Info Favorites Register Log in
myArmoury.com Discussion Forums

Forum index Memberlist Usergroups Spotlight Topics Search
Forum Index > Historical Arms Talk > in armor. Hoisting onto a horse? Reply to topic
This is a standard topic Go to page 1, 2, 3, 4, 5  Next 
Author Message
Michael Mercier




Location: Durham, NC on my way to Iraq
Joined: 19 Jan 2004
Reading list: 6 books

Posts: 123

PostPosted: Tue 18 Sep, 2007 6:37 am    Post subject: in armor. Hoisting onto a horse?         Reply with quote

There are a lot of rumor caused by movies and tv that haunt our hobby as you all well know and one of them, so I thought, was the one about those in armor needing to be hoisted onto their horse. Just last night I was doing a fight demonstration and one of the individuals mentioned that exact rumor and she said she saw some suits of armor in the British Museum that had hooks on the back just for that purpose. Now I didn't want to argue since she seemed convinced about what she saw which made me think. What in the world did she actually see that made her think that the fighter had to be hoisted? She said she read it there at one of the displays. She was there probably 25 years ago so I don't know if things were accidentally labelled then or not.

The Met Museum has a nice myths page and mentions this:

"This notion appears to have originated during the late nineteenth century as a joke. It entered popular fiction during the following decades, and the image was finally immortalized in 1944 when Sir Laurence Olivier used it in his movie Henry V—despite the protestations of his historical advisors, who included the eminent authority Sir James Mann, Master of the Armouries at HM Tower of London.

As outlined above, most armor is neither so heavy nor inflexible as to immobilize the wearer. Most men-at-arms would have been able to simply put one foot in a stirrup and mount their horse without assistance. A stool or perhaps the help of a squire would have made the process even speedier; a crane, however, was absolutely unnecessary."

Mike
View user's profile Send private message
Dan P




Location: Massachusetts, USA
Joined: 28 Jun 2007

Posts: 208

PostPosted: Tue 18 Sep, 2007 7:06 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I heard this one in elementary school when they were teaching us about the middle ages. It was right alongside the "fact" about armor being so heavy that a knight could barely walk, and couldn't get up if he fell on his back. And also that the average longsword weighed 30 pounds. For the longest time I actually thought this was true. If I didn't know better now, I still would believe it. After all I learned it in school so its got to be correct, right?

I wouldn't be surprised if some armor, especially tournament or high-quality pieces, had hooks or attachments to make the suit easier to display. It just seems a logical thing to do.
View user's profile Send private message
Dan Dickinson
Industry Professional



Location: Michigan
Joined: 03 Oct 2004

Posts: 967

PostPosted: Tue 18 Sep, 2007 8:19 am    Post subject: Re: in armor. Hoisting onto a horse?         Reply with quote

Michael Mercier wrote:
she said she saw some suits of armor in the British Museum that had hooks on the back just for that purpose. Now I didn't want to argue since she seemed convinced about what she saw which made me think. What in the world did she actually see that made her think that the fighter had to be hoisted?



Could it be a jousting lance rest? I seem to remember that some later jousting armours had large rearward-projecting lance rests fastened to the backplate that might have looked like a hoisting hook to the untrained eye. I can't seem to find any photos at the moment to illustrate what I'm saying. Does anyone else know what I'm talking about and have a pic?
Thanks,
Dan
View user's profile Send private message
Jeffrey Hedgecock
Industry Professional



Location: Ramona CA USA
Joined: 22 Jan 2004

Posts: 129

PostPosted: Tue 18 Sep, 2007 8:21 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

There are a couple of styles of jousting armour that have attachments on the backplate to stabilize the helmet in a strike. Perhaps these were misinterpreted as hooks for winching the rider on. I get questions all the time about the weight of my jousting armour, but luckily comments about being hoisted onto the horse are few.

When i get the questions, I usually ask them "How much good would a knight be on the battle field if his armour was so heavy and immobilizing that he had to be hoisted onto his horse?" That usually sends them off to ponder the theory.

Cheers,

Jeffrey Hedgecock
Historic Enterprises, Inc.
WorldJoust Tournaments™
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Hugh Fuller




Location: Virginia
Joined: 01 Oct 2003

Posts: 256

PostPosted: Tue 18 Sep, 2007 9:26 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Would it not be possible that some of the later period jousting armor might be heavy enough to require some sort of assistance in mounting a horse? I am asking as I do not know, not to pick a fight.
Hugh
Still trying to walk in the Light
Please see 1 John 1:5
View user's profile Send private message
Jean Thibodeau




Location: Montreal,Quebec,Canada
Joined: 15 Mar 2004
Likes: 50 pages
Reading list: 1 book

Spotlight topics: 5
Posts: 8,305

PostPosted: Tue 18 Sep, 2007 9:31 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hugh Fuller wrote:
Would it not be possible that some of the later period jousting armor might be heavy enough to require some sort of assistance in mounting a horse? I am asking as I do not know, not to pick a fight.


