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James Arlen Gillaspie
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PostPosted: Wed 13 May, 2020 1:46 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Italian mercenary forces of the 15th century were exceptionally well equipped, which is not to be wondered at as the major northern city-states, especially Milan and Venice (Brescia etc) , had some of the biggest armour producers in Europe. They had the most consistently best equipped heavy infantry in Europe, but they also used a lot of lightly armed skirmishers with the big oval shields and often only a greave on their leading leg.
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Randall Moffett




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PostPosted: Wed 13 May, 2020 5:27 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Going off what Anthony sent. Constables in the English levy system are above the groups of 20s and 100s typically. That said it does not often have a numeric place so to speak. SO your leader of 100 will have roughtly that number and have 5 groups of 20 with their leader. The Constable might have anything over 100 to 1000 or more. In Yorkshire in the 14th century all the Ridings of the county are placed under a sheriff and he selects two or three constables over the thousands of men raised.

It is fairly common in England by Edward II's reign to see a basic footman in an aketon and bascinet and a better armed in the same with a pair of plates, or hauberk with gaunts and a pisan or aventail for the basccinet.

I have a section in the book I am working on that covers requirements like these. I'll dig some of the more important stuff out,

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PostPosted: Thu 14 May, 2020 1:21 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Looking forward to that Randall.
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Pedro Paulo Gaião




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PostPosted: Thu 14 May, 2020 1:32 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Dan Howard wrote:
Pedro Paulo Gaião wrote:
Is the poem saying 2020 knights or 220 knights?

"two and twenty" is 22.


Odd way of saying that, I thought the textual concordance to be: "Ten thousand bold Scots, two (thousand) and twenty knights", expect if in the Middle Ages the British counted numbers as Germans do.
-------------------------------
Anthony Clipsom wrote:

Jean Le Bel's eyewitness account of the 1327 campaign contains an overview of the Scottish forces. These include 3,000 men-at-arms on "good rounceys and coursers" i.e. what rank and file English men-at-arms had.

The Bridlington Chronicle notes Scots casualties at Dupplin Moor of 3 Earls,18 bannerets, 58 knights, 800 esquires, 1,200 well-armoured infantry and "many" common footmen. This was not a national muster.

When mustered before the Battle of Neville's Cross, the army contained 2,000 "armed" men. Armed in this context probably means equipped as a man-at-arms.

The Grand Army of Scotland in France in 1424 apparently numbered 2,500 men-at-arms and 4,000 archers. These were not the only men-at-arms or archers serving at the time - there many in garrison - and, of course, some would remain in Scotland.


I will read through these references, thanks. But I have a very sincere question: why scottish armies varied so much in size? I mean, the important battles of the period held small numbers of soldiers compared to Englishmen and an even smaller number of men-at-arms and knights. However, Dupplin Moor (sort of a civil war), the Grand Army and even the Battle of Flodden Field weren't absolute dangers or necessities for the Kingdom but were examples of huge armies. Is there any logic I'm not getting?
-------------------------------
Anthony Clipsom wrote:
http://users.trytel.com/~tristan/towns/florilegium/government/gvdef05.html#n05

Norwich was a major city in the Middle Ages, so this represents quite a wealthy community. What we can see here is the workings out of the Statute of Winchester 1285, as modernised in the first half of the 14th century. In particular, the class of half-armed men fit definitions of armati or hobilars from that period. Note incidentally the similarities to the £10 man from the Scots regulations.
[...]
I hope this demonstrates a good idea of what common arms might be available in England at this time.


Moving back to this source subject: Why do you think the half-armed men would be armati?

Regarding the document, I found it to be shocking, actually. At the 1355 muster, only the constables and a dozen of men in the entire city have a good degree with armor. I thought that bigger cities would hold at least a few hundred men-at-arms or well-equipped archers and infantrymen. I mean, there are people with some armor, but the "archer" division omit any reference for armor; the general idea for archer kit on the campaign was bascinet, gambeson, sword and buckler (and this on the base level).

The doublets mentioned being in used alongside CoP's are mean to be thick standalone armor or just the padding used to be worn under the armor? Cause I don't remember infantry gambeson being used with coat-of-plates (at least with the latter being worn over textile; highlander and Irish chieftains seem to have used then underneath their gambesons), also counting that you don't necessarily need an underneath padded vest to use a CoP.

