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FFOULKES C. Armour & Weapons



Sir John Froissart's Chronicles of England, France, Spain and the Ajoining Countries from the latter part of the reign of Edward II to the coronation of Henry IV in 12 volumes 

Chronicles of Enguerrand De Monstrelet (Sir John Froissart's Chronicles continuation) in 13 volumes 

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Armour & Weapons
page 13

CHAPTER I THE AGE OF MAIL (1066-1277) WITH the Norman Conquest we may be said, in England, to enter upon the iron period of defensive armour. The old, semi-barbaric methods were still in use, but were gradually superseded by the craft of the smith and the metal-worker. This use of iron for defensive purposes had been in vogue for some time on the Continent,, for we find the Monk of St. Gall writing bitterly on the subject in his Life of Charlemagne. He says : ' Then could be seen +he Iron Charles, helmed with an iron helm, his iron breast and his broad shoulders defended by an iron breastplate, an iron spear raised in his left hand, his right always rested on his uncon-quered iron falchion. The thighs, which with most men are uncovered that they may the more easily ride on horseback, were in his case clad with plates of iron : I need make no special mention of his greaves, for the greaves of all the army were of iron. His shield was of iron, his charger iron-coloured and iron-hearted. The fields and open places were filled with iron, a people stronger than iron paid universal homage to the strength of iron. The horror of the dungeon seemed less than the bright gleam of the iron. " Oh the iron, woe for the iron," was the cry of the citizens. The strong walls shook at the sight of iron, the resolution of old and young fell before the iron.' The difficulty of obtaining and working metal, however, was such that it was only used by the wealthy, and that sparingly. The more common fashion of arming was a quilted fabric of either linen or clnth, a very serviceable protection, which was worn up to the end of the fifteenth-century.- Another favourite material for defensive purposes was leather. We read ot the shield-of Ajax being com-posed of seven tough ox-hides, and the word ' cuirass ' itself

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