Some jousting armour could also have much less flexibility in their articulations to the point that some extreme types would keep major parts in a fixed and rigid position: I would imagine that some help getting on the horse might be needed in such a case.

I don't have a source to show but I think I remember a jousting armour that covers the front of the legs and torso with one solid plate or plates with little or no mobility.

You can easily give up your freedom. You have to fight hard to get it back!
View user's profile Send private message
Jeffrey Hedgecock
Industry Professional



Location: Ramona CA USA
Joined: 22 Jan 2004

Posts: 129

PostPosted: Tue 18 Sep, 2007 12:56 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Most jousting armours that are -really- heavy, that is over 100 #, don't have any appreciable leg armour, at least none that would hinder mounting. They usually rely on tilt sockets to cover the legs. Leg sockets hang from the saddle. Yes, their wearers may be a bit top-heavy, but hardly locked into a fixed position.

Remember, you MUST be able to move when riding, and must especially be able to do so when tilting to adjust your weight when receiving a strike from a lance. Jousters aren't some big immoveable block of steel covered flesh & bone.

Even the heaviest tilt armours MUST allow the rider reasonable use of their arms for mounting and lance-handling. Yes, they'd be more restrictive than field armour, BUT not so restrictive that their wearer would require being hoisted onto his horse. That would just be TOO undignified, and these guys were the "studs" of their age. They wouldn't be caught dead not mounting a horse under their own power.

Cheers,

Jeffrey Hedgecock
Historic Enterprises, Inc.
WorldJoust Tournaments™


Last edited by Jeffrey Hedgecock on Tue 18 Sep, 2007 1:01 pm; edited 1 time in total
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Steven H




Location: Boston
Joined: 10 May 2006

Posts: 545

PostPosted: Tue 18 Sep, 2007 12:59 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jean Thibodeau wrote:
Hugh Fuller wrote:
Would it not be possible that some of the later period jousting armor might be heavy enough to require some sort of assistance in mounting a horse? I am asking as I do not know, not to pick a fight.


Some jousting armour could also have much less flexibility in their articulations to the point that some extreme types would keep major parts in a fixed and rigid position: I would imagine that some help getting on the horse might be needed in such a case.

I don't have a source to show but I think I remember a jousting armour that covers the front of the legs and torso with one solid plate or plates with little or no mobility.


I believe the period solution was to attach the fixed pieces after mounting the horse. I've seen illustrations of just this set up (in Charles ffoulkes I believe).

-Steven

Kunstbruder - Boston area Historical Combat Study
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Gordon Frye




Location: Kingston, Washington
Joined: 20 Apr 2004
Reading list: 15 books

Spotlight topics: 2
Posts: 1,191

PostPosted: Tue 18 Sep, 2007 5:18 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jeffrey Hedgecock wrote:
Even the heaviest tilt armours MUST allow the rider reasonable use of their arms for mounting and lance-handling. Yes, they'd be more restrictive than field armour, BUT not so restrictive that their wearer would require being hoisted onto his horse. That would just be TOO undignified, and these guys were the "studs" of their age. They wouldn't be caught dead not mounting a horse under their own power.


Bingo! Absolutely! Good way to put it into proper perspective, Jeff.

Cheers!

Gordon

"After God, we owe our victory to our Horses"
Gonsalo Jimenez de Quesada
http://www.renaissancesoldier.com/
http://historypundit.blogspot.com/
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website Yahoo Messenger
Peter Fuller
Industry Professional



Location: Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Joined: 13 Nov 2005

Posts: 49

PostPosted: Tue 18 Sep, 2007 6:55 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

(excerpt from Shakespeare's Henry IV);

"I saw young Harry, with his bevor on,
His cuisses on his thighs, gallantly arm'd,
Rise from the ground like feather'd Mercury,
And vaulted with such ease into his seat,
As if an angel dropp'd down from the clouds,
To turn and wind a fiery Pegasus,
And witch the world with noble horsemanship."

