FRANKISH KNIGHT c. 1275

An extract from Armies and Enemies of the Crusades 1096-1291
by Ian Heath


[Based on the Seal of John de Montfort, lord of Tyre and Toron (1270-1283)]

7.      FRANKISH KNIGHT c. 1275

Taken from the seal of John de Montfort, lord of Tyre and Toron (1270-1283), this figure shows little change from 6 except that he substitutes a banner for the latterís pennon. Like 6 he carries a flat-topped shield (this type first appeared c. 1140 and was the predominant shield-type by the 13th century, its size decreasing somewhat as time went by).

More interesting is the cloth covering for his horse, the housing. In Europe this only first appeared c. 1185 but it may have appeared in Outremer at a somewhat earlier date under Moslem influence (see 93), some Frankish horses possibly wearing housings at Hattin in 1187. Quite probably some consisted of several layers or were quilted, in which case they would have been quite capable of stopping Turkish flight-arrows except at close range. The housing was also useful for displaying the riderís heraldic device, for which purpose it was already being used before the end of the 12th century.



Next: 8. FRANKISH KNIGHT c. 1290 in Armies and Enemies of the Crusades 1096-1291 by Ian Heath




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