Friday, 17 August 2012

7th Crusade II

One point about the naming of this crusade. You will find some source material (such as the Salles des Croisades) numbering it as the Sixth Crusade. This is due to debate in the past as to whether Frederick II's crusade counted; he was excommunicate at the time and he achieved his aims by the rather unknightly method of negotiation rather than by slaughtering the heathen.

Anyway, more on the participants. This crusade was predominantly French, though the Wikipedia article are a bit off the mark with the reason. Henry III of England was not involved in conflict with de Montfort at this point - relations had been strained but Henry actually stopped de Montfort going on crusade as he wanted him to govern in Gascony. Allowing him to return to Syria could have been a convenient method of getting him out of the way if necessary.

Some English did take part however. The most famous was William II Longespée, son of the 3rd Earl of Salisbury. He is often styled Earl of Salisbury, and claimed the title himself, but his father only had the title by marriage and the younger William's mother still lived. He was not an exile and, according to a letter he sent to the Pope, accepted that the denial of the title to him was in accordance with the law. (See the Wikipedia article). In fact, he was even given an annuity by the king and Henry may have been instrumental in William gaining additional land. See the History of Poole from around page 16 for more detail of this character. The figure on the left of the picture is painted as Longespée.
His standard is borne by a member of the de Vere family. I have used one of the variants of the standard arms with a black engrailed border. The figure on the mail barded horse bears the arms of the de Bohun's. I'm now doubtful that a prominent member of the family carried out his crusading vows but I kept them anyway.
The figures are all Old Glory 15s.

These are also Old Glory 15s - lances have been replaced as those moulded on are rather flimsy.

They are painted as some of the knights from Frankish Romania. In the centre is de la Roche, Duke of Athens (though he was in the 8th, not 7th, crusade). On the right of the picture are the rather plain arms of the decidedly unplain sounding Katzenellenbogen.

More OG15s. The centre arms are those of Ibelin, borne by the Count of Jaffa. There is an interesting passage in Joinville:
"The Count of Jaffa came ashore upon our left, who was cousin-german to the Count of Montbeliart, and of the lineage of Joinville. He it was who made the most noble show at landing; for his galley came up all painted above and below water with his escutcheons, the arms of which are "or with a cross gules patee." He had about three hundred oarsmen in his galley, and each oarsman bore a target with his arms, and to each target was attached a streamer with his arms embossed in gold."
This is one of the few instances I have seen where it shows the rank and file also bearing the arms of their lord.

Finally, some more French knights.
The main reason I have included this is because it shows a mix of Old Glory (right) and Mirliton (left). The two ranges mix very well. The OG shields are slightly smaller. I do have some gripes with the range. They are sold as 3rd crusade whereas they are far more suitable for the mid-13th century though some have an older style helm. They also lack a saddle cloth on either the figure or the horse and there is a ridge underneath which stops them sitting well on the horse.However it was easy enough to make a green stuff saddle cloth and this helped the figures to sit well. I like the full mail bard on some of the horses and there is a wider range of horse pose than Mirliton.


rhingley said...

Great paint job They out my Knights of Christ to shame.

Monty said...

Wonderful heraldry! I'm not sure how you manage to paint so small and straight!

Willie Anderson said...

Great work on my all time fav era!

Unlucky General said...

Good to see you blogging once more and with articles like yours I can see why you take so long. I love what you do with 15's.

Hendrid said...

A good and interesting read. Great looking 15mm's as well.