Off with the old weaponry and on with the new….

from iStock

If ever an entry in the Close Rolls of Henry IV was evidence of warfare being at a crossroads between the old and the new, it’s surely this one. Poised between two ages, it concerns arms left by the late Richard II in the great hall of Dublin Castle. Richard had been in Ireland immediately before the invasion of England by his cousin, the Lancastrian usurper Bolingbroke, to whom Richard surrendered at Flint on 19 August 1399.

The date of the entry is 25 March 1400, and the link is here (premium entry, so subscription needed but I’ve quoted the entry in full).

“….To the chancellor and treasurer of Ireland, and to Robert Crulle the king’s clerk. Order to deliver to Nicholas Stowe, yeoman of Stephen Fleccher of London, to be brought to London and delivered to the keeper of the great wardrobe there, certain property which John Luffewyke, keeper of the late king’s privy wardrobe in the Tower of London, left to be kept in the great hall within Dublin castle until further order of the late king, namely 141 coats of mail, one tun full of bows, one coffer containing 96 bows, thirty pipes and one small one full of arrows, one barrel full of bowstrings, 353 lances without heads, one small coffer containing 356 lance heads, 335 ‘pavisses,’ sixteen single canons, eight short barrels (ollas) of ‘canons,’ eight ‘stokkes’ of ‘canons,’ six barrels full of gun stones (petris pro canonibus), of ‘suffles, tampons, hamours, touches’ and ‘fyr pannes’ for cannons, one small barrel of ‘gonne poudre,’ and one ‘fraile’ barrel for coats of mail; and order to the treasurer to take order for shipment of the goods, and payment of freight and other costs….”

Mind you, it’s a shame that the word “tampon” has different connotations today, but the purpose is more or less the same, if you see what I mean.

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