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Scott Hrouda




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PostPosted: Thu 10 May, 2012 5:51 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thank you for the additional clarification Randall. To summarize the information provided by those much more knowledgable than I:

Voiders/skirt/breast/back combination during the 14th century: exceedingly unlikely with no hard evidence until near the end of Hundred Years' War.

Voiders/skirt/coat-of-plates: right out.

...and that, my liege, is how we know the Earth to be banana shaped. - Sir Bedevere
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Jojo Zerach





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PostPosted: Thu 10 May, 2012 11:02 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Randall Moffett wrote:
Ahmad,

In much of western Europe the pair of plates is given in armour requirements as being equal to the hauberk or habergeon. In fact by the 1330s men at arms in England are no longer required to have a mail shirt only a pair of plates and aketon. This of course is the minimum requirements but all across western Europe the pair of plates seems to have been worn alone, with an aketon, and or a mail shirt etc.

Jojo,

This

"Coat-of-plates (as most people imagine them) would have been pretty dated as knightly gear in the 2nd half of the 14th century, even in Germany. (Which lagged far behind England and France in terms of plate armour.)"

Is only partially true I think. Some fairly good evidence for knightly use of pairs of plates into the 1380s. Bertrand du Guesclin is noted to have worn one throughout his life fairly often in his biography written soon after his death in 1380.

Push it back to the thrid quarter of the 14th and I think you likely are right though. I think 1350-75/80 is largely the period of transition for knights from COPs to breastplates. Some of course did it earlier some later. You actually see some artwork in Germany of COPs on what look to be knights (men with arms on their shields) into the 1400s.

As far as voiders go. I have said this before so will keep it brief.

We have evidence for all sorts of mail armours and parts before 1400. The issue is aside from mail shirts, hauberks, haburgeons, chausses and coifs we really have little info on their use by knights and men at arms. To my understanding there is 0 evidence of use of mail skirts or voiders under plate till toward the end of the Hundreds Years War and it is not till the Hastings that we have sure evidence. Most of the mid 15th writers that give the set up have gambesons/aketons, hauberks and plate harness. Monstrelet being the best that comes to mind in his Agincourt account.

RPM


When I said "as most people imagine them", I was referring to the sort with the unshaped, tubular profile.
I know coat-of-plates evolved in form and were used well after 1350, but when most people think of a coat-of-plates, they seem to imagine something like the Wisby finds.
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Jojo Zerach





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PostPosted: Thu 10 May, 2012 11:07 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

As for voiders, I thought I heard someone mention a mid-14th century reference to mail patches being worn inside the elbow? (Unfortunately, I don't know more about this.)
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Ahmad Tabari





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PostPosted: Thu 10 May, 2012 11:08 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Randall Moffett wrote:
In much of western Europe the pair of plates is given in armour requirements as being equal to the hauberk or habergeon. In fact by the 1330s men at arms in England are no longer required to have a mail shirt only a pair of plates and aketon. This of course is the minimum requirements but all across western Europe the pair of plates seems to have been worn alone, with an aketon, and or a mail shirt etc.

Yes but the pair of plates seemed to have been designed to be a standalone armour from the beginning. Either that or it proved to be protective enough to negate the need for an additional layer of mail. The coat of plates on the other hand seems to have been designed primarily to supplement the mail hauberk as shown in the Kingsmirror. That is not to say that it was not used alone by more lightly equipped foot soldiers.
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Kel Rekuta




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PostPosted: Thu 10 May, 2012 11:29 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Ahmad Tabari wrote:
Randall Moffett wrote:
In much of western Europe the pair of plates is given in armour requirements as being equal to the hauberk or habergeon. In fact by the 1330s men at arms in England are no longer required to have a mail shirt only a pair of plates and aketon. This of course is the minimum requirements but all across western Europe the pair of plates seems to have been worn alone, with an aketon, and or a mail shirt etc.

Yes but the pair of plates seemed to have been designed to be a standalone armour from the beginning. Either that or it proved to be protective enough to negate the need for an additional layer of mail. The coat of plates on the other hand seems to have been designed primarily to supplement the mail hauberk as shown in the Kingsmirror. That is not to say that it was not used alone by more lightly equipped foot soldiers.


