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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 88

in late seventeenth-century armour, where a single plate is embossed to represent several overlapping plates or lames, and also, in the plentiful use of ' clous perdus ' or false rivets which are scattered broadcast on some suits in places where no rivets are needed. To turn from the degradation of the simplicity and constructional perfection of armour to the reasons which led to its gradual disuse, we find that, after the Gothic period, armour became heavier, partly because of the shock tactics in vogue on active service and partly because, in the case of jousting armour, strength and great weight were needed to protect the wearer from vital injury, and partly because the improvement of firearms necessitated extra defence. The temper of the metal used was such that it would resist a pistol shot, as we have noticed in Chapter III ; and on examining the surface of the metal we find, as in the Pembridge helm, that it is of so fine a texture that a modern knife will not leave a scratch when testing it. Therefore we must regard the weight of armour as one of the chief reasons for its disuse. Again, military tactics necessitated forced marches and longer expeditions than before ; or at any rate it was discovered that when engaging in long expeditions the troops were chafed and hindered by their armour. It is somewhat curious to note that as the leg was the first part of the body to be armed with plate, so the leg armour was the first to be discarded. The jambs were the first pieces to go, and were replaced, in the case of the mounted man, by thick buff leather boots. The tassets were prolonged to the knee or—to describe this portion of the armour in a different way— the cuisses themselves were formed of riveted lames and the tassets discarded. The helmet at the latter end of the seventeenth century is generally open and of the burgonet type. The breastplate is usually short and projects downwards at the lower portion after the fashion of the ' peascod ' doublet of civilian wear. As early as 1586, at the siege of Zutphen, we find officers discarding their armour and keeping only the cuirass. From the Hatfield MSS. FFOULKES G CHAP. VI THE DECADENCE 97

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