Trews and brat
- Speaking of trews, does anyone know where I can a good pair of
trews appropriate for early 1500's? I am also hunting a good source
for generic looking tartan that doesn't resemble anyone's "clan"
sett, where I can pick something out proper for a noble.
My persona is a noble from the Scottish highlands, so high quality
construction and nice material are a must. Also, any thoughts on brat
construction for a person of means from this time? rectangular,
semi-circular, tartan vs. solid, fringed.....Yes, I'm still
researching this darn wardrobe.
- Another point about this passage from Leslie (that doesn't require
trying to hunt down the original Latin document) is that all he is
saying is that they all wore mantles, and the nobles seem to have a
preference for more colors in their mantles. He's writing this in 1578.
Whether or not he is describing people contemporary to him or in the
past, he is still writing in 1578.
To someone reading this familiar with the ancient Irish annals mentioned
previously, it is quite easy (and wrong) to imagine a connection between
the two and read Leslie as supporting evidence for their being some kind
of "class rank" system that determines how many stripes you wear in your
tartan. But this would be quite unwarranted. The context, the locale,
and certainly the period in time of these two documents are completely
different. And you would have to read into Leslie much that he didn't
say. All he actually says is that everyone wore mantles, and nobles
preferred mantles of many colors. He doesn't even say they are tartan!
We are assuming that, but it's not expressly mentioned.
So be careful about reading more into sources like this than they really
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From: Sharon L. Krossa [mailto:skrossa-ml@...]
Sent: Friday, June 18, 2004 11:22 PM
Subject: Re: [albanach] Re: Trews and brat
At 11:15 AM -0500 6/18/04, Joe Robertson wrote:
>Multicoloured tartan for nobility-flowing,
> My reference was Bishop Leslie's account in 1578 (a bit after my
>persona, though) " All, both nobles and common people, wore mantles of
>one sort (except that the
>nobles preferred those of several colours). These were long and
>but capable of being neatly gathered up atAh, I had forgotten that part of Bishop Leslie.
>pleasure into folds"
>Plainer tartans for commoners-
> I've lost my link to this reference. I will find it again, read it
>through, and post it.
Leslie is a very problematic source -- all the Scottish clothing
books quote him, but none of them put the quote in the greater
context of Leslie's work. Leslie's work is _De Origine, moribus et
rebus gestis Scotorum_ which is a history of the Scots from the
earliest times onwards.
Which raises the question, who exactly is Leslie describing?
Highlanders from his own time, about which he might actually have
known something, or Gaels or Scots from some earlier time, about
which he is unlikely to have reliable information? The past tense is
used in Leslie's passage, except, rather tellingly, for only part of
the following line:
>From McClintock:"habebant etiam, cujus modi Hibernenses et hodie sibi placent,
villosas stragulas, alias ad iter, alias ad lectos accomadas (?
>From Dunbar:"They had also shaggy rugs, such as the Irish use at the present day,
some fitted for a journey, others to be placed on a bed."
"Placent", the verb that goes with the Irish, is the present tense
(3rd person plural) of "placeo" ("to please, to be pleasing or
agreeable, to give satisfaction, to satisfy"), while "habebant", the
verb that goes with whoever he is describing in the rest of the
sentence, is the indicative active imperfect (3rd person plural) of
"habeo" ("to have, possess") -- so literally, "were having"/"used to
have"/"began to have".
This strongly suggests that in the passage as a whole Leslie is
talking about some past time rather than describing contemporary
Highlanders, as when referring to the Irish of his own time he uses
the present tense.
It is my intention to someday look up the context of the Leslie's
description, but until that is sorted out, Bishop Leslie's
description isn't very useful as we don't have enough information to
know who to apply it to or even how reliable it might be.
Sharon, ska Effrick
Sharon L. Krossa, skrossa-ml@...
This is Albanach, a group devoted to the study and re-enactment of
Scotland c. 503-1603 AD.
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