Pirate Petee

The Boots We Wear (On Bucket Boots)

470 posts in this topic

Still about boots. In have watched Potc 2 bonus materials and there is said interesting thing.That Depp hap problems with his boots as the boots let water inside the boots. This was a big problem in shore schenes were there was water. At the end holes were made to the boots to let the water out. One good example of that sailors and bucket boots don't belong together.

I've told this story before but it bears repeating.

During the 'Walk the Plank Contest' at Pirates in Paradise in 2007, I decided to attempt the short step into the sea wearing my slops, shirt, stockings, and...my wool weskit with hat in hand. Captain Sterling did the same. While it looked both dramatic and appropriate from a pop culture standpoint, it was a foolish decision. I've been a lifeguard in the past, and I've broken a few standing local records for treading water, but going into the sea in a long, wool weskit was the worst decision I've made in regard to swimming. It filled up with water immediately and created a drag and weight I was not at all prepared for. When I hit the surface (slower than expected) it felt like I had a dead guy on my back. It's the first time in twenty years that I felt out of my element in open water and I knew I was in trouble. It took me five times longer to reach the safety of the pier than it should have and I had to do it on my back floating as best I could.

Captain Sterling had it as bad or worst, because the good Captain had to turn around and go back for one of the Snotties who was having trouble in the water.

When we were both out of the water and dripping for what seemed like 20 minutes, we mutually agreed that diving wearing any more clothes than necessary was a very bad decision. There were a lot of other people who had jumped in with too many coats, jackets and the like who agreed with us. As we all stood discussing this, a young whelp of a pirate declared, "I'm going in with my bucket boots on!"

Some 8 or 9 people shouted 'NO!' simultaneously. He still insisted he would try it, so we shouted it even louder and he took them off. We all knew we'd be rescuing that guy if he had done it his way.

Whenever I see a pirate jump into the sea and swim casually, even confidently about in his full kit and boots I just shake my head. Fakery of the highest order.

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This has been mentioned previously, but I don't believe the full quote has been included here, so I thought I'd type it in. It's from Pirates of the New England Coast by George Francis Dow and John Henry Edmonds in their chapter on John Phillips. It should have taken place in 1722 or 1723 if I read it correctly.

"On board Captain Laney's schooner was a seaman named David Yaw who afterwards deposed that when the pirates came on board one of them, John Baptis, a Frenchman, 'damn'd him and kicked him in this legs and pointed to his Boots, which was a sign as this deponent understood it that he wanted his Boots, and he according pulled them off and Baptis took them.' [Massachusetts Archives, Vol. 63, leaf 383]" (Dow and Edmonds, p. 322)

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And I wonder what is a shoe here is it a shoe with some sort of covering or is it in fact a boot (the navigator with loose cap and neckcloth) These are dutch sailors somewhere aroind 1690s. The facial hair gives also some food for thougth.

http://www.jpmaps.co...1cartouche.jpg

To me that looks like a completely unambiguous stocking worn under mules.

exactly the first thought that came to my mind.

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To add to Foxe's comments.... I have been volunteering on the Santa Maria for 5 years now, and regularly climb (low) in the rigging. I've done it in shoes many times, and barefoot... ONCE... Never again.

While on shore planning a raid travelling thru undergrowth and brush if they could have gotten boots boots would have been worn.

I disagree with this... Strongly. Canvas is more readily available and cheaper than leather even in period, specially for sailors. Gaiters are starting to become commonplace by the 1690s, and likely earlier than that. Why wear expensive boots when even Dragoons (light cavalry) wear shoes and gaiters in the period? If you do any research on the military of the period (which I have done a lot of), you will find that pretty much only TRUE cavalry (as in heavy cavalry) wear boots. I know the 1699 Rene Desportes (sp?) painting show gaiters for the guy on a hunting trip. He's a gentleman who could likely afford boots and CHOSE shoes and gaiters over boots.

Historical evidence, critical analysis, and common logic all dictate (at this point) boots are an affectation of ego/pride in pirate re-creationists and have no real basis in history.

Francois Deportes - one of my favorites and the first thing that came to mind when I was reading the justification for boots while in the brush! Too funny MB!

Fran%C3%A7ois_Desportes_001.jpg

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Hey, I have that dog!

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My goodness Foxe, but your dog is old. I mean, really. In dog years he must be, what, 1,000 years old?

