met resting upon the pommel of his saddle; and when preparing for fight, this helmet and all the other parts of his arms, offensive and defensive, were given him by the different squires, who had them in their keeping; all evincing equal eagerness in assisting him to arm. By this means they were taught the art of arming themselves on a future day, and with the despatch and caution necessary for the protection of their persons. It demanded much skill and ability to place together and fasten the joints of the cuirass, and the other pieces of armour; to fit and lace the helmet upon the head with correctness; and to nail and rivet carefully the visor or ventail. The burgesses and yeomen, who were not by the rules of chivalry permitted to enter the lists as combatants at jousts and tournaments, nor to appear mounted, used in England to tilt on foot against a large wooden shield on which a horse-shoe was painted. In a manuscript in the Bodleian Library (No. 264, and dated 1344), there are delineations of both the fixed and movable quintain, upon each of which is a large horse-shoe remarkable for its equal breadth, the ends of the branches being turned out and somewhat upwards, and from their being pierced with nail-holes throughout their entire length. This is indeed the form of shoe which, in heraldry, according to Guillim, is borne by the families of Borlace, Cripps, Crispe, Ferrers, Randall, and Shoyswell.
The very heavy armour worn by man and horse at
- L. de Sainte-Palaye. Mém. sur l'Ancienne Chevalerie. Paris, 1826.
- Strutt. Sports and Pastimes, p. 117.
- Syer Cuming. Op. cit.