Info Favorites Register Log in
myArmoury.com Discussion Forums

Forum index Memberlist Usergroups Spotlight Topics Search
Forum Index > Off-topic Talk > 16th century armor in the English Civil War Reply to topic
This is a standard topic  
Author Message
Pedro Paulo Gaião




Location: Sioux City, IA
Joined: 14 Mar 2015
Likes: 1 page

Posts: 448

PostPosted: Mon 15 Aug, 2022 9:51 am    Post subject: 16th century armor in the English Civil War         Reply with quote

A Welsh friend of mine found this Parliamentarian pamphlet that pokes fun on the Welsh Royalist supporters in things like their armor, accent and their obsession with heraldry and noble ancestry. I think it's interesting for many reasons, so I'm putting both the pamphlet and his interpretation of it:



"A Parliamentarian anti-Welsh propaganda pamphlet of 1642, with caricatures of 4 Royalist Welsh soldiers using antiquated military equipment. The text satirises the Welsh accent and the escutcheons poke fun at the Welsh obsession with pedigree. It also includes one of the first-known uses of the nickname, ‘Taffy’."

As a non-British there might have some things I didn't catch, and I don't know if the sabers or how they hold their pikes also imply something, so you could just let me know. By the way, am I seeing correctly two 15th-century pollaxes in the center?



 Attachment: 160.14 KB
[ Download ]

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


Last edited by Pedro Paulo Gaião on Mon 22 Aug, 2022 1:58 pm; edited 1 time in total
View user's profile Send private message
Anthony Clipsom




Location: YORKSHIRE, UK
Joined: 27 Jul 2009

Posts: 337

PostPosted: Tue 16 Aug, 2022 4:07 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Quote:
As a non-British there might have some things I didn't catch, and I don't know if the sabers or how they hold their pikes also imply something, so you could just let me know. By the way, am I seeing correctly two 15th-century pollaxes in the center?


A few bits. The use of the p instead of b is also used by Shakespeare to represent the Welshman Flewellen, so is possibly a common period joke. Caknow, I think, may imply pronouncing the K in know - perhaps another mock-Welsh thing? The coats of arms and the use of Up in the surnames (modern day Ap) show these are gentlemen playing at soldiers, as do their boots and spurs. The postures are more like fencing poses rather than drill . The armour is 16th century in style. I suspect those are old pollaxes, perhaps drawn from the family armoury. I think the swords would be intended to be hangers rather than sabers, perhaps implying hunting weapons rather than real soldiers kit?

Anthony Clipsom
View user's profile Send private message
Sean Manning




Location: Austria
Joined: 23 Mar 2008

Posts: 882

PostPosted: Tue 16 Aug, 2022 7:41 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The armour is in the style of roughly 1590-1620. You can tell because it has an ugly flat chest and does not dip much towards the groin in front, and because it does not have the giant square tassets which were fashionable during the English Civil War / Wars of the Three Kingdoms.

Pollaxes ("battle-axes" to a 16th century Englishman) were still issued to soldiers in England in the last quarter of the 16th century, although they were out of fashion on the continent. Writers such as Sir John Smythe talk about them. I'm not sure how long they were used in the wars in Ireland and other small wars.

www.bookandsword.com
View user's profile Send private message
Graham Shearlaw





Joined: 24 Oct 2011
Likes: 1 page

Posts: 153

PostPosted: Wed 17 Aug, 2022 5:46 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The supply of arms at the start of English Civil War was on both sides dire, there multiple cases of cudgel armed men being fielded.
No end of letters talk about unstandardized, old or broken guns, people bemoan the general lack of any armour at all.

What ever armour and arm there was in england was of limited amount and mostly old, there had been no majoir wars in England for good hundred years, the Battle of Pinkie Cleugh in 1547 had ended any real treat of invasion.

Sean Manning wrote:
The armour is in the style of roughly 1590-1620. You can tell because it has an ugly flat chest and does not dip much towards the groin in front, and because it does not have the giant square tassets which were fashionable during the English Civil War / Wars of the Three Kingdoms.

