A kite shield is a large, almond-shaped shield rounded at the top and curving down to a point or rounded point at the bottom. The term "kite shield" is a reference to the shield's unique shape, is derived from its supposed similarity to a flying kite, although "leaf-shaped shield" and "almond shield" have been used in recent literature. Since the most prominent examples of this shield have appeared on the Bayeux Tapestry, the kite shield has become associated with Norman warfare; the first known illustration of a kite shield appeared in the Gospels of Otto III, made between 983 and 991, indicating it was in use with Western European armies by the late tenth century. The shield was developed for mounted cavalry, its dimensions correlate to the approximate space between a horse's neck and its rider's thigh. A narrow bottom protected the rider's left leg, the pronounced upper curve, the rider's shoulder and torso; this was a vast improvement over more common circular shields, such as bucklers, which afforded poor protection to the horseman's left flank when he was charging with a lance.
Though their great length and unwieldy nature made them cumbersome and inconvenient for foot soldiers, kite shields gained popularity, spreading throughout Western Europe during the 1000s. In the Bayeux Tapestry, most of the English are depicted on foot with kite shields, while a minority still use round shields. Aside from Normandy, they appeared early on in parts of Spain and the Holy Roman Empire, it is unclear from. A common theory is. However, no documentation or remains of kite shields from the Viking era have been discovered, they were not ideally suited to the Vikings' mobile light infantry. Kite shields were depicted on eleventh century illustrations in Western Europe and the Byzantine Empire, but in the Caucasus, the Fatimid Caliphate, among the Kievan Rus'. For example, an eleventh century silver engraving of Saint George recovered from Bochorma, depicts a kite shield, as do other isolated pieces of Georgian art dating to the twelfth and thirteenth centuries. Kite shields appear on the Bab al-Nasr in Cairo, constructed around 1087.
Arab historians described them as tariqa or januwiyya. Kite shields were introduced in large numbers to the Middle East by the First Crusade, when Arab and Byzantine soldiers first observed the type being carried by Norman crusaders. Around the mid to late twelfth century, traditional kite shields were replaced by a variant in which the top was flat, rather than rounded; this change made it easier for a soldier to hold the shield upright without limiting his field of vision. Flat-topped kite shields were phased out by most Western European armies in favour of much smaller, more compact heater shields. However, they were still being carried by Byzantine infantrymen well into the thirteenth century. To compensate for their awkward nature, kite shields were equipped with enarmes, which gripped the shield to the arm and facilitated keeping it in place when a knight relaxed his arm; some examples were also fitted with an additional guige strap that allowed the shield to be slung over one shoulder when not in use.
Byzantine soldiers carried kite shields on their backs, sometimes upside down. At the time of the First Crusade, most kite shields were still fitted with a domed metal centrepiece, although the use of enarmes would have rendered them unnecessary, it is possible that shields may have been fitted with an auxiliary hand grip. A typical kite shield was at least three feet high, being constructed of laminated wood, stretched animal hide, iron components. Records from Byzantium in the 1200s suggests that the shield frame accounted for most of the wood and iron. Grazebrook, George; the Dates of Variously-shaped Shields With Coincident Dates and Examples. Medieval Chronicles > Kite Shield
William the Conqueror
William I known as William the Conqueror and sometimes William the Bastard, was the first Norman King of England, reigning from 1066 until his death in 1087. A descendant of Rollo, he was Duke of Normandy from 1035 onward. After a long struggle to establish his power, by 1060 his hold on Normandy was secure, he launched the Norman conquest of England six years later; the rest of his life was marked by struggles to consolidate his hold over England and his continental lands and by difficulties with his eldest son. William was the son of Duke of Normandy, by Robert's mistress Herleva, his illegitimate status and his youth caused some difficulties for him after he succeeded his father, as did the anarchy that plagued the first years of his rule. During his childhood and adolescence, members of the Norman aristocracy battled each other, both for control of the child duke and for their own ends. In 1047 William was able to quash a rebellion and begin to establish his authority over the duchy, a process, not complete until about 1060.
