Thursday, 31 January 2013

U.S. Event. The Grand Encampment.


Net Making Diagrams. Diderot.

How To Throw A Tomahawk. For Beginners. Part Two.

How To Throw A Tomahawk. For Beginners. Part One.

Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Mopoke’s Stock & Trade (Australia).

Mopoke’s Stock & Trade (Australia).
I would like to introduce you all to a new Australian trader, Mick Humphrey. Mick is a good friend of mine and he is based in Victoria. Please bear in mind that Mick has to order this gear from overseas, therefore the prices at first glance may seem a little high. But the fact is Mick’s prices including post and package should be at least comparable if not less expensive than ordering from the UK or the States.
The other good thing is that Mick is local, any problems and you can literally phone Mick up and he can sort things out for you. You can order by phone, by email, or online from Mick’s site. I think this is a great opportunity for Australian living historians and re-enactors to get the items they want, knowing that they are helping a small Australian company.
If you have any special needs that do not show on Mick’s site, or if you have any suggestions for Mick, contact him. I know Mick would love to hear from you.

Here are just some of the items Mick is carrying:

This fishing kit unfortunately has a synthetic line. But if you think the price is right you can replace it with linen or silk line.

Sunday, 27 January 2013

Storm in the Forest.

Storm in the Forest.
Well the storm has finally reached us here in Wychwood Forest. This would not be a good time to be camping in the woods. If you ever find yourself in this situation, the best thing to do is either find some open area well away from the trees, or find a rocky outcrop that will protect you from falling trees. We have had rain now for two days, and the ground in the valley bottoms is soft. Up higher it is very rocky, so the trees have not been able to put their roots down deep. Water soaked ground and high winds in any forest will be a sure combination to bring down trees.
Do not light a fire in these conditions, it is wet enough to stop the spread of fire through the forest, but not wet enough to stop your shelter and gear getting burnt. The high winds will blow sparks and embers into your shelter. This is when it pays to be carrying foods that do not require cooking.
If you are using stakes to secure the lower part of your shelter, make sure they are long and driven deep. Winds like we are getting here will tear stakes out of the ground and turn them into dangerous weapons being wielded by the wind still attached to the canvas. Skills on woodsmanship really count on days like this. Once you are in a relatively safe place, stay there. Do not venture away from the protection of high rocks or large fallen trees. I have seen small sticks driven far into the ground by winds like these. If you get hit by one, it could be bad.

Monday, 21 January 2013

Supplies for a French Mission. Part One.

Although this is a list of supplies required for the running of a French mission, for those of us more interested in other interpretations it does give us some insight into what this person considers necessary supplies for the people living and working in a wilderness situation.

"This is a group of letters addressed
to Jean de Lamberville, agent in France for the
Canada missions. The first is an invoice, probably-
written by Gravier, of the supplies necessary for the
Illinois missions for the year 1702. The distressed
condition of the laborers therein is energetically
described, and relief for their poverty is urgently
requested. The supplies desired include articles of
clothing; conveniences like pins, twine, thread,
paper, razors, etc. ; a few household utensils ; medi-
cines, food, wine, etc.; material for hoods for
protection against mosquitoes ; ammunition and nails ;
vermilion, beads, rings, etc., for the Indians; "six
ells of stuff for capotes, to make Breech-clouts;"
also tobacco and agricultural tools".


For my part, I am in good health, but I have no
cassock, etc. ; I am in a sorry plight, and the others
are hardly less so.

Three winter cassocks,
3 pairs of winter hose.
3 lined cloaks.

3 summer cassocks; 3 pairs of winter and 3 of
summer breeches.

3 pairs of summer hose.

3 pairs of cloth breeches for winter.

6 pairs of breeches of black duck or strong linen.
12 hempen shirts, lined ;^ calico handkerchiefs;
Cap linings,

4 hats ; 3 hoods ; 3 pairs of mittens.
One Livre of black Wool.

Half a livre of black and other silk.
One Livre of fine white thread.

2 livres of black thread, i livre of twine for Nets.
3 Lines; 3 whip- [lashes?].

3 livres of coarse white thread.
6 pairs of Shoes,

3 pairs of double-soled slippers,
3 pieces of white thread galloon.
One thousand pins.

One Ream of good and strong paper, of large size.
One Ream of small-sized paper. 3 good razors,
with a whetstone,

3 sticks of Spanish wax. 3 half-double caps.

12 [small] towels and 6 [small] napkins.^

3 covered bowls for The sick,

12 pewter spoons, with knives and forks.

[illegible — 6 case-knives?] in 6 sheaths.

3 deep pewter basins with a narrow edge.
 6 plates.

3 tinned kettles with lids, and strong, to hold 6 pots

One Syringe ; one livre of Theriac ; ointment,
plasters, alum, vitriol, aniseed, medicines, and pastils.

