HIGHLAND WARRIOR, 14th-15th CENTURIES
An extract from Armies of the Middle Ages, volume 1
by Ian Heath
27. HIGHLAND WARRIOR, 14th-15th CENTURIES
[Based on The Effigy of Bricius MacFingone, Iona, 14th century]
This figure, depicting Bricius MacFingone, a MacKinnon chieftain,
is taken from one of a large number of such tomb effigies dating between about 1350-1550
that are to be found scattered throughout West Highland churchyards.
All show virtually identical equipment, comprising a bascinet with a deep mail coif and a quilted aketon,
with occasional items of plate armour such as couters, or the greaves and poleyns apparently worn by this figure.
A source of 1521 describes the aketon as 'a linen garment manifoldly sewed and painted or daubed with pitch (for waterproofing),
with a covering of deerskin.'
Most are depicted armed with spear and sword, but occasionally an axe appears in place of the spear.
The swords are single-handed weapons girded at the waist rather than 2-handed claymores,
which only first appeared in the late-15th or early-16th century.
The characteristic hilt of the Highland sword can be seen here, comprising lobated pommel,
sharply downward-angled quillons, and short tongues or langets.
Next: 28. IRISH KERN, 14th-15th CENTURIES in Armies of the Middle Ages, Volume 1 by Ian Heath