His marriage in the 1050s to Matilda of Flanders provided him with a powerful ally in the neighbouring county of Flanders. By the time of his marriage, William was able to arrange the appointment of his supporters as bishops and abbots in the Norman church, his consolidation of power allowed him to expand his horizons, by 1062 William secured control of the neighbouring county of Maine. In the 1050s and early 1060s William became a contender for the throne of England held by the childless Edward the Confessor, his first cousin once removed. There were other potential claimants, including the powerful English earl Harold Godwinson, named the next king by Edward on the latter's deathbed in January 1066. William argued that Edward had promised the throne to him and that Harold had sworn to support William's claim. William built a large fleet and invaded England in September 1066, decisively defeating and killing Harold at the Battle of Hastings on 14 October 1066. After further military efforts William was crowned king on Christmas Day 1066, in London.
He made arrangements for the governance of England in early 1067 before returning to Normandy. Several unsuccessful rebellions followed, by 1075 William's hold on England was secure, allowing him to spend the majority of the rest of his reign on the continent. William's final years were marked by difficulties in his continental domains, troubles with his eldest son, threatened invasions of England by the Danes. In 1086 William ordered the compilation of the Domesday Book, a survey listing all the landholdings in England along with their pre-Conquest and current holders. William died in September 1087 while leading a campaign in northern France, was buried in Caen, his reign in England was marked by the construction of castles, the settling of a new Norman nobility on the land, change in the composition of the English clergy. He did not try to integrate his various domains into one empire but instead continued to administer each part separately. William's lands were divided after his death: Normandy went to his eldest son, Robert Curthose, his second surviving son, William Rufus, received England.
Norsemen first began raiding in. Permanent Scandinavian settlement occurred before 911, when Rollo, one of the Viking leaders, King Charles the Simple of France reached an agreement surrendering the county of Rouen to Rollo; the lands around Rouen became the core of the duchy of Normandy. Normandy may have been used as a base when Scandinavian attacks on England were renewed at the end of the 10th century, which would have worsened relations between England and Normandy. In an effort to improve matters, King Æthelred the Unready took Emma of Normandy, sister of Duke Richard II, as his second wife in 1002. Danish raids on England continued, Æthelred sought help from Richard, taking refuge in Normandy in 1013 when King Swein I of Denmark drove Æthelred and his family from England. Swein's death in 1014 allowed Æthelred to return home, but Swein's son Cnut contested Æthelred's return. Æthelred died unexpectedly in 1016, Cnut became king of England. Æthelred and Emma's two sons and Alfred, went into exile in Normandy while their mother, became Cnut's second wife.
After Cnut's death in 1035, the English throne fell to Harold Harefoot, his son by his first wife, while Harthacnut, his son by Emma, became king in Denmark. England remained unstable. Alfred returned to England in 1036 to visit his mother and to challenge Harold as king. One story implicates Earl Godwin of Wessex in Alfred's subsequent death. Emma went into exile in Flanders until Harthacnut became king following Harold's death in 1040, his half-brother Edward followed Harthacnut to England. William was born in 1027 or 1028 at Falaise, Duchy of Normandy, most towards the end of 1028, he was the only son of Duke Robert I, son of Duke Richard II. His mother, was the daughter of Fulbert of Falaise, she was a member of the ducal household, but did not marry Robert. Instead, she married Herluin de Conteville, with whom she had two sons – Odo of Bayeux and Robert, Count of Mortain – and a daughter whose name is unknown. One of Herleva's brothers, became a supporter and protector of William during his minority.
Robert had a daughter, Adelaide, by another mistress. Robert became Duke of Normandy on 6 August 1027, succeeding his elder brother Richard III, who had only succeeded to the title the previous year. Robert and his brother had been at odds over the succession, Richard's death
Gilbert de Clare, 1st Earl of Pembroke
Gilbert fitz Gilbert de Clare, was created Earl of Pembroke in 1138. Born at Tonbridge, Gilbert de Clare was a son of Gilbert Fitz Richard de Clare and Alice de Claremont, he started out without land and wealth of his own but was related to powerful men his uncles Walter de Clare and Roger de Clare. In 1136 Gilbert fitz Gilbert led an expedition against Exmes and burned parts of the town, including the church of Notre Dame, but was interrupted by the forces of William III, Count of Ponthieu and escaped the resulting melee only after suffering heavy losses. Gilbert was a Baron, that is, a tenant-in-chief in England, inherited the estates of his paternal uncles and Walter, which included the baronies and castles of Bienfaite and Orbec in Normandy, he held the castle of Striguil. King Stephen created him Earl of Pembroke, gave him the rape and castle of Pevensey. After Stephen's defeat at Lincoln on 2 February 1141, Gilbert was among those who rallied to Empress Matilda when she recovered London in June, but he was at Canterbury when Stephen was recrowned late in 1141.
