Welcome to the Online Clann Tartan Newsletter for April 2006


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Announcements

THE SHOW SEASON IS COMING!

Our first camping event will be at Charles City on April 28-30. We are planning on packing the trailer the previous Saturday, April 22nd, at 10:00 in the morning.

Our storage garage is at 1036 24th Av SE in Minneapolis; this is just a couple of blocks south of East Hennepin near the eastern border of Minneapolis. Please come; it doesn't take long at all if we have enough helpers.

Your staff thanks you.

CHARLES CITY MILITARY HISTORY DAYS

Our first camping event of the season is Charles City Military History Days, from April 28 through 30 in Charles City, IA. School Day is Friday the 28th from 9:00 to 6:00. Showtimes are Saturday from 9:00 to 6:00 and Sunday from 12:00 to 4:00.

This event features military reenactors from many time period. Clannfolk who went last year had a really good time. Please inform Julie (julieyoder@juno.com) if you are planning to attend.

The information on camping, vehicles, and so forth is still sketchy at this time. We will try to publish more details as they come. Please call your Staff if you have any questions.

SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL SCOTTISH FAIR

The Minnesota Scottish Fair and Highland Games is having a fund-raiser on Saturday, April 29th, and Clann Tartan would like to do some sort of demo for them. As this conflicts with Charles City, it is likely that this will not be a military demo, but that still leaves us lots of options. If you are not going to Charles City and will be available to help with these event please contact Julie (julieyoder@juno.com) so that we can figure out what kind of demo is possible.

Your staff thanks you.

BUSY TIME IN JULY

Colonel Gaffneyis Regiment has two events on the weekend of July 15 this year. The Minnesota Scottish Fair and Tactical are both on the same day. While nobody can be in two places at once, Clann will do its best to support both events.

Because we need to allocate resources appropriately, please let Julie (julieyoder@juno.com) know at once if you are planning to attend either event, so we can parcel out equipment appropriately.

Unfortunately, the trailer cannot be in two places at once, either, and the Trailer is required for the Scottish Fair. Any and all equipment that is destined for Tactical must be hauled by attendees.

Again, we need to plan ahead to make this work. Please let Julie know your plans as soon as possible.

Your Staff thanks you.

CAMP DRILL

Don't forget Camp Drill! This is an occasion to gather and work on camp-type projects—clothes, characters, brogue, camp crafts. Even if you don't have a project of your own to work on, please come and help. We have a number of projects under way for the benefit of Camp as a whole. A number of members have also expressed an interest in a fabric swap—trade your old, boring bits of stash for somebody else's new, exciting bits of stash. We encourage those who wish to participate to bring their fabric, and themselves, to Corcoran every fourth Saturday at 12:00. It's always a fun gathering—see you there!

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Saturday, March 18th, we had the Winter Muster, which was well attended by new and not-so-new members. We want to congratulate Glenn and Mia McDavid for completing 2nd level, and making great inroads into 3rd level! Please look over the Muster list (http://www.clanntartan.org/forms/Muster%203-18-06.xls), and let us know if you have mustered in an area that has been missed. Please send any updates/corrections to Mary at Mairi2@juno.com, or mail to Mary McKinley, 1363 Jefferson Ave, St Paul, MN 55105. Please do not call - I'll never remember to get it to the list! Another choice is to catch me at an event and we can update it there. You will also see a date preceding your name - that's when you membership expires - as of March 31 of the year printed. So if it says 2006, your membership has expired and you need to reup your dues, which $18 for an individual or single, or $10 for a student. Please send your renewals to Glenn McDavid, Secretary, 340 Brooks Ave W, Roseville, MN 55113

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New Meeting Place for Wednesday Sessions of Dance Guild!

Clann's Dance Guild has a new Wednesday location. We will be dancing at the Lake Hiawatha Community Center at 2701 E 44th St in Minneapolis. The center has a sprung wooden floor (so much easier on the feet than concrete!) and views of Lake Hiawatha. Parking is on street and is free, and the center has pop, water, and snack machines. Because there are one-way streets in the area, you must approach from the east on 44th St. Mapquest has a good map. We will dance at the new space on February 1st and 22nd, and March 8th and 22nd, then return to our regular schedule of 1st and 3rd Wednesdays for the rest of the year. We will continue to have our Tuesday practices on the 2nd and 4th Tuesdays of each month at St. Christopher's Episcopal Church in Roseville as usual. If you haven't come to dance lately, come give us a try – the dances are easy and we have 'way too much fun!

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*Desperately Seeking Sheep* . . .skin

No, get your minds out of the pasture! The Clann Staff is looking for shearling remnants (skin with fleece on) to use for hotpads and mortar swabs. If you have any scraps you can share, please advise Rob Johnson; otherwise, we will have to see to buying a sheepskin.

Your staff thanks you.

