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The Wild Irish

Next Sunday I shall be staging the last battle of the Wars of the Roses — Stoke Field (1487). Around 4000 Irish, led by Sir Thomas Fitzgerald of Kildare, formed the largest Yorkist contingent at the battle.


I have just finished painting the remaining units I need for Fitzgerald’s contingent.


His retainers are mostly Perry Irish WoR Gallowglass with a couple of axe-wielding Hundred Years War French mixed in. The latter on the assumption that not all Sir Thomas’ retainers would have worn traditional Irish dress but that their equipment might be more old fashioned than their English counterparts. I think they fit together reasonable well.


Fitzgerald’s livery colours were red and white. His badge a chained monkey. This is the basis of the flag I have given them.


The Irish kerns are all in traditional dress, wearing the loose-fitting léine dyed ‘saffron yellow’. It more likely that the yellow colour was obtained from tree bark and other natural yellow dyes rather than the fearsomely expensive pure saffron. I have, therefore, used a variety of shades ranging from natural linen through to yellow. The figures are mostly Perry WoR Irish with a couple of Front Rank added.


Sir Thomas’ retinue (see also New Wars of the Roses Command Groups) represents Anglo-Irish nobility with a mix of traditional and more conventional (albeit old fashioned) styles of dress and equipment. His banner was St Patrick’s cross with star in the centre.

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Richard Speedman
Richard Speedman
Nov 06, 2023

Another lovely set of figures, Simon! I look forward to seeing these on the table-top soon.

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