Once I was a clever boy learning the arts of Oxford... is a quotation from the verses written by Bishop Richard Fleming (c.1385-1431) for his tomb in Lincoln Cathedral. Fleming, the founder of Lincoln College in Oxford, is the subject of my research for a D. Phil., and, like me, a son of the West Riding. I have remarked in the past that I have a deeply meaningful on-going relationship with a dead fifteenth century bishop... it was Fleming who, in effect, enabled me to come to Oxford and to learn its arts, and for that I am immensely grateful.

Monday, 12 July 2021

Arms and armour videos II: Knyght Errant

In writing about these websites and online videos I will not attempt to include specific links but urge readers to explore on YouTube themselves, with a few pointers along the way.

The first group of these arms and armour videos I came across were those from Knyght Errant. This is the nom de vue of Ian LaSpina who is a former US Navy officer and based in Virginia. He is a re-enactor whose persona on such occasions is as an English gentleman at arms of about 1400. 

His considerable number of videos look at types of armour, at helmets in particular, as well as at such matters as the weight carried
( not what you might think ) and the speed at which a man could arm - he can do it in under nine minutes. He also looks at issues about authenticity in re-enactments and he generally opens up to anyone interested the world of the later medieval man in armour. 

He also has some interesting videos on the maintenance of armour and such engaging issues as to how to ‘de-gunk’ your mail/maille  ( not chain mail ) when it arrives from the manufacturer and the various modern cleaning products to use on your re-enactment armour. Both of these are covered with a delightful practicality and, to be honest, slight barminess, that catches and holds ones interest. Let’s be honest - once presented with the idea one is intrigued.

One particularly interesting, and insightful video is on his ‘Soft kit’ - the outfit he wears at re-enactments when not in armour but the civilian dress of the period. In a few minutes he conveys a wealth of useful information that helps summon the past to life and dispels common misunderstandings - just what a good re-enactor should do.

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