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LOW COUNTRIES PIKEMAN c.1398

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


67.      LOW COUNTRIES PIKEMAN c.1398

The equipment of Lowland troops was in general fairly comprehensive. Contemporary documents of as early as 1304 list the arms of some foot-soldiers as mail haubergeon and hood, helmet, iron plates for body and sleeves (probably meaning a coat-of-plates), gauntlets, mail chausses, buckler or shield and pike or polearm. Froissart, describing the equipment of Artevelde's troops at Roosebeke, similarly speaks of mail corselets, aketons, whalebone gauntlets (gands de baileine), chapeaux-de-fer, huvettes (leather or cloth helmets stiffened with wicker or iron), coutel hanging from the belt, pavises, pikes, 'staves' and maillets-de-fer (mauls). He records the 12,000 Lowland infantry raised against the Bishop of Norwich in 1383 as 'armed with pikes, mail corselets, aketons, steel caps and helmets.'

The figure portrayed here is from the same source as 16 and comes from a picture allegedly showing Lowland troops in action at Mons-en-Pévèle in 1304. Pikes in this illustration are painted red or black. Note the dagged sleeves; dagged edges to sleeves and tunic skirts ran riot after c.1360, particularly in England, the Low Countries and Germany. Other figures representing Lowlanders in the same source wear hounskull, arm and leg harness etc, like figure 35. For a later Low Countries pikeman see figure 111.

[Based on the Chroniques de France ou de St Denis, folio 214v, Battle of Mons-en-Pévèle, 1304]



Next: 68, 69 & 70. HANDGUNNERS in Armies of the Middle Ages, Volume 1 by Ian Heath