Join Amazon Prime - Watch Thousands of Movies & TV Shows Anytime - Start Free Trial Now


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

36.      FRENCH MAN-AT-ARMS c.1415

This figure comes from a ms. of the 'Poems' of Christine de Pisan thought to have been illustrated during the year of Agincourt. There is nothing particularly unusual about his equipment, but points of interest include the plume on his bascinet (see note 56) and the early appearance of a lance-rest (see note 10). The chronicler Jean Lefèvre wrote of Agincourt that 'the French were so laden with armour that they could not advance … (being) clothed in long steel corselets reaching below the knees and very heavy, and under it leg-harness, and over it white harness, and also bascinets with aventails'. This tallies closely with the armour worn here. Another source tells us that an armour of this type bought by Charles, Duc d'Orléans, the same year was lined with satin and cost £83 7s 6d.

[Based on Memnon in 'The Book of the Queen' by Christine de Pizan. British Library, Harley MS 4431.]

Next: 37. FRENCH MAN-AT-ARMS c.1420 from 'Armies of the Middle Ages, Volume 1' by Ian Heath