Info Favorites Register Log in
myArmoury.com Discussion Forums

Forum index Memberlist Usergroups Spotlight Topics Search
Forum Index > Historical Arms Talk > Were mail hauberks still used in the XVth century ? Reply to topic
This is a standard topic  
Author Message
Aurélien Liégeois




Location: Belgium
Joined: 02 Apr 2013

Posts: 9

PostPosted: Thu 30 Jun, 2016 3:35 am    Post subject: Were mail hauberks still used in the XVth century ?         Reply with quote

Greetings everyone !

I would like to reenact a professional soldier or a knight of low status from the Holy Roman Empire (more precisely, the Prince-Bishopric of Liège) during the years 1420-1440 and several questions came to mind.

- Were the mail hauberks still used as primary protection ?

- Would a soldier fighting primarily on foot often wear greaves and cuisses ?

- Which types of longswords were in use by then ? The type XVa, XVIa, or else ?

- Would a soldier wear a particular type of shoes /boots ?

- Last, but not least, which heraldic garnments were used by that time ?


If you have sources to suggest me for answering these questions, I would be grateful. Thank you for your help !
View user's profile Send private message
Stephen Curtin




Location: Cork, Ireland
Joined: 17 Nov 2007
Likes: 110 pages
Reading list: 18 books

Spotlight topics: 1
Posts: 1,147

PostPosted: Thu 30 Jun, 2016 5:41 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi Aurélien. I think that being a poor knight is very much a modern idea. In fact the majority of heavily armoured soldiers were not knights. Knighthood was the lowest form of nobility, but that doesn't mean that a knight wouldn't be relatively wealthy. At this point in time even well off commoners could afford plate armour, some even could afford war horses and serve as heavy cavalry.

All that said. The Holy Roman Empire is not an area that I have done a lot ofresearch into, but I'll do a quick look over on the manuscript miniatures website and see what I find.

Éirinn go Brách
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Stephen Curtin




Location: Cork, Ireland
Joined: 17 Nov 2007
Likes: 110 pages
Reading list: 18 books

Spotlight topics: 1
Posts: 1,147

PostPosted: Thu 30 Jun, 2016 6:38 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

A quick look over on the manuscript miniatures website has confirmed what I thought. Surcoats were still widely used during this time so it isn't always possible to know what armour is being worn underneath, but when there's no surcoat in the way, plate armour is always the primary torso protection. As for greaves and cuisses, yes they were commonly used by foot soldiers. AFAIK the types of sword you mentioned, type XVa and XIVa, would be old fashioned by this time so might be in keeping with a lower class soldier's kit. A wealthier, more fashion conscious, individual would probably go with a type XVIII, or one of its sub types. As for shoes and heraldric garments, I'm sorry I'll have to leave that to others to answer.
Éirinn go Brách
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Craig Peters




PostPosted: Thu 30 Jun, 2016 6:41 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Mail hauberks are no longer the primary form of protection for knights and men-at-arms by the 15th century. However, many other soldiers who could not afford plate still would have made use of mail. So if you want to portray a soldier who is neither knight, man-at-arms nor nobleman, mail is fine.
View user's profile Send private message
Craig Peters




PostPosted: Thu 30 Jun, 2016 6:45 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Stephen,

Type XVa swords are not old fashioned at least as late as the mid-15th century, as there were some made for the Battle of Castillion.
View user's profile Send private message
Stephen Curtin




Location: Cork, Ireland
Joined: 17 Nov 2007
Likes: 110 pages
Reading list: 18 books

Spotlight topics: 1
Posts: 1,147

PostPosted: Thu 30 Jun, 2016 7:20 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Craig Peters wrote:
Stephen,

Type XVa swords are not old fashioned at least as late as the mid-15th century, as there were some made for the Battle of Castillion.


Craig. Sorry , of course you are right. I was going off memory, but it failed me . XIVa's were definitely old fashioned by this time though.

Éirinn go Brách
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Aurélien Liégeois




Location: Belgium
Joined: 02 Apr 2013

Posts: 9

PostPosted: Sat 02 Jul, 2016 4:14 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hi, Stephen and Craig !

I suspected as much (concerning mail hauberks). Could you tell me what armour a burgher (turned professional soldier /mercenary) would have likely worn ? Could he have worn a mail hauberk with a partial plate armor ? Or a full plate armor ?

