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Pedro Paulo Gaião

Location: Rio de Janeiro, Brasil
Joined: 14 Mar 2015

Posts: 306

PostPosted: Thu 23 Aug, 2018 8:29 am    Post subject: Guard's Equipment 1300 - 1500         Reply with quote

The notion of "guilds" in civic society might conjure images of craft guilds, the organizations of butchers, bakers or brewers set up to regulate working practices. In the towns of medieval Flanders, however, a plethora of guilds existed which had little or nothing to do with the organisation of labour, including chambers of rhetoric, urban jousters and archery and crossbow guilds.


It's well known that medieval and renaissance cities and castles were protected by garrisons of soldiers all over Europe; complementary to that, we have medieval taxes that obliged both rural and urban population to perform guard duty in local castles or cities. Certain regions have different laws regarding the subject: in Portugal, Jews were exempted from guard duty at a castle, in Castille they apparently were obliged to do so and in Germany they had to perform unarmed service.

I'm actually interested in the amount of armor (and equipment as well) worn by men-at-arms, archers, crossbowmen and armed men during such service. Weapons as well, since the famous "goedendag" was a very popular militia and guard duty's weapon (the "goedendag" being actually named after the massacre of French-speaking urban population of Flanders, not the battle itself). I got the impression that even men-at-arms would serve with "light" armor instead of the full harness (i.e. gambeson under the liveries).

Also, at least in the Netherlands, sparring teachers and guilds had a very active and prideful role in guard duty; Rembrandt's night watch isn't the only military guilds's commissioned artwork. I would like to undestand how such military guilds performed influence in both civil and military life as well. If you have sources or contend to discuss here it would be delightfull

“Burn old wood, read old books, drink old wines, have old friends.”
Alfonso X, King of Castile (1221-84)
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Sean Flynt
myArmoury Team

myArmoury Team

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PostPosted: Thu 23 Aug, 2018 10:42 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Look at medieval paintings of the arrest, trial and execution of Jesus. I have the strong impression that militias and guards were the models for medieval depictions of these stories. Typical equipment for unflattering depictions is breast or mail shirt, cap or sallet and a mix of hafted weapons. The gear often looks pieced-together but sometimes a more uniformly armed and less surly group of men is shown.

"Everywhere I have searched for peace and nowhere found it, except in a corner with a book"- Thomas a Kempis (d. 1471)
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