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Clann Tartan is pleased to announce Colonel Gaffneis Official Sutlery!

Currently we offer tee shirts, sweatshirts, tank tops, mugs, mouse pads, bumper stickers, bibs, infant creepers, steins and totes with a variety of designs.

The online store can be found at www.cafepress.com/clanntartan.

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Still looking for thoughts on Why We Do What We Do

—and what will make it more fun for you.

What are you looking for in Clann? What can we do better? What are we doing well? Please let us know—we all want this to be a fun, fulfilling experience for everyone.

Send info to Mary McKinley at the previously posted info—snail mail:
Mary McKinley
1363 Jefferson Ave
St Paul, MN 55105-2410

Drill

Clann's monthly drill will be held on the third Saturday of the month (My guess, call Marty), unless there is a scheduled Clann Event that weekend.
The time is NOON.


Wanted!

Submissions for the Newsletter!
Items you can submit include research articles, character sketches, and other items pertaining to living history and Scottish Culture. Email your items in either plain text, or MS Word format to newsletter@clanntartan.org or snail mail to our postal address.
Items must be received by the 15th of each month to be considered for inclusion for the upcoming months issue. Mailed submissions will not be returned unless requested. All pertinent submissions will be considered as space permits. All research articles must reference at least three sources. Submissions are NOT edited for spelling or grammar, but may be broken in multiple parts.

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Board Minutes

Minutes of Clann Tartan Board and Membership Meeting
February 4, 2006

In attendance:  (Board) Bruce Yoder, Mary McKinley, Sean McCanna,
Glenn McDavid, Herb Lindorff

(Staff) Julie Yoder, Marty Byers, Maeve Kane, Mia McDavid, Betsy Bolton,
Eric Ferguson

Hellen Ferguson, Jonathan Palmer

--------------------------------------------------------------------

Minutes of the January Meeting were accepted as presented.

OLD BUSINESS
============
PAPER DOLLS -- A book with plates is too expensive.  11"x17" color
sheets on hard stock are OK.  We will print all of the smaller images on a
single sheet.  Mia will arrange for these to be printed.  We will print
50 copies at $1.04 each, plus the cost of the envelope.  We will sell
them for $5.00 each


REPORTS
=======

TREASURER -- Reported on status 10 months (end of January) through the
fiscal year.  The budget deficit is about $500.  He emphasized that we
have too much money for an organization of our size and should find ways 
to spend it.  A trip to one of the Jamestown quadricentennial events 
next year is one possibility.  We will still need to keep some money 
for the rainy day fund and for replacing the trailer at some point.

SECRETARY -- We need help with the Web site.  Eric and Jonathan said
they could contribute to this.

QUARTERMASTER -- The trailer has sustained more damage than expected.
The fenders and tie-down bolts need replacing, as do some boards.  The
estimated cost is about $250.  The repairs can be done when the weather
gets warmer and the trailer should be done in time for the Charles City
event at the end of April.  He noted that it is still worthwhile to
repair rather than replace the trailer.

One of the muskets has a cracked stock.

We need a better way to transport the mortars and their supplies.  Marty
will make some boxes.

Marty will repair the linstock.

Some the tent pins are bent, but it is possible to bend them back.

Pikes: One is missing, another needs to be replaced.  We will need to
tighten the pike heads.  We also want a spare shaft.  Marty has a source
for this, as does John O'Duggan.

Canvas:  Camp drill will design and construct prototype bags for
carrying tents and stakes.

Members who use troopers are responsible for their set up and tear down.

The initial budget estimate for repairs ($100) seems way too low.
Trailer repairs could go up to $400, with up to $600 on equipment.
$800-$1000 seems more reasonable.  This will help reduce the Treasurer's
concern about too much money being in the bank account (see above).

COMPANY REP -- No report

CAMP REP -- No report

DANCE GUILD -- We have a new site for Wednesday dance and are very
pleased with it.

We are also forming a Dance Music Guild.  Period instruments (or
reasonable facimiles) are needed for shows.  However, those with modern
instruments are also welcome--modern instruments are fine for rehearsals
and other events that are not in front of the public,  Inclusion, rather
than exclusion, of members is the intent here.

SWORD GUILD -- Meeting on the 3rd Thursday of each month at Corcoran.

HISTORIC SITE -- We have a schedule conflict between Tactical and the
Minnesota Scottish Fair and Highland Games.  Both are official events
and both will be supported.

MUSIC GUILD -- No report.

FIBER GUILD -- No report.

PUB NIGHT -- Big Crowd in January.  Coming up:  Feb. 17 at the Lake
Street Garage, March 24 at Mannings (Como and 22nd)


UPCOMING EVENTS
===============
St. Paul Winter Carnival Torchlight Parade this evening (Feb. 4).
Soldiers will carry swords and lanterns rather than pikes.  We need to
march faster.