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Alan E




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PostPosted: Fri 15 May, 2020 2:06 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Pedro Paulo Gaião wrote:
Dan Howard wrote:
Pedro Paulo Gaião wrote:
Is the poem saying 2020 knights or 220 knights?

"two and twenty" is 22.


Odd way of saying that, I thought the textual concordance to be: "Ten thousand bold Scots, two (thousand) and twenty knights", expect if in the Middle Ages the British counted numbers as Germans do.

Not odd at all. English is a Germanic language and whilst modern English has switched 'Twenty-two' around to match Romance languages (vingt-deux, veintiuno), modern German still uses the same form as older English (zwei und zwanzig). Two and twenty perfectly normal and recognisable well into modern times and the same construction is found for example in "Sing a song of sixpence" (as "four and twenty blackbirds") which occurred in schoolbooks I used as a child.

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Anthony Clipsom




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PostPosted: Fri 15 May, 2020 2:15 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Quote:
Odd way of saying that, I thought the textual concordance to be: "Ten thousand bold Scots, two (thousand) and twenty knights", expect if in the Middle Ages the British counted numbers as Germans do.


There is an old English nursery rhyme about four and twenty blackbirds baked in a pie, which would probably make folks in the UK immediately think 22 for this. Numbers in the middle ages could be quite indirect by modern standards - the English counted in decimals (10s, 100s etc.) but also in scores. So you may see a document which states there were iiij c men of whom ij xx were knights (400 men , 40 knights). It was common in text to put numbers in as Roman numerals rather than words. In the case of two and twenty, I'd guess it must have been written like that, though.

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Anthony Clipsom




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PostPosted: Fri 15 May, 2020 3:09 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Quote:
Why do you think the half-armed men would be armati?


Their equipment.
Half armoured Norwich "armed with doublet, plate, bascinet with aventail, and plated gauntlets".
pedites armati 1324 (but similar from 1318 on) "aketon, haubergeon or plates, bascinet with aventail, steel gloves"
Hobilar 1335 " aketon or plates, bascinet or palet, pisa collorettum, iron gauntlets"

The difference between armati and hobilars seems to be a horse, though I'm not certain that this distinction was also maintained at the time.

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Randall Moffett




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PostPosted: Fri 15 May, 2020 9:35 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

So as far as half armed we sort of know. The Norwich Rolls use the terms full and hald armed and include some examples of the arms and armours they have.

Here is one example. Edward II 1322

“ Array of all men at arms and footmen, all with 20l of land to have horse worth 100s., aketon, habergeon, bascinet with aventail, gaunts of steel, sword, lance and knife.10l. Horse of 40s and same equipment, every man of 100s or 5l the same arms, with 40s haketon, palet, gaunts, sword, lance and knife, all men with less to have a sword, bow and arrows or lance. All men to be enrolled by this classification.


This is from Edward III's reign

“Whereas, in view of the threatened invasion of England by the king's enemies, French and Scots, the king to have the armed power of the realm in readiness, with the advice and assent of the prelates, nobles and others of experience assisting him, has ordained that all men holding a lay fee (lands of the fee of the church in the hands of prelates and other religious men and ecclesiastics, excepted) shall be assessed to arms as follows, he who has land of the value of 100s. yearly shall be an archer and mounted, he who has land of the value of 10£. yearly shall shall be a hobeler, armed at the least with a haqueton, a pisan, a burnished palet, iron gauntlets and a lance (cum aketona, pisario, paletto burnito, cirotecis ferreis ct lancea), he who has land of the value of 25£. yearly shall be a man at arms, he who has land of the value of 50£. yearly shall have with him one other man at arms, he who has land of the value of 100£. yearly shall have with him three men at arms, and he who has beyond that amount shall be assessed at more men at arms proportionally: to give effect to such ordinance he has appointed William de Clynton, earl of Huntingdon, and those whom he shall depute, to inform himself by such Avays and means as shall be expedient of the names of those who have such land of the yearly values enumerated, up to 1,000£. yearly or more, after deducting all necessary services and reprises, in the county of Kent, and to arrest and imprison all those whom he shall find oppose him in the premises, also to certify by Midlent Sunday next, or on that day at the latest of all that lie does herein. ”

