Object Title

Jack of plate

Jack of plate



Object Number



From the Ordnance Officer, Didcot, 1923. Formerly in hte Royal Hospital, Kilmainham, Dublin. Originally Tower arsenal.

Physical Description

Made in the form of a doublet, composed of small iron plates with central holes and cropped corners about 25-29 mm square, between two layers of coarse canvas with a layer of fine linen, secured by a trellis pattern of cords through the central holes on a grid of about 20 mm. The plates obverlap upwards within columns, and the columns overlap away from the centre to the sides. 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, and of peascod form at the front. The collar is missing, but at the waist it has a short skirt originally divided into three trapezoid panels, six rows of plates deep X-rays in 2004 reveal the internal structure of the plates, showing that those of the body are regular and largely homogeneous, but those of the skirt contain numerous plates pierced with small rivet holes, reused from a brigandine or brigandines. The overall condition is very poor and fragile though the entire defence is present. The inside front right is patched with several pieces of canvas, one of which has a grid of holes showing that it was reused from another jack.


Dimensions: height at rear about 520 mm, width about 470 mm over shoulders, collar to waist about 400 mm Weight: 6215 g (13 lb 11 oz)

Inscriptions and Marks



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.