Payre of playtes and variant spellings refers to what we now call a coat of plates (COP). The latter term wasn't used before Victorian armour enthusiasts started renaming everything for their convenience.

I have to question the use of pairs of plates without underlying mail. Neither the funerary monumental record nor period art seem to agree. Another term that seems to be floating around indiscriminately is "voiders." Hard to define that when an earlier quoted reference uses variants of the term to describe mail in conjunction with leg and arm harness. Certainly Datini's records show full mail sleeves in the mid -1360's but not abbreviated underarm mail assemblies so many merchants sell today. Those are definitely mid 15thC appropriate items.

This discussion is getting mighty confusing to follow because of the way certain terms are bandied about. Worried
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Ahmad Tabari





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PostPosted: Thu 10 May, 2012 12:31 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Kel Rekuta wrote:
Payre of playtes and variant spellings refers to what we now call a coat of plates (COP). The latter term wasn't used before Victorian armour enthusiasts started renaming everything
I was not aware of that. I assumed that the "pair of plates" referred to the late 14th century breastplates made of two fabric covered iron plates riveted together. I agree the terminology is confusing Confused
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Randall Moffett




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PostPosted: Thu 10 May, 2012 1:38 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jojo,

I can live with that. The issue is they tend to be called the same thing as more or less they are just one is a bit further along.

Ahmad,

I think you are talking about the same item used in different ways.

Kel,

Regardless of what art, or more particularly funerary monumental effigies indicate, the text is clear enough to leave little doubt, pairs of plates/ coat of plates/COPs/ etc. were used alone without mail. Patent Rolls, Close Rolls, Garderobe Rolls, the Rolls of the Close of the Galleys, various civic records in Southampton and London, I can think of a large number that this is the case. The fact that a hauberk or habergeon can be used in place of a pair of plates makes this even clearer.

Considering the effigies are largely of knights, men who in theory have the most wealth and need for armour, it makes sense effigies show this set up. Now I am of the feeling they were always used with aketons/gambesons because that is what the most common orders for troops and armour requirements I have seen say and I have never seen art or text indicating the pair of plates without at the least an aketon that is my thoughts on it at least. If they do not have an aketon they do not have a pair of plates. Randall Storey in his PhD thesis said they may have even began to build combined aketons and plates but I have not seen this in my research yet.

Here is an example from something I am working from- Cal. of Close Rolls 1313-1318
"Nov. 19, 1314
To the Mayor and bailiffs of the city of York. Order to cause that 40 crossbowmen be chosen and to be provided with arms, such as aketons, mail shirt (The original simply states lorica- torso armour [the most common translation is breatplate...] so my guess is mail) or a (pair of) plates and a bascinet and other arms that they are ready to depart."

The passage is clear that the mail and pair of plates is interchangeable. It is also fairly common to see some troops to be outfitted with aketons and Pairs of plates and others just aketons. No mail at all mentioned. Now once again these are the basic demands but they are clear mail is not needed or required.

RPM
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Jojo Zerach





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PostPosted: Thu 10 May, 2012 2:00 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I think this particular effigy supports the idea of voiders in the 14th century.
http://effigiesandbrasses.com/monuments/john_blanchefront/
If you click on the largest size, you can see mail visible inside the elbow gap, but no mail visible on the torso, just an arming coat. To me, this would indicate mail patches sewn to the arming coat sleeve.
The only other alternative I could imagine would be a haubergeon under a sleeveless arming coat, which seems unlikely to me.
Perhaps such small patches of mail sewn to an arming coat were to insignificant to record separate in inventories? What do you guys think?
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Randall Moffett




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PostPosted: Thu 10 May, 2012 2:41 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jojo,

Do not think this means what you think it means. Considering the small opening it might have been near impossible to sculpt or just to much time. i do not see any armpit there so not sure what you are looking at.


