Info Favorites Register Log in
myArmoury.com Discussion Forums

Forum index Memberlist Usergroups Spotlight Topics Search
Forum Index > Off-topic Talk > Use of the word 'Knight' and 'Heavy Cavalry' Reply to topic
This is a Spotlight Topic Go to page 1, 2  Next 
Author Message
Jared Smith




Location: Tennessee
Joined: 10 Feb 2005
Likes: 1 page

Spotlight topics: 3
Posts: 1,532

PostPosted: Sun 26 Jun, 2005 9:40 am    Post subject: Use of the word 'Knight' and 'Heavy Cavalry'         Reply with quote

I have had informative exchanges on several posts at this site in which I had some confusion regarding logistics, quality, and commonality of types of weapons and armor that would be widely utilized at medieval battles in the 1200 to 1400 AD time frame. I decided that much of this confusion (a good portion of which was my own) was due to mis-use of the term "Knight" and "mounted knight", etc. So I have done some hasty, (and probably somewhat innaccurate) research on the issue. I have a ton of bookmarks carefully organized in my web browser at this point. If someone really wants some possible sources of information (nobility in England/France, grave site research, accounts of actual battle tactics, etc.) I would be happy to forward any that I have stumbed across that may be appropriate.

There is little doubt that large fractions (as much as 25% in the case of French) of medieval armies were heavy cavalry. These were commonly grouped in waves of 150 to 300 heavy horse under a banner that served as a regrouping point and hospital after the charge. The majority of these mounted forces were not really formally titled "Knights" (often called landless knights, mercenary knights, etc.), but could be every bit as skilled in terms of traininig. These were typically "landless knights" who were not born the eldest son of a landholder, paid soliders (yes there were paid calvary militia), or former Knights who actually did lose their formal title when their income sank too low (happened quite a bit.) The majority of these participants did not have the resources to maintain state of the art armor, horses and retinue (roughly a $400,000 current day U.S. entry cost plus at least $100,000 a year maintenance cost by my own very rough estimate) that a titled "Knight" needed to have. Hauberks and coat of plates seem to be the most likely and widely accepted concept of what type of armour many of these had, although impoverished former "Knights" could have had very good quality armor. Additionally pay for a days battle service typically was less than it would have taken to purchase food for a small retinue. Until the early 1400's, heraldry did not prohibit anyone from creating a personal banner. However assumming the title of "Sir" when one had not actually paid for it and had it properly conferred was a serious crime.

The term "Knight" is really not fully enshrined until some time after 1000 AD when the mounted knight takes on a recognized social status. Within the fuedal system that dominated France, Normandy (however you want to think of the Western region of present day France) and England, the "Knight" was a vital economic unit equivalent to a present day multi-millionare. From the days of ancient rome through the 1600s there was an annual fee or proof of minimum income level required to be a high ranking officer of many cultures' military organizations. Both roman Senators and landholders seeking a commanding office in the military had to pay (some sources say prove income of, others say pay) 400,000 sesterces per year. This is roughly comparable to present day $400,000 U.S. In 1360's France, a titled knight had to prove existance of income 3000 livre tournois (about $300,000 U.S. per year) and pay a substantial fraction of that in taxes. The annual income/treasury of the king of France at this time correponds to about enough money to support 700 highly equipped Knights (give or take depending on which source) and is largely collected from annual fee paid by Earls, Barons, Counts, and to a small degree the titled Knights. The exact dollar amounts are not easily figured out for medieval England, since fees were assessed more like a property tax, in relation to the value of holdings. One who did not hold land in the 1200 to 1400 AD time frame, was not a titled knight with the exception of a maximum of 7 persons at any point in history, who were wealthy merchants that purchased their title or elite heros given honorary status. Numerous sources provide similar numbers of 5000 "eligible" or "knightly class" free citizens in France and England. The actual number who can afford to "pay and play" during the 1200-1400 A.D. time frame is generally estimated at around 1500 "Knights" at any one time in either of these countries. France appears to have had the ability to field as many as 5000 state of the art equipped calvary, although most of these are not titled "Knights". England placed lower value on quantity of heavy cavalry and probably could not field as large a quantity of state of the art heavy cavalry. Any high nobility, such as an English Baron could train and elect to be a knight. Most did not, and opted to pay a "scuttage" tax that was much lower than the tax on knighthood, while enabling them to retain nobility status. For those interested, the maximum number of English barons who actually opted to pay for knighthood status at any one time is around 70 (there were 147 Magna Carta barons eligible, although some sources mention as many as 170 barrons in medieval England.) English barons were required to provide 40 knights (yes the Baron typically enfeuffed each Knight with land and a manor) to the king in time of war, and was limited to no more than 100 Knights. In actuallity, the largest number of Knights that any English Baron seems to have been able to afford was close to 65, and the majority appear to have fallen short of the 40 Knight requirement (theoretically there should have been over 5000 full Knights, while in reality there was seldom over 1500.)

Military Orders are a very different animal since membership was not based on land holding. Formal titled members typically did have to have significant wealth however (would typically be a very wealthy merchant or banker.) The maximum number of Knights Templar actually titled "Knight" peaked at around 280, despite the fact that they had vast armies. A similar situation appears to be true for most of the Orders which I have been able to find information on. I have found at least a few crusader battle accounts that describe the composition of an army as being led by one "Knight" (yes just one), xx sergents, and xxx 100's of infantry. A good portion of the Military Orders was present at their demise in Lithuania. One book is available that is reportedly based on careful research of all "true Knights" present and has documented their heraldric badges. This one places the total number of actual "Knights" within the height of the Teutonic/ Crusader orders present for the battle at around 1000. Note the total size of the crusader army is often described as anywhere from 20,000 to 300,000 knights - which is preposterous!

My point to all of this is that when someone describes a great battle of 30,000 versus 20,000 "mounted knights" (quite a few people out there are doing that), or even X million versus 300,000 "mounted Teutonic Knights" (demise of several Military Orders at battle in Lithuania), there is a false impression of thousands upon thousands of extremely wealthy and exquistely equipped "Knights" facing off in mass. In reality, most of these large forces probably have relatively basic equipment, but excellent training. I greatly appreciate it when an author takes the time to describe composition as "10,000 heavy calvary, XXX Knights". Some people have researched the economics of the Fuedal system. They generally come to the realization that economics had already doomed "Knighthood" before the widespread use of the gun. By that time, most "knightly class" combatants were landless, and impoverished. This outcome was easily forseen by most monarchs, and transition to "paid" armies was being developed as quickly as possible from the 1300's onward.

Jared Smith
View user's profile Send private message
Matthew Kelty





Joined: 22 Jun 2004
Reading list: 61 books

Posts: 164

PostPosted: Sun 26 Jun, 2005 1:17 pm    Post subject: Nice job!         Reply with quote

A good, and neccesary topic and primer. Thank you!

