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What was worn underneath maille legs?

Posted: Sat Sep 03, 2005 4:50 pm
by RTB
:?: hello all,
could anyone tell me what was worn underneath maille chausse (sp!). I have some quilted quisse (sp), but was there anything beneath them,

many thanks,

Chris

Circa. 1300, thanks again,

Posted: Sat Sep 03, 2005 5:26 pm
by mac (crucesignati)
Chris

I have mail hose that I wear simple cloth hose underneath, but I do intend to make some padded hose. I find it hard to believe that padding is worn beneath mail on the upper body but not the lower limbs. But then I don't think I have seen a reference saying that padded hose is worn beneath mail chausses.
I'd like to know the answer to this as well

Posted: Sat Sep 03, 2005 5:28 pm
by mac (crucesignati)
Mind you I don't know how reliable references would be (modern ones anyway) They all say that hose was pointed to the belt of the breeches, if anyone has tried do that they'll know it does not work.

Posted: Sat Sep 03, 2005 5:28 pm
by mac (crucesignati)
mail hose that is

Posted: Sat Sep 03, 2005 7:02 pm
by RTB
Cheers mac,
I was thinking of wearing trews, with cuisses, then maille hose. I have just had a move about in the house, and all my books are "in storage". It doesn't seem too obvious from the pictures or effegies I have seen.
I think the Armouries at Leeds has a figure in the tournament section about this period, I shall have to visit before B/Burn,

thanks,

Chris

Posted: Sat Sep 03, 2005 7:11 pm
by Brendan C
Gents,

I wear mail hose on top of my ordinary hose and I must confess I find it hard work moving around wearing just that. Padded chausse underneath the mail would make it virtually impossible.

One of my Conquest buddies wears leather chausse underneath the mail and swears by it. That might be the most likely candidate, as I myself have never seen any mention of padded leg armour under mail of any source, even in the code of the Templars which I think is one of the best sources of weapons and armour description for the mid-late 12th century.

Cheers

Brendan C

Posted: Sat Sep 03, 2005 8:01 pm
by Simon_Diment
Hi Mac

It helps if you wear straps below the knee to support the weight and possibly above but it does work pointing off the belt, just not very comfortable after a while. I did consider making a braces type support but haven't researched how authentic it would be or if there is any evidence to support this arrangement, but thought it would be far more comfortable.

Rob Roberts does indeed wear leather hose below his mail as Brendan pointed out and I've done the same but make sure the leather is quite thin or it restricts movement of the knee joint even more.

Andy wears thin quisses below his and he hasn't mentioned any problems when wearing mail.

Posted: Sun Sep 04, 2005 10:09 am
by ada-anne
Simon, I'd be interested to hear about it if you try a braces arrangement. What would it attach to at the back - would it go right down to the back of the chausses? I've come across attachments to a belt that go down the front and side-back, but none that go right down across your bum. I think there would also be a problem with braces because you are connecting across so many joints. You end up feeling like a marionette, when you raise your arm, which lifts your shoulder, it pulls upwards on your thigh. Which might make for an interesting fighting style :o

Posted: Mon Sep 05, 2005 8:02 am
by mac (crucesignati)
Simon - I do have a garter below the knee and it does indeed support the weight of the maille to a certain degree.
Brendan, at the mo. the simple cloth hose I wear underneath the maille doesn't restrict my movement. Could it be the construction of your hose (maille) that is causing this restriction? Mine is strapped, twice for each leg, to a paltock which is the best method I have so far found of keeping them up. I have just changed the design quite a bit though - taking some length out of the lower leg and increasing the size of a 'pocket' of maille at the knee.
I found that pointing them to the waistband of my breeches always resulted in them dragging down, the weight was just too much.
I think padded hose, with the knee area free of padding would work? I thought maybe as well that if the padding was attached directly to the maille (stitched or whatever) then they would not be able to fall down.
The problem I have is that with my skinny legs, any support below the knee just slides down (my calves are small) perhaps padding underneath would give the straps and maille something to 'bite' into.

Posted: Thu Sep 15, 2005 1:47 pm
by Colin MacDonald
Obliquely, how many references can you find to men on foot wearing mail chausses? This has come up before and I couldn't find any evidence for it (which doesn't mean they weren't worn, I know).

Posted: Wed Sep 21, 2005 10:58 am
by Alex Clayphan
We tried hanging mail hose from a belt, and that proved agonising and cumbersome indeed. Solution we came up with was a sort of stiff leather shin guard overlaid with mail, and a short overlapping hose section mounted onto leather that shielded thigh and knee. It's more work, but less cumbersome by far. :?

Posted: Wed Sep 21, 2005 2:28 pm
by Dingo8MyBaby
Worn beneath mail hose.

1. Just linen hose.
2. Leather hose – either separate or attached to the hose.
3. Thick linen hose – two or three layers of thick linen sewn into a reinforced hose.
4. Quilted hose, linen with some form of stuffing.

There is also the Islamic style of encasing the hose in linen so they look like thick hose. You can also wear padding over the hose – this makes them damn warm and you do get very sweaty!

Colin MacDonald: Many - don’t forget that one of the major changes under the Angevin kings was that half of the knights typically dismounted and fought on foot with the rest of the foot soldiers to stiffen the resolve of the army and to protect the King who commonly fought on foot at the front of the army. There is an account from the battle on Lincoln on the knights cutting their lances down so as to be better able to wield them in the battle line besides their king.

