Browse Categories
Revival Clothing

The Military Orders
Part Two: The Hospitallers

Although the Knights Templar was the first and most famous of the military orders, much of their fame today is tied to their dramatic fall. But the ultimately most successful and important of the military orders was the Templars' great rival, theSovereign Military Hospital and Order of St. John of Jerusalem, or the Knights Hospitaller.


The Order's precise origins have been obscured in legend and romance, but precede both monastic knighthood and the Crusades. All accounts name the founder as one Gerald or Gerard Tum (also referred to as Tune, Tenque or Thom). Gerard was likely born at Amalfi around 1040, and had come to Jerusalem with a merchant caravan sometime prior to the First Crusade. This is where accounts begin to differ. In some, Gerard was a merchant, in others, a soldier. Some claim that he chose to remain in Jerusalem, and assumed the management of an Amalfian hospice within the pilgrim's quarters of the city. This hospice was staffed by Benedictines and dedicated to St. John of Alexandria. But other accounts say that he built a new hospice and infirmary just outside the Holy Sepulchre, and dedicated it to St. John the Baptist. Regardless, his title as founder is attested to by a contemporary official document, the Bull of Paschal II of 1113, referring to him as the founder of a hospice of St John the Baptist. This was renewed and confirmed by Calixtus II shortly before Gerard's death in 1120.

Gerard Tum, founder of the
Hospitallers, from an 18th c engraving.

However Gerard's hospice came into being, it flourished with the establishment of the Kingdom of Jerusalem in 1099. Grateful pilgrims bequeathed the hospice with territory and on-going sources of revenue, enabling Gerard's successor, Raymond of Provence (1120-60), to build newer, larger buildings around the church of the Holy Sepulchre. He also shifted the focus from travelers' hospice to hospital. Strictly speaking, therefore, the Hospitallers of Jerusalem began with Raymond of Provence. Raymond wrote the Order's Rule, based on that of the Augustians, which established the Order's first goal as the permanent maintenance of a hospital, staffed at its expense with five physicians and three surgeons, with the monastic brothers serving as attendants and administrators. There was no mention in the Rule about knights or military duties.

As the hospital continued to grow and thrive, Raymond added a second innovation: an armed escort to protect pilgrims. He drew this escort from newly arrived, European knights andturcopoles(light cavalry, recruited from among the natives of mixed blood). Raymond also created the first two military offices: amarshal, to command the knights, and aturcopolier, for the turcopoles, to manage this private army. It is unclear precisely how this military attachment transformed the entire organization into a military order, but it was probably inspired by the growing fame and prominence of the Knights Templar, who has been established in 1119.

The Templar's influence on the growing Order of St. John was obvious. Like the Templars, the Order was exempted from all authority save that of the Pope, paid no tithes and owned its own buildings. Like the Templars, as the Hospital expanded beyond its Jerusalem headquarters, the Order establishedpriories, which were further subdivided intobailiwicks, comprised of multiplecommanderies. Although these commanderies were always established around a hospital, they were also carefully designed as a military instillation. Finally, the Hospitaller knights followed their Templar brethren in adopting a distinctive habit: a white &quote;Maltese&quote; cross on a black surcoat or cloak. In warfare, this mantle might be exchanged for a red surcoat with a white cross.

The Knights of St. John of Jerusalem (c.1090 - 1291)

By the mid-12th century, the Hospitaller knights were clearly considered &quote;military brothers&quote;, co-equal with the infirmarians and subject to the Rule of the Order. Although nothing in the Rule gave precedence to the knights when determining overall leadership, it was perhaps inevitable in a warrior culture that the martial arm would come to dominate the Order's administration. Beginning with Gosbert, the fifth successor to Raymond, all of the Order's grandmasters were knights, and routinely led the knights into battle personally. Nevertheless, the first specific mention of military service was not appended to the Rule until the statutes of the ninth grand master, Alfonso of Portugal (c. 1200). Alfonso made a clear distinction between confrere, secular knights who served for a pre-specified time (usually of one to seven years), and monastic knights, who took the same three vows as the infirmarians. Chaplains, or ordained priests, formed the Order's third division.

