Info Favorites Register Log in
myArmoury.com Discussion Forums

Forum index Memberlist Usergroups Spotlight Topics Search
Forum Index > Historical Arms Talk > 13th-early14th cent infantry armour Reply to topic
This is a standard topic  
Author Message
Nathan Quarantillo




Location: Eastern Panhandle WV, USA
Joined: 14 Aug 2009

Posts: 279

PostPosted: Mon 10 May, 2010 4:14 pm    Post subject: 13th-early14th cent infantry armour         Reply with quote

Hello, I am inquiring on the number of men on the battlefield who would have armour. I have read that in the 13-early/mid 14th cent, that there was in fact a very small proportion of people in a medieval host who were armoured. But I find that this conflicts with period reports. For example, the battle of Arsuf, it is described that the infantry had maille hauberks & gambesons. Also, some battles in Scotland at the time mention that some schiltrons were less vulnerable to arrows because of a higher proportion of armoured men. Could someone better informed than I please clear this matter up for me?

all help is appreciated, thanks.

"Id rather be historically accurate than politically correct"
View user's profile Send private message
Randall Moffett




Location: Northern Utah
Joined: 07 Jun 2006
Reading list: 5 books

Posts: 2,119

PostPosted: Mon 10 May, 2010 8:39 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I think the problem you face is that in every specific battle/conflict it will be different. Sometimes you are fighting rebel commoners who'd often be armed to a limited amount while sometimes you might be facing a more professional army where everyone is well equipped. Really I am not sure how to answer this.

In most medieval european countries men were required to own weapons and armour to some extent. IT is different all over and you always have to wonder how well the program was run. In England you get some fairly steep fines for defaulting on the obligation which perhaps helped push people to get better arms and armour as required.

Another issue is that from 1200-1400 arms and armour development moves forwards in leaps and bounds. This may be slower for the poorer commoners but regardless important. By 1320 townsmen in Southampton are equipped and armed with fairly advanced plate and such to some degree.

Sorry if this is not helpful but more specifics would make it easier.

RPM
View user's profile Send private message
Nathan Quarantillo




Location: Eastern Panhandle WV, USA
Joined: 14 Aug 2009

Posts: 279

PostPosted: Tue 11 May, 2010 4:02 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Well then, specifically I how about a Hospitaller? I was wondering about the order crossbowmen. How much armour would they have? Just body and arms (hauberk+gambo)? And another thing, even if I go for a heavy infantry Hospitaller kit (BTW, this is all early 14th cent) and have (almost) full armour (maille hauberk+plate vambraces and knees+shynbalds) Would i have to have a shield? I was thinking either a long axe or spear w/ hand-and-a-half sword. would that be ok for a heavy Hospitaller foot? Or does no shield=death (and inaccuracy)?
"Id rather be historically accurate than politically correct"
View user's profile Send private message
Kevin S





Joined: 09 Jan 2009

Posts: 16

PostPosted: Tue 11 May, 2010 4:11 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

If I remember correctly the Hospitallers hired mercenaries to serve as their infantry while the knights themselves focused mostly on being cavalry, but it's been a while so I might be wrong, and even then it might only apply to their earlier years. They did tend to be pretty well funded so I'd expect them to have decent armor though.
View user's profile Send private message
Elling Polden




Location: Bergen, Norway
Joined: 19 Feb 2004
Likes: 1 page

Spotlight topics: 1
Posts: 1,576

PostPosted: Tue 11 May, 2010 5:20 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

While only a small portion of the population would be able to afford a full suit of armour, those that could not would often not be brought along on campaign, and if they did, they would not be the first in the battle lines.

High medevial warfare was based around groups of professional, well armed men-at-arms. Due to their armour, horses and training, these men could efficiently controll their designated piece of territory, without having to relly on the population as soldiers. If they needed them, they could raise leavies, but the main focus was the lord and his men.
Consequenty, when a higher lord called his vasals to supply troops for a campaign, it would be these men that showed up. If neccesary, the ranks would be fleshed out by the lords footmen, or leavies. However, the knight-peasant ratio would be a lot higher than the size of the classes would indicate.
The logistics, or rather lack thereoff, severely limited the practical size of medevial armies, so bringin more people wasn't always desirable.

"this [fight] looks curious, almost like a game. See, they are looking around them before they fall, to find a dry spot to fall on, or they are falling on their shields. Can you see blood on their cloths and weapons? No. This must be trickery."
-Reidar Sendeman, from King Sverre's Saga, 1201
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website MSN Messenger
Randall Moffett




Location: Northern Utah
Joined: 07 Jun 2006
Reading list: 5 books

Posts: 2,119

PostPosted: Wed 12 May, 2010 6:50 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

late 13th early fourteenth. OK that helps.

I'd look at the Holkham bible for a second.

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Bannockburn.jpg

Almost every man has a helmet, everyone has at least a weapon. Some were armed with much more, mail, bits of plate armour. In the end by the late 13th common infantry could be armed nearly as well as a men-at-arms or with as little as if they were at home on the farm excepting a weapon.

From what I have seen the knights templat and of the hospital ususally had foot soldiers fighting for them be fairly well equipped whether of the order as sergeants or whatnot or hired.

