Subject: miles knight
Setting: Norman Conquest, England 1066-1135
* Morillo 1994 p79-80
"The most important piece of defensive armor for Anglo-Norman soldiers was the hauberk, a shirt of chain mail. Mail required skill and a good deal of time to manufacture, and was therefore not an item bought in bulk either on county farms or very often king's chamber account. In all likelihood the mail shirt and the conical iron helmet which complemented it were supplied not by the employer but by the employee in twelfth century warfare. That is, each soldier provided his own armor. Undoubtedly some professional soldiers did not own a mail shirt and wore only the quilted gambeson which normally went under the mail (though they would not then qualify as milites, or knights); some members of the fyrd were probably incompletely armored, for instance. But most would have counted mail among the necessary equipment, along with helmet, sword horse, of a professional soldier. Mail was durable and was handed down from man to man, and could be repaired with damaged."
* Norman & Pottinger 1979 p31-33
"The armour of the Normans differed very little from that of the Saxons. Their mail shirt, which they called the 'hauberk', was usually knee-length and slit up to the fork of the legs so that the skirts could hang down on either side of the saddle. Most illustrations show a tight-fitting mail hood made in one with the shirt. Some hauberks were still used without hoods or were worn with what may have been cloth or leather hoods. A few of the leaders in the Bayeux Tapestry have cuff-length mail sleeves and mail hosen worn under the hauberk, but these were rare. The hauberk was worn over a long garment rather like a nightshirt which can have given little protection against the weight and rubbing of the mail. One feature observed only in the Bayeux Tapestry and in two manuscripts is a rectangle on the breast, outlined in colour and apparently sometimes with laces or ties hanging from the corners. No one knows for certain what this was but it may represent an additional layer of mail or an extra reinforce of some sort over the breast, or it may have been the flap which closed the neck opening."
* Morillo 1994 p149
"[A]rmor protected relatively effectively against contemporary weapons. King Henry himself twice escaped injury thanks to the strength of his armor: his aerea cassis, or bronze helmet, deflected a stone from his head in a fierce fight outside Laigle in November 1118, and his capitium loricae, the collar or headpiece of his hauberk, saved him from a sword stroke to the head at Brémule."
* Vuksic & Grbasic 1993 p66
"The mail hauberk grew in size (it now weighed up to 15 kg/33 lb), reaching the knees, and full-length sleeves were added."
* Withers 2010 p31 = Withers & Capwell 2010 p279
"Although it is called a lance, Norman knights used what could more accurately be described as a long wooden spear with a simple, spiked end. It would be held firmly under the arm in order that the maximum force of both man and horse could be transmitted into the charge. Once the enemy had been engaged, the lance could also be transformed into an effective close-combat thrusting weapon, or simply thrown."
* Encyclopedia of European historical weapons 1993 p147
"Pictorial records of the 11th century, such as the Bayeux tapestry, depict both foot soldiers and horsemen with clubs or maces. The latter use some kind of elongated pear-shaped club but no more details about it can be deduced from the tapestry."
* Bull 1991 p50
"Like its immediate predecessors, the Norman sword was straight, double-edged and suitable for slashing or thrusting. Cross-guards or 'quillons' were short and either straight or inclined slightly towards the blade. Most of the pommels appear to be disc-shaped or round, but some surviving examples, possibly from elsewhere in Europe, are of flattened or 'Brazil-nut' shape."
* Norman & Pottinger 1979 p30
"The sword used by the Normans was similar to that of the Danes but usually had a rather longer, straighter guard above the hand, and the tea-cosy-shaped pommel was longer and more like a Brazil nut in form. It was carried in a scabbard on a wide loose waist-belt which the weight of the sword pulled down low over the left hip. The belt was buckled or knotted at the front and was occasionally worn under the hauberk, presumably to prevent it being cut. In this case the sword hilt emerged from a slit in the hauberk."
* Withers 2010 p30 = Withers & Capwell 2010 p278
"A double-edged, razor-sharp broadsword with an average length of around 75cm (29.5in), was the main battle weapon of the Norman knight of the medieval period. It was ideal for swinging at speed and downward slashing. It would be used one-handed and in conjunction with a large, kite-shaped shield."
* Vuksic & Grbasic 1993 p66
"The rider's left side was protected with a kite-shaped shield, which was held in the hand, but, because of its great weight, the shield strap was slung over the right shoulder."