Early 14th century Men at arms shields

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zauberdachs
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Early 14th century Men at arms shields

Postby zauberdachs » Thu Nov 20, 2008 9:21 pm

Hello everyone, so I bought a heater shield for myself last weekend at TORM and since I've been researching how best to paint it.

Now, period wise I'm looking at the late 13th/early 14th century. I'm aiming at what some would call a "man at arms", i.e. a lower income "professional" solider who was not of noble blood. Plenty of records of such people especially in Scotland during this period filling "knights fees" or garrison duties.

So, I've found a few images of infantry with shields with a quick flick through the Mac Bible and Codex Manesse. Seems to indicate that they were painted with generic patterns, see below. However I was wondering if anyone out there had done more extensive research into this?
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Man at arms 2.JPG
man at arms 3.JPG
men at arms 1.GIF


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Postby Brother Ranulf » Thu Nov 20, 2008 9:41 pm

I believe you are correct, although my own research has been only on 12th century shields.

Of all the designs shown in your attached pictures, only one could be termed "generic" - the others are all heraldic and typical of the shields carried by the nobility of the time (the generic one is on the top left in the first picture). The same kind of thing occurs in the 12th century - serjants and militia carry blank shields or ones with non-heraldic designs.


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Postby zauberdachs » Thu Nov 20, 2008 11:43 pm

Brother Ranulf wrote:I believe you are correct, although my own research has been only on 12th century shields.

Of all the designs shown in your attached pictures, only one could be termed "generic" - the others are all heraldic and typical of the shields carried by the nobility of the time (the generic one is on the top left in the first picture). The same kind of thing occurs in the 12th century - serjants and militia carry blank shields or ones with non-heraldic designs.


That's good to hear. Also they do appear to be a individual designs rather than uniform even among the men at arms, i.e. I have not yet seen two individuals with the same design.


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Postby Nigel » Fri Nov 21, 2008 7:20 am

ah but there is we ahd this row in 1995 which led to the red and gold design we now sport as group colours

Basically somebody said no stomped off to prove it and came back going ah chaps I was wrong


There’s a country in Europe where they treat their ex soldiers with pride no waits for medical treatment after injuries received during service, no amensia from the government. Cant for the life of me recall where it is but I know exactly where it is not.

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Postby zauberdachs » Fri Nov 21, 2008 3:28 pm

Nigel wrote:ah but there is we ahd this row in 1995 which led to the red and gold design we now sport as group colours

Basically somebody said no stomped off to prove it and came back going ah chaps I was wrong


Interesting. I appreciate you are busy at the moment but I don't suppose if you have a minute you could point them to this thread to share any info?


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Postby Nigel » Sat Nov 22, 2008 9:37 am

er would like to but he sort of drifted off but will try and contact him


There’s a country in Europe where they treat their ex soldiers with pride no waits for medical treatment after injuries received during service, no amensia from the government. Cant for the life of me recall where it is but I know exactly where it is not.

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Postby Lady Cecily » Sat Nov 22, 2008 11:11 am

Off on a tangent but related - you may find that wearing your lords heraldic ailettes is also appropriate. I am certain this was done in tournaments but not sure about battle situations.

As an aside, we've had an idea to do a tournament at Lanark next year - so may your services be up for hire to fight for a spiffing Knight from Yorkshire?


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Postby Nigel » Sun Nov 23, 2008 8:54 am

Iam a spiffing knight from Yorkshire too you know :D


There’s a country in Europe where they treat their ex soldiers with pride no waits for medical treatment after injuries received during service, no amensia from the government. Cant for the life of me recall where it is but I know exactly where it is not.

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Postby zauberdachs » Sun Nov 23, 2008 4:30 pm

Lady Cecily wrote:Off on a tangent but related - you may find that wearing your lords heraldic ailettes is also appropriate. I am certain this was done in tournaments but not sure about battle situations.


God I hope not. Sporting the Cads "moose" ... :lol:

Lady Cecily wrote:As an aside, we've had an idea to do a tournament at Lanark next year - so may your services be up for hire to fight for a spiffing Knight from Yorkshire?


Yes, perhaps I need a new lord... What are his ailettes like?


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Postby guthrie » Sun Nov 23, 2008 5:06 pm

Medieval fashion show as a way of recruiting men at arms?
Hmmm, it may well catch on.



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Postby Colin Middleton » Mon Nov 24, 2008 2:04 pm

You might find that men loyal to a lord, even in the 13th C wear his livery, rather than his heraldry. I'd guess that this follows through onto aliets and possibly shields too.


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Postby zauberdachs » Mon Nov 24, 2008 2:26 pm

Colin Middleton wrote:You might find that men loyal to a lord, even in the 13th C wear his livery, rather than his heraldry. I'd guess that this follows through onto aliets and possibly shields too.


It's a nice idea but I'm not sure there is any evidence of livery in this period.


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Postby Colin Middleton » Mon Nov 24, 2008 2:33 pm

IIRC, the people who did the setup at Tonbridge Castle (and Lewes, I think) disagree. I've never tried to track it down myself (too many other things to chase up), but there may be evidence out there.

I have a vague recolection of Bishop Grotesse (is that right?) advising the Countess of Lincoln about when her servants should wear their livery cotes.


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Postby zauberdachs » Mon Nov 24, 2008 2:36 pm

Colin Middleton wrote:IIRC, the people who did the setup at Tonbridge Castle (and Lewes, I think) disagree. I've never tried to track it down myself (too many other things to chase up), but there may be evidence out there.

