Military Habits

we have first to notice the more general usage of

the emblazoned surcoat. The cyclas, the bliaus, and the cointise, all worn over the shirt of mail as well as over the more peaceful tunic, were richly embroidered either with fanciful devices or the armorial bearings of the owner* Towards the close of this reign those curious ornaments called ailettes, or little wings, from their situation and ap~

9 Roman de Garin and of Percival de Galois j and Ginart, Hist. Franc, sab anno 13Q4.

pearance, are seen on the shoulders of knights either in battle or in the lists, but they did not become general till the next reign. They were of various shapes; sometimes emblazoned, like the surcoat, shield, and banner, with the arms of the knight; sometimes plain or charged with a simple St. George's cross* The barrel-shaped helmet is frequently surmounted by the heraldic crest; and this picturesque decoration becomes henceforward a principal feature of the chivalric equipment.4

The top of the helmet inclines to a cone in some

* Vide figure at the head of this section, from a brass formerly in Gorleston Church, Suffolk, engravtd in Stothard's Monumental Effigies. It is quite of the close of the reign of Edward I.

4 In a MS. of this period (L'Histoire de 1'An cien Monde)» preserved in the library of His Royal Highness the Duke of Sussex, and before quoted, some of these helmets appear to be decorated with a feather instead of a erest (vide engraving from it, p. 137): as it is worn by more than one knight in the same illumination, it can scarcely be itself a crest, and is therefore remarkable as an instance of the feather (if a feather it be) being worn as a simple decoration in the helmet earlier than the fifteenth century. It certainly was not a custom or fashion in England previous to the reign of Henry V., or in the innumerable illuminations of the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries frequent instances must have occurred. In the present case, as the history terminates with the reign of Mithridates, and its embellishments represent the deeds of Polynices, Theseus, the Amazons, &c. &c., the introduction of the feather might have been an unusual stretch of fancy in the illuminator, suggested by the mention of the plumed helmets of the heroic ages. fiut notwithstanding that the decoration in question bears in some instances a very close resemblance to a feather (vide centre figure in the next engraving), in others it is so evidently the scarf or cointise which assumes that form (vide figure of combatants on horseback in the same cut) that I have still a doubt as to the actual intention of the Artist

Military costume, temp. Edward I., from a MS. in the library of H. R. H. the Dnke of Sussex.

instances; and the front, seen in profile, presents almost an angular appearance. Skull-caps, or

Military costume, temp. Edward I., from a MS. in the library of H. R. H. the Dnke of Sussex.

chapels-de-fer, both spherical and conical, the latter the prototype of the bascinet, and indeed already so called, are worn over the mail-coif, and commonly with the nasal, which disappears after this reign. The mail gloves of the hauberk are now divided into separate fingers, and leathern gauntlets appear reaching higher than the wrist, but not yet plated.

The shield is now sometimes flat and nearly trian-

From the Painted Chamber at Weatminater.

From the Painted Chamber at Westminster.

gular or heater-shaped; sometimes pear-shaped and semi-cylindrical.

The lance has lost its gonfanon; and the pennon, which resembles it in its swallow-tail form, but longer and broader, becomes a military ensign, and is generally charged with the crest, badge, or war-cry of the knight; his arms being emblazoned on the banner, which is in shape a parallelogram. Vide engravings, pages 137, 138.

Edward I. had banner» emblazoned with the arms of England, gules, three lions passant regardant \ of St. George, argent, a cross gules; of St. Edmund, azure, three crowns Or; and of St. Edward the Confesser, azure, a cross fleury between six martlets On

In the old French poem oa the siege of Karla-

veroc, by Edward I., a.d. 1300, the author, speaking of the array of English knights, says—

" La ont meinte riche garnement Borde sur cendeaus et samis, Mein beau penon en lance mis, Meint baniere deploye." ,

Cotton MS. Caligula, A. 18.

There have they many rich ornaments Broidered on cendals and samites (silks and satins) Many a fair penon fixed on a lance, Many a banner displayed. *

And he forthwith enumerates the knights and their separate cote armures with laudable minuteness.

From the Painted Chamber at Westminster.

The falchion, a peculiarly shaped broad-bladed sword; the estoc, a small stabbing sword ; the ane-lace or anelas, a broad dagger tapering to a very fine point; and the coutel or cultelas (whence cutlass), a military knife, are added to the offensive weapons.

From the Painted Chamber at Westminster.

The mace also first appears in illuminations, though it may have been introduced during the earlier Crusades, as it is evidently of Oriental origin.

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