Matthew
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Elling Polden




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

Spotlight topics: 1
Posts: 1,576

PostPosted: Sun 26 Jun, 2005 2:14 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

For comparison, a short presentation of the 13th century norwegian system.
While not having "nobles" in the true sense of the word, the norwegian king had a folowing, or Hird. These men where either from rich families, or came to seek the favor of the king. They served as his bodyguard, advisors, enforcers and administrators.
The equipment was acording to wealth or rank.
Those who owned less than 6 Marks, (1296 g of silver coin/3 horses/6 cows/18 sheep) should own a shield, a spear and a axe or sword.
The man who owned more than six marks, should have a better shield, with iron rims.
The man that owned more than 12 marks, or a basic royal retainer, should also have a helmet.
The man that owned more than 18 marks, or a Gjest (Guest....Because [i]Visit™[/] people...) (3888 g of silver coin, 9 horses/ 18 cows/54 sheep) should also own a hauberk or gambeson.
A Hirdman (royal bodyguard) should own a hauberk, a sword, shield, buckler, and a bow with two dozen arrows.
A Skutilsvein (Knight/baron) should own a a full suit of maile, and a coat of plates...

"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
Daniel Staberg




Location: Gothenburg/Sweden
Joined: 30 Apr 2005
Likes: 2 pages
Reading list: 2 books

Posts: 562

PostPosted: Mon 27 Jun, 2005 1:31 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Terminology
The words used to describe ”knightly” heavy cavalry changed in the 1200-1400 period. At the start of the period ’knightly’ cavalry were called ”miles” or ”milites” which is today mostly translated as ’knight’ while other, often less heavily equiped cavalry are called serjeants/sergeants.
However by the late 13th century the name of the social rank is separated from the military function and equipment of the nobleman in question. instead of knights the sources talk about Lances which denote a fully equiped&armored men-at-arms regardless of the social rank of the fighting man in question. Lance was the word commonly used in France and England while in Germany it’s Gleven or Glaven. Most modern sources written in english tend use the word men-at-arms instead of lance.

The non-titled or knightly class had actually been divided into 3 ranks: Knights banneret, knights and esquires but all of these were expected to take to the field equiped as fully armored men-at-arms. Many if not all of these men-at-arms/lances were equiped in the latest style possible since men with inferior equipment did not receive full wages. Added to this was the social stigma of being badly equiped when belonging to a warrior caste or class as well as the simple fact that these men had fighting as a profession and hence used the best equipment they could lay their hands on. Indeed the sources of the period notes when the equipment of the men-at-arms did not conform to that which was expected of this type of troops. One example being the infamous ’companions’ of the mercenary ’Free Companies’ which saw action in France, Italy and Spain during the later half of the 14th Century.

The number of knights/men-at-arms
In 1347 the English army in front of Calais contained 1066 men-at-arms of knightly rank and 4182 men-at-arms of esquire rank or non-noble. Rather more than the 1500 you claimed as the maximum available. Later on the numbers of men-at-arms did decrease as the due to several reasons and the English also came to favour using more archers in their armies Still in 1417 the army of Henry V had 2221 men-at-arms in it’s ranks, at Verneuil there was some 1800

France had some 50.000 noble families in the 14th Century, all of who were expected to provide at least one fighting man. Of these families only some 5-10% claimed chevalier rank at any time not counting the higher nobility, the remainder were esquires/ecuyers.
The gave france a huge recruitment pool to draw upon in times of war which is why the French could field 1000s and even 10000s of men-at-arms. At least 7000 and possibly as many as 12.000 at Crecy. 8000 at Poitiers, another 8000 alone in the Vanguard at Agincourt. A powerfull nobleman like the Duke of Burgundy could fielded 3500 men-at-arms in 1408 and 5892 in 1417 (almost 3 times the number the king of England had in his army that same year). The rulers of Brittany too could field large numbers of men-at-arms, 3000 at Morlaix, 1800 a La Roche Derien and so on.

Even in the mid-16th century the military potential of the French nobility remained formidable as they raised close to 16.000 gendarmes and archers during the height of the Wars of Religon. (An archer is a heavy lancer in 3/4 plate armour despite the name)

Italy too could provide large numbers of men-at-arms, in 1387 some 6900 men-at-arms in the Service of Padua (including 500 mercenaries of Hawkwood’s famous White company) faced a force of no less than 9000 men-at-arms fielded by Verona, of course both armies also had ordinary archers, crossbowmen and other infantry in their ranks.

Even an out of the way state such as the part of Greece ruled by the 'Franks'at the begining of the 14th Century could field 2000 cavalry including 700 knights in 1311. This did represent an all out effort on part of the Romanian Franks and the defeat of Duke Walther at the hands of the Catalan Grand Company effectively destoryed the duchy of Athens and the principality of Achea.

The Military orders
Your description of the military orders has several flaws I’m afraid.
The members of those orders were not allowed to posses any personal wealth at all since they took vows of poverty, nor did they recruit the knightly brethren from the merchant class such as bankers since such men lacked the training and lineage necessary to enter a military as a knight. All orders came to demand that any who applied to be admitted as knightly brother to prove their noble lineage, at least showing that he was either the son of knight or descended from one. Non-nobles were limited to the ranks of sergeants or serving brethren. This had very practical reason since most of the time only nobility possessed the training necessary to function as heavy/knightly cavalry.

The Templars never fielded vast armies, no Templar force of more than 3000 men is ever recorded in any reliable sources, the number of knightly brethren was however higher than the 280 mention. At least 300 were active in Outremer alone from the mid-12th century onwards, to this must then be added the brethren serving in the orders European possesions. Due to the nature of medieval economics and supply the number of troops, especially knights maintained by the Templars and the other Military orders in Outremer was lower than their total strenght. For example in 1244 the Templars supplied 360 knights to the army of Jerusalem which was destroyed at La Forbie, 6 years later the order could still supply the crusading army which invaded Egypt with another 290 knights. Both of these forces were fielded while still manning the many castles the Templars possessed in Outremer.

No military orders ever saw their demise in Lithuania, and only one order was active in that area to begin with, the Teutonic knights. The earlier Brethren of the Sword were absorbed prior to any contact with the Lithuanians. The battle which you appear to be referring to is the battle of Tannenberg fought in 1410, the battlefield is located inside Prussia btw. The Teutonic order had 1600 brethren on their rolls by 1400, bretheren were the full knight-brothers (Ritterbrudern) and the serving brothers (Diendebrudern),that is fully equipped men-at-arms of either noble or non-noble origin. To this must then be added lay knights who were members of the order (Mitbrudern) as well as the vassals who owned the order service as well as mercenaries and visiting ’crusaders’ many of who would be knights or men-at-arms.

Do note that the Teutonic knights were different from the other military orders in that it’s brethren evolved to function as officers and NCO’s rather than as rank and file shock troops. A unit or banner of Teutonic knights would be a mixture of brethren, vassals and mercenaries (and at time local native milita). Of the 50 units known as ’banners’ fielded at Tannenberg only one was entirely composed of brethren (That of the Marshal), 1/3rd of the banners were formed by ’crusaders’ and vassals and the remaining banners were mixed units consistning of the brethren of the komturie or commandery which had raised the banner supported by that commandery’s mercenaries and vassals.
Each banner would be further subdivided into lances, a lance was to be made up of at least 3 fighting men (men-at-arms, another heavy cavalryman and a mounted crossbowman or archer) but lances of 4 or 5 men were not uncommon. There would also be an unspecified infantrymen attached to each lance although the footsoldiers deployed and fought separately on the battlefield. At typical banner of the Teutonic order would have 80 to 100 lances. Since there was some 4000-5000 lances in the Teutonic order’s army at Tannenberg at least 4000 fully armored cavalrymen (what you call knights) were present supported by at least that many almost as heavily armored cavalry men. And even the ligth cavalry in the army would be fairly well equipped if compared to earlier times since most of the light cavalry was in fact as well armored as the Norman knights at Hastings in 1066.

