Higgins Armory Museum
The 7th grade students at Rye Jr. High went to the Higgins Armory Museum in Worcester, Ma on Friday April 9th. The Museum was put together by Mr. Higgins who went over to Europe and brought back many artifacts from the Middle Ages. He opened a museum to display the artifacts. At the Museum we saw many examples from the past, including suits of armor, weapons, and various items from the Middle Ages. There are three different types of armor; Combat, Tournament and Parade. As you read on, you will learn about the three different major periods of armor.
The first major period of armor was Combat. Most knights had a full suit of armor to protect themselves from the enemy. The suit of armor was made up of over 200 pieces of steel plate, put together. The combat armor was very flexible but very heavy. The suit could weigh up to 60 pounds, not including the weapons. A knight could see very well out of the helmet. In the suit, a knight could move at his joints without any skin or body parts exposed. If a knight was struck and fell off his horse, he could easily remount his horse and keep going.
The second major period of armor was Tournament. This type of armor was made for competitions where people were fighting for fun or entertainment. The tournament armor was not very flexible and the person inside the armor could not see out of the helmet very well. This armor was also extremely heavy to wear. Tournament armor was designed to protect the person from getting impaled by a lance while Jousting or fighting on foot with swords. The most common injuries caused by Jousting were not from being hit by a lance or being thrown off your horse, they were from the lance breaking and splintering.
The third major period of armor was Parade or Decorative. This type of armor was made for rich people to show off how wealthy they were. They also had suits inside their house on display, that no one wore, just to show of how rich they were. Armor was very expensive and not many people could afford it. The rich would wear the armor in parades, court events and ceremonies. The wealthy people could have etchings on their armor, the etchings could be anything the person wanted to make their suit more expensive and fancy. The suit provided little protection and a person could not defend himself in it.
At the museum we saw a lot and learned many new facts about the Middle Ages. It was interesting to see all the different types of armor and who wore them. It was also cool to see the artifacts from the Middle Ages that were not replicas.