Fashion in the Age of Datini

Treatise of the Points of Worship in Arms

Author: Johan Hill, armourer to Henry IV and V of England
Original Language: Middle English
Place of Composition: England
Date of Composition: author died November 1434
Source of Text: W.H. Black, Illustrations of ancient state and chivalry from manuscripts preserved in the Ashmolean Museum (William Nicol, Shakspeare Press: London, 1839) pp. 1–11 https://books.google.at/books?id=dGtbAAAAQAAJ&pg=PA3&focus=viewport&hl=de - Charles ffoulkes, The Armourer and his Craft (1912) Appendix C pp. 173-176 Internet Archive or Will's Commonplace Book - Bodleian Library, Oxford, MS. Ashmole 856 (a 17th century transcription of a lost original)
Source of Translation: Black transcribed by S. Manning 2021, ffoulkes transcribed by Will McLean 2008
Conditions of Use: Please give me and McLean credit for transcribing this text. Please give me credit for the translation and ask permission before quoting in print.

The manuscript of the Treatise of the Points of Worship in Arms has not been digitalized, and there are important differences between the two published transcriptions. The Bodleian kindly provided one photo of the manuscript in December 2021, so I can say that Black's transcription is much closer to the original text. Black did expand some abbreviations like wt "with" and added his own paragraphs (the manuscript is a continuous block of text), capitalization, and punctuation (the manuscript has a few capitals and very little punctuation).

Don't assume that the paragraph breaks, punctuation, or capitalization reflect the manuscript. The two editions divide and punctuate the text differently. Sometimes a paragraph in Black is several paragraphs in ffoulkes, and sometimes a paragraph in ffoulkes is several paragraphs in Black, so I have divided the text in a way which makes it easy to compare the two.

The page numbers in ffoulkes, such as "(p. 378)" indicate pages in the original manuscript. Black did not record page breaks in the manuscript. I have marked my sections with numbers like (99) to make it easier to refer to specific passages.

I have not noted repeated differences in spelling such as ye or th' for "the" or y for "i". Bold indicates substantial differences, underline indicates differences in spelling which do not affect meaning.

There is some information on Johan Hill's career from 1408 to 1434 in richardson-armour-henry-v. The Bodleian has information about the Ashmole Manuscripts and a catalogue of this manuscript from 1845. They do not seem to have an online catalogue entry for this manuscript.

There is an ongoing discussion of this text on the Armour Archive: Traytese of the Poyntes of Worship in Armes 1434.

