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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 14

suggests a leather garment. Now, given either the leather or the quilted fabric, it is but natural, with the discovery and use of iron, that it should have been added in one form or another to reinforce the less rigid material. And it is this reinforcing by plates of metal, side by side with the use of the interlaced chain armour, which step by step brings us to the magnificent creations of the armourer's craft which distinguish the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. Sir Samuel Meyrick1 leads us into endless intricacies with his theories of the various kinds of defensive armour in use at the time of the Conquest ; but these theories must of necessity be based only upon personal opinion, and can in no way be borne out by concrete examples. If we take the pictured representations of armour as our guide we find certain arrangements of lines which lead us to suppose that they indicate some peculiar arrangement of metal upon a fabric. The first and oldest of these varieties is generally called ' Scale ' or Imbricate armour. We find this represented on the Trajan Column, to give only one of the many examples of its use in very early times. That it was a very pliant and serviceable defence we may judge from the fact that, with some alteration in its application,- it formed the distinguishing feature of the Brigandine of the fifteenth century. The scales were sewn upon a leather or quilted garment, the upper row overlapping the lower in such a manner that the attachment is covered and protected from injury (Plate I, i). The scales were either formed with the lower edge rounded, like the scales of a fish, or were feather-shaped or square. Another method of reinforcing the leather defence has been named the ' Trellice ' coat. It is always difficult to discover exactly what the primitive draughtsman intended to represent in the way of fabrics, and it is quite open to question whether these diagonal lines may not merely suggest a quilting of linen or cloth. If it is intended to represent leather the trellice lines would probably be formed of thongs applied on to the groundwork with 1 Archaeologia, xix. 128-30. ιό THE AGE OF MAIL CHAP. I

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