ECW Infantry Buff Coat

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ECW Infantry Buff Coat

Postby marks » Fri Jan 11, 2008 12:31 pm

I am new to the site and forgive me if this has been discussed before.

Having just transferred into a NMA unit I have been told that I can wear a buff coat.

I prefer this option to the back and breast as I find it better to absorb the kind of hits we take in point/ push, as well as melee. In my previous unit I wore a borderers jack copied from a pattern in the Jedburgh musuem- a b**ger to hand stitch.

So what I am after is a pattern, or images to copy one from for a NMA period infantry buff coat.

Most of my books/research has been for the Scots and I do not have alot of info on this subject. I have got leather already, a heavy grade, as I do not like the thin floppy stuff you see hanging around. If it's going to be armour it should do the job!

Thanks for your time.

Mark



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Postby steve stanley » Fri Jan 11, 2008 12:41 pm

Oh Dear................
Now I don't know your society or regiment.....But there is NO provenance for Infantry OR's Buff coats for any ECW regiment,other than possibly some of the LTB's.....No armour at all is much more likely for most units,especially NMA.
Steve


"Give me a tent and a kettle
Snowshoes and axe and gun
Send me up in Grand River
Steering by star and sun".
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Merlon

Postby Merlon » Fri Jan 11, 2008 1:16 pm

As Steve states no infantry buff coats, unless possibly you are an officer or certain units in London Trained Bands. Even then the coat is made from Oil Tanned Buff not from just any old heavy leather.
The vast majority of "buff coats" worn by ECW reenactors are cavalry coats in style and made of pathetically light leather.
My Beabey buff coat weights over twenty five pounds, god knows how much it would cost to replace. Cost me £450 eighteen years ago



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Postby marks » Fri Jan 11, 2008 1:44 pm

Wait a minute guys I said I was new to the site, not new to reenactment.

Maybe its me being sensitive but:

Oh Dear................ A tad patronising

any old heavy leather: I did not say any this I said heavy gauge, maybe I should have been clearer in my description- Its buff hide.

So can we start again

Society: SK, Regiment: SMG Philip Skippons, Rank: Sgt.

The CO and other bods (whose oponion on kit I trust) have said we were issued buff coats. I have only been in the unit since Easter (although I have been reenacting in various periods for 30 years) and I am still gathering my books on the Regiment and its history for myself to check this.

I thought I would try here to see if there was any images/patterns of those that were around, again not whether we were issued them.

The question of if we were issued them is something I need to research myself before starting a debate within the Regt. Although if kit is wrong on any level it needs to be sorted out.

I am very aware of the proliferation of leather waistcoats- I cannot bring myself to say buff coats or even jerkins about them-worn by individuals that were not issued them, or could not possibly have obtained them and I would never consider one of these or allow any of my recruits to own one.

IF I can find the evidence and a correct pattern I will then hand make my own, a project that will incur no small amount of blood (stiching awl), sweat (I can only work in my kitchen) and tears (when my lass sees the state of the kitchen).

IF we were not issued them and/or I cannot find a correct pattern for my rank/role then I will use the leather to make aforesaid buff coat in another correct pattern and sell it to someone who can wear it. Merlon thank you for giving me an idea of how much I can charge.

Thank you both for your swift replies though.

Mark.

[/quote]



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Postby Dave B » Fri Jan 11, 2008 2:09 pm

That isn't Mark Scoular ( I probably spelt that wrong) is it?


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Postby marks » Fri Jan 11, 2008 2:15 pm

Yes it is, spelt right as well!

Hows tricks Dave? Still bashing away in medievals then, saw your posts about axes, nice gear you got. We have some of the Gransfor Bruks for general wood destruction, and my old Vik one for LH.

Dunno if this is the right forum for a catch up, how's it work on ths site?



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Postby Dave B » Fri Jan 11, 2008 2:25 pm

You're probably right. General Catchup should be in 'Freinds and gossip'

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Postby Neibelungen » Fri Jan 11, 2008 2:37 pm

There was an article, with I think patterns, way back in Military Illustrated talking about the Littlecoat collection ones. (I'm guessing around issue 40 or abouts)

Seem to recall Mark Biiby did something in there too, with a number of different examples illustrated



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Postby Nigel » Fri Jan 11, 2008 3:16 pm

yes there was an articles in Mil ill about buff coats by Mark as he made THree for the sricle

Pauls Based on Nat fIEENS

mAIKES BASED ON A LITTLECOTE TROOPERS

Mine now owned by Mr Griffin a sleevless one

I may ahve a copy of the article around somewhere

The NMA issues exist in London I have been through em years ago oudles of buff coats for the cavalry ouldes but not enough for a full eqipe BUT NONE for the foote. i would really urge you to ask for a primary source on this one.

