The Assize of Arms AaA Publishing 2001
16 pages + covers saddle stitched - 8" x 5 1/4"
The Assize of Arms of 1181 was a proclamation of King Henry II of England concerning the obligation of all freemen of England to possess and bear arms in the service of king and realm and to swear allegiance to the king, on pain of "vengeance, not merely on their lands or chattels, but on their limbs." The assize stipulated precisely the military equipment that each man should have according to his rank and wealth. The assize effectively revived the old Anglo‐Saxon fyrd duty. The Assize established restrictions on weapon ownership by Jews, terms of inheritance, and prohibition of exports of arms, ships and timber.
"Every knight was forced to arm himself with coat of mail, and shield and lance; every freeholder with lance and hauberk, every burgess and poorer freeman with lance and iron helmet. This universal levy of the armed nation was wholly at the disposal of the king for the purposes of defence." “By his Assize of Arms Henry restored the Ancient Anglo-Saxon Militia System, and supplied the requisite counterbalance to the military power of the great feudatories, which, notwithstanding the temptation to avoid service by payment of scutage, they were still able and too willing to maintain. ”—-( Early Plantagenets) “ In all these measures (Assize of Arms, &c.) we may trace one main object, the strengthening of the Royal power, and one main means, or directing principle—the doing so by increasing the safety and security of the people. Whatever was done to help the people, served to reduce the power of the great feudal baronage, to disarm their forces, to abolish their jurisdictions, to diminish their chances of tyranny.”