He joined Geoffrey's plot against Stephen, but when that conspiracy collapsed, he again adhered to Stephen, being with him at the siege of Oxford late in 1142. In 1147 he rebelled when Stephen refused to give him the castles surrendered by his nephew Gilbert, 1st Earl of Hertford, whereupon the King marched to his nearest castle and nearly captured him. However, the Earl appears to have made his peace with Stephen before his death the following year, he married Isabel de Beaumont, before 1130, daughter of Sir Robert de Beaumont, 1st Earl of Leicester, Count of Meulan, Elizabeth de Vermandois. Isabel had been the mistress of King Henry I of England. By her Gilbert had: Richard de Clare, 2nd Earl of Pembroke Basilia, who married Raymond FitzGerald and Geoffrey FitzRobert. A daughter who married William Bloet. Gilbert de Clare at Castlewales.com
David, Earl of Huntingdon
David of Scotland was a Scottish prince and 8th Earl of Huntingdon. He was, until 1198, heir to the Scottish throne, he was the youngest surviving son of Henry of Scotland, 3rd Earl of Huntingdon and Ada de Warenne, a daughter of William de Warenne, 2nd Earl of Surrey, Elizabeth of Vermandois. His paternal grandfather was David I of Scotland. Huntingdon was granted to him after his elder brother. David's son John succeeded him to the earldom. In 1190 his brother gave him ` superiority' over its port; the same year he endowed a church dedicated to St Mary in Dundee. In the litigation for succession to the crown of Scotland in 1290–1292, the great-great-grandson Floris V, Count of Holland of David's sister, claimed that David had renounced his hereditary rights to the throne of Scotland, he therefore declared. However, no explanation or firm evidence for the supposed renunciation could be provided. On 26 August 1190 David married Matilda of Chester, daughter of Hugh de Kevelioc, 3rd Earl of Chester.
He was twenty years Matilda's senior. The marriage was recorded by Benedict of Peterborough. David and Matilda had seven children: Margaret of Huntingdon, married Alan, Lord of Galloway, by whom she had two daughters, including Dervorguilla of Galloway. Robert of Huntingdon Ada of Huntingdon, married Sir Henry de Hastings, by whom she had one son, Henry de Hastings, 1st Baron Hastings. Matilda of Huntingdon Isobel of Huntingdon, married firstly, Henry de Percy and had issue and secondly, Robert Bruce, 4th Lord of Annandale, by whom she had two sons, including Robert de Brus, 5th Lord of Annandale. John of Scotland, Earl of Huntingdon, married Elen ferch Llywelyn, he died childless. Henry of Huntingdon Earl David had three illegitimate children: Henry of Stirling Henry of Brechin Ada, married Malise, son of Ferchar, Earl of StrathearnAfter the extinction of the senior line of the Scottish royal house in 1290, when the legitimate line of William the Lion of Scotland ended, David's descendants were the prime candidates for the throne.
The two most notable claimants to the throne, Robert Bruce, 5th Lord of Annandale and John Balliol were his descendants through David's daughters Isobel and Margaret, respectively. David is a possible inspiration figure for the Robin Hood legend because the legend plays at the same time as David lived in the 1190s; the association of Robin Hood with the Earl of Huntingdon can be traced to ballads of the 17th century, such as A True Tale of Robin Hood. Both David and Robin Hood are said to have taken part in the Third Crusade, by 1194 David had taken part at the siege of Nottingham Castle where the High Sheriff of Nottinghamshire and Derby County was taken captive, his son Robert who died young nay have been a possible inspiration for Robin Hood. Sir Walter Scott's 1825 novel The Talisman features Earl David in his capacity as a prince of Scotland as a crusader on the Third Crusade. For the majority of the novel, Earl David operates under an alias: Sir Kenneth of the Couchant Leopard. Earl David's adventures are fictionalized for this novel.
