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FFOULKES C. Armour & Weapons

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FFOULKES C.
Armour & Weapons
page 55



of the suit of armour we will pass on to the wearing of the suit. A man could not wear his ordinary clothes under his armour ; the friction of the metal was too great. In spite of the excellence of workmanship of the armourer any thin substance was bound to be torn, so a strong fabric was chosen which is called in contemporary records Fustian. Whether it at all resembled the modern fabric of that name it is difficult to determine, but certainly the wearing powers of this material or of corduroy would be admirably adapted for the purpose. Chaucer writes in the Prologue to the Canterbury Tales, line 75 : Of fustyan he wered a gepoun Alle bysmoterud with his haburgeoun. This would refer to the rust-stains that penetrated through the interstices of the mail. In Hall's Chronicles (p. 524) is mentioned a levy of troops ordered for the wars in France in 1543, for which it was enjoined : ' Item every man to hav an armyng doublet of ffustyean or canvas ', and also ' a capp to put his scull or sallet in '. pIG 3I Armet. These last were coverings for the helmets which we have noted on page 42. The helmets had linings, either riveted to the metal or worn separately as a cap. The tilting helm was provided with a thick padded cap with straps to keep it in its place. Some of these caps exist in the Museum at Vienna. King René, in his Livre des Tournois, advises a pourpoint or padded undergarment to be put on under the body armour, ' stuffed to the thickness of three fingers on the shoulders for there the blows fall heaviest.' It seems that in Brabant and the Low Countries the blows fell heavier, or that the combatants were less hardy, for he advises for them a thickness of four fingers, filled with cotton. Viscount Dillon mentions in his Armour Notes 1 the fact that a ' stuffer of Bacynetts ' accompanied Henry V to 1 Arch. Joxim., lx. CHAP, πι THE WEARING OF ARMOUR 61


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