Object Title

Light field armour - Light field armour of Sir John Smythe

Light field armour - Light field armour of Sir John Smythe



Object Number



Old Tower Collection. Bequeathed by Sir John Smythe to James I in 1607. At Greenwich in 1611 and brought to the Tower Armouries in 1649. Sent to Windsor Castle in 1686 and returned to the Tower in 1914

Physical Description

Consists of: II.84 A Burgonet; II.84 B Buffe; II.84 C Morion; II.84 D Gorget; II.84 E Breastplate; II.84 F Backplate; II.84 G Right tasset; II.84 H Left tasset; II.84 I Right cuisse; II.84 J Left cuisse; II.84 K Right gauntlet; II.84 L Left gauntlet; II.84 M Breastplate; II.84 N Backplate; II.84 O Right tasset; II.84 P Left tasset; II.84 Q Right tasset; II.84 R Left tasset Displayed with mail sleeves III.1430 and III.1431.


Dimensions: Height as mounted 1800mm, actual crest to knee 1330mm, width 800mm

Bibliographic References

A.R. Dufty and W. Reid, European Armour in the Tower of London, 1968, plate XLIX, XLVIII additional pieces, XCVIII helmet, XCIX morion, CLV saddle steels.

C. Paggiarino, The Royal Armouries, masterpieces of medieval and renaissance arms and armour, Milan, 2011 volume 2


The breastplate appears together with the armet of the Hatton armour (II.77) in the portrait of Field Marshall George Wade (1673-1748) by Johann Van Dienst (1695-1757) sold Sotheby's, 9 April 2001 lot 1 (see also J G Mann, Sir John Smythe's armour in portraiture, Connoisseur xc, 1932: 88). RC2: Permission to lend required from sovereign