By the time the Kingdom of Jerusalem reached its height under Kings Baldwin III, Amalric and Baldwin IV (1160s - 1180s), the Hospitallers had over 140 estates throughout the kingdom, and over ten times that number in Europe. They also built or took command of seven massive strongholds, including the impenetrable Krak des Chevaliers, the most famous and impressive of all the Crusader fortresses. Originally built by the Syrians of Aleppo, during the 1170s the Hospitallers expanded it into the largest fortress in the Holy Land, creating a concentric castle by adding an outer wall three meters thick with seven guard towers eight to ten meters thick, and adding a dry moat and barbican. The fortress held about 50-60 Hospitallers and up to 2,000 turcopoles and foot soldiers. The Order's grandmaster lived in one of the towers.

Krak des Chevalier

The Temple and the Hospital were both military Orders, headquartered in Jerusalem, and with similar, papal dispensations, so it is no surprise that a fierce rivalry developed between them. Unfortunately, this rivalry played its own part in destabilizing the Crusader kingdom. Kings and generals were reliant upon the Orders' combined might, but they also had to navigate the jealousy and competition they felt for one another. On the battlefield, each Order demanded to be given the most perilous posts - the van and rear guard. Of these, the vanguard had the most prestige, so it became impossible for a commander to simply assign one Order to the rear and one to the van without someone taking offence. Peace could only be achieved by having the two Orders alternate who held which position. While this achieved political peace, it added needless complexity to the kingdom's military organization.

After Saladin captured Jerusalem, the Hospitallers only remaining Levantine possessions were in the Principality of Tripoli. They lost these a little over a century later when Acre fell in 1291. Fortunately, as with their rivals of the Temple, the Hospitaller's great wealth and European possessions allowed them to survive the loss of their Asian possessions. Still wealthy, well-armed and well-numbered, the Order retreated to the city of Limassol, on the island Kingdom of Cyprus, where they already had possessions.

A 14h century depiction of the Hospitaller Grandmaster and his knights.

The Knights of Cyprus and Rhodes (1309 - 1522)

Although King Amaury Lusginan had granted the Order a new home, the knights quickly found themselves drawn into the internal politics of the island kingdom. Guillaume de Villaret, the 24th grandmaster of the Order, determined that the only way to protect its autonomy was to acquire a desmesne of its own. He chose the island of Rhodes, which was under Greek Byzantine rule. Guillaume died before further plans could be made, and the conquest of the island passed to his successor and nephew, Fulk de Villaret.

Besieging an island required the knights to transform from a cavalry-based army to a naval power. Fulk proved up to the task, equipping the Order with galley fleets, built on the Venetian model. The attack on Rhodes and its surrounding islands was launched in 1307, and the island capitulated two years later. The Order of St. John had a new home.

Although considered the same Order, the Knights of Rhodes differed in practice from their Jerusalem-based antecedents in many ways. Firstly, the Order was now a temporal principality, with the sole responsibility and authority over its island territories. Secondly, the Order now found itself a naval power, with a unique position between Latin, Greek and Muslim territories. Rather than protecting pilgrim routes, their new role was to patrol seaways; their galleys giving chase to Muslim sea pirates, and in turn praying against Turkish merchant galleys.

The third change was the Order's sudden rise in wealth and numbers with the unforeseen suppression of the Templars in 1312. This required the Order to reorganize yet again, dividing itself into &quote;nations&quote;, priories and commanderies. Each of the eight nations, loosely corresponding to an existing kingdom, was led by one of the eight senior officers of the Order. The grandmaster was elected from these eight officers, and ruled from Rhodes. He had supreme authority, but ruled with a curia regis comprised of both the leaders of the eight nations, and a local &quote;supreme council&quote;. Each nation was subdivided into three priories, and the priories were divided into 656 commanderies.

The Knights of Rhodes used their new wealth to build an impressive navy. Throughout the 14th century, they progressively turned from naval patrol to raiding Levantine coastal cities, targeting the wealthy ports of Egypt, which the Mameluke sultans proved powerless to stop. But in the 15th century a new power arose in the Orient; the Ottoman Turks. With the fall of Constantinople in 1453, the Ottoman Sultan, Mehmet II, decided to turn his attention to the Order, which was now the largest threat to Muslim ships.

