Knee armour?

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Tod
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Post by Tod »

I was looking in some of my recently aquired books last night. There are a lot of pictures with archers just wearing knee armour over the top of their hose. I can't see any points or other straps, so I've wondered how they stay up/on. If it was just a strap behind the knee it would be very uncomfortable. A strap above and below would be better, but still not great. I can't see any sense in attaching them directly to the hose. So how the hell they stay on I have no idea.
I thought (and this is with no evidence) that I could attach them to leather upper leg armour, but although that might stop a side ways swipe it isn't going to stop an arrow or a thrust/sharp sword. Logic tells me an archer isn't going to go up against some one with a bill, unless they've taken a bucket of stupid pills.
The pictures show the armour to be pointy at the knee with wings (If I remember) and they are worn with no other leg armour.

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Post by zauberdachs »

Interesting, whereabouts can we find such pictures? (just so I can have a look too)
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Post by m0rt »

Just as a point, I was under the impression that a large ammout of "archers" acted combat troops if/when their arrows were depleted. It yould make sense for them to be armoured for fighting against bill blocks if that's what their going to end up doing.

I think its important to remember that archers weren't non-com on the medieval battlefield as they are on ours!

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Post by Adam R »

zauberdachs wrote:Interesting, whereabouts can we find such pictures? (just so I can have a look too)
Yes - please - the only pic I found after a very brief look had a guy with demi greaves and a short cuisse too. The trouble with straps on the thigh is they tend to puch the poleyn down - although back of the knee straps are a little uncomfy (although not with the Hastings MSS esque blanket) they locate them beautifully.

Pics please :)
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Post by TimB »

Adam R wrote:(although not with the Hastings MSS esque blanket) they locate them beautifully.
???
I fail to understand that comment. Were you referring to the Medieval Siege Society wearing blankets at Hastings? I am not aware that they were (although personally I haven't been).

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Post by Adam R »

TimB wrote:
Adam R wrote:(although not with the Hastings MSS esque blanket) they locate them beautifully.
???
I fail to understand that comment. Were you referring to the Medieval Siege Society wearing blankets at Hastings? I am not aware that they were (although personally I haven't been).
Hi Tim,
No - In the arming a Knight part of the Hastings Manuscript it refers to lengths of blanket wrapped around the knees to stop chaffing. :)
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Post by gregory23b »

"ust as a point, I was under the impression that a large ammout of "archers" acted combat troops if/when their arrows were depleted. It yould make sense for them to be armoured for fighting against bill blocks if that's what their going to end up doing.

I think its important to remember that archers weren't non-com on the medieval battlefield as they are on ours!

Just my 2p, not trying to offend anyone!"

I would expand on that and say that archers were the bulk of most forces and that bill blocks are a modern invention.

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Post by Adam R »

m0rt wrote: I think its important to remember that archers weren't non-com on the medieval battlefield as they are on ours!
Absolutely! Archer was a term for a non MAA - whether armed with bill or bow. They were going to a battle and would be expecting to come to handstrokes. Remember Agincourt where the archers held the line against the French dismounted knights? It is such a shame more folks on the field don't take up the role of the medieval 'archer' - still - seems to be becoming more popular. Archery then hand to hand? Grand ;)

I have always said - if you could pull a bow in excess of a 100ib draw weight - you could hit someone pretty hard!
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Post by zauberdachs »

As a quick aside: are bill blocks a result of re-enactorism traditions (SK etc) of dividing armies into Infantry, Missile infantry and horse?
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Post by Tod »

I'm happy to get into a bit of hand to hand which is why I'm trying to get the kit right, although I know some archers don't want to. I wouldn't want to take on a bill block, and yes I do think they are a re-enactorism. They certainly don't look right. Much like SK/ECWS pike pushes (but lets try to keep this on thread).

A good friend of mine is a clanky and if he is where I am I'm sure he'll give me some practice (Pete you out there?). At least I know I can't hurt him.

Pictures - I think the book I was looking in was by Kosh (?). It had lots of C15 pictures in. I'll look tonight at the title.

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Post by Tod »

Pictures here half way down posted by Gregory23b.

These are the same as in the book I was looking at.

http://livinghistory.co.uk/forums/viewtopic.php?t=11526

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Post by m0rt »

I would say, if you were planning on doing combat on out battlefields, then protecting your knees is a good plan.

However, given the relative costs between poleyns of the sort pictured in those images, and half/full legs, which are also pictured (and by half, I mean cuisse (I think thats the right word, thigh amour basically) AND poleyn), combined with it being easier to figure out how to keep half legs up, than these crazy "loose" poleyns, I would probably go for the half legs, since they offer more protection to the sort of blows you expect to find on a re-enactment battlefield.

