosity about the english infantry soldiers in the first battle of the film. Considering their armours and weapons, are they all levy soldiers hired by the english state or would be some serjeants or even noble warriors mixed in the mass of soldiers?
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Jean Thibodeau




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PostPosted: Fri 23 Feb, 2007 8:10 pm    Post subject: Re: About the film Braveheart         Reply with quote

Guilherme Dias Ferreira S wrote:
I have a curiosity about the english infantry soldiers in the first battle of the film. Considering their armours and weapons, are they all levy soldiers hired by the english state or would be some serjeants or even noble warriors mixed in the mass of soldiers?


First thing to keep in mind is that it's a movie. Wink It's not a window into the past ( time machine ) Hollywood is a poor source to visualize what a period battle and the warriors in the battle would really look like: Historical accuracy is not a high priority with film makers. Oh and the story in Braveheart is far from 100% true to history especially the part with the French princess
( Actress Sofie Marceau if I remember accurately ). Others here might be better informed to go into detail about what is inaccurate in the movie.

Now, if you go back to the best period sources there might be some useful information about how the ordinary soldier of the period was equipped and whether knights or sergeants might fight on foot along side the ordinary foot soldiers.

During the 100 years war the English nobility would fight on foot along side and in support of archers and polearmed soldiers at times. In the time period you are looking at, a bit earlier than the 100 years war, I'm not sure what was done.

I leave it to others more knowledgeable of this specific period than me to give you answers that may be more satisfying than just my opinion about where you shouldn't look for an accurate picture of what period soldiers would be equipped with.

You can easily give up your freedom. You have to fight hard to get it back!
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Randall Moffett




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PostPosted: Sat 24 Feb, 2007 12:43 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

You get what is called the commission of array in Edward I's time. It is a better run version of the levy. Basically a commission of men select certain numbers of men from specific areas. By law men of certain wealth had to own certain gear so in theory he would have a moderatly armed and armoured army. In actuallity the results are very mixed in Edward I's time. Look at Pretwichs book on Edward I for more info. An excellent read.

AS far as fighting. Most men at arms still were mounted and fought so at this point. It does happen but not usually. Archers are getting more use in larger numbers as are very large numbers of infantry (20,000 plus on some expeditions north in Edward I's time).

Braveheart.... well lets say they would need to redo 90 percent of the movie to make it accurate. Armour for 90 percent in it was horridly wrong. The princess would have been I thing 4. Wallace never took York.... He burned Hexham and other places in the north close to York but Taking York would be pretty hard without siege engines. The wall are pretty impressive and had few scot encounters.

RPM
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Hisham Gaballa





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PostPosted: Sat 24 Feb, 2007 1:25 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Apart from the historical inaccuracy of the film, it was also coloured by Gibson's somewhat bizarre (to say the least) political ideas.

I remember reading somewhere that archers (i.e. 'longbowmen') were only just starting to appear in English armies at this stage and that Edward I had a large contingent of Gascon crossbowmen.

The least accurate thing about the film though was the armour worn by the English knights. At this stage most would have been wearing mail from head to toe with great-helms or kettle hats and with coats of plates on their torso. Gibson has them wearing some weird lamellar thing. i can only assume that someone in the costume department heard the words "coat-of-plates" and rather than doing some research (what! go into a library? Who needs to do that!) just imagined what a coat of plates looked like.
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Lafayette C Curtis




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PostPosted: Sat 24 Feb, 2007 1:49 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Not just the men-at-arms. Many of the foot also had those silly-looking armor of small rectangular plates--as loose "trousers" on their <i>legs</i>! I bet the filmmakers never bothered to check the fit of leg armors throughout history.
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David Jackson




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PostPosted: Sat 24 Feb, 2007 5:58 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Another impression the movie gives is that of a homogenised English army, all with the same uniforms and equipment, where in fact there would have been many different groups with a variety of armour, clothes etc. Same with the Scots troops who though they have more variety are all in essentially the same "uniform". If you actually went to the battle of tirling I'm sure there would not be a kilt to be seen. Of course for film purposes it is a lot easier to make one or two different mass produced outfits and hand them out to extras rather then a lot of different ones. Kingdom of Heaven was a lot better in showing the diversity among the Crusader army.
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Max von Bargen




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PostPosted: Sat 24 Feb, 2007 11:16 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The practice of English men-at-arms frequently dismounting to fight began with the battles of Dupplin Moor and Halidon Hill, both of which occur after the movie's over. On the whole, I would highly recommend taking everything in this movie with a grain of salt. Just to show how inaccurate the movie is, the aforementioned "Battle of Stirling" is frequently referred to as the Battle of Stirling Bridge--which makes sense, since a bridge figured very prominently in the actual battle! (and was nowhere to be seen in the movie!)
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Lafayette C Curtis




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PostPosted: Sun 25 Feb, 2007 6:09 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The joke goes that the bridge "got in the way," so they took it out of the movie. ;P

(Not that the Falkirk one was accurate either. I never understood why they needed to use all that fire.)
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George Hill




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PostPosted: Sun 25 Feb, 2007 8:46 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Lafayette C Curtis wrote:
Not just the men-at-arms. Many of the foot also had those silly-looking armor of small rectangular plates--as loose "trousers" on their <i>legs</i>! I bet the filmmakers never bothered to check the fit of leg armors throughout history.


That is something I had been meaning to ask the forum about. Everytime that film comes up, people ask me (The local guy who knows about this stuff) if that armor ever existed. And I always say "IT could have, but I'm pretty danged sure it didn't. I've never seen anything quite like it." But I've been wanted to say "No. That's totally fake."

