Picture Library - Armour

(Use the 'back' button to return.)

Armour

Many of the most magnificent surviving brasses feature armoured figures, popularly called 'knights', though not all of those depicted in armour held that rank. The earliest are shown in armour mostly made of mail - now commonly called 'chain mail' -  covered by a gown; Sir John d'Abernon's brass is a good example of this era. The period to 1350 was marked by an increasing use of plate, at first reinforcing the mail, as at Elsing and by the end of the century the body and limbs were mainly encased by it, and  the gown had been replaced by a tight-fitting jupon, as at Mere. All-plate armour, without textile covering, exemplified by Henry Parys's brass, appeared in the early 15th century, and from the 1430s, some representations, as at Ulcombe, are clearly based on imported forms. A few from the last quarter of the century show the V-shaped flutes and elegant forms characteristic of German High Gothic armour. By the 16th century rounded forms had become general again, as on John Leventhorpe's brass.

        Full armour started to become of less practical importance in the second half of the 16th century, but continued to be represented, often conventionalised, as an indication of status, as at Braiseworth. Half-armours, however, remained in use until the Civil Wars, and realistic illustrations are found on some of the better-quality brasses right down to that period, as at East Sutton and Middleton. These two brasses show respectively Filmer dressed in an infantry captain's armour (despite the spurs) and Assheton in a cuirassier armour. The former type was still in regular use in 1626: the latter was discontinued very early in the first Civil War.

Click the links below for the corresponding thumbnail image. Click any image for an enlarged view. 

Sir John d'Abernon, 1327, Stoke d'Abernon, Surrey

Sir Hugh Hastings, 1347, Elsing, Norfolk


Sir John Bettesthorne, 1398, Mere, Wiltshire


Henry Parys, 1427, Hildersham, Cambridgeshire

Randolph St. Leger, 1470, Ulcombe, Kent


John Leventhorpe, 1510, St Helen Bishopgate, London


Alexander Newton, 1659, Braiseworth, Suffolk.


Sir Edward Filmer, 1629, East Sutton, Kent


Ralph Assheton, 1650, Middleton, Lancashire





Stoke d-Abernon brass



Sir John d'Abernon, 1327,

Stoke d'Abernon, Surrey





Sir Hugh Hastings, 1347, Elsing, Norfolk



 Sir Hugh Hastings, 1347, Elsing, Norfolk




Sir John Bettesthorne, 1398, Mere, Wiltshire



Sir John Bettesthorne, 1398, Mere, Wiltshire




Sir Henry Paris, 1427, Hildersham, Cambridgeshire


Henry Parys, 1427, Hildersham, Cambridgeshire







Randolph St. Leger, 1470, Ulcombe, Kent







John Leventhorpe, 1510, St Helen Bishopgate, London









Alexander Newton, 1659 Braiseworth, Suffolk.


 






Sir Edward Filmer, 1629, East Sutton, Kent









Ralph Assheton, 1650, Middleton, Lancashire


 


Copyright © 2002 Monumental Brass Society (MBS)

Page last updated 07 July 2005