Scottish Ramble (Feb. 18-19) We will be on the 2nd floor rather than in
the Lobby.  Sunday there will be a pike drill and a dance with audience
participation.

Mary's Party (Feb. 25)

Winter Muster (Sat., March 18)

Charles City (April 28-30)

Twig (June 10-11).  Olde World Ren Faire

Scottish Fair (July 15)
Tactical (July 14-16)

Deer River (August 5-6).  We want more money this year.

Iowa Ren Faire (September 9-10).  Contracted.  May conflict with
Highland Fling Weekend at the MN Ren Faire.  This will be similar to the
situation on July 15, and, as in that case, we will support both events.

Big Island/Mankato/Big Muddy.

There was some discussion about holding a summer muster.  Unfortunately,
the calendar is getting quite full.  We may be able to hold it in May.

Maeve mentioned the Culloden 2006 event out east.  She will start
looking at 2007 Jamestown events.

BOARD ELECTIONS
===============
Mary McKinley was reelected President.

Cate Hesser was elected Vice-President for 1yr, to fill the remainder of
Bruce Yoder's term.

Bruce Yoder was re-elected Treasurer.

Diana Steben was re-elected as Camp Rep.

AWARDS
======
Presented by Mary to Maeve, Diana (in absentia) and Marty (Corporal of
the Camp)

OTHER BUSINESS
==============
Marty announced the plan to hold Col. Gaffneyies Memorial Dinner at Big
Island on Saturday night of the Festival as a tribute to Shaun Gaffney.
All former Captains will be invited, as will Shaun's family.  Members
who knew Shaun are invited to contribute to a publication of memories of
him.


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Board & Staff

If you need to contact someone associated with Clann Tartan, here is where you find out how. If you are unsure who to contact, you can always email us at: info@clanntartan.org

Board Members

President Mary McKinley 651-699-6853 mairi2@juno.com
Vice President Cate Hesser -651-917-2327   -bear@cybervalkyrie.com 
Secretary Glenn McDavid 651-490-1842 gmcdavid@comcast.net
Treasurer Bruce Yoder 651-698-8375 bruceyoder@juno.com
Quarter Master Herb Lindorff 612-827-4440 deeptinker@hotmail.com
Camp Rep. Diana Steben 612-728-1189 Rillaspins@aol.com
Company Rep. Sean McCanna  952-926-1279   macbaird@lycos.com  

Staff

Chief of Staff Rob Johnson 612.702.4274  roguerpj@mn.rr.com
Head Campfollower Julie Yoder 651.698.8375 julieyoder@juno.com
Captain Marty Byers 651.483.1173 twolodge@yahoo.com
Henchman Eric Ferguson 612.726.6364 eric@celticfringe.net
Henchman David Vavreck 612-378-1973 baethan1630@yahoo.com
Henchwoman Mia McDavid 651-490-1842 mia_mcdavid@comcast.net 
Henchwoman Maeve Kane 952.461.4666 mollmccaine@aol.com 
Henchwoman Betsy Bolton 612-359-1089  basil80@hotmail.com 

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Guilds

Sword Guild:

The Sword Guild is currently meeting at Corcoran Community Center in Minneapolis. We have ample room to work about and not worry about getting too close to one another.
We meet at 7:00, on the 3rd Thursday of the month (in April, it will be on the 20th).
Comming soon, with the good weather, we will be meeting at my house, 2121 Churchill St. Roseville, where we can work outside, in our normal show conditions.
If interested, contact Marty Byers, 651-483-1173 / 651-261-5815 / twolodge@yahoo.com. I would be happy to bring new people into the Guild and hope that our numbers will soon swell.
P.S. Don't worry if you do not have a sword yet, some are available for classes.

Marty L. Byers
twolodge@yahoo.com
651-483-1173



Dance

1st & 3rd Wednesdays
Lake Hiawatha Community Center at 2701 E 44th St in Minneapolis.
Because there are one-way streets in the area, you must approach from the east on 44th St. Questions? call Mary at 651-699-6853 or Julie at 651-698-8375

2nd & 4th Tuesdays
Saint Christopher's Episcopal Church, 2300 N Hamline Ave. in St. Paul.

It is at the northeast corner of Highway 36 and Hamline Avenue (Hamline is between Snelling and Lexington). The church is actually encircled by the highway entrance ramp.
The Dance Guild gathers weekly from 7PM-9PM to learn and practice historic Scottish country dances.
For more information call:

Mary at 651-699-6853 or Julie at 651-698-8375

It's a great place to meet people!

Other Guilds

Want to learn about wool spinning, weaving, or dying? Diana Steben (651-489-2881) and Kali Pederson (651-730-5437 ) organize the Fiber Guild.

Clann Tartan has our own historic site near Duluth MN. Dun Gowan is an ongoing project, which is the site of Gaffneyis Annual Tactical in July. We are finishing the fort and beginning the construction of a village this year. Contact David Vavreck at 612-378-1973 or baethan1630@yahoo.com for further information, or to volunteer to help.