Glad to see youa re prepare dto challenge the Norm

Mine was £300.00 in 199o early


There’s a country in Europe where they treat their ex soldiers with pride no waits for medical treatment after injuries received during service, no amensia from the government. Cant for the life of me recall where it is but I know exactly where it is not.

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Postby steve stanley » Fri Jan 11, 2008 6:10 pm

Didn't mean to sound patronising......Just really assumed the Infantry buffcoat thing had gone away long ago...........
Steve


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Snowshoes and axe and gun

Send me up in Grand River

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Postby John Waller » Fri Jan 11, 2008 9:20 pm

I can't think of any refs apart from those to 'trained band buff' with respect to infantry. Certainly I know of no records of issue to parliamentary foot regiments. LTBs are generally assumed to have theirs by private purchase. I would be interested in the primary source that Skips say they have.

Blackmore's sadly-lacking work, Arms and Armour of the ECW has six illustrated pages on buff coats, including a pattern taken from one of the Littlecote coats. The Littlecote coats are associated with cavalry but may post date the ECW. All are sleeved though a couple of sleeveless coats exist elsewhere, I think the Armouries has one and there is one in the NAM.


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Postby Nigel » Sat Jan 12, 2008 8:59 am

steve stanley wrote:Didn't mean to sound patronising......Just really assumed the Infantry buffcoat thing had gone away long ago...........
Steve


In certain societies it has :D


There’s a country in Europe where they treat their ex soldiers with pride no waits for medical treatment after injuries received during service, no amensia from the government. Cant for the life of me recall where it is but I know exactly where it is not.

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Postby steve stanley » Sat Jan 12, 2008 9:33 am

I wasn't going to say that...................
Steve


"Give me a tent and a kettle

Snowshoes and axe and gun

Send me up in Grand River

Steering by star and sun".

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The Infantry Buff Coats

Postby Dathi » Sat Jan 12, 2008 10:15 am

Hate to say it but at no point were any of the Earl of Essex's infantry issued buffcoats of any kind. Stuart Peachy & Alan Turton's books on Essex's army does mention buff coats but only for the Horse. London Trained Bands have been claimed to be wearing their own buffcoats but these are supposedly more like oilskins for weather proofing than any protective value. I supect that a number of soldiers may be wearing their own leather jerkins over their own doublets under their issued coats. There's a considerable number of references to leather doublets, breeches and jerkins in both probate sources and some odd places, such as the 100 servants being sent to the America's in the 1630's with well oiled leather doublets and breeches. I can dig the source out at home but a search on Google books may well pick it up! Probably misspelt as well.....;-)



Merlon

Postby Merlon » Sat Jan 12, 2008 10:56 am

If the primary source is actually identified, the key point is when it supposedly occurred.

At Lostwithiel in August 1644, firstly the Royalists stripped the men of all their equipment and then the local inhabitants stripped them naked during the rainy march to Plymouth. There in the Plymouth refit Skippons were given the Red coats and breeches and very little else.

I say if the source is identified as in twenty years of ploughing through records I have never seen a hint of a buffcoat issue to infantry let alone an actual signed receipt (trust me, thousand of receipts survive). I would dearly love to proven wrong, so best of British and hope you have a successful search for the primary source.

As Steve said nothing was meant to be patronising. But infantry buff coats are one those hoary old chestnuts that should be buried and all trace of its location destroyed. If I wanted to be patronising I would just say "Military Modelling Magazine"



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Leather Doublets

Postby Dathi » Sat Jan 12, 2008 3:56 pm

it's very boring at work this afternoon so

From CHRONICLES OF THE FIRST PLANTERS OF THE COLONY OF MASSACHUSETTS BAY, FROM 16-23 TO 1636.
Dated 1846. Boston

Page 41

200 suits doublet and hose, of leather, lined with oiled-skin leather, the hose and doublet with hooks and eyes



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Postby Borsch Monster » Tue Jan 29, 2008 3:49 pm

IIRC doesn't the LTB in buff coats come fron an account of Turnham Green, that says something to the effect of "you could tell which of the dead were Londoners because of their buff coats" Which tells you that that no one else had them. It was very early on in the war & there is no reason to suppose that they carried on as late as the formation of the NMA. At which point they surely would have been re-equipped anyway.



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Postby Nigel » Tue Jan 29, 2008 4:07 pm

Newbury old chap


There’s a country in Europe where they treat their ex soldiers with pride no waits for medical treatment after injuries received during service, no amensia from the government. Cant for the life of me recall where it is but I know exactly where it is not.

