Help support TMP

"National livery of the Scots ?" Topic

24 Posts

All members in good standing are free to post here. Opinions expressed here are solely those of the posters, and have not been cleared with nor are they endorsed by The Miniatures Page.

Please avoid recent politics on the forums.

For more information, see the TMP FAQ.

Back to the Medieval Discussion Message Board

Back to the War of the Roses Message Board

Areas of Interest


Featured Hobby News Article

Featured Link

Featured Ruleset


Rating: gold star gold star gold star gold star gold star gold star gold star 

Featured Showcase Article

Fighting 15's Teutonic Order Command 1410

Command figures for the 1410 Teutonics.

Featured Workbench Article

Adam Paints Some Lady Pirates

Adam loves Scorched Brown...

740 hits since 6 Feb 2024
©1994-2024 Bill Armintrout
Comments or corrections?

Paskal Supporting Member of TMP06 Feb 2024 3:53 a.m. PST

Hello everyone ,

I don't know the color(s) of the national livery of the Scots at the time of the Wars of the Roses and you?

Swampster06 Feb 2024 4:20 a.m. PST

There was a discussion about Royal livery for Scotland a while ago
TMP link

A few responses give some possible colours, but little agreement and the final reply is that there probably wasn't one. A national livery is even more unlikely.

Metal badges were certainly worn, as in England, but these are not very useful on the battlefield. St Andrew's crosses of various colours could be worn. These were probably as easy to add and remove as the English crosses worn by some borderers in the 16th century, so quickly sewn pieces of cloth rather than fancy embroidery in most cases.
I think it is Heath who says that even the colour of the St Andrew's cross wasn't fixed for much of the period – I don't know if it was settled by the WoTR.

GildasFacit Sponsoring Member of TMP06 Feb 2024 1:23 p.m. PST

There is no reliable evidence that any such thing even existed at the time of Flodden. Some individual lords possibly had some household retinue in livery but even that is debatable. With very limited evidence mentioning any sort of clothing details of the Scottish army it is difficult to be sure but the lack of mention probably makes any uniformity unlikely.

Paskal Supporting Member of TMP07 Feb 2024 2:02 a.m. PST

It's weird.

42flanker08 Feb 2024 12:07 p.m. PST

Discussion of saltires on TMP from 2020 here:
"Scottish flag 13/14th century"
TMP link

Reference to white saltires (argent) as field signs to be worn on 'jacks' date from 1385, it seems, with earlier references to a red saltire (gules) as both a field sign and emblem borne on standards (it says here).

Personal logo piper909 Supporting Member of TMP08 Feb 2024 2:51 p.m. PST

More plaid for everyone!!


Paskal Supporting Member of TMP09 Feb 2024 5:38 a.m. PST

So the Scottish army never had a national livery coat? I can not believe it,It's weird.

Charlie09 Feb 2024 3:03 p.m. PST

Why is it weird? Why can't you believe it? Perhaps this is a time when 'national livery coats' weren't really a thing!

Paskal Supporting Member of TMP10 Feb 2024 7:22 a.m. PST

They existed in England and on the continent and the Scots could thus have wanted to distinguish themselves from the English!!!

GildasFacit Sponsoring Member of TMP10 Feb 2024 12:21 p.m. PST

They didn't exist in England at Flodden.

What existed, as far as it went, was a ROYAL livery. Henry required the army being gathered to fight the Scots to wear the Tudor green & white but left it open how that should be worn. In the time available it is unlikely that they could have managed to organise enough green & white particoloured coats for the whole army and badges and armbands seem to have been worn.

Henry's father had attempted to outlaw private armies and the personal liveries that went with them but even he found that he needed those men in time of war so some livery was allowed for me he felt he could rely upon. Henry found the same and was not happy with those that showed up for muster in livery but he wasn't able to send them home as he needed the troops.

Yes, the Royal livery was a 'national' requirement in theory but rarely achieved in practice and then mostly for those troops Henry raised himself from his own purse.

Why you are so fixated on the necessity of a nation's troops having a uniform appearance long before it became commonplace I do not know but the evidence is not in your favour. Even the concept of a 'nation' rather than a 'kingdom' was strange to most Europeans in the middle ages, never mind a 'national' uniform.

Paskal Supporting Member of TMP11 Feb 2024 1:09 a.m. PST

Yes but when I say "nation" rather than "kingdom" or country I mean the same thing – you understood me very well – and I do not mean a "national" uniform either, but quite simply a national livery , like those worn in France during the Hundred Years' War or at the battle of Saint-Aubin-du-Cormier in 1488.

GildasFacit Sponsoring Member of TMP11 Feb 2024 3:32 a.m. PST

Sorry Pascal, if you prefer to use terms that are, within the timeframe we are discussing, clearly very different things it is more difficult than you think to see what you mean.

While I will accept there were instances of livery being used during the 100YW, even badges that were common to a small army, it was not the common or universal practice that you claim it to be. Nor was the badge/livery always the same.

