The Guild of Armourers

Guildmaster: Beorg of Silesia

Motto: cum omnes deficiunt conatur legere mandatis (when everything else fails read the manual)

The Guild of Armourers exists to promote the knowledge of manufacturing techniques, materials and practical considerations of weapons and armour as used by the people of Res Mediæ. We understand that not everybody has got a fully equipped forge in their back garden, and so the requirements, especially for the entry grades, have been lowered to allow everyone to participate. The armouring covers wide variety of techniques and activities and therefore carry the elements of other schools and guilds, particularly Guilds of Leatherworkers and the Carpenters. Contrary to the popular opinion, one does not need to have a vast array of hammers, abundance of steel ingots and an iron smelter on hand (at least not until you strive for the Master) and it is permittable for the lower grades to use some pre-made elements and/or materials. The Guild does require some manual skill and tools though, and while the latter can be borrowed from the guildmaster, the former needs to be obtained through practice. The scope of works include:

  • Armour - and armour pieces. From gauntlets and cuirasses, through faulds, tassets, pauldrons and greaves, to helmets and full suits. Any type, material or form is permitted - as long as it is reasonably historical (practical and modern health & safety implications considered) and falls within the time period covered by the Society.
  • Shields - usually wooden (plywood), both with centre grip and enarmes, flat and domed, with or without boss.
  • Weapons - axes, clubs, iron-shod maces and of course - swords.

Rules of Advancement

Member: To achieve member status to the guild of armourers one must only express an interest in the guild and inform the Guildmaster, preferably in writing, of your wish to join the Guild. (If you have included "Armouring" in your list of interests on the membership form, that is sufficient).

Apprentice: To achieve apprentice level in the guild, the student must produce one piece of basic armour or weaponry, or a shield. Suitable techniques could be using flexible leather or cuirbouille, maille (riveted or butted), sheet steel (cold or hot formed), 'latten', wood, or similar ‘period’ material. Examples of basic pieces of armour might be a simple maille aventail, a pair of spaulders, a pair of splinted greaves, a round centre-grip shield or a similar piece that requires an amount of shaping but no complex joints or engineering. Use of pre-made components - such as bought butted links and ready-made punched scales or lamella - is permitted.

Journeyman: To achieve journeyman status in the guild, the apprentice must - in addition to the piece made eariler - either produce four pieces of armour, weaponry or shields, using at least two different techniques as listed above, or five basic pieces of armour using one technique. For example, a journeyman student could have produced five pieces of cuirbouille armour (ie. complete set) or two pieces of cuirbouille (ie. a pair of  vambraces and a pair of greaves) and two pieces of maille (ie. a coif and a skirt). The pieces need to be functional and appropriate in terms of protection and within the time period covered by the Society (in other words - no, you won't get away with five pairs of leather gloves!). Use of pre-made components - such as ready-made maille links and sheet of rolled steel - is still permitted.

Master: To achieve master status in the guild, the journeyman armourer must - in addition to any work completed before - produce two major pieces of armour and a masterpiece. Suitable major pieces are items like a riveted hauberk, a hundsgugel bascinet with riveted aventail or a fully articulated leg harness.
The masterpiece should be a piece of armour or weaponry produced by an authentic method and to a high standard, utilising decoration in addition to function. This should be presented along with documentation detailing how this piece was created.