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Postby Borsch Monster » Tue Jan 29, 2008 5:37 pm

Nigel wrote:Newbury old chap


My mistake. Which one?



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Postby steve stanley » Tue Jan 29, 2008 5:40 pm

1st I would think......
Steve


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Snowshoes and axe and gun

Send me up in Grand River

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Postby Merlon. » Tue Jan 29, 2008 6:06 pm

Actually its Newbury II

Battle of Newbury October 27th 1644. From Mercurius Aulicus 200 arms gathered up, with great store of good pillage, Trained band Buffe ((for many of these were Londoners)



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Interesting picture

Postby Dathi » Sun Feb 10, 2008 8:21 pm

Just found this interesting picture by Vranex.... Look at the figure drawing a sword, what do you think he's wearing?

orginal here

http://www.flickr.com/photos/roelipilam ... 325963415/
Attachments
2143498493_e55d26e1d7_m.jpg



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Postby Mark P. » Sun Feb 10, 2008 8:35 pm

Title is battle between Imperial and Swedish troops.
So may not be strictly applicable to NMA.


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Postby Foxe » Sun Feb 10, 2008 10:04 pm

Somewhere in the back of my mind is a reference to the importation of leather (elk hide?) from Sweden to London for trained band buff coats, making of. That might explain the presence of buff coats on Swedish pikemen (and also point to the lack of relevance to NMA equipment).


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Postby Gockee » Sun Feb 10, 2008 10:20 pm

Looks like yellow coated regiment to me. I've never seen buff fold like that garments hem.

The buff coats I've seen don't fold well. In fact, the are like board to start with. Even after many wearings it still stands up on its own!

Looks more and more like a yellow coated regiment the more I look.



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Postby Merlon. » Sun Feb 10, 2008 10:21 pm

Trained Band Buff would all be private purchase.
Being a member of the Trained band, especially in London, indicated a degree of social status.
Only London troops who were issued equipment of any form were the various auxilary regiments



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Postby Mark P. » Sun Feb 10, 2008 10:31 pm

Gockee wrote:Looks like yellow coated regiment to me. I've never seen buff fold like that garments hem.

The buff coats I've seen don't fold well. In fact, the are like board to start with.

Looks more and more like a yellow coated regiment the more I look.


I must admit I tend agree although the fact that the pikeman's garment appears to be sleeveless is a bit odd.


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Buff coat or not

Postby Dathi » Mon Feb 11, 2008 9:32 am

I must admit I'm a bit puzzled by what is being shown. I didn't fully see the lack of sleeves until I started looking at the officer. I'm not 100% convinced it is a buf coat under armour, but I'm also not convinced it's a coat with the sleeves missing. For 1630-ish that is a long coat, more 1690 than 1630! I'm wary of saying "Look the hem's folded under" this isn't a photograph and trying to read that sort of detail on something you're not sure of is tricky.

I'd doubt it's "Buffcoat" thickness since I suspect that any Foot soldier would not want the weight of a full buffcoat under armour to wear and fight in on foot. I'd suspect if it is leather that it's a lighter weight, more padding and weather proofing than armour. I'm also intrigued by the cut of the full sleeved version, it looks similar to a simple buffcoat I've seen, but it also could be a cloth coat!



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Postby Chris T » Sat Feb 16, 2008 1:05 pm

The problem is that the pendulum has now swung too far: as has been said there was a time when almost every ECW re-enactor had a pseudo suede 'buffcoat", then the opposite view took hold, and now people cannot even see buffcoats when they occur in contemporary illustrations.

Wheras I agree there are no acciunts of them being issued to foot this is not the same as no foot having them. As a sargent not only could you wear a buffcoat but a case could be made for saying you should!

An accurate buff coat is neither unconfortable or excessively heavy, and is a far more practical garment for campaign wear than armour.

The quotes that are frequently bandied about concerning buffcoats costing £10 are normally taken somewhat out of context. It seems that the actual cost for a sleeved buffcoat was more in the £1-£1.50 range, and there is a lot less work/ materials in an unsleeved coat.



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Postby Merlon. » Sat Feb 16, 2008 5:29 pm

Can one ask how the sergeant would afford to buy a £1 buffcoat, that’s twenty days gross pay?
Sergeants and above were responsible for buying their own clothes and equipment. So they definitely look different from the soldiers, thorny problem would then be, what form would the cheaper buffs take?
Shorter skirts, or effectively, a buff doublet.
Stuff sleeves or unsleeved completely
Then you get on to the issue of me_too_itis, if he has one I want one too. This is more likely to be the reason they are frowned upon in the major societies, avoids the entire issue of trying to police the blasted issue




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