'nuff said...
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Andreas Auer




Location: Innsbruck, Tirol, Austria, Europe
Joined: 15 Dec 2006
Likes: 2 pages
Reading list: 11 books

Posts: 122

PostPosted: Wed 19 Sep, 2007 3:00 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

a few exaples i saw at schloß Ambras, showed clearly that the really heavy parts of a sport-armour was put on when already on the horse...helmets where screwed on breast and backplates...footarmour was scrweded on horsearmour and so on, but no crane for the knight...
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Robert Fullerton




Location: arizona
Joined: 19 Sep 2007

Posts: 7

PostPosted: Wed 19 Sep, 2007 9:13 am    Post subject: hoisting up         Reply with quote

I have been seeing the postings on the site about people needing to be hoisted up in armour for tournements. i know a lot of you say that it's not true, but i aman armourer and have lived and trained in Europe for 20 years and it's not a myth but true acutally. I've been to many sites and castles who still have the originally equipment for it and it is not only well documented in old manuscripts but in also carvings and wood block prints and such of the proceders beig done. there was a type of armour used in the first jousting events that was designed to be super heavy and that had everything bolted on, even the helmet that did require a person to be hoisted up on the horse. this is true. it was mainly before craftsmen had the ability to make metal a lot thinner and stronger or having the understanding of fluting, which later allowed fo rlighter and better fitting armour that wa stronger. It only was used for a certain period of time and the armour did weigh inat an average of 200 pounds on the wearer. plus, the average size for a european oin those days was 5 feet and the chargers they used then were sometimes up to 18 hands in height and weighted in at easily 1500 pounds. plus, the horses also had heavy barding or even armour on them too, so gettin up on one was simple to do. this kind of jousting also was usually one with sharpened lance soetimes which of course most of the time resulted in death or bad injury, thus needing such heavy armour. so, a hoist was used to raise the men onto the horse, yet there was no hooks on the armour. they actually used a sling that wet under the arms and around the torso usually to do this. But all this is actually true but it was in the far earliest types of jousting.. the list wasn't even actually used to seperate the horses when they charged at each other. .. later, due to injuries and better advances in armour did the list come in effect seperating the horse and the armour got better.. the horses used less barding and sometiems had no armour and then the armored legs were attatched to the horses to make it easier to the knigt and the armour got bette designed and lighter. to the point where a person in one of the British musuems actually puts on a full suit of armour and does back flps init to show visitors how good the armour became.. a wonderful transition isnt it from heavy and cumbersome to light and deadly..
Robert "Bear" Fullerton
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Nathan Robinson
myArmoury Admin


myArmoury Admin

PostPosted: Wed 19 Sep, 2007 9:16 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I do not believe the previous post is accurate.

I would like to see sources that cite:

1) Armour weighing 200 pounds or more
2) Armour requiring hoisting and
3) The average size of a European person being 5 feet tall.

Thank you.

.:. Visit my Collection Gallery :: View my Reading List :: View my Wish List :: See Pages I Like :: Find me on Facebook .:.
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Randall Pleasant




Location: Flower Mound, Texas
Joined: 24 Aug 2003

Posts: 333

PostPosted: Wed 19 Sep, 2007 9:26 am    Post subject: Re: in armor. Hoisting onto a horse?         Reply with quote

Michael Mercier wrote:
There are a lot of rumor caused by movies and tv that haunt our hobby as you all well know and one of them, so I thought, was the one about those in armor needing to be hoisted onto their horse. Just last night I was doing a fight demonstration and one of the individuals mentioned that exact rumor and she said she saw some suits of armor in the British Museum that had hooks on the back just for that purpose. Now I didn't want to argue since she seemed convinced about what she saw which made me think. What in the world did she actually see that made her think that the fighter had to be hoisted? She said she read it there at one of the displays. She was there probably 25 years ago so I don't know if things were accidentally labelled then or not.


Mike

Given that you were doing a demonstration I assume that you consider yourself a serious scholars of these arts. As such do you not have an obligation to confront people when they bring up false myths at YOUR demonstration? Remember, this was not someone you over heard on the street, she was stating the myth at your demonstration! Because you did not argue with the lady it is very possible that other people took the myth to be true and it is possible that it undercut your credibility with the other people. I'm not saying you should have insulted the lady but I do think you should have told her that regardless of what someone else may have told her in the past, the myth is completely false. As some of us say in ARMA, never give up the truth for the sake of a group hug.

Ran Pleasant
ARMA DFW


Last edited by Randall Pleasant on Wed 19 Sep, 2007 9:31 am; edited 1 time in total
View user's profile Send private message
Robert Fullerton




