Clothing of the Knights

The next pages try to give an idea of a possible way how a knight in the year 1302 could have been dressed when he went of to battle. Very few actual material from this period in time is left to us. Therefore we are forced to base ourselves for the biggest part on miniatures, sculptures and few written sources.


Flemish knight

The knight we present here shows a few peculiar things which are specific for the battle at Courtrai. In the first place he doesn't wear spurs. During the Battle of Courtrai the Flemish knights fighting on the Flemish side (seems weird, but there were Flemish knights fighting on French side too) fought on foot. Wearing spurs would hinder them. When it became clear that the French were losing, some BrabanÁon lords tried to change sides by shouting "Vlaendren die Leeu". Guy of Namur ordered then to kill all those who wore spurs. This fact alone proofs that the Flemish knights didn't wear them during the battle. They would of course wear their spurs on other occasions.

Secondly, our knight doesn't wear any maille chausses. Two reasons for that. First of all, I haven't made any yet (most obvious). And moreover they would be cumbersome while fighting on foot. Wearing this complete equipment, shield and helmet included, means an extra 25 kilograms of weight. Wearing heavy maille chausses would make my movements even more difficult.

Apart from these most striking details our knight does not differ from the French knights of that time. Some smaller details will be explained further on the next pages. All the things you will see me wearing on these pages is made by myself, excluding helmet and sword.

Starting Point

Starting point

On the next pages we will dress our knight piece after piece. This picture shows the starting point. He is dressed with his braies, hose, shoes and shirt. Up to this point there is no significant difference with normal civilian dress. Only the hose could be made out of a stronger linen.

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Copyright on text, images and photos by Joris de Sutter, unless noted otherwise.
This information is provided by De Liebaart and was last updated on May 18th 2001.