Pollaxes ("battle-axes" to a 16th century Englishman) were still issued to soldiers in England in the last quarter of the 16th century, although they were out of fashion on the continent. Writers such as Sir John Smythe talk about them. I'm not sure how long they were used in the wars in Ireland and other small wars.


England was notably behind in terms of the army, it was an over there problem, wars happened in ireland or europe.
So we have things like archers being only removed from the muster roles as trained men in 1595, cuirassiers where retained for a good decade after the rest of europe.
Without the cold hard reality's of war, ideas like the double armed man, a pikeman and archer combination, could while not thrive be entertained at least.
All the famed Elizabethan-era Greenwich armour, it could be fashion first.
View user's profile Send private message
Benjamin H. Abbott




Location: New Mexico
Joined: 28 Feb 2004

Spotlight topics: 1
Posts: 1,248

PostPosted: Thu 18 Aug, 2022 2:28 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Graham Shearlaw wrote:
England was notably behind in terms of the army, it was an over there problem, wars happened in ireland or europe.
So we have things like archers being only removed from the muster roles as trained men in 1595, cuirassiers where retained for a good decade after the rest of europe.


It's debatable whether these are example of England being behind in terms of effectiveness. English military writers went back & forth about the bow in the 16th century. It wasn't necessarily retained only out of backwardness. In China, for instance, bows seem to have stayed potent through the 18th century, & possibly even into the 19th. & cuirassiers came back in the Napoleonic era.

Quote:
Without the cold hard reality's of war, ideas like the double armed man, a pikeman and archer combination, could while not thrive be entertained at least.


This blog post by Wayne Robinson made me rethink William Neade's The Double Armed Man. References to troops equipped with pike & bow exist, & Thomas Venn praised the scheme as late a 1672, so it may not have been as fanciful & useless as it seems. The inability of pikers to engage at range was an issue, & the pike eventually disappeared from European armies in favor of troops with bayonets who could both shoot & fight up close if needed. In China, the ideal of the dual-function unit had a long history. Xu Guang Qi's imagined army in the twilight of the Ming dynasty was made up soldiers who each had both a pike or polearm & an arquebus or bow. I'm not aware of whether Xu described the details of how his soldiers would carry & switch between those weapons systems; another 17th-century Chinese manual has soldiers armed with crossbow & pike who either stick their pikes upright in the earth or simply put them down on the ground when shooting their crossbows.

Quote:
All the famed Elizabethan-era Greenwich armour, it could be fashion first.


I'm not sure what you mean by this. While Greenwich armor was fashionable, it was also effective at stopping bullets & other threats. Tests by Alan Williams show many Greenwich suits were made from fully hardened steel. One replica Greenwich breastplate even endured a musket shot at close range, though I wonder if the musket used as much powder as in period.
View user's profile Send private message
Graham Shearlaw





Joined: 24 Oct 2011
Likes: 1 page

Posts: 153

PostPosted: Fri 19 Aug, 2022 9:32 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Benjamin H. Abbott wrote:

It's debatable whether these are example of England being behind in terms of effectiveness. English military writers went back & forth about the bow in the 16th century. It wasn't necessarily retained only out of backwardness. In China, for instance, bows seem to have stayed potent through the 18th century, & possibly even into the 19th. & cuirassiers came back in the Napoleonic era.


I'd argue that the bow regained quite a lot of it's usefulness as the amount of armour worn by men and horses shrank, its was no longer a case of the golden BB finding a hole but large areas that where left unarmoured.
Napoleonic cuirassiers have little to do with the classic 3/4 cuirassiers, there both the heavy armoured cavalry and that's about it.
There's not a continuation with most army's simply readopting armour.

Benjamin H. Abbott wrote:
References to troops equipped with pike & bow exist, & Thomas Venn praised the scheme as late a 1672, so it may not have been as fanciful & useless as it seems.

