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Allen Foster





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PostPosted: Fri 06 Feb, 2009 2:10 pm    Post subject: Coeur de Lion and the armour of the Third Crusade         Reply with quote

Can anyone describe in detail the armour that might have been worn by Richard I and his compatriots or peers during the Third Crusade? I am sure that the Third Crusade or Crusade of the Kings would have featured the cutting edge technology of the time given all of the royal blood lines invested by Europe in the campaign.

I have about read many differences between 12th and thirteenth century armour, but the Third Crusade fell right at the end of the 12th century and on the cusp of the 13th century.

Thank you in advance for all of your expertise and enlightenment.

"Rise up, O Lord, and may thy enemies be dispersed and those who hate thee be driven from thy face."
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Sam Gordon Campbell




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PostPosted: Fri 06 Feb, 2009 9:30 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Might I suggest the Maciejowski Bible as one source, just google it and what not Big Grin Here's a link to one I use: http://www.keesn.nl/mac/mac_en.htm
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Craig Peters




PostPosted: Fri 06 Feb, 2009 9:46 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

A knight with cutting edge technology at the end of the 12th century would probably have one of the early type XII swords, perhaps not unsimilar to Albion's Squire Knightly, although probably with a less pronounced profile taper on the blade. The helmet would probably be like the one that was recently for sale here: http://www.myArmoury.com/talk/viewtopic.php?t=15475. Although most people consider this early style of great helm to be a 13th century piece of armour, there is evidence of its existence from manuscripts dated to the late 12th century (I believe 1194 or so). Most shields would probably still be a kite shields, although some men might, such as kings, might have started to carry the transitional shields that lie somewhere between the heater shield and the kite shield, like this one from Merc Tailor: http://www.merctailor.com/catalog/product_inf...ts_id=112.

As for armour, a knee length hauberk of mail was worn, most likely over top of a padded aketon. The hauberk might have a split at the bottom in order to more easily facilitate riding on horseback, or it might not. I just asked Erik Scmid about 12th century mail a week or so back, and he had the following to say about it: "Generally you are looking at mail having rather large links often in the range of 1.6 - 1.8 mm thick with an ID of approximately 7 - 8 mm. The riveted links would have a round section while the solid ones would be square to flattened. The rivets of course would be round as well." Mail chausses would be attached to the legs, and mail mittens would be worn to protect the hands.
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Allen Foster





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PostPosted: Sat 07 Feb, 2009 6:01 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Interestng. Would they have worn a metal cap or some sort of bassinet under the pot helm. It seems that it wouldn't sit on the head that well. Also, what guage metal would have been used?
"Rise up, O Lord, and may thy enemies be dispersed and those who hate thee be driven from thy face."
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David Huggins




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PostPosted: Sat 07 Feb, 2009 6:16 am    Post subject: Richard         Reply with quote

Hi,
There is a Great Seal of Richard which shows him on horseback wearing a proto great helm, a rounded cranium, crested fore to aft with face plate. He wears a full hauberk long sleeved with mits.

best
Dave

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Randall Moffett




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PostPosted: Sat 07 Feb, 2009 6:53 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Allen,

There is no evidence for an under helmet under great helms and the like until the 14, maybe the late 13th but I can only think of 14th century examples.

What craig said really wraps it up. Lots of mail. Likely a round or conical, but possible to have an early great helm or round/conical with face plate. The is the account of Richard jousting and having a iron plate under his mail as well. but this seems uncommon still in this period.

RPM
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Dan Howard




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PostPosted: Sat 07 Feb, 2009 1:58 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Saladin's biographer wrote that crusaders wore both mail and felt that resulted in multiple arrows sticking out of them but otherwise being unharmed. It is possible that this felt was an additional layer worn on the outside rather than the regular padding that was worn underneath. No way to know.
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Allen Foster





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PostPosted: Sat 07 Feb, 2009 4:48 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Craig Peters wrote:
"Generally you are looking at mail having rather large links often in the range of 1.6 - 1.8 mm thick with an ID of approximately 7 - 8 mm. The riveted links would have a round section while the solid ones would be square to flattened. The rivets of course would be round as well." Mail chausses would be attached to the legs, and mail mittens would be worn to protect the hands.


Interesting. The fact that the mail would have been round rivited I didn't know that.

David Huggins wrote:
"horseback wearing a proto great helm, a rounded cranium, crested fore to aft with face plate.


Are there any replica examples of this type of helm "proto great helm"?

Dan Howard wrote:
It is possible that this felt was an additional layer worn on the outside rather than the regualar padding that was worn underneath.


The use of felt is facinating to me given the heat in which these crusaders had to fight in. The little reading that I've done suggested they used a lot of silk for clothing in that climate to combat the heat. From memory I believe I read that they even adopted some of the pieces worn by the Saracens like the variations of head peices and what not. I am curious if they adopted other ways to combat heat like polishing armor for maximum reflection of heat instead of blackening it . It would be interesting to conduct a little experiment to see what works and what doesn't in keeping you cool in full harness and also how the felt would work as an arrow defense.