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Captains Corner

Once again we are entering a new season of events, and with that we are bringing on some new members.
I feel a need to inform the new people and remind the veterans of a few important facts, concerning shows.
Number 1, we are in a military camp in 1630, Scotland. At all times, during show hours, all officers will be addressed as “Sir” or their rank. At no time will a soldier or camp member place their hands on an officer. This is a sign of disrespect and could bring severe punishments.
#2, all military members need to have a bonnet. This bonnet will be of a dark blue wool. Patterns are available through the membership, and completed bonnets will also be available, for sale. When approached by an officer or spoken to by an officer, the bonnet will be removed from your head and head tightly against your chest. Not doing this will require the officer to stop and reprimand the soldier.
#3. When drill is sounded in camp, soldiers must stop what they are doing and rush to the drill. Drills will not be called out of schedule, unless there is some need for it, out of our schedule, ie: important announcement or required to be somewhere other that where we are for something other that what we are doing. We will try to have a schedule posted someplace, so everyone one knows when something is happening.
#4, while patrons are in camp they are here to learn and hear about 1630 Scotland, not 2006 Minneapolis. All unperiod conversations need to stop while the public is with us. Also, during show hours, none of us are who we are before and after show hours, we need to stay in character, for the public. This may be forgiven in the existence of some emergency.
#5 As our numbers are not at top levels, senior staff need to be notified when you are leaving camp and for how long. We canna afford to have half the camp out shopping when we have a great number of patrons coming through camp.
#6 I am happy to announce that there will be more skits included in the camp and military shows. We, I, have failed to make this a part of out show and I will correct it. There are a few in the work at this time.
#7 Heckling is great for non period entertainment. We are a teaching group, with a side in fun, and heckling is not a part of the education that we do. Also, never interrupt a demonstration, except in that case of an emergency.
#8 Finally…for the moment, Captain Birse does not have an open tent policy. Anytime you come to my tent, you must announce your presence, before stepping under the fly. This is just military protocol.


Respectfully Yours,
Capt. Martin Birse



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Articles

COMMON MUSICAL INSTRUMENTS IN SCOTLAND AND SURROUNDING AREAS IN THE 17th CENTURY

by David Vavreck
Although many instruments that we take for granted today did not exist in the 17th century, a surprising number of modern instruments, or their immediate forbears, did. This article will give a basic grounding in what instruments are correct for our group. They are divided by type (i.e. strings, woodwinds, brass, and percussion, and I am treating all keyboards together) as well as by social class.

BRASS

Serpent-drawing by David Vavreck
Trumpet - These are what we would now call bugles - the valves on modern trumpets are a result of the industrial revolution. These were used to play cavalry calls, naval calls, and to play fanfares and such at civic events.

Horn - this small trumpet (bugle) was used to play calls while on the (nobleman’s) hunt, both to control the dogs and to inform other hunters what was going on. It was also used as a badge of office for a nobleman’s master of the hunt and/or chief forester.

Serpent - a bass instrument, predecessor of the tuba, made in an s-shape.

Sackbut - this is the immediate ancestor of the slide trombone. It is the only period brass instrument that is fully chromatic (i.e. it can play all the notes in every key).

Brass not appropriate for our time period

Anything with valves.

 

PERCUSSION

Lower Class

Jew’s Harp (trompe or trump in Scots, also geegaw in English) - this little metal frame is bitten upon, and an attached tongue is twanged. It uses the mouth as its sound chamber. By changing the shape of the mouth, and varying the breath, a remarkable variety of tones can be produced with a little practice. Dates from at least the early middle ages. Very common trade item in the New World from the 17th to 19th century. They were manufactured in Massachusetts by 1650 - perhaps the first European instruments to be produced in the New World. Now often called a jaw harp or mouth harp to avoid the possibility of anti-Semitism. For what it’s worth, the rabbi I heard talk about it - who is also a member of the Anti Defamation League - considered the notion of Jew’s Harp being anti-Semitic “silly”. Although generally considered very lowbrow, Johann George Alberchtsberger (one of Beethoven’s teachers) wrote several concerti for virtuoso jew’s harp players.

Bones - sometimes made of wood, bones were most often made from cattle ribs or long bones. Rectangles with rounded corners which were held in one hand, they were struck together by quickly moving the hand as if playing a bodhran, sometimes striking them against the other hand or the thigh to vary the sound and rhythm. Arguably the oldest known musical instrument, these were used by Neanderthals.

Triangle - this device was usually made of iron. In a well made triangle, the three sides are each tuned to different notes, so it could accompany other music.

Tabor - this small drum was strapped onto the player, who played it with his left hand while playing the pipe (see lower class woodwinds) with his right (the original one-man band). Generally used for dance music.