The Siege of Rhodes, 1480

The Order found itself waging a defensive war for its survival. After years of skirmishing, in 1480 Mehmet personally led an attack in with 50 ships and 70,000 men which struck at Rhodes itself. Bolstered by reinforcements from France, the Order repulsed the invaders and broke the siege. Their success bought the knights another two generations of military stalemate. But when the Ottomans returned in 1522, the new Sultan, Suleiman II, determined to overwhelm them with sheer numbers. Rhodes was besieged by a fleet of 400 ships and an army of 100,000 - 140,000 men. Against this horde, Grandmaster Pierre d'Aubusson had a force of 7,000 men. Only the Venetian garrison at Crete answered his call for aid. The Knights resisted daily onslaughts for six months. By the end of November, both sides were demoralized, exhausted, and suffering from disease. Suleiman offered the citizens peace, their lives and food if they surrendered, versus a promise of torture, death or slavery for continued resistance. On 22 December the inhabitants of Rhodes accepted Suleiman's terms. The knights were given twelve days to leave the island and allowed to take their weapons and any valuables or religious icons. Native islanders who wished to leave were given a three year passport off of the island, and those who remained were granted a five year exemption from taxation. Finally, the Sultan forbade his troops from desecrating any churches, or converting them into mosques.

On 1 January 1523, the remaining knights and soldiers marched out of the town in full military order, armed and armoured, with banners flying and drums beating. The show of strength belied the reality; the ships they boarded had been leant to them by Suleiman himself. They sailed to Crete, accompanied by several thousand civilians. The second phase of the Order's history had come to an end, but it was about to once more rise like a phoenix.

The Knights of Malta (1530 - 1798)

After the flight to Crete, the leadership of the Order came to Sicily, which was then under Spanish rule. The grandmaster appealed to Charles V to provide his Order with a new home, and was granted the island of Malta, along with the cities of Gozo and Tripoli. In Malta, the knights swiftly built a small fleet of galleys and turned to fighting the Barbary pirates. As nominal vassals of the Spanish king, they proved useful in aiding Charles V in his expeditions against Tunis and Algiers.

The Ottomans were not happy to see the Order resettled, and in 1565 a new expedition was launched against Malta. The island's 700 knights and 8000 soldiers were besieged by an invasion force of about 40,000 men. Initially the siege seemed destined to be a repeat of Rhodes, as the Turks seized half of the island, slaughtered about half of the knights, and destroyed nearly the entire old city. But as the siege dragged on throughout the summer, the tide slowly turned against the Turks, and disease ran rampant through their camp. The siege was broken in September by a relieving Spanish army, thereby giving the Hospitallers the victory. The retreating Turks are said to have left with more than half of their army slain. A new city was built, and named Valette, in memory of the Order's grandmaster who led the island throughout the siege.

While the knights would also gain renown for their aiding of the Venetian fleet at the great naval battle of Lepanto (1571), which decisively broke Ottoman sea power, these were the final great deeds of an Organization which had endured for over half a millennia. After Lepanto, the history of the Knights of Malta becomes nothing more than an endless series of inconclusive raids and naval actions against the pirates of the Barbary Coast. Many charged that the Knights became little more than corsairs themselves, rescuing Christian slaves and selling those captured Turks that were deemed unsuitable to rowing in one of the Order's galleys. Certainly, slaving became one of the largest enterprises in Malta, and both the island and the Order slowly gained a reputation for decadence. In 1581, Grandmaster Jean de la Cassière was the victim of a revolt by his own knights. Their principle demand was enforcement of the vow of celibacy and the expulsion of the concubines and courtesans that were found throughout the capital. Outside of Malta, individual commanderies became increasingly autonomous, the knights carving out small, island fiefs for themselves.

The overall decay of the Order was probably hastened by the Protestant Reformation, as large swathes of the Order's property were confiscated by Protestant nobles, particularly in German-speaking lands. With the Order's power weakened and its prestige badly damaged, even Catholic monarchs began to encroach upon the commanderies, absorbing a territory and recasting it as a monarchical, ceremonial &quote;knightly order&quote;, while keeping the local treasury for themselves.