"Rise up, O Lord, and may thy enemies be dispersed and those who hate thee be driven from thy face."
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Craig Peters




PostPosted: Mon 09 Feb, 2009 9:56 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The proto-great helm I am referring to, and presumably everyone else is, is the same one I included in the link in my original post. So yes, there are replicas available. Chad Arnow's article on the Great Helm has several images of them, including this one: http://www.myArmoury.com/view.html?features/pic_spot_ghelm05.jpg
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David Huggins




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PostPosted: Tue 10 Feb, 2009 1:26 am    Post subject: Richard         Reply with quote

Hi,

Follow this link to see the seal I was referring to, it is the second seal which shows the proto- great helm I
that I was referring to. There was in the U.K. hobby magazine Militry Modelling in an issue published in the mid '90's a 'faithfull' reconstruction of the equipment on the seal worn by a re-enactor, not much help as I gave a decade 's collection of that magazine away to a friend some years ago..it was a good resource for referances though!

http://perso.numericable.fr/~earlyblazo/speci...m#richard2

best
Dave

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David Huggins




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PostPosted: Tue 10 Feb, 2009 2:21 am    Post subject: Richard         Reply with quote

My apologies I meant Seal #3. Eek!

I think what the three seals do show is the difference by the Seal engravers in depicting mail, hence the reason I have previously advised caution on other threads when attempting to understand images of armour on the Bayaux Tapestry.

No doubt the various forms of the helms depicted on the seals may have be worn by the armies of the 'Frankish' warriors of the Third Crusade at any one time.

best
Dave

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Brian Robson





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PostPosted: Tue 10 Feb, 2009 5:01 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I come from a UK re-enactment group that covers that specific period... Here's some more info (more knight-specific than anything)..

I understand that faceplate helms were very, very rare (the latest cutting edge stuff). The majority of knights had plain, one piece (not spangen) conicals (or 'raised domed') helmets with nasals. Sometimes painted.

Lots of mail. Split front and back, knee length. Mufflers were common. Coif was integral to the hauberk.

Surcotes were very rare (again, just appearing).. possibly as a fashion from the 3rd crusade taken from the military orders? Much more common was wearing tunics under the mail (expensively coloured/decorated if you could afford it).

No organised heraldry... Shield colours/designs often did not match clothing/surcotes...

Shields were definately of the long, curved flat-topped kite-shield variety. Usually with no boss.

Scabbards/sword belts were tied at the front (no buckle) and not heavily decorated/studded.

Mail Chausses reasonably common but not prevelant. sometimes not footed. May have been fully enclosing or laced up the back.

I'm not convinced that aketons were worn under mail at this time..... There is no mention in Henry II's assise of arms of anyone having to own mail and a gambeson... Also there are no images in the mac bible (50 yrs later) showing mail over padded armour - yest there are several showing mail being put on or taken off just over a tunic....

Gambesons were definately common - but I believe to have been a standalone armour for those who couldn't afford mail.

No horse-armour, heraldry or caparisons...
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Randall Moffett




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PostPosted: Tue 10 Feb, 2009 10:55 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Brian,

I am not sure the gambeson was only a stand alone. While the earliest mention is Henry II's 1180 and 1181 order of arms and armour reqs to his lieges as a stand alone you find it in literature under armour soon after. William the Breton has at least three instances of this taking place in his book from 1190s-1210s. He dies in 1226 I think so we have some hard dates to work with.

I also showed several pictures from the mac bible on this forum several months ago showing padding under mail. My guess is they just omitted it in drawing david removing the armour or the mail was lined by it and it came off with it. There are several where you see the padding of Saul and Jonathan I think in it with their mail hoods down and you see it at the neck and upper chest.

Other than that I'd say your assesment is fairly good.

RPM
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M. Eversberg II




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PostPosted: Wed 11 Feb, 2009 12:29 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I checked the Assize of Arms of 1181, and found one instance of a gambeson being mentioned.

Quote:
Item, all burgesses and the whole community of freemen shall have [each] a gambeson,[3] an iron cap, and a lance.

I don't know what a burgess is, but I'm guessing it means townsman, citizen, things like that. His iron cap must have been the most expensive piece in his kit. My assumption is that if you're supposed to own a coat of maille, you would also get yourself a gambeson to go with it. I think a modern analogy is: "All people over the age of 18 must carry on their person one handgun." I said nothing about bullets, but it's assumed. I could also be wrong.

It did mention shirts of maille and hauberks in a separate terminology, however it is a translation and I'm still not sure if it was totally meant to represent different items in period anyways.

I thought this was interesting:
Quote:
7. Item, no Jew shall keep in his possession a shirt of mail or a hauberk, but he shall sell it or give it away or alienate it in some other way, so that it shall remain in the king's service.


Rather harsh! Do Jews ever catch a break?

