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Pedro Paulo Gaião




Location: Sioux City, IA
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PostPosted: Sun 13 Nov, 2022 9:55 am    Post subject: Armor transaction in Wales, 1280's. Translation and opinion         Reply with quote

I was digging Littere Wallie (c. 1280) for armor references to use in an academic article, named "Armor of the Welsh Soldier, 14th and 15th centuries". Well, references for common soldier armor in Wales is very rare, but I'm trying to handle all I can find, and this Latin text shows quite a bit of armor for a local castle garrison of which, from what I understood, is a transaction of crossbows and armor leaving its armouries. The coat-of-plates in it is probably the earliest positive evidence for such armor in Wales. I give the text and my translation, which I hope to be improved with your critics:

Quote:

<<LITTERA PER QUAM GRIFFINUS FILIUS TUDERI CONSTABULARIUS CASTRI DULUITHELAN LIBERAUIT WILLELMO DE BRITANNIA ACALATORI DOMINI REGIS QUASDAM ARMATURAS.
Letter of which Griffith ap Tudor, constable of Duluithelan Castle, released some armor to the Lord King's Guardian, William of Britany
<<Uniuersis presentes litteras inspecturis Griffinus filius Tuderi constabularius domini regis Anglie in castro Doluithelan salutem in Domino sempiternam.
To all the present letters of inspection, Griffith, son of Tudor, constable of the lord king of England, in the castle of Doluithelan, peace in the Lord forever.
<<Noueritis me liberasse Willelmo de Britannia atalatori domini regis Anglie die Sabati proxima post festum Sancti Bertolomei anno regni regis duodecimo de armaturis quas in custodia mea habui in castro predicto
You have heard that William of Brittany, guardian of the lord king of England, delivered from me, on Saturday next after the feast of Saint Bartholomew in the twelfth year of the king's reign, of the armor which I had in my custody in the aforesaid castle 10 haubergeons [haubericonia], 1 pair of plates (par de platis), 8 irons coverings [coopertoria ferrea -> mail coifs?], 2 'croperea' [horse barding? Tower Archives mentions "lvij croperea equorum"], 2 mail chausses [calligas ferreas, lit. iron leggings or iron boots], 1 pair of gauntlets [par manicularum, probably of mail], 7 cervelliere/skull caps [capella ferrea], 3 great heaumes [galeas], 1 mail shirt [corsetum ferreum], 2 tower/wall crossbows of wood and horn prod [balistas ligneas ad turrim de cornu], 1 one-footed crossbow of horn prod [balistam unius pedis de cornu], 14 wooden crossbows [balistas ligneas] and 2 wall/tower wooden crossbows [balistas ligneas ad turrimi]; and I retained 9 haubergeons [haubergonia], 1 loricam veteris operis [old-worked armor, in Portugal a loriga meant a long mail armor], 12 cervelliere [capellas ferri], 1 pair of plates [par de platis] with 3 silver-filled chests [cum iii loculis argenteis] and 3 great heaumes [galeas]. Given at the castle of Doluithelan in the year and day aforesaid.


My likely mistakes could be that "ad turrimi" was reffering to equipment to be send to the Tower of London (in late 13th century?) and atalatori, which I took from a hebrew-arab archaism to refer to a Tower, a sentinel or a guardian; in Portugal an atalaia was either a tower, a guard's place, someone working in a tower or a someone watching over something. Perhaps William of Britanny was the Justiciar of Wales?

Source: http://warfare.gq/13/Littere_Wallie-text.htm

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




Location: Jackson, MS, USA
Joined: 18 Aug 2012

Posts: 1,301

PostPosted: Sun 13 Nov, 2022 7:44 pm    Post subject: Re: Armor transaction in Wales, 1280's. Translation and opin         Reply with quote

For the most part, I'm in agreement, but offer these small clarifying suggestions.