I have a ton more but these seemed good selections.
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Randall Moffett




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PostPosted: Fri 15 May, 2020 9:38 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

This is another interesting one from England in the late 15th century, Soton Book of Fines from 1488

The civic soldiers presented at the time are listed as 150 archers, 295 billmen and two pikemen. There is a possible addition that is hard to make out that appears to be gunners, which would also add 17 gunners to the tally. This seems probable as the four wards listed have 120, 119, 75 and 156 men listed respectively, totaling some 470 people, and when listed by troop type there are 464 men listed. With the numbers matching so closely, the addition of 17 gunners seems to fit into the total numbers nicely. That said, traditionally in Southampton there was a fifth ward which would indicate that these numbers were actually higher than recorded.
Along with these categories of soldiers and the number of men per ward there are a number of items listed. These include: habergeons, harnesses, jacks, bills, pikes, handguns and half pikes. Of these most are clear enough to make out with certainty: 23 habergeons, 162 harnesses, nine jacks, 134 bows and 120 pikes. The numbers of bills, handguns and half pikes are difficult to make out entirely. There appear to be at least 200 bills and around 10 handguns, sadly half pikes are simply illegible. In all cases there are more men listed in the specific soldier category than arms, except for pikes which may make up for the discrepancy with only two pikemen and 120 pikes. As well there is a category under equipment that is difficult to identify though there are 107 of them. If the current trends in such reviews are in common they are perhaps sallets as it is an item consistently found in such documents, but conspicuously missing from this one. At times sallets may be included under harnesses as well, which is another possibility.

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Anthony Clipsom




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PostPosted: Sat 16 May, 2020 1:59 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Looking at examples of homines armati, I came across a late example from Beverley in 1436. Unfortunately, the published version is in Latin, but it involves the town appointing 6 homines armati and 12 archers to go Scotland. The armati clearly do not own their kit, as it is loaned to them from the town store. The standard set is 1 bascinet, 1 pair vambraces, 1 pair rerebraces, 1 breastplate (as it is written in English in the Latin text, we can be sure this is what is meant), 1 pair gauntlets. Some men also received poleyns. 1 man was issued with a pollaxe - presumably the others had appropriate weapons. The armati in this case had horses (two had to borrow them) but probably on the same mounted infantry basis as the archers.

Latin text is p.108 here https://www.yumpu.com/en/document/read/13762441/report-on-the-manuscripts-of-the-corporation-of-beverley

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Sean Manning




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PostPosted: Sat 16 May, 2020 3:17 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Randall, that is interesting because I have seen questions whether "billmen" were a thing in 15th century England, or there were just archers, armed men, mounted archers, hobilars, and men-at-arms.

Anthony Clipsom wrote:
Looking at examples of homines armati, I came across a late example from Beverley in 1436. Unfortunately, the published version is in Latin, but it involves the town appointing 6 homines armati and 12 archers to go Scotland. The armati clearly do not own their kit, as it is loaned to them from the town store. The standard set is 1 bascinet, 1 pair vambraces, 1 pair rerebraces, 1 breastplate (as it is written in English in the Latin text, we can be sure this is what is meant), 1 pair gauntlets. Some men also received poleyns. 1 man was issued with a pollaxe - presumably the others had appropriate weapons. The armati in this case had horses (two had to borrow them) but probably on the same mounted infantry basis as the archers.

Latin text is p.108 here https://www.yumpu.com/en/document/read/13762441/report-on-the-manuscripts-of-the-corporation-of-beverley

Sir John Smythe still uses the term in English around 1590 in the exact same sense that the Chronicon Colmariense used it in Latin around 1298: the footsoldiers with an iron headpiece and an iron body armour with arm protection. In 1298 that was a cassis, an "iron shirt", and a gambeson, in 1590 it was a half harness which Smythe describes in detail.

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Pedro Paulo Gaião




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PostPosted: Sun 17 May, 2020 12:40 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Interesting how the English changed. By the way, there is something I didn't ask earlier:

Anthony Clipsom wrote:
The £10 man is well kitted out, but the cow owner has a pointy stick. What happens between? Men presumably turned up with what they had. If a man with £5 in goods turned up with a haketon and a kettle hat would they turn him away? I doubt it.