Tambourine - this is a small frame drum, played with the hand rather than a stick or tipper. Correct for us whether or not it has jingles attached to the frame.

Bodhran (BO rahn) - Although modern historical fiction often calls this a “war drum”, there is no evidence whatsoever to indicate that this humble Celtic goatskin frame drum was ever anything but a peasant drum, used for song and dance. The stick used to strike it is called a tipper. Tunable bodhrans, which have a mechanism to adjust the pitch, are modern.

Side Drum - This is the drum used in armies. Gaffneyis Regiment owns two of them. In period, the larger of these would be considered to be at the small end of normal size. The heads are kept taut by ropes with sliding leather or rope tensioners. Often had one or two gut strings stretched along the bottom head as a snare. Both tensioners and snare must be loosened when the drum is not in use to avoid warping the drum’s shell.

Kettledrum - borrowed from the Turks, two of these were strapped on either side of a horse, and were used to sound cavalry calls. Also occasionally used in civic parades and such - in one period illustration I have seen, some poor sap had a kettledrum strapped on his back, while the drummer followed behind beating the thing. This must have been as hard on the porter’s ears as it was on his back.

Bells - used to sound the hours as well as to play music. Each town or city’s bells played their own tune - you all know the sound of Westminster’s bells; most modern bell towers, as well as many modern doorbells, play it. Bells were often requisitioned during wartime; their bronze is also good for cannons. Also, they were used to sound the alarm on the approach of the enemy, to celebrate the conclusion of peace treaties, and such.

KEYBOARDS

There is a large collection of early keyboards in the Schubert Club Museum, in the basement of Landmark Centre in Saint Paul, where the Scottish Ramble occurs.

Organ - church organs were pretty much non-existent in Scotland by 1630, as they had been destroyed by Presbyterians while they were wrecking so much else in 1569-1570. Puritan troops trashed many church organs in England during the British Civil Wars, too.

Portative Organ - varying in size from cabinet mounted, to tabletop, to lap-sized, these bellows organs were used in the home primarily for secular music.

The following are all keyboards with strings, which generally used quill to pluck them. They sound lovely, but have only one volume - low.

Virginals - referred to as a pair of virginals, this instrument was often a rectangular tabletop instrument. Considered particularly appropriate for female musicians, which may relate to their name. Precursor to the harpsichord, there is often one on display in the Tudor Period Room at the Minneapolis Art Institute.

Harpsichord - precursor to the piano, it was generally triangle shaped - like a grand piano without the curves.

Spinet or Clavichord - a small harpsichord, which used quill or leather to pluck the strings

Keyboards not appropriate for our time period

Piano - this is the first stringed keyboard that could play both quietly and loudly (its full name is pianoforte - “quiet/loud”), due to the keys being connected to wooden hammers. The volume is controlled by how hard the keys are struck as well as by use of foot pedals.

Other instruments not appropriate for our time period

There were no free reed instruments in the 17th century, so harmonicas, accordions, concertinas, and the like are not appropriate.

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Arbeau, Thoinot (penname of Jehan Tabourot). Orchesographie. Langres, 1589.

Blades, James. Percussion Instruments and Their History. Faber and Faber, Boston 1984

Buchner, Alexander. Musical Instruments: An Illustrated History. Crown Publishers, NY 1973. In Clann Library.

Kemp, Will. Kemps Nine Daies Wonder. London, 1600.

Wedderburn, Robert. The Complaynt of Scotland. (c. 1550). Edited and introduced by A. M. Stewart. Scottish Text Society, Edinburgh 1979.

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THE SWORD

By Marty Byers

Though the Art of War has been evolving since the beginning of time, two factors have changed very little. One, the soldier. He has changed relatively little since he began waging war on his neighbors. He still requires food, water and something to give him the advantage over his enemy. The second is the advantage, or the weapon.

Immediately after the technological development of the rock, tree branch and sharp stick, man discovered that a piece of good steel will, if worked correctly, hold a good, sharp edge and take the place of and/or defeat the weapons of the past.

The sword has gone through its share of changes and improvements, but it remains very much as its original vision.

Starting out, constructed of bronze, its life was short. Bronze is a soft metal, easy to form, but too weak to take and hold an edge. The shape of the blade would not last through a harsh battle. A new material was being sought to take it's place; Steel.

Steel is a material that, in the right hands, can be shaped into whatever form is needed. It is also a material that will graciously take an edge and hold it. Some of the best steel in the Old World came from the Germanies. Next to Spanish steel, it was highly prized.

The longest lasting version of a short sword, and the standard issue sword to the Roman soldier was the Gladius. Gladius is Latin for the word " sword". The sword that we commonly refer to as "Gladius" is a single handed, double edged sword, that measures about 24 inches in length.1 Though the design of the blade favored the slashing action, it was very nasty in the thrusting arena. Slashing from behind a shield wall, that the Romans employed , would prove to be quite difficult and the thrusting action would allow the wall to hold it's shape and integrity. Eventually this sword, the Gladius, would give way to the weapon that cavalry and officers would use, this being the "Spatha".

