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Thread: Time MacChine

  1. #1
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    Time MacChine

    Hi all

    So, here we are in 2010. Imagine youíre whisked back in time to the Scottish Highlands of the 1730ís-40ís. You travel around the Highlands - town, village and glen. You travel over water to Skye, Lewis, Harris, the Uists etc down to Mull, Islay and over to Kintyre. You visit Inverness, Fort William/Corpach, Portree, Stornoway, Oban, Inveraray etc as well as the glens. You take your professional digital camera with you and photo the people and places.

    So what would your photos show ? Would there be any surprises ? Most of us imagine that townsfolk would wear typical 18th Century clothing, tricornes or bonnets, new or thread-bare, bought or homespun, perhaps with a tartan plaid for some. We also tend to imagine everyone in the Highland glens and straths universally wearing little kilts or great kilts, with jackets and accessories according to their status and personal wealth.

    But is that what we would see ? Can anyone shed further light ? For instance, would they all be wearing kilts etc in Lewis, or would Norse influences put them in breeches ? Or mixed ? What about Kintyre ? Atholl ? etc etc.

  2. #2
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    Descriptions such as these reveal that breeches and trews were just as prevalent as the plaid and kilt, especially in the islands:

    http://medievalscotland.org/clothing...tinwimen.shtml

    It's doubtful that our romantic, tartan-clad visions of highland clanfolk reflect the reality of pre-1745. I highly recommend Burt's "Letters from a Gentleman in the North of Scotland" (ISBN-13: 978-0217729413) for an eye-opening look into the Highland world of that period.

    More quotes/depictions here:

    http://medievalscotland.org/clothing/refs/#gaelic
    Brian

    "They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety." ~ Benjamin Franklin

  3. #3
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    I think it would look a lot like a cross between the movie Kidnapped and Rob Roy!

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Woodsheal View Post
    Descriptions such as these reveal that breeches and trews were just as prevalent as the plaid and kilt, especially in the islands:

    http://medievalscotland.org/clothing...tinwimen.shtml

    It's doubtful that our romantic, tartan-clad visions of highland clanfolk reflect the reality of pre-1745. I highly recommend Burt's "Letters from a Gentleman in the North of Scotland" (ISBN-13: 978-0217729413) for an eye-opening look into the Highland world of that period.

    More quotes/depictions here:

    http://medievalscotland.org/clothing/refs/#gaelic
    That is very interesting, though for some reason I'm not terribly surprised. I know of two recreated Scots units from the English Civil War Society of America that wear "Dutch slops" (and the artillery unit can wear venetians or other period lower-half clothing). There was mention in another thread of tartan breeches being worn in the mid 18th century; might these Duch slops have been made sometimes of tartan material? The recreated units wear their slops and coats in hodden. If not tartan, might other colors have been worn as well?

    I'm trying to incorporate a Scots flavor into an early-to-mid 1660's period-correct Carribbean buccaneer persona, one displaced for any number of reasons and now starting over in the New World. Or perhaps a member of the New Model Army garrison in Port Royal and now let go after the reinstatement of Charles II. Wearing a belted plaid, while appealing and fun, seems improbable for such a person.

    ~Ken

  5. #5
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    Don't be ridiculous...if you showed up with a digital camera, they'd burn you as a witch for stealing their souls with your infernal machine that was surely a gift from the Devil that sealed your pact with him!

    Best

    AA

  6. #6
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    My readings agree with what Woodsheal has said.

    The image we have of the tartan-clad and kilted Highlander apparently originates more with Sir Walter Scott and Robert Louis Stevenson than with historical reality. Somewhere I have a book on clothing of Scotland and except for portraits of Highland gentlemen, most paintings show Scots wearing the accepted European fashion of the time - frock coats or jackets, waistcoats, and breeches. The one difference is that many, but not all, men are shown wearing a bonnet rather than a felt hat.

    We have the same problem with trying to determine what was really worn (carried, used, etc) in Colonial America, especially on the frontier, and even with the Old West where we have lots of photographic images to study since most of the photos are studio shots with folks dressed in their finest. We often ask ourselves that if transported back to whatever time, would we be able to blend in (at least from the clothing perspective).
    Virginia Commissioner, Elliot Clan Society, USA
    Adjutant, 1745 Appin Stewart Regiment
    Adjutant, Post 2, Scottish-American Military Society
    US Marine (1970-1999)

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by auld argonian View Post
    Don't be ridiculous...if you showed up with a digital camera, they'd burn you as a witch for stealing their souls with your infernal machine that was surely a gift from the Devil that sealed your pact with him!

    Best

    AA

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