Heraldry and banners
It was not possible for any one to make up and display their own banner, the right to display a banner was jealously guarded and regulated as early as the 13th century. Only the titled nobility and the knights banneret (chevalier banneret) had that right. Ordinary knights (chevaliers bachilers/bas chevaliers) were only allowed to display a forked pennon while the lowest rank of the nobility, the squires/esquires (ecuyers) were limited to a coat of arms displayed on clothing worn over their armour and on a shield if used.
The use of coat of arms and indeed of any heraldry began to be regulated in the 13th century as is shown by the many rolls of arms drawn up to determine who wore that heraldry. By the 14th Century heraldry was firmly regulated in each country by appointed officials.

It was possible for an individual to rise in rank with in the ”knightly” class although the details of this process is to some extent lost. in the duchy of Burgundy a ordinary knight could become a knight banneret by applying to the captain of the army and proving that he maintained a retinue of 25 to 50 men-at-arms in his service. If the application was granted the forked points of his pennon would be cut of making the banner square(ish) as part of a promotion ceremony.

impoverishment of the knightly class
I don’t know what source you have for the claim that the knightly class found itself landless and impoverished. that claim certainly goes against all that I’ve read in my studies. It was the ”knightly class” which provided the majority of the heavy cavalry/men-at-arms in ”paid” armies you mention. The nobles were simply the main source of recruits which possessed the training necessary to fight as a heavy lancer This remained true well into the 17th Century and only changed as the main arm of the cavalry became the easier to use pistol and the equipment and horses demanded became less expensive.

The nobility played an absolutely vital role in the early modern armies which arose in the 15th Century but had their origin in the 14th Century. No state possessed the income necessary to raise and equip the large forces of heavy cavalry and their supports necessary wage war. Simply maintaining the cavalry as well as the artillery and infantry needed by the new armies of the mid-late 15thC/Early 16thC strained the economy to the breaking point without adding the cost of purchasing arms&armor, equipment and possibly horses for thousands of men. Hence the nobles were the solution as they possessed the wealth to buy all that was needed to outfit a lance consisting of a men-at-arms and his supporting heavy cavalrymen and mounted archers.

The English were to some extent different in that their men-at-arms fought habitually dismounted which led to the men-at-arms being separated into two groups when recruited. The lance a cheval who was expected to posses the training, equipment and horses necessary to fight both mounted and dismounted and the lance a pied who was only equipped and trained for dismounted fighting. The later category opened up the ranks of the men-at-arms to proffesional soldiers of non-noble origin to a far greater degree than is to be found in the French and Burgundian armies. Of course those nations had a far larger pool of fighting nobility to recruit from so there was never much of a need to adopt the lance a pied.

Equipment and it’s cost
Good equipment was always expensive but the cost of equipping fighting men also became lower as time passed. At the start of the middle ages a single armored cavalryman including his horse cost the equivalent of 12-20 heads of cattle. By 1399 the cost of equipping a lance of 3 mounted men in Poland or Prussia was the same as the value of 30 heads of cattle of good quality. And all of these men would have equipment and horses that ranged form almost as good as that of the early medieval ”knight” to far better in terms of quality and performance. Just how much the standards had changed is described well by a text called Du Costume Militaire des Francais en 1446 which lists in great detail the equipment of the French 5-man Lanceswhich saw action in the last part of the 100-years war.
Quote:

Firstly said the men-at-arms are commonly, when they go to war, in entire white harness. That is to say close cuirass, vambraces, large garde-braces, leg harness, gauntlets, salet with visor and a small bevor which covers only the chin. Each is armed with a lance and a logn light sword, a sharp dagger hangign on the left side of the saddle, and a mace. Each man must also be accompanied by a coustillier equiped with a salade, leg harness, haubergeon, jaque, brigandine or corset, armed with a dagger, sword and a vouge or demi-lance. Also a page in the same armour and with one or two weapons. The archers [2 supporting each men-at-arms] wear leg armour, salets, heavy jaques lined with linen or brigandines, bow in hand and quiver at side. (...)
there is also another manner fo folk armed soley in haubergeons, salets gauntlets and leg armour who are wont to carry in the hand a sort of dart which has a broad head and is called langue de boeuf [ox-tounge, a polearm related to the partisan and not a ’dart’].


Even the simple footsoldiers mentioned last in the text are quite well armoured compared to the ’knights’ of the Norman armies which conquered vast areas close to 400 years earlier. And of course the normans had nothing which compared to the men-at-arms in his full white harness. Of course such equipment was still expensive, it could cost every thing from 125-250 livres tournois to equip a men-at-arms as above (but this includes the cost of the horse of the coustilier and the page which were owned by the men-at-arms) The cost of the equipping of the rest of lance with arms&armour, not including the nags on which the archers rode was on average 70-80 livres tournois. Adding 2 nags at 10-15 livres tournois each would bring the cost of a brand new Lance would be around 350-360 livres tournois (at it's most expensive) which according to your calcualtions would be the equivalent of around $36,000, not the $400,000 you claim unless your calculation is based on a far larger retinue(?).

This reply has grown over long as it is so I’ll stop here for the moment.
View user's profile Send private message
Chris Post




Location: Germany
Joined: 02 Feb 2005
Reading list: 3 books

Posts: 46

PostPosted: Mon 27 Jun, 2005 6:52 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Wow, that's a great post there! Eek!

Let me add a bit of etymology there:

"knight" is related to the German word "Knecht", which means servant or even serf. (*)
The German word for knight, however, is "Ritter", which is derived from reiten = to ride --> Someone who rides. This word can be traced back at least to the early 13th century. The word's precursor was, I think, "ritare" (same meaning).

In most if not all Romanic languages, the words for knight are somewhat like "cavalry": caballero, chevalier, cavalier, etc.
These words derive from Latin "caballus", which in fact if a loan word of Celtic "kaballos" = horse.

So the most important quality of a knight simply seems to be that he needs a horse. Wink But Daniel wrote a lot of useful info there, so I'll leave it at that.

*) Reminds a bit of Japanese Samurai, does it? As an aside, such changes of meaning are not uncommon. The old German word for "servant" was "scalc" (=unrelated to Knecht).
It survived in the word "marahscalc" = horse-servant (or stablehand) --> voilà, the Marshall.

Skeppsmannens härsmakt räddes ej väta:
blodulvar vadade väst över Panta:
fram över flodens glimmande vatten
buro de lindesköldar i land.
View user's profile Send private message
Jared Smith




Location: Tennessee
Joined: 10 Feb 2005
Likes: 1 page

Spotlight topics: 3
Posts: 1,532

PostPosted: Mon 27 Jun, 2005 8:15 pm    Post subject: More counterpoints, information, facts please.         Reply with quote

Thankyou much Daniel for above input.

