Monday, 3 July 2017

When did pikemen stop wearing armour?

This is a question that I am now pondering.  It's a difficult one to come to any conclusion as armour could be stored and not used. Anybody got any ideas?


Benjamin of Wight said...

I suppose one of the problems is that officer portraits still had armour as a classical reference, even if not used in the field. (as long as we don't go down the "when was the Pike last used in the British Army" route...)

Big Andy said...

Not nearly as much of it was worn in the ECW as some think. - It did come back into service with the tiny Charles II army. BUTJames II army do not seem to have bothered. In France the Swiss seem to have been the last to wear it in action and this may have been as late as 1690-1700
Pikes are of course another matter.... though not by much

Eirexit said...

In the Osprey book "Louis XIV's army", it says the French pikemen under that kind wore a steel breastplate but no other armour. I think it also says that the armour was dropped by the end of the century though. I also saw an engraving from 1690 showing a Swiss pikeman in French service wearing a cuirass with tassets (hip guards), and it says that by this time, only the Swiss regiments had that much armour. In the book, the Regiment de Douglas has a Burgonet helmet around 1663 or 1667 and a cuirass. Apparently the Gardes Francaise was the first regiment to abandon the pike, around 1693, but the final end of the pikeman in France wasnt until 1702-3 and by then only Swiss units carried them still.

Eirexit said...

Also the English are supposed to have abandoned pike armour by 1673 according to another Osprey book.