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Jason Mather




PostPosted: Fri 29 Jan, 2010 6:29 pm    Post subject: Scottish military troops and culture in 1300-1325         Reply with quote

I have decided to put together a kit for the first quarter of the 14th century in Scotland. At this point I am looking for general information about the different types of combatants in Scotland at that time. Once I get a grasp of what was there, I will decide what direction I care to proceed in. My initial inclination is along the poorer lower class fighter, but I am also interested in archery, so that might be the direction I choose. Any help with the initial general info would be greatly appreciated. Books, articles, IMAGES would be great. Thanks in advance.
To be nobody but yourself in a world that's doing its best to make you somebody else, is to fight the hardest battle you are ever going to fight. Never stop fighting.
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A. Spanjer




Location: USA
Joined: 26 Apr 2009

Posts: 242

PostPosted: Fri 29 Jan, 2010 7:36 pm    Post subject: Re: Scottish military troops and culture in 1300-1325         Reply with quote

Jason Mather wrote:
I have decided to put together a kit for the first quarter of the 14th century in Scotland. At this point I am looking for general information about the different types of combatants in Scotland at that time. Once I get a grasp of what was there, I will decide what direction I care to proceed in. My initial inclination is along the poorer lower class fighter, but I am also interested in archery, so that might be the direction I choose. Any help with the initial general info would be greatly appreciated. Books, articles, IMAGES would be great. Thanks in advance.


Highlander or Lowlander? There were major differences.

Scotland is my main interest, but I must admit, I'm not that familiar with medieval Scotland. I've been looking into putting together a relatively simple 14th or 15th century Scottish kit, so this thread will be helpful to me as well. Big Grin

This website looks useful (though I've not looked at it in depth yet.)

http://medievalscotland.org/


I like your sig by the way. Happy
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Randall Moffett




Location: Northern Utah
Joined: 07 Jun 2006
Reading list: 5 books

Posts: 2,094

PostPosted: Fri 29 Jan, 2010 9:28 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I am sure several of us can help as a number of us are very interested regarding this area and time frame but as A. has said we need more info. If you want to be really involved in the wars of independance going on you'd likely be a lowlander. So what trade, class, region etc. are you looking to do?

RPM
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Jason Mather




PostPosted: Sat 30 Jan, 2010 12:18 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Randall Moffett wrote:
I am sure several of us can help as a number of us are very interested regarding this area and time frame but as A. has said we need more info. If you want to be really involved in the wars of independance going on you'd likely be a lowlander. So what trade, class, region etc. are you looking to do?

RPM


A valid question. The answer is, I am not knowledgeable enough to make that decision. The Wars of Independence is the area of interest for certain. Chosen trade is easy, blacksmith or carpenter. These are the trades I am most familiar with. The rest is unknown and needs research. So lets start with some general material on the period and events and go from there?
Thanks for the quick responses.

To be nobody but yourself in a world that's doing its best to make you somebody else, is to fight the hardest battle you are ever going to fight. Never stop fighting.
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Kel Rekuta




Location: Toronto, Canada
Joined: 10 Feb 2004
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Posts: 600

PostPosted: Sat 30 Jan, 2010 9:53 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jason Mather wrote:
[

A valid question. The answer is, I am not knowledgeable enough to make that decision. The Wars of Independence is the area of interest for certain. Chosen trade is easy, blacksmith or carpenter. These are the trades I am most familiar with. The rest is unknown and needs research. So lets start with some general material on the period and events and go from there?
Thanks for the quick responses.


We don't have a lot of information on required kit for Scots in this period. English requirements are documented at this time. If the tradesman was moderately wealthy: a mail shirt, an iron hat, iron gloves and a long knife. If not, a quilted coat and a good knife. English militia might have been better equipped as there was a greater population to draw on and many English towns were larger and wealthier than Scottish towns. That is highly debatable though.

In battle, early 14thC Scottish infantry used a long spear and perhaps a small wooden shield slung around the neck and down the left arm. Highlanders were not a significant proportion of Scottish field armies in most battles of the Wars of Independence.