The Spatha is, again, a single handed, straight, double edged sword, that measures approximately 38 inches. This length would allow a cavalry rider to reach his target on the ground without exposing too much of himself to the enemy on all flanks. This sword was later adopted by the legions. This sword did favor the thrust motion, as its blade is noticeably narrower than the previous sword, but it was a match for any other sword on the field, with its length and heavier construction.2

As the Roman legions were defeated on the field, not necessarily by better weapons, but by numbers and different tactics, the legions' weapons fell into their enemies hands. And with the armies growing against the Romans, the need for weapons grew as well. Northern tribes developed double edged, straight bladed, single handed swords, capable of effective thrusting or slashing. The major difference between these swords and the Roman swords, is that the hand is better protected against the opponents blade. These swords had cross shaped quillons, more effective at stopping the blade and holding it. These swords were later classified as "cruciform swords" in an effort to press the Christian dominance on the people.3 These short swords were the ones carried by the Crusaders.

It wasn't until the middle of the 13th century that swords grew to the size of 55 to 70 inches in length, and even these were quite rare. These were the first of the two-handed swords, or "great swords". The term "two handed" came from the realization that these swords required two hands to wield the full potential of these massive blades. With grips in excess if 10 inches,( to allow both hands to be on the grip, with spacing to provide a fulcrum), these swords became noted for their ability to provide offensive cuts, as well as defensive counterblows.

Two handed swords were not just used to hack and slash the enemy's body, as one might surmise by their appearance. They were outstanding in breaking down the enemy's defensive formations, i.e. pikes and cavalry.

Pike formations would fail when a group of two handed swordsmen would charge the pikes, in different locations of the block, and begin to lop off pike heads, then retreat out of range of advancing pikes. This was more of a mental attack on the strength of the pike block.

Then, when cavalry would be sent out in a lightning attack, the great sword would be used to pull the riders from their horses, then smaller swords would dispatch the rider. Riders would be pulled off the horse by reversing the sword and grasping the blade, which was seldom sharp, hooking the opponent's armor with the quillon, and dragging the rider to the ground. Also the horse would be removed from the rider by slashing at the horse's front legs as they charged, causing the horse to stumble and throwing the rider off.

Very seldom would the two handed swords be sharp, other than the final 6 inches to the point of the blade. To keep the entire sword sharp would cause a failure in the strength of the blade, and eventually allow a stronger blade to break the sharpened one. By the 1500's, the two handed sword was a foot soldier's favorite weapon.4

By the later half of the 15th century, the French had a term for swords that could be easily concealed under ones robes and used by those of the "court" or general towns folk. That term was "epee rapiere", or as we know it, the "rapier".

Though this weapon could be fast in combat, the use of it in major battle was mostly restricted to the officers. To go against a sword of greater size and weight, the outcome would depend on the abilities of each individual swordsman. The size and weight of a larger sword would render a smaller sword useless in even combat. However, if a individual has more and better training with the rapier, the larger sword would be of little use to its holder. The rapier was a weapon designed for the thrust, and could be used for slashing, from the very tip.

Eventually, the rapier was used more in the defense of honor than the defense of the kingdom.

The Longsword or Warsword was the sword that the crusaders carried into battle. This is a sword that could be considered a hand and a half sword, as the grip is large enough to accommodate two hands, but the weight and length were as such that one hand could use it in battle. The Longsword/Warsword is actually smaller than the Bastard sword, which is smaller than a claymore.

It is with the Longsword/Warsword that the phrase "to pummel" someone probably came into use. To Pummel refers to the using of the pommel of a sword to make an opponent inactive on the battlefield, without causing his death.

The Claidhmore , which is Scottish Gaelic for "great sword" is another two handed sword, that later became a single handed sword. The true claymore came into being during the 15th century. Its size and swept quillons posed a rugged feature on the battlefield. Though the Scottish are known for the Claymore, the design and construction of most Scottish blades come from Germany. The metals found in Scotland were inferior to that found on the continent, particularly Germany and Spain. Also German smiths were renowned for their work in metalsmithing. So, most "Scottish" weapons were weapons left by someone else, in their haste to leave a particular area.

The use of the true Scottish Claymore has shown that it took practice using the sword to achieve its full advantage. Swinging the sword in great arcs would be of little good against the armor that they might have come up against. A blade with no sharp edge would not have much effect on plate armor. But with the practice of a swing with a thrust or drag included, the effect is much greater.

Later on the Claymore became a smaller sword, a single handed broadsword.

The term "broadsword" is a term of proportionate size. Though the Basket hilt broadsword had a blade barely 2 inches wide, as opposed to the 2 ½ to 3 inches of a longsword or warsword, the basket hilt claymore had a shorter blade and the view of the weapon was that it had a broader blade.

