Tuesday, 4 October 2016

My Jacobite Impression

Since I first got started in this hobby , I have been a Jacobite of one here in Niigata city , Japan. But from next week that is about to change with my move back to New Zealand where I will settle down in the coastal town of Oamaru , famous for its wealth of Victorian architecture and now Steampunk !. Anyhow there was a Jacobite reenactment movement many years ago in Oamaru , but it has since slipped by the wayside although I hope to reform it and gather some other like minded souls who are keen on non public campaign style reenacting.

I have learnt a lot from a fantastic Facebook group that I belong to called Jacobite Rising Reenactors, check them out as its well worth joining if you are serious about putting together an authentic impression  and have also read a lot of history books as well. The fun part of this hobby is you are continually learning new things all the time.

So lets take a look at my own impression that I am still working on , pictured below are some photos of my current kit. And some of my early mistakes

First lets take a look at the above photo, while I like the color combination , I purchased a cheap wool Rev war waistcoat from Jas Townsend and Son in the USA in navy blue. And while it is comfortable it is totally wrong for the period having the split front as it should be longer and straight across the front bottom edge instead. I also bought cheap Fugawee straight lasted shoes and while correct for the period I wasted money on buying buckles when actually lace up shoes were far more common, period portraits hardy show anyone wearing buckled shoes at all !. The sporran which is nice is suspended from a separate belt when in fact it should hang directly from the main wide leather belt , to top off my mistakes I have footless tartan hose instead of full bag hose . Shirt is cotton - should be linen but at least the bonnet which is knitted and felted and linen haversack are correct. 

The above photo shows a few improvements from the first photo , namely a custom made wool waist coat of a better cut with replica period pewter buttons and a Harris Tweed drawstring kilt that I made, also the strap on linen haversack has been shortened , The blue bonnet I made myself is felted and great for hotter weather . 

The above photo shows my hand stitched Jacobite period Harris tweed waistcoat with fabric buttons and a replica sporran that hangs directly from my main kilt belt. In this photo you can see that my impression is improving , even though Harris tweed is expensive it is well worth the money - so if you are wanting to put together an authentic impression Harris tweed in muted colors is really the best choice. 

The above photos show the matching highland short coat also in Harris tweed, both the waistcoat and the coat were made by my friend and historical tailor Hunter Cogle from the USA , he is an expert and a Jacobite reenactor himself and can easily help you obtain the correct look for the 45 that is not only made well, but is authentic as well.  As you can see I have converted a pair of Fugawee straight lasted shoes into lace ups , which are more authentic than buckles, but still need to make some tartan bag hose instead of my footless moggans which are totally wrong. 

So there you have it my progress so far from zero beginner to getting a more authentic look. All this takes time and money like every other hobby, but if you do a lot of research at first you will not only save money and time. As for weapons I am still deciding what I might like and what class of Jacobite I would like to portray - at present I am leaning towards a rank & file soldier who would have most likely been employed as a farmer , cattle drover etc.   



  1. Great post and very informative Don- thanks M

    1. Glad you enjoyed reading it, I have to start thinking about weapons next !