Only the affluent could afford such pricey armour and weaponry, so it became a defining attribute of knights in battle, signifying the military unit and serving as the ideal means to display their social position. The average weight of a full set of Medieval knight armour, or armour designed for combat, is between 45 and 55 lbs (20 to 25 kg), with the helmet weighing between 4 and 8 lbs (2 to 4 kg). This is less than the weight of a firefighter’s oxygen kit or what the majority of modern soldiers have carried into battle since the nineteenth century.
Weight Distribution of Medieval Knight Armour
In addition, the weight of a well-fitted suit of armour is spread throughout the body, unlike the majority of modern equipment, which is typically strung from the shoulders or waist. Field suit of armour did not become significantly heavier to make it impenetrable against ever-more-accurate weapons until the seventeenth century. The body’s essential areas, like the head, torso, and hands, continued to be protected by metal plate, although full armour grew less common over time.
Creation of Plate Armour
It is also incorrect that the creation of plate armour, which was finished around 1420–1430, significantly reduced a wearer’s mobility. Each limb had its own component of a harness of plate armour.
Each component was made of lames (metal strips) and plates that were connected by movable rivets and leather straps, allowing nearly all of the body’s movements to occur without being restricted by the material’s rigidity.
The commonly held belief that a guy wearing armour would be unable to walk much less stand up again after falling to the ground is unfounded as well. Contrarily, historical accounts describe the legendary French knight Jean de Maingre (about 1366–1421), also known as Maréchal Boucicault, who, while wearing full armour, managed to scale a ladder by using just his hands.
Purpose of Medieval Knight Armour Costumes
The armour used in tournaments was designed for particularly specialized events and was only intended for temporary use. With the aid of his squire or a small step, the man-at-arms would have mounted his steed, and after settling into the saddle, he could don the final pieces of his armour.
Furthermore, there are numerous examples of men-at-arms, squires, or knights mounting horses unaided or without the use of tools like ladders or cranes in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance.
Even an inexperienced man in correctly fitted armour may mount and dismount a horse, sit or lie on the ground, rise up again, sprint, and generally move his limbs freely and without discomfort, according to modern testing with authentic fifteenth- and sixteenth-century armour as well as with exact duplicates.
There have been a few uncommon cases where armour has been so thick that the wearer was practically “trapped” in place, such as when it was worn for a particular form of competition.
Frequently Asked Questions
What armour did medieval knights wear?
A knight’s armour, swords, and war horse were his most prized possessions. Only those who were wealthy could afford to be knights since these three goods were so expensive. Many knights believed that by plundering enemy villages and cities, they could partially recoup some of their investment.
What is a knight’s armour called?
To protect his body, a knight wore a hauberk, a type of mail consisting of closely linked metal rings. He wore an aketon, a padded shirt, underneath this. This increased protection and decreased discomfort from wearing the coat of mail. To prevent his metal mail from becoming unbearably hot from the sun, he covered them with a cotton surcoat. To allow the knight to mount his horse, the hauberk’s (coat of mail) and surcoat were separated at the front and back.
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