Question: about pavise and battle axe.

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MarxMan
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Question: about pavise and battle axe.

Postby MarxMan » Wed Dec 15, 2010 9:03 pm

Greetings to you, gentelmen. First of all, sorry for my bad english. I am from Russia and never had any proper education in foregin languages. l studied it from movies and videogames. :roll:
Also i am sorry if this is wrong board to ask such questions. Navigation here is a bit confusing.
So, to my questions then.
Our group is reenacting men-at-arms from Richard III retinue, but i grown tired of using halberd, greatsword and pollaxe. I decided to try something other. I want to fight with shield pavise and one handed battle axe. Choise is strange, but i have good reasons for that. :wink:
I suppose that shield pavise werent realy popular choise in England and it is realy hard to find example. And i hope that you can provide me some examples, because i want to paint it with something more original than St. George image, but still make painting to look "english" :lol:
And second, less important issue is battle axe. Here in eastern erope it is REALY hard to find good pictures of european axes. I found only two examples of german cavalry axes. All other axes i found were made in 14th century or earlier.
I know it is selfish, but i really hope that you will help me. Because it is impossble for me to visit Britain in few next years just to check your museums and bookstores. :angel:


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Re: Question: about pavise and battle axe.

Postby Colin Middleton » Thu Dec 16, 2010 1:51 pm

Hi MarxMan. Your English is great and you are in the right area, so 'congrats'. :D

My understanding is that the 'small pavise' used by knights was a german thing and not done in England. I'm not even sure that we made that much use of the 'portable wall' style of pavise (the big one that gunners hide behind).

As to battle axes, I know of a rerefence to Richard III carrying a battle axe at Bosworth, but I've heard some debate about whether that means the one-handed thing from earlier centuries or is just another name for a pole-axe.

I'll keep my eyes open for any references, but don't hold your breath. Another problem that you'll face is that there aren't so many pieces of evidence surviving from the Middle Ages of English origin. I'd try http://www.larsdatter.com/ as a starting point.

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Re: Question: about pavise and battle axe.

Postby gregory23b » Thu Dec 16, 2010 7:59 pm

Hi,

loads of european pavises survive, decorated in various styles.

English pavises are mentioned in the written record, a fair bit. Paston Letters re. John Fastolf's will mention pavises made from elm and baleen. Other records mention 'pavisier' as someone who uses a pavise, enter 'pavise' in the middle English dictionary at the bottom of my post.


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Re: Question: about pavise and battle axe.

Postby Marcus Woodhouse » Thu Dec 16, 2010 8:40 pm

If you follow the logic of the revised Battle of Bosworth I would say that the "battle axe" would almost certainly be a pollaxe, but some historians believe it might have been a war hammer which would be easy to wield on horse back.
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Re: Question: about pavise and battle axe.

Postby MarxMan » Thu Dec 16, 2010 8:57 pm

Thank you for replies. I will try this link.
Maybe it is also called hand-pavise. Just a rectangular shield, like this one. Small shield approximately 80cm*30cm.
pavise of Matthias Corvinus, King of Hungary (1443-90; King, 1458)
Image

My understanding is that the 'small pavise' used by knights was a german thing and not done in England.

Well, we never can be sure about such things. Wood is fragile material and many evidences are lost. But shields like that were relatively widespread around Europe in 15th and 16th centuries uset both by nobles and common soldiers. So there is a good chance that such pavises were used in England too. Also i found this stuf:
1) One pavise depicting St. George wearing flag of England on shield and banner.
2) Pavise depicting Sr. Geoge slaying the dragon, borders of image decorated with pair of red roses.
3) Pavise depicting Warrior, lower border of image decoratd with white rose.
4) English tapestry depicting warrior with some kind of flail, wearing shield on his back. And this shield actualy might be a hand pavise, because it has medial gutter.
So there is a good chance that hand pavises were used by english in 15th century.

And about battleaxe. If i would use pavise, the i also need some heavy one-handed weapon. Hammers, maces and military picks are forbidden. I realy dont like falchions, so only axe is left as alternative.
I dont know if english used one-handed battle axes or not, it is just my speculations. If russians, germans, italians.. well anyone in erope used battle axes, why not english? :angel:
As i said before, im just seeking alternative to any kind of weapon that requires two hands and interesting picture to put on my shield pavise. :D


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Re: Question: about pavise and battle axe.

