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A corslet is defined by the Oxford English Dictionary as "a piece of defensive armour covering the body." In Ancient Greek armies, the 'hoplite', or heavy infantryman, wore a bronze corslet or known as the thorax (or a linen version known as the linothorax) to protect his upper body. The corslet consisted of two plates connected on the sides via hinges and bronze pins. By the 16th century, the corslet, also spelled corselet, was popular as a light-half-armour for general military use, e.g., by town guards. It was made up of a gorget, breast covering, back and tassets, full arms and gauntlets.
The word 'corslet' was adopted as a so-called 'occupational surname,' later altered to Coslett, Cosslett, Coslet, etc., following the arrival of an expert in the manufacture of osmond iron, Corslet Tinkhaus, to Wales from his native Westphalia in 1567.
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