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Arm Guards - Medieval Archers 1300 / 1500

Posted: Tue Jul 02, 2013 7:06 pm
by Phoenix Rising
I've seen a few photos knocking around the net of arm guards - essentially leather tubes either laced up on one side or buckled, and some seem to be using them to keep the sleeves of shirts etc out of the way and to act as protection to the forearms.

Are these authentic? Asking as I know that archers wore either leather or horn bracers but these go only on the exposed arm that holds the bow, not on both arms, and although they might look okay, I don't want to make the error of bringing in elements to the role / era that I portray (English archer 1300 / 1500) if they didn't exist.

Re: Arm Guards - Medieval Archers 1300 / 1500

Posted: Tue Jul 02, 2013 9:36 pm
by EnglishArcher
Avoid the 'leather vambraces' unless you're going for that Hollywood Dungeons and Dragons look.

And cotes (for the first part of your period) and doublets (for the second half) are for keeping shirt sleeves out of the way. :D

Re: Arm Guards - Medieval Archers 1300 / 1500

Posted: Wed Jul 03, 2013 1:01 pm
by Colin Middleton
Hear, hear!

Re: Arm Guards - Medieval Archers 1300 / 1500

Posted: Wed Jul 03, 2013 4:23 pm
by Phoenix Rising
Much as my thoughts about them were, but it pays to make sure. Out of curiosity, I looked through a copy of Osprey's English Longbowman 1330 - 1515 earlier today and found the following mentioned :

The household accounts of Sir John Howard for the proposed Scottish Campaign of 1480 have numerous entries for the issuing to his archers of the following items of equipment : A pair of Brigandines, A pair of splints (simple arm defences) etc.

With regard to the mention of 'splints', anyone know what sort of simple arm defences would they be talking about?

Re: Arm Guards - Medieval Archers 1300 / 1500

Posted: Thu Jul 04, 2013 10:11 am
by Phil the Grips
Phoenix Rising wrote:With regard to the mention of 'splints', anyone know what sort of simple arm defences would they be talking about?
Likely what we now commonly know as "jack chains".

Re: Arm Guards - Medieval Archers 1300 / 1500

Posted: Thu Jul 04, 2013 10:32 pm
by Phoenix Rising
Just had a look at some, see what you mean. Basic arm protection to allow a sword blow to 'slide' off the metal rather than cut.