Postby Captain Reech » Fri Dec 17, 2010 11:03 am

"1) One pavise depicting St. George wearing flag of England on shield and banner."

I take it you mean a red cross of a white field? The problem with identifying this as an English emblem is that the flag is actually St Georges flag which was adopted as the English flag. With the multiple patronage's attached to St George I'm not sure an image of him bearing the red cross can be identified as being specifically English.

Part of the reason for the English preference for two handed weapons (pole axe, glaive etc) may stem from the English practice of fighting on foot, a tactic that seems to begin with their continental experience where they faced opponents who had superior numbers of mounted troops which were defeated by the use of large numbers of archers supported by men at arms on foot. In this situation a polearm or two handed weapon made more sense as it offered maximum offensive potential against mounted and armoured opponents.
There are references to lower status fighters (particularly Archers) carrying 'axes and long knives' involved in the fighting around Calais for example, although this may be a simple hand axe or hatchet carried as a reserve weapon rather than a true battle axe.

I understand what you're trying to do though, a warhammer or dagger mace wielded in conjunction with a small shield makes perfect sense when fighting opponents in armour but is obviously impossible to make safe for general re-enactment fighting but an axe would seem to be a good solution, perhaps with a buckler for a more English look?


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Re: Question: about pavise and battle axe.

Postby gregory23b » Fri Dec 17, 2010 8:19 pm

'Well, we never can be sure about such things. Wood is fragile material and many evidences are lost. But shields like that were relatively widespread around Europe in 15th and 16th centuries uset both by nobles and common soldiers. So there is a good chance that such pavises were used in England too.'

But it is nice to also use evidence rather than just a 'logical leap', differences in culture extend to style, use and prevalence of all kinds of things. Just because it 'makes sense' in on place, does not mean it does so elsewhere.
Italian troops sometimes used round shields, made of wood and cloth, but that does no mean there is evidence for them elsehwere.

As above poster says, a cross of st george does not mean it is automatically English.


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Re: Question: about pavise and battle axe.

Postby MarxMan » Sat Dec 18, 2010 11:55 am

Captain Reech
Almost each combatant in our team has buckler and short blade as backup weapon (to use if halberd would break). But buckler isnt that useful in tight formation. Also... well its about politics between diferen teams, but guy with shield would be useful for our team. :angel:

gregory23b
As above poster says, a cross of st george does not mean it is automatically English.
.....
ust because it 'makes sense' in on place, does not mean it does so elsewhere.

Well i got it. But i tought that pavises decorated with Red Rose of Lancasters or White Rose of York are significant evidences. Or those roses were used by someone else in europe?


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Re: Question: about pavise and battle axe.

Postby Karen Larsdatter » Sat Dec 18, 2010 3:43 pm

There's several hand-pavises at http://larsdatter.com/painted-shields.htm but they seem to all be German or Austrian -- even the two with pictures of St. George. There's also a description of pavises in use during a battle from the Wars of the Roses (it's in the second gray square on that page) but they aren't being used with battle-axes.

There are a few English funeral shields listed among the "POLYCHROME PARADE OR PAGEANT SHIELDS" towards the bottom of http://larsdatter.com/painted-shields.htm too.

There is a German book with a lot of interesting information on shield construction -- Der mittelalterliche Reiterschild by Jan Kohlmorgen -- use http://www.bookfinder.com and search for ISBN 3935616104. It's not so much on English shields in particular, but it's got some interesting stuff.



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Re: Question: about pavise and battle axe.

Postby Marcus Woodhouse » Sat Dec 18, 2010 4:18 pm

Through pretty much all of Western Europe the trend is to move away from shields except when used by specialist troops. In "Italy" pavaise are used not just as a defensive wall to protect a gonner or abalaster from enemy fire during reloading they are used by certain well paid individuals to break an enemy line (like a SWAT entry team with other troops hiding behind a shield man until they are close enough to fan out).
In Spain larger shields are used bu men on foot again as a way of cutting into ranks of spear armed opponents. because venice has absobed many former Byzantine colonies with links with eatern Europe and the middle east you start to see more troops armed like this In Italy towards the end of the 15th century.
The sword and buckler is used by low status troops throughout western Europe and the English are famed for their skill at fighting with sword and bucler into the late 1500's but if you are portraying a man of wealth it is not a weapon combination that would be considered.
Single handed axes designed for fighting are not a feature of France, Burgundy or England because they are not especially good at defeating men in full harness. The mace and war hammer are better at this and can be easily used on horseback. However the English, and by the middle of the 15th century the French and Burgundians were fighting mostly dismounted during battles and as good as the mace and war hammer may be the poll axe is vastly better.