I actually don’t care who is right and who is wrong here. I started this post hoping to stir up some interest in something besides price and design of newest model swords. Also to seek revelation on the composition of battle participants. Eventually I hope to figure out who (if anyone actually did) utilized those long grip (8” to 10”) longswords! I would really like to know if all of these battle participants really showed up “armored in style” or just plain functional mail/ coats of plate. I can understand the wealthy affording whatever they wanted, but am skeptical that they did not conscript some poor suckers to die in cheaper style. In pursuit of the previously posted information, I surfed the internet diligently for some time. Admittedly the internet is dependably inaccurate to varying degrees, and repeatedly fools me with the occasional pervasive myth. Most of this was extremely hard to dig up, and involved, notes, paper, calculator, etc, but a lot of unknowledgeable assumptions, or interpretations of terms that could be wrong.

I have tried really hard to state that many web sites state than England had close to 5000 eligible, well trained, knightly class. The 1500 number is the paid up, legally titled, hereditary eldest son category. A lot of the overall Knightly Class were supposedly Squires, country gentry, etc. that were skilled enough and free status with sufficient claims to achieve knighthood, but did not have the financial means. I do not refute a mounted army of 5000 English “knightly class/skill level, soldiers on horse, milite, etc.”, just the idea of 5,000 mounted titled knights with high social status, legal privileges, large holdings…, equipment and retinue equal to very high financial assets, etc.

For France, I studied "Peerages" to determine numbers of noble families. France is particularly tough since there is little evidence that Chevaliers (literally translated mounted soldiers, but also called milite) were nobility, or were especially privileged in any way other than simply being soldiers. The French Chevalier seems more like the best outfitted national militia of that era, but not typically “titled.” The whole economic argument thing sword of breaks down (not really plausible to determine numbers of Chevaliers based on numbers of wealthy French), but I decided to see the nobility thing to the end. France is considered to be the most densely populated medieval, Northern Europe area (about 100 people per square mile versus) and had a population that several sources argued was relatively stagnant over a long time period at 18 to 20 million people (despite plague etc.). 50,000 noble families does not sound unreasonable (10% of the population if each were just 4 humans?) but several sites quoted nobility at around 0.4% (80,000 people total including women, children, non hereditary courtly title types, etc.) with a lot of these being titled, but not landholders or recognized as permanently possessing their title by primogeniture. There are also peerages of Military Orders, as well as founding members of the Orders which generally included overlap with Noble families, and consisted of between 2 to 40 founding knights for documented cases that I could see. In fact a large number of them are actually initially founded with direct Royal Peerage Barons as members. I suspect they must have made exceptions about individual wealth for their founders. A lot of “associates” or members are “lay Knights” (seem to be Squires who need their food and equipment supplied in exchange for service.) I had zero success in finding evidence that these lay knights ever gravitated to full Knight status. Much later (16th to 18th century) there are lists of “proofs of nobility” which show large numbers in the range of 2000 for some orders such as the Order of Malta, however across the board their was an order of magnitude explosion in numbers of membership just after the 1300 to 1400 time period. Most members and associates are not considered full “Knights” by the actual organization either. None of the earlier period (1300 time frame) lists are much taller than your monitor screen, and most much shorter. Generally speaking, a fair number of small orders seem to have been "co-founded" with members who were Noble sponsors, though most of these seemed to only last about 50 years. At any given year, there are really just a few military orders of significant size that are active. There are a lot of confusing claims on these web sites. Knights Templar supposedly number 400 in Jerusalem, but at the time of their arrests and executions it is difficult to account for 200. With regard to numbers of families in medieval (trying to focus on 1300's time frame here, but there is an escalation right around this time) France, here are some representative web sites.

http://www.heraldica.org/topics/france/noblesse.htm
http://www.heraldica.org/topics/france/peerage2.htm

Can you point me to one with some proof that shows 50,000 noble families of knightly class during the 1300's time frame?

Of military orders, I find confusing the descriptions of armies for battles such as Grunwald
http://www.answers.com/topic/battle-of-grunwald .
I have not exaggerated when I say some web sites present size of Crusader/Teutonic armies in the millions, while others in the tens of thousands. Furthermore, some present this as having several military orders collaborating in concerted effort at once, such that many are essentially devastated by the outcome. The latter claim seems logical, but the xxx hundred thousand man army thing is amazing.

Costs is actually the toughest issue to address and a large estimating error is probable. Precise unit of currency is typically not given, and large numbers of sites have to be examined to develop a consensus. There were taxes or fees placed upon titled knights, barons, viscounts/ counts, earls, etc. with increasing scales in that order, although French/English terms differ. I had assumed a titled noble knight would have to pay his tax, replace a couple of horses (or more for his retinue, but just say equal to two of his own), probably replace an entire set of weapons and replace or repair armor for his retinue (equal to cost of one suit of his armor) over the course of a years time when campaigning. In addition, I assumed a retinue of 5, which all have daily pay scales plus food. My conversions could be awful, but basically a French gold livre tournois was described on some web sites as the equivalent of $1000 current U.S., or about 4/5ths of a mark, roughly equal to some type of “Silver Coin Pound” (L?, 240 pence equals a pound) and conversions to other units in the 1300's were available. Some of the most concise comparative sites I have run into are listed below.

Knights pay looks pretty bad.... http://www.liebaart.org/feodaa_e.htm
A price list presented as representative of medieval France..including representative income of "Knight Banneret" versus "poor knight" http://www.maisonstclaire.org/resources/pricelist/pricelist.html

Knights two horses (about L10, $20,000? A real bargain by today’s standards. Competition placing horses that don’t come close to having fearless traits and discipline described in some posts. Without references I would have said maybe one experimental slightly proven horse of good lines for this cost.)
Cost of feeding a knight’s household per year (about L100 or $100,000 per year…see Kenneth Hodges Medieval Price List web site (disclaims perfect research)….
http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/source/medievalprices.html#HORSES

Financial value of freeman’s basic weapons and armor required according to law in 1181 England… 10 marks (about 8 Livre or $8,000?) I will make a wild guess that repair replacement for his retinue equated to at least one replacement at this value. It would be astronomical if all of his retinue were outfitted equally well as the titled knight trying to compete with current style.
Squire of a Knight Banneret plus 4 lesser servants ($50,000 U.S.?) Interesting side note.. Chaucer served as a Page in 1357 for 7 pence-half penny per day.. or about $11,500 annual equivalent current U.S. )

If there is a gross order of magnitude in my claim, I think it is in monetary conversion, since I could really add a lot to this list and describe more typical larger retinue. In short, I think it would be tough for a knight to fit into a prestigious class without significantly exceeding the equivalent of $100,000 U.S. expenditure per year. If one assumes that the knight had to support some servants, replace or upgrade weapons and armor, plus pay his for his title, it goes way up the first year. Take a reality check. Today’s reproduction arms and armor is arguably easier to acquire material for and produce. Horses will cost you more today, but granted they are more of a luxury item now. It will still set you back a bit to outfit yourself in good quality plate, horses, and a couple of squires or men at arm companions to boot. Add to this believable pay for quality of help you want where your life is at stake. It is not a likely a hobby for a middle class individual assuming you have to pay for it year round and sustain it permanently or lose it, while having some other means of income for your family and estate.

