Brigandine Thicknesses

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gregory23b
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Postby gregory23b » Mon Jan 19, 2009 5:19 pm

Hi Derek,

the word is seemingly unavailable, but of French origin, linked with fortifications.

I was curious because it seems to serve an assumption rather than a known quantity, ie if it is issued it must be of a lower or less embellished quality, without the source or rationale in a medieval context. I have heard it used to denote forge blackened armour, or kit that is somehow less well made etc. In the spirit of curiosity I wanted to know what others thought. So as not to Cuba Jelly's thread I will start a new one and link to it.


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Postby John Waller » Sun Jan 25, 2009 10:19 pm

Not seen it but this might help answer the original question

Finds Research Group Datasheet 36 that covers Jacks and Brigandines. This was targeted at practicing archaeologists with the aim of improving the chances of recognition of individual plates that might otherwise be mistakenly misclassified as washers or fragments iron strapping


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Postby The Methley Archer » Mon Mar 02, 2009 6:00 pm

Just to resurect this thread,

Has anybody seen images of side fastening brigs like the White Rose Apparel Archers Brig. All I have found are front fastening like the Royal Armouries brig or have I just answed my own thoughts.

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Postby Laffin Jon Terris » Mon Mar 02, 2009 7:40 pm

There are plenty of side opening brigandines in the 16th century, they all have much, much smaller plates though.

I've found no references or examples of side opening brigandines in the 15th century, and none from the 16th century with such large plates.

The Beauchamp Pageant images do not show side openings as far as I can tell - I believe the orginal arguement there is that they don't show front or back openings either.

I've never accepted the theory that an "archers" brig is designed to move the buckles out of the way of the bow string- after all, I've never seen a side opening "archers doublet" to match it!

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Postby The Methley Archer » Mon Mar 02, 2009 9:00 pm

Its as I found and expected. It just means I have to put a little bit more thought into the making of mine :(


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Postby Zachos » Mon Mar 02, 2009 11:44 pm

What are the thoughts on brigs opening at the rear? It would seem the most logical place to open as long as you had someone to buckle you into it, as if you've turned your back on your enemy its your own fault if they gut you.


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Postby Laffin Jon Terris » Tue Mar 03, 2009 9:49 am

There are on or two effigies that show rear openings, these appear to be earlier models though. Most of the earlier coats-of-plates closed at the back so I guess there could be an evolutionary step there (although I'm not in favour of that kind of thinking as a rule).

As with a good gambeson, the opening should not really prevent much of a hazard, making sure the two sides overlap over the closure isn't that much more work. Make sure you have plenty of buckles to prevent gaping!

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Postby Mark Griffin » Thu Mar 05, 2009 7:22 pm

Any evidence for this old myth brigs were made from redundant armour....?


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Postby Phil the Grips » Thu Mar 05, 2009 7:48 pm

There's C16th evidence for redundant armour being sold to the Navy- but that was for conversion into jacks and hats of plate, not brigandines.

I reckon that's where the myth started.


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Postby Mark Griffin » Thu Mar 05, 2009 8:47 pm

yes, jacks of plate I know. Their plates are usually a bit thicker than the thickness described above for brigs too.


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Postby Laffin Jon Terris » Thu Mar 05, 2009 9:57 pm

Mark Griffin wrote:Any evidence for this old myth brigs were made from redundant armour....?


Not sure on that one to be honest -although we do have other examples of armour being "updated" (mainly helmets) and the Beeston article definately shows brigandine plates being re-cycled into jack-of-plate plates (even if they are a little thinner than normal).

I'm inclined to accept it as a sensible theory and it may have been done on occasion, but I wouldn't say it was standard practice amongst brigandine manufacturers!

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Postby Mark Griffin » Sat Mar 07, 2009 9:34 am

I can't see it mentioned but you really should try and get hold of the flipping expensive and rare Brigandine SymposiumiSchloss Tyrol book. Its brig porn of fantastic quality.

