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Online lecture

The tournament horse
21st August - 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm

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Please register for this online lecture. A link to join the live event will be included in your confirmation email from Eventbrite.

An introduction to the horse and its equipment at tournament and on parade from the 14th to 16th centuries

Speaker: Eleanor Wilkinson-Keys, Curatorial Assistant, Royal Armouries and doctoral candidate, University of Leeds

Drawing on examples from across medieval and early modern Europe, this talk will examine the horse’s role at tournaments and parades as a physical weapon, a tool for intimidation, and a means of self-publicity.

Eleanor Wilkinson-Keys will give a brief introduction into the importance of the horse at tournaments and parades in Europe from the 14th to 16th centuries. She will discuss how the horse was an integral part of a knight’s identity as a tool to promote and aid his martial ability and place within chivalrous society

Historical and literary documents and examples of horse armour in the collection of the Royal Armouries and elsewhere will be used to illustrate the lecture.

Learn how horses were used at events such as the Smithfield tournament of 1467, involving Anthony Woodville Lord Scales, brother of Edward IV’s queen Elizabeth, and Henry VIII’s tournament at Westminster in 1511. Surviving objects, such as the Burgundian Bard and the horse armour of Waldemar VI, Duke of Anhalt-Koethen reveal how these pieces were used as physical defence and a canvas for symbolism and motif for key individuals like Maximilian I and Henry VIII.

Free event / Donations welcome

This is a free event but we would be grateful for any donations to support our work as guardians of the national collection of arms and armour. As a charity, we rely on your support now more than ever. Donate now