Regarding the sword types, Stephen, I was mentionning the type XVIa, not the type XIV. Was the type XVIa old fashioned by then ? I was also wondering if the type XVIIIb was already in use between 1420 and 1440. Or is it a later type of longswords ? (If yes, I guess I should rather choose a type XVIIIa longsword.)


Last edited by Aurélien Liégeois on Sat 02 Jul, 2016 6:21 am; edited 1 time in total
View user's profile Send private message
Craig Peters




PostPosted: Sat 02 Jul, 2016 4:40 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Well, assuming a burgher became a soldier, I would expect that they would probably be able to afford plate, or at the very least, a breastplate, faulds, tassets and greaves. The problem with my assessment though is it really depends how wealthy the burgher is. I've assumed that anyone who is a burgher would have substantial wealth, but that may not be the case.

I am not sure if XVI.a swords are old fashioned or not. My perception is that they are primarily 14th century swords, and Oakeshott, at least in Records, does not give any XVI.a as later than 1340 AD. However, this tells us little about how late they were actually used. As you may know, Peter Johnsson describes the Brescia Spadona from the mid-1400s as possibly being an XVIIIa or XVI.a.

Certainly, the points on many XVI.a swords do not seem to be significantly less acute than on XVIII fily swords, so they could well have persisted for a long time. I simply don't know enough to say for certain.
View user's profile Send private message
Stephen Curtin




Location: Cork, Ireland
Joined: 17 Nov 2007
Likes: 110 pages
Reading list: 18 books

Spotlight topics: 1
Posts: 1,147

PostPosted: Sat 02 Jul, 2016 6:24 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Aurélien Liégeois wrote:
Hi, Stephen and Craig !

I suspected as much (concerning mail hauberks). Could you tell me what armour a burger (turned professional soldier /mercenary) would have likely worn ? Could he have worn a mail hauberk with a partial plate armor ? Or a full plate armor ?


Yes it was very popular amongst infantry soldiers from the Holy Roman Empire to wear a breastplate (without backplate) over either a mail shirt, or a padded jack, or sometimes both. If you already own a mail hauberk and a coif (I'm just guessing from your question that you would like to use some basic pieces of kit to portray multiple eras), then you could add a breastplate and fauld (without backplate), a kettle hat, plate arm harness (no need for spaulders, as the sleeves of hauberk will cover your shoulders), gauntlets, cuisses, and greaves.

Aurélien Liégeois wrote:
Regarding the sword types, Stephen, I was mentionning the type XVIa, not the type XIV. Was the type XVIa old fashioned by then ? I was also wondering if the type XVIIIb was already in use between 1420 and 1440. Or is it a later type of longswords ? (If yes, I guess I should rather choose a type XVIIIa longsword.)


Sorry Aurélien I meant to write type XVIa. Yes I believe that this type better fits in the 14th century rather than the 15th. As for type XVIII and Its subtypes, yes they were in use between 1420 and 1440. Two mistakes in one thread I am embarrassed. I must have been more tired than I thought when I wrote those posts 😊

Éirinn go Brách


Last edited by Stephen Curtin on Sat 02 Jul, 2016 9:03 am; edited 1 time in total
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
Stephen Curtin




Location: Cork, Ireland
Joined: 17 Nov 2007
Likes: 110 pages
Reading list: 18 books

Spotlight topics: 1
Posts: 1,147

PostPosted: Sat 02 Jul, 2016 6:43 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Here is a good image (dated between 1425 - 1435) showing the kind of equipment a professional soldier might have. Not top of the line, head to toe, plate armour, but still decently armoured.

http://manuscriptminiatures.com/4888/14202/

Also note that armour at this time was still frequently covered by a layer of cloth, so you don't necessarily have to use a breastplate. You could achieve the same look without one, by wearing a surcoat.