Re the triple punch. I doubt whether that will save you time (unless you have done it already and it works of course) as you will need to seriously beef up the weight of the hammer and it will be a pain to manipulate everything and punch the three holes evenly at the same time. As Jelly says, no substitute for time and he should know, he's made two of the best that are out there.

Brother Gideons are in that same league.

I've never accepted the theory that an "archers" brig is designed to move the buckles out of the way of the bow string- after all, I've never seen a side opening "archers doublet" to match it!


I'd also agree. What about the pics of archers wearing breastplates? (St Ursula casket) They have buckles and leading edges etc so its undoubtedly the skill of the archer that does it and not re-tailoring the garment.

'Archers' brig/sword/sallet/buckler? Stoopid!


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Postby Marcus Woodhouse » Sun Mar 08, 2009 3:48 pm

It's a re-enactors selling point though isn't it. Archers sword-any sword used by an archer, same with helmet, armour.
:roll:
I can well see for meself some fella in his 15th century workshop calling out to his buddy "Are these swords for archers or men-at-arms mate?" "Who bloody cares, just put a point on them so we can knock off and have a pint."


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Postby Laffin Jon Terris » Sun Mar 08, 2009 10:11 pm

I'm sure you have your tongue firmly in your cheek there Marcus.

Personally I think it's another hangover from this ridiculous idea that absolutely everything has to be classified and placed into a separate niche based on some value of (theoretical) evolution.

Just because one item isever so slightly different from another means it must be classified as being completely different and was obviously also either evolved from (or was a prior design) and was intended for a completely different use rather than just being plain old different for the sake of variety.

I think this is a combination of the Victorian passion for classifying and cataloging everything and the fantasy tabletop gaming systems who made up all these rules so that people knew which dice to roll! :roll:

The problem is that it creates potential gaps in the "catalog" that people then feel they have to fill with odd compromises - the archers brigandine being one such thing (IMHO).

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Postby narvek » Sun Mar 08, 2009 10:20 pm

Laffin Jon Terris wrote:... the fantasy tabletop gaming systems who made up all these rules so that people knew which dice to roll! :roll:...


exactly...


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Postby Colin Middleton » Mon Mar 09, 2009 2:10 pm

The Methley Archer wrote:Just to resurect this thread,

Has anybody seen images of side fastening brigs like the White Rose Apparel Archers Brig. All I have found are front fastening like the Royal Armouries brig or have I just answed my own thoughts.

Ta.


Sorry to come in late. Brigandines are often referred to as a 'pair of brigandines'. This implies that there is a front one and a back one. If that's the case, they must have side fastenings.

On the other hand, a pair of trousers is just one item...


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Postby Laffin Jon Terris » Mon Mar 09, 2009 7:09 pm

Colin Middleton wrote:Brigandines are often referred to as a 'pair of brigandines'. This implies that there is a front one and a back one. If that's the case, they must have side fastenings.


Yes, we have discussed that before, I even suggested the same thing in a thread here some time ago - since then I have come to think differently.

That phrase does appear in the Paston letters somewhere and it was used somewhere else but I wouldn't say that it was used that often. There is no contemporary explanation for the term, so we can't be sure that our logic works as we'd like...

Colin Middleton wrote:On the other hand, a pair of trousers is just one item...


Exactly.

Personally I'd rather see a real example -either in picture form or in surviving metal- than trust to a theoretical translation from a written document.

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Postby craig1459 » Mon Mar 09, 2009 8:28 pm

Laffin Jon Terris wrote:That phrase does appear in the Paston letters somewhere and it was used somewhere else but I wouldn't say that it was used that often. There is no contemporary explanation for the term, so we can't be sure that our logic works as we'd like...

googled:
--"A fine gown of Must' de wyller furred with fine beavers, and one pair of brigandines covered with blue velvet and gilt nails, with leg harness: the value of the gown and brigandines 8l." --Paston Letters. Vol. i., p. 61.


