Poor Knight's Kit?
I am interested in putting together a kit of a European Knight circa 1360-1390, but funds are a little low right know. So the question is, can I still be historically accurate, by having a kit that is somewhat simple(less plate armor) As if i were represent a knight who couldn't afford the armor of his more wealthy fellow knights. perhaps A "lesser Knight" or a wealthy foot soldier?

This post involves "lesser Knights" and Non-noble Men-at-arms:

Yes, you certianly could.
What country/area were you considering?
lesser Knight
You could do splinted arms and legs and have a coat of plates ;) Real easy to make and offer decent protection. The only expensive part would be the visby gauntlets, mail shirt, aventail and helm. 14th Century is pretty cheap compared to depicting, say a 15th century knight :D

Im in the middle of doing a kit, from the same time frame and am going this route with mine. I plan to make most of mine, except for the helm, mail and I plan to get the GDFB klapvisor

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Jojo, It would probably be England or Italy, still working that out :\
This is my lesser knights kit:

Clothing & armour chest

Armour & arming coat in chest

Armour sans knightly gown, knightly belt, sword & dagger

Armour with knightly gown, knightly belt, & sword

Tent with travel furniture

The lesser knight, his 2 non noble men at arms, 3 archers and an archers wife... as even lesser knights had to supply troops when mustered.

The point of this is not to show off, but to show that even at this point I'm lacking gear a real period lesser knight would have on the march. Too many people buy into this myth of the "poor knight" in threadbare clothing and rusting armour. Lesser knights still have large enough land holdings to oversee to supply them with the basic needs...

of knighthood.

Look to the tenant farmer/ soldier as a possibility to base your kit for now. Lots of fun stuff to do as a semiprofessional soldier.

In the past as a Scottish lesser knight I had 12 pikemen to back me, now that my group has shifted to the south (England) I have 2 tenant men at arms (with full armour) and 3-5 tenant archers(with padded coats) as the troops I'd supply when called by my lord at living history demos.


Nick Esposito wrote:
Jojo, It would probably be England or Italy, still working that out :\

The cheapest way to do it would be to make the simpiler parts yourself.
This also has the benifit that your armour will fit better then the once-size for all stuff you buy.
With English, you could use a lot of leather-metal composite armours, which are simple to make compared to historicaly-shaped plate armour.
(Only requires 3 or 4 tools and minimal skill.)
With Italy, you could probably use just mail and cuir-boilli!
Is this an SCA kit?
Jojo, this is not for the SCA, just reenactment purposes.
Nick Esposito wrote:
Jojo, this is not for the SCA, just reenactment purposes.

In that case..... and assuming you eventually want to work up into a full late 14th c. kit, I would recommend you don't waste money on stuff that you will have to replace. just get the basics and work up as you go. that means get good foundational garments. then add armour as you go. in particular i would start with a basinet/aventail, legs and a good arming coat, like the Charles of Blois coat, designed to go over plate and/or maille, like what you see on the Hohenklingen effigy http://effigiesandbrasses.com/monuments/walter_von_hohenklingen/

the fact that you don't actually have plate and maille under the coat doesn't matter at the earliest stage in the game if all you are doing is re-enactment and you're strapped for cash. if you had period appropriate leather ankle length boots, braies, hose, linen tunic, sleeveless pourpoint, plate cuisses pointed to the tunic or pourpoint, an arming coat, some leather gloves, and a basinet with attached aventail, you are on the field and looking realistic even if you are lacking the maille and plate arms and torso armour, sabatons, and gauntlets.

but on the other hand - if you are going directly for the poorer equipped look with no intention of ever building up to full plate, then i would go for a combination of maille and padded clothing with some armour bits for the elbows, knees, etc. you could do braies, hose, ankle boots, tunic, pourpoint, padded cuisses pointed to the pourpoint, simple poleyn pointed to the cuisse and strapped behind the knee, maille hauberk reaching to mid-thigh, simple elbows, simple Wisby styled shoulders, and maybe some splinted vambraces. maybe a simple sleeveless surcoat over the maille. as Jojo stated, there is plenty of evidence that in several areas of Europe, including northern England, Scotland, maille was often still the main torso armour for many in the late 14th c. you will still need your helm and your gauntlets and those can run you a bit more than pocket change.

just my $.02
Nick, do you have armour from earlier periods ? Some earlier pieces of armour may be concievably used by a knight strapped for cash

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