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De Beaugué's Description of Highlanders

by Sharon L. Krossa

©1997-2000 by Sharon L. Krossa. All rights reserved

Last updated 1 Jan 2000

Jean de Beaugué was a French writer who published L'histoire de la guerre dEcosse in 1556, which was an account of the campaign of the French auxiliaries in Scotland from 1548-9. This includes a brief description of some Highlanders who were at the siege of Haddington in 1549.

This shouldn't need saying, but I've learned from past experience: This is not evidence of belted plaids or kilts of any kind. Though a multi-coloured 'rug' may be a plaid, not all plaids are belted plaids!


Unfortunately, at the moment I don't have the details of the original.

H. F. McClintock, Old Irish and Highland Dress, with Notes on that of the Isle of Man. Dundalk: W. Tempest, Dundalgan Press, 1943.

"He [de Beaugué] says of certain Highlanders who were present at the siege of Haddington by the French in 1549,"

Original French:
"Ils sont nuz fors que de leurs chemises taintes et de certaines couvertures legeres faites de laine, de plusieurs couleurs." (p. 112)

English translation:
"They wear no clothes except their dyed shirts and a sort of light woollen rug of several colours." (p. 112)

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