The television series Robin of Sherwood features Earl David of Huntingdon. The first reference to Earl David is in the episode "The Prisoner", in which Prince John states that Earl David is a "dissident" who opposes Prince John's possible succession as King Richard's heir should Richard die without a legitimate heir of his body; the earl himself appears in the first part of "Herne's Son" in which he is not referred to directly as David. In the episode "Rutterkin", the earl appears again with a fictitious brother named Edgar, though he is again not referred to directly as David, it is definitively stated that the earl is the brother of the king of Scotland. Earl David was played by Michael Craig. Earl David features in the 2013 Robin Hood novel The Arrow of Sherwood by Lauren Johnson, he is depicted at the siege of Nottingham Castle in support of King Richard in 1194
Armour or armor is a protective covering, used to prevent damage from being inflicted to an object, individual or vehicle by direct contact weapons or projectiles during combat, or from damage caused by a dangerous environment or activity. Personal armour is used to protect soldiers and war animals. Vehicle armour is used on armoured fighting vehicles. A second use of the term armour describes armoured forces, armoured weapons, their role in combat. After the evolution of armoured warfare, mechanised infantry and their weapons came to be referred to collectively as "armour"; the word "armour" began to appear in the Middle Ages as a derivative of Old French. It is dated from 1297 as a "mail, defensive covering worn in combat"; the word originates from the Old French armure, itself derived from the Latin armatura meaning "arms and/or equipment", with the root armare meaning "arms or gear". Armour has been used throughout recorded history, it has been made from a variety of materials, beginning with the use of leathers or fabrics as protection and evolving through mail and metal plate into today's modern composites.
For much of military history the manufacture of metal personal armour has dominated the technology and employment of armour. Armour drove the development of many important technologies of the Ancient World, including wood lamination, metal refining, vehicle manufacture, leather processing, decorative metal working, its production was influential in the industrial revolution, furthered commercial development of metallurgy and engineering. Armour was the single most influential factor in the development of firearms, which in turn revolutionised warfare. Significant factors in the development of armour include the economic and technological necessities of its production. For instance, plate armour first appeared in Medieval Europe when water-powered trip hammers made the formation of plates faster and cheaper. Modern militaries do not equip their forces with the best armour available because it would be prohibitively expensive. At times the development of armour has paralleled the development of effective weaponry on the battlefield, with armourers seeking to create better protection without sacrificing mobility.
Well-known armour types in European history include the lorica hamata, lorica squamata, the lorica segmentata of the Roman legions, the mail hauberk of the early medieval age, the full steel plate harness worn by medieval and renaissance knights, breast and back plates worn by heavy cavalry in several European countries until the first year of World War I. The samurai warriors of feudal Japan utilised many types of armour for hundreds of years up to the 19th century. Cuirasses and helmets were manufactured in Japan as early as the 4th century. Tankō, worn by foot soldiers and keikō, worn by horsemen were both pre-samurai types of early Japanese armour constructed from iron plates connected together by leather thongs. Japanese lamellar armour reached Japan around the 5th century; these early Japanese lamellar armours took the form of leggings and a helmet. Armour did not always cover all of the body; the rest of the body was protected by means of a large shield. Examples of armies equipping their troops in this fashion were the Aztecs.
In East Asia many types of armour were used at different times by various cultures, including scale armour, lamellar armour, laminar armour, plated mail, plate armour and brigandine. Around the dynastic Tang and early Ming Period and plates were used, with more elaborate versions for officers in war; the Chinese, during that time used partial plates for "important" body parts instead of covering their whole body since too much plate armour hinders their martial arts movement. The other body parts were covered in cloth, lamellar, or Mountain pattern. In pre-Qin dynasty times, leather armour was made out of various animals, with more exotic ones such as the rhinoceros. Mail, sometimes called "chainmail", made of interlocking iron rings is believed to have first appeared some time after 300 BC, its invention is credited to the Celts. Small additional plates or discs of iron were added to the mail to protect vulnerable areas. Hardened leather and splinted construction were used for leg pieces; the coat of plates was developed, an armour made of large plates sewn inside a textile or leather coat.
