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Scott Hrouda




PostPosted: Mon 25 Jan, 2010 9:10 am    Post subject: Question: 14th century haubergeon vs. voiders & skirt         Reply with quote

Ive not been able to find a definitive answer, if one exists, as to when combatants dropped the haubergeon in favor of wearing mail voiders and a skirt.

In particular, would it be out of place to wear mail voiders & skirt with a coat of plates? I ask this question for two reasons. First, I would like my kit to be as historically accurate as my finances allow. Secondly, Im not getting any younger and I would like to replace the weight of a full haubergeon with just voiders and a skirt.

Thank you in advance!

...and that, my liege, is how we know the Earth to be banana shaped. - Sir Bedevere
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Sean Manning




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PostPosted: Mon 25 Jan, 2010 7:29 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

It definitely would not be typical to wear voiders instead of a full hauberk in the 14th century. It probably became usual in most places to wear voiders instead of a hauberk sometime in the early 15th century. In Italy, many pictures seem to show a hauberk under the plate well into the 16th century.

But there are a few references to voiders from the early 14th century. The Oxford English Dictionary has:

Oxford English Dictionary wrote:
c1330 R. BRUNNE Chron. Wace (Rolls) 10028 Doublet & quysseux, wi{th} poleyns ful riche, Voydes [sic], breche of maille, wy{th} paunz non liche. 1412-20 LYDG. Chron. Troy III. 50 [They] did on firste, after her desires, Sabatouns, grevis, cusschewis, & voideris. Ibid. 64 On his armys, rynged nat to wyde, {Th}er wer woiders frettid in {th}e maille. c1425 J. HILL in Illustr. Anc. State & Chivalry (Roxb.) 5 First behoveth sabatouns, greevis, and cloos qwysseux with voydours of plate or of mayle, and a cloos breche of mayle.


So if you want to wear voiders with a 14th century harness, there is some historical evidence for it.
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Sander Marechal




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PostPosted: Mon 25 Jan, 2010 11:56 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I have been curious about voiders too. Isn't late 14th century armour incredibly heavy? Basically you're wearing almost full plate on top of almost full maille.

@Scott: How much does your armour weigh?
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David Teague




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PostPosted: Tue 26 Jan, 2010 12:16 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hey Guys,

The groovy cool thing about the 14th century (other than it covers a 100 years) is the fact that is was the transitional age of armour. At the start of the 14th century, maille with bits of armour was the norm, then the styles and types came and went rather quickly. Eek!

But, to get back to your question, the haubergeon was what they wore right up to the age of the white harness at the end of the 14th century.

My 1388 style harness is very transitional with breastplate, no backplate, haubergeon, German export style splinted cuisses, Bascinet with Klappvisor, and the total weight is about 65 pounds.




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Peter Johnsson




PostPosted: Tue 26 Jan, 2010 2:50 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Among the mail shirts found among the armour in the mass graves at Visby (after the battle 1361), were found some that had very short body. The trunk of the shirt only covered half way down to the waist. Something in between voiders and a full habergeon.

In artwork you can also sometimes see men at arms with full length sleeves and coif, but no skirt protruding below the coat of plates/surcoat.

It seems probably that these short shirts were used together with coats of plate.

I am not aware if there are any other finds of this kind of shirt anywhere else. It may be a scandinavian fashion? But German influence was of course heavy in this region...

Any German short shirts?
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Dan Howard




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PostPosted: Tue 26 Jan, 2010 3:36 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Voiders are mentioned in 14th century inventories. What we don't know is how common they were. IMO you would be safer to have voiders with a later 14th century kit than an early one.
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Nathan Robinson
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PostPosted: Tue 26 Jan, 2010 9:16 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Peter Johnsson wrote:
I am not aware if there are any other finds of this kind of shirt anywhere else. It may be a scandinavian fashion? But German influence was of course heavy in this region...

Any German short shirts?


I've seen artwork of short German shirts and, in particular, Lansdknecht wearing shirts barely reaching the navel. This was on my hard drive that crashed so I don't know the source off-hand. I'd love to have this validated and shared here if somebody else takes note and is reminded of the same thing.

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Scott Hrouda




PostPosted: Tue 26 Jan, 2010 7:38 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thank you for all the information. As I suspected, there could be no clear-cut answer. Even when picking a specific decade, say 1360, it seems the answer can vary by location.

Sean, thank you for the reference material.

Sander, My kit is currently at 55 pounds with aluminum mail. This will soon be changing thanks to IceFalcon's recent sale.

David, I agree that the 14th century is very groovy. Both your kit and your sparring partner's kit are outstanding!

Peter and Nathan both mentioned "short mail shirts". I am very intrigued by this and will move my research in this direction (damn Nathan's hard drive!).

Peace. Happy

...and that, my liege, is how we know the Earth to be banana shaped. - Sir Bedevere
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Randall Moffett




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PostPosted: Wed 27 Jan, 2010 7:14 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Something also to consider is who is using what when. Many of the English, French and Italian accounts from the 2nd half of the 14th century that mention mail; skirts, sleeves and other loose pieces do not imply them being used with full harness but with lighter armour, perhaps for supplying large numbers of men(likely commoners). For the most part every account for a knightly or standard man-at-arms indicates full shirt until sometime in the 2nd quarter of the 15th. Two French sources for Agincourt mentions the french MAA in knee length hauberks.

