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"Brave Welsh men in the War of the Roses." Topic


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10 Nov 2019 3:54 p.m. PST
by Editor in Chief Bill

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Paskal Supporting Member of TMP09 Nov 2019 12:40 p.m. PST

Good morning all,

How brave Welsh who fought at Boswoth and in other battles of the War of the Roses were dressed and equipped?

As represented by the 28mm OldGlory figures from the War of the Roses range?

Certainly not?

Thanks for your help.

martin goddard Sponsoring Member of TMP09 Nov 2019 3:09 p.m. PST

I would assume the exact same dress as their English comrades.

Paskal Supporting Member of TMP10 Nov 2019 12:58 a.m. PST

yes those of Old glory are at the latest for the XIII century.

But in the War of the Roses, by tradition there are still spearmen in the Welsh infantry instead of the billmen.

Green Tiger11 Nov 2019 3:04 a.m. PST

But in the War of the Roses, by tradition there are still spearmen in the Welsh infantry instead of the billmen
- not sure this is correct – Billmen are called 'spears' in English rolls. The same is probably the case in Wales. A number of Welsh liveries (not just the Tudors) seem to be green and white.

GildasFacit Sponsoring Member of TMP11 Nov 2019 9:38 a.m. PST

I doubt very much that it is possible to date the dress of lowly troops with any degree of accuracy. While I would expect some of the Welsh in some of the armies in the WoR to be indistinguishable from English there would undoubtedly be lesser men in some.

What I can see from the rather poor image of the figures puts these in the 'hasty levy' category – and Welsh were raised that would fit that category. Wales was much poorer than England then and Welsh lords were often discourages from having any sort of standing force taken from local men.

Green Tiger is right, 'spears' was a term used to mean relatively untrained or levied foot throughout the Medieval period.

Paskal Supporting Member of TMP11 Nov 2019 10:20 a.m. PST

Ah good and yet in 1539 one the infantry weapon smetimes mentioned is wothy of note : that most basic of weapons, the simple spear,was still in use in Henry VIII's army …

Specifically descried in a least one document ,as a 'long', the spear was particulary favoured by th welsh.

The muster list for Denbighshire in 1539 show more spearmen than billmen.

Unfortunately there seems to be no reference to this rather anachronistic weapon's use in battle during the WOTR and under Henry VIII.

But at least the spearmen were not considered as billmen.

GildasFacit Sponsoring Member of TMP11 Nov 2019 1:43 p.m. PST

There are many reasons why the Welsh, particularly the North Welsh, favoured a long thrusting spear but there is no doubt that they made excellent use of it in ambushes in their hilly home terrain.

This 'anachronistic' weapon was soon to become the weapon par excellence of infantry throughout Europe. A bit longer (possibly) and used en-masse but still essentially the same.

Expecting medieval terminology to be consistent and universal is a mistake, it never was.

Paskal Supporting Member of TMP12 Nov 2019 2:48 a.m. PST

At the time of the WOTR, the Scots used the long spear, so why not the Welsh at least those of the shire levy.

Perhaps the Welsh retinue was equipped like the English retinues but not the Welsh shire levy .

Paskal Supporting Member of TMP27 Nov 2019 10:32 a.m. PST

@ All:

The Welsh shire levy equipped with long spear, a good idea!

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