Location: arizona
Joined: 19 Sep 2007

Posts: 7

PostPosted: Wed 19 Sep, 2007 9:30 am    Post subject: sure thing         Reply with quote

most certainly. as soon as i can go thru my storage to find some of my study material that i have retained from the times i studied in europe under the masters there , i will gladly provide it. otherwise, Rothenbug has a great deal of info in it's musuems in this subject among many other cities in europe and there has been numerous studies on how the average eupopean was 5 feet on average while the scandinavians tended to be much larger in height. there is an excellent full suit of armour for a squire in one castle, possible heidelburg, that shows how small a 5 year old was then but also how mature in ability they had as by age 5 they were able to do the full job required of a squire... somthing that 5 year olds of this day really couldnt do. most of these studies are in europe and are harder to find in the states and one has to visit many museumsand universities across europe to find a lot of this also. there are great exhibits over there that show many finds from archeological dige tht sow very well preserved clothes, shoes, armour, beds, dwellings, you name it that show the sizes of people using calculations, not to mention the skeletons. the excitment of that one grave thought as king arthurs was a good example casue the excitment was over the fact the skeleton was tall (easily 6 feet or more) and the article went in lenght how the average person was never that tall. also there are numerous manuscripts, books, carvings, etc of how armour looked, was made and even the measurments of them and weights.
Robert "Bear" Fullerton
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Randall Pleasant




Location: Flower Mound, Texas
Joined: 24 Aug 2003

Posts: 333

PostPosted: Wed 19 Sep, 2007 9:41 am    Post subject: Re: sure thing         Reply with quote

Bear

I take that the masters you studied under were masters of classical fensing, which means they know little or nothing about the arts and armor discussed on this forum. Based upon the research by many many scholars in America and Europe who are actaully studing these arts and actual armour it is more than clear that this myth is completey false. It is my guess that you will never provide any actual references because it is my guess that there are none but good luck never the less.

Ran Pleasant
ARMA DFW
View user's profile Send private message
Nathan Robinson
myArmoury Admin


myArmoury Admin

PostPosted: Wed 19 Sep, 2007 9:51 am    Post subject: Re: sure thing         Reply with quote

Randall Pleasant wrote:
I take that the masters you studied under were masters of classical fensing

He said he's an armourer so I'm assuming he means he's studied under master armourers. Either way, it might be good to cite those sources, too, as it would provide context and validity ot the statements.

.:. Visit my Collection Gallery :: View my Reading List :: View my Wish List :: See Pages I Like :: Find me on Facebook .:.
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Robert Fullerton




Location: arizona
Joined: 19 Sep 2007

Posts: 7

PostPosted: Wed 19 Sep, 2007 9:52 am    Post subject: sure         Reply with quote

A bit casutic arent we? I actually studied under masters who made armor of all kinds, specifically field combat and plate armour, besides all weapons and who had been doing so for generations. since i saw the items and information personally and also lived among it and been part of the archeoligal digs for 20 years of my life over there, i do think i am a bit more knowledgeable than scholars in their white towers. i will get the info then to just at least make u eat crow and so that the genreal person can at least get some knowledge that is at the least lacking. eveyday there are new and different things dicovered about the past, especially about armour, one just has to watch the discovery or history channel to jsut see some of them and learn, yet it is no wxcuse to ignore the past or of things that were true. to dismiss them as untrue casue someone who thinks he might know better says so. there is plenty of info on the subjects i talked and if others want to turn a blind eye to it, that's their problem. A scholar is no better than a layman in terms of education or knowledge unless they get ot of the tower or the ditch and actually be part of what they talk about or educate themselves about. I will even gladly head over to europe in the future and personally take copies of the carvings, manuscripts, etc of the hoisting the knight situations for you, if you happen to have the patience to wait til i get over there and do it. unlike many others inthis day and age, i am a man of my word.
Robert "Bear" Fullerton
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Nathan Robinson
myArmoury Admin


myArmoury Admin

PostPosted: Wed 19 Sep, 2007 9:59 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Gentlemen, I caution you about the tone used in some of these posts.

I encourage you each to challenge one another and ask for references; however, I must ask that this by done professionally and without a defensive or attacking tone.

Thank you.

.:. Visit my Collection Gallery :: View my Reading List :: View my Wish List :: See Pages I Like :: Find me on Facebook .:.
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Robert Fullerton




Location: arizona
Joined: 19 Sep 2007

Posts: 7

PostPosted: Wed 19 Sep, 2007 10:10 am    Post subject: apology         Reply with quote

I do understand and humbly appologize to anyone I might have offended. This is a wonferful site and will continue to help make it so with gentlemanly poise.
Robert "Bear" Fullerton
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail


Display posts from previous:   
Forum Index > Historical Arms Talk > in armor. Hoisting onto a horse?
Page 1 of 5 Reply to topic
Go to page 1, 2, 3, 4, 5  Next All times are GMT - 8 Hours

View previous topic :: View next topic
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum
You cannot attach files in this forum
You can download files in this forum






All contents © Copyright 2003-2022 myArmoury.com — All rights reserved
Discussion forums powered by phpBB © The phpBB Group
Switch to the Basic Low-bandwidth Version of the forum