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James Arlen Gillaspie




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PostPosted: Wed 27 Jan, 2010 4:55 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Scott, I think you may have gone a long way towards answering your own question. The use of voiders would have been most likely to start with the old and those who, like myself, are of very slight build (read; 'wimpy') and simply had no choice when it came to cutting down the weight of my harness as much as possible (my back and shoulders just wouldn't take it!). Remember, warriors at that time did not tend to retire till they simply could not take the field. That's why I pioneered heat-treated armour in the first place - no way could I function in a suit of 16 gauge mild steel all day.
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Robert S. Haile




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PostPosted: Wed 27 Jan, 2010 4:59 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I don't mean to hijack the thread, but I'm looking to get a mail skirt myself, to wear in combination with a brigandine. Are the skirts simply attached to a belt, or are there other documented ways of hanging the skirt?
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Scott Hrouda




PostPosted: Wed 27 Jan, 2010 8:17 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

James, sucks gettin old Wink My age now exceeds the weight of my first kit Eek!

Robert, Documentation is tough as leather and fabric rarely survive the ravages of time. This is what I've done and the results compare nicely with effigy images.

Attach the skirt to a leather piece (belt) as you would with your aventail. Punch holes in your "belt" and gambeson and attach the two with points. Leave a mail flap in front that you can secure with a leather tie.

Or, attach the mail to the belt and strap it on as you would normally.

<edited for clarity & spelling>

...and that, my liege, is how we know the Earth to be banana shaped. - Sir Bedevere
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Robert S. Haile




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PostPosted: Tue 08 May, 2012 9:56 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Apologies for the blatant necromancy, but I've recently started reworking my kit into a late 14th century piece (where it ought to have been all along). An issue of concern to me here, is whether a back plate was worn before the turn of the 15th century. If so, i imagine maille voiders for this type of kit would be plausible from a functional stand point. But if the full cuirass did not develop until later, one would almost assuredly be wearing a full haubergeon to protect an exposed back.

Were full cuirass being worn in any numbers from 1380-1400 or so?
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Tomas B




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PostPosted: Wed 09 May, 2012 7:20 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thread necromancy is always good. I was planning to look for a thread on late 14th century voiders to bring back to life today anyways.
My memory tells me there are some examples of backplates in the late 14th century but my archive is letting me down at the moment. My concern about voiders with a late 14th century kit is coverage. While you can have almost all the pieces of a 15th century kit in the 14th century it doesn't cover as much of the body. This would mean the voiders would have to be much larger and that could become awkward on your arming clothes. The idea of a short maille shirt seems intriguing and might have been a solution to this problem. You might only need it to go down to just bellow the nipples. Of course, how much space this would safe you before you need to add a skirt depends on your breatsplate. Globose breastplates tended to end just below your rib cage so that wouldn't seem to save you much weight. If you had a breastplate with faulds then you might be able to have the mail skirt lower.

I will continue to search my archives and see if I can dig up some references to late 14th century backplates (I'm sure I saw them in there the other day).

Cheers,

Tomas
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Scott Hrouda




PostPosted: Wed 09 May, 2012 8:34 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

My search turned up a good thread titled Segmented Globose. In this thread the "globose breastplate with backplate" issue is discussed with reference material supplied.

Mr. Randall Moffett has (what I believe are) some good thoughts in the above thread that read:

Randall Moffett wrote:
I think this would be the more common type of armour among Men at arms but have no way to prove it besides the fact that the Coat of Plates or Pair of Plates seems to have been more common into the 2nd hald of the 14th. AS the Last picture posted by Nathan shows the full on globoses get fabric covers as well as the seperated plates.

As far as what form they would have. TO me this is the development to the brigandine and coat of plates or breastplate from the coat of plates. You are usually going from larger plates of various numbers to smaller ones of more number for brigandines or larger even plates of less to one in number.

THe backplate is a hotly argued ticket. I think that likely by the late 14th one was in existance as Blair states in his great book on armour. Some people deeply disagree and push it to 1410 or even later which I find highly problematic. By 1402 backplates pop into inventories but if they developed from the parts of a coat of plate they never had to mention backplates before and that evolution would take time as well. There were solid breastplates bu the 1360's used without backplates as the Pistoia Alterpiece shows (one man's back is clearly shown). The Lincoln Choir has a carving of the fall of a knight (pride I believe) who shows multiple pieces backplates overlapping as well and is second half od the 14th.


... and later ...

Quote:
I do think the backplate was developing toward a complete one by the end of the 14th. If would seem odd if the breastplate developed by 1340 went 60 years with the backplate remaining static. Now it makes sense for the frontal armour to evolve faster or before the rear... that usually is where the attacks come from.

