Armor in the Period of the Marshal

Part III: Leg, Knee and Elbow Defenses

As was mentioned earlier, mail was the most common armor of its day, and no less so in defending legs (see illustrations A, B, and F).

If you notice in illustration B, the chausses are sometimes tied or laced at several points along the leg, and do not completely encircle the leg. They are sort of like “steel chaps”.

You can find some hints on chausse production by Mathew Johnston at

Knee, and Elbow Defenses

This period is a little early for the winged elbows and knees that are so commonly seen in the SCA. The good news is that almost any sort of “low profil” type knee or elbow will work. The best would be those that are worn as hidden under the armor or tunics.

If you have access to a simple dishing stump or form, these can be made quickly. Follow the outline below (see illustration O), which is just a knee/elbow pattern with the wing removed. Be certain to add a bit more material in length, in place of the wing, to make certain the elbow or knee cop covers the essential points.

Illustration O: Low Profile Knee or Elbow

Illustration O: Low Profile Knee or Elbow
(Click image for larger version.)


You're in luck here. A great many of the shields used in the SCA are in use during this time. Various round shields still remain in limited use, but the predominant shields are kites and heaters, as this is the time of the transition from one to the other.

Marshal – Flower of Chivalry   •   Coming to Three Rivers Memorial Day Weekend 2009