The Wallace sword, which is a great two handed sword, may be the predecessor to the true claymore, developed in the latter half of the 15th century, but none the less, it is a simple two handed sword.

The true claymore can have a blade as long as 45 inches, with a grip in excess of 10 inches. It will also have downward swept quillons, extending the length of a hand on either side. At the finals of these quillons, there will be 4 round cutouts, whose significance is still in question. It may be a great place to carry your last bit of ribbon, that you inherited from your mother. At the end of the grip will be a wheel pommel; later versions will have an orb. The weight will be in the range of 3-7 lbs, any heavier may make the sword too awkward to wield in a great battle.

During the 14th and 15th centuries, a sword came into being that fit neither the description of the single handed or two handed sword requirements. The grip on this sword was great enough to accommodate two hands, but the weapon was light enough to easily use with one hand. It also had the length to equal that of most two handed swords. This sword is the sword that is commonly referred to as the " Executioner Sword", this common sword was used to behead the convicted, and a noticeable difference was that the tip was squared off. This sword is commonly called " The Bastard" , as its description fits between the single handed and the two handed swords.

Dispelling the Myths:

#1. As mentioned earlier, the Crusaders did not carry "Great swords" into combat on their journeys. What they carried was short swords or single handed swords.5

#2. A well balanced 3 pound sword will kill as effectively and probably quicker than a 20 pound sword. The only difference is that the swordsman will probably be able to mount his horse and ride away sooner than the one with the 20 pound sword, provided he survives the next battle.

#3. The Gladius was not used by the Gladiators, rather they used a shorter version of the sword, 12 - 14 inches long.6

#4. The Claymore is a relativity new sword in our time period, (1630), less than 200 years old. William Wallace probably carried one of the first two handers. His sword is about 66 inches long, with 52 inches of that being blade.

#5. Swords were issued to musketeers during the 30 years war. A picture shows a force of musketeers all carrying the same type of broadsword. Though shorter, almost the Gladius length, still there were swords in the musket ranks.7

#6. Most swords of the time were sharpened to a fine edge only in the final 4-6 inches. A few swordsmen might prefer to have the entire blade sharp, but for the most part this was overly time consuming and damaging to the blade itself.

Bibliography

1. Wikipedia, on-line , keyword "Gladius"

2. Wikipedia, on-line , keyword "Spatha"

3. George Hernandez, Sword History, George Hernandez.com

4. Neil H. T. Melville, The Origins of the Two-Handed Sword , Journal of Western Martial Art, January 2000.

5. J. Clements, The Weighty Issue of Two Handed Greatswords , 2001

6. Wikipedia, on-line, keyword, "Gladius"

7. Geoffrey Parker, The Thirty Years' War , 1987, pg.120 &130

Additional Resources

http:// members.aol.com/dargoylt/TheForge

http://www.celticgrounds.com

http:// www.thearma.org/essay/weights.htm

P.S.

Look forward to getting more information about different , particular swords, dating from our timeframe and before.

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Calendar of Events

Be sure to contact your staff
if you plan on attending a show event. Try to give at least a ten day notice when possible. This allows proper planning for the feeding of our members, and in some cases is required by event organizers to allow entry as a participant.
You can call any of the staff members listed, or send an email to staff@clanntartan.org.

APRIL 2006

SUNDAY MONDAY TUESDAY WEDNESDAY THURSDAY FRIDAY SATURDAY
  1 
2
 
3
 
4
 
5
Dance
Lake Hiawatha Community Center 
6
 
7
 
8
TARTAN DAY
MN State Capitol
Parade at 10:45 
9
 
10
 
11

Dance 
12
 
13

 
14
 
15
 
16
 
17
 
18
Board meeting @
Yoders 7PM 
19
Dance
Lake Hiawatha Community Center 
20
Sword Drill
7PM at Corcoran Park Hall
(where we hold our annual meetings)
Call Marty 651.483.1173
twolodge@yahoo.com 
21
Pub Night—
Lake St. Garage 7:00 
22
Load Trailer 1036 24th Ave. SE
in Minneapolis@10:00 AM

CAMP DRILL
NOON at Corcoran 
23
 
24
 
25
Dance 
26
 
27
 
28
Charles City Military History Days  
29
Charles City Military History Days/

Scottish Fair Fund-raiser  
30
Charles City Military History Days 

 