Since the surcoat would be over the pair of plates or breastplate you'd not see the mail anyways

RPM
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Ahmad Tabari





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PostPosted: Thu 10 May, 2012 4:26 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Randall Moffett wrote:
I think you are talking about the same item used in different ways.
Are they the same item? While I am sure that the two plate breastplate developed out of the Wisby style CoP, the two are nevertheless very different. Yes they are both cloth covered and they are constructed in a similar manner, but the curved shape of the two piece "CoP" makes it much more similar in protective qualities to an early 15th century breastplate than to a Wisby style CoP made out of relatively small flat iron plates.
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Jojo Zerach





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PostPosted: Thu 10 May, 2012 5:02 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Randall Moffett wrote:
Jojo,

Do not think this means what you think it means. Considering the small opening it might have been near impossible to sculpt or just to much time. i do not see any armpit there so not sure what you are looking at.


Since the surcoat would be over the pair of plates or breastplate you'd not see the mail anyways

RPM


I was referring to the elbow gap, not the armpit. (Which is covered by the besegew.)
Numerous monuments have very detailed mail sculpted here.
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Randall Moffett




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PostPosted: Thu 10 May, 2012 6:52 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Ahmed,

Sort of. I think period authors likely called these two piece or multi part torso armours, well formed or not, breastplates or simply plates. I do think they were used in very similar ways.

Jojo,

Still not seeing any evidence for voiders in this effigy. There is no need for a short sleeved arming coat. This gent is probably simply wearing an aketon, mail shirt, plates or breastplate and a surcoat. So no need for a short sleeved arming coat as all you are seeing here is a plates and a surcoat over the mail shirt.

RPM
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Kel Rekuta




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PostPosted: Thu 10 May, 2012 10:42 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Randall Moffett wrote:


Here is an example from something I am working from- Cal. of Close Rolls 1313-1318
"Nov. 19, 1314
To the Mayor and bailiffs of the city of York. Order to cause that 40 crossbowmen be chosen and to be provided with arms, such as aketons, mail shirt (The original simply states lorica- torso armour [the most common translation is breatplate...] so my guess is mail) or a (pair of) plates and a bascinet and other arms that they are ready to depart."

The passage is clear that the mail and pair of plates is interchangeable. It is also fairly common to see some troops to be outfitted with aketons and Pairs of plates and others just aketons. No mail at all mentioned. Now once again these are the basic demands but they are clear mail is not needed or required.

RPM


Now that is much earlier than I am familiar with! If it wouldn't be an inconvenience, could you PM me the transcription of that entry? I am curious about the terms for each item, especially for mail items. Ever since Matthew Strickland translated "pancerone" as mail haubergeon from a mid14thC Italian source, I've been keen on the various clerical entries related to supporting armour in the period. More input is the only solution to my bewilderment.

Cheers!
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Randall Moffett




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PostPosted: Fri 11 May, 2012 6:25 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Kel,

Sorry I did not copy down all the full latin texts I was reading and only wrote down key words and a retranslation, really only verified the sections were placing the right armour terms and sentence structure. The words used are actually lorica and plates from the Edward II Close Rolls above. According to the medieval latin dictionary lorica should be mail of either hauberk or habergeon through this time frame so it is pretty solid in that sense. And plates can only mean a pair of plates at this point for the general population, much to early for breastplates. There is no way to take it any further from there though lorica/loricae is pretty straight forward in the 1300s on for the first half of the 14th. Truth is the occurance is so common I could not have translated them all in the time frame I had and completed my PhD as well. If you read EdII and EdIII's close and patent rolls you will find this is fairly routine for commission of arrays.

That said there are literally hundreds of these accounts and I have likely missed some.

Here is another one.

"Edward II, 1324 Aug. 6. vol. 5, pg.10.

Commission to Stephen de Cobeham, Ralph Sauvage, Henry de Cobeham, and Henry de Goshale, to select in the county of Kent, the towns of Canterbury and Rochester excepted, 1,040 footmen, 260 to be armed with haketons, hauberks or plate armour, bacinets and gauntlets of steel, and the remainder with haketons and steel bacinets and other competent arms (the armour directed to be provided by the Statute of Winchester, being only intended for the preservation of the peace, and not being sufficient for the defence of the realm against foreign invasion), the said armour to be provided at the expense of the commonalty of the county, the said cities being excepted, and to be kept by the commonalties of the towns until the selected men set out, and upon their return to be restored to the. custody of the commonalties; and they
are to array the said selected men in twenties and hundreds. By K. & C.'

