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"Bosworth: Livery colors for Talbot, Savage, Cheyney & Chande" Topic

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Killerkatanas16 Nov 2022 12:01 a.m. PST

Hello all,

Hoping that someone can fill me in on the Livery of these four leaders. I have some clues about Talbot, Savage, and Cheyney.

Gilbert Tabot was the son of John, and his father had red and black livery. Would his son have the same?

Savage – his heraldic flag is black and white. However, this is a heraldic flag and not a standard, and it is the standard (not the heraldic flag) that displays the livery.

Cheyney – Osprey shows a blue flag with white lions on it, but again, this is not the standard.

Chande – I assume these may be French?


Warspite116 Nov 2022 3:57 a.m. PST

Livery colours normally pass from father to son and are normally the same as it is important for the men (mostly illiterate at this time) to know who to follow. When dad dies their loyalty should easily switch to the son.

One notable exception to this was Richard, Duke of York's blue and white. This was the reverse of Henry VI's and Somerset's white and blue and this may have played a part in his death at Wakefield where false colours or misidentification may have lured him out of Sandal Castle. There are various stories surrounding this.

As a result his three sons, Edward IV, George of Clarence and Richard III 'dipped the white part of their colours in his blood' and switched to blue and murrey, a claret red which resembles dried blood. This was a public statement about the family sacrifice and memorial to their loss as well as clearing up identification issues in the future.
As an interim, Edward issued red 'bends' or sashes worn over the shoulder as an aid to battlefield identity. We know this because he more than a decade late in settling the cloth supplier's bill.

Remember that Cheney was serving Henry Tudor so it is highly likely that he wore Tudor livery of white/green or else he was just dressed in polished steel 'white' plate with a white and green bend over one shoulder.

My wargame rules (Bills, Bows and Bloodshed 2.2) are still available from myself on e-bay, from Caliver Books in Nottingham and from Dave Lanchester Books online. Six pages of my 32-page rules are devoted to family livery colours – where known – family practices and matters like bends. For example the Howard Dukes of Norfolk used a red livery for their retinue troops but appear to have worn a black 'household' livery as Edward IV made gifts of black cloth to them noting that this was their livery. All this is explained in the book. A further four pages are what I claim to be the best Wars of the Roses army list. This list can easily be adapted to other rule systems.

Barry Slemmings

GurKhan16 Nov 2022 4:24 a.m. PST

I assume "Chande" is Philibert de Chandée, who commanded Tudor's French contingent (and was created Earl of Bath). His arms were azure, a bend or between six plates (see link). No idea about his livery; but given that the troops he commanded were "donated" by the French crown, rather than being de Chandée's own men, I doubt they would have worn it anyway.

Warspite116 Nov 2022 9:20 a.m. PST

In manuscripts French troops are normally shown wearing a livery of a white cross on red (the reverse of the English red cross on white) or sometimes as a white cross on other colours such as blue.

Think of the modern Danish flag and you get the idea.
See number 3 and 4 here for my version of the banner:


The livery jackets would be similar. If you want to be eye-catching do one company in red and one in blue. Only the white cross of St.Denis is important.


GurKhan16 Nov 2022 2:54 p.m. PST

Possibly, Barry, though I wonder how realistic, as opposed to stylised, those MS illustrations are. There are several references to French troops wearing the livery colours of the current king – red and white under Louis XI, red, white and green for Charles VIII.

And it would seem – undiplomatic? – to have troops supporting the claimant to the English throne wearing the French white cross. I suspect they might have remained discreetly anonymous.

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