As for what most of battle participants really were, I totally buy into the 20 to 30 head of cattle thing. Cattle are plentiful today. You or I could show up on an average horse with average mail and so-so equipment, talk some low income friends into helping us out for a few months, and participate in a reenactment campaign like this for what 30 head of cattle are worth right now. If you want to do it historically prestigious style, it will take a lot more cash. I really suspect about 80% of original battle participants fit into this type of situation.

There are actually 1300’s court cases in England regarding assuming someone else’s arms (standard) and commentaries on "unregulated heraldry" and "self assumed arms". Several articles I stumbled across seemed to imply that this was a real occurrence and litigated problem in England. Meaning people were doing it, and around 1300 people were just starting to look for ways of prosecuting it. If they did anything about it before that, it may have been settled “out of court”! http://www.heraldica.org/topics/britain/england1.htm http://www.lineages.co.uk/category/english-genealogy/

I hope some of these links are useful, and some may be identified as sources of misconceptions with the real story figured out by some one.

Absence of evidence is not necessarily evidence of absence!
View user's profile Send private message
Jared Smith




Location: Tennessee
Joined: 10 Feb 2005
Likes: 1 page

Spotlight topics: 3
Posts: 1,532

PostPosted: Mon 27 Jun, 2005 9:57 pm    Post subject: "Miles", "Militite"         Reply with quote

Some clarification of previously posted terms. When referring to heavy cavalry, "Knight" or "Chevalier" really defines the mounted soldier in medieval times. Other terms are not very dependable.

In latin a mounted equestrian combatant would be called equite. If elite he had to own significant property and would be called "equite singulare". Lancarie are just light calvary with all equippment typically furnished by the sponsoring "singulare". The term militite is appropriate for any member of the army (common foot soldier, archery, etc.) and usage dates back to very old latin versions of bible (where horses were not necessarily involved.)

Miles (typically a foot soldier)- http://www.usgennet.org/usa/nh/county/hillsbo...hap29.html
elite cavalry in Roman times (about 300) - http://abacus.bates.edu/~mimber/Rciv/soldier.htm

It is difficult to find English language web sites using these terms relative to medieval forces.

Absence of evidence is not necessarily evidence of absence!
View user's profile Send private message
Daniel Staberg




Location: Gothenburg/Sweden
Joined: 30 Apr 2005
Likes: 2 pages
Reading list: 2 books

Posts: 562

PostPosted: Tue 28 Jun, 2005 1:51 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jared,
A couple of follow ups and clarificatiosn on my part

The cost of the knights or more properly the men-at-arms horse in my example is included in the L125-L250 cost for outfittning himself, the horse of a men-at-arms was supposed have a value of at least L30 while that of the page and coustilier should have a value of at least L20, the two horses at L10-L15 each are the nags used by the two mounted archers in the 5 man lance. The man-at-arms of the french army of 1446 had to provide 3 horse, includign one 'true' warhorse/destrier

The 30 heads of cattle cost is for a complete 3 man lance of the polish/prussian style in 1399: One men-at-arms in full armour head to foot. (helmet, full defences for arms&legs (plate or german style 'splint' over mail), mail, some sort of extra chest armour. One retainer wih fairly heavy armour (helmet, mail,padded armour, gauntlets, leg armour (porbably not always complete or plate based) and finaly one mounted crossbowman (helmet, mail, padded armour). About half the cost would be the horses. Horses were more plentifull in this are and therefore somewhat chaeper than comparable horse in western Europe.

Knightly pay wasn't the same all over Europe, the source you quote are for the flemish noblility at the start of the 14th Century and I'm not sure that the website conversion betweeen flemish and english currency is correct.

In England the daily pay was as follows for each type of soldier. These payrates remained the same from at least 1316 to 1475, however at times the troops were paid extra such as and adddtional half of the customary daily rate in order to entice recruits (1369 indenture of John of Gaunt). One year later many indentures actualy paid twice the customary rate. Additional payments known as 'regards' could be paid out to secure the services of especialy valued individuals such as Robert Knollys.

Prince £1
Duke 13s. 4d.
Earl 6s. 8d.
Banneret or Baron 4s
Knight 2s
Esquire or men-at-arms 1s.
Armati or Valetti regis 6d.
Hobilar 6d.
Mounted archer 6d.
(only paid 4d. for service in England, archers from Cheshire or belonging to bodyguards still recived 6d. At times paid 8d in the 15th Century when serving in France)
Archer 3d.
(Only recived 2d. in England bu occasionaly recived 4d. elswhere)
Welsh infantryman or archer 2d.

The basic daily wage of servant was about 1d. a day
So as you can see Chaucer was paid sligthly more than a mounted arhcer or royal page (valetti regis) which isn't strange since the man could read and write which certianly qualified him for the extra 1d. 2f.

In France the following rates of daily pay were laid down by the 1351 ordinance

Banneret 40 sous tournois
Chevalier 20 sous tournois
Ecuyer 10 sous tournois
Valet 5 sous tournois
Crossbowman 3 sous tournois
Pavisier 2.5 sous tournois
Armour-bearer or similar servant 2.5 sous tournois

The 'wages' in the website you linked to are taken from the above ordinance and represent the milatry pay of such men, not any income earned by them from their lands. The 'wages' of the 'poor knight' which is fouan in the same table is almost certianly the landed of a low end esquire (aka squire or properly in France an ecuyer). A 'Minor Lord' is a very loose definition and could fit anyone of a rank above that of esquire.

BTW you conversion from Livres to dollars seems to be changign betwen diffrent sentences, at one point L10 is the equivalent of $20000, then a bit further down L100 is suddenly worth $100000. Perhaps we should avoid trying to translate period currency in to modern day $$$ and simply stick with period costs in Livres, Sous, Pounds and Pennies Wink

Furthermore the wages mentioned for English and French fighting men above are those paid by the crown on active service. Rates of pay in peace time would and could be diffrent or simply not paid at all since any landed men of a retinue woudl revert back to living on their land. Or taking up the life of a bandit/mercenary as the men of the Free Companies did once they got laid of by the peace in the 1360's.

The cost of L100/$100.000 for outfitting a men-at arms in the 1360's is increased by the fact that the Plague drove up the prices of any and all domestic animals. 9 Years earlier the 1351 ordinance reconde the basic warhorse at a cost of L30 whiel tha of a Valet cost L20. The same basic vlaues were still used to controll the quality of horse close to a 100 years later when the regular French army was established though horses often.

Another thing to note is that the basic medieval system often worked on the assumption that a fightign man came at least partly equoped from the start. Men applyign for service were supposed to bring their own equipment and could most of the time not expect to be issued arms&armour by their employer. So in the French Lance of 1446 I used as an example earlier the man-at-arms (aka gendarme, gens de armes, homme de armes) would only pay for his personal equipment and 3 horse he had to provide. The coustilier, valet and archers had to bring their own arms&armour as laid down in the regulation of the ordinance or they would not be accepted into service. The same principle applied to the indentures by which tthe English and part of the French army was raised during the 100-years war.

As a rule only the household troops of the Royalty or the great Nobles of England or France were issued arms&armour by their employers. Charles the Bold had one Milan workshop alone delvier 100 sets of complete "white harness" to his household each year. John Howrd, Duke of Norfolk had a personal retinue of some 800 men to which he issued arms and armour as detiale in his account books.