I'm quite sure the scottish pound wasn't the same of the English pound: £15 is basic a knight's fief. Chaucer's ransom paid by King Ed III was worth of £16 which would be almost 12 thousand British pounds sterlings using 2019's currency exchange conversion. A small fortune. £10 in England would be enough to be armed as a man-at-arms or esquire, I think.

Portugal also had "pound" as a coin, but it wasn't the most valuable one. By legal requirement (1367), anyone with £500 of wealth was to be considered a knight. Afonso IV's system also considered a knight to be an owner of 375 francesas. A silver real branco was worth of 3.5 pounds, and the golden morabitino was even more valuable (the English mercenaries liked those because of their high price). So I hardly think the Scots had the same value for their coin.

Anthony Clipsom wrote:
Quote:
Why do you think the half-armed men would be armati?


Their equipment.
Half armoured Norwich "armed with doublet, plate, bascinet with aventail, and plated gauntlets".
pedites armati 1324 (but similar from 1318 on) "aketon, haubergeon or plates, bascinet with aventail, steel gloves"
Hobilar 1335 " aketon or plates, bascinet or palet, pisa collorettum, iron gauntlets"

The difference between armati and hobilars seems to be a horse, though I'm not certain that this distinction was also maintained at the time.


So, the "fully armed men" of this source was also to be considered an armati or part of an upper classification?

Armati were in the same social/military category of Mounted Archers, right? Do we know what minimum equipment mounted archers were expected to wear? I read in a book that the equipment of an English Mounted Archer was worth of three oxen (source), but I think the horse's price is included in these oxen.

Those sources you guys showed: the mention of doublet being required means this as an infantry padded armor? Like the one made to stand against swords and arrows instead of being just an underneath layer for actual armor?

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Anthony Clipsom




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PostPosted: Mon 18 May, 2020 5:40 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Ok, I'll do my best. If we take the time period we are interested in as between 1318 and 1355, Scottish pounds were theoretically interchangeable with English ones. However, I doubt this was actually the case, as the link between the coingages was formally broken in the reign of David II and by Robert III there were two Scots to one English pound.

English arms were also expected to be owned according to wealth and property levels. Exactly what had to be provided fluctuated quite a bit in the early 14th century. However, the £5 category which provided the mounted archers was pretty fixed. Hobilars and Armati came from the next category at £10. Fully armed men were in the next category £20 (sometimes £25). These are our fully armed men. Higher wealth led to the need to provide a second soldier. For example, in a writ of 1346, a £30 man needed to provide a man-at-arms and an archer. Examination of the Norwich muster shows a couple of these assessments.

I don't know the word translated as doublet is but I suspect we could be looking at the equivalent of an aketon.

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Randall Moffett




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PostPosted: Mon 18 May, 2020 5:44 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Anthony and Pedro,

Yes that term is very common in late medieval documents. It is tricky as I suspect it is its own troop type most of the time but others it is less firmly established. It often shows up alongside the man at arms and archers so in these cases it clearly is its own.

I suspect the Armati fit into the same place as the hobelar and mounted archer. Andrew Ayton things the Mounted archers largely replace the hobelar. I'm not so sure that is the case. I've found the term hobelar in the 15th century.

That said I have only found a few places armati is used alongside mounted archer and hobelar. This makes me thing they are not the same group but with such limited examples I am not sure.

So could be... but might not be,

I tend to see the mounted archers, hobelars and armati as different groups. Generally armati come up as footmen as far as I can tell in the close, patent and misc. inquest rolls.

We have to be careful as terms are not always 100% and armati basically means armed.... which in the medieval period seems to be armoured.

As to weapon and armour loaning. Very common. London does it all the time and I have found several fairly clear documents in the close and patent rolls indicating that the arrayers were required to ensure all men were provisioned to a certain level. This usually is the Statutes of Winchester as a guide but at times kings have more demands.

I have several examples of county sheriffs doing this and town's like London doing t he same.

Pedro the Scot pound is typically less strong to the English pound so you are on the right track.