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Re: Question: about pavise and battle axe.

Postby gregory23b » Sat Dec 18, 2010 8:05 pm

'But i tought that pavises decorated with Red Rose of Lancasters or White Rose of York are significant evidences.'

Are there any surviving English pavises? Or are you referring to images of pavises or descriptions of pavises with those items? There is a print of two men fighting with hand pavises, one has a rose on it, not sure if it is English though.


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Re: Question: about pavise and battle axe.

Postby Ranger Smith » Sun Dec 19, 2010 12:54 am

Hi Marxman

Take a look here lots of ideas and examples

http://www.myarmoury.com/talk/viewforum.php?f=1

It appears that most hand paviese are decidedly German

Take care as to where your sources you are using come from. Tapestries were brought in from the continent so even if they show an English subject or even if the tapestry is located in England their origional birth place could be some ware completly different and may reflect the imagry of that location.

There are a number of paveises in British museums/ castles, as far as I am aware they are of continental origin rather than British.

As well as the Pastons mentioning pavieses, they also appear on the Bridport muster roll of levied troops. A number of pavieses are listed although most of the ones that should have been brought to the muster were left at home. They also appear in discription of the second battle of st Albans in the defensive measures carried out by Warwick

I dont think you will find the justification you are seeking for Richard III troops or men at arms carrying pavieses so you may have to forgo historical accuracy or the back up of a definitive source if you wish to use a hand paveise/axe combination.


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Re: Question: about pavise and battle axe.

Postby MarxMan » Sun Dec 19, 2010 2:36 pm

The sword and buckler is used by low status troops throughout western Europe and the English are famed for their skill at fighting with sword and bucler into the late 1500's but if you are portraying a man of wealth it is not a weapon combination that would be considered.

Maybe, but ive seen enough reproductions where men wering full plates still used bucklers. Sure, medieval artist just may be wrong, but at such account we can disregard ANY kind of evidence.

Are there any surviving English pavises?

I dont know if thise pavises are english or not. I just seen phoptos of pavises decorated with CERTAIN white or red roses. Those roses look exactly like roses of York and Lancaster.

Single handed axes designed for fighting are not a feature of France, Burgundy or England because they are not especially good at defeating men in full harness.

I could disagree with that. In 15th century almost any kind of axe had pair of spikes or some blunt implement, so it could also stab, be used as military pick or warhammer. So it was more of universal weapon.

I dont think you will find the justification you are seeking for Richard III troops or men at arms carrying pavieses so you may have to forgo historical accuracy or the back up of a definitive source if you wish to use a hand paveise/axe combination.

Ugh. I guess so. For sports reason i must do it. It is hard to get your place in national rankings with all halberd/pollaxe team.


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Re: Question: about pavise and battle axe.

Postby Marcus Woodhouse » Sun Dec 19, 2010 4:59 pm

I have only seen an Italian hand axe which may be Venetian or Pisian and conected with the fighting against the Austrians (it could plausibaly be of Hungarian or Croatian origin) with a back spike, a Franco-Burgundian hand axe with a small hammer to the rear and an English one that to my inexperienced eyes looks like a pollaxe which has had the mallet poorly removed and the stave cut down.
I have seen some pictures of men in full harness fighting with sword and buckler as part of treatise on how to fight but these could be more to do with formal judicial combat and therefore the fighters may not be "nobly born", nor are they actually fighting for real.
There are lots more images of men in harness using longswords, pollaxes, spears and maces then there are of men using axes. Franco-Burgundian illustrations show French men at arms using what look like large wood axes two handed but that may just be a way of showing them as being different to the English who are using spaers and pollaxes.
Mantlets can be seen being used by soldiers in Central Europe and the Balkans but I have not seen any of men in harness doing so, when they are shown the troops are armed with a range of weapons from axes, hand axes, swords (including curved scimatar things) to spears and even halberds.
Fighting doesn't interest me that much though so if you have evidence to counter my own limited knowledge then go for it, I am pleased that you are even trying to find out about it, sadly I have met lots of British re-enactors wouldn't even try to bother.