In the end, Malta did not fall to the cannons of the Turks, but in a bloodless betrayal by its own grandmaster, Count Ferdinand von Hompesch. On 12 June 1798, Napoleon Bonaparte asked for the right to harbor and resupply his ships during his expedition to Egypt. Once inside Valletta, Napoleon turned on his hosts, and von Hompesch immediately surrendered the island and all of the Order's holdings. His defense was the rather hollow argument that the Order's Rule forbade fighting against fellow Christians. Von Hompesh resigned his position and abandoned the island in disgrace, signaling an apparent end to the Knights of St. John.

And yet, the remnants of the Order persisted, rising from the ashes as it had twice before. While over 90% of its holdings had been lost, and there was no grandmaster, individual commanderies persisted, mostly in Eastern Europe, where the Order had found a patron in the Russian Czar. When the Order was summoned to attend the first of the Geneva Conventions (1864) it was recognized as both a military and humanitarian organization, and given an equal seat with the other nations of Europe. This set the stage for Pope Leo XIII to reinstitute the office of the grandmaster in 1879. At that time, the pope also reaffirmed the conditions for admission to the Order: membership in the Catholic faith, nobility of lineage, attainment of full legal age, and a recognized integrity of character. The Knights entered the 20th century with a return to their roots as humanitarians and medical personnel, based out of four commanderies: three in Italy and one in the Czech Republic. In the final years of the 20th century, the Order was allowed to return to the island of Malta, and established its headquarters in the Fort St. Angelo, on the escorts of Valletta.



Brockman, Eric.The two sieges of Rhodes. 1480 - 1522. London 1969.
Nicholson, Helen J.,The Knights Hospitaller, 2001
Peyrefitte, Roger.Knights of Malta, 1968
Pickles, T.Malta 1565: Last Battle of the Crusades; Osprey Campaign Series #50, 1998.
Seward, Desmond,The Monks of War: The military religious orders, 1972.
Tenison, EM.,A Short History of the Order of Saint John of Jerusalem: from its earliest foundation in 1014 to the end of the Great War of 1914 - 1918. 1922

©2008 Revival Clothing

Log In
Shopping Cart
Your cart is empty.

Featured Article:
New Video! How to: Viking Leg Wraps
From Our Customers

LOVED the shoes.  Danced in them all night, no insoles, no problem.  Never been able to do that before with period shoes.

Ottawa, Illinois USA
- More -

I deeply appreciate the Gaston Phebus line.  I wear it frequently (average 2x / wk these days) when pursuing game with longbow, crossbow, spear, javelin and hawk.  I have been wearing elements of the Gaston Phebus line when taking elk, boar, rabbit & squirrel in the last 12 months.  I have recommended the clothing line to a number of fellow medieval hunting enthusiasts.  The Gaston Phebus line has held up to some pretty heavy hunting abuse.  I've been through shoulder high brambles innumerable times that have pulled a few threads, but I remain exceedingly pleased with the performance of the clothing in the field for its intended purpose. Primarily, I wanted you to know how greatly I appreciate the research you put into your products, and the quality of the workmanship.  I regularly put the wool Gaston Phebus full wardrobe through intense field abuse and it has held together better than ANY comparable product I have purchased anywhere in the last 20 years.

All the best,
Richard Swinney

Dear Revival Clothing Last year, you kindly gave me permission to use your models and costumes as references for part of a pastel painting I was working on.  The painting is finally finished, and I thought you might like to see a scan of the end result, which I have titled 'Champion of Warwick'.  I added a few more figures to my original design and I think they have made a nice colourful crowd and added to the atmosphere. I'll be submitting the painting for the annual exhibition of the Society of Equestrian Artists at the Mall Galleries, London, in July, and will also be producing a limited edition of prints of the painting. Many thanks for your kind help.

Mary Herbert
Leicestershire, England

Hi Everybody knows about you guys! You folks are one of the west's authorities on 12th to 15th century garments! You folks are amazing! Customer service extraordinaire! I am telling everyone at knights about you guys! Anyway.....thanks again....we will be doing lots of business together in the future. Cheers!

Cheers Daniel MacMullinAlberta, CA

I received my apron dress yesterday and LOVE LOVE LOVE it!! I will certainly be ordering from you again, and referring my friends as well :)  Thank you for a smooth transaction and a wonderful product. Yay!