And:

Quote:
5. If any one having these arms dies, his arms shall remain to his heir. If, however, the heir is not of age to use arms in time of need, that person who has wardship over him shall also have custody of the arms and shall find a man who can use the arms in the service of the lord king until the heir is of age to bear arms, and then he shall have them.
Different from the earlier Anglo Saxon system, where that would have gone right back to the king.

It also gives units of quantity in terms of #m. I'm unfamiliar with what "m" is supposed to mean in this context.

http://www.constitution.org/sech/sech_034.htm

M.

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Randall Moffett




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PostPosted: Wed 11 Feb, 2009 2:29 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

M.,

I think it goes back to the king due to how it is provided. It is not provided by land, money or gift of the king but personal income buys it. In a way the arms and armour is a tax if you will, on their wealth.

M stands for marks I'd think.

RPM
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Jean-Carle Hudon




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PostPosted: Wed 11 Feb, 2009 8:20 am    Post subject: gambison (gambeson)         Reply with quote

There are two references to gambisons , one by Villehardouin, and the other by De Joinville. They both describe instances where a man is wearing a gambison in such as way as to indicate he is not fully dressed for combat. In the Histoire de Saint-Louis there is a passage where the Sarrazins have attacked the siege engines, and De Joinville states that he got up out of bed and just put on the gambison and his chapel de fer... Villehardouin has a passage where a knight of the household of Henri, brother of count Baudouin of Flandres, who arrived on horseback wearing only a gambison, with his chapel de fer and a shield ( ecu)...
The felt mentionned by the arabs that Dan referred to was most probably a form of gambison which gave the pin cushion effect when sufficient arrows got through the mail and planted in the padding.

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M. Eversberg II




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PostPosted: Wed 11 Feb, 2009 8:21 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I meant that, after death, most of a dead warriors equipment would literally be handed over to the Anglo-Saxon Cynning, as part of a death tax, of which the technical name escapes me.

And yes, how could I have forgotten marks! I was in English money mode and was only thinking silver pennies, shillings, and pounds.

M.

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Brian Robson





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PostPosted: Wed 11 Feb, 2009 11:58 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi Randall,

I'm absolutely not sure about gambesons+mail at that time... There are a couple of carvings I've seen that 'could' be a gambeson peeping out under the mail - but they could just as easily be pleats+folds in a tunic.

Interesting about the Mac Bible. I'll have to go looking for those. I've certainly seen the neck protection - but I've also seen those similar kinds of collars worn over the coif so my assumtion has been that they are seperate (and possibly with a solid component - whalebone?). But I still can't remember having seen definate evidence of a gambeson under mail there - and it's not for lack of looking either!! Definately gonna give it another try.

Do you have any excepts from William le Breton's book? Hopefully it can finally put it to rest for me...

If anything - I'm hoping that I can find evidence that they were worn together. I certainly do from a safety perspective (its a mimum requisite for protective equipment for our group), and I would be happy to be able to say with absolute confidence that it was done.
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Jean-Carle Hudon




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PostPosted: Wed 11 Feb, 2009 1:11 pm    Post subject: gambison (gambeson)         Reply with quote

Brian,
De Joinville accompanied Louis IX on his crusade, so that would be roughly 50 years after Richard's foray, and he mentions the use of a gambison. I don't know of any artwork which shows a gambison peeking through the mail. But De Joinville is quite clear on the fact that putting on his gambison, without the rest of his kit, was because he was in a bit of a hurry being under attack by the Saracens. When they were fully dressed for combat, the authors of that time period will understate the fact, they will often use the exprssion ''fully armed'' without any detail added. Fully armed means not only with weapon in hand, but with the proper fighting kit. The artwork only shows what is supposed to be mail, often with surcoats. and of course the helms and shields.

Bon coeur et bon bras
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Randall Moffett




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PostPosted: Wed 11 Feb, 2009 1:12 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Brian,

Sorry but the citation is about all I can get you as I only have a hard copy. The William le Breton is a fairly common chronicle for the period. The first example is in 1188 when Richard is jousting against a French knight, Barre I think. The second that comes to mind is in 1214 in a battle against the Germans and French. The Germans are listed as having plates with their mail and gambesons, the plates being what was unusual. Both these events are more well known for very early use of iron plate armour over the torso. If you re-enact this period worth a read anyways. I think it is in either the knight and the blast furnace or the Great Warbow but I am not sure off the top of my head.

There is another mid 13th one that comes to mind from a Scandinavia King's Mirror but I cannot remember the specifics. I am sure it has been brought up on this forum numerous times by one of our great Scandinavian members. Maybe one of them that knowns will catch this. I have notes with it but they are packed and in transit to my parents house.

There is a great deal of evidence for the use of mail and gambesons in the 13th, so much I think it would be hard to argue the opposite actually. Artwork in general takes back seat in my opinion to literature and inventories. Arguing for this in the 12th is much harder as the William le Breton text is the only one that I know of for Western Europe.

If you find le Breton's account that should be about all you need though.

RPM
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