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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 16

metal studs riveted in the intervening spaces (Plate I). This arrangement of lines is very common on the Bayeux Tapestry. Another variety to be found in early illuminated manuscripts goes by the name of ' Ringed ' armour. It is quite probable that the circular discs may have been solid, but on the other hand, from the practical point of view, a ring gives equal protection against a cutting blow, and is of course much lighter. The illustra-tion of this form of defensive armour is of rather earlier date than that at which we commence our investigations, but it appears with some frequency in manuscripts of the twelfth century. Mr. J. G. Waller, in his article on the Hauberk of mail in Archaeologia, vol. lix, is of opinion that all these arrangements of line represent interlinked chain armour. If this is the case chain-mail must have been much more common than we imagine. From the very nature of its construction and the labour expended on its intricate manufacture it would surely, at least in the earlier periods, have been only the defence of the wealthy. When we examine the protective armour of primitive races we find quilted and studded garments used, even at the present day, so it seems far more probable that our illustrations represent some similar forms of defensive garments than that they are all incompetent renderings of the fabric of chain-mail only. That the making of chain-mail must have been laborious in the extreme we may judge from the fact that the wire which formed the links had to be hammered out from the solid bar or ingot. As far as can be gathered, the art of wire-drawing was not practised till the fourteenth century, at which time Rudolph of Nuremberg is credited with its discovery. The roughly-hammered strips were probably twisted spirally round an iron or wood core and then cut off into rings of equal size (Fig. 1). The ends of the rings were flattened and pierced, and, when interlaced, the pierced ends were riveted together or sometimes, as is the case with Oriental mail, welded with heat. Links that are ' jumped ', that is with the ends of the ring merely butted together and not joined, generally show either that the mail is an imitation, or that it was CHAP. I THE AGE OF MAIL 19

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