Laurie Magen

Just received my order (hat, hose, and belt). Everything arrived quickly and exactly as described. You have proven that it IS possible to combine top notch living history items with modern customer service. Thank you!


I received my low medieval boots on Saturday afternoon and wanted to tell you how thoroughly satisfied I am with them. Finally I have shoes that look terrific with my Fourteenth Century harness and that I am not afraid to fight in. I have already taken them to my local shoe repair shop, where they confirmed that once I wore out the soles, they could easily repair them. The quality of these shoes is everything that I would expect to see from your firm, and I am putting your new riding boots on my Christmas wish list. Thank you for offering this fine product.

Arthur A. Donadio Attorney at Law

I have ordered several items from your online store, and have to say that I have been impressed beyond expectation. The quality of your products and the speed of service make it an absolute joy to bring my business to your door. I heard about you through a friends reference. When I opened your web page, I knew almost instantly that I would be spending quite a bit of money here, and happily so. Thanks for all the great products, and once again, thank your for your strict professionalism. It has been a profound experience to patronize your shop and will recommend you to all my acquaintances.

Jeff Anderson
(SKA Baron Sir Tryggvar Halfdan)

Riverdale, UT

Everything is awesome The 14th century silk ensemble rocks (silk cotte, chauses, and hood; medieval shirt, braes, belt with bars, and belt pouch) -- I think you've hit a very accessible and pleasing balance between price point and workmanship. I've never had a complete outfit medieval outfit before, and this is by no means a bad way to start. Tell Greg he was right -- once you've gone 1300s, it's hard to go back (to the 16th or 21st centuries). I was a little worried about how bright the silk chauses were going to be, based on your photos. I was thrilled with the actual item -- the colors are intense, vivid, but not eye-pokingly bright. The braes + chauses combo is so insanely comfortable, I want to wear it around the house (plus shirt, of course) -- except there's no one for whom to look good and pose. :P The 15th century ensemble is equally awesome (brocade doublet, 15th cen shirt, cotton joined hose, chaperone). The fit of the shirt in particular is really pleasing. I think I look great in it. Had to get a little used to the hose, and still figuring out the crotch + inseam / codpiece and how to get comfortable. I love the chaperone. Ever since Brian (from Darkwood Armory) and Greg each showed me how to wear chaperones and Greg stuck one on my head, I've wanted one. Now I have one, and in an awesome color (burgundy). I could also prance around the house in it, but I'll refrain -- I'll prance around in front of my friends, instead! The fit of the pourpoint is exactly everything I thought it would be -- and it rocks. Can't wait to adapt and point my leg harness to it.

Dakao Do

Here is my Burgundian Nobleman outfit. My reason for choosing your fine products is that you do clothing for the upper classes.

A happy customer,
Michael Bannerman

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Hi, I am in Brisbane Australia and I recently received a pair of your black medieval ankle boots and they are awesome indeed…very comfortable and nicely handcrafted. hank you. And once again “Love the boots”

Russell Sky

Brisbane, Australia

The Pourpoint is the answer for supporting Leg Harness.I have the Revival pourpoint.. and I can say without reservation that it is the best, most comfortable,most stable arrangement for holding up leg harness I have ever used, and I have used them all. In 22 years of armoured combat I have never had a harness more comfortable and high performing than I do now.. all due to the Revival Arming Pourpoint. The key is to have the pourpoint.. **very** tight, the sides of the garment opening should **just** meet when snugged very tight on the hips.. and if you are conventionally shaped this will mean that the garment *won't* meet over the chest. This is the proper fit IMO, ( this has the added benefit of girdling in your extra padding and providing a more svelte profile ) Also you must reinforce the points with leather or fabric patches to ensure the points don't tear out in vigorous combat. The point placement is perfect for me.. and if you are wearing the proper size they should be ok for most. There must be one point over the rotation point of the side of the hip.. right at the insertion of the hip joint. The other point should be at the center point of the leg harness. I strongly endorse this product. Revival clothing has the answer.