Tis what I'm going to do anyways, though that doesn't nessecarily make it a good idea (self-effacing mood tonight it'd appear...).

Also, archers who shoot then fight, good plan!

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Post by Zachos »

The shooting and fighting is exactly what I plan to do.

I'm just trying to work out what type of helmet I want. I have a barbute atm, but its too late a design for most english battlefields. Sallet would appear to be the best bet.

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Post by Adam R »

Zachos wrote:The shooting and fighting is exactly what I plan to do.

I'm just trying to work out what type of helmet I want. I have a barbute atm, but its too late a design for most english battlefields. Sallet would appear to be the best bet.

Opinions?
Check out the pics - sallet, visorless or visored - kettle - but something that gives the option of a wide field of vision I reckon
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Post by Adam R »

zauberdachs wrote:As a quick aside: are bill blocks a result of re-enactorism traditions (SK etc) of dividing armies into Infantry, Missile infantry and horse?
Pretty much bang on, yes.

No evidence for such divisions in the late 15thC as far as I have seen. More likely (IMHO) to be combined arms of people of the same household/militia/group arrayed around their lord - but with the option of captains clumping MAA if required - but this is way off topic - sorry :oops:
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Post by m0rt »

Zachos wrote:The shooting and fighting is exactly what I plan to do.

I'm just trying to work out what type of helmet I want. I have a barbute atm, but its too late a design for most english battlefields. Sallet would appear to be the best bet.

Opinions?
I find it difficult to shoot in my kettle, so I've been looking into getting a salet of some sort. So that would be my recommendation.

Shooting then fighting seems to be gaining popularity!
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Post by Dave B »

Zachos wrote:The shooting and fighting is exactly what I plan to do.

I'm just trying to work out what type of helmet I want. I have a barbute atm, but its too late a design for most english battlefields. Sallet would appear to be the best bet.

Opinions?
For most people it seems to need to be something that fits in close to the ears, in order to draw naturaly. the missus has a visorless sallet, which seems to appear on several illustrations and give a good compromise of protection (with a deep bevor) and visibility.
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Post by Marcus Woodhouse »

I'm going to shift from wearing a kettle helm to a open faced sallet and a visored sallet next year (not at the same time.) I also find the look of disappointment on children's faces when they can't close a helmet too much to bear. My polyens either have a buckle behind them , or, in the case of the winged pair, three buckles one above, one across and one below the knee. I don't find them at all uncomfortable, at least no more uncomfortable than any other armour when you first put it on. The larger and more heavier pair do slip southwards a bit which is why I have them attached to my jack.
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Post by Tod »

Picked up Dave's polyens. They are very nice, but with one strap behind the knee they do slip down. he tried other methods to stop this as I will. Maybe three straps.

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Post by stephen wootten »

arming doublet for the upper legs called cuises i think, probaly the wrong name but you get the idea and it stops hose gettin wrecked so oftern.
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Post by zauberdachs »

Would pointing to your hose work?
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Post by Zachos »

thats what I suggested. Look at the poleyns on the a plaisance website.
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Post by stephen wootten »

point to a strap at the least as weight on hose means they might rip more and embarass you more.
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Post by Zachos »

Not if they're made well enough and padded like an arming doublet would be. They would also have the straps, which would hold some of the weight.
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Post by zauberdachs »

Zachos wrote:thats what I suggested. Look at the poleyns on the a plaisance website.
had a look, is there a photo that show's how it is attached? Could only see a front view?
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Post by Zachos »

I saw them at nlhf, but one of the lads from a plaisence posts on here. Maybe he'll look by?
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Post by James The Archer »

I'm sure there was another tread about arming hose, not found it yet. where hose where reinforced and had points to attach bit of tin too. I'm also sure I've seen a pic in something like arming for war where there was points on hose, but don't own that one to look at.
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Post by Tod »

Arming hose, would that be like padded hose of some type?

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Post by Adam R »

... Right above 'battle boots'!

But yes - not an unreasonable speculation - there is a picture somewhere that implies stuffed padded hose - but I seem to remember it's 16thc

Interestingly - apparently the remains at wisby show a large number of wounds to legs - towton remains seem to have fewer leg injuries (approx 10% of post cranial wounds).

Sadly these aren't wide enough to show us too much - especially Towton which seems to show people cut down in a rout rather than front line casualties - and I don't have detailed information on Wisby :(
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