The Armour

partook of the fantastic and unbridled caprices of the day. Surcoats and jupons were less worn, but it became the fashion to cover the breast-plate with silk of one colour, and the placard with silk of another. The jazerant or jazerine jacket was frequently worn in lieu of the breast and back plates. This defence was composed of small overlapping plates of iron covered with velvet, the gilt studs that secured them forming the exterior ornament, and over this was sometimes worn the placard of steel. Tuiles, plates depending from the taces or skirt of the armour in front, over an apron of chain-mail, are first visible at this period. A still lighter species of armour than the jazerant, but of the same description, is mentioned by Commines about this time. " The Dukes of Berri and Bre-tagne," he says, "were at their ease on their hobbies, armed only with gilt nails sewn upon satin, that they might weigh the less." This sort of habit would have all the appearance of a jazerant externally, and may be easily mistaken for it in illuminations of the fifteenth century. To the bascinet, helmet, and chapel-de-fer, was now added a new head-piece, called a salade or sallet, from the German schale or shell. Its principal characteristic is the projection behind. It had sometimes only a horizontal slit for the sight as it descended below the eyes, but at others it came no lower than the forehead and was furnished with a moveable visor. (Vide engraving in the preceding page.) Casquetels or steel caps were also introduced, and are seen in the illuminations of this reign with oreillets, round or oval plates over the ears, and sometimes with a spike at the top called a crenel or chamel. Sometimes the oreillets themselves have spikes projecting from their centres.

The armour generally is exceedingly ornamented. Every plate of that of John, Duke of Somerset (engraved in Sand ford's Genealogical History), who died in 1444, has an exceedingly rich border to it. He also wears the splendid military belt which is seldom seen after this reign.

The spurs were screwed on to the steel shoe about this time, instead of being fastened by leathers. They were exceedingly long in the neck, and the spikes of the rowels of formidable dimensions. (Vide figure c, p. 245.)

The first token of a most important change in warfare became visible during the reign of Henry VI. The invention of cannon had suggested to the Italians the use that might be made of a piece of ordnance small enough to be portable, and the hand-cannon or gonne, a simple iron tube with trunnions at its sides, and a touch-hole atop, was fixed in a stock of wood about a cubit and a half in length, and called the frame of the gun. It was soon however discovered that while the touch-hole remained atop, the priming was likely to fall off or be blown away before the match could be applied; the perforation was consequently transferred to the side, and a small pan put under it to hold the powder. A cover for the pan was next invented to turn off and on by means of a pivot, and in this stage it was used in England, certainly as early as m 2

1446, as appears from a roll of purchases -for the castle on Holy Island, in the county of Durham, of that date.

A hand-cannon of the earliest sort with the touch-hole atop, and a battle-axe with a handgun united and the touch-hole placed above a pan at the side, are engraved on the opposite page, from the originals in the armoury at Goodrich Court.

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