Brian McIlmoyle A.I. IMAF
Principal Instructor AEMMA

Toronto, Canada

Hi folks I just wanted to let you all know that the parcel came today....two days before the event! We are so excited and made our day! The courtesy and professionalism shown by you csr's, shipping department and management team, far outshine many companies I have dealt with in the past....I am in awe of you guys! People wonder why I shop online......we'll, they wouldn't if they knew the type of people we meet and become friends with. Many thanks, and everyone in our city will be in fits of envy when they see us fight and feast this weekend. Thank you, thank you, thank you! We will be doing much business in the future, and everyone in our club will be, as well! Cheers

Sir Daniel Wallace MacMullinThd., Esq.
Alberta, Canada

Dear folks at Revival Clothing Awesome! I received my shipment today...on my birthday!  Took less than 3 days...thank you. I'm very happy, I love everything.  Now I'm ready for the Selohar gatherings.  Now I must buy more. Thanks

Todd Sullivan
Sandy Creek, NY

I received the new linen gambeson, and it fits wonderfully. There is no restriction of movement, and it's much lighter then my old cotton gambeson. I absolutely love it. It looks fantastic also! You guys are a true artists.

Have a great day,
Tom Pfister

Des Plaines, Illinois, USA

Hi, I just received your linen gambeson and it fits like a glove and the gloves fit as well. The quality and speed of my order was very impressive. I am extremely satisfied. Thank you all so much.

All the best,
Peter C.

British Columbia, Canada

I received my Linen Gambeson last Friday and I could not be more pleased ... It is a beautiful piece in it`s own right and will function perfectly - it seems to fit like a glove - plenty of room for movement , yet form fitting under the armor - And the sleeves are long enough! Once again I am impressed with your courtesy and professionalism ... Thanks again and all the best for the new year!

Tim Mathews
St. Paul, MN

Saw you guys at Pennsic and was impressed. I love the look of the 14th century and you guys capture it well.

Joe Farley
Alabama, USA

It just arrived today :) All I have to say is, wow, that is a gambeson! It fits perfectly...and it has that solid feel to it that definitely reminds me of the fact that often they were worn as the only armor. Thanks again!

Robert Zamoida
The Historical Martial Study Society
Waldorf, MD

Hi Nicole, I am touched by outpouring of support from so many folks in the WMA community. Thanks so much for your generous donation. It will be much used and appreciated by all of us in our training group here.I will be sure to send you some pictures of us training with your gambesons when they arrive!

Thanks again,
CW3 Jeffrey Larson

82nd Airborne”
Read more about medieval swordsmanship in Afghanistan...

I just wanted to let you know that I received my order and everything is beautiful!  Very nice workmanship and quality of fabrics!  I'll be all set for my trip to the summer faire at Camlann Medieval village.  I already had full wardrobes for renaissance faires and pirate events, but didn't have anything correct for the 1376 setting at Camlann and these pieces will work beautifully.  Thank you so much.

Ragan Zessin

Recently my wife ordered for me the green wool hood/chaperone.  WE both love it.  It fits and looks great!  I am a BIG guy at 6' 5" tall and it looks appropriate.  It was a pleasure to deal to do business with you and we will order again.  I am definitely interested in upcoming 15 century clothing and  I am hoping you will offer them in bigger sizes.(nudge nudge wink wink;) I have attached a pic of me at the Bristol Ren Faire so you can see your work in action. Thanks again,

Randy Cieszynski
Bourbonnais, Illinois, USA

Just a quick word to say a very big thank you for: your very prompt and efficient dispatch of orders, the quality and look of your products, and for being there. After 21 years of 17th/18th century re-enactment in the UK & Europe I wasn't sure how easy it would be to re-equip myself for the mid 14th century out here in New Zealand. You've made it immeasurably easier and it's been a real pleasure doing business with you. I look forward to making further purchases over the coming months & years.

Mark Godwin

I tested my new linen gambeson yesterday in combat. Your design is perfect for sword fighting. The garment provides a good fit, yet provides complete mobility of the shoulders. I also received many compliments on its aesthetic and period qualities. I especially like the breathability of the linen fabric. Thank you for offering such a fine product.