Thats all for now, I'll get back to you on a couple of other points later
View user's profile Send private message
Daniel Staberg




Location: Gothenburg/Sweden
Joined: 30 Apr 2005
Likes: 2 pages
Reading list: 2 books

Posts: 562

PostPosted: Tue 28 Jun, 2005 2:48 am    Post subject: Re: "Miles", "Militite"         Reply with quote

Jared Smith wrote:
Some clarification of previously posted terms. When referring to heavy cavalry, "Knight" or "Chevalier" really defines the mounted soldier in medieval times. Other terms are not very dependable.

In latin a mounted equestrian combatant would be called equite. If elite he had to own significant property and would be called "equite singulare". Lancarie are just light calvary with all equippment typically furnished by the sponsoring "singulare". The term militite is appropriate for any member of the army (common foot soldier, archery, etc.) and usage dates back to very old latin versions of bible (where horses were not necessarily involved.)

Miles (typically a foot soldier)- http://www.usgennet.org/usa/nh/county/hillsbo...hap29.html
elite cavalry in Roman times (about 300) - http://abacus.bates.edu/~mimber/Rciv/soldier.htm

It is difficult to find English language web sites using these terms relative to medieval forces.

It might be difficult to find websites that use those terms, it isn't had to find period sources and documents that use them, nor are they uncommon in academic works on the subject.

Other terms not dependable? , so the preserved ordiances, indentures, contracts and chronicles of the 14th and 15th Centuries are not dependable because they don't fit the narrow selction of terms chosen by you? So Anne Curry, Phillipe Contamine, Michael Prestwich, Paul Knight, Ian Heath and Richard Hardy to name but a few authors are in the wrong when they use terms other than "knight" or "chevalier" based on their research of the period sources.?

The simple fact of the matter is that a large number of terms of often confusing were used. In the 15th century alone the English called their heavy cavalry "lance" as well as "spears" or ges darmes, man of arms and man-at-arms. (indentures of 1415, 1440, 1441and 1475 as quoted in various works) .
Lets take a look at the text of the indenture of James Skidmore in 1440

Quote:
"...as a man of arms with vj. [6] archer sin his company, all on horsbak and wele chosen men, and likely personnes wele and suffisantly armed, horsed and arrayed ev'ry man after his degree; that is to say, that the seid James Skidmore have hernis complete wt basnet or salade, with viser, spere, axe, swerd and dagger; And that all the seid archers specially to have good jakks of defence, salades, swerds and sheves of xl. [40] arwes atte least"

Indenture of Jame Skidmore as quoted in Paul Knight's "Henry V and the Conquest of France 1416-53"

Attached below is a scan of an actual indenture of 1441, as you can see neither the word knight or chevalier is used in the actual text.

The French used the term lance as well or gens darmes, hommes d'armes, often spelled in a variety of ways.

Read Proffessor Philippe Contamines "War in the Middle Ages for an explaination of the use of "milites" in various forms in actual period sources. The texts invovled are to long for me to quote in full at the moment som I'll provide a couple of snippets from page 68 of the book:
"It is by no means certain that all those called knights or milites in the sources were true knights in the social sense of the word. (...) Frederick II, havign promised the papcy that he would maintain for two years in Palestine 1,000 milites..."
Other forms used were
milites gregarii
milites plebi
milities rustici
prmi milites
strenui milities
and so on.

Latin was the main language of law&goverment as well as many chronicles. "Knight" and "Chevalier" is nothing but later day translations of those terms once French and English began to replace Latin as the language in use.



 Attachment: 101.63 KB
[ Download ]
View user's profile Send private message
Jared Smith




Location: Tennessee
Joined: 10 Feb 2005
Likes: 1 page

Spotlight topics: 3
Posts: 1,532

PostPosted: Tue 28 Jun, 2005 3:16 pm    Post subject: Thankyou again for the post.         Reply with quote

I will not refute this above information, and really appreciate your taking the time to scan it. I don't speak French or Latin, but your quote snippet appears to discuss different types of armor for different functions (archer - "padded jacks" or "coat of plates", full harness with Bascinet for the titled lord?, light cavalry (Lancer, would expect half harness or "White" Harness at this date as you mentioned before)...) Milite in your list appears relatively meaningless without the subsequent descriptor...other than being some type of soldier.

This is circling back to what I originally claimed....my own confusion caused by terminology. If I understand you right, people were as poor at using highly precise terms back then as they are today? I don't actually get the same conclusion from what little I can guess from your quote.

Here it appears that we have vallid information, describing different composition/rank, with different types of armor, and different terms. That is what I would like, as long as it is actually true! The only impression of "heavy cavalry" I get from this is the description of Sir James Skidmore in full harness.

To my original problem....is everyone in "Heavy Cavalry" (heavier harness, higher value horses) really equipped and titled like Sir Skidmore. To be functional, it would seem they would need to be. To reconcile the quantities with the number of Nobility seems dubious. I am not a currency expert, so in terms of costs.. maybe they were. How much cavalry is heavy, and how much is light? The French seem to prefer heavy at 1300-1400 medival times, but change to light cavalry pretty quickly. If you or anyone else actually possesses knowledge of composition (light cavalry, heavy calvary, titled knights, etc.) I for one would appreciate it if all of this were not lumped togather in a term such as "milite" or simply "mounted knights".

I don't consider artwork authoritative, but you can find pictures of tapestries in this time frame illustrating mounted individuals, mixed in with foot combat (French/Flemmish), wearing what appears to be leather, scale, mail, and various completeness harness of plate all togather in a single battle scene. On the other hand, there is a lot of art that has the generic everyone is the same (full harness, no surcoat footsoldiers-presumably the infantry marching in the sun between battles in this kind of stuff.) I would not have wanted to do that. I doubt they did either!

Absence of evidence is not necessarily evidence of absence!
View user's profile Send private message
Jared Smith




Location: Tennessee
Joined: 10 Feb 2005
Likes: 1 page

Spotlight topics: 3
Posts: 1,532

PostPosted: Tue 28 Jun, 2005 4:13 pm    Post subject: Economics         Reply with quote

This site on medieval economics is relatively easy to translate in terms of annual income versus costs. It gives me the worst possible outcome though...no one but royalty could have hope to equip themselves. I don't buy it.
http://www.hyw.com/books/history/Money__I.htm

Notice costs of 1 Destrier is about 20 years income for the higher paid builders and priestly pay class. A Lord's horse requires enough money to feed as an average laborer makes, etc. If you follow the links you should be able to find pay for 90 days service. The various soldier types don't really fare well, but the Fief holder leading 20 to 50 troops makes about 4 times the annual income of a wealthy builder or priest (assumming he does this for an entire year.) I would say he can't afford to pay for the 20 to 50 troops off of that alone.

A "Very Rich Knight" posesses (not wages from fighting, total assetts based on estate inventory) about 60 times what the higher paid artisens, builders, and priests were paid per year. To my way of thinking, he would be the current day of a multi-millionare.

Wealthy to modest esquires make (or possess, very unclear and difficult to track down consistent figure) about 10 to 25 times what were higher paid grade wages. Many of the esquires end up in that impoverished knightly class.

