"Lowland" targe shield, were there any?

Nov 2019
49
Oregon
Ive never seen pictures of any lowland shields or even read anything about them anywhere. Most sources call the targe the "Highland targe" even. Am I missing something here or did the lowland clans not use the targe for battle the same way their Highland counterparts did?
 

PADDYBOY

Historum Emeritas
Jan 2007
6,520
Scotland
I'm not sure how the schiltron was introduced to Scotland but it seems to have been a lowland method. it consisted of a shield wall and a lot of long pointed spears.
The border reivers were mainly cavalry and didn't bother to much with shields
 
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Jul 2019
850
New Jersey
I'm not sure how the schiltron was introduced to Scotland but it seems to have been a lowland method. it consisted of a shield wall and a lot of long pointed spears.
The border reivers were mainly cavalry and didn't bother to much with shields
The reivers had small bucklers, as I recall.
 
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PADDYBOY

Historum Emeritas
Jan 2007
6,520
Scotland
the Rievers had a bit of everything. They were a mish-mash of whatever they could beg steal or borrow. Their main weapon was their bog trotters (ponies).Everything else from longbows to crossbows, lances and swords were booty from battles won. Very few Rievers could pick and choose their weapons, such was their poverty. But you're right. Their captains would have been equipped with bucklers.
 
Nov 2019
49
Oregon
I'm not sure how the schiltron was introduced to Scotland but it seems to have been a lowland method. it consisted of a shield wall and a lot of long pointed spears.
The border reivers were mainly cavalry and didn't bother to much with shields
Any idea about what time they phased out the targe in the lowlands?



In "The History of Armour 1100-1700"
the author claims the targe came to Scotland sometime in the 15th century, I think. Its been awhile since I read it though.

Are the shields your referring to here the small ones that strap to the forearm? I know there were other types of shields early on. I am referring to the target style shield.

Also, I apologize for not being more clear but I was asking about the 17th-18th century specifically. I have heard that there were special orders of targes made for the government forces but they were crude shields meant for combat not status or fashion unlike the Highlanders targes. Locating this info has been problematic though.
 

PADDYBOY

Historum Emeritas
Jan 2007
6,520
Scotland
I'm not sure when targe like shields were phased out, Oregonian. I know that Tacitus when writing about the battle o Mons Graupus, refers to the Picts using large two handed broad swords and a small targe like shield strapped to their arms. There are also standing stones with images of Picts in shiltron style formations. I'm sorry I can't be more helpful mate.
 
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Nov 2019
49
Oregon
I'm not sure when targe like shields were phased out, Oregonian. I know that Tacitus when writing about the battle o Mons Graupus, refers to the Picts using large two handed broad swords and a small targe like shield strapped to their arms. There are also standing stones with images of Picts in shiltron style formations. I'm sorry I can't be more helpful mate.
Hey, its all good. Thank you for the information, you were plenty helpful and I still learned a thing or two.

I might go see what kind of books are out there on ancient Scottish weaopnry.
 
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Matthew Amt

Ad Honorem
Jan 2015
3,011
MD, USA
Scotland isn't my specialty, but I strongly suspect that Highland targes derived from targes and targets that were in use in England and elsewhere in the 16th century. Many parts of Europe used sword-and-shield men in various ways. Presumably Scotland just hung on to the fashion after it was outdated elsewhere, not an unknown thing in Scotland. So while there were probably "Lowland targes" in the 16th century, I doubt you'd see an equivalent in the 18th. I'd be a little leery of terms like "phased out", since that implies a deliberate action when we could simply be discussing shifts in fashion.

Oh, and tribal people at Mons Graupius were not Picts but Caledonians, and they did not have 2-handed swords. I only know of one medieval Pictish stone showing a battle scene, and one of the warriors is using a spear 2-handed, but it doesn't tell us much about formations, etc.

Matthew
 
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Nov 2019
49
Oregon
Scotland isn't my specialty, but I strongly suspect that Highland targes derived from targes and targets that were in use in England and elsewhere in the 16th century. Many parts of Europe used sword-and-shield men in various ways. Presumably Scotland just hung on to the fashion after it was outdated elsewhere, not an unknown thing in Scotland. So while there were probably "Lowland targes" in the 16th century, I doubt you'd see an equivalent in the 18th. I'd be a little leery of terms like "phased out", since that implies a deliberate action when we could simply be discussing shifts in fashion.

Oh, and tribal people at Mons Graupius were not Picts but Caledonians, and they did not have 2-handed swords. I only know of one medieval Pictish stone showing a battle scene, and one of the warriors is using a spear 2-handed, but it doesn't tell us much about formations, etc.

Matthew
Well they shifted to using guns and bayonets mostly , not sure if "phased out" is appropriate or not in that context but I dont think it was a fashion trend as much as an evolution of arms. I mean it always comes down to an arms race especially for the armies with resources.

I suck with terminology though, perhaps you are right.

They still used swords but nowhere near as much as the Highlanders. Anyhow, the targe is descended from the Italian (or Spanish, I forget) Targa, so is the English target shield. Thanks for the info , especially regarding earlier history in Scotland. I havnt dipped into pre-16th century stuff too much.
 

AlpinLuke

Forum Staff
Oct 2011
27,401
Italy, Lago Maggiore
I've been not a few times in Scotland. In the Highlands and in the noble Aberdeenshire [where there are the territories of the Queen]. But I was there for the Megalithic sites.

Anyway I had the impression that the Roman presence in the Lowlands has a bit distorted the perspective of those regions [Romans temporary settled even in Aberdeenshire ... and more North ...]. I wouldn't see a clear separation among Highlands and Lowlands. Actually also geographically it's not that easy to put a border [I ignore if you are familiar with Scotland].
 
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