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PostPosted: Sun Sep 28, 2008 6:49 pm
by Maghnus Ó Sionnaigh
Hello everyone. My real name is Shawn O'Hara, so I guess that sort of explains where I get my interest in Ireland. It all started when my aunt gave me a copy of the family coat of arms. Somewhat erroneous I know, but when you're 10 you don't really care about those things. Anyways, I started doing a lot of genealogical research as well as learning about heraldry, and although I don't know everything, I'm pretty comfortable with it. I don't do living history, rather I've found myself being involved with the SCA. I know the view some folks have of the SCA, but I hope that by being here you will realize that I'm trying to portray an accurate representation of an Irishman in about the year 1290, give or take 25 years. I'm hoping that this group will turn me on to information and resources I don't have access to or haven't considered. For me, it's all about the knowledge.

Re: Greetings!

PostPosted: Sun Sep 28, 2008 7:58 pm
by the_power
Hey, great to have you on the site! You might have trouble finding Irish kit for 1290, as there is very little details for that period; I know of no drawings or descriptions. There are loads during the Norman conquest, around 1180. We have some around the late 1300s...but nothing for the 1200s at all, that I know of. Any idea what sort of Irish you were thinking of ? If you wanted "Irish...with scottish influence", we could try some of the descriptions of early Gallowglass, which seem very similar to Normans in the 12thC. Or, you could try the early Irish warrior's tight trews & loose tunic of the late 1100s.

Anyone else got any recommendations for late 13thC Irish kit ?

Slightly off-topic...did Irish people ever use Coats of Arms ? Were they a modern invention of the heraldry companies ?


Re: Greetings!

PostPosted: Sun Sep 28, 2008 10:39 pm
by Maghnus Ó Sionnaigh
Thanks Power. (Can I call you Power?) I sort of knew right off that putting together a kit would be a pain, but growing up with a certain pride for my Irish heritage sort of made me "one of those people." :D From what I can tell, there was heraldry that went on in Ireland, but I cannot say for sure when it took place or in what specific capacity the form took. I'll post those questions in a separate thread to keep everything copacetic. The fact that Irish history is so varied with many distinct cultures makes finding something that is period somewhat difficult.

As for what type of Irish I was looking for, I cant really say. And that is something that I'd like to learn more about. I know for certain that I don't want to portray an Englishman living in Ireland during the attempted conquest, but I also know that other cultures, namely the "native Irish," the Hiberno-Normans, and Cambro-Normans existed there as well. I honestly could not tell you the difference between them; I find it's easier to contemplate black holes and string theory.

And since you've pointed out that there is little evidence for the better part of 200 years I do have some theories as to what the Irish might have worn. To me, it is certainly plausible for the Irish to wear what other cultures (namely England) would have worn. If they did have their own "style" of armor (and it makes sense that they would) I think it would likely have Scandinavian/Viking influence. I am also not opposed to changing what little story I have for my persona to satisfy my choice for armor. But for now, I think a concise history of Ireland, outlining the different groups of people will be a start to my research. Thanks again for all the help.

Re: Greetings!

PostPosted: Mon Sep 29, 2008 2:11 pm
by Leinsterman
the_power wrote:Slightly off-topic...did Irish people ever use Coats of Arms ? Were they a modern invention of the heraldry companies ?

Hi John.
Yes. Coats of arms were used by Irish people in the middle ages, but I think usually by those who had been Anglicised to a degree. After the 'Black Death' plague of the 1340's the English grip on Ireland loosened, mainly because the administrative centres, the towns, were worse effected. The Irish being mostly excluded from trading in the towns escaped the worst of it and reasserted themselves militarily. Forced to take help where they could find it, the English made deals with those Gaelic Irish willing to co-operate at a price. As a result some powerful Irish warlords were actually knighted for services rendered. My researches into the Wicklow clans turned up two O'Byrnes and an O'Toole knighted possibly by the Duke of Clarence (heir to the English crown) c1360. With the package usually came a coat of arms. Arms were bestowed by heraldic officers based in Ireland from 1382 on. Wheather many Gaelic Irish took up coats of arms that early needs further research. Sir Shane O'Toole referred to above ' died at the hands of his court jester' at his castle in the Glen of Imaal in 1388. With the kind of lifestyle this suggests he may well have used a coat of arms too.

The National Library site has an interesting article on coats of arms ... erald.aspx