8 irons coverings [coopertoria ferrea -.
Coopertoria are usually coverings for the horse. If they are specified to be of iron, mail is the de facto presumption.
2 'croperea'
Cruppers cover the hind quarters. Today, it refers to the strap which runs beneath the horse's tail.
7 cervelliere/skull caps [capella ferrea],
I would probably translate these iron hats as kettle hats.
1 mail shirt [corsetum ferreum],
The corset is, I believe, a sleeveless mail 'vest', often issued to archers.
1 loricam veteris operis
The lorica is almost always a hauberk. Of old work possibly implies an attached coif and mittens at this date.
12 cervelliere [capellas ferri],
Again, possibly iron hats (kettle hats).
1 pair of plates [par de platis] with 3 silver-filled chests [cum iii loculis argenteis]
This is odd. I see no mention of a chest in your excerpt. If this is one descriptor, it would read,
"1 pair of plates with 3 silver locations(?) Perhaps this is some kind of reference to the retention chain attachments, which are sometimes recorded as being silver.

ferrum ferro acuitur et homo exacuit faciem amici sui
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Mart Shearer




Location: Jackson, MS, USA
Joined: 18 Aug 2012

Posts: 1,301

PostPosted: Sun 13 Nov, 2022 8:03 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

1311 Inventory of John fitz Marmaduke, Lord of Horden

j gaimbeson rubeum cum tribus cathenis argenteis l s.
1 red gambeson with three silver chains, 50s.
.....
Joynters pro j gaimbeson de argento xviij d.
Silver "jointers" for a gambeson, 18d. (Buckles or
plates to attach chains?)

1313 Acquittance of goods seized from the captive, Piers Gaveston, Earl of Cornwall

Item, En un autre Coffre, une Peire de Plates, enclouez & garniz d'Argent, od quatre Cheynes d'Argent, coverz dun Drap de velvet vermail, besaunte d'Or.
Item, in another coffer, one pair of plates, nailed and garnished with silver, with four silver chains, covered in cloth of vermillion velvet, bezanty gold. (silver weapons chains, vermillion velvet 'sequined' with gold spots or coins.)

ferrum ferro acuitur et homo exacuit faciem amici sui
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Pedro Paulo Gaião




Location: Sioux City, IA
Joined: 14 Mar 2015

Posts: 380

PostPosted: Mon 14 Nov, 2022 5:44 am    Post subject: Re: Armor transaction in Wales, 1280's. Translation and opin         Reply with quote

Mart Shearer wrote:
For the most part, I'm in agreement, but offer these small clarifying suggestions.

8 irons coverings [coopertoria ferrea -.
Coopertoria are usually coverings for the horse. If they are specified to be of iron, mail is the de facto presumption.
2 'croperea'
Cruppers cover the hind quarters. Today, it refers to the strap which runs beneath the horse's tail.
7 cervelliere/skull caps [capella ferrea],
I would probably translate these iron hats as kettle hats.
1 mail shirt [corsetum ferreum],
The corset is, I believe, a sleeveless mail 'vest', often issued to archers.
1 loricam veteris operis
The lorica is almost always a hauberk. Of old work possibly implies an attached coif and mittens at this date.
12 cervelliere [capellas ferri],
Again, possibly iron hats (kettle hats).
1 pair of plates [par de platis] with 3 silver-filled chests [cum iii loculis argenteis]
This is odd. I see no mention of a chest in your excerpt. If this is one descriptor, it would read,
"1 pair of plates with 3 silver locations(?) Perhaps this is some kind of reference to the retention chain attachments, which are sometimes recorded as being silver.


In cases where I couldn't say for sure what the letter was saying, I tried to go as literal as possible. The sentence was i par de platis cum iii loculis argenteis et iii galeas. I guessed those would be chains to, one of the earlierst references for that in Wales, by the way, but the dictionary said "loculis" would be the plural of a coffin, purse, box, space etc; it isn't the most obvious term for a retention chain, so I suspected it was a chest filled with silver coins.

Yeah, perhaps I should translate cappella as a war hat. Modern corslets are indeed sleeveless, but in this case it would meant a short sleeved mail shirt, right? Not reaching the elbows at all, for example. The haubericonia would then be full-length sleeves, I suspect, given the timeframe involved.

Why they would reffer to Horse Cruppers in such a relevant document about armor (more expensive items)?

The coopertoria ferrea thing I immediately thought they were mail coifs, but it wouldn't be weird that a castle kept so many horse bardings?

I have another letter yet to translate, it's the one next to this, and mentions other coats of plates, bascinets, etc.

