Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Alvaro Continge vs. Clugnet de Brabant 1415

In the month of April, 1415, two knights did arms before the Duke of Bar at Bar le Duc, one named Alvaro Continge of the realm of Portugal, the other a Frenchman, Sir Clugnet de Brabant. On the day of their arms they were well accompanied by knights, squires and many others. The two knights were to fight with thrown lance, axe, sword and dagger. And when they had reached the hour to meet, the weapons examined and measured and the cries, warnings and ceremonies accomplished, Sir Clugnet issued from his pavilion, holding his lance in his hand and garnished with his other weapons. They could see that to perform his arms he had his visor raised so that he might throw his lance more easily. Sir Clugnet advanced quickly against his man, and sought him near his pavilion, and hastened so near to the Portuguese that he did not have space to throw his lance. And so Sir Clugnet let fall his own, and they came together to fight with axes. Sir Clugnet at first stepped back to close his visor, and they had only struck two or three blows and no more when the Duke of Bar threw down his baton and they were separated with honor on both sides.

Jean Le FĂ©vre, Seigneur de Saint-Remy Chronique Paris 1876 I. 205-206
Translation copyright 2006 Will McLean

3 comments:

Retired Tourneyer said...

Wouldn't a Brabanter have been insulted to hear himself called a Frenchman in 1415?

Wouldn't you be furious if you went to a Pas and only threw two or three blows?

This is an odd one.

Will McLean said...

Dear retired:

I don't think Clugnet (or Clignet, depending on which source you read) would have been insulted to be called French. The term could describe your political affiliation rather than place of birth. And he was probably a long-term resident of France at the time, as he held the office of Admiral of France. He would lead one of the cavalry wings at Agincourt.

It was a short fight, but a lot of them were. Judges knew that the longer they went on the more likely someone was to get killed.

The most important thing was that he got to show his *willingness* to fight. That was a real honor enhancment, even if the fight wasn't completed.

Retired Tourneyer said...

Good answers, thanks.

Good thing Clugnet wasn't a movie star, or he would have cast away his melm entirely, rather than merely lifting the visor so all could view his pretty face.

I used to do the opposite - start the fight with bretache in place, leg my opponent, then step back and lower the bretache. This had two effects: I could see better, and it gave the marshals fits.

-Retired (Sir Colin deBray)