Liam McMac

Tartan shortcoat

60 posts in this topic

I make no apology for my comments on Campbells, however.

No apologies necessary dear sir. Treacherous weasels the lot o' them.

..."CLAN TARTANS" were an 1850's Victorian English Marketing ploy ...

Or a pre-Victorian (but definitely not ancient) Scottish ploy to add romance to the royal visit of 1822. Messrs Wilson and Son of Bannockburn appear to have been the first to have offered 'clan' setts, in 1819, with the connivance of Sir Walter Scott and the Celtic Society of Edinburgh. (Again, see chapter 1 of The Invention of Tradition)

Edited by Foxe

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You are a man filled with many truths, sir.

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I make no apology for my comments on Campbells, however.

No apologies necessary dear sir. Treacherous weasels the lot o' them.

And their soup's nay good either!

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Aye... Mcdonalds taste better roasted than boiled

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Well, the murder, rape and pillage was par for the course. But being a poor houseguest? Inexcusable.

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Aye... Mcdonalds taste better roasted than boiled

Which brings up back to making the hogs taste funny...or was that another thread?

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personally, i would wear it and worry not about fellow pirate brethren having an issue.

you know enough to support your use of said object. decide wisely whether to engage in that conversation with others at an event.

if i saw you at an event, i would be the kind of person who would approach you and ask if i could take a good look at it. look at your sewing and comment on how wonderful your talents were to produce such a fine garment. i would ask about the construction and marvel at your abilities and encourage you to more sewing.{ make me one LOL!!}

i see NO sense in bickering. i can listen to your views and opinions without having to offer mine. you would have to ask me my opinion. i find it more important to share what we have and hold in common instead of what seperates us .

i beleive you have sound judgement and good evidence to support your findings. i find myself in agreement that folks had much more common sense back then than in our present age.

i support the research people do, and i honor that they devote their time to doing such.

and i have learned that their position and opinion are just that. i am not better than them.

their knowledge brings to them something they want and need. hopefully, it brings them happiness too-- happiness they share and use for drawing together and not division among people in the hobby and craft.

for questions such as these, i tend to go metaphysics....

in 400 years, based on the pictures of our current times, what shall the people of the future think of our times and clothing? shall they cast and deem that all of us dressed as the holly wood style of this day and age? what will they think we common, middle class folks wore?-- if they choose to re enact our times, how shall they dicker on and on about what was common? what will they use as supporting evidence? paintings? old magazines and newspapers they find in some ones barn? will the computers then purge all evidence of the poor and common mans dressing or will they purge all the rich and famous evidence if we end up going to a socialist kind of governance? how will they err? how will they be correct? and what does it matter, their error and the correctness ?

lady constance

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Thanks Constance, which brings up the point I have always tried to make; the unusual may not have been impossible but just unusual and what was common is not always the exclusive correct limits of the period. Were any of our conjectures from limited research telling the whole tale? I seriously doubt that those findings tell the "absolutes" of an age. Would a common seaman from say Inverness or Aberdeen not have had access to tartan plaid fabric available to him or whomever was doing the sewing of his jacket? I know for myself I can't honestly make a claim that there was never a sailors coat made from tartan nor that every Scottish sailor wore tartan or tweed or Scots bonnets or if there was ever a man in a kilt on board a ship as a sailor. To make such statements show an intellectual conceit and bias that cannot be documented as an absolute so to assume that what documentation is available to researchers of today is the total confines of possibility is erroneous.

When the term "what the typical sailor wore" is just that that typical which means the majority not the whole of the set. As with any group of humans there are those who are outliers of the norm, those who aren't carbon copies of the rest of the group. That was one of the rationales behind militaries, especially across Europe, deciding to issue uniforms to their forces it made their forces easily recognizable to themselves and if you weren't dressed like "us" you must be "them" .

As an amateur historian I realize that assuming absolutes makes for likelihood of the possibilities of inherent errors more likely than not. The first thing that we should try to remember is making claims of "always" or "never", that they can come back to bite us in the ass

Edited by callenish gunner

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Have I missed the post where people started talking in absolutes?

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I just learned that there are official State tartans! ...

I read this and did a search. Hawaii has one but Jersey doesn't. I find that humorous. Just seems wrong. :rolleyes:

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Foxe I wasn't pointing fingers just saying that tartan could be possible not that it was the norm or common place just that it could be possible.

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*backs away from the fray*

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easy now...i dont think anyone has any hairs in a bunch...just a straight forward question, and some straight forward answers.....and an interesting conversation on "what a plaid/tarten/check"...which i'm not sure if it cleared or muddied it up in my head...(thanks sterling)HA!

seems Foxe found (in his seemingly limitless refferences) at least 1 notation of a tarten short coat....

so...answer seems to be...wear it in good health my boy....there's only 2 of us whose got em!

(actually i have no idea who has em...or numbers...just sayin)

thanks again Foxe and Sterling for the refferences...much appreciated

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i concour with mad dog and callenish....

i dont think anyone has hackles raised....

we are a bantering on and on, preaching to the choir,airing our thoughts and opinions and supporting our points of view with reason and logic.

and i have no intention of offending anyone. so Foxe, if i have offended thee, please forgive me....

