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Author Topic: I Want To Be a 13th Century English Knight  (Read 14647 times)

Sir William

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I Want To Be a 13th Century English Knight
« on: 2014-02-06, 19:05:38 »
This type of thread is done on the Armour Archive to great success; I thought I'd try it here because there are numerous threads for any number of impressions one might want to do, but one they do not have is a reference point for reenactors interested in this particular period.  I did find threads on Hospitaliers (1200-1250 for instance), Spanish, French and other types of knights or men-at-arms but none for an English Knight.  If there is little difference, say, between a French and English knight, let me know that as well...

As you may have guessed, there's plenty of thread material on the AA for those interested in the 14th C Mafia but nothing for the 13th Englishman, so I thought I'd choose that as my starting foundation.

So, what I'm after is this: any and all information on the arms, armor, garments/soft kit and accessories that a 13th C knight would have on his person, be it on campaign or at home.  If you have links to books, pictures or online repositories, those would be most welcome.  Personal anecdotes and experiences are also encouraged- ideally this would lead to a discussion but overall, I'd like this to be a one-stop shop so that I, and anyone else interrested in the period, could come here and do a quick lookup in the thread w/out having to hunt anything down.

Since I am looking to make as close an impression as possible to Living History (I know, I know, OMG Sir William is going there right), I would appreciate only period-appropriate suggestions; this means no plate- cuirasses or breast plates, gorgets, bevors, bascinets or armets to name a few things.  I'd like to be able to include simple elbows, knees and schynbalds if possible but if that does not begin til 14th C then I won't be including them.

Thank you all for your interest and contribution to this thread.

William
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Ian

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Re: I Want To Be a 13th Century English Knight
« Reply #1 on: 2014-02-06, 19:57:09 »
A quick survey in manuscripts of the first half of the 13th century armor.

1200-1225, you can see that in this image from the Arundel MS Psalter (in what appears to be depicting the Massacre of the Holy Innocents, that's King Herod on the left), he is wearing a full hauberk, norman style nasal helm, and maille chausses that lace up in the pack (as opposed to the stocking style).



Also from 1200-1225, but a different manuscript, again we see the laced in the back style of chausses and teardrop shaped shields:


1200-1225 again, but now no chausses at all, the rest of the armor stays the same:


1225-1250, proto-great helm, stocking style chausses?  Integrated hands in the hauberk:


This very famous image from 1250 (and the inspiration for the Albion Chevalier!) shows an integrated set of mittens (with what may be a linen or leather palm) on his hauberk.  He's a knight, and is wearing laced in the back chausses still.  Prick style spurs as corroborated by 13th century finds.  Leather thongs on the coif to help keep it fitted properly.


Now this one in 1250 shows plate knees and schynbalds on the dude wearing the crown on the lower right, indicating that this was available to the very well-off mid-century.
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Ian

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Re: I Want To Be a 13th Century English Knight
« Reply #2 on: 2014-02-06, 20:04:00 »
Plate knees are the first piece of plate armor to show up on effigies around 1240:

1241 -
Gilbert Marshal 4th Earl of Pembroke


1250-
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Sir Douglas

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Re: I Want To Be a 13th Century English Knight
« Reply #3 on: 2014-02-06, 20:08:43 »
Are those plate knees on those effigies, though, or cuir bouilli? Is there a way to tell? I often get stumped by those.
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Sir Brian

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Re: I Want To Be a 13th Century English Knight
« Reply #4 on: 2014-02-06, 20:10:54 »
And rightly so since it really could be either one. ;)
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Sir William

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Re: I Want To Be a 13th Century English Knight
« Reply #5 on: 2014-02-06, 20:15:50 »
Sirs Ian & Brian, and Douglas many thanks...was hoping you'd chime in with something like this.  A great start!  From these images, what I need is:

1 - a full hauberk, w/integral mittens or fingers/hands - looks like anywhere from mid-thigh to knee length should be fine w/integral mail coif;
2 - maile chausses - lace up in the back would probably be more form fitting and look tighter (easier than having the tailored stocking)
3 - helm; the 1250 image looks like a salt shaker style- its either that, conical w/nasal or an early pot helm (one of the faceplate ones without the lower neck)
4 - full length surcoat - when did they first start showing up, 1225 onward?  Silk, linen or wool?  The plate from 1225 they look knee length, but the 1250 plate (thought that was supposed to be Baldwin I, is that not so?) it looks ankle length.  Ankle length would suit me because then I could cheat a bit and just have chausses from the knee down.  With such a long surcoat the knees wouldn't necessarily be seen (altho I might go with a simple cop to keep up appearances).

In some of the images it looks like there's either a textile border at the bottom of the hauberk, or is that the ubiquitous 'supertunic' I have seen mention of?

Also, since I can't tell- would the swordbelt have buckle and strap-end or would it be the tied kind?  I am shooting for 1250-1299 timeframe.  I know that's a pretty big chunk of time w/regard to advancements.

Nevermind, I see on the last two effigies they're sporting buckles and straps- and what looks like tooling/decoration on the belts- in Gilbert's place, both the shield strap/guige and swordbelt appear to be decorative.  The last 1250 image...is that a dual belt suspension/rig I'm seeing?  What's that thing wrapped around the head?