They are more or less a format, like a medieval form letter sent from the king to the arrayers. The best armed are in aketons and plates or mail with bascinets and plate gauntlets. They usually use the term of iron plate gauntlets so this is an easy one to ID as well but at times you have ', cirotecis ferreis' which is simple iron gauntlets, which I often write as iron gauntlets but figure them to be plate but could not be sure on it.

The less well equipped are in aketons alone for torso armour.


RPM
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Kel Rekuta




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PostPosted: Sat 12 May, 2012 4:57 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks Randall, that is very interesting. Thanks for sharing.

BTW, is there no digest or compendium of the contents of the close-rolls in the English record? Matt Easton seems to come up with passages from English coroner rolls pretty frequently. Were none of the exchequer or wardrobe rolls published in some form more recently? Does one have to go the original rolls to read this material?
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Randall Moffett




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PostPosted: Sat 12 May, 2012 6:18 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Kel,

Recently, no not really. Most of the regal records of England were translated back in the 19th and 20th century. The issue is that they used words that today would not be commonly used. Lorica is a great example. Many just translated it as breastplate, which for some times is likely correct but others not. We have come a long way since then. Some of the better dictionaries of medieval Latin include frequency of use and when for changing terminology.

Interestingly

google books includes them
http://books.google.com/books/about/CALENDER_...BgbZ14rHUC

and the archive
http://archive.org/details/calendarclosero01offigoog

and for the Patent Rolls my fav.
http://archive.org/details/calendarclosero01offigoog

and one of the best but you need to pay to join, British History Online. This includes the new and useful Parl. Rolls
http://www.british-history.ac.uk/subject.aspx?subject=6

With older translations it is often important to revisit the text to see what is really going on. They do the lorica thing and others and just to ensure they are not using pancerone and such in odd ways good to double check. These are all housed in the National Archives in Kew. I read all the major calendars from Henry III to Henry VIII who changed the system to State Papers which went on for the next hundreds of years. For most of the medieval period it is calendars Close, Patent, inquisitions miscellaneous, these are the big ones.

I should say some never were translated to my understanding just transcribed. Some of Henry III for example are in Latin.

As to the aketon, cop and mail systems. I just figure its a tiered system. Lowest is aketon, next is aketon with plates or aketon with mail and lastly aketon, mail and plates.


RPM
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Y. Perez





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PostPosted: Sat 12 May, 2012 6:49 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

As far as I know the aketon was a quilted defense worn under armour/plate/mail and the gambesson as the quilted garment worn over the armour. Also both could've been used as stand-alone protection.

Is this true..?
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Randall Moffett




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PostPosted: Sun 13 May, 2012 5:58 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Y.,

No. At least not in the medieval period. Truth is they seem to be nearly the same in medieval contexts. Modern persons like to have tidy and neat lines, medieval not so much in this case. Blair proposed dividing them thus as a way to make sense to modern readers in conversation.

RPM
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Y. Perez





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PostPosted: Sun 13 May, 2012 10:57 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

^ Oh I see. All these translations and different names for the same piece is pretty confusing. I think every part of a medieval armour can have at least two names.

So your tipical, say, 14th century man-at-arm will have:

bascinet
linen shirt
aketon(gambeson)
hauberk(maille armour)
hose (or some kind of trousers)
lance

..and protection for shoulders/hands/feet... ?
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Randall Moffett




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PostPosted: Sun 13 May, 2012 3:17 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Y.,

I think from the inside out the base requirements for a man-at-arms by c. 1330 were-

braes
hose
shirt( likely linen)
aketon
pair of plates
gauntlets (often it states of iron or plate, so maybe mail mittens)
bascinets
shield
lance
sword/or equiv.
horse
saddle, etc.

Of course a gent could show equivalence to the arrayer or captain. so if her had a war axe over a sword or great helm to bascinet were likely OK. That said I am thinking it is not an accident that by this point the king and council was requiring pairs of plates over mail. What that is I could not say, cheapness to protective quality I suspect but could not say for certain.

Now this is the bottom of the barrel. If you showed up less than this you were fined and sent home. So the gent likely wore mail and a pair of plates and perhaps had limb armour of the plate (may be leather) varieties.

As well other soldier types have different requirements down to basically an aketon and bascinet.

RPM
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