San Francisco, CA

What a brilliant site this is! The hat is actually for my wife - we do intend to go to the biennial medieval fair in Dinan, France and use the hat for its intended purpose. We went 4 years ago and resolved to return but wearing medieval costume.

Tony C.
Rutland, United Kingdom

I purchased a full wardrobe from Revival Clothing and have recieved nothing but praise for my garb. I am new to the SCA and my major concern is chivalric fighting. But my tunic ensemble is great for court and feast and the revelry that generally follows.

Chris B.
Bishop, Texas, USA

The tippets and barbette arrive in record time! I was able to use the barbettes to show a lady who despaired of ever keeping a veil on how to use 2 barbettes (one around the face, and one around at high forehead level) to fasten a veil so it needed no fussing all day long. I got two just for this purpose, as gifts to her. (And, when asked where I got the gown I was wearing, the back laced dark green raw silk, I of course gave y'all the credit. several people piped up that your goods are really first quality. So -- fame to you!) Again, my thanks.

Pat M.
San Diego, CA

Dribbel just received his black ankle boots today and he adores them to the point of being a little creepy! Thanks so much for the speedy service. I was expecting them to arrive later in the week.

Lynn D.
Grand Rapids, MI

The order has arrived and I am impressed by the quality of your goods. The shoes and silk chauses were also of a perfect fit. I have taken the liberty of advising your clothing line to a colleague of mine: Jan Braem, also council member of the Hallebardiers.

Yours Sincerely,
Dr. Stefan Sette
Council Member Hallebardiers

Saint-Michael Guild Bruges since 1444

To all involved at Revival Clothing, I recently purchased a pair of your ankle boots and I'm quite pleased with them. They are comfortable and very well made. I even use them for every day use. In this instance I dislike to use the term "replica" or "reproduction" because they are in fact NOT such things. In the middle ages and the renaissance period, the material used was known to them. The difference being the tools used to make your product and the era of time we are now in. Back then clothing was usually made for the person purchasing the garment and it would not have mattered to the average person of those time periods in how their clothing were made, weather by hand or machine. Hence the Renaissance, then the industrial revolution, to modern day, and beyond. It is good to know that people are still interested in the "old" fashions and not letting them be forgotten.

Leon Majors
Victorville, CA USA

I tested my new linen gambeson yesterday in combat. Your design is perfect for sword fighting. The garment provides a good fit, yet provides complete mobility of the shoulders. I also received many compliments on its aesthetic and period qualities. I especially like the breathability of the linen fabric. Thank you for offering such a fine product.

San Francisco, CA

I just received the linen gambeson and have had a chance to try it on.  Wow.   It’s basically perfect in every way!   It fits really well, and the long sleeves don’t bother me at all, nor do they get in the way of my 15th century gauntlets.  This gambeson has exceptional mobility and it breathes so well I can wear it for quite a while without discomfort.  I’m in love with it.

Mike Edelson
Brooklyn, New York USA

The gambeson is working beautifully. I've practiced and fought in it many times now and I am very impressed with the mobility and comfort of the garment. It's going to be an ideal foundation for my future armour purchases: I plan to build a 13th-14th century harness around it.

Sean Hayes
Maestro d'armi

Northwest Fencing Academy
Eugene, OR

Greetings!  The gambeson just arrived today and it fits really nicely, especially considering that it's "off the rack." Sir Brian's recommendation told me I had found a good choice, and the special sale price helped with my decision too. Thanks!

Steve Gaddis (Master Sir Khaalid, SCA)
Sparks, Nevada, USA

Hello! My package just arrived safely. Am LOVING the dark green bliaut. The color is jaw dropping. First bought one 2 years ago.In case anyone asks, the silk does dye nicely (with professional silk dye - Jacquard brand was used) - turned the teal into a jewel tone blue, with no problems. Thought best to let you know.

Best Regards,
Christina B.

Seattle, WA

Thank you very much for sending my Linen Gambeson. It is an extremely good fit - I'm very impressed and would recommend it to anyone. Also impressed with the rapid service!

Richard Taylor
Walkerburn, Peeblesshire, Great Britain

I've just received my surcoat in the mail today--it is so much better that I expected, and I really expected high-quality stuff, so this is AWESOME. I'm very happy with it; it is really beautifully made and fits me very nicely. Thanks again!