If that covers all outer wear, let us move onto what's beneath.  I'll probably go w/linen for the braies, undertunic (supertunic over top of that?), under chausses...would I have worn any padding on the legs?  I've been seeing a good number of gamboised-style cuisses but am wondering if maybe that's later on.

What about head coverings?  Linen coif the only option?  I wonder if they ever used leather for a coif, not the armored kind?
« Last Edit: 2014-02-06, 20:26:26 by Sir William »
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Sir Edward

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Re: I Want To Be a 13th Century English Knight
« Reply #6 on: 2014-02-06, 21:31:49 »
Which part of the century are you looking to do? The conical/nasal helms were all the rage at the start of the century. Around 1250, great helms were appearing, but they tended to be of the more cylindrical or wide-topped versions. The more "normal" great helms started appearing in the 1270's roughly, and then continued into the early 14th century.

"Soup can" knees were available in the later part of the century. Throughout the whole century, long surcoats were the primary outer garment.

Mail was predominantly long hauberks, plus mail chausses. Often a long tunic would be worn under the hauberk, just slightly longer than the mail (visible in the artwork that lacks a surcoat).

« Last Edit: 2014-02-06, 21:33:19 by Sir Edward »
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Sir William

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Re: I Want To Be a 13th Century English Knight
« Reply #7 on: 2014-02-06, 21:40:57 »
If I had to nail down a specific year, I'll say 1290.  That's far enough from the 14th C and yet close enough that I'm in the beginnings of the 'big deal' as it were.  Can't say I care much for the pothelms I have seen; that salt shaker you have though, that's classy looking - isn't also appropriate to the 13th?
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Re: I Want To Be a 13th Century English Knight
« Reply #8 on: 2014-02-06, 21:46:11 »
Yeah, the 1280-1300 time frame will give you a lot of options, including the "typical" great helm style. By then, the wide-topped "proto" great helms had gone out of style, and Great Helms in general were at their height. You might be able to use a sugarloaf here as well.

However, you'll need to avoid the dome-topped (specifically the "Pembridge" style) helms, as those didn't appear until the 14th.

The style of great helm I use is very appropriate to those decades. Though of course, the likelihood is that the brass occularia that we have on modern reproductions is out of place. The available evidence suggests that the color difference was probably painted on in most cases.

My avatar picture would work for around circa 1300, but there's not much preventing it from working for around 1280 or 1290 (except the sword).
« Last Edit: 2014-02-06, 21:47:06 by Sir Edward »
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Sir Douglas

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Re: I Want To Be a 13th Century English Knight
« Reply #9 on: 2014-02-06, 21:54:07 »
As far as underthings go, linen braies are spot on. I've seen fabric chausses (which I'll refer to as hosen in this thread to distinguish them from armor chausses so I don't confuse myself) offered in linen, but I would recommend wool over linen; it has more stretch. Then you'd also have your padded aketon/gambeson under your hauberk.

It might be worth it to pick up English Medieval Knight 1200-1300.  I haven't read it yet so I don't know how accurate the text is (I know you have to be careful with Osprey books sometimes), but the illustrations are by Graham Turner, who is considered one of the better artists with Osprey. His illustrations break down a lot of the gear rather nicely. It also has a bunch of good photographs of effigies and such.
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Ian

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Re: I Want To Be a 13th Century English Knight
« Reply #10 on: 2014-02-06, 23:48:17 »
Well, for 1290-1300 disregard a lot of my opening post... lemme refine it a bit
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Ian

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Re: I Want To Be a 13th Century English Knight
« Reply #11 on: 2014-02-07, 00:08:25 »
Plate bits are a lot more common that late in the century than before.

Here's a fellow with center creased knees dated 1289.  He still  has a lot of kit that's recognizable earlier in the century.  Maille head to toe with integrated hands and feet, and probably coif, with plate knee augmentation.  Also note the smaller heater shield compared to shields earlier in the century.  Also of high importance on this effigy is the surcoat style.  I call it a mullet surcoat... short in the front and long in the back!  Ha... anyway, it's an English style I believe:



I pulled this one only because of the helm.  It's a Dargen style great helm, very appropriate for this period:


From the 1282-1300 Manusciprt Lancelot du Lac again we see the Dargen Pommern style great helm being worn:


One thing I'm noticing on FRENCH effigies that I'm not noticing on English, is that the French are wearing those shoulder thingies, that really weren't armor, they seem to just display heraldy:


In summary:

1. Maille head to toe, integrated coif/hands/feet.  Unsure if chausses are stocking or lace-up by this time with greater frequency, both probably exist.
2. Long surcoat, option to go with the mullet (silk or wool is probably best (wool is WAY less expensive))
3. Great helm of Dargen style
4. heater shield
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Ian

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Re: I Want To Be a 13th Century English Knight
« Reply #12 on: 2014-02-07, 00:18:38 »
Oh... and welcome to the dark side.... ;-)
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Sir Wolf

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Re: I Want To Be a 13th Century English Knight
« Reply #13 on: 2014-02-07, 00:53:39 »
muahahhahha

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Re: I Want To Be a 13th Century English Knight
« Reply #14 on: 2014-02-07, 03:48:56 »
"Everything is proceeding as I have foreseen."
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