15th century levy fighting equipment

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The typical equipment of a levied man in the 15th century would vary depending on the wealth of the man he owed his allegiance. As a result there could be quite wide variations in the equipment worn.

This guide leans heavily towards an English depiction.

Equipment

Arms

Scavenged arms and pre-existing hand weapons may have also been brought with the levied man.

Armour

  • iron cap or helmet - this might be a kettle helm, sallet or other similar type. These would be typically issued to the levied man by his lord. They may be painted and have slogans written upon them, often with a religious theme.
  • padded jack or a pair of brigandines - also issued.
  • mail shirt - issued and most often worn under a pair of brigandines. Sleeves to the forearm or elbow and torso to the upper thigh. Internal link diameter approximately 5-6 mm and a wire thickness of approximately 1.2 to 1.6 mm and of round drawn wire. Entirely riveted.

Clothing

  • hose - joined, wool hose of one colour. These might be issued to him by a very wealthy lord.
  • shirt - linen and likely owned by the man and might not be worn under his armour if wearing a pourpoint
  • pourpoint - sleeveless linen garment that served as an attachment point for hose for those not wearing a doublet
  • doublet - of wool. Might not be worn if a pourpoint was available.
  • hood - possibly issued in the livery colours of his lord.
  • livery coat - sometimes issued by wealthier lords. May or may not have sleeves. Typically wool in the colours of his lord and may be embroidered with an symbol associated with the lord (e.g. a ragged staff for Warwick or a Stafford Knot for Buckingham). If a livery coat was not issued, some other form of livery was usually present to identify the lord's troops.
  • turnshoes - typically ankle boots

Modern Misconceptions

  • ragged, hessian clothing
  • majority fighting with sticks and clubs

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