Sunday, September 13, 2009

The Lance Bucket

Another brief passage from Cieza's The Discovery and Conquest of Peru p.166

"...the Spaniards attacked them [Indians], mounted on their horses with their lances in hand, not wanting to return them to the lance bucket."

What is most interesting here is that in all my years of reading conquistador accounts I had never come cross the term 'lance bucket' or something similar. Nor had I ever seen a period illustration of such a device for holding ones lance until Napoleonic era cavalry in the late 18th/early19th century. The subject came up about a year ago in the Soldados email discussion group and there seems to be no evidence for their use by the Spanish colonial troops in the 18th C. at all. It is a bit of a curiosity why something apparently so practical didn't get widely adopted and seems to have been lost, only to be rediscovered two centuries later.

While on the subject of lances, and what got me reminded to dig out this passage was, a section of "History's Worst Jobs" hosted by Tony Robinson (Baldric from Blackadder) on the History International channel this morning. Bottomline, it took about two days roughcut, trim, scrape and lathe a lance using hand (and foot powered) tools.

On You Tube:

The Worst Jobs in History - The Royal Age - Part 1

Special bonus a quick lesson on making riveted mail.

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