Black's Transcription ffoulkes' Translation
(1, p. 376) Loo, my leve Lords! Here nowe next folowing is a Traytese compyled by Johan Hill, Armorier and Sergeant in th'Office of Armorye, with Kynges Henry the 4te and Henry the 5te of the Poyntes of Worship in Armes that longeth to a Gentleman in Armes, and how he shal be diversly armed and gouverned; under supportacion and faveur of alle the reders, to correcte adde and ameneuse where nede is, by the high commaundement of the Princes that have powair soo for to ordeyne and establisshe (1, p. 376) Too my leve Lordes here nowe next folowinge is a Traytese compyled by Johan Hyll Armorier Sergeant in the office of Armory wt, Kinges Henry ye 4th and Henry ye 5th of ye poyntes of Worship in Armes and how he shall be diversely Armed & gouverned under supportacion of faveurof alle ye Needes to coverte adde & amenuse where nede is by the high comandement of the Princes that have powair so for to ordeyne & establishe
(2) The first honneur in Armes is, a gentleman to fight in his Souverain Lords quarrell, in a Bataille of Treasone, sworne withinne Listes, before his Souverain Lorde, whether he be Appelant or Defendant: the honneur is his that wynneth the felde. (2) The first Honneur in Armes is a Gentilman to fight in his Souverain Lords quarell in a bataille of Treason sworne withinne Listes before his souverain Lorde whether he be Appellant or Defendant ye houneur is his that winneth ye feelde.
(3) As for th'Appellant, thus armed by his owen witte, and by his Counsaille which is assigned to him before the Conestable and Marsshal; the which Counsaille is ordeyned and bounden to teche hym alle maner of fightynges and soteltees of armes, that longeth for a bataille sworne. (3) As for the appellant thus Armed by his owne witte or by his counsaille wch is assigned to him before Conestable & Marchall ye wch Counsaille is ordeyned & bounden to teche hym alle maner of fightynge & soteltees of Armes that longeth for a battaile sworne
(4) First, hym nedeth to have a paire of hosen of reede, with oute vampeys; and the saide hosen kutte at the knees, and lyned within, with lynnen cloth byesse, as the hose is; a payre of shoen of reed lether thynne laced and fretted underneth with whippe-corde, and persed; and above withinne, lyned with lynnen cloth, three fyngers in brede, double, and byesse, from the too, an ynche above the wriste; and so behynde at the hele from the soole, halfe a quarter of a yerde uppe, this is to fasten wele to his sabatouns. And the same sabatouns fastened under the soole of the fote in 2 places. Hym nedeth also a petycote, and an over body of a doublet; his petycote with oute sleves, the syses of hem 3 quarters aboute, withouten coler; and that other part noo ferther thanne (p. 377) the waste; with streyte sleves and coler and certaine oylettes in the sleves, for the vauntbras and the rerebrase. (4) First hym nedeth to have a paire of hosen of corde wtoute vampeys And the saide hosen kutte at ye knees and lyned wtin wt Lynnen cloth byesse as the hose is A payre of shoen of red Lether thynne laced & fretted underneth wt whippecorde & persed, And above withinne Lyned wt Lynnen cloth three fyngers in brede double & byesse from the too an yncle above ye wriste. And so behinde at ye hele from the Soole halfe a quarter of a yearde uppe this is to fasten wele to his Sabatons And the same Sabatons fastened under ye soole of ye fote in 2 places hym nedeth also a petycote of an overbody of a doublett, his petycote wt oute sleves, ye syses of him 3 quarters aboute wt outen coler, And that other part noo ferther thanne (p. 377) ye waste wt streyte sleves and coler and cutaine oylettes in ye sleves for ye vaunt bras and ye Rerebrase
(5a) Armed in this wise. First behoveth sabatouns, greevis, and cloos qwysseyx with voydours of plate or of mayle, and a cloos breche of mayle, with 5 bokles of stele, the tisseux of fyne lether. And alle the armyng poyntes after they ben knytte and fastened on hym armed, that the poyntes of hem be kutte of. (5a) Armed in this wise First behoveth Sabatouns grevis & cloos quysseux wt voydours of plate or of mayle & a cloos breche of mayle wt 5 bokles of stele ye tisseux of fyne lether. And all ye armyng poyntes after they ben knytte & fastened on hym armed that ye poyntes of him be kutte of
(5b) And thanne a paire of cloos gussets, stronge sclave not drawe; and that the gussets be thre fyngers withinne his plat(e)s, at both assises. And thanne a paire of plates of xxti. lib. weight, his breche and his plates enarmed to gider with wyre, or with poyntes. (5b) And thanne a paire of cloos gussetts strong sclave not drawes and thatye gussets be thre fingers withinne his plates at both assises And thanne a paire of plattes at xx li lib weight his breste & his plats enarmed to (illegible) wt wyre or wt poyntes.
