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"Livery coat for the French mercenaries." Topic


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679 hits since 5 Feb 2024
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Paskal Supporting Member of TMP05 Feb 2024 1:04 a.m. PST

Hello everyone,
Has anyone read somewhere if the French mercenaries who participated in the Battle of Bosworth wore the livery coat of Henry Tudor and/or those of other lords who were in the Kingdom of France with him? Indeed, as these mercenaries were not men from French ordnance companies and the Kingdom of France is not at war with England, the French national livery coat should not be worn.

GurKhan05 Feb 2024 4:33 a.m. PST

Having looked into the French contingent at Bosworth a few years ago (see Slingshot 329) I did not find any evidence for what the French contingent wore, nor indeed any hard evidence that they were issued any clothing at all.

AnselmFranz05 Feb 2024 10:51 a.m. PST

I am not very knowledgeable about this era, but i am intrigued about the nation liveries. Can you give me a source? That would be very interesting.

GildasFacit Sponsoring Member of TMP05 Feb 2024 1:47 p.m. PST

The French had a 'national livery' ? Did anyone tell the French ?

dapeters05 Feb 2024 2:07 p.m. PST

+1 GildasFacit

Paskal Supporting Member of TMP06 Feb 2024 3:52 a.m. PST

@GurKhan
Me neither unfortunately and the livery of the Tudors for each, it would perhaps have cost Henri Tudor dearly?

@AnselmFranz
The national livery of the English is white (Silver) with a red cross (Gueule).

The national livery of the Burgundians is blue (Azure) and white (Silver) with a red Saint Andrew's cross (Gueule).

But at the time of Bosworth, I don't know if it still exists?.

The national livery of the Bretons is white (Silver) with a black cross (Sable).

The national livery of the French is red (Gueule) with a white cross (Silver).

@GildasFacit
The national livery of the French was red (Gueule) with a white cross (Silver). Unlike you, the French soldiers and their adversaries knew it in any case.

@dapeters
- 10 dapeters

@Aegon the Unworthy
This is the most logical solution.

GildasFacit Sponsoring Member of TMP06 Feb 2024 1:39 p.m. PST

Sorry Pascal that is wrong.

The French Crusaders wore that (as well as a red cross on a white field at different times). Most commonly as a badge rather than a coat (so thus not actually a livery).

Its use in many illustrations of the time and long after is to identify the soldiers as French and is not a reliable indication of their actual dress. This can be emphasised by the soldiers often wearing armour of the time of the illustration, not of the time illustrated.

England is the only major participant to eventually use the crusader symbol as a national emblem though there are differences of opinion on whether the St George flag actually derived from the crusader cross or not.

In Tudor times French Royal troops often wore a plain white coat but other colours are seen in contemporary illustrations and well as textual descriptions.

I'd heartily agree that troops wearing their captain's livery (or badge) is by far the most likely.

Swampster06 Feb 2024 3:25 p.m. PST

The Tudor period siege of Dijon tapestry does show a Frenchman in red with white cross, but he is perhaps more notable for being unusual rather than an example of how all the infantry dressed. The white cross does appear prominently on armour in some cases. There is more use of this cross on flags though.

Druzhina06 Feb 2024 10:02 p.m. PST

This French manuscript: Les Vigiles de Charles VII
by Martial d'Auverne, 1484AD, BnF MS Français 5054, shows some french soldiers wearing white crosses
, but on various coloured clothing and armour. Chronique de Charles VII by Jean Chartier, 1470-1480AD, BnF MS Français 2691 has only a minority of French with white crosses, again worn over various colours.

Druzhina
Illustrations of Costume & Soldiers

Paskal Supporting Member of TMP07 Feb 2024 4:04 a.m. PST

@GildasFacit
Sorry GildasFacit, that's wrong because at the time of the Battle of Bosworth, the national livery of the French is mainly the red (Gueule) with a white cross (Silver) and it is the color most used in the French ordinance companies.

As you completely agree that the troops wearing a livery coat, they would wear that of those who pay them, so you would paint figurines of French mercenaries of the Battle of Bosworth in livery coats in whose colors?

@Swampster
The national livery of the French is mainly red (Gueule) with a white cross (Silver) and it is mainly that of the French ordinance companies.

Note that at the end of the 15th century, the Breton Francs-Archers wore the Breton national livery (white (Silver) with a black cross (Sable)) while obviously they were not part of the Breton ordinance companies but at the battle of Saint Aubin du Cormier, on July 28, 1488, the Marshal of Rieux, dressed 1,000 Breton Francs-Archers in white livery decorated with a red cross like the English archers present.TMP link

@Druzhina
Completely agree, during the wars of religion I discovered that the French and therefore Catholic French ordnance companies wore liveries:

Red (Geule) with a white cross (Silver)
Blue (Azure) with a white cross (Silver)
Yellow (Gold) with a white cross (Silver)
Green (Sinople) with a white cross (Silver)
Black (Sable) with a white cross (Silver)*

But the main color was that even the Red (Geule) with a white cross (Silver).

It seems that in the French royal army, the national livery is of variable color depending on the time and place, because in each corps, it corresponds to the captain's livery.


* Although black is not a color because it rejects light, in fact, as each rainbow proves, black is not part of the visible spectrum of colors. All other colors are reflections of light, except black. Black is the absence of light. Unlike white and other hues, pure black exists in nature in the complete absence of light.

GildasFacit Sponsoring Member of TMP07 Feb 2024 4:20 a.m. PST

So a 'national' livery isn't actually 'national' at all but is different for each regiment ?

These are, in fact, the liveries of the 'old bands' as well and their flags are those colours up until the revolution. They are not 'national' liveries at all but the distinguishing colours of the permanent regiments of troops.

It would seem that this is a problem with terminology. What you mean by 'national' is certainly not what I understand the term to mean.

Druzhina07 Feb 2024 4:53 a.m. PST

The late 15th century illustrations mostly don't show any standard base colour to which the white cross is applied, but, whatever random colour an individual has chosen for his clothing or armour (brigantine, jack or gambeson).


Druzhina
15th Century Illustrations of Costume & Soldiers

Paskal Supporting Member of TMP11 Feb 2024 2:56 a.m. PST

@GildasFacit
Yes it seems that in the French royal army, the national livery is of variable color depending on the time and place, because in each corps, it corresponds to the captain's livery.

@Druzhina
Yes

dapeters15 Feb 2024 1:28 p.m. PST

Red with white cross is a common theme across Europe.

Paskal Supporting Member of TMP16 Feb 2024 3:15 a.m. PST

@dapeters
To my knowledge,yes Red with white cross is a common theme for the French and the Swiss.

But the French mercenaries who participated in the Battle of Bosworth obviously did not wear one of the four colors used in French ordinance companies.

but dapeters you are off topic the question is :

"Has anyone read somewhere if the French mercenaries who participated in the Battle of Bosworth wore the livery coat of Henry Tudor and/or those of other lords who were in the Kingdom of France with him? Indeed, as these mercenaries were not men from French ordinance companies and the Kingdom of France is not at war with England, the French national livery coat should not be worn."

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