Page images

An Armourer's Bill, temp. Edward JJJ.



HE following list of portions of armour delivered by Gerard of Tournay into the office of the Royal Wardrobe for the use of King Edward III., as also certain repairs executed for the king, is to be found among the many treasures of the Public Record Office under the heading of "Wardrobe Miscellanea, Q.R. 8."

The period over which it extends is from April 1, 1337, until the last day of September, 1341, and it may be not uninteresting to inquire into the occasions when the various items were supplied. The prices paid or charged for the various portions of military equipment being also mentioned, adds much to the value of the document, and gives the value of the objects when new. In escheators' accounts we often have valuations, but they refer to the worth of the object when it had been in use for some time, and we are unable to judge of the depreciation in value owing to wear and tear, change of fashion, or many other influences attending the appraisement of the property of individuals who had forfeited their property to the king.

Among the objects enumerated are none that are not familiar to the student of ancient armour, and have not received the attention of such writers as Meyrick, Way, Hewitt, etc. We may except the word grates, which was evidently some part of a lance, as it always occurs with avant-plates, the later vamplate, or protection for the hand, fixed on the lance, and in the sixteenth century seen in such variety of shape and size. We may, however, be permitted to note succinctly some of the prices which occur in the list.

The "pair of plates" covered with white leather, or velvet, or silk, or cloth of gold, varied in price, according to the richness of the covering material, from 50s. to 80s.

For the recovering of such plates with white leather 6s. 8d. was charged. As we have on former occasions pointed out, armour was very frequently covered with some textile,

or with leather, and the chapel noir may have been one covered with velvet, silk, black The leather, or even only painted black. poitrine for the jousts was a steel or iron plate for the protection of the front of the body in the numerous jousts and tournaments which were so frequent in the fourteenth century. This poitrine appears to have cost 16s. In the matter of headpieces, the chapel blanc, or plain metal headpiece, cost 26s. 8d., while the chapel noir cost but 16s., showing that a large proportion of the cost was for the milling or polishing, which was not required in the case of those covered or painted. So also the bascinet varied in price from ros. to 125., and one for the king ranged so high as 16s. Armour for the legs was priced at 40s., the quissards by themselves costing 13s. 4d. The defences for the arms were only 30s., but, of course, did not include the gauntlets; and we may suppose that the leg armour did not always include the coverings for the feet, as in some casese.g., the Tewkesbury effigy figured by Stothard -the feet were protected by box-stirrups. The only hand defence mentioned in the bill is the main de fer, its name at once explaining its nature, and uncorrupted by long usage. Its cost-6s. 8d.-shows it to have been an important portion of the equipment. The grates and avantplates are charged at 5s. the set, and the coronals, or lance-heads, for jousts of peace, at Is. each. By the process of elimination we are enabled to arrive at the cost of the heaume and barber, the headpiece for the jousts, with its protection for the lower part of the face. The whole cost 23s. 4d. Aketons, the quilted or stuffed coats worn sometimes with and sometimes without the metal armour, are priced at 20s. each, and from their number were probably for the king's guard.

We will now mention briefly the chief events referred to in the bill of Gerard of Tournay.

April, 1337-the first date-belongs to the period when Edward was making preparations to invade France to enforce his claim to the crown of that country. The next fourteen items refer to the succeeding twelve months, during which time the king held his court at the Tower, and at his palace of Westminster. In May and June

he was, however, at York and Berwick respectively, returning to London in July. In June, 1338, the bill shows that he was at Bury St. Edmunds, on his way to the small port of Orwell, in Suffolk, whence he more than once took ship for his invasions of France. As he embarked on July 16, we may assign the date of the repairs of his bard of plate for his horse to about that time. He arrived at Antwerp on the 22nd, and spent several months in that city, residing at the Abbey of St. Michel. His queen, Philippa of Hainault, also passed over, and remained there for some time while Edward travelled about. On August 16 he started on his journey to Coblenz to meet Philippa's brotherin-law, the Emperor Louis IV., who bestowed on him the office of Vicar of the Emperor for the imperial district on the left bank of the Rhine.

The king returned to Antwerp on September 20, and on November 29 was born Lionel, created Duke of Clarence. The item in the bill referring to jousts at Antwerp was probably in connection with the festivities to celebrate this event. In February, 1339, Edward was still at Antwerp, but soon afterwards he went to Brussels to attend the parliament held there; and another item in the account belongs to this date. Edward soon after this commenced the siege of Cambrai, but in a short time he abandoned the enterprise and proceeded to invade the dominions of the French king. On October 13 he was at Mont St. Martin, near Mons, and perhaps the pair of plates covered with white leather for the king's own person, delivered at the Abbey des Noneyns prés de Monnez, refers to his stay at that place, but we have not succeeded in identifying the name.

In November the king returned to Antwerp, where he kept his Christmas, and in February, 1840, embarked for England, arriving at Orwell on the 21st of that month.

