From Harleian Roll, Y. 6. The Life of Saint Guthlac. Date, about the close of the twelfth century. The figures wear the tunic, hauberk of chain-mail, and square-topped helmets, of which one only has the nasal. The triangular shields are suspended round the neck by the guige : their ornaments are mere fanciful patterns, not heraldic. No armour appears to be provided for the lower part of the figures.
Figure of Goliath, from a Latin Psalter of the tenth century in the British Museum
Additional MS., No. 18,043. The hauberk is coloured blue in the original, apparently indicating chain-mail. The curious combed helmet is of the same hue, clearly implying a defence of iron.
Group from Cottonian MS., Claudius, B. iv., folio 24: Aelfric's Anglo-Saxon Paraphrase of the Pentateuch, &c. Date about 1000. The crowned figure in the centre appears to be armed in a coat of chain-mail
In the Additional MS. 11,695, in the British Museum, a work of the eleventh century, there are several representations of warriors thus fully armed, very rude and coarse in drawing, but valuable for the clearness with which they represent the military equipment of the time. At folio 194 there is a large figure of a warrior in a mail shirt, a conical helmet,[Pg 316] strengthened with iron ribs converging to the apex, the front rib extending downwards, into what is called a nasal, i.e., a piece of iron extending downwards over the nose, so as to protect the face from a sword-cut across the upper part of it.
Saxon Soldier, in Leather Armour
Saxon soldier in armour
Next, round plates of metal, called placates or roundels, were applied to shield the armpits from a thrust; and sometimes they were used also at the elbow to protect the inner side of the joint where, for the convenience of motion, it was destitute of armour. An example of a roundel at the shoulder will be seen in one of the men-at-arms in the woodcut
Knight of the Fifteenth Century
The cut is a spirited little sketch of a mounted knight. The horse, it may be admitted, is very like those which children draw nowadays, but it has more life in it than most of the drawings of that day; and the way in which the knight sits his horse is much more artistic. The picture shows the equipment of the knight very clearly, and it is specially valuable as an early example of horse trappings, and as an authority for the shape of the saddle, with its high pommel and croupe.
The accompanying wood-cut represents various peculiarities of the armour in use towards the close of the thirteenth century.
Illustration the sepulchral effigy in Westminster Abbey of John of Eltham, the second son of King Edward II., who died in 1334. Here we see first and lowest the hacqueton; then the hauberk of chain mail, slightly pointed in front, which was one of the fashions of the time
The engravings of Hans Burgmaier, in the Triumphs of Maximilian and the Weise Könige contain numerous authorities very valuable for the clearness and artistic skill with which the armour is depicted. We have given an illustration which represents a combat of two knights, on foot. The armour is partly covered by a surcoat; in the left-hand figure it will be seen that it is fluted. The shields will be noticed as illustrating one of the shapes then in use.