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Re: Question: about pavise and battle axe.

Postby Captain Reech » Mon Dec 20, 2010 9:33 am

"But i tought that pavises decorated with Red Rose of Lancasters or White Rose of York are significant evidences. Or those roses were used by someone else in europe?"

I'm not having a dig but you are rasing an interesting point. The majority of what I have read and I have been told discounts the use of a red rose as a specifically Lancastrian livery badge generally and the 'White Rose of York' is limited in it's use to very specific households for a specific phase of the period in question. I have seen roses of both colours used on shields and other devices from Germany and from France so again difficult to pin down as specifically English.

As the gist of the discussion above suggests, your proposed combination doesn't have any particular historical evidence in England at the time but is plausible within the wider context of Europe during the 15th Century (Ie: if we are asking the question 'Would a pavise/battle axe combination be completely out of the question for a 15th Century fighting man?' the answer would be 'No but there isn't a lot of evidence to suggest it would be a popular or widespread combination.'). If you are happy to accept that this is the case then I should imagine that you will find this an effective combination in a tourney type situation if for no other reason than the fact you'll be presenting your opponents with a combination they are not familiar with!

Hope it goes well, I look forward to seeing some pictures of your Pavise when you've constructed it.


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Re: Question: about pavise and battle axe.

Postby Marcus Woodhouse » Mon Dec 20, 2010 1:14 pm

Both red and white roses were used by the House of York specifically in connection with the March title. Henry tudor did not use a red rose until well established.
The rose was not the prefered device of either York or lancaster, not least because people mustered under the banner of whatever Lord raised them. The issue of bends with the Ostrich feather cognisance of Eduard, Prince of Wales may be an example of an attempt to unify a mixed command and during the 1475 invasion of France bends with the Cross of St. George were to be worn over the normal livery of troops.
But as a warrior saint St. George's cross was used by Savoy, Milan, Burgundy (along with the Cross of St. Andrew), various cities and states in the H.R.E., various former Greek states, even amongst the Russian nations.
He was, and is, a very popular martial saint.


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Re: Question: about pavise and battle axe.

Postby gregory23b » Mon Dec 20, 2010 4:35 pm

"Those roses look exactly like roses of York and Lancaster."

Or more precisely, they look similar to other roses, as said before, motifs are common across the continent, a similarity does not confer a relationship.

Plus, where have you seen the pavises with those devices?

As far as the presence of English pavises goes, there appear to be no surviving ones.

"not least because people mustered under the banner of whatever Lord raised them."

Precisely, otherwise, the confusion at Barnet would not have occurred.


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Re: Question: about pavise and battle axe.

Postby Marcus Woodhouse » Mon Dec 20, 2010 4:50 pm

I'll have to have a look and see if the rose was linked to the cult of Mary (as it is in the Catholic church now) in the 15th century. If it was then that would explain the wide spread use of the rose in western Europe.


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Re: Question: about pavise and battle axe.

Postby Captain Reech » Tue Dec 21, 2010 11:30 am

Interestingly enough, in another thread on this page (Entitled 'Targe' forgive the cut and paste but I can't work out the link thingy)
I found this:

From the Records of the Scottish Parliament 19 October 1456

And that no poor man nor unprovided be charged to come to any raids in England, and that each man whose goods extend to 20 merks be furnished at least with jack, with sleeves to the hand or else a pair of splints, a sellat or a pricking hat, a sword and a buckler, a bow and a sheaf, and if he can not shoot that he shall have an axe and a targe either of leather or of board with two hands on the back. And throughout all shires they are to be warned to provide for such things and to come and make their wappenschaws before the sheriffs, bailies or stewarts of regalities on the morning after the law days after Yule. And whoever comes not bearing as appropriate, after his fault, is to be punished in his goods, and so forth their wappenschaws is to be continued from 30 days to 30 days, etc.

