16th Century Shields

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Re: 16th Century Shields

Postby Stephen Curtin on Tue Oct 09, 2012 11:47 pm

Hi Scott I have seen this work before and it's where I got the info about the wicker shields I spoke of on the first page of this thread. One problem with this work is that is very dated, you only have to read the chapter on clothing to see this, so I'm not quite sure we can thrust everything he says. The only period reference I know of which mentions wicker shields is Edmund Spenser, and he doesn't go into any real detail, he just says that he only encountered them in the north of the country and not the south, and they were big enough to cover the upper body. So I'm not sure where Mr. Joyce read that wicker shields were oval, convex, and covered in hide, so I wonder were he got this info from.
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Re: 16th Century Shields

Postby Daithi on Thu Oct 11, 2012 10:37 am

Stephen Curtin wrote:Daithi, I forgot to ask, what do you think was meant by "goodie turkie blade". My guess would be good Turkish blade. Also are the hilts described as being "basket hilted, close hilted, or irish hilted", or is this you describing to us the types of hilt which were in use at this time. Again thanks in advance.



1st bit: "good ie turkie blades" No one, and in that I include the Royal Armouries and the Wallace, as any idea what a "goodie turkie blades" is The only clue I have is a much later reference from about 1660 that lumps Turkey blades, also known as schiavona, with broad blades in a a Customs Rates book.

The descriptions are from different Privy Council orders.

I suspect that the Privy Council are thinking of backswords or broadbladed, basket hilted swords as being suitable for the infantry
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Re: 16th Century Shields

Postby Stephen Curtin on Thu Oct 11, 2012 12:33 pm

Daithi,

What I think might have been goodie turkie blade, is simply a curved, single edged sword. My reason for thinking this is that the highland Scots sometimes used blades like this and referred to them as Turcael or Turkish.
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Re: 16th Century Shields

Postby Daithi on Thu Oct 11, 2012 1:24 pm

Stephen Curtin wrote:Daithi,

What I think might have been goodie turkie blade, is simply a curved, single edged sword. My reason for thinking this is that the highland Scots sometimes used blades like this and referred to them as Turcael or Turkish.


Interesting. But unlikely. There is just simply nothing surviving from this period to suggest large scale use of single edged curved blades in English hands. Not one single blade, picture or source, there's no evidence in the few Sword manuals from English sources. Remember, we're talking about as many as 10,000 swords being ordered by suppliers for the Privy Council over a year. I did ask the RA if they had any English curved blades in the collection from this peroid and the answer was "No"
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Re: 16th Century Shields

Postby Stephen Curtin on Thu Oct 11, 2012 3:14 pm

Good point Daithi. I hadn't thought about the numbers these swords were ordered in, and with no surviving examples of curved single edged swords, then I must be wrong.
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Re: 16th Century Shields

Postby kevin714 on Wed Feb 13, 2013 2:20 am

Stephen Curtin wrote:Oh I almost forgot. As far as cavalry shields used by the Irish, I dont know of a single literal or pictural piece of evidence for them, other John Derricke's "Image of Irelande" and this might not be the most accurate source. The shields shown in this book appear to be steel targets, and are used by both Irish and English cavalry, thing is that I don't know of any other piece of evidence for English light cavalry using shields like this, or any other country for that matter. This probably means that they weren't used. I'm still not sure if shields like the one from the portrait of Sir Neil O'Neill would have been used (or even practical) from horseback.


Resurrecting an old thread but here are clear depictions of Irish cavalry with round shields(they look to be held like a targe with an arm strap and not in the center) this is on the Market Cross, Kells ,Co. Meath, allegedly this cross is from the 10th century. There is also a clear depiction of a foot soldier with spear and targe like shield on this cross but the file is too big for me to upload right now.
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Re: 16th Century Shields

Postby kevin714 on Wed Feb 13, 2013 2:27 am

This is another one on the right that looks very much like a Targe to me although it could be center held, I still cannot upload the main one I spoke of because the file is too large, I would be interested in opinions? And can any of my Irish friends verify the date on this cross?
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Re: 16th Century Shields

Postby kevin714 on Wed Feb 13, 2013 2:41 am

Here is a link to the foot soldier with what appears to me to be a spear and a Targe on his arm.

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File: ... 80%932.JPG
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Re: 16th Century Shields

Postby finnobreanan on Wed Feb 13, 2013 9:47 pm

These certainly look like targes to me. I don't know why I didn't take closer images of the Market Cross when I was there last fall. I have not seen any clear dates on any of the High Crosses at Kells, but what I have seen dates them to the 9th century.
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Re: 16th Century Shields

Postby Stephen Curtin on Thu Feb 14, 2013 12:01 am

Hi Kevin, long time no targe talk. From memory, the high crosses at Kells were not all built at the same time. With some dating to the 9th and others to the 10th century, though I'm not sure which the market cross belongs to. As for whether the shields are supposed to be central gripped, or strapped to the arm, could be either, I not sure.
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