The Douglas Archives

A collection of historical and genalogical records

Encyclopedia Britannica

WAPENSHAW (M.E. for “weapon-show”), a periodical muster or review of troops formerly held in every district in Scotland, the object having been to satisfy the military chiefs that the arms of their retainers were in good condition.

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Wappenschawings to be twice in the year

Item, touching the first article regarding the wappenschawing, it is thought necessary that wappenschawings be made twice in the year throughout all the realm, that is to say in the months of June and October at such day or days and place as shall please the sheriff, stewart, bailies, provosts, aldermen of burghs to assign after the quantity of the shire, if the musters cannot be all taken in one day, and that they make warnings thereto upon the premonition of 20 days; and that the said musters be taken by the sheriff of the shires, provost and bailies of burghs and bailies of regalities and other commissioners to whom the king's grace pleases to assign. And because wappenschawings have been so long out of use, it is thought expedient that the same be made thrice for the first year, and the first time to be on the morning after Palm Sunday [10 April 1541] next to come.


The manner of harness, weapons and armour

Item, as to the manner of harness and weapons and how every man should be armed and weaponed, it is statute and ordained that all the lieges of our sovereign lord have weapons and harness as follows: in the first, that every noble man, such as an earl, lord, knight and baron, and every great landed man having £100 of yearly rent, be armed in white harness, light or heavy as they please, and weaponed appropriately to his honour, and that all others of lower rent and degree in the lowlands have jerkin of plate, halecret or brigandine, gorget or pisane, with splints, paunces of mail, with gloves of plate or mail, and that all others of our sovereign lord's lieges, unlanded gentlemen and yeomen, have jerkins of plate, halecrets, splints, sallet or steel bonnet with pisane or gorget, and every man with sword, and that no manner of weapons be admitted in wappenschawings but spears, pikes strong and long of six ells of length, light axes, halberds, handbows and arrows, crossbows, culverins, two-handed swords, and every man to be armed as is said under the pain of £5 to be taken from every landed man, 50s from every gentleman and 20s from every yeoman as often as they be found faulty in the aforesaid matter. And because it is understood that these weapons and harness may not be completely gotten at the first wappenschawing, that is to say on the morning after Palm Sunday next to come [10 April 1541], therefore, it is dispensed by the king's grace that they make their showings and musters with such harness and weapons as they have, or may conveniently obtain, for the said day.



Making conections

The more information you can give about the people you mention, the more chance there is of someone else connecting with your family.

Dates and places of births, deaths and marriages all help to place families.

Professions also help.

'My great-grandmother mother was a Douglas from Montrose' does not give many clues to follow up! But a bit of flesh on the bones makes further research possible. But if we are told who she married, what his profession was and where the children were baptised, then we can get to work.

Maybe it is time to update the information in your profile?

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