Éirinn go Brách


Last edited by Stephen Curtin on Sat 02 Jul, 2016 9:04 am; edited 1 time in total
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
James Arlen Gillaspie
Industry Professional



Location: upstate NY
Joined: 10 Nov 2005

Posts: 520

PostPosted: Sat 02 Jul, 2016 8:08 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

In the first half of the 15th century, I do not ever recall seeing cuisses without greaves, though greaves without cuisses show up, especially on the Italian infantry armed with large oval shields. Cuisses without greaves is more of a 16th century thing. Typically in the 15th century (excluding the Italian infantry mentioned above) when it comes to legharness it's all or nothing (except sabatons, which are optional if you are not English).
jamesarlen.com
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Stephen Curtin




Location: Cork, Ireland
Joined: 17 Nov 2007
Likes: 110 pages
Reading list: 18 books

Spotlight topics: 1
Posts: 1,147

PostPosted: Sat 02 Jul, 2016 8:38 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I didn't know that James. As I said earlier this isn't an area that I've done much research into.
Éirinn go Brách
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
James Arlen Gillaspie
Industry Professional



Location: upstate NY
Joined: 10 Nov 2005

Posts: 520

PostPosted: Sat 02 Jul, 2016 11:36 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Shoes are typically of the sort that cover the bones of the ankle or a bit higher if worn without greaves, and not the sort that have an open top with a strap and buckle across them (those are my court dancing shoes Happy ). They are often not distinguishable from civilian shoes. The miniature put up by Stephen is interesting; the fellows in the background without legharness are wearing high boots with the tops rolled down (I don't think it's their hose). Those are typically for riding, but I have wondered if they might not be nice worn high in cold wet windy weather.

http://manuscriptminiatures.com/4888/14202/

jamesarlen.com
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Philip Dyer





Joined: 25 Jul 2013

Posts: 493

PostPosted: Sat 02 Jul, 2016 3:22 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

It looks like the brims on their helmets are covering their eyes and there no slits on the brims. Artistic overlook or am I missing a detail in the image?
View user's profile Send private message
Stephen Curtin




Location: Cork, Ireland
Joined: 17 Nov 2007
Likes: 110 pages
Reading list: 18 books

Spotlight topics: 1
Posts: 1,147

PostPosted: Sat 02 Jul, 2016 3:26 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

James. For some reason those high boots do seem to show up in a lot of manuscripts dealing with biblical scenes.
Éirinn go Brách
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail
James Arlen Gillaspie
Industry Professional



Location: upstate NY
Joined: 10 Nov 2005

Posts: 520

PostPosted: Mon 04 Jul, 2016 3:17 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hmm... That's a good point. But what might it mean? I can't think of anything it might symbolize, or how it would be viewed as 'Eastern'.
jamesarlen.com
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website
Alexander Hinman




Location: washington, dc
Joined: 08 Oct 2005
Reading list: 50 books

Posts: 180

PostPosted: Wed 06 Jul, 2016 6:14 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Though Aurélien's question has already been answered adequately, I just wanted to point out that some soldiers wore hauberks into the end of the XVth c. according to Diebold Schilling's Luzerner Chronicle.

In the second image the hauberk wearers are the pikeman on the far left side, and the halberdier in the center.



 Attachment: 121.1 KB
Schilling 1.JPG


 Attachment: 87.25 KB
Schilling 2.JPG

View user's profile Send private message
Lafayette C Curtis




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

Posts: 2,689

PostPosted: Tue 19 Jul, 2016 5:59 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Philip Dyer wrote:
It looks like the brims on their helmets are covering their eyes and there no slits on the brims. Artistic overlook or am I missing a detail in the image?


Probably both. On one hand I'm pretty sure the artist used those helmets to cover the figures' eyes since it took less effort to draw, colour, and shade the helmets than to draw eyes with the level of detail seen on the figures with visible eyes. Most artists today are still quite happy to use similar tricks to save the effort needed to fully render human figures' eyes!

On the other hand, of course, it wasn't all that uncommon for helmets to obstruct vision to the sides while remaining quite open in front. This is likely the case with the figure wearing a deep kettle hat with cutouts. The one on the far right with the narrow-brimmed kettle-hat, though -- I'm pretty sure the artist wanted to spare himself (or herself?) the effort needed to draw people's eyes.
View user's profile Send private message


Display posts from previous:   
Forum Index > Historical Arms Talk > Were mail hauberks still used in the XVth century ?
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 2003-2018 myArmoury.com — All rights reserved
Discussion forums powered by phpBB © The phpBB Group
Switch to the Basic Low-bandwidth Version of the forum