I have a vague recolection of Bishop Grotesse (is that right?) advising the Countess of Lincoln about when her servants should wear their livery cotes.


Cool, definitely worth checking out. Thanks.


Do not be loath, diligent reader, to winnow my chaff, and lay up the wheat in the storehouse of your memory. For truth regards not who is the speaker, nor in what manner it is spoken, but that the thing be true - Nennius, 8th century

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Postby guthrie » Mon Nov 24, 2008 7:04 pm

Grossetested, IIRC, wrote a book on what a household should be like and how it should be managed, as well as being one of the early scientists in this country.



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Postby Lady Cecily » Mon Nov 24, 2008 9:28 pm

zauberdachs wrote:
Lady Cecily wrote:Off on a tangent but related - you may find that wearing your lords heraldic ailettes is also appropriate. I am certain this was done in tournaments but not sure about battle situations.


God I hope not. Sporting the Cads "moose" ... :lol:

Lady Cecily wrote:As an aside, we've had an idea to do a tournament at Lanark next year - so may your services be up for hire to fight for a spiffing Knight from Yorkshire?


Yes, perhaps I need a new lord... What are his ailettes like?


Simple, elegant, makes you look like a police car.
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Postby House of De Clifford » Thu Nov 27, 2008 8:49 am

OI !
thats our colours ! hand em over !!!


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Postby Colin Middleton » Fri Nov 28, 2008 1:33 pm

guthrie wrote:Grossetested, IIRC, wrote a book on what a household should be like and how it should be managed, as well as being one of the early scientists in this country.


That's the chap!


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Postby Lady Cecily » Sun Nov 30, 2008 6:05 pm

House of De Clifford wrote:OI !
thats our colours ! hand em over !!!


Sharnt! :P My other half does Clifford because we live in York - we didn't manage to find anyone of interest with our own surname.


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Postby zauberdachs » Mon Dec 01, 2008 12:06 am

Lady Cecily wrote:
Zauberdachs wrote:
Lady Cecily wrote:As an aside, we've had an idea to do a tournament at Lanark next year - so may your services be up for hire to fight for a spiffing Knight from Yorkshire?


Yes, perhaps I need a new lord... What are his ailettes like?


Simple, elegant, makes you look like a police car.


I'm afraid Ecce made me an offer I couldn't refuse and it looks like I'll be taking the field as part of the retinue of the War Gnome!


Do not be loath, diligent reader, to winnow my chaff, and lay up the wheat in the storehouse of your memory. For truth regards not who is the speaker, nor in what manner it is spoken, but that the thing be true - Nennius, 8th century

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Postby robjones999 » Tue Dec 30, 2008 3:13 pm

zauberdachs wrote:
Colin Middleton wrote:You might find that men loyal to a lord, even in the 13th C wear his livery, rather than his heraldry. I'd guess that this follows through onto aliets and possibly shields too.


It's a nice idea but I'm not sure there is any evidence of livery in this period.


Have just been re-writing the chapter on communal display for my forthcoming book (sorry another shameless plug!)

There is evidence of lords handing out cloth for the making of military uniform (as opposed to being given as livery to servants and retainers) from the late thriteenth century (see works by Frédérique Lachaud). There is a reference to a northern bandit leader of 1218 buying a bolt of cloth in order to uniform his men 'as if he had been a baron or an earl.' (Helen Cam, The decline and fall of English feudalism' History 25 (1941) 224.) In the early days of heraldry it was common for the retainers of a lord to wear his arms. William Marshal wears those of his uncle Tancarville, for example, and there are references in Wace's description of the fictional court of King Arthur. That being said livery badges and coats in the late medieval sense are probably something different to these, if only because they are more uniform - the badge, livery and standard all matching.

As to your shield, this is a more tricky proposition. Your lord's arms are his and his alone. They identify him as an individual. The images you picked up on are good, but there is a danger that the artist decorated the shields with what he felt like rather than what was actually being carried on shields (I certainly believe this to be the case on the Bayeux tapestry), especially when he was illustrating non-knightly figures. If you were part of an urban militia then you might be carrying a shield bearing the towns arms (there are a numbeer of examples form the fourteenth and fifteenth century of this). As a man-at-arms in a lordly retinue, I don't know that we have much in the way of evidence. Given that shields were a fine way of displaying symbols I would have thought the opportunity to decorate them with something proclaiming your alliegence to your lord would suit both you and your lord but equally, given that they were throw-away items it may not have mattered much what they werre decorated with...

No clear answer I'm afraid.



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Postby robjones999 » Tue Dec 30, 2008 3:22 pm

Oh yes and Grossteste (~1240) does say that a lrod should ensure that his retainers wore the livry they had been given so as to uphold the lord's honour, but I don't think he is talking about 'livery' as you are using the term (the lord's bade and colours) but think this is more about ensuring that the retinaers don't take the nice bits of cloth they have been given (livery more often than not comes in cloth to be amde up rather than completed garments) and selling it whilst wearing their older, shabbier clothes at his court and in public (which makes the lord appear a cheapskate who isn't clothing his retainers).

At Bourbourg in 1382 (late for you I know) the Lord of Coucyand his retinue made quite an impression as they all were mounted on coursers who weere caprisoned with housings bearing quartered the old and new Coucy arms.




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