That said the rest of your theory is likely off. Look to my statute above on the break down for English arms and armour to wealth. It is less about status and everything about money.

Did you read my articles? The London one would be useful in this conversation.

RPM


Last edited by Randall Moffett on Mon 18 May, 2020 5:47 am; edited 1 time in total
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Randall Moffett




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PostPosted: Mon 18 May, 2020 5:46 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Anthony,

The doublet aketon thing is complicated.I've been finding them in lists as clearly separate things... I just found another one while researching on Thursday.... I'll post it as it is relevant.

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Anthony Clipsom




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PostPosted: Mon 18 May, 2020 6:40 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks again Randall.

On armati, to the best of my understanding it was a bit vague in meaning , initially literally a man with armour. It seems distinguished to begin with from the armigers and scutiferi that made up the men-at-arms below the rank of knight and probably therefore implies it was not a man intended to fight among their ranks. Edward II, who seems to have been keen on armati, saw them as armoured infantry. In the later 14th century and early 15th, they seem to again be armoured infantry, particularly in naval operations. In the 15th century garrisons of English France, there seems to be some equivalence to foot men-at-arms.

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Randall Moffett




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PostPosted: Tue 19 May, 2020 5:36 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Anthony,

You generally are seeing what I am with armati. It seems to early on to be a more catch-all for the lower than knightly armoured types. Might tie in with the term sergeant disappearing in part between the 14 to 14 Much of the 14th it gets more clear in usage generally outside chronicles as an armoured footman. The 15th sees them often lumping the men at arms and armed men together in some sources as armati but I've seen indication even knights are in this group at times in the 15. I think In the 15th the calendar of close and patent rolls often still use armati as armoured foot. I think it is less about major shift in troop type and more in some of the way the clerks worked. Are you talking about the Normandy garrion accounts usage? Generally in the primary royal accounts it remains fairly stable in the later medieval period. It certainly becomes less common as the 15th is going on. I'd say Ed ii and Ed III were the high point in usage but they are used in garrisons and navies fairly frequently.

I have a theory the billman might be the reason for this
In many documents armati seem fairly standard in usage. War of the roses in England and this changes, even in royal accounts. I'm wondering if it is not due to the term billman showing up.

Part of the issue is medieval clerks don't seem to caught up in being standardized unless they had a tradition of something. Chroniclers are by far the worst in this to me.

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Randall Moffett




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PostPosted: Tue 19 May, 2020 5:59 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Most of this to me is infantry is getting more important and they do not have the traditional terms in place for the infantry.

You have pedes the footmen. It means little more than that. But clearly we see archery is becoming a major role even though Ed I'd clerks use the pedes term and it includes archers, at times likely the majority being so. As well Ed i on you see more focus on having soldiers more armoured. So the term Archer and armati come more into use.

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Anthony Clipsom




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PostPosted: Tue 19 May, 2020 6:29 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

My later examples come from "The Soldier in later medieval England", including some of the Calais related materials. We might note the French translation hommes armez was also in use. A quick google found references to hommes armez in the funeral of the Black Prince and also this from an expedition to prussia

"vc. lances, tous nobles hommes, chascune lance lui et deux hommes armez " i.e. the two varlets in a three man lance being described as hommes armez.

I do think therefore the circumstantial evidence for homines armati is they are men with armour but below the ranks of the men-at-arms, though as noted the randomness with which clerks approached what we expect to be technical terms makes life difficult.

As to the comment that they seem to appear just as the previously common place term sergeant declines, it is certainly worthy of more consideration, as is the idea that the term seem to disappear as armies fill up with billmen (I certainly believe the foot men-at-arms of the Norman garrisons could easily be armoured billmen).

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Randall Moffett




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PostPosted: Tue 19 May, 2020 8:31 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I pretty sure it's not circumstantial.

In the calendar of close and patent rolls it's used with rather strong continuity from late in Edward I's reign until Henry VI. I just finished compiling a list of their use for over two centuries using them.

The two most common soldier designations are men at arms, archers and then after is armed men. Hobelars, fencible men and pedes are the next most common. I have more or less tied them all up between the Latin, anglo-french and English used at the time from around a dozen period sources.

I think armati and related terms are about as solid in use, especially for the 14th as man at arms or archer.

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