Absence of evidence is not necessarily evidence of absence!
View user's profile Send private message
Gordon Frye




Location: Kingston, Washington
Joined: 20 Apr 2004
Reading list: 15 books

Spotlight topics: 2
Posts: 1,191

PostPosted: Thu 30 Jun, 2005 8:17 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Great Topic, Jared and Daniel. I had a wonderful post written here with costs for a gendarme etc, but the damned program ate it, so I'll get to it another time when I'm not so mad at the thing. Anyway, glad to see such a post!

Cheers,

Gordon

"After God, we owe our victory to our Horses"
Gonsalo Jimenez de Quesada
http://www.renaissancesoldier.com/
http://historypundit.blogspot.com/
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website Yahoo Messenger
Gordon Frye




Location: Kingston, Washington
Joined: 20 Apr 2004
Reading list: 15 books

Spotlight topics: 2
Posts: 1,191

PostPosted: Thu 30 Jun, 2005 9:54 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Here is a table of costs for maintaining various types of Horse for ca. 1545 that I put together a while back based upon modern prices:

Man at Arms
Full armour, cap-a-pie with close-helmet, tempered…………..Valentine Armouries,……… $40-50,000.00
Horse Bardings with Crinolet and Chamfron…………………. Approximately…………………… 25,000.00
Arming Saddle………………………………………………… Bjarnis Boots………………………… 4,500.00
Arming Sword………………………………………………… Arms & Armour……………………… 750.00
Heavy Lance……………………………………………………………………………………………… 250.00
Stallion, large and steady, trained 60-100,000.00
Total Cost not including pay, food, clothing and servants: $130-180,000.00

Demi-Lancer
Half-to-Three-Quarter armour, burgonet or close helmet…….. Valentine Armouries…………… $10-20,000.00
Camargue saddle……………………………………………… Amino Ruitersport………………… 2,000.00
Broadsword…………………………………………………… Arms & Armour…………………… 750.00
Lance…………………………………………………………………………………………………… 250.00
Gelding, large and steady, trained 5-10,000.00
Total costs not including pay, food, clothing or servants: $17-33,000.00

Light Horse
Maille Shirt, open helmet, target……………………………… Forth Armoury, Manning Imperial $1-1,750.00
Portuguese or Spanish saddle………………………………… Frontier Equestrian………… 500.00-1,000.00
Broadsword…………………………………………………… Arms & Armour…………………… 3-750.00
Nag 500-1,000.00
Total Cost not including pay, food or clothing: $2,300-4,500.00


Note that the cost for the gendarme is based upon the use of a single horse. Since in a compaigne d'ordonnance, a gendarme was required to have three War Horses and two "Nags", you would need to add quite a bit to the basic costs involved, basically add another $120-200+,000. (The costs quoted here are for top-level Dressage and Hunter-Jumper competition Stallions... and these are not the outrageously priced ones, either)

These prices of course are not absolutes, but based upon present day buying power and available sources. I have no doubt that all of the above items can be purchased at either significantly lower, or higher prices than quoted.

Cheers,

Gordon

"After God, we owe our victory to our Horses"
Gonsalo Jimenez de Quesada
http://www.renaissancesoldier.com/
http://historypundit.blogspot.com/
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website Yahoo Messenger
Daniel Staberg




Location: Gothenburg/Sweden
Joined: 30 Apr 2005
Likes: 2 pages
Reading list: 2 books

Posts: 562

PostPosted: Sat 16 Jul, 2005 7:09 am    Post subject: Re: Economics         Reply with quote

Jared Smith wrote:
This site on medieval economics is relatively easy to translate in terms of annual income versus costs. It gives me the worst possible outcome though...no one but royalty could have hope to equip themselves. I don't buy it.
http://www.hyw.com/books/history/Money__I.htm

Jarde the article you linked to is actualy part of the manual for an on-line game about the 100YW and has a lot of inconsitencies and errors in it's calcualtiosn and converions in to those "ducats" used. A a lot of terms and exmaples provided are inventions for use in the game with limited fundation in actual history.

Quote:
Notice costs of 1 Destrier is about 20 years income for the higher paid builders and priestly pay class. A Lord's horse requires enough money to feed as an average laborer makes, etc. If you follow the links you should be able to find pay for 90 days service. The various soldier types don't really fare well, but the Fief holder leading 20 to 50 troops makes about 4 times the annual income of a wealthy builder or priest (assumming he does this for an entire year.) I would say he can't afford to pay for the 20 to 50 troops off of that alone.


The pay rates are way of and are clearly erronous compared to the well know pay rates for English and French troops. For example an "English Yeoman Archer" gets 1200 'ducats' in 90days, thats 13,3 ducats a day or 5,33 pence a day when the archer was actualy paid at least 6 pence a day. This kind of simple errors are repeated througout the list of salaries, calculate&compare the salaries with the list I've provided earlier and you see that for yourself.

Regarding horse the prices in the article those are inflated to extent. Fro example in 1298 (batttle of Falkirk) Robert Clifford rode a very expensive horse valued a £30 or 18000 "ducats". in the same battle men-at-arms/esquire John Wetherington on the other hand had a horse worth only 8 marks or a 1000 'ducats'. Destriers worth as much as a £83/50.000 ductas would be very rare indeed and hardly represent the norm. Even the extremly expensive destriers demanded of the French Gendarmes in 1574 didn't cost more than 200 livres or some 26000 'ductas' and that price has been increased by a lot of inflation. A 16th Century livre at the best only had half the purchasing power of a 15th Century one.
View user's profile Send private message
Jared Smith




Location: Tennessee
Joined: 10 Feb 2005
Likes: 1 page

Spotlight topics: 3
Posts: 1,532

PostPosted: Thu 21 Jul, 2005 7:44 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thank you very much Gordan for taking the time to compile those equivalent cost estimates!


The original theme to this post was to imply that, up until around the end of the 1300’s, a large number of battlefield participants could fit into “Man at Arms” or knightly class, yet not be equipped “cap a pie”. This would include even those of noble birth, who were not direct inheritors of significant lands. For all of us, such as myself, who can’t stand impaired mobility/vision, high armour costs, etc, a lighter mail kit is not necessarily entirely out of place over a significant length period of late medieval history. This level of equipment, however, would probably not fit expectations of “heavy cavalry”.

The costs posted by Gordon do not seem grossly out of line with my own rough swag. As I figure it, to be committed in training for life, there are a lot of support costs “in between paying wars” that a mounted knight or man at arms requires significant independent income to support.