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




Location: Sioux City, IA
Joined: 14 Mar 2015

Posts: 380

PostPosted: Mon 14 Nov, 2022 5:58 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

It mentions some ecclesiastical items,

LITTERA PER QUAM DOMINUS WALTERUS DE HUNTERCUMB
RECEPIT PER MANUS PHILIPPI DE SAY CLERICI DOMINI REGIS
[sic] APUD CASTRUM DE BERE BLADA ET UTENSILIA ET ARMA ET
ALIAS PLURES RES.
Die Dominica secundo die Aprilis anno regni regis Edwardi duo-
decimo recepit dominus Walterus de Huntercumbe per manus
Philippi de Say clerici domini Rogeri Extranei apud castrum de
Bere xxxv quarteria fabarum, xxix bacones, vii dolea vini unde in
toto deficiunt xxxiiii pollices vini, i doleum mellis plenum et lxxix
lagenas mellis quod liberatum fuerit capellano ecclesie per pre-
ceptum regis, i calicem, i vestimentum presbiterale cum tribus
manutergiis altaris, i albam sine parura, i superaltare, i crucem,
viii galeas debiles, iii capella ferrea integra et vii capella ferrea
fracta, xv scuta, xi loricas, viii haubergonia, iii calligas ferreas, v
paria coopertoriorum ferreorum, i cruperam ferream, i bac[inet]um
ferreum, i gorgeram ferream, ii gorgeras de telo, iii balistas de
cornu, xix balistas ligneas et i magnam balistam ligneam, ii
baudreas, m quarrellos, i cophinum cum quarrellis, i cacabum
eneum, et unum cacabum ferreum, i patellam eneam, i plumbum,
i verreperum, ii cistas, ii cluras, xx frusta ferri, xliiii frusta calibis,
iii ollas eneas, iiii frusta plumbi, iiii cablas pro ingenio, iiii paria
firgiarum, xxxv quarteria salis. Item dominus Walterus recepit
per manum predicti Philippi Houell ap Rescrek incarceratum et
iii alios incarceratos per mandatum vicecomitis de Meyronnith.
Datum apud castrum de Bere die et anno supradictis.

From this I recognize: viii galeas debiles [damaged great heaumes]
iii capella ferrea integra et vii capella ferrea fracta [entire and fractured]
xv scuta,
xi loricas, viii haubergonia, [it distinguishes between loricas and haubergonias]
iii calligas ferreas,
v paria coopertoriorum ferreorum, i cruperam ferream, i bac[inet]um ferreum,
i gorgeram ferream, ii gorgeras de telo [iron gorjet and "weapon gorjet"?
iii balistas de cornu, xix baristas ligneas et i magnam balistam ligneam [I suspect the magnam ballistam is the famous siege engine]
The rest is missiles and things related.

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




Location: YORKSHIRE, UK
Joined: 27 Jul 2009

Posts: 261

PostPosted: Mon 14 Nov, 2022 6:34 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Quote:
The coopertoria ferrea thing I immediately thought they were mail coifs, but it wouldn't be weird that a castle kept so many horse bardings?


The majority of Edward I's cavalry was specified as riding "covered" horses, so plenty of horse armour would have been around. A lot of it was probably fabric or cuir bouilli,though, so perhaps some more digging is required on how common iron coverings were to answer your question. Morris in The Welsh Wars of Edward I gives an example of Edward acquiring two linen covers to go under the iron ones, perhaps to make the mail more comfortable for the horse.

Anthony Clipsom
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Pedro Paulo Gaião




Location: Sioux City, IA
Joined: 14 Mar 2015

Posts: 380

PostPosted: Sun 20 Nov, 2022 2:15 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Anthony Clipsom wrote:
Quote:
The coopertoria ferrea thing I immediately thought they were mail coifs, but it wouldn't be weird that a castle kept so many horse bardings?


The majority of Edward I's cavalry was specified as riding "covered" horses, so plenty of horse armour would have been around. A lot of it was probably fabric or cuir bouilli,though, so perhaps some more digging is required on how common iron coverings were to answer your question. Morris in The Welsh Wars of Edward I gives an example of Edward acquiring two linen covers to go under the iron ones, perhaps to make the mail more comfortable for the horse.


Considering how rare they appear in art I don't think the legislation was effective. In Portugal, by the 1310's, they divided the knightly class in two, the lower was required to have full mail for themselves, but no horse armor, the upper was required to have mail and heavy gambeson + mail armor for the horse. Those are from nearby period. But for castle keeping an expensive barding doesn't make any sense for me, specially in Wales.

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




Location: YORKSHIRE, UK
Joined: 27 Jul 2009

Posts: 261

PostPosted: Sun 20 Nov, 2022 11:22 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Quote:
But for castle keeping an expensive barding doesn't make any sense for me, specially in Wales.


You have to recall that Wales is an active warzone in the 1280s and the main focus of Edward I's efforts. Equipment is likely to be in storage in the castles there.

Anthony Clipsom
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