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I am by no means an expert on this subject, however I would like to propose that there may have been an alternative to the "bucket boot". Perhaps they simply used a form of gaiters, either buttoned or buckled down the outside of the leg. There would have been a strap/ belt that would have been just beneath the knee to help hold them up. I know that Cutthroat island is a poor choice for historical acuracy, but if you look closely at the scene where the Morningstar is pulling up her anchor you can pause the dvd and clearly see the some of the men wearing gaiters. Now at first glance these look for all the world like the typical "pirate boots", but they are proper gaiters, of a form. I understand that it is quite possible that if gaiters were worn that there may be little evidence of the practice due to the fact that the gaiters would likely not have survived as long as a leather boot would have. Using the shoes that we know were common in the gaop, and combining them with over the knee gaiters from the same time frame, you get a very piratical look that looks strikingly like a bucket boot. For myself I have decided to go with this approach in my outfit. Not to mention they are cooler and far easier to get on and off. I have received many compliments on my "boots". Not one person caught on that they were gaiters.

P.S. Keep in mind that these are not the skin tight version that are seen in some period military drawings.

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Ugh, almost hate to ask . . . but I really just have two small questions:

1) has anyone ever figured out the deal with the Spanish "Sea Boots" that look to be a near-relative of the bucket boot? and,

2) what about the vast quantities of bucket boots that are reported to have been found in the waters off Port Royal, and dating to the time of the earthquake?

The Spanish boots have gotten airplay here in the Pub, and the boots of Port Royal are mentioned in a couple places and also by Loyalist Arms (wonderful folks there I might add!).

Anyway, if anyone knows . . . either or both might be the answer that yes, maybe they did wear bucket boots . . . maybe not on ship (very awkward and not useful) but when out on the town in port, maybe so? I mean, even Hollywood has to get their ideas from somewhere, right? And Pyle too, right?

Ironically, this is all said as I work my small buckles onto some trimmed-down latchets . . .

Thanks Mates!

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Perhaps it would be better to let someone more aware of these things to answer but I go anyway. ;)

Port Royal was not just a pirate city there was many kind of people there including gentleman who would certainly have some boots. Also in 1692 boots, while not in fashion anymore, were likely more popular than in later gaop as there was less time from that age when they were really popular.

And well the sea boot looks to be a quite a bit shorter and more practical than casual bucket boots...

And both Pyle and Hollywood get their ideas from two sources: History but more commonly from a thing called imagination.

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This is on topic i think, but have any of you watched The Libertine, with Depp? I watched it because I just did a fopp and it bothered me he wore riding boots the whole movie...

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There are drawings/sketches by a hyrographer named Duplesis travelling with a French expedition north along the Pacific coast of South America in 1700. Three of those color drawings show tall boots over the knee. In the Time-Life Seafarers series of books in tThe Pacific Navigators volume, beginning on pp. 66-67, the first picture shows two french seamen wearing the tall boots ashore. I posted these several years ago and they may still be here somehwere. Pg.69 has another color drawing showing one of the crew wearing these tall boots as well. It should be noted though that none of the drawings that show men using the boats are wearing boots. Most are barefoot.

Bo

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There are drawings/sketches by a hyrographer named Duplesis travelling with a French expedition north along the Pacific coast of South America in 1700. Three of those color drawings show tall boots over the knee. In the Time-Life Seafarers series of books in tThe Pacific Navigators volume, beginning on pp. 66-67, the first picture shows two french seamen wearing the tall boots ashore. I posted these several years ago and they may still be here somehwere. Pg.69 has another color drawing showing one of the crew wearing these tall boots as well. It should be noted though that none of the drawings that show men using the boats are wearing boots. Most are barefoot.

Bo

Duplesis was adamant that his drawings were perfect. While they're were "boots" in his drawings, don't forget there were also guys in shoes and the boots do not resemble riding / bucket boots. Duplesis work is one of a few if not the only reference to anything other than the aforementioned Spanish Sea Boots.

I personally believe that bucket boots on GAOP pirates might have been a manifestation of the mid 1600's when bucket boots were fashionable and worn by officer / soldiers, mounted troops and the public. This topic will probably live on forever! :D

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large.jpg

Coat of Arms of the South Sea Company 1711-12

http://collections.rmg.co.uk/collections/objects/36062.html

There the right figure with fishing net seems to have a pair of leather boots. "fisherman completely clothed, with cap boots fishing net etc"

If fishermen had seem form of boots pirates could, many pirates like Low and Roberts robbed fishermen rather constantly. However in any case those are not bucket boots but a more simple ones.However nothing leads to think that boots were notably popular.