Now I can. Thanks.

To abandon your shield is the basest of crimes. - --Tacitus on Germania
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Lafayette C Curtis




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PostPosted: Mon 26 Feb, 2007 6:42 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

It's more the fit than the design, actually. The "splinted" or whatever construction could be attributed to a (rather shaky) interpretation of some leg armors with rectangular designs on them, but even those things fitted closely on the legs. Something as loose as seen on Braveheart would have dragged at the wearer and made movement very awkward, especially since it was not gathered at the hem (which might force the armor to "balloon" out and stay away from the legs).
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Jonathan Blair




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PostPosted: Tue 27 Feb, 2007 3:38 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Lafayette C Curtis wrote:
The joke goes that the bridge "got in the way," so they took it out of the movie. ;P

That's what the English thought too.

"Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword." - The Lord Jesus Christ, from The Gospel According to Saint Matthew, chapter x, verse 34, Authorized Version of 1611
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Lin Robinson




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PostPosted: Tue 27 Feb, 2007 4:43 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I realize this thread started as a discussion of the English equipment and dress, however the most glaring historical errors are on the Scottish side. Kilts...didn't wear them in the 13th c. Bagpipes...didn't make it to Scotland until the 15th c. Blue face paint...nope.

Braveheart, while it was a stirring movie and is probably what motivated the Scots to vote for devolution, was one of the most historically inaccurate movies of all times. You guys have covered most of what's wrong with it already so I won't repeat it. Unfortunately so many people get their history from the movies, that for a long time after Braveheart premiered the Highland games everywhere were awash with blue-painted barbarians wearing lamellar armor.

Regarding Edward II's queen, she did not arrive in England until after Wallace was dead and, interestingly, she was five years old when she arrived. But, don't let the facts get in the way of a good story...right Randall and Mel?

Lin Robinson

"The best thing in life is to crush your enemies, see them driven before you and hear the lamentation of their women." Conan the Barbarian, 1982
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Mike Capanelli




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PostPosted: Tue 27 Feb, 2007 5:22 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Lin Robinson wrote:
I realize this thread started as a discussion of the English equipment and dress, however the most glaring historical errors are on the Scottish side. Kilts...didn't wear them in the 13th c. Bagpipes...didn't make it to Scotland until the 15th c. Blue face paint...nope.

Braveheart, while it was a stirring movie and is probably what motivated the Scots to vote for devolution, was one of the most historically inaccurate movies of all times. You guys have covered most of what's wrong with it already so I won't repeat it. Unfortunately so many people get their history from the movies, that for a long time after Braveheart premiered the Highland games everywhere were awash with blue-painted barbarians wearing lamellar armor.

Regarding Edward II's queen, she did not arrive in England until after Wallace was dead and, interestingly, she was five years old when she arrived. But, don't let the facts get in the way of a good story...right Randall and Mel?


C'mon now, History? BLAH! History's bad for business. Just ask Riddley Scott. Razz
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James Barker




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PostPosted: Tue 27 Feb, 2007 7:15 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The Battle of Stirling Bridge the English were mounted knights and men at arms so the film version is 0% correct. The English should have had maille suits and the Scotts should have mostly been gambesons with lords in maille.





BTW the bridge was left out do to cost.

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Randall Moffett




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PostPosted: Tue 27 Feb, 2007 8:15 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I thought a medieval bridge rom the 15th was still at stirling...... not the same one but closer than everything else in the movie....

RPM
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George Hill




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PostPosted: Tue 27 Feb, 2007 8:31 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

For the record, went did blue paint (woad) go out? 200? 500? 1000?
To abandon your shield is the basest of crimes. - --Tacitus on Germania
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James Barker




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PostPosted: Tue 27 Feb, 2007 11:29 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

George Hill wrote:
For the record, went did blue paint (woad) go out? 200? 500? 1000?


I am not sure the Scotts ever did the blue face woad thing, I know the Gaulís did when the Romans invaded, 2nd c. BC

James Barker
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Thomas Watt




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PostPosted: Tue 27 Feb, 2007 2:24 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Randall Moffett wrote:
I thought a medieval bridge rom the 15th was still at stirling...... not the same one but closer than everything else in the movie....

RPM

There is a stone bridge "near" the site of the old one (I have a friend who lives not far from there)... the one at the time of the battle was wooden, and exact siting is not known.

(After humping all the way up the stairs of the Wallace Monument, I spent a lot of time reading the stuff they had there in the exhibits, since I was in no rush to go back down).

Have 11 swords, 2 dirks, half a dozen tomahawks and 2 Jeeps - seem to be a magnet for more of all.
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Roger Hooper




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PostPosted: Tue 27 Feb, 2007 2:52 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

James Barker wrote:
George Hill wrote:
For the record, went did blue paint (woad) go out? 200? 500? 1000?


I am not sure the Scotts ever did the blue face woad thing, I know the Gaulís did when the Romans invaded, 2nd c. BC


I think the woad was a Pict thing
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George Hill




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PostPosted: Tue 27 Feb, 2007 4:00 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Roger Hooper wrote:
James Barker wrote:
George Hill wrote:
For the record, went did blue paint (woad) go out? 200? 500? 1000?


I am not sure the Scotts ever did the blue face woad thing, I know the Gaulís did when the Romans invaded, 2nd c. BC


I think the woad was a Pict thing



The Picts were north of the wall, and north of the wall is Scotland, even if they didn't call it that then.... right?

To abandon your shield is the basest of crimes. - --Tacitus on Germania
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