For more reading I suggest;

The Wars of the Bruces, MacNamee (Tempus Books)
The Kingdom of the Isles, R. Andrew MacDonald (Tempus Books)
The Scottish Wars of Independence, Barron (many reprints by different houses)
Robert the Bruce and the Community of the Realm of Scotland, Barrow (Edinburgh Uni. Press)
Townlife in Fourteenth Century Scotland, E. Ewan (Edinburgh Uni. Press)

Lighter reading ....
Scottish Battles: From Mons Grapius to Culloden, John Sadler (Canongate)
Famous Scottish Battles, Philip Warner (Barnes & Noble)
The Lion in the North, John Preeble (Penguin)

And go to that Scottish history site mentioned above. Sharon Krossa did some fine work there. Its a good starting point for anyone interested in Scottish medieval history.

Have fun! Big Grin
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Randall Moffett




Location: Northern Utah
Joined: 07 Jun 2006
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PostPosted: Mon 01 Feb, 2010 6:55 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Just to add a bit onto what Kel said. There are only a few documents that give a clear idea of what equipment was worn at the time.

Some of the stage for the Wars of Independence.

Lowlanders major players
Highlanders mostly spectators

This goes for war, politics, economy and more or less everything in general. Another is there are no kilts.

The Lowlands are where most of the population and money resides in Scotland. There would be little difference between the people of England and Scotland in their clothing and equipment. One reason is that enterprising Englishmen sold quite a fair share of weapons, armour, clothing and food northward. If their was a armour industry in Scotland I have never seen any real information to show it was very large. Seems much of the weapons and armour were from elsewhere.

A wealthy tradesman or merchant could afford really armour on par with a knight. Several of the inventories I have looked through for this class shows men who had more or less complete harnesses, spurs, lance and mount.

At this period the paid of plates, mail shirt and aketon under it all was standard armour for the torso. This would/could be supplemented with all sorts of limb armour. You'd have a helmet some bascinet, great helm or perhaps pot helm.

Lower you go the further from this complete harness you get. as Kel said aketon/gambeson, spear and shield would likely be lower end.

There is a list of requirements by wealth from the 1320s in the Scottish Parlt. rolls. I could not find off hand but gauntlets, helmets and aketons are fairly common demands the more wealth the more iron armour, mail etc you'd have to own.

Good luck with your kit. As Kel said reading and researching it out is key.

RPM
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Jason Mather




PostPosted: Mon 01 Feb, 2010 8:03 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks all.
Full disclosure, I am have 13 years of reenacting experience so I fully understand your well put point of reading and research. This is a period I have no background in so I need to start from the ground up and ask basic questions. (used to the 17th-19th centuries) I plan to post my progress, although this might take a while. I sent the above book list to my local library for inter library loan, we will see what happens there. For the sake of conversation, (and please remember, I come at this from a newbie perspective) did Scottish armies of the period have archers? Was the term "archer" just refer to a guy who showed up with a bow or was there some level of professionalism? Did archers come from all social levels?

To be nobody but yourself in a world that's doing its best to make you somebody else, is to fight the hardest battle you are ever going to fight. Never stop fighting.
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Jack W. Englund




Location: WA State
Joined: 17 Sep 2007
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PostPosted: Mon 01 Feb, 2010 10:01 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Another book that may give you some insight is "James The Good - The Black Douglas" by David Ross - Lauth Press Limited, Edinburgh

Jack
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Randall Moffett




Location: Northern Utah
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PostPosted: Mon 01 Feb, 2010 12:35 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jason,

Yes they had archers, both crossbowmen and bowmen. They had some professional archers but in large scale ventures would be drawn from the commoner class.

RPM
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Kel Rekuta




Location: Toronto, Canada
Joined: 10 Feb 2004
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Posts: 600

PostPosted: Tue 02 Feb, 2010 5:45 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Randall Moffett wrote:

There is a list of requirements by wealth from the 1320s in the Scottish Parlt. rolls. I could not find off hand but gauntlets, helmets and aketons are fairly common demands the more wealth the more iron armour, mail etc you'd have to own.