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To assume that I was being confrontational is erroneous. In researching documents from the period one should think of them as snap shots of a small fragment of the period "more like guidelines" and that there is room to include the possibilities of variations. Did the Sears catalogue from summer 1972 give clear and indisputable proof of every type clothing that was worn by the entire population of America during that period? Were there variations? Were there anomalies that didn't fit the norm? Even though there were multiple images of the fashions sold during that time period they were just snap shots of what one segment of the population was wearing. it was also a period of great diversity in fashions from antique clothing and handmade items made by those folks that were on the fringe of popular culture i.e. counter culture. That was not an isolated phenomenon of those years. Fashion of almost every period have had their rebels or non-conformists. Variations in periods of fashion before mass production and mass marketing, by logic, hold room for greater likelihood for variations within the whole than perhaps we even have today. Every sailor didn't have access to the same fabric in the same colour or weave nor standardized stitching length of type as every other sailor from every port in the country or countries of their origins

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I'm not offended, and I didn't think anyone was finger pointing. Neither do I seek to start a fight.

It's just that whenever the question of whether kit is suitable comes up (and if you cast back to the beginning of the thread Mr McMac did ask), someone always chimes in with 'well, we don't know what every person wore...'. No, we don't know what every person wore, but if we seeking to 'get it right' (and I assume by the original question that we are here), then the only thing we can do is look at the evidence. Yes, that evidence is limited, but not as limited as is usually imagined, and ultimately, it's all we have to guide us.

Logic has its place,certainly, but unless it's based on the evidence then it's not actually logic.

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Mind you I am not a historian, anthropologist, archeologist, or social scientist so help me out here. If it has been proven that a particular fabric and pattern existed before and after one point in time and a particular garment is proven to exist at that same point in time it is NOT logical to conclude that said garment was made with said fabric pattern? Particularly with the use and reuse of fabric until it was thread bare. Again, it is not proof but it is based on the evidence so is it not a logical conclusion?

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it is NOT logical to conclude that said garment was made with said fabric pattern?

Nope. It's logical to conclude that it could have been, but not that it was. There's nothing wrong with conjecture, of course, provided it is presented as such. Depends how 'right' (for want of a better word) you want to be.

The trouble comes when logic flies in the face of evidence.

Let's take this tartan coat as an example. I think we're all agreed (well, I am anyway) that a tartan short coat is certainly possible, and in one instance can be shown to have existed, so it's an academic point anyway, but... if we have a couple of hundred pieces of evidence of coats, and one of them suggests tartan, we can say that yes, tartan coats existed. But we can also say they were rare - even amongst Scottish seamen. That's what the evidence shows and no amount of logic or conjecture can change that.

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Mister Foxe If you reread my posts you'll find that is exactly what I stated. I said it was possible knowing what we know but that " just saying that tartan could be possible not that it was the norm or common place just that it could be possible." which was to address the original question raised. I never disputed your research or documentation at all. It wasn't disputed. What I tried to state by my posts was that this particular garment was that of a non-conformist to the norm but was well within the realm of possibility. There was evidence of at least one instance of a Scottish plaid woolen jacket and this could be one.

"'...[the runaway sailor] James Cangling... had on when he went away, a blue grey jacket, and a plad jacket under it, trowsers, and a black wig...'

Pennsylvania Gazette, 22 Dec 1747." There is no indication from this that the likelihood of a plaid jacket was unusual no words such as "peculiar" or "odd" it was reported as a fact so how out of place was it that it was just matter of factually reported?

Edited by callenish gunner

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Well, I have seen only two in all the reenactors I know so I think we are safe in our representation. hehe

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with joyful exuberance, i ask you Foxe,

would we be better off using logic or metaphysics to discern this matter?

if a=b, OR if a is not equal to b then..... et al

or

possibility, probability, potential versus actual...et al

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I'm not offended, and I didn't think anyone was finger pointing. Neither do I seek to start a fight.

...merely trying to make a general point in answer to what I deemed to be a previous general point.

If you'd care now to admire my coat-tails...

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Guys, I was speaking in absolutes.

About the Campbells, though, not the coat. :(

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would we be better off using logic or metaphysics to discern this matter?

if a=b, OR if a is not equal to b then..... et al

or

possibility, probability, potential versus actual...et al

For my part, between Metaphysics and Empiricism, I think history is best approached empirically. This is, however, really a topic for quite another forum! :blink:

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I missed this thread previously (popped up in my absence) . . .

I think it is important to remember the flux of the terms we are discussing here.

Tartan originally referenced a particular tough wool fabric, known as "hard tartan" by the 19th century. Plaid is simply the Scots term for a blanket. So, a "belted plaid" is a blanket worn through the use of a belt. At some point, the term "tartan" shifted from the material itself to the patterns of color of the weave. The point of transition isn't really certain.

The pattern-syle we NOW know as "tartan" is very, very old, but tartan scholars end up debating when the term "tartan" took this meaning and what it was called before.

The idea of a "clan tartan" is much, much later and first really shows up around 1800. The period around 1800 is MAJOR for tartan research, as it is a/the major turning point in the history of tartan and kilts. Many of the tartan and kilt myths show up suddenly right then, influenced by the confluence of "Romantic" writers like Walter Scott, Robert Burns, and their compatriots, the rise of the Industrial Age and the large woolen mills in Scotland and northern England, and a royal visit by King George III. I could go on and on here, but that's enough for now . . .

That leads to the relevant point here:

I'm not convinced that "tartan" there (in Foxe's references) necessarily means "tartan patterned" as we understand now. It could just as easily mean "Hard Tartan" fabric.

In general, the term "plaid" in period refers directly to a blanket (patterned or solid), not anything else.

As for tartan jackets, there are LOTS of pictorial examples of Scots in tartan jackets and coats from the late 1600s through the 1745. BUT, I wouldn't want a mad rush of pirates in tartan jackets at reenactments. I'd prefer to be the ONLY one, as my name IS Tartan Jack (implying that I wear tartan, which itself is off and makes me stand out as unusual).

If you DO make one, have a HECK of a good reason to have it there.

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