I'm not suggesting that the combination is useless, just that it has greater demands on both training and battlefield command and control.
You have to both train an archer and a pikeman then work out how to get them to use both weapons in concert.

Quote:
All the famed Elizabethan-era Greenwich armour, it could be fashion first.


I'm not sure what you mean by this. While Greenwich armour was fashionable, it was also effective at stopping bullets & other threats. Tests by Alan Williams show many Greenwich suits were made from fully hardened steel. One replica Greenwich breastplate even endured a musket shot at close range, though I wonder if the musket used as much powder as in period.[/quote]

Greenwich armor was allways armour but in the court of Elizabeth I it would grow to extravagant heights as nobles used it to gain and show favour.
Without the normal limits and demands it's protective role could be partly sidelined.

If we take a look at the Almain armourer's album, we see armour of a good standardised patten and shape with comparatively few variations, that why it gets so heavily detailed with the etching and fine colour contrasts.
All the armours have the same kind and shape of pauldrons, each made from 5 lames.
The armours do seem to come as stranded with an armet , a burgonet with standing and falling buffe's, and a plackart.
View user's profile Send private message
Pedro Paulo Gaião




Location: Sioux City, IA
Joined: 14 Mar 2015
Likes: 1 page

Posts: 448

PostPosted: Mon 22 Aug, 2022 2:07 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Anthony Clipsom wrote:
Caknow, I think, may imply pronouncing the K in know - perhaps another mock-Welsh thing? The coats of arms and the use of Up in the surnames (modern day Ap) show these are gentlemen playing at soldiers, as do their boots and spurs. The postures are more like fencing poses rather than drill . The armour is 16th century in style. I suspect those are old pollaxes, perhaps drawn from the family armoury. I think the swords would be intended to be hangers rather than sabers, perhaps implying hunting weapons rather than real soldiers kit?


As a latino I can say begineers in English often pronounce the "K" in words the letter is mute like know, knowledge, knight and such. I would still be surprised if a frontier people like the Welsh had trouble with English at this level.

I also noticed the spur and the boots, those are cavalry equipment. At first I thought they were dismounted soldiers, like when the Parliamentarians dismounted and charged in their assaults of an Irish fortress (probably using armor as an advantage?).

Sean Manning wrote:
Pollaxes ("battle-axes" to a 16th century Englishman) were still issued to soldiers in England in the last quarter of the 16th century, although they were out of fashion on the continent. Writers such as Sir John Smythe talk about them. I'm not sure how long they were used in the wars in Ireland and other small wars.


You mean actual pollaxes, not halberds? That's interesting. On the issue of bows and double-armed soldiers, the English didn't use longbows in their interventions at the French Wars of Religion? I remember reading an article saying French sources talk about arrows being shot.

It might be too much earlier when compared to the Civil War, but someone on this site posted a 16th-century French source talking about Brazilian indigenous archers pulling bows stronger than English longbows, I think the source is either 1540 or 1550's. Some Scottish highlanders in Gustavus Adolfus' army were depicted using bows too.



I have no idea from where Osprey took the reference for this Longbowmen in the 30YW, but it might be interesting for someone:

--------
I re-uploaded the 17th c. pamphlet because it went out for some reason.

“Burn old wood, read old books, drink old wines, have old friends.”
Alfonso X, King of Castile (1221-84)
View user's profile Send private message
Sean Manning




Location: Austria
Joined: 23 Mar 2008

Posts: 882

PostPosted: Mon 06 Feb, 2023 11:42 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Matt Easton recommends Arms and Armour of the English Civil Wars by Keith Dowen on the equipment of the period, including old polearms like bills and Jeddart staves.
www.bookandsword.com
View user's profile Send private message


Display posts from previous:   
Forum Index > Off-topic Talk > 16th century armor in the English Civil War
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 2003-2024 myArmoury.com — All rights reserved
Discussion forums powered by phpBB © The phpBB Group
Switch to the Basic Low-bandwidth Version of the forum