One host- Iron, and shape for cutting the wafers.

50 livres of flour, in a Barrel. 3 Tin boxes.

One minot of Salt, In a Barrel.

A jar of oil.

A Barrel of 1 5 pots of vinegar.

30 livres of Sugar.

Rice, raisins, prunes.

25 pots of Spanish wine, In 2 kegs.

25 pots of brandy.

9 livres of pepper.

One Livre of nutmegs and cloves.

Six pairs of half-worsted hose.* [Material for
making] awnings as a protection against the gnats
that infest the mississipi.

One piece of strong sail-cloth.

One livre or 2 of cotton candle-wicking.

India ink and cotton [illegible],

A thousand nails, large, medium-sized, and small.

150 livres of powder.

50 livres of assorted shot, large and small.

30 livres of Bullets; [500 gun-flints].

Ten livres of vermilion.

Ten livres of large glass Beads — -black, white, and

Ten livres of small glass Beads — white, green,
and transparent.

One gross of large Clasp-knives, with horn handles.

One gross of round buckles, both large and medi-

One gross of small metal plates.^

French Clothing in the New World. Final.

o       1713-1745: 39 fabrics and 15 colours of waistcoats specified
o    1748-1758: 20 fabrics and 6 colours of waistcoats specified
o    1713-1758: 59 fabrics and 21 colours of waistcoats specified
o    carpenters,[140] the lighthouse keeper,[141] the beachmaster.[142] There is even mention of "a fisherman's gilet". [143]
o    It was not strictly reserved to this section of the population, for one finds gilets, though rarely, among men such as engineers, [144] or the clerk of the Superior Council. [145] In exceptional cases, it would not be a simple filet of comfortable wool but at the same time an elegant piece of clothing, when for example, it was trimmed "with white satin cuffs". [146]
o    One finds in the effects of a merchant-broker "a lining for a mantelet of white wool". [147] The effects of a ship captain include a mantelet of "common Indian cloth lined with flannel".[148] This short cape was very popular among women but was rarely worn by men. Only in New France did men adopt the short cape[149] and, though mantelets were not common here, Louisbourg was not an exception in this case.
o    Other than the fact that it was trimmed with frogging (brandebourgs) (See Table No. 3), we have no description of the polonaise, though vests of this type appear a dozen times in the documents. The specified fabrics are similar to those used for ordinary vests (See Table No. 5): plush,[150] wool (a coarse variety called pinchinat)[151] and calamanco (calemande)[152] and of "rough blue fabric" (grosse étoffe bleue)[153]
o    The redingotte, which took its name from "riding coat", was a coat buttoned from collar to waist. It had a collar like that of the surtout and another circular one covering the pleats of the upper back like a short cape. From the number of references to it (about thirty), it was more popular at Louisbourg than the vest à la polonaise. It was made with cloth (drap) (See Table No. 9) and was sometimes regarded as a vest, as when a soldier hid a stolen object "under his redingotte" that is "under his vest". [154] Thus it was not necessarily an outdoor coat.
o    It is doubtful that every redingotte was the elegant garment implied in the name. If it were so, it would be difficult to explain why one was owned by a fisherman (compagnon pêcheur) [155] or why another was worth less than 3 livres, [156] though that of the governor, made of "gray cloth trimmed with a collar of black velvet", [157] cost 101 livres. Between these extremes, prices averaged between 10 and 15 livres. Those who wore redingottes were generally the same people who wore suits.
o    10. OVERCOAT
o    It was also the same people who wore the overcoat (surtout), a type of "justaucorps which one wore over other clothes during winter". [158] However it had a collar and the front buttons stopped at the level of the pockets. There were only three buttons at the back opening. Though it was theoretically an outdoor coat, it could replace the justaucorps and in some cases, it could be part of a suit, since one reads, for example, of a surtout "with its vest and breeches". [159] The surtout was not unusual at Louisbourg but it was less common than the justaucorps from which it differed only slightly. Like the justaucorps, it was made of wool or cloth, but the colours we know about were less sombre than those used in the suit (See Table No. 10).

gros drap
2 blue
1 gray
1 "gray-brown"


gros drap
2 red
1 gray brown
1 brown
o    1713-1745: 5 fabrics and 4 colours of redingottes specified
o    1748-1758: 6 fabrics and 4 colours of redingottes specified
o    1713-1758: 11 fabrics and 8 colours of redingottes specified
1 plush
1 camlet
2 red
1 white
3 camlet
2 frieze (ratine)
1 plush
1 poplin

