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I Want To Be a 13th Century English Knight

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Sir William:
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.


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.

Plate knees are the first piece of plate armor to show up on effigies around 1240:

1241 -
Gilbert Marshal 4th Earl of Pembroke


Sir Douglas:
Are those plate knees on those effigies, though, or cuir bouilli? Is there a way to tell? I often get stumped by those.

Sir Brian:
And rightly so since it really could be either one. ;)


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