Rivkah M.
US Military Personnel stationed in Naples, Italy

I am just starting in the SCA. Your products are by far the most reasonably priced and authentic looking. The web site is great!

Chris Brook
Henderson, TX

LOVED the shoes.  Danced in them all night, no insoles, no problem.  Never been able to do that before with period shoes.

Ottawa, Illinois USA

Dear Revival Clothing, Thank you for the pleasant conversation earlier. I most certainly will recommend your clothing to our friends. We received many compliments about how well we were attired. In addition the clothing was very comfortable, and the linen makes very comfy pajamas, as they wick away moisture at night. I would have to say that I favor this clothing the most out off the extensive collection of outfits I own. I cannot thank you enough for making us look so good.

Eric and Tabatha Blacksmith
AKA Wolfgang von Bremen and Juliana MacPhearson
Baron and Baroness of Glymm Mere, An Tir

Foundation garments like the gambeson are critical to the comfort and functionality of the complete harness. Particularly in the joust where even minor problems with how the harness fits and functions will affect the rider's ability to function safely and at the best of his or her ability. The Revival Gambeson performed flawlessly.

Callum Forbes
Order of the Boar

Greetings - we always appreciate knowing all is well.  So I want to say my lovely dress arrived Saturday .....  07/07/07

Very happy,
Barbara Fleig

I just received the 12th century prick spurs yesterday.  The prick spurs themselves are so historically accurate it is unbeliveable!  I just wanted to drop you a line of thanks for offering such a great product that no other internet site can match!  Now I know that I will be ready for next years Ren-Faire! The great thing about your website and the products that you offer is that there are few people in the world that deal strictly with Medieval period clothing.  As a knight in training-you have my blessings! Keep up the good work!

Thanks, Erik Fiske
Poughkeepsie, NY USA

Thank you, thank you, thank you! I found my clothes waiting for me when I came home on leave from Afghanistan, and I have to say I was stunned! I can't tell you how fantastic I feel! Everything fits, everything looks superb, and for the first time I'll be going to events in something historically accurate. If anyone reads this, just stop reading and go buy something here! You cannot go wrong! Nothing short of the energy death of the universe will prevent anyone from enjoying these clothes AND getting a good deal in the process!

SGT John Steinke
Company A
3rd Battalion
141st Infantry

I am writing to comment upon my first Pennsic with my new Revival Clothing Gambeson. When I first received the garment, I was concerned that in the heat of Pennsic Battle that I would overheat in such a heavy and thick garment. Being from Canada my friends and me all commented that the gambeson had the weight of a winter coat. Normally not the sorts of things that we wear on a hot August day. I was pleasantly surprised to find that the gambeson was very comfortable at all times that I wore it. It was so comfortable even on a hot day that I wore it after fighting to walk about the merchant area before I showered and dressed for the evening. The best test was on the last Friday of Pennsic. It was the day of field battles and I had to fight in six battles that day. I later learned that the temperature was around 100 F (38 C). I found the garment comfortable and I never noticed its weight in the heat or during my fighting. The garment allowed me a full degree of motion. Truly, it is a wonderful garment. The only problem I did have was removing it from the cuff of the sleeve was sometimes hard due to swelling of my arms from the heat. Fortunately, this was a minor problem.

Andrew Lowry
SCA THL Richard Larmer

Finally a pair of reasonably priced, period appropriate shoes!! Footwear is the hardest thing to find when costuming oneself; it can be very frustrating to have to resort to hiking boots or whatever to finish a costume. I was so happy to open the box from revival and find these very cool shoes that will provide a supreme finishing touch to my costume. By the way, during my presentations to grade four kids, they have asked to see my footwear! Thanks loads!

Katy Gillett

I want to thank you for such prompt service, and tell you how glad I was to find you. I am new to the WMA world, and initially only wanted to find protective garments for use in longsword bouting. I did a thread search on Sword Forum International, and your company was recommended frequently there. As I browsed your site, I was amazed to find that I could not only obtain the protection, but period correct protection! Unfortunately for my woefully thin wallet, my search has now transformed into a quest to eventually outfit both my son and I with period kit. I look forward to a long and fun relationship.

York, PA