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22nd April 2010

Royal Armouries - 1 of 2 - Battle Royale

Would you tell Henry VIII he is wearing a skirt?
ID Fight Unit members Daniel Tyler-Smith and Ronin Traynor recently hit the museum galleries of the Royal Armouries in Leeds. They met with fellow ID Fight Unit member Angela Clare who works as a historical researcher for the Armouries.

Although the Armouries Tournament Gallery is currently under re-development, they were allowed a close encounter with several objects usually behind glass. These included the sporting armours of Henry VIII as well as the iconic horned helmet (the logo of the Royal Armouries) and horse armour, both of which were gifted from Maximilian I.

The two sporting armours were made for Henry VIII to compete in ‘The Field of Cloth of Gold’ in 1520, in which the young athletic Henry took part in foot combat and jousting as well as a spot of archery and wrestling. His tonlet armour consists of a wide metal skirt to protect the lower half of the body. It may look like a skirt (and that’s because it is) but it provided excellent protection combined with freedom of movement.

Henry’s armour and that of his horses will be back on view to the public in the near future.

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