I would consider a common example such as Sir Edmund Appleby who fought at the battle of Crecy. He could be classified as an “Earl’s sub tenant knight” with an above average manor. At the time of his death, an audit was conducted and the article referenced herein gives a pretty good idea of his actual wealth and level of armament upon death in 1375. Despite good economic position and royal favor, his equipment was relatively simple.
http://www.applebymagna.org.uk/appleby_histor...anor_2.htm


Not all sources agree with “Bayeux Tapestry mentality” (completed 11 years after the event, and constructed elsewhere, not necessarily by eye witnesses) that tend to illustrate all participants as equally equipped. At least some articles will challenge the idea that combatants were consistently well equipped as shown in more “glamorized” artwork.
http://www.angelfire.com/empire/egfroth/VarangianArmour.htm As a side note, the English supposedly had significant numbers (perhaps as much as 25% of nobility left in over 300 ships) that abandoned their uncertain feudal system prospects, before the battle of Hastings, and joined Varangians. A couple of commentaries I found on “English Varangians” seemed to suggest that even accompanying men at arms were expected to be of noble birth, or were not well regarded. I have not had time to research Varangians or the dominant reasons English joined them, but it does not seem insignificant. Over time they seems to become equivalent to mercenary forces… http://web.missouri.edu/~tm104/other/english_varangians.htm

I have briefly attempted to gather historical inventories of armouries. I pretty much came up with nothing for France, which is disappointing as I believe it to be much more heavily invested in heavy armour than England. England, however, seems to have little hesitation in prioritizing arrows and relatively minimal amounts of plate armour. http://www.deremilitari.org/RESOURCES/ARTICLES/storey.htm

Absence of evidence is not necessarily evidence of absence!
View user's profile Send private message
Daniel Staberg




Location: Gothenburg/Sweden
Joined: 30 Apr 2005
Likes: 2 pages
Reading list: 2 books

Posts: 562

PostPosted: Fri 22 Jul, 2005 12:31 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jared Smith wrote:


I would consider a common example such as Sir Edmund Appleby who fought at the battle of Crecy. He could be classified as an “Earl’s sub tenant knight” with an above average manor. At the time of his death, an audit was conducted and the article referenced herein gives a pretty good idea of his actual wealth and level of armament upon death in 1375. Despite good economic position and royal favor, his equipment was relatively simple.
http://www.applebymagna.org.uk/appleby_histor...anor_2.htm


The article provides very limited details of Sir Edmund's armour,
Quote:
Sir Edmund de Appleby also kept his ‘disused armour’ in the chamber: body armour, helmets and mailed gloves for himself and a saddle sewed together with a ‘tester’ (head covering) and a ‘pisane’ (breast-plate) for his horse.

No details are given of the type of the "body armour" and "helmets" unless you consider his effigy which shows a man-at-arms in full cap-a-pie equipment of the 1370's. He has a well developed bascient with aventail, plate armour covers the arms and legs, a mail shirt is worn and the probable coat-of-plates is hidden by the jupon. A very well equiped man indeed as benefits his station and hardly "simple equipment"
View user's profile Send private message
Gordon Frye




Location: Kingston, Washington
Joined: 20 Apr 2004
Reading list: 15 books

Spotlight topics: 2
Posts: 1,191

PostPosted: Fri 22 Jul, 2005 8:58 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

<a saddle sewed together with a ‘tester’ (head covering) and a ‘pisane’ (breast-plate) for his horse. >

Hmmm... "saddle sewed together". Wonder just what they mean with that phrase? Together in and of itself, of together with the "tester" and "pisane"? And how on earth would that be? Hmmm...

Interesting terminology for these items, later refered to as the chamfron and peytral. But then, one must expect some evolution in languange over the centuries.

Cool site, Jared, thanks for posting it.

Gordon

"After God, we owe our victory to our Horses"
Gonsalo Jimenez de Quesada
http://www.renaissancesoldier.com/
http://historypundit.blogspot.com/
View user's profile Send private message Visit poster's website Yahoo Messenger
Nathan Robinson
myArmoury Admin


myArmoury Admin

PostPosted: Fri 22 Jul, 2005 1:57 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

This topic has been promoted into a Spotlight Topic.
.:. Visit my Collection Gallery :: View my Reading List :: View my Wish List :: See Pages I Like :: Find me on Facebook .:.
View user's profile Send private message Send e-mail Visit poster's website
Jared Smith




Location: Tennessee
Joined: 10 Feb 2005
Likes: 1 page

Spotlight topics: 3
Posts: 1,532

PostPosted: Sat 23 Jul, 2005 9:37 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Daniel Staberg has a good observation. Sir Appleby is pretty well equipped for that date, particularly since he died at an old age, and his armour probably is representative of his equipment around the time of the battles of Crecy and Poiters. I liked the effigy and descriptions since you can believe that he used a lot of mail, and was not encased in full plate harness.

Later art tends to show a lot of generic full plate harness participants in these 1300's era battles. I guess most will agree that 1300 to 1400 AD is "transitional armour" period where a lot of mail is still used. I personally get mixed up on when this transitional period really was since artwork has a way of really diverging beyond historical reality. Just to illustrate that point, here are some different "artist's" interpretations;

Two different artist’s depiction of armament at the Battle of Hastings (1066);
1) http://www.angelfire.com/mb2/battle_hastings_1066/lovell.html (modern painting, but probably not far off a lot what many of us would expect based on medieval tapestries)

2) http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/battleabbe...ntSlide=5# (very light level of armament, consistent with some comments about how “English Varangians”, even those who were noble, were described elsewhere at the same time frame as the Battle of Hastings.)


Depictions of Battle of Poiters (1356);
1) http://www.bow.k12.nh.us/CyberBUS/monarchies/...poiter.htm (seems to show plenty of full harness plate)
2) http://www.medieval-art.com/poictiers.htm (two very different levels of armament in two different interpretations at this site.)

Depending on which version of artist's interpretation you accept, Sir Edmund Appleby might be considered well equipped, or below average. I think Daniel has it right in saying that he is actually well equipped for that date.

Absence of evidence is not necessarily evidence of absence!
View user's profile Send private message
Daniel Staberg




Location: Gothenburg/Sweden
Joined: 30 Apr 2005
Likes: 2 pages
Reading list: 2 books

Posts: 562

PostPosted: Sat 23 Jul, 2005 4:14 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

It must have been a bit early in the morning for me when I made my last post concerning Sir Edmund's armour since i forgot to point out that it's possible, indeed probable that the effigy depicts armour in the style of the 1370's when the fficgy was made, not the armour possesed by Sir Edmund or used in 1346. The phots are a bit poor but the effigy looks very much to be in a later style due to the shape of the bascient and the fact that the limbs are just about completely covered in plate armour complete with 'Hourglass gauntlets' which doesn't appear until the 1350's accordi0gn to my books. (And the text mentions gauntlets of mail, not plate.)

I've attached a picture of 4 recreated knights drawn by Ian Heath using english effigies as the start of the recreation complete with the year of death(= year the effigy was probably made)

1. Sir William FitzRalph (1323)
2. Sir John De Creke (1330)
3. Sir Hugh Hastings (1347)
4. Ralph Lord Stafford (1347)
As can be seen mail is very much the main defence even if it's reinforced by additional plate armour either in the shape of plates riveted to a fudnation of leather (coat-of-plates style) or by "pure" plate armour. 2 out of 4 men wear mail gauntlets and Lord Stafford (4) has simple leather gauntlets without any kind of reinforcement.

IMHO it's more probable that the armour worn by Sir Edmudn in 1346 looked more like that depicted below than that on his effigy and might very well be the same armour worth £18 recorded at his death. Though the sum suggests that multiple items/sets of armour were found when the inventory was made, in 1441 a good quality Milanese full plate harness cost £8, 6s, 8d.



 Attachment: 83.61 KB
English_knights.jpg
English knights 1323-1347
View user's profile Send private message


Display posts from previous:   
Forum Index > Off-topic Talk > Use of the word 'Knight' and 'Heavy Cavalry'
Page 1 of 2 Reply to topic
Go to page 1, 2  Next 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