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Peteris R.




Location: Latvia
Joined: 11 Apr 2012

Posts: 32

PostPosted: Sun 07 Jul, 2013 1:15 pm    Post subject: When did munitions harnesses start to appear?         Reply with quote

It's well known that by the beginning of the 16th century, many soldiers in the princely armies of Europe were outfitted with mass-produced munitions grade harnesses of plate armor, supplied in their thousands by the commanders. It seems that a combination of increasingly large, often standing armies with conveyer style production methods in the largest centres of metallurgy allowed for this development.

But while it seems clear that the use of such equipment was already common by the very first years of the 16th century, I'm curious about when exactly did the practice start. Perhaps it was the Burgundian army of Charles the bold? Or do we truly have evidence for this only starting after 1500?
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Luka Borscak




Location: Croatia
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PostPosted: Sun 07 Jul, 2013 1:42 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I read somewhere here that even as early as early 15th century Milanese armourers were able to produce large orders for dukes or kings (like few thousand for example) in a matter of days. So I guess even that could be called munition harnesses...
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Ralph Grinly





Joined: 19 Jan 2011

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PostPosted: Sun 07 Jul, 2013 2:41 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'd guess, if by "Munitions Armour" you mean armour supplied by the state, or the army itself, as opposed to being the property of the individual, then you'd have to consider the practice extending back to the Roman armies ?. The legions were mostly armoured by the State and the troops were deducted a certain amount from their pay.
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Peteris R.




Location: Latvia
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PostPosted: Sun 07 Jul, 2013 3:12 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

No, in this case I mean specifically the renaissance style of mass-produced, centrally issued [plate] armor. Of course I know about the Romans' system, but it's irrelevant.
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Mark Griffin




Location: The Welsh Marches, in the hills above Newtown, Powys.
Joined: 28 Dec 2006

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PostPosted: Mon 08 Jul, 2013 1:21 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Not entirely irrelevant as they would have had to employ a similar system to what seems to have been employed by some italian armourers albeit the Romans had more armour to make. You get people making specific items in the harness (not one or two people making the whole thing) and stockpile those. These items are all marked up with registration marks and when that big order comes in from the Duke of Wherever you changing your working practices to assembly and finishing. These marks are visible on many harnesses and have been researched and detailed in a paper by Chris Dobson, ex master armourer at Leeds. You can buy the paper from his website i think.

There are no marks on any roman armours i know of but haven't looked. But its a lot easier when producing items by the many thousand to have people churning out a limited range of items and feeding them into a central assembly line. Henry Ford's productions methods were not that revolutionary as far as I'm concerned. You get a much better uniformity and quality too I shouldn't wonder.
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Peteris R.




Location: Latvia
Joined: 11 Apr 2012

Posts: 32

PostPosted: Mon 08 Jul, 2013 6:32 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

It is actually irrelevant to my question, since it's out of my interest in the 15th century that I asked it. I'd like to know whether there is any evidence of magnates from the Wars of the Roses, the French companies of ordinnance, the Burgundian army or the Italian condottiere companies using "uniform" armor.
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Mart Shearer




Location: Jackson, MS, USA
Joined: 18 Aug 2012

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PostPosted: Mon 08 Jul, 2013 9:35 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

If you take out or refine your requirement for the armors to be "plate", evidence of issues of large equipment of "uniform" description appear in the mid-14th century in England.
http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/3919/1/Thom_Ri..._final.pdf
Quote:
4 Conclusions

The analysis of the accounts of the privy wardrobe demonstrates the continued
existence of a working armoury in the Tower of London from the late 1330s until the
early fifteenth century. The history of the armoury under the privy wardrobe can be
divided into three phases. From 1338 to 1360 it provided armour, weapons and
equestrian equipment for men-at-arms, and bows and arrows in very large quantities
together with a limited amount of armour for archers. This coincides with the
requirement for large field armies in France for the campaigns in Flanders, the Crécy
campaign and the Poitiers campaign, concluding with the Treaties of Brétigny and
Calais in 1359–60. Much of the armour was imported from north-west Europe,
though some was made in England.

ferrum ferro acuitur et homo exacuit faciem amici sui
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Peteris R.




Location: Latvia
Joined: 11 Apr 2012

Posts: 32

PostPosted: Mon 08 Jul, 2013 10:55 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Whoah, that's a lot earlier than I expected.
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Ralph Grinly





Joined: 19 Jan 2011

Posts: 321

PostPosted: Mon 08 Jul, 2013 2:38 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Mart Shearer wrote:
If you take out or refine your requirement for the armors to be "plate", evidence of issues of large equipment of "uniform" description appear in the mid-14th century in England.
http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/3919/1/Thom_Ri..._final.pdf
Quote:
4 Conclusions

The analysis of the accounts of the privy wardrobe demonstrates the continued
existence of a working armoury in the Tower of London from the late 1330s until the
early fifteenth century. The history of the armoury under the privy wardrobe can be
divided into three phases. From 1338 to 1360 it provided armour, weapons and
equestrian equipment for men-at-arms, and bows and arrows in very large quantities
together with a limited amount of armour for archers. This coincides with the
requirement for large field armies in France for the campaigns in Flanders, the Crécy
campaign and the Poitiers campaign, concluding with the Treaties of Brétigny and
Calais in 1359–60. Much of the armour was imported from north-west Europe,
though some was made in England.


Interesting..but is what they may have been issuing old armour that was simply stored in the armoury .. or specially manufactured armour that was made for the purpose of equipping the troops ? Does anyone know if there are references to the manufacture of new armour, or merely the issuing of armour ?
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Mart Shearer




Location: Jackson, MS, USA
Joined: 18 Aug 2012

Posts: 1,276

PostPosted: Mon 08 Jul, 2013 5:05 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

If you bother to read the thesis, you will find plenty of evidence that they were buying armors specificly to be issued.
John Sleaford, Keeper of the Privy Wardrobe purchased 1,743 mail shirts (lorice) between 1364-1369. Over 1,500 of these were purchased though John Salman of London. Salman likely imported most of these from Dutch and German mail-makers.

To quote Richardson,
Quote:
Other knights and ship’s masters
were given a full set of armour, as noted above under mail. These sets are called
‘complete armours’ (hernesia integra) in Mildenhall’s account, such a complete
armour comprising a helm, bacinet and aventail, pisane, pairs of plates, rerebraces,
vambraces, mail sleeves and paunces. This shows that although the components of
these complete armours were supplied independently, they were considered to form
sets on issue, evidence at odds with the conventional idea that the complete armour
did not evolve until the early fifteenth century. (191)


As time wore on, the Wardrobe (Tower Armoury) stopped providing armours for men-at-arms, but increased gear issued to archers. Eventually, the government shifted it's concern to artillery, and the lesser equipment became the responsibility of individuals, cities, or Great Lords equipping their retainers.

ferrum ferro acuitur et homo exacuit faciem amici sui
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Randall Moffett




Location: Northern Utah
Joined: 07 Jun 2006
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PostPosted: Mon 08 Jul, 2013 7:08 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Too true. Towns often did similar things. London buys several hundred aketons and bascinets to equip a force Ed II asks to be provided of some 500 men.

If munitions falls under this sort of activity then yep they sure did.

RPM
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