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Postby Colin Middleton » Tue Mar 10, 2009 1:22 pm

Laffin Jon Terris wrote:That phrase does appear in the Paston letters somewhere and it was used somewhere else but I wouldn't say that it was used that often. There is no contemporary explanation for the term, so we can't be sure that our logic works as we'd like...


I think that it's mentioned a few times in the Howard accounts


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Postby Zachos » Tue Mar 10, 2009 5:02 pm

But we are reading our own meaning into the words "pair of". It could be that is how you differentiate what we call lungplate brigandines, or it could just be a left over phrase from when they looked like this:

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Postby Chris, yclept John Barber » Wed Mar 11, 2009 9:16 am

Colin Middleton wrote:
Laffin Jon Terris wrote:That phrase does appear in the Paston letters somewhere and it was used somewhere else but I wouldn't say that it was used that often. There is no contemporary explanation for the term, so we can't be sure that our logic works as we'd like...


I think that it's mentioned a few times in the Howard accounts


The list Colin transcribed from the accounts a while ago of the equipment of a band of men Sir John Howard took to meet King Edward IV in the 'North Country' does include ten references to 'a pair of brigandines' - in each case it says something like 'And my master loaned him a pair of brigandines covered with black leather'.


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Postby Laffin Jon Terris » Wed Mar 11, 2009 9:48 am

I don't know enough about the Howard accounts (:roll:) but I would suggest that if that list is being written by one man taking the accounts and there is one reference in the Paston letters, that still only makes TWO people using the term - no matter how many times they write it.

Ok, you can count the people who are likely to read these too I guess but that still doesn't make a whole lot of folks- could this be a regional thing (ie Norfolk) with both the Howards and the Pastons being there?

I just find it odd that there is not one surviving brigandine (dated earlier than 1500) that has side openings rather than the common front (and occasionally back) opening types. And no apparent examples in period images either.

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Postby Tod » Wed Mar 11, 2009 1:25 pm

Are there any surviving 15th century brigs any where?
Or could you point me to some good pictures?
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Postby Colin Middleton » Wed Mar 11, 2009 1:46 pm

I'm quite open to the idea that the earliest brigs were two parts (front and back seems to be what most books describe), which quickly became permenantly attached, though the term 'pair' persisted in use.

Just out of curiosity, how many references do we have to Brigandines NOT being a pair?


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Postby The Methley Archer » Wed Mar 11, 2009 2:41 pm

For Tod,

Has anyone seen brigs with blackend nails or are they all shiny.
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Royal armouries brig.jpg
Royal Armouries 021.jpg


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Postby Laffin Jon Terris » Wed Mar 11, 2009 4:10 pm

Colin Middleton wrote:I'm quite open to the idea that the earliest brigs were two parts (front and back seems to be what most books describe), which quickly became permenantly attached, though the term 'pair' persisted in use.


Actually the persistant theory is that the brigandine is an improvement on the earlier coat of plates, which commonly does up at the back. Later, into the 16th Century brigandines are seen with side openings and considerably smaller plates but then they soon give way to "jack of plate" which is plates sewn into jacks (or doublets) which again open to the front.

I'm not a big fan of the "evolution" of armour as a whole, but with brigandines there does appear to be a pattern of sorts- the biggest clue for dating is the size of the plates, bigger plates means an earlier example, smaller plates is normally a later specimen (obviously you need these in context, a single inch square plate could easily be from the collar of a 15th century brig or it could be any plate from a 16th century example).

Colin Middleton wrote:Just out of curiosity, how many references do we have to Brigandines NOT being a pair?


Good point. Are there any other references in the Howard accounts by any chance?

Tod, there are a couple of 15th century examples in the Royal Armouries in Leeds (along with a couple of 16th century ones too). There is at least one in Paris in the Invalides, one in the Higgins collection in the US and a couple in eastern europe that I am aware of, Im sure there are more that I haven't listed here (I don't know where they are but I know I have seen more than 6 different brigandines in pictures!)

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Postby Colin Middleton » Thu Mar 12, 2009 2:38 pm

All those that I'm aware of from the Howard accounts are pairs, but I'm only into the 1460's...


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