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A Flemish view of Welsh soldiering

A Flemish observer wrote of Welsh soldiers, in around 1300:

Edward, King of England, came to Flanders. He brought with him many soldiers from the land of Wales.In the very depth of winter they were running about bare-legged. They wore a red robe. They could not have been warm. The money they received from the King was spent in milk and butter. They would eat and drink anywhere. I never saw them wearing armour. I studied them very closely, and walked among them to find out what defensive armour they carried when going into battle. Their weapons were bows, arrows and swords. They also had javelins. (Lodowyk van Velthem, Spiegel Historiaal, Book IV, c. 5 (ed. Le Long, 1725).

This image of a Welsh archer dates from the 1280s. Like the lanceman on this page, it is a pictogram. This Welsh archer was chosen for a pictogram as being - for the crown servants who used it - typical of Wales. His bare legs and lack of armour are clearly seen.

Catalogue reference: E 36/274 (date: c.1282-92)

A Flemish view of Welsh soldiering. Cat ref: E 36/274
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