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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 98

or on the right wrist, so that, when sword or lance were lost, it could be used at once. A less ornamental weapon is the Holy-water Sprinkler. This is formed of a ball of iron studded with sharp projecting spikes, and fixed upon a long or short handle. The Morning Star is akin to the Military Flail, a weapon derived from the agricultural implement of that name. It is much the same as the Holy-water Sprinkler, except that the spiked ball is not socketed on the handle but hangs from a chain (Fig. 50). The names of these two weapons are often transposed, but we propose to adhere to the nomenclature used in the Tower Armouries as being more likely to be correct. The War-hammer and Battle-axe need but little description. They were generally used by horsemen, and their general form only varies in detail from implements in use at the present day. The Pole-axe was a weapon in great request for jousting on foot, in the 'champ clos'. The blade is much like the halbard, but at the back is a hammer-shaped projection with a roughened surface. The Longbow may be said to have gained the battles of Senlac, Crecy, and Agincourt, and so ranks as one of the most important of English weapons. It was from 5^· to 6 feet in length and was made of yew, or, when this wood was scarce, of witch hazel. It is a popular tradition in the country that the yew-trees which were so important for the manufacture of this weapon were grown in churchyards because they were poisonous to cattle, and the church-yards were the only fenced-in spaces. There is, however, no documentary evidence to support this. The string was of hemp or silk. The archer carried twenty-four ' clothyard ' shafts in his belt and wore a wrist-guard called a Bracer to protect his wrist from the recoil of the string. These bracers were of ivory or leather and were often decorated. The arrows were tipped with the goose-quill, but Roger Ascham, in his Toxophilus, writes that peacock arrows were used ' for gayness '. So notable were the English bow-makers for their productions that in 1363 we find the Pope sending to this country for bows. The Crossbow or Arbalest is first heard of in the twelfth century, CHAP. VII WEAPONS 107

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