(5c) A pair of rerebrace, shitte withinne the plates, before with two forelockes, and behinde with thre forlockes. A paire of vauntbrace cloos, with voydours of mayle y fretted. A paire of gloves of avauntage, which may be devised; a basnet of avauntage for the listes, whiche is not goode for noon other batailles but man for man, save that necessitee hath noo lawe; the basnet locked baver and vysour, locked or charnelled also to the brest, and behynde with two forlockes. (5c) A pair of Rerebraces shitten withinne the plates before wt twi forlockes and behinde wt thre forlocks. A paire of vaunt bras cloos wt voydours of mayle & fretted. A pair of gloves of avantage wche may be devised. A basnet of avauntage for ye listes whiche is not goode for noon other battailles but man for man save that necessitie hath noo lawe, the basnet locked baver & vysour locked or charnelled also to ye brest & behynde wt two forlockes.
(6) And this Gentilman Appellant aforsaide, whanne he is thus armed and redy to come to the feelde, do on hym his cote of armes of sengle tartren y beten, for avauntage in fightyng. And his leg herneys, covered alle with reed taretryn, the which ben called tunicles, for the coveryng of his leg herneys is doon, bicause his adversarie shal not lightly espye his blode. And therefore also ben his hosen reed, for in alle other coleurs, blode wol lightly be seyne; for, by the oolde tyme, in such a bataille ther shulde noo thing have be seyn bare, save his basnette and his gloves. And thanne tye on hym a paire of besagewes. (6) And this Gentilman appellent aforesaide whanne he is thus armed & redy to come to ye felde do on hym a cote of armes of sengle tarten ye beter for avauntage in fighting. And his leg harneys covered alle wt reed taritryn the wche ben called tunictes for he coverynge of his leg harneys is doen because his adversarie shal not lightly espye his blode. And therefore also hen his hosen reed for in alle other colours blode wol lightly be seyne, for by the oolde tyme in such a bataile there shulde noo thing have be seyn here save his basnett & his gloves. And thanne tye on hym a payre of besagewes.
(7) Also it sitteth (MS: fitteth) the foresaide counsaille to goo to the Kyng, the daye before the bataille, and aske his logging nigh the listes. Also the forsaide Counsaille muste ordeyn hym, the day of his bataille, thre Preests to synge hym thre masses; the first masse of the Trinite, the second of the Holy Goste, and the thirde of oure Lady, or eles of what other Sainte or Saintes that he hath devocion unto. (7) Also it fitteth the (p. 378) foresaide counsaille to goo to ye kyng the daye before ye bataille & aske his logging nigh ye listes. Also ye foresaide Counsaille must ordeyne hym the masses ye first masse of ye Trinitie ye seconde of ye Holy Goste & ye thirde of owre Ladye or elles of what other sainte or saintes that he hath devocion unto
(8) And that he be wached alle that night, unweting hym that he is watched; and light in his chamber all that night, that his Counsaille may wite howe that he slepeth. And in the mornyng, whatnne he goeth to his masses, that his herneys be leyde at the north end of the auter, and covered with a cloth, that the Gospell may be radde over it; and, at the laste masse, for to be blessed with the Preest; and whanne he hath herde his masses, thanne to goo to his dyner, and soo to his armyng in the fourme aforsaide. (8) And that he be watched alle that night (illegible) hym that he is watched and light in his Chambre alle that night that his counsaille may wite how that he slepeth, And in ye mornyng whanne he goeth to his Masses that his herneys be leyed at ye North end of ye Auter and covered wt a cloth that ye gospell may be redde over it and at ye laste masse for to be blessed wt ye preist and whanne he hath herde his Masses thanne to goo to his dyner. And soo to his Armyng in ye forme aforesaide.
... text continues with a description of the duel itself ... ... text continues with a description of the duel itself ...
This enarmyng here aforesaide is best for a Battaille of Arreste, with a Swerde, a Dagger, an Ax, and a Pavoys; til he come to th'assemblee his sabatouns and his tunycles evoyded. This enarmyng here aforesaide is best for a battaille of arreste wt a sworde a dagger an Ax and a pavys til he come to th asseblee his sabatons & his tunycle evoyded
And thanne the auctor, Johan Hyll, dyed at London, in Novembre, the xiijt. yeer of Kyng Henry the Sixt; so that he accomplished noo more of the compyling of this Trayties: on whose soulle God have mercy for his endles passion. Amen. And thanne the Auctor Johan Hyll dyed at London in Novembre the xiii th yere of kyng Henry the Sixt so that he accomplished noo mor of ye compylyng of this (p. 383) trayties on whose soulle God have mercy for his endles passion Amen.

Before I had seen a sample of the manuscript, it seemed to me that Black's readings tend to make more sense and use words and phrases which appear in other texts on arming. ffoulkes uses the words corde (paragraph 4) and tunicte (paragraph 6) which are otherwise unknown. Black has reede and tunicle which are common words. ffoulkes' edition is missing two phrases in Black's edition, and ffoulkes' edition of the ordinance on jacks for Franc-Archers is missing phrases which are in the manuscript. The photo of the manuscript confirmed my suspicions!

There is an ongoing discussion of this text on the Armour Archive: Traytese of the Poyntes of Worship in Armes 1434.

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