RPM
View user's profile Send private message
Lafayette C Curtis




Location: Indonesia
Joined: 29 Nov 2006
Reading list: 7 books

Posts: 2,689

PostPosted: Sun 16 May, 2010 4:44 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Elling has described it quite succinctly--only a minority of the population had armor, but then it was only this minority who fought anyway. Moreover, the Hospitaller's troops, if anything, would have been more professional than most, so I think they probably would have refused anyone who couldn't comply with the relevant minimum standards of equipment. For a crossbowman I would expect at least a thick quilted jack, and it wouldn't be unrealistic to expect veterans to save up and acquire a coat of mail later on if they didn't already start with one.
View user's profile Send private message
Randall Moffett




Location: Northern Utah
Joined: 07 Jun 2006
Reading list: 5 books

Posts: 2,119

PostPosted: Sun 16 May, 2010 6:49 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'd like to highlight that only a small percent had full harnesses but this does not hold for armour in general. In some places it'd be unlikely a large number of people would not have at least some bits of armour.

RPM
View user's profile Send private message
Sean Manning




Location: Austria
Joined: 23 Mar 2008

Posts: 563

PostPosted: Sun 16 May, 2010 10:23 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Randall Moffett wrote:
late 13th early fourteenth. OK that helps.

I'd look at the Holkham bible for a second.

http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Bannockburn.jpg

Almost every man has a helmet, everyone has at least a weapon. Some were armed with much more, mail, bits of plate armour. In the end by the late 13th common infantry could be armed nearly as well as a men-at-arms or with as little as if they were at home on the farm excepting a weapon.

From what I have seen the knights templat and of the hospital ususally had foot soldiers fighting for them be fairly well equipped whether of the order as sergeants or whatnot or hired.

RPM

That may not be the best example, since I think everyone in that illumination has at least an iron cap and quilted armour (look for it around their necks and at the wrists and waists of their tunics). My impression is that around 1300 most men armed with crossbows or staff weapons would have at least that much, especially well-equipped troops like the sergeants of a military order.
View user's profile Send private message
David Teague




Location: Anchorage, Alaska
Joined: 25 Jan 2004

Posts: 409

PostPosted: Sun 16 May, 2010 12:48 pm    Post subject: Re: 13th-early14th cent infantry armour         Reply with quote

Nathan Quarantillo wrote:
. Also, some battles in Scotland at the time mention that some schiltrons were less vulnerable to arrows because of a higher proportion of armoured men. Could someone better informed than I please clear this matter up for me?


Each country/ city state had different rules on raising and equipping an army. Lowland Scotland in the 13th & 14th century would have relied on a system of all males of weapon bearing age to have their own equipment based on their yearly income. The poorest would be expected to have a bow, 24 arrows and a dagger, then the next level would have a 14 ft pike, padded coat, iron cap, maille gloves , and a dagger, next up, maille shirt, sword, iron cap and dagger until you get to the level of a knight with full equipment.

I've never read of the schiltrons being less vulnerable to arrows... unless your talking about the later period Battle of Flodden (1513) when the Scots did field a fully armoured army using 18th foot Continental pikes. Major Scottish defeat thanks to King James the IV inept leadership.

In closing I think you'll find that most foot solders of the period you asked about worn a multi layer padded coat with a iron cap as their armour. The iron cap could be just a skull cap or any of the common helms of the era.

Cheers,

David

My history group as Lowland Scots in 1388


This you shall know, that all things have length and measure.

Free Scholar/ Instructor Selohaar Fechtschule
The Historic Recrudescence Guild

"Yea though I walk through the valley of death, I will fear no evil: for Thou's sword art is with me; Thy poleaxe and Thy quarterstaff they comfort me."
View user's profile Send private message
Nathan Quarantillo




Location: Eastern Panhandle WV, USA
Joined: 14 Aug 2009

Posts: 279

PostPosted: Sun 16 May, 2010 2:29 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

David, what I was referring to with the schiltrons was not that they were unaffected by arrows (rather the opposite) but a mention that the ARMOURED MEN in the schiltron were not affected. I concluded that in order to warrant mention, there must have been a significant number of these men, and thus used it as an example.
"Id rather be historically accurate than politically correct"
View user's profile Send private message
David Teague




Location: Anchorage, Alaska
Joined: 25 Jan 2004

Posts: 409

PostPosted: Mon 17 May, 2010 11:57 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Nathan Quarantillo wrote:
David, what I was referring to with the schiltrons was not that they were unaffected by arrows (rather the opposite) but a mention that the ARMOURED MEN in the schiltron were not affected. I concluded that in order to warrant mention, there must have been a significant number of these men, and thus used it as an example.


Once again, the only battle that the Scots fielded a fully iron armoured army was the Battle of Flodden... otherwise the common armour of the era was the padded coat in lowland Scotland and the same type garment with a stag skin outer layer called a cotun in the Highlands.

The Scots were not know for being well armoured.

Cheers,

David

This you shall know, that all things have length and measure.

Free Scholar/ Instructor Selohaar Fechtschule
The Historic Recrudescence Guild

"Yea though I walk through the valley of death, I will fear no evil: for Thou's sword art is with me; Thy poleaxe and Thy quarterstaff they comfort me."
View user's profile Send private message
Randall Moffett




Location: Northern Utah
Joined: 07 Jun 2006
Reading list: 5 books

Posts: 2,119

PostPosted: Tue 18 May, 2010 7:14 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'd think that very few medieval armies would be able to field a majority of men in full harness.

Hey David, as always the group is looking great!

RPM
View user's profile Send private message


Display posts from previous:   
Forum Index > Historical Arms Talk > 13th-early14th cent infantry armour
Page 1 of 1 Reply to topic
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 2003-2020 myArmoury.com — All rights reserved
Discussion forums powered by phpBB © The phpBB Group
Switch to the Basic Low-bandwidth Version of the forum