Edited by Swashbuckler 1700

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large.jpg

Coat of Arms of the South Sea Company 1711-12

http://collections.rmg.co.uk/collections/objects/36062.html

There the right figure with fishing net seems to have a pair of leather boots. "fisherman completely clothed, with cap boots fishing net etc"

If fishermen had seem form of boots pirates could, many pirates like Low and Roberts robbed fishermen rather constantly. However in any case those are not bucket boots but a more simple ones.However nothing leads to think that boots were notably popular.

Going round the horn again on this issue I see. It's about that time of year anyway...

Yea, some pirates raided fishermen, but that doesn't mean that pirates would want to take them. These boots are definately work specific clothes for fishing. From the boots for fishing I've seen in this period, they would not be good for climbing rigging or walking about on land. They are good for standing in while working with fish though. Unless the pirates decided to go commercial fishing, they wouldn't have a use for these boots.

And now, to repeat what many have said on this forum since 2006 (hey, three more years and we can say 'disputing boots for pirates for a decade'!) - Just because pirates encountered a particular thing or group doesn't mean they are going to take it or wear it. The first image that came to mind was if robbers encountered a man who worked with hazardous chemicals, "oh yea, I'm wearing that Hazmat Suit all the time now." If they aren't going to use it and isn't something that's going to garner easy profit, then why would they take it? When the pirates went back to places where merchants would engage in illicit trade with them - I've yet to see "fishermen's boot" as a highly desired commodity.

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large.jpg

Coat of Arms of the South Sea Company 1711-12

http://collections.rmg.co.uk/collections/objects/36062.html

There the right figure with fishing net seems to have a pair of leather boots. "fisherman completely clothed, with cap boots fishing net etc"

If fishermen had seem form of boots pirates could, many pirates like Low and Roberts robbed fishermen rather constantly. However in any case those are not bucket boots but a more simple ones.However nothing leads to think that boots were notably popular.

Going round the horn again on this issue I see. It's about that time of year anyway...

Yea, some pirates raided fishermen, but that doesn't mean that pirates would want to take them. These boots are definately work specific clothes for fishing. From the boots for fishing I've seen in this period, they would not be good for climbing rigging or walking about on land. They are good for standing in while working with fish though. Unless the pirates decided to go commercial fishing, they wouldn't have a use for these boots.

And now, to repeat what many have said on this forum since 2006 (hey, three more years and we can say 'disputing boots for pirates for a decade'!) - Just because pirates encountered a particular thing or group doesn't mean they are going to take it or wear it. The first image that came to mind was if robbers encountered a man who worked with hazardous chemicals, "oh yea, I'm wearing that Hazmat Suit all the time now." If they aren't going to use it and isn't something that's going to garner easy profit, then why would they take it? When the pirates went back to places where merchants would engage in illicit trade with them - I've yet to see "fishermen's boot" as a highly desired commodity.

My point was not to defend boots but thinking that fishermen sometimes joined the pirates and they might have boots just because they had no better footwear.I have never actually liked the look of any boots anyway. I just felt that there is the "could". I agree as you clearly know better.

Well I think I share the thoughts of one writer here about the boots. Thought I think the writer has exaggerated the use of the sea boots.

In the book (which I have never been too keen to believe too much) "Pirate: The Golden Age" by Osprey, is said and speculated: “Water-resistant leather sea boots appear in early 18th-century images of Spanish and French sailors, and were likely used by some other mariners, including pirates. Since these were only needed for the worst weather, and seldom appear in personal inventories, perhaps these too were kept in limited numbers aboard ship and used whoever was standing watch. Thought the wearing of horsemen’s boots by pirates and other seafarers is part of the mythical pirate “look”, it is completely unsupported by either research or reason.”

Edited by Swashbuckler 1700

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I dunno, I kind of like the Osprey books. They're not perfect, but no modern written source can be because it's reaching back 300 years and using the same period materials we all have today. The Osprey quote on boots seem to sum things up fairly well.

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Here you go, Jib.

(And, for the record,  I have never worn them. :P )

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On 12/15/2016 at 7:36 AM, Mission said:

Here you go, Jib.

(And, for the record,  I have never worn them. :P )

Join us Mission.... one of us, one of us, one of us.

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There's no challenge in that. The fun for me is in trying to be as PC as possible.

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