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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 78

CHAPTER V HORSE ARMOUR THE fully-equipped knight, whether in the cumbrous garments of mail or in the more adaptable suit of plate, was so entirely dependent on his horse, both in active warfare and in the tilt-yard, that some notice of the defences of the Destrier or war-horse is necessary in this short examination of the history of defensive armour. On the Bayeux Tapestry there is no suggestion of armour of any kind upon the horses, but Wace writes in the Roman de Rou (line 12,627)— Vint Williame li filz Osber Son cheval tot covert de fer. We should remember, however, that Wace wrote in the second half of the twelfth century and, like the other chroniclers of the Middle Ages, both in picture and text, portrayed his characters in the dress of his own time. The Trapper of mail shown on Fig. 38 is taken from Stothard's drawing of one of the paintings in the Painted Chamber at Westminster, now destroyed.1 These decora-tions are supposed to have been executed about the year 1237. Here the horse is shown covered with a most inconvenient housing of mail, which can hardly have been in very general use, in this particular form at any rate ; for it would be almost impossible for a horse to walk, let alone to trot or gallop, with such a defence. The textile trapper was, of course, lighter, and was used merely for ornament and display, though it may have been designed, as the surcoat was, to protect the mail defence beneath from wet. Jean Chartier, in his Histoire de Charles VI (p. 257), states that sometimes these rich trappings or housings were, after the death of their owner, bequeathed to churches, where they were used for 1 Monumenta Vetusta, vol. vi.

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