So Charles Ffoulkes is responsible for the weirdness that is D&D armor. I knew it was screwy already, having a friend who does Real True Historical Re-enactment, but I'm both glad to see that there's an explanation for it beyond, "eh, some daft thing that Gary put in there because he thought it looked cool."
Not that that would have been bad, necessarily. I know some people who are deeply disturbed by the idea that not everything in D&D is 100% historically accurate. The most annoying guy I ever gamed with would go on, at length, about how studded leather armor doesn't make sense, like the mere fact that he knew it wasn't real true medieval armor made him really, really cool.
I've never gotten so worked up about it. I like that D&D is filled with D&D-isms, bizarre little easter eggs that only make sense in the history and context of the game. I like that it has monsters inspired by plastic toys, and spells named after characters that people actually played.
I like that D&D doesn't always make sense.