Proclamation of the Deed of Arms
Six gentlemen make known to all noble men the following matters:
Know that the said gentlemen have taken up an enterprise, for the glory of God and the blessed Virgin, his mother, and my lord Saint George, that good knight.
That is, the day after Christmas, on St. Stephen’s day, the said gentlemen will be found in the lists, armed at all points in harness of war, guarding a barrier with lance in hand to fight against all comers with lance strokes, and afterwards turning to the large end of the spear to fight as well as they can. And afterwards, taking up the single handed sword, they will fight as long as my lords the judges wish them to.
Furthermore, the said gentlemen make known that on the day of St. John the Evangelist they will be found in the lists, guarding the said barrier against all comers who wish to throw the partisan, and afterwards take up the two handed sword, and fight as long as the judges wish them to.
The third day, the day of the holy Innocents, the said gentlemen will, for the honor and reverence of those saints, cease their arms for the day .
The fourth day, the day of St. Thomas, the said gentlemen will be found in the lists, armed at all points, with axe in hand to fight against all comers as long as my lords the judges require…
Account of the Deed of Arms
The said day of my lord St. John the Evangelist, at one in the afternoon, six noble men of the enterprise were in arms, lance in hand, sword by their side, richly accoutered and all in one livery presented themselves before my lords the judges, to provide and accomplish their arms, according the content of the said chapters, offering to perform it. And successively they drew to the barrier, to guard and defend it from the encounter of all comers. And later, were found on the other side of said barrier the twenty-six noblemen named earlier armed at all points, lance in hand and sword by their side; which all together presented themselves before my lords the judges and offered to do their true duty, according to the content of the chapters aforesaid. And the judges sent them to their side and place. Who were all to fight, two against two, with strokes of the lance, turning the large end of the said lance; and afterwards they were to fight with sword in one hand, as long as my lords the judges ordered them to.
That day the following were wounded to the effusion of blood by strokes of the sword: Claude de Vienne in the head, and Claude d’Anglure in the arm. Likewise one of the men of arms of the sustainers, named Jean de Chantrans was carried to the ground by a stroke of the large end of the lance, by Claude de Bussy, lord de Vescles. And beyond that there was given a stroke of the sword on the crest of an armet that opened it to daylight. And also there were ten swords broken. And that was all achieved for that day as I said above.
The following day, the twenty-eighth of the said month, the day of the Innocents, to honor them the said gentlemen of the enterprise ceased their arms for that day…..
The twenty-ninth day of the said month, which was the feast of my lord St. Thomas, the said lord prince of Oranges, together with his companions, armed at all points, with a partisan in hand and in the other a two handed sword, presented themselves before my lords the judges, richly accoutered in one livery offering to accomplish their arms and enterprises as contained in that chapters written earlier.
My lords the judges sent them again to the barrier to guard and defend it from the encounter of all comers, to accomplish their said enterprises, according to the content of their chapters.
And successively, shortly afterwards, twenty-four noble men armed at all points, having a partisan in one hand and the two handed sword as described earlier, presented themselves before the said lords, the judges, in offering to fight the noble men of the enterprise guarding the said barrier, according to the said content of their chapters. Immediately my lords the judges sent them again to the other side of said barrier, commanding them to fight in order, two against two of the enterprise, until everything was achieved for the day. To open the pas two of the enterprise presented themselves: the said lord prince of Oranges, and Jean du Vernoy, having a partisan in one hand and in the other, a two handed sword.
On the other side of the barrier two of the assailants presented themselves: the Lord de Montferrant and Messire Louis de Sugny having likewise a partisan in one hand and the two handed sword as described and at the first sound of the trumpet, they marched each against the other and each one threw a stroke of the partisan and afterwards they fought with the two handed sword as long as it pleased my lords the judges.
Jean Genevois and Jean de Chantrans of the enterprise likewise were found at the barrier to provide and fight against two other assailants having partisan in hand and the two handed sword. And on the other side appeared two other noblemen named Claude de Bussy and Messire Hugues Proudon, having a partisan in hand and in the other a two handed sword as aforesaid and they both fought for as long as the judges commanded.
And afterwards two others of the enterprise, named Jean de Falletans, and in the absence of Claude de Visemau, the lord of Ville-le-Pot, as sustainer for the said Visemau, appeared at the barrier as before. And on the other side, Claude de Bussy and Simon de Champaigne who fought as before. Nor to omit that the said de Falletans of the enterprise fought against the said lord count de Bussy, who was one of those without. And after they had thrown the partisan, they fought with a two handed sword; with which the said count gave such a stroke to de Falletans, on the armet, that he kneeled in the sand.
The said lord prince of Oranges on that day fought personally eight men at arms. And I will not omit that he gave a stroke of the sword on the crest of the armet of Phillipe de Falletans so that he had to take three steps back from the barrier and was unable to fight any more that day. Jean du Vernoy one of the sustainers, fought on that day seven men at arms of the assailants breaking with good strokes one sword at the cross another at the grip and another at the pommel bending its cross.
Jean de Falletans, sustainer on that day, fought five men at arms of the assailants, and broke the pommel of a sword.
And afterwards, Messire de Ville-le-Pot sustainer, for Claude de Visemau fought four men at arms
Jean de Chantrans of the enterprise fought two and did not fight any more, because he was wounded in the hand.
Jean Genevois of the enterprise fought on the said day six men at arms of the assailants.
The said lord de Montferrant, as first of the assailants fought against the said lord prince of Oranges, and gave him a stroke of the partisan in the guard of the knee.
To make a long story short all of the comers fought with the partisan and the two handed sword so that there were many swords broken, and many basinets and armets driven in, guardbraces brought down (avalez*), gauntlets cut and many wounded in the hands to the effusion of blood.
And all was done and accomplished for that day.
* The same word is used in other medieval texts to describe hose rolled down below the knee. If the lace or strap that supported the top of a guardbrace was cut or broken, it would tend to slide down onto the rest of the armharness, and “avalez” would be an apt term for such a failure.
Traicte de la Forme et Devis Comme On Faict les Tourneys, par Olivier de la Marche, Hardouin de la Jaille, Anthoine de la Sale, etc. Bernard Prost, ed. Paris 1878 pp. 244-8