Taken from http://www.rps.ac.uk/

Or in its original form:
And at na pure man nor wnbodyn be chargyt to cum till ony radis in Inglande, and at ilk man that his gudis extendis to xxti merkis be bodyn at the lest with jak, with slevys to the hande or ellis a payr of splentis, a sellat or a priking hatt, a suerde and a buclare, a bow and a schaif, and gif he can nocht schut that he haif ane ax and a targe othir of leddir or of burde with twa handis on the bak. And throu out all schyris thai be warnyt to prowyde for sik thingis and to cum and mak thar wapinschawing befor the shrefis, bailyeis or stuartis of regaliteis on the morne eftir the law dais eftir yule. And quha that cumis nocht bodyne as efferis eftir his faltyss to be punyst in his gudis and sa furthe thar wapinschawing to be cotinuyt fra xxx dais to xxx dais, etc.

Now, whilst this doesn't help with the Pavise, it does offer evidence that an axe/shield combo was in use in the British Isles at the time (And, given the history of the time, would have made frequent 'visits' into England primarily in the cause of the Kingdom of Scotland but also in support of the House of Lancaster....)


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Re: Question: about pavise and battle axe.

Postby narvek » Tue Dec 21, 2010 5:42 pm

There were even a Bohemian aristocrats who used the same rose as mentioned.
http://www.google.com/search?ie=UTF-8&o ... %AF%C5%BEe


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Re: Question: about pavise and battle axe.

Postby Marcus Woodhouse » Tue Dec 21, 2010 6:32 pm

Fecking Bohemian aritocrats sitting around all day drinking wine, plotting the downfall of the Empire and writing bad beatnik poetry.


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Re: Question: about pavise and battle axe.

Postby Captain Reech » Wed Dec 22, 2010 8:57 am

Radical man, in a tubular sort of way. You dig?


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Re: Question: about pavise and battle axe.

Postby Marcus Woodhouse » Wed Dec 22, 2010 11:24 am

Bloody hippy, get yer hair cut and get a job.


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Re: Question: about pavise and battle axe.

Postby Marcus Woodhouse » Wed Dec 22, 2010 11:26 am

But back on track, the description of Scots troops does not decribe well harnessed men at arms and I got the impression that the original poster was wishing to portray just that.


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Re: Question: about pavise and battle axe.

Postby MarxMan » Fri Dec 24, 2010 10:04 pm

But back on track, the description of Scots troops does not decribe well harnessed men at arms and I got the impression that the original poster was wishing to portray just that.

Well, yes. But shield pavises were used even by kings, so no problem with that. Except that apparently there are no evidence that such shields were used in England.


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Re: Question: about pavise and battle axe.

Postby MarxMan » Mon Jan 17, 2011 10:04 pm

Well, here is some 'new' information i found. Pages from flamandian chronicles - about Edvard IV reclaiming his title as a king. Chronicles vere made in 1471th.
There are some where english warriours used some kind of shields.
Like that one.
Image


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Re: Question: about pavise and battle axe.

Postby Marcus Woodhouse » Mon Jan 17, 2011 11:05 pm

Yep, nothing wrong with those shields, worn by men at arms on horseback during the charge, you see them in a lot of jousts as well.
They are not pavise though, the picture is Flemish (even if it is about the English wars) so still be careful.


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Re: Question: about pavise and battle axe.

Postby MarxMan » Thu Feb 24, 2011 4:16 pm

Well, i guess that some people may be interested. Actual one-handed axe from 15th century England.
http://www.imagepost.ru/images/678/Towton_axe.jpg


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Re: Question: about pavise and battle axe.

Postby Marcus Woodhouse » Thu Feb 24, 2011 5:26 pm

Yeo thats the one that is IMHO a choped down pollaxe with the stave sawn off and the mallet chopped down. Apart from that it looks very much like a surviving Venican pollaxe which also lacks a dague.


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Re: Question: about pavise and battle axe.

Postby MarxMan » Thu Feb 24, 2011 10:08 pm

Well one handed axe always looked like shortened version of two-handed axes. :) Also this one lacks many features associated with pollaxes.
About chopped down pollaxes. i seen one-handed versions of those too :D
http://www.imagepost.ru/images/680/OnAx2.jpg
But im not sure about origins of this weapon.


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