Reply To: 1360s Doublet Project

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Hans Hellinger

Ruth Matilda Anderson, Hispanic Costume, page 65: Before Pavia the imperial commander asked his men to wear shirts over their other clothing for recognition and lend spare shirts to the Germans. Those without a spare shirt would wear sheets and tent awnings (tiendas) or two sheets of paper made into short cloaks or sambenitillos.

I have read stories about soldiers whose clothes are falling apart over and over in western Europe from the 14th century into the 17th century … kings were keener to hire and deploy soldiers than keep them supplied with food and clothing. That is one reason why so many soldiers turned to robbery and extortion, and why the Swiss were so firm that if the money stopped they were walking.

Converting sums into florins or English pounds would make it easier for other English-speakers to understand the sums you are talking about.

Well the thing is, by the time of Pavia, you had Landsknechten who were intentionally recruited from the poorest serfs in Rural Swabia and other poor areas, and the Spanish were copying this method and recruiting from Estremadura etc. also you never know what kind of conditions mercenaries are going to be in after being in the field a few months, and as we know pay was intermittant. But the paucity of fabric seems a little odd given the habit of Landsknechts to wear 4 or 5 different types of fabric on a given limb, then cut it to reveal another two or three types of (often very expensive) underclothing or lining, specifically so as to show off how ‘textile rich’ they were and that they could flaunt sumptuary laws.