Early plate in Italy, elsewhere in the 13th–15th century, were made of iron. Iron armour could be case hardened to give a surface of harder steel. Plate armour became cheaper than mail by the 15th century as it required much less labour and labour had become much more expensive after the Black Death, though it did require larger furnaces to produce larger blooms. Mail continued to be used to protect those joints which could not be adequately protected by plate, such as the armpit, crook of the elbow and groin. Another advantage of plate was; the small skull cap evolved into a bigger true helmet, the bascinet, as it was lengthened downward to protect the back of the neck and the sides of the head. Additionally, several new forms of enclosed helmets were introduced in the late 14th century; the most recognised style of armour in the world became the plate armour associated with the knights of the European Late Middle Ages, but continuing to the early 17th
Casimir I of Opole
Casimir I of Opole, a member of the Piast dynasty, was a Silesian duke of Opole and Racibórz from 1211 until his death. Casimir was the eldest child and only son of Duke Mieszko I Tanglefoot and his wife Ludmilla a Bohemian princess of the Přemyslid dynasty. In 1172/73 his father had divided the Silesian lands with his elder brother Bolesław I the Tall and his nephew Duke Jarosław of Opole, went on to rule as Duke of Racibórz in Upper Silesia. Little is known about the early years of Casimir's life, except for his own birth, the pretext for an agreement between his father and Casimir II the Just, who since 1177 ruled as High Duke of Poland having deposed his elder brother Mieszko III the Old. Casimir II aimed to break the long-time alliance of Mieszko I Tanglefoot with his uncle Mieszko III the Old and in return granted to the Racibórz duke the Lesser Polish districts of Bytom, Oświęcim and Pszczyna as a gift. After the birth of Mieszko Tanglefoot's son and heir, Casimir II the Just stood as the child's godfather, named after him.
Mieszko I Tanglefoot enlarged his territory, when after the death of his elder brother Bolesław I in 1201 he conquered the Duchy of Opole. Bolesław's son and heir, Duke Henry the Bearded had to cede the Opole lands to his uncle and renounced any inheritance claims to Mieszko's Upper Silesian duchies. Upon the death of his uncle Miesko III the Old in 1202, Mieszko raised claims to the Kraków throne, though he could not succeed until 1210. Mieszko I Tanglefoot died in 1211. While Leszek the White, son of Casimir II the Just, became High Duke of Poland, Casimir I was prepared to assume the government in his father's Upper Silesian duchies of Opole and Racibórz, he joined the coalition of the'Junior Dukes' Leszek the White, Konrad I of Masovia, Władysław Odonic, who fought against the politics of the Greater Polish duke Władysław III Spindleshanks and Duke Henry the Bearded. This was expressed through cooperation with the church hierarchy Bishop Wawrzyniec of Wrocław. In 1215, at the Congress of Wolbórz, Casimir I gave to the church great privileges and immunity, the origin of the semi-independent district of Ujazd property of the Wrocław diocese.
Casimir's extensive cooperation with the church provided him with security against the ambitions of his neighbors. During his rule, Duke Casimir moved his residence to Opole and emulated the ruling model of his cousin Henry the Bearded to encourage German settlers in his lands, he started the process of urban locations under German town law in Leśnica in 1217 and in the episcopal lands of Ujazd bishops in 1222. Further city foundations included Biała and Gościęcin in 1225, as well as Olesno in 1226; the settlement process contributed measurably to the economic development of Casimir's duchy. Given the increased power of Duke Henry I the Bearded during the 1220s, Casimir I's geopolitical position became more complicated, he took the only possible decision: close cooperation with his Lower Silesian cousin. The content of the agreement is unknown, but during the unsuccessful trip of Henry I the Bearded against Kraków in 1225, troops of Opole-Racibórz were with him; this fact attests to the presence of political emigrants from Lesser Poland after 1225 in Opole-Racibórz.
After this year, the help of emigrants, like Klement of Brzeźnica -who took on part of the costs of building the city walls of Opole-proved to be good for Casimir I. The alliance with Henry I the Bearded gave the Duke of Opole-Racibórz territorial benefits: in 1227 as a result of the confusion reigning in Poland following the death of High Duke Leszek I the White, Casimir I annexed the frontier fortress of Czeladź. Casimir I died on 13 May 1230 and was buried in the still unfounded Czarnowąsy monastery, generously patronized by him. Remarkably enough, the more than thirty-year-old Duke was still unmarried, it is unknown when he married, but after a reconstruction of the dates of his children's births, it is concluded that this happened after the death of his father, between 1212–1220. The exact origins of Casimir I's wife Viola, are unknown; the 15th-century Polish chronicler Jan Długosz stated. They had four children: Mieszko II the Fat, succeeded his father as Duke of Opole-Racibórz. Władysław, Duke of Opole-Racibórz from 1246.
Wenzeslawa, a nun in Czarnowąsy. Euphrosyne, married firstly in 1257 to Duke Casimir I of Kuyavia and secondly in 1275 to Duke Mestwin II of Pomerania. After Casimir I's death, Henry I the Bearded assumed the regency and formal guardianship of his minor sons, while his widow Viola took over direct tutelage of them