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Weapons and Armour during the Elizabethan Era

English project - 2013

Chloë Boilard

on 8 October 2013

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Transcript of Weapons and Armour during the Elizabethan Era

Weapons and Armour during the Elizabethan Era
A little history
The Medieval Feudal system ended.
Nobles were no longer obliged to provide armed and clothed soldiers that would fight for the queen.
Firearms were introduced which meant: " In the middle of the fourteenth century, however, came an innovation that would change the traditional rules of the "swords-armor" race for supremacy: the Portable weapon" (Blair and Boccia 5).
Bombards where the first large cannon.
They had many drawbacks: lacked range, power and it was very expensive.
Advantage: they created smoke, fire, noise and could scare the defenders into surrender.
Land cannons
Much more useful than Bombards but were seen much more rarely.
Much smaller
Major drawback: like the bombard, very heavy and difficult to transport to the battlefield.
Land cannons

Sea cannons
Much bigger than land cannons
They were classified by the weight of the cannonball that they fired.
5-pounders fired 5 pound cannonball
One major disadvantage: it took a very long time to reload the cannon because the gunner had to swab it with a wet sponge before he reloaded.
If he didn't do that, he risked the cannon exploding when a hot spark came in contact with new gunpowder.
One major disadvantage: it took a very long time to reload the cannon because the gunner had to swab it with a wet sponge before he reloaded.
If he didn't do that, he risked the cannon exploding when a hot spark came in contact with new gunpowder.
Cannon ammunition
Most common type of ammunition(solid iron)
Perfect for long-distance cannon duels
On land, they were used to bowl down large formations of soldiers at once.
At sea or shooting to sea from land, they were heated red-hot, to ignite a fire on board of the ship, once they hit.
It was the most devastating ammunition
Several smaller cannon balls packed into a canister that broke free when fired.
When fired, they scattered and could kill an impressive number of men.
At sea, they were inefficient because they could just hit the ship's hull and bounce of without doing any damage to the ship or crew.
Chain shot
This ammunition consisted of two cannonballs attached together by a metal chain
They would rip through men or if fired high, damage, sails, rigging, masts to stop the enemy ship.
Once stopped, the enemy ship could be boarded and taken as a prize.
There were ________ pieces in an armor.
What constituted an armor ?
Chain mail
Most common form of protection
Excellent protection against swords and slashing attacks
It was very weak when it came to piercing attacks such as swords and spears
It was made of thousands of interlocking chain rings that rarely broke
If the chain was worn alone and was used for protection, the chain would leave a bruise
It is usually worn under plate armor(for those who can afford both)
Leather armor

Different types of armor :
Chain mail
Leather armor
Plate armor
Leather armor
Common and easy to manufacture armor but still provided good protection
Studded with metal rivets (enhancing strength and protection)
Archers and mobile units would use it
Was decent protection while maintaining good movement and agility
Plate armor
Most expensive of armor. Made of multiple layers of interlocking steel plates bound together by leather straps
Armor is capable of deflecting slashing blows with ease and most arrows would simply bounce off or make a little hole
Cross-bows could penetrate the armor but the chain mail would help to stop it further injury

For those who could afford it, chain mail would be worn under plate armor
The disadvantage about plate armor is that it is very expensive and very heavy (difficulty moving)
What were they used for ?
Also used used as decoration in parades or ceremonies
Become very expensive and very elaborate
They were still used in Elizabethan Tournaments
Tournaments was the Knight's favorite sport
It kept them in excellent condition for the role they might need to play if they went to war
Elements of the armor:
Underlayer :
- linen under-shirt,
- under-pants
- wollen stockings
Sabatons-armor for the foot (riveted iron plates on the boots
Aketon-arming doublet
Armor protecting the arms:
-layer of chain mail over the arms
-besagues which were small round shields laced to the mail at the shoulders
Rerebrace covering the upper arm
Vambrace for the defense of the lower arm
Armor protecting the legs:
-greaves for protecting the calf and ankles
-poleyns for protecting the knee cap
-cuisses for protecting the thigh
Chest armour:
-breast plate
-fauld (would protect the hips, abdomen and lower back)
Back protection:
-back plate
Face protection:
-a visor was detachable piece of armor which protected the face and eyes
Hand armor:
-gloves names Gauntlets

Spurs :
-were attached to the heel by a leather strap to spear the horse on
-a robe, with a belt around the waist, was placed over the armor for an identification purpose
-it was decorated with the knight's coat of arms or device
-a dagger or a sword were attached to the knight's belt and a shield was carried in defence displaying the knight's heraldic blazon
Simple design
Many draw backs: in damp or wet weather it was prone to miss fire or the gun powder would be too damp to fire
It was less well made and was prone to hang fire: unexpected delay between the moment that trigger is pulled and the moment when the bullet leaves the gun barrel
It was also prone to simply blow-up in the users' hands
Firearms did not play a significant role on the battle field until the last 15th century
"The one real advantage the musketeers possessed was the intimidation factor which their weapons provided"(Ricketts)
Much better quality than the matchlock
Methods of firing are also very different
It was developed in France in 1612 and was greatly influenced by Marin le Bourgeoys
It was much less expensive than the wheel lock
Blade weapons
Arbalest (cross-bow) : range of 350-400 yards but could only shoot 2 bolts per minute
Basiliard: two-edged long-bladed dagger
Bill: a polearm with a wide cutting blade with occasional spikes and hooks
Caltrop: sharp spike used to maim a horse
Dagger: a short pointy knife
Mace: this weapon is an armor-fighting weapon that was developed as a steel ball on a wooden club that evolved into a spiked steel war club
Pike: long spear measuring 18-20 feet long

Wheel lock
It was a revolutionary system
It was spreading around the 1520'
It was the first self-igniting fire arm so it could be used on horse or while hunting
One drawback is that it was complicated and very expensive to make
Thank you !
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