GABARDINE: A long, loose overcoat with hanging sleeves, worn by both sexes and of all classes.

GAEL: A name given to Celtic inhabitants of Scotland, Ireland, and the Isle of Mann.
Galligaskins (also Slops): Wide, loose breeches.

GAMBESON: Quilted linen jacket stuffed with flax or rags, worn as a body defense by infantry and over the hauberk by poor knights and sergeants.

GAMBOISED: A padded defense made of linen, flax or other fabric, sometimes reinforced and studded. Gamboised cuisses were often worn as an early addition to mail chausses during the late 13th and early 14th centuries.

GARDEROBE: A small latrine or toilet built into the thickness of a castle's wall.

GARRETT: A room within the roof of a house, an attic.

GARTH: Small piece of enclosed land next to a house, often a garden.

GATLINGS: Small joint defense on a finger gauntlet, usually attached to a leather or canvas base by sewing or by rivets.

GARDE-CORPS: A 14th-century garment which evolved from the surcoat, which was either sleeveless or had elbow-length wide sleeves.

GAUNTLET: 1. A medieval glove, usually of leather covered with metal plates, worn to protect the hand from injury in combat. 2. A long glove with a flaring cuff covering the lower part of the arm.

GILDED: Covered with a thin layer of gold-leaf.

GORGET: 1. Piece of plate armour protecting the neck. 2. Plate defense covering the throat, meeting the breastplate at the shoulders and chest.

GREAVES: Defense for the lower leg, usually made of plate.

GUIGE: The strap affixed to the back of the shield by which a shield could be carried over the shoulder.

GUILD: Trade associations formed to protect members from the competition of foreign merchants and to maintain commercial standards. Guild apprentices served a master for five to seven years, before becoming a journeyman at about age 19. Journeymen worked in the shop of a master until they could demonstrate that they were ready for master status. Guild members were forbidden to compete with each other, and merchants were required to sell at a just price.

GULES: The heraldic color (tincture) of red.


HALASAN: Sword with a cylindrical hilt made of horn and no guard.

HALBERD: Axe-headed polearm, usually with a rear and top spike.

HALF-TIMBER: The common form of medieval construction in which walls were made of a wood frame structure, filled with wattle and daub.

HANSEATIC LEAGUE: An association of merchants and towns in northern Germany.

HAUBERK: 1. Mail coat. 2. Armour of chain mail in the shape of a tunic to protect the body. 3. Mail shirt covering the body as far as the knees, the arms ending in mittens, and with a hood for the head.

HEATER-SHIELD: Semi-cylindrical shield with a flat top edge.

HERIOT: A payment which a feudal lord could claim from the possessions of a dead serf or other tenant; essentially a death tax. Generally, however, if a tenant died in battle, the heriot was forgiven.

HIDE: A unit of measurement for assessment of tax, approximately 120 acres (although it may have varied between 60 and 240 acres), or the amount of land that could be cultivated by an eight-ox plow in one year.

HOARDING: A temporary wooden balcony suspended from the tops of walls and towers and erected before a battle, from which missiles and arrows could be dropped or fired.

HOMAGE: The ceremony by which a vassal pledged fealty to his liege and acknowledged all of his other feudal obligations, in return for a grant of land.

HONOR: A holding, or group of holdings, forming a large estate, such as the land held by an Earl.

HOUPELANDE: A garment common to nobility during end of the 14th century; characterized by long flowing sleeves, sometimes dagged in many interesting patterns. Often worn as court attire and later adopted in place of the surcoat, particularly in Germany during the late 14th century.

HOWDEN: A college of secular priests.

HUE AND CRY: The requirement of all members of a village to pursue a criminal with horn and voice.



IMPALED: In heraldy, describes a shield divided per "pale" to incorporate the arms of two different families, side by side.

INTERDICT: The ecclesiastical banning of all sacraments-except for baptism and extreme unction and for sacrements performed on high feast days. Interdicts were enforced to force persons, institutions, a community, or a secular lord to accept a view dictated by the Church or Pope.



JACK: 1. Defensive leather coat, either of several layers or quilted, often reinforced with metal studs or small plates. 2. Canvas or leather jacket reinforced by metal or horn plates stitched between the layers of material.

JERKIN: 1. A short, close-fitting coat or jacket, often sleeveless, worn in the 16th and 17th centuries. 2. A short, sleeveless vest worn by women and girls.

JONGLEUR: French wandering minstrels (which included musicians, acrobats, jugglers, and clowns), usually from the lower class, who entertained with tales of epic battles and heroes.

JUS PRIMAE NOCTIS (First Night): The right by which a lord could sleep with the bride of a newly married serf on the first night of their marriage, although the custom could be avoided by the payment of a fine.

JUPON: A tightly fitted garment resembling a leather tunic worn over armor (particulary chain mail) in the 14th century, often blazoned with one's coat-of-arms.

JUSTICIAR: The head of the royal judicial system and the king's viceroy, when the actual viceroy was absent from the country.


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