• Knights in armour

    DSCN0373So here they are again, wearing the latest gear for King Richard II’s famous joust in Cheapside in 1394 – or something close.  The usefulness of this form of protection lies in its flexibility.  These guys can do press-ups in their armour as well as ride war horses at full gallop.

    Do you know the difference between a sallet, a barbute and a close helm?

    Send me a tweet if you do!

  • In and Out of the Clothes Chest

    What does the smart courtier wear in these halcyon days of 1386?

    Pointed shoes, commonly known as poulaines, are still being worn – but the really cool courtier goes for latch strap shoes for casual wear.  Stay light on your feet with this stylish kid leather footwear.


    Best head-gear?  A smart little bowler with a small brim, black for preference to off-set your gaudy parti-coloured hosen,


    Capes are worn short, not an inch below the hips the better to accentuate your thighs.  Tilting at the quintaine, actual jousting if you’re up to it,  or at least spending an hour or so astride a mettlesome destrier once a day will keep your thighs firm and fit to be seen in the latest fine wool jeggings.


    Still wearing a houpeland?  However you spell it – should you be able to write of course! – if you’re still appearing in one of these shapeless old things you may as well stay in your night-shirt and have done with it.  You’ll never be at the cutting edge of fashion until you throw it  out and don something svelte like a hip-length tunic with or without your lord’s blazon on front or back.


    Next time:  the knight and what the smartest of these fellas is wearing.  Watch this space.



  • The Black Prince

    Today, on 8th June  in 1376, the great hero of the Hundred Years war and heir to the English throne, Edward of Woodstock, commonly known in later centuries as The Black Prince, went to meet his Maker.

    Father of the golden boy, Richard of Bordeaux (later crowned King of England) he married Joan, the Fair Maid of Kent, gained his spurs at the age of 14 at the battle of Crecy and went on to regain much of the territory claimed by his father Edward III.

    He was a founder knight of the Order of the Garter and lived when in England at either Wallingford or Berkhamstead Castles.

    He represented King Edward III in Aquitaine where his son Richard was born.

    His tomb with effigy may be seen in Canterbury Cathedral.

    He died a year before his own father, King Edward III, thus leaving the throne to his son, the ten year old King Richard II.