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FRENCH MAN-AT-ARMS 1344

An extract from Armies of the Middle Ages, Volume 1
by Ian Heath


32.      FRENCH MAN-AT-ARMS 1344

The development of armour effectively followed the same course in France as in England, and the similarities between this figure and figure 2 are obvious. Like Sir John, he wears a cyclas over a gambeson, hauberk and coat-of-plates, and a bascinet with camail under his helm. His leg-armour differs, however, in being rivetted directly on to his mail chausses rather than being strapped on, while his arm-harness is actually of leather. Such leather brassards were clearly quite common at this date, being mentioned in King John IV's ordinance of 1351, and remained popular until the end of the 14th century and even somewhat later. His gauntlets appear to be lined with small plates. Note also the circular hand-guard on his lance, which had begun to appear in quantity as early as the 1320s but until c. 1450 remained more common on jousting lances than on lances of war. It was later called a vamplate.


[Based on 'Lancelot du Lac' by Gautier Map, Hainaut, Belgium, 1344AD. Bibliothèque nationale de France Français 122]



Next: 33 & 34. FRENCH MEN-AT-ARMS c.1398 in Armies of the Middle Ages, Volume 1 by Ian Heath