From my personal experience I’d recommend either really thick linen – IE upholstery weight, or hose made of multiple layers and quilted.

Suspension is a separate game and commonly we do it from a belt around the waist. I also have short mail hose that lace around the back of the knee and down the back of the leg. One of our guys (Stu) has a very good system with his. They point high up the thigh and he’s fixed in to brass D rings to the mail. On the belt (Its fairly wide – about 1.5 inches) he’s got two more D rings. Linking the belt to the mail hose he has two belts with buckles so that he can adjust the hose to the right height etc.

Posted: Wed Sep 21, 2005 3:16 pm
by PaulMurphy
Dingo8MyBaby wrote:Colin MacDonald: Many - don’t forget that one of the major changes under the Angevin kings was that half of the knights typically dismounted and fought on foot with the rest of the foot soldiers to stiffen the resolve of the army and to protect the King who commonly fought on foot at the front of the army. There is an account from the battle on Lincoln on the knights cutting their lances down so as to be better able to wield them in the battle line besides their king.
Dingo, I think you missed the point - yes, they dismounted and fought on foot, and they cut down their lances, but does it say that they kept their chausses on?

The general consensus among military historians seems to be that chausses would be removed when dismounted, but I've never seen any indication of what this opinion is based on. Common sense seems to imply that leg protection is much more important on horseback than on foot, but the general maxim of wearing all of the armour you have is a good counter argument. Its a bit like the later opened/closed visor discussion...

Given the time and effort required to remove the chausses, it would seem unlikely, but then most battles with dismounted knights were prolonged affairs where no-one was in any rush to get started, so maybe this isn't an issue.

On the question of what to wear under them, I have both bias-cut woolen hose, and then padded linen hose over the top, and then fully enclosed chausses. Movement isn't generally an issue for me - I seemed to jog a long way at Middlewich with most of Conquest trying to close me down, and didn't notice any restrictions.

Paul.

Posted: Wed Sep 21, 2005 3:51 pm
by mac (crucesignati)
Paul

How do you point them?

Dingo

I've tried the belt system and the back of the belt seemed to cut into my lower back. Also when I bend over, the slack that is generated in the upper leg by this movement does not disappear properly when I stand up again. What happens then, is that the top of the chausses remain lower down the leg causing much more tension to be placed on whatever form of pointing I am using and inhibiting me from standing up fully.

Posted: Wed Sep 21, 2005 4:07 pm
by PaulMurphy
mac (crucesignati) wrote:Paul
How do you point them?
Mac,

I have leather straps running from three parts of each leg of the chausses up to a dedicated belt which sits over the wasitband of my braes. The straps loop over the belt and are then tied back to themselves.

The chausses are a good fit, so they tend to catch on the padded hose, and so don't drag down much at all. The other key thing is that they are flat-section rivetted mail from GDFB, so they're about 65% of the weight of the usual butted mail, and much stronger.

Paul.

Posted: Thu Sep 22, 2005 2:55 pm
by Andrew W
Simon_Diment wrote:Hi Mac
Andy wears thin quisses below his and he hasn't mentioned any problems when wearing mail.
He does indeed - and I can't say I've had any problems with them, apart from the thonging holding the chausses onto the belt parting company when I'm doing that leaping about hitting all and sundry thang. Then it's the oh-so-fashionable maille legwarmer look.

On the subject of whether they were worn on foot or not. I recall there are a lot of images of men fighting in full chausse on the Chest of Charlamange (I think, I'm at work at present and I don't have my reference books to hand - unless you count the ones on Finite Difference Time Domain modelling) plus there are a few in the Majiewski (sp) Bible. Obviously with the usual caveats about pictorial sources and the relationship between them and what actually happend. I'm of the opinion that some people might have worn them on foot, some might not. And I like wearing all that extra weight - gives me an excuse when I can't catch a lightly armed running about man with a spear.

Andrew

P.S. Paul - it was good to cross swords with you at the weekend. Hope to do so again at Hastings - I'll be the one with the red shield with a gold cross.

Edited - It's the Silver Shrine of Charlemagne from Aachen (1207) - piccies of it in Edge and Paddock pps 54-55.

Posted: Sat Sep 24, 2005 7:37 am
by Nigel
P.S. Paul - it was good to cross swords with you at the weekend. Hope to do so again at Hastings - I'll be the one with the red shield with a gold cross.

Lurking in amongst a few others also carrying red shileds with a gold cross a theme begins to develope here methinks

Posted: Thu Sep 29, 2005 10:40 am
by Colin MacDonald
Andrew W wrote:On the subject of whether they were worn on foot or not. I recall there are a lot of images of men fighting in full chausse on the Chest of Charlamange [...] plus there are a few in the Majiewski (sp) Bible. Obviously with the usual caveats about pictorial sources and the relationship between them and what actually happend. I'm of the opinion that some people might have worn them on foot, some might not.
Thanks Andrew. I'm seeing them now that I look more specifically for them in the Maciejowski. It's perhaps splitting hairs, but they seem to appear on men who are dead, fleeing, or dismounted but not fighting. Tempting as it is, I'm going to read exactly nothing significant into that though, and agree with you that it's very much a personal choice.

I will go out on a limb and say that if you're portraying a man at a specific battle who would have been mounted at the time, then you should strive to wear chausses though. Which means I'd better get some then. :)