Mel, I think your best bet for finding French military historical
information might be your nearest reference librarian, whether at
your local public library, or the nearest univesity library.
I'd also suggest a Google (or other large engine) search. Speaking
for myself, I do some of the least effective Web searches of anyone I
know on-line or off, so I doubt any key words I might suggest would
be very helpful, but, again, the reference librarian is a
professional, trained to utilize this reference tool.
And there are e-mail discussion groups such as this one which do
specialize in military history. Perhaps one of them will have
someone who can assist you in your quest?
I've always found this list to be friendly and more than helpful,
always ready and eager to share what they know.
The collective knowlege of this list is fairly extensive, but
military history really, which is what your subject seems to be,
actually, isn't our forte.
As you've probably noticed, most of us on list are concerned with
civilian clothing, mainly. You've probably also noticed that often
when someone asks a question concerning some area of clothing, that
person is asked to be more specific: time, place, social standing or
I make mention of this because I've noticed that since your inital
request, no one's addressed this question other than myself; I'm
assuming, perhaps incorrectly, that they have no more information to
give you than I have done.
Your first post, a week ago tomorrow:
You've indicated time (16th Century or 1501 through 1600) and place
(France) and profession: the military or professional peacekeeping
This is actually not as specific as it may seem.
You have indicated that you need this information 'desperately.'
You, or your friend, are working to meet a very close deadline?
What I was 'getting' from your initial request was that your friend
has made an assumption of a direct and parallel correlation between
our contemporary social structure and our contemporary armed forces
(in industrialized nations) and that of western European nations in
the sixteenth century, with a more or less permanent army with
standardized, standard-issue uniforms.
In my response, I probably wasn't clear enough, but to the best of my
knowlege and that of two military-history buffs (personal friends who
don't have professional credentials in the military history field)
whom I consulted, France did not have a standing army during the 16th
Century. A city, village or town might have a 'militia,' but they
weren't "standing," either, in the sense of a standing army or police
force. They'd have fought to defend the city, village or town when
and if it came under attack, but they were a lot like the volunteer
fireman who works as a fireman when there's a fire to put out and who
the rest of the time is the guy who owns and runs the hardware
A city, village or town might also have a sheriff or constable, who
might have men who worked for him. Uniforms as we think of them
today seem highly unlikely.
Livery, or uniforms, were a huge luxury and expense, affordable and
afforded by very wealthy and powerful people. I've cited the
examples I can think of.
Are you, or is your friend by any chance thinking of a more
contemporary gendarmerie, with the short capelets and the front-
billed, pill-box type hats, reminiscent of the French Foreign
Legionnaires' uniforms, when you speak of "gendarmes?"
If there's a military historian on this list who can provide more
direction for this lady than I, or other clothing makers, can muster,
please jump in here.
--- In SCA-Garb@yahoogroups.com, Mel Fleming II <acknchip@p...> wrote:
> I desperately need information concerning 16th century
> french military uniforms, or gendarmes uniforms.
> Where do I look? Is there someone who makes them?