Maille beneath plate

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Darren Mac
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Maille beneath plate

Post by Darren Mac »

I have mid 14th kit and wear the plate with maille beneath/augmenting it. Not being the fittest person in the world I always struggle to fight in it, its all obviously bloody heavy. Question is, at what point did maille become armour that complimented plate rather than being worn in its entirity (full chausses and haubergeon) beneeath the plate? I know that once full plate harness developed maille was attached as voiders, skirts etc. I have 3/4 plate arms, coat of plates, padded cuisse and plate greaves beneath which I wear the haubergeon and chausses. Would it be right to cut down the maille to only the exposed/weaker areas? Or would, at this stage of plate development, full maille still be worn as well?
Darren Macdonald
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Zachos
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Re: Maille beneath plate

Post by Zachos »

In some parts maille was being worn until as late as 1470, in italy particularly. I think you're pretty much solidly wearing full maille all through the 14th century, definitely in the mid 14th century, but would like to see a pic of your kit before I said for sure: A lot of people say mide, when they actually mean late, because of mix ups with effigies etc.
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Re: Maille beneath plate

Post by Marcus Woodhouse »

Maile worn under white harness into the 1490's in Italy, also worn as a complement to brigs just about every where. Mind you its also still being worn in place of plate harness in parts of "Spain" and in parts of northern and eastern Europe.
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Darren Mac
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Re: Maille beneath plate

Post by Darren Mac »

Zachos wrote: would like to see a pic of your kit before I said for sure [.]


I'm in the Warwick livery in the background, small in frame I know.
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Darren Macdonald
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Stuart Quayle
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Re: Maille beneath plate

Post by Stuart Quayle »

Hi Darren

Just my two pence worth, from reading your description of the kit you wear, you have it just right at present for the mid 14th century - I wouldn't change a thing. 8-)

If you look at the effigies of say de Creke or D'Aubernoun, they wear a full length (quite long) mail hauberk underneath their coat of plates and Cyclas style surcoat - heavy I know but that was the way it was then.

It was only during the early stages of the 15th century with the development of the full plate harness that mail voiders became the norm in place of at least a shorter haubergeon mail shirt.

Regards
Stuart

PS. Nice to see another left-hander at the back of that photo!

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Re: Maille beneath plate

Post by Mark Griffin »

Full mail continues to be worn under harnesses even into the late 15th century. You answer your own question a bit when you refer to your fitness :wink: but as others have said, your kit looks fine for what you want to do.
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PaulMurphy
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Re: Maille beneath plate

Post by PaulMurphy »

What's the total weight you're carrying when fully kitted up? I have early-mid C14th kit (chausses, greaves, knee plates, padded cuisses, gambeson, hauberk, coat of plates, arming cap, coif, great helm, and elbow plates), plus sword and shield, which takes me to about 95 lbs (45Kg) of additional weight.

That's about the maximum that anybody is capable of wearing and still being able to fight, and equates well with the maximum all-up weight for just about any era, including the modern day.

A lot of re-enactment kit is overweight when compared to the originals - butted mail being the obvious candidate, but even the rivetted stuff is probably up to 10% heavier than the original. Re-enactment plate armour is designed to cope with being abused for maybe 20-30 events and training sessions per year, so might be 14 gauge when the original was 16, or is badly made from bent sheets rather than hand beaten to provide thicker protection where it is needed, and thinner protection where it isn't so critical. Shields are heavier because we don't want to replace them after every event, swords can be 25-40% heavier, and so on...

If you can, get along to the Wallace Collection handling session, and see what the originals are really like - you may be surprised.

Plus, as Griff has suggested, improved fitness will definitely help. I know this only too well... ;-)
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Re: Maille beneath plate

Post by Mark Griffin »

my frog mouth weighs in at about 21lbs. My greenwich close helm about 12lb. Both spot on give or take an ounce when compared to the originals.
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PaulMurphy
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Re: Maille beneath plate

Post by PaulMurphy »

Yes, but they're specialist jousting helms and your poor horse has to take the extra weight rather than you running around in it...

Compare the original GDFB range to the historical inspirations, and you'll find they're well overweight.
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Re: Maille beneath plate

Post by Mark Griffin »

Horse? I need a horse?

Ahhh...thats where I've been going wrong...

But seriously, the Greenwich helm is a foot combat one. Barrier combat, so I take a fair mullering. Its nice to be doing work where I'm paid to get hit VERY hard, and the same goes for the opponent. The weight is there for shock absorbancy as well of course, we fight with half-pike/staves too.
http://www.griffinhistorical.com. A delicious decadent historical trifle. Thick performance jelly topped with lashings of imaginative creamy custard. You may also get a soggy event management sponge finger but it won't cost you hundreds and thousands.

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Darren Mac
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Re: Maille beneath plate

Post by Darren Mac »

PaulMurphy wrote:What's the total weight you're carrying when fully kitted up?
I have no idea Paul, but I'm going to find out. In the meantime, I'll try to remedy the fitness issue!
Darren Macdonald
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http://www.macdonaldphotography.co.uk

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