The next items refer to Mortlake and Windsor. At the latter place is mentioned the fact of the king receiving the news of the capture beyond sea of Thomas Montacute, Earl of Salisbury, the first who held the office of Admiral of the Fleet. Concerning this event, Barnes, in his Life of Edward III., declines to accept the version of the story given by Froissart, and presents us with what

he considers a more probable account, but he omits to name his authority.*

On June 22, 1341, Edward again embarked at Orwell, and various items in the account may be referred to about this date. It was on this voyage that Edward encountered, at Sluys, the large naval force collected by Philip to prevent his passage. The battle of Sluys-June 24-was one of the earliest and most brilliant of the many victories which have been won by the English navy, and France was for many years totally disabled so far as maritime action was concerned.

According to the bill, we next find Edward at the siege of Tournay, which was commenced on July 23, the king having gone thither by way of Ghent and Bruges. On the 25th a truce was declared, and the next item refers to Ghent. The king and queen soon after came over very suddenly to England, arriving at the Tower on November 30, and proceeded at once to put his house in order, dismissing the chancellor, Robert Stratford, and bringing grave accusations against the Archbishop of Canterbury. In the latter affair Edward failed, and, indeed, had to make important concessions to Parlia


In June, 1341, Edmund, surnamed of Langley, afterwards Duke of York, was born at the former place, and items in the bill refer to the convalescence of the queen, and the jousts, etc., on the occasion. The last item in the bill refers to September, 1541, just before Edward's expedition to Scotland, when he kept his Christmas at Melrose.

[blocks in formation]

Et de vj Chapels blancs p'batuz livrez en la garde le Roi en la To' de Lonndres le dit mois de Janever ps la peace xxvjs viijd viijli

Et de une peire de plates coverts de blanc quir delivrez en la Garderobe le Roi le mois de ffeverer a Westm ps. Is (1338)

Et de j peire de plates cover de camoca livre en la garderobe le Roi a Westm' le dit moys de ffeverer quele n' s le Roi dona a Mons Henri de fferers ps ls (1338)

Et de un Bacinet' blanc p'batuz deliverez en la Garderobe le Roi a Westm' le dit mois de ffever prs xijs (1338)

Et de viij chapels blancs p'batuz deliverez en la garderobe le Roi a Westm' le dit mois de ffeverer ps la piece xxvjs viijd xli xiijs iiijd (1338)

Et de iij chapels blanc p'batuz delivrez en la garde le Roi en la Tor de Lonndres le vj iour de Mars, des queux le Roi dona a Henri Dengaigne, un Chapel, et a Ph Brokaz un Autre, ps de la piece xxvjs viijd iiijli (1338)

Et pr le recover de une peire de plats coverts de blanc quir ove scalopes dorrez, livrez en la Garderobe le Roi le dit moys de Mars xs

[blocks in formation]

labbie des Noneyns p's de Monnez en Henaud ps lxs

Et de un maindefer delivere en la Gard le Roi a Mortlake ps vjs viijd

Et de iii peire de plates novelles covertz de blancs quir deliverez en la gard le Roi en Chastel de Wyndes el mois daprill as ioustes illoeqs ordinez quen temps vindrent novelles qe le connte de Salebirs estoit ps dela la Mer, ps la pece Is vijli xs (1340)

Et iij Poitrines pr les joustes delivrez en la Gard le Roi a Windesore au dit temps ps la piece xvjs, xlviijs

Et iiij Grates & iiij Avantplates deliverez en la gard le Roi au dit temps ps xxs

Et de xij Coronals deliverez en la Gard le Roi ps la pece xijd, xijs

Et de une peire de plates covert de velvet & soie quen velvet estoit livrez hors de la Gard le Roi et les queux plates ne Sr le Roi dona a Mons' Joh le Melre ps 1s

Et de une peire plates cover de blanc quir pr le corps le Roi a Arewelle a sa darroine passage as pties de fflaundre ps lxs

Et de un Bacinet pr le Roi Mesmes delivrez en la Gard le Roi a Arewelle au dit temps ps xvjs

Et de une peire de plates covert de velvet & soie pr Mons Joh de Henau delivrez en la Garderobe le Roi a Arewell a meisme la voiage ps ls

Et de un Bacinet delivrez en la gard le Roi a la siege devant Trney ps xvjs

Et de un Heaume un Barber une peire de plates, une poitrine p' Justes, une peire de rerebras, un maindefer, iiij Avant plates, iiij Grates & vj Coronalls. delivrez en la gardere le Roi a Gaunt p' les mems Guy de Brian as justes qe illoeqs estoient a la revenue nre Sr le Roi de la siege de T'ney ps vijli xijs

Et de ij Coronalls deliverez en la Gard le Roi a Gaunte ps ijs

Et de une Poitrine delivrez en la Gard le Roi a Norwig contre les Justes illoeqs ps xvjs