The fabric covering is hard to tell. Sometimes you luck out with very detailed depictions with rivit heads. Nothing really changed from before as the surcoat the jupon becomes common so torso armour can sometimes be challenging until the 1420's for this...


How did voiders historically fit into the equation? Wearing voiders and a skirt of mail with a globose breastplate and no backplate doesn't seem likely. However, add a backplate (solid or segmented) to the situation and it does seem plausible, especially as we reach the end of the 14th century. Unfortunately, I'm not aware of any evidence that clearly illustrates this combination.

With the lack of hard evidence, how plausible does the forum believe the voiders/skirt/globose/backplate combination is? And, at what point would it appear in the (late) 14th century?

On an even wider tangent, does a voiders/skirt/coat-of-plates (front & back) combination have any degree of plausibility?

...and that, my liege, is how we know the Earth to be banana shaped. - Sir Bedevere
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Y. Perez




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PostPosted: Wed 09 May, 2012 9:36 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Considering the fact that 14th century use a lot of transitional armours I think your combination is plausible. At the very least you will look like a late 14th (1385?) man at arms. Is quite difficult to use exactly the same combinations (if any) at the time since there is little to no evidence.
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Ahmad Tabari




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PostPosted: Wed 09 May, 2012 12:13 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

It would seem to me that the vast majourity of men at arms in the late 14th century would have worn a mail haubergeon or even a hauberk since the coat of plates by itself does not seem to have been viewed as a sufficient torso protection by itself. Indeed the very purpose behind the development of the CoP was to supplement mail.

But that is as far as the knightly class were concerned. For common foot soldiers on the otherhand, the combination of a coat of plates and mail voiders is very plausible, and it would seem that the inventories support the idea that such a combinatiion existed.
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Jojo Zerach




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PostPosted: Wed 09 May, 2012 8:51 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Ahmad Tabari wrote:
It would seem to me that the vast majourity of men at arms in the late 14th century would have worn a mail haubergeon or even a hauberk since the coat of plates by itself does not seem to have been viewed as a sufficient torso protection by itself. Indeed the very purpose behind the development of the CoP was to supplement mail.

But that is as far as the knightly class were concerned. For common foot soldiers on the otherhand, the combination of a coat of plates and mail voiders is very plausible, and it would seem that the inventories support the idea that such a combinatiion existed.


Coat-of-plates (as most people imagine them) would have been pretty dated as knightly gear in the 2nd half of the 14th century, even in Germany. (Which lagged far behind England and France in terms of plate armour.)
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T. Arndt




PostPosted: Thu 10 May, 2012 12:48 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Jojo Zerach wrote:
Ahmad Tabari wrote:
It would seem to me that the vast majourity of men at arms in the late 14th century would have worn a mail haubergeon or even a hauberk since the coat of plates by itself does not seem to have been viewed as a sufficient torso protection by itself. Indeed the very purpose behind the development of the CoP was to supplement mail.

But that is as far as the knightly class were concerned. For common foot soldiers on the otherhand, the combination of a coat of plates and mail voiders is very plausible, and it would seem that the inventories support the idea that such a combinatiion existed.


Coat-of-plates (as most people imagine them) would have been pretty dated as knightly gear in the 2nd half of the 14th century, even in Germany. (Which lagged far behind England and France in terms of plate armour.)

2nd half? or increasingly dated after say, 1370?

What about men-at-arms in general? Many inventories show many coat-of-plates so someone must have been using them- perhaps sergent-at-arms and squires?

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Randall Moffett




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PostPosted: Thu 10 May, 2012 5:30 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Ahmad,

In much of western Europe the pair of plates is given in armour requirements as being equal to the hauberk or habergeon. In fact by the 1330s men at arms in England are no longer required to have a mail shirt only a pair of plates and aketon. This of course is the minimum requirements but all across western Europe the pair of plates seems to have been worn alone, with an aketon, and or a mail shirt etc.

Jojo,

This

"Coat-of-plates (as most people imagine them) would have been pretty dated as knightly gear in the 2nd half of the 14th century, even in Germany. (Which lagged far behind England and France in terms of plate armour.)"

Is only partially true I think. Some fairly good evidence for knightly use of pairs of plates into the 1380s. Bertrand du Guesclin is noted to have worn one throughout his life fairly often in his biography written soon after his death in 1380.

Push it back to the thrid quarter of the 14th and I think you likely are right though. I think 1350-75/80 is largely the period of transition for knights from COPs to breastplates. Some of course did it earlier some later. You actually see some artwork in Germany of COPs on what look to be knights (men with arms on their shields) into the 1400s.

As far as voiders go. I have said this before so will keep it brief.

We have evidence for all sorts of mail armours and parts before 1400. The issue is aside from mail shirts, hauberks, haburgeons, chausses and coifs we really have little info on their use by knights and men at arms. To my understanding there is 0 evidence of use of mail skirts or voiders under plate till toward the end of the Hundreds Years War and it is not till the Hastings that we have sure evidence. Most of the mid 15th writers that give the set up have gambesons/aketons, hauberks and plate harness. Monstrelet being the best that comes to mind in his Agincourt account.

RPM
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