RPM


Randall,

Thanks for mentioning that, I haven't looked at this material in quite a while. I don't recall seeing that information but if it crosses your path, please share. I would be quite glad to have it. Happy

Kel
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Randall Moffett




Location: Northern Utah
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Reading list: 5 books

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PostPosted: Tue 02 Feb, 2010 7:02 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Kel,

I had it saved as a file on my old desktop but since I gave that away have been unable to locate the notes it was written down in....

I just looked it up again. 3 december 1318 Scot. Parl. Rolls. http://www.rps.ac.uk/

Concerning the equipment of those coming to the war according to [the amount] they have in goods

Item, it was ordained and assented that each layman of the kingdom having £10 in goods should have for his body in defence of the kingdom a sufficient haqueton,† a basinet, and mailed gloves with a lance and sword. And anyone who shall not have a haqueton and a bacinet should have a good habergeon†or a good iron [coat of mail] for his body, a cap of iron and mailed gloves, so that each should be prepared with the said equipment around the octave of Easter next to come [15 April 1319]. And whoever has £10 in goods [and] shall not then have all the said equipment of arms should lose all his goods. With the proviso that the lord king [Robert I] should have a half of the goods and the lord of he who was found to be in default should have the other half. And the lord king wishes that each sheriff of the kingdom with the lords of places should investigate concerning these things and immediately cause a muster after the aforesaid octave of Easter. Moreover the lord king wishes and commands that anyone having the value of one cow in goods should have a good lance or a good bow with a sheath of arrows, namely twenty-four arrows with the pertinents, under the prescribed penalty.

I think the penalty for default is much worse in Scotland than England... half ones goods, ouch!

Ten pounds is likely low for a knightly income by maybe half or even three-quarters depending on the period. I think in Scotland 30-40 pounds per year is the average but I'd have to do more digging to get a good idea of that. What we are looking at here I'd guess is likely the wealthy tradesmen, merchants and such.

RPM
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Kel Rekuta




Location: Toronto, Canada
Joined: 10 Feb 2004
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PostPosted: Wed 03 Feb, 2010 1:19 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Randall Moffett wrote:
Kel,

I had it saved as a file on my old desktop but since I gave that away have been unable to locate the notes it was written down in....

I just looked it up again. 3 december 1318 Scot. Parl. Rolls. http://www.rps.ac.uk/

Concerning the equipment of those coming to the war according to [the amount] they have in goods I think the penalty for default is much worse in Scotland than England... half ones goods, ouch!

Ten pounds is likely low for a knightly income by maybe half or even three-quarters depending on the period. I think in Scotland 30-40 pounds per year is the average but I'd have to do more digging to get a good idea of that. What we are looking at here I'd guess is likely the wealthy tradesmen, merchants and such.

RPM


Ah! Thanks for that source. It is very similar to Ed I's ordinance, isn't it?

I seem to recall Scots pounds weren't the same value as English pounds at that time. Ten Scots pounds would have been pretty slim stock indeed. A bascinet, mail and weapons might have been a pound or two unless very fine. Showing up fully equipped was enforced pretty well, I should think!

Kel
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David Teague




Location: Anchorage, Alaska
Joined: 25 Jan 2004

Posts: 409

PostPosted: Wed 03 Feb, 2010 6:06 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks for linking that Randall.

I use to have that act in the period Scots but lost it to a hacker attack on the server it was stored. Much easier to read in English.

Cheers,

David

This you shall know, that all things have length and measure.

Free Scholar/ Instructor Selohaar Fechtschule
The Historic Recrudescence Guild

"Yea though I walk through the valley of death, I will fear no evil: for Thou's sword art is with me; Thy poleaxe and Thy quarterstaff they comfort me."
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Randall Moffett




Location: Northern Utah
Joined: 07 Jun 2006
Reading list: 5 books

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PostPosted: Thu 04 Feb, 2010 7:15 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Glad I could help. Dave, you are right. Having it in modern english and online makes it tons easier!

There is another one from 1324 I'd like to say but I could not locate it. I will keep an eye out for it but as of yet no luck. I believe the later one includes more specific weapons.

RPM
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