Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Infantry at the Battle of Chesterfield

The figure on which this man is based is described as a Londoner in the manuscript where he appears, but he is typical of the sort of man who would be recruited by any medieval army in large numbers. He is equipped with a metal helmet, padded inside with wool and leather and with a kite-shaped shield that covers him from shoulder to knee. His main weapon is a short thrusting spear and he would have had a heavy knife or small hatchet tucked into his belt as a reserve weapon. In action these men formed up shoulder to shoulder with their shields overlapping to form a solid wall of shields facing the enemy. Spears were usually held overarm and thrust forward and down over the shield at the enemy. Whether a unit of such men would be able to carry out any of the more sophisticated battle tactics of this period would depend on their level of training. As a rule town militia were better trained than rural militia, but not so good as mercenaries.

from "The Battle of Chesterfield" by Rupert Matthews.
Buy your copy HERE

A book dedicated to the Battle of Chesterfield that ended the Baronial Wars of King Henry III against Simon de Montfort. After Simon de Montfort's death at the Battle of Evesham in 1265, his supporters rallied in Derbyshire. Sending messages to other reformers to rally to their cause the rebels were expecting help from the King of France, but it was Prince Edward (later King EdwardI) who got there first with a royal army. The resulting battle began in the fields south of the town, but moved into the streets of the town and ended in the churchyard where the last rebels surrendered. This book follows the standard pattern set by others in the Bretwalda Battles series. The reasons for and course of the war in question are outlined, then detailed analyses of weapons, tactics and strategies are given with particular reference to this battle. The course of the battleis then followed, with comment on what there is to see at the site today. Short biographies of the commanders are also given. The aftermath of the battle, its effects and importance to the progress of the war are then described. The "Bretwalda Battles" series has been running with increasing success as ebooks for some time. Now the first books in the series are being published in print format.

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