Object Title

Foot combat armour

Foot combat armour



Object Number



Transferred from Greenwich in 1649.

Physical Description

The armour is designed to cover the wearer from head to foot leaving no part unprotected.
Close helmet, the skull with low comb pierced for the attachment of a crest. Visor in one piece with long vision slit below which it projects and is pierced with square openings for ventilation arranged to form a trellis pattern. There are three holes for the bolt securing a reinforcing plate on the left side, the visor being secured to the chinpiece by a spring catch on the right side now missing. There are not gorget plates, the lower part of the skull and chinpiece being prolonged to take their place. The helmet locks on to a flange on the gorget on which it can rotate being fastened by spring catches with securing hooks on either side.
Gorget of a single plate fron and back, the lower edges recessed to bing the gorget flush with the upper edge of the breast and back-plates to which it is secured by bolts. There are pins on either side for attaching the pauldrons, these being full and of equal size the left having an upright shoulder guard; a similar guard was fitted on the right but is now missing. The upper cannons had three lames above, the lower one acting as a turner with rivets in slots. The upper lame on the right is missing. The couters have large wings encircling the bend of the arm which is also protected by articulated splints; mitten gauntlets, that for the right hand being a locking-gauntlet. The vambraces fasten over the cuffs of the gauntlet which are free to turn on the flanges. The armpits are protected by sets of articulated splints.
Breast and back-plates of simple form, the former with slight central ridge. Both plates have two articulated lames at the waist the lower of which supports the faces plates at the front end and the culet at the back.
Fauld of four lames to which are attached tassets of seven lames to the lowest and deepest of which single plates curving around the back of the leg are attached by hinges. Culet of five lames the lowest of which is deep and pointed, curves well around seat and is attached to the tassets by straps and buckles at the sides while the seat itself is protected by a separate articulated piece fitting beneath the culet and tassets. The large cod piece has five articulated plates which fit beneath the tassets and protect the fork.
The leg armour has cuishes completely encircling the thighs and joined to the tassets by flanges; poleyns with fluted fan-plates the bend of the knee being protected by articulated splints. The sabatons broaden out to a fluted toeplate some six inches wide and are flanged at the ankle to fasten over the bottom of the greaves, the edges of which have a row of holes for attaching padding to prevent them chafing at the bend of the ankle.
Decoration. The armour is undecorated and is finished 'rough from the hammer' although many years of cleaning have left it with a relatively smooth surface. Both hammer and file marks are however still visible especially on the cuirass, gorget and tassets.


Dimensions: Height as mounted: 1875 mm; waist 960 mm; chest 1130 mm; shoulder 680 mm; neck 520 mm; wrist 250 mm; inside leg (to ground) 870 mm; calf 460 mm; ankle 265 mm; foot length: 290 mm Weight: 42.68 kg (94 lb)

Inscriptions and Marks

none visible

Bibliographic References

Claude Blair, European Armour, London, 1958, 164-5, 216-17 left legharness and sabaton.

A.R. Dufty and W. Reid, European Armour in the Tower of London, 1968, pl. XII, XIII, LXXXVII

J.G. Mann, Exhibition of Armour made in the Royal Workshops at Greenwich, London, 1951. Cat No. 1

A.V.B. Norman and G.M. Wilson, Treasures form the Tower of London, Norwich, 1982, Cat. No. 2

Ian Eaves, 'The Tournament Armours of King Henry VIII of England', Livrustkammaren, 1993, 14-15

C. Paggiarino, The Royal Armouries, masterpieces of medieval and renaissance arms and armour, Milan, 2011, volume 1, 256-71

G Rimer, T Richardson and J P D Cooper, Henry VIII: Arms and the Man, Leeds, 2009, 114-8

T. Richardson, 'The King and the Astronaut', Arms & Armour 10.1, 2013: 3-13


One of the earliest surviving products of the Royal Workshops at Greenwich. III.832 plates of cod piece reunited with armour June 1955. RC2: Permission to lend required from the sovereign.