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Helge B.





Joined: 06 Mar 2008

Posts: 73

PostPosted: Mon 28 Apr, 2008 2:17 am    Post subject: Mail Sleeves         Reply with quote

I wonder how the mail sleeves were attached to this armour (see picture).

Was it worn as an undergarment or was it an integral part of the breastplate?

Are mail sleeves more comfortable to wear than articulated plate pieces? The reduction in weight should not be that great. It also could be no budget issue since this does not look like a munition grade armour. So why would one prefer to wear mail instead of plate?



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David Evans




Location: Rotherham, West Riding
Joined: 09 Sep 2004

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Posts: 229

PostPosted: Mon 28 Apr, 2008 7:26 am    Post subject: Mail sleeves         Reply with quote

Mail sleeves are very common in Elizabethen Light Horse, Cavalry normally equiped with fireams and light lances w refernces in various pinted papers dealing with the raising of troops during the late 16th Century.


Try http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=GzQGAAAAQA...1#PPA24,M1 pages 23 - 24 for sleeves struck down with chain or plates

or here http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=J2s9AAAAIA...p;as_brr=1 in the foot notes for sleeves of mail

There are many more but I'll have to unt for the refereces. I've seen references to Fustian sleeves to mount the mail on so I suspect these are pulled over the sleeves of the doublet an tied in place. There is also apicture of Sir Richard Bingham form the 1580's who seems to be wearing an upper body mail sleeve covering the chest and neck and seeminly pointed to a doublet
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Tim May




Location: Annapolis, MD
Joined: 12 Nov 2006

Posts: 108

PostPosted: Mon 28 Apr, 2008 8:27 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'd guess that that's a mail shirt under the armor, not attached to it
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David Evans




Location: Rotherham, West Riding
Joined: 09 Sep 2004

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Posts: 229

PostPosted: Mon 28 Apr, 2008 10:34 am    Post subject: Picture of Sir Richard Bingham         Reply with quote

There you go

Sir Richard Bingham



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Russ Thomas
Industry Professional



Location: Telemark, Norway
Joined: 25 Jan 2004
Reading list: 43 books

Posts: 323

PostPosted: Tue 29 Apr, 2008 12:17 am    Post subject: Mail sleeves         Reply with quote

Hi folks,

Davids picture shows quite nicely how the sleeves were worn with this , and similar armours. They simply tied at several places to the arming doublet. Full mail shirts were unecessary, the breastplate was adequate protection, and the full shirt was, for many an unecessary expense and of course extra weight too.

The original picture shows what appears to be one of the armours at Graz. There are still 131 sleeves in store there ( there are also 22 full shirts ). According to Dr. Krenn, in 1600 a pair of sleeves cost 10 guilders, whereas a footmans set of plate armour cost only 6.5 guilders ! Probably the footmans armour consisted of burgonet, gorget with munnions, breast and backplate and probably tassets. Similar to that shown in the picture, but maybe less ornate. This gives some idea of the time and expense of making mail, even for the professionals !

Regards,

Russ

Carpe diem, quam minimum credula postero !


http://www.living-history.no
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Helge B.





Joined: 06 Mar 2008

Posts: 73

PostPosted: Tue 29 Apr, 2008 4:57 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Very nice picture.

Still I wonder why one would prefer mailsleeves instead of articulated plate. (I have no personal experience wearing armour)

Do you get more freedom of movement in the shoulder? In a manual from John Smithe he suggested halberdiers to wear mailsleeves since they would be able to swing their weapons better.

Wherelse in one Osprey book I found a passage which stated that long mail sleeves impeded the bending of the elbow.

What do you think from your experiences?
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Russ Thomas
Industry Professional



Location: Telemark, Norway
Joined: 25 Jan 2004
Reading list: 43 books

Posts: 323

PostPosted: Tue 29 Apr, 2008 5:35 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Helge,

I would think that it comes down to manouverability. Metal arms, no matter how well made, do often impede the movement of the arm to some extent.
Mail would be easier, but its impeding the movement of the elbow is, I would suggest, dependent on what the wearer has on underneath, and the quality of the mail.
Armour is also very hot to wear, and quite uncomfortable to have on for long periods (mind you, I only make it , my days of wearing any armour are long gone ! Wink ). But that is one of the main drawbacks with wearing plate armour, you get very hot, very quickly.
One other thing to bear in mind is that many of these items are munition pieces, they were issued to soldiers who didn't have their own. So somebody sitting in a nice warm office miles away from danger, would decide what was best for the soldiers to wear. Much the same as the ordinance department of the MOD does today! Happy

Regards,

Russ

Carpe diem, quam minimum credula postero !


http://www.living-history.no
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Adam Bodorics
Industry Professional




Joined: 15 Apr 2005

Posts: 122

PostPosted: Tue 29 Apr, 2008 5:38 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I started the whole armouring thing with mail (as most), and I have worn most of them before giving them away. If the links are not extremely thick, or the weave extremely dense, the padding underneath will have more negative effect on mobility than mail. This is not always a good thing, as this mobility allows opponents to break your joints rather simply in ringen.
As for plate mobility... the sliding rivets do absorb a bit of the moving force, but this amount is far from noticeable IMO. Other thing is that plate do limit some movements, the more defense it offers, the more it limits in most cases. Last thing, which is the only real disadvantage IMO is that plate edges tend to "catch" on each other when e.g. the arms are crossed.
...
The only real advantage I can see here that mail "breathes" much better than plate. This combined with the padding on both pictures (thin IMO) gives a good cooling, which is good for better muscle efficiency which may be important for those who wield weapons that need strong muscle activity for a longer time. So this might be that "I need better cooling on my arms than plate could offer, but I still want some protection" thing.
Mind you, this is purely theory, I didn't have any problems using a twohander all day in threequarter armour. I drank 10 liters of water, sweated and smelled like a pig, but that's all.
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