Object Title

Jack of plate

Jack of plate



Object Number



Tower arsenal.

Physical Description

Made in the form of a doublet, composed of small iron plates with central holes and cropped corners about 34 mm square, but ranging from 29-36 mm, between two layers of coarse canvas with a layer of fine linen, secured by a trellis pattern of cords (a net with one diagonal across each square) through the central holes on a 25 mm grid. The plates within the rows overlap from the centre to the sides, and the rows overlap upwards. The cords are knotted where they pass though the fabric and plates, each knot being covered by a tuft of green silk. Inside the jack is lined with a layer of fine canvas. The jack opens at the front, where it was fastened by laces in eyelet holes. It is of high waisted form at the rear, suggesting that it might have been of peascod form at the front originally. It has an extension over the shoulders, where there is a single row of plates allowing articulation. There is a low standing collar also formed of a single row of plates, and a short skirt divided into four trapezoid panels, five rows of plates deep, of which the front two are lost. The whole of the front from the shoulders down is lost. X-rays in 2004 reveal the internal structure of the plates, showing that these are regular and largely homogeneous.


Dimensions: height 570 mm, width 480 mm, collar to waist at rear 420 mm Weight: 4145 g (9 lb 2 oz)

Inscriptions and Marks

Painted 102 inside the rear left skirt. On a paper label numbered 3/208, stuck inside the rear left skirt.


Places England

Bibliographic References

A.R. Dufty and W. Reid, European Armour in the Tower of London, 1968, plate CXXIII.

Charles ffoulkes, Inventory and Survey of the Armouries of the Tower of London, Vol.1, London, 1916, p.115 and 144.

John Hewitt, Official Catalogue of the Tower Armouries, London, 1859, p.21.

Francis Grose, A Treatise on Ancient Armour and Weapons, London, 1786, pl.26.

Ian Eaves, 'On the Remains of a Jack of Plate Excavated from Beeston Castle in Cheshire', The Journal of The Arms and Armour Society, vol.XIII, no.2, September 1989, pp.81-154, p.84-ff.


Of exactly the same type as III.44-5. It appears the lower front sections were deliberately removed.