Et de une peire de rerebras & avant bras fourbiz p' le corps le Roi de la novelle maner delivrez en la gard le Roi a mesmes les justes ps xxxs

Et de iij Grates & iiij avant plates deliverez en la garder le Roi a meisme cet temps ps xxs

Et de une poitrine pr le corps le Roi delivre en la garder le Roi a Langeleye contre les Justes a la relevee madame la Roine ps xvis

Et de i peire de plates cover de blank quir delivere en la garde le Roi le derrein iour de Septembr lan xve ps lxs

Et del Aketones delivrez en la garderobe le Roi a Westm❜ le derrein iour de Septembr avant dit ps la piece xxs 1

On the dorse of the document is the following:

Item pris livere en la gardere le Roi a Estamfor......... aler vers escoce i chapel noir batuz ps xvis et i h'neis el jambes cest assavoir xls.....

Hunc compm libavt hic Henrs de Greystoke nup' auditor comm eam Ri xxvj die Januar anno xxvij Rs Ed iii et

On Chronograms. BY JAMES HILTON, F.S.A. (Continued from the Antiquary, vol. xx., p. 25.)


JOSEPH À PINU, born at Auer

bach, in Saxony, is ranked among the German poets, although he employed the Latin language in all that I shall have to notice of his writings. In that language he wrote chronograms in hexameter and pentameter verse more than three hundred and thirty years ago. Original copies of such of his writings are scarce; they very seldom appear for sale, and are

difficult to meet with in libraries. Zedler (in his "Universal Lexicon ") records four of his chronogrammatic works, and those I purpose to introduce to the reader. A copy of the first so recorded (and it is the only one I know of) is in the library of the Rev. W. Begley, a small 4to. tract without binding or protecting covers, entitled "Disticha illustrium ac clarorum aliquot virorum et fœminarum obitus, et simul annorum numeros, quædam etiam diem continentia, memoriæ scripta Josepho à Pinu Averbachio.-Wittebergæ MDLIIII." (1554), with a woodcut representing the Resurrection. This tract contains ninety chronograms. I select the following as examples. (The lines preceding the chronograms are translations of the Latin originals):

The year when John Frederic, Elector of Saxony, was taken prisoner by the Emperor.


[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]

I have not met with an original copy of either of these, but I find in the British Museum a work in eleven thick dumpy volumes, entitled "Delitiæ poetarum Germanorum hujus superiorisque ævi illustrium. Collectore A.F.G.G. Francofurti MDCXII." (1612.) Part five of that work contains a reprint of the above named "Eteosticha," which seems also to comprise the chrono. grams of the other work by Pinu, the "Catalogue of Academies." I venture to transcribe the whole of the chronograms contained in the "Part 5," pleading as my excuse for giving so much on one subject, the rarity of the work and the years which have passed before I could give, even at second-hand, such a curious example of chronogrammatic literature. The whole is printed in even type, with no distinction, of size or otherwise, to the date letters. I have, however, restored the latter in what follows, to the form in which the chronograms probably appeared in an original copy of the author's work.

About the period of the authorship of these works, Pinu and other chronogram writers, in addition to the date of the year made by the chronogram itself, expressed

also the month and day by some allusion to the position of the sun in its (supposed) path from day to day through the constellations or "signs" of the zodiac, each sign ruling for one month, the month commencing at about the third week, and the first month of the year being March, represented by the sign Aries, the ram; thus when it is said the sun enters Aries, in the old calendars, it means the 20th of March, and so on with all the twelve signs in their succession. An occasional footnote, in addition to the line which precedes each chronogram, will, I hope, make clear some of the jargon in which they are composed. Let it be understood, however, that this fanciful method of denoting a date is unsuitable to strict chronology; modern astronomy declares that the sun has actually no path along the zodiac, and the periods assigned to him by the astronomers of the sixteenth century for entering and leaving each "sign" no longer hold good; the movements of the heavenly bodies since that period have caused a deviation of about five weeks, thus the sun may now be said to enter Aries about the end of April, and so on with the other "signs."



Annus initii academiæ Bononiensis, 447.
Academiæ Paduanæ,2 791.
Academiæ Lutetianæ,3 791.

Academiæ Ticinensis,5 794.
Annus mortis Caroli Magni, 814.

Academiæ Lugdunensis, 830.

1 Bologna, in Italy, which in the time of its early history was occupied by the ancient tribes of Boii.

2 Padua, in Italy, said to have been founded by Antenor. See Virgil Æn., i., 243-249.

5 Pavia, on the river Ticino.

3 Paris. 4 The river Seine. This chronogram makes only 714; it seems to relate to alludes to the zodiac sign Pisces, the month February.

Charlemagne, who died in the year 814; it

7 Lyons on the river Rhone.

« PreviousContinue »