at Marston Moor, during a tiny lull in the filming, I overheard
several uncomplimentary comments on the request to wear white
favours, which was displayed at the guard tent. Comments like
:- "wrong period, we're not Jacobites" and "Historically
inaccurate", putting it politely.In Antonia Fraser's
book 'Cromwell our Chief of Men', on page 123 she discusses
the kind of "standard, guidon, or colour" carried
by various troops and commanders. She goes on to say:- "Obviously
in an age not only before regimental colours but also before
any coherent policy for uniforms, these individual rallying
points were highly important. It was true that the Royalists
tended to wear Crimson silk scarves and their opponents orange
silk during the early stages of the Civil War, but there were
many variations, as a result of which some sort of field sign
was often adopted before a major battle involving many different
regiments - the field sign for Marston Moor was a white favour,
a handkerchief or even a piece of paper, in the hat. There
was certainly no difference in the clothing of the various
commanders, and the pictorial traditional lacey splendour
of the Cavalier as opposed to the Puritan severity of the
Roundhead commander has no basis in historical fact".
It would seem the researchers had at least read Antonia Fraser.
Any comments as to the accuracy, please enlighten two beginners.
- Sue Bowdidge 24/7/95
As requested, another authors view, taken from 'Marston
Moor 1644' by Peter Young:"There was little to distinguish
the officers of the two armies but the crimson silk scarves
habitually worn by the Royalists and the orange-tawny ones
of their opponents, though both sides wore special field-signs
on particular occasions. At Marston Moor the Parliamentarians
had white bands or pieces of paper stuck in their hats."
I also was involved in a similar discussion, at the notice
board in the beer tent, though this centred around the wearing
of white cockades. As the title of Antonia Fraser's book
suggests and certainly in the case of the latter quote,
the author is referring to the Parliamentarians and not,
as he clearly uses the term elsewhere, referring to the
Allies as a whole, "Chapter 8: Assembling the Allied
army". The author does not dwell on the Scots army
other than to mention, "The Scots colours were quite
different from the English ones,...". I do feel that
the Covenanting army would have, at this battle, worn 'white
bands' or similar, I do not however feel that they would
have worn white cockades (as someone had suggested). The
blue and white cockade was without doubt a symbol of the
Covenant, having been worn since 1638 and probably until
the end of the Covenanting regime of Scotland which lasted
until the restoration, though heavily pressed during Cromwell's
occupation. (It is rumoured that the blue and white cockade
was Montrose's idea). It is hardly likely that this 'seasoned'
army would have given up such an emblem on this occasion.
If anyone has any further evidence, either way, please send
it in to the Clarion. Any quotes from John Buchan's 'Montrose:
A History' regarding the topic of Scots' uniform, field
signs or colours would be interesting.
- Rab Taylor