CLANN TARTAN SCHEDULE
FOR APRIL, 2006

Date

Event

Status

April 5

Dance Practice—Hiawatha Community Center 7:00

Scheduled

April 8

Tartan Day—in front of the Capitol 10:30

Scheduled

April 11

Dance Practice—St. Christopher’s 7:00

Scheduled

April 18

Board meeting—Yoder’s 7:00

Scheduled

April 19

Dance Practice—Hiawatha Community Center 7:00

Scheduled

April 20

Sword Drill—Corcoran 7:00

Scheduled

April 21

Pub Night—Lake St. Garage 7:00

Scheduled

April 22

Load Trailer 1036 24th Ave. SE in Minneapolis—10:00 AM

Scheduled

April 22

Camp Drill—Corcoran 12:00

Scheduled

April 25

Dance Practice—St. Christopher’s 7:00

Scheduled

April 28-30

Charles City Military History Days

Scheduled

April 29th

Scottish Fair Fund-raiser

Scheduled

MAY 2006

SUNDAY MONDAY TUESDAY WEDNESDAY THURSDAY FRIDAY SATURDAY
  1 
2 
3Dance
Lake Hiawatha Community Center 
4 
5 
6Quarterly membership meeting
12PM at Corcoran Park Hall 
7
 
8
 
9

Dance 
10
 
11
 
12
 
13
 
14
 
15
 
16
 
17
Dance
Lake Hiawatha Community Center 
18
Sword Drill
7PM at Corcoran Park Hall
(where we hold our annual meetings)
Call Marty 651.483.1173
twolodge@yahoo.com
 
19
 
20
 
21
 
22
 
23
Dance 
24
 
25

 
26
 
27
CAMP DRILL
10AM to 4PM
Please call a staff
member for location 
28
 
29
 
30
 
31
 

 

Event Schedule for the 2006 Season:

Hello all,

The following is a list of the dates of the events that are currently on the schedule for this year. The staff has met and decided to keep this running list of events in the newsletter to give you a chance to get an idea of what is going on this season as well as keep you updated to changes in the schedule.

The column titled status will include the following information.

Tentative- this means that an event organizer or clann has expressed a strong enough interest in doing this event that it warrants reserving space on the calendar for the event.

Pending- this is the next stage of an event. This means that Maeve has entered serious discussion about Clann doing an event but we are still not committed to the event. You should however if possible think about wether or not you may be able to attend this event.

Scheduled- this level means that the board and staff have approve the event and we are committed to providing manpower to making the event happen. When an event is assigned this level please let Julie know as soon as possible if you can or can not attend this event.

Canceled- This means that for various reasons an scheduled event has been removed from the current season. We will try and give as much notice as we can prior to canceling an event.

If you have any questions about this, please feel free to contact me regarding this matter

Thanks,
Rob Johnson.

DATE EVENT STATUS
1/1/2006 Airing of the Tartans
1st Footing
Finished
1/28/2006 Grand Day Parade Finished
2/4/2006 Torchlight Parade Finished
2/18-19/2006 Scottish Ramble Finished
4/28-30/2006 Charles City Military History Days Scheduled
6/3-5/2006 Wisconsin Renaissance Fair (This fair runs all weekends in June) www.wirenfaire.com CANCELLED
6/10-12/2006 Wisconsin Renaissance Fair (This fair runs all weekends in June) www.wirenfaire.com CANCELLED
6/10-11/2006 Olde World Renaissance Faire (Twig) http://www.owrenaissancefaire.com/ Scheduled
6/17-19/2006 Wisconsin Renaissance Fair (This fair runs all weekends in June) www.wirenfaire.com CANCELLED
6/24-26/2006 Wisconsin Renaissance Fair (This fair runs all weekends in June) www.wirenfaire.com CANCELLED
7/15/2006 MN Scottish Fair and Highland Games http://www.mnscottishfair.org/ Scheduled
7/15/2005 Dun Gowan Tactical www.dungowan.com Scheduled
8/5-6/2005 Deer River Rendezvous www.whiteoak.org Scheduled
8/19/2006-10/1/2006 MN Renaissance Festival (This fair runs weekends typically we only do one of them) Tentative
8/2-4/2006 Wisconsin Scottish Highland Games http://www.wisconsinscottish.org/ Tentative
9/10 2006 Des Moines Renaissance Fair Scheduled
10/5-6/2006 Big Island Rendezvous (education days) Pending
10/7-8/2006 Big Island Rendezvous (public days) Pending
10/12-14/2006 Mankato History Fest Pending
10/17-22/2006 Big Muddy River Rendezvous Pending

***********************************************************************

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   Captain's Corner  
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Maps

 
Map to Board Meetings
Bruce and Julie Yoder's Home 
Map to St. Paul location St. Christopher's- Dance
Map to Board/Quarterly/Annual Meetings
Corcoran Neighborhood Center,
3334 20th Av South, Minneapolis, MN 
Map to Lake Hiawatha Community Center
2701 E 44th St in Minneapolis

1st & 3rd Wednesdays dance location
Helleand Building

Board Minutes Staff & Board Directory Guilds
Calendar of Events Maps Announcements
Articles    Event Schedule for the 2006 Season  
   Captain's Corner  
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