There is simply not enough reliable contemporary evidence of its use to support the claim that it was commonplace beyond a small part of an army.

old china11 Feb 2024 7:04 a.m. PST

This thread is a fascinating example of human obduracy. 🙂

All I'll say is 'livery' has acquired an almost precise modern meaning as 'colours of clothing'.

Earlier times understood the word to mean 'a colour OR a badge, OR other sign indicating factional fealty'.

The colour of France since at least the Capetians was blue.

GildasFacit Sponsoring Member of TMP11 Feb 2024 10:00 a.m. PST

Looking at the Oxford English Dictionary there are many meanings given for 'livery', some I had not heard of. Those relating to clothing do agree with your wider application of the term beyond a coat – as do I.
What I was interested to see in the historical examples was that not one mentioned a 'national' livery as an example and few specifically mention royal liveries either. Most imply that livery is either a statement of personal or factional fealty (in a feudal sense) and that rather limits its usage.

I think Pascal & I will just have to agree to disagree on this one.

Personal logo piper909 Supporting Member of TMP12 Feb 2024 1:09 a.m. PST

The Scottish Guard in the French royal service had a uniform or livery during the 15th century (there are illustrations), but that of course was a special bodyguard unit and the clothing would have been provided by the monarch. From ewhat I have read, the best a Scots army might have managed on home territory before, during, and after this time, besides the standards and banners of the nobility, was likely a cloth saltire field sign (probably white, but not necessarily always) worn on a jacket or doublet.

Paskal Supporting Member of TMP12 Feb 2024 2:20 a.m. PST

Whether they used it more or less, some kingdoms had a national livery and I only find it strange that a large independent kingdom like Scotland at that time and which was involved in conflicts in the West, did not have one. didn't own one either.

In your opinion, despite the examples given TMP link the systematic outfit of a "national" livery coat has never existed?

@old china
The color of France since at least the Capetians was blue. Yes but among the four colors of French livery (not forgetting black which is not a color) used in French ordnance companies, red was the main color…

I thought they used a St. Andrew's cross like the Burgundians? But now I bet it wasn't always.

old china12 Feb 2024 4:44 a.m. PST

The Grandes Chroniques de France, Fouquet, Marmion and Liedet would tend to disagree that 'red was the main colour…'

Paskal Supporting Member of TMP13 Feb 2024 2:52 a.m. PST

@old china
At the talks of Toury in 1562, the gens d'armes escorting the Catholique leaders were dressed in crimson casaque and worn lances with red banners, because it was the color most used in the French ordnance companies. In contrast, their Huguenot counterparts had white casaques and banners.

Observing them, the Queen Mother commented sarcastically: 'Your people are millers, my cousin?'

Lesser well remembered is the Prince de Condé's pithy retort: 'The better to beat your rougeauds, Madam'.

I also found some examples for part of the second Hundred Years War in the 15th century…

Among the four colors of French livery (not forgetting black which is not a color) used in French ordnance companies, red was the main color …

old china13 Feb 2024 4:27 a.m. PST

You keep asserting that 'red was the main colour of the five used by compagnies de ordonnace, atyet you provide no objective sources.

There's little point continuing with anyone who only recognises their own 'facts', so I'm out

Paskal Supporting Member of TMP14 Feb 2024 2:40 a.m. PST

@old china
compagnies de ordonnace LOL

You continue to claim that red was not the primary color of the five colors used in the French ordnance companies, but you provide no objective source.

You are right, withdraw, because for me there is no point in continuing with someone like you, because I have given enough examples like that and if I had the time I would have found more.

Paskal Supporting Member of TMP16 Feb 2024 1:08 a.m. PST


Another example? According to Ian Heath, he does not indicate which source, but we can read this in the legend of drawing n°51 of his work WRG: Ian Heath, Armies of the Middle Ages, Volume 1: The Hundred Years' War, the Wars of the Roses and the Burgundian Wars, 1300-1487, Wargames Research Group, 1982: "A source of the late -15th century depicting the battle of Azincourt actually shows the entire French army wearing similar surcoat in red, with a slightly narrower cross." There you go, red is still the main color! another example? Jean, Count of Dunois, wore a red jacket with 'a large white cross' at Rouen in 1449 and there is no red color in his coat of arms. Once again I say again red was the primary color of the four colors used in the French ordinance companies.

Paskal Supporting Member of TMP17 Feb 2024 2:14 a.m. PST

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

uglyfatbloke28 Feb 2024 2:24 p.m. PST

Paskal….there is no evidence at all to suggest a national livery for Scotland. Raising a large army was very rare and general engagements were rarer still. Almost all the engagements between the Scots and the English were quite small cavalry actions featuring men-at-arms and…..err…..actually, just men-at-arms, so most of the combatants bore their own devices on their shields and whatever colours they fancied in the way of barding etc.

Paskal Supporting Member of TMP29 Feb 2024 2:32 a.m. PST

It is true that there is no evidence to suggest a national livery for Scotland…

But the English, Bretons, French and Burgundians had it and some of their troops often wore it in the 15th century.

And when this was not the case,their troops wore crosses of different colors or shapes to mark their nationalities.

Was this the case for the Scots?

Sorry - only verified members can post on the forums.