3 blue
2 red
2 gray
1 white
o    1713-1745: 10 fabrics and 3 colours of coats specified
o    1748-1758: 10 fabrics and 8 colours of coats specified
o    1713-1758: 20 fabrics and 11 colours of coats specified
o    11. FROCKCOAT
o    The "frockcoat" (volant) is another style of coat known in Louisbourg, though it was more rare than the surtout which it resembled, being differentiated only by its unbuttoned sleeves and buttoned collar. We doubt whether these differences were of great importance in the usage of the time. Frequent mention is made of a frocked overcoat (surtout volant) [160] or an "overcoat or frockcoat of red camlet with a vest and breeches...4 livres". [161] This example suggests a resemblance to the justaucorps since it was combined with a vest and breeches, just as in a suit. The frockcoat was sometimes very luxurious. A ship captain had a frockcoat of "gray Brussels camlet trimmed with frogging of gold lace and new buttons of gold thread", which was worth 95 livres. [162] Another, valued at 16 livres, was certainly more sober. It was probably part of a uniform, since it was described as a "regulation white frock coat" (volant blanc d'ordonnance). [163] When camlet is not specified, the most common reference is to "cloth"(drap) without further detail.
o    In 1756 the inventory of a merchant's gods included "sixteen goat's leather devantaux" [164] which were not listed among the same goods sold a few days later. [165] The sale included sixteen leather aprons (tabliers) which were not in the inventory. This suggests that a devantau was an apron. This deduction provides the only definition we have been able to find for this term, which would correspond to the leather aprons one sees in engraved illustrations of 18th century fishing scenes: men cleaning the fish after the boats returned wore a type of apron which covered their front (devant).
o    Devantaux were common at Louisbourg. [166] They belonged to the men (except captains) who also owned cloaks and fishermen's capots. Hence it was a fisherman's garment and the sixteen belonging to the merchant were undoubtedly for sale. These ones were of goat's leather. Others were of sheepskin [167] and the rest say simply "leather" or "skin" or do not specify the material, as if a devantauwere of leather by definition.
o    2. APRON
o    The simple apron (tablier) was no doubt used more frequently than the documents show. There were one hundred and thirty-two kitchen aprons, "both good and bad" worth less than one livre together, in the household of Governor Duquesnel. [168] His servants wore them for work.
A cooper accused of theft was said to have "put it all in his apron". [169] The cooper pretended that he was going to the pond where he soaked the barrel staves used in his work. This shows that he wore an apron in the course of his work.
o    There are no references to aprons apart from these. These are fairly important, then, to show that artisans and simple domestics at Louisbourg protected their clothes with an apron while they worked.
o    The Louisbourg Institute of / L' Institut de Louisbourg de Cape Breton University ~ © 1995-present ~ Louisbourg.info@pc.gc.ca 
  A Research Site for the Fortress of Louisbourg National Historic Site of Canada operated by the Louisbourg Institute ~
  Un site de recherche du lieu historique national du Canada de la Forteresse-de-Louisbourg géré par l'Institut de Louisbourg
Report/Rapport © Parks Canada / Parcs Canada --- Report Assembly/Rapport de l'assemblée © Krause
 House Info-Research Solutions
o    BY

Sunday, 20 January 2013

Histoire du Québec 8 - Les Habitants

French 17th century Video.

Thoughts on Wearing a Shirt.

It appears that some people think that the common shirt can be worn outside of the breeches. Now it has always been my understanding that the shirt was only worn out when wearing a breechclout. Further, it is my understanding that the undershirt was usually worn under other clothing, such as a waistcoat/weskit, jacket or  frock. There were acceptions of course, when men were working hard outside in summer they were known to remove outer clothing and work in shirt sleeves, but I have yet to see documentation that sais the shirt was deliberately pulled out of the breeches. The common shirt was in fact made very long, so that it could be tucked between the man's legs, & was in fact underwear.

This could be a shirt or a frock, depending on the weight of the material used. Frocks were generally made using a heavier material than was used for making an undershirt. This one appears to be buttoned at the neck, so it is more than likely a shirt and not a frock.

This claims to be a mid 18th century French undershirt, but it also claims to be made of a heavy flax linen. This is therefore in my opinion in fact a French froc/frock. Also note the linen ties at the neck. 

An 18th century bricklayer wearing a long sleeved weskit over a shirt.

A French peasant working in the fields. Note his undershirt is worn inside his breeches.

Again, no waistcoat for this peasant field worker, but his shirt is worn inside his breeches.

These two soap makers are wearing frocks.

This is a Dutch postman wearing a frock.

An Italian butcher wearing a frock.

A field worker in Brussels wearing a frock.

I think we can safely assume that these living historians interpreting French milice at Bedford Village are in fact either wearing breeches and frock, or they are wearing breechclout and shirt or frock.

Bedford Villiage- La Milice de la Belle Riviere 2009