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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 18

a leather thong (Plate I, 10), with the under fabric caught up between the rows of rings and formed into a piping through which a cord was threaded. This theory has been quoted by Viollet-le-Duc in his Dictionnaire du Mobilier Français, by Dr. Wendelin Boeheim in his Waffenkunde, and by more recent writers ; but none of these authorities seems to have taken the trouble to test its practicability. The human body being rounded, the tendency of these edge-sewn rings would be to ' gape ' and thus give an opening for the weapon. In addition to this, the number of rings so used would make the weight of the defence, hanging as it did from the shoulders alone, almost insupportable. A third and perhaps the most conclusive of all the arguments against Meyrick's theory is that we frequently find the inside of a banded mail coif shown with the same markings as the outside, which aspect would be impossible if the rings were arranged as he suggests. From models specially made for this work we find that if leather was used at all it must be after the manner of No. 9 on Plate I. Here the rings are covered with the leather on both sides, so that there is no possibility of their gaping, and, in addition, the leather being pressed against the rings, on the outside by wear and usage and on the inside from the pressure of the body, would show ring-markings on front and back which might be represented in the manner shown in the illustration. The drawback to this theory is not only the weight of such a defence, but also the heat from lack of ventilation. By far the most practical theory put forward is that of Mr. Waller,1 who gives an illustration of a piece of Oriental mail with leather thongs threaded through each alternate row of rings. This gives a certain solidity to the net-like fabric and yet does not add appreciably to its weight. No. 11 on Plate I shows this arrangement drawn from a model, and when we compare it with the figures below, taking into consideration the difficulty of representing such a fabric, we are forced to admit that this last theory is the most practical. This is especially so in No. 12 ; for the mail covering for the head is probably made in one piece 1 Archaeologia, lix. CHAP. I THE AGE OF MAIL 21

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