Saturday, September 06, 2008

Galiot de Baltasin and Phillipe de Ternant Fight on Foot with Lances, 1446

At three o’clock, the lord de Ternant left his pavilion, his coat of arms on his back, a bassinet on his head with the visor closed. And he made a great cross with his right hand, and the Count of Saint Pol gave him his lance, which he took in both hands. He held the butt in his right palm and held the lance at the balance point with his left hand, and held it more straight than couched, and marched coolly with heavy and assured steps, and he certainly seemed like a knight that would be difficult to encounter.

On the other side Galiot de Baltasin left his tent, dressed in his coat of arms with a bassinet on his head and a closed visor. After he made a sign with his bannerole the Count of Estempes gave him his lance, which he took and carried in the ordinary fashion in which one carries a lance to push.

The squire made a fine appearance, and as soon as he gripped the lance he began to shake it and handle it as though it was nothing more than an arrow. He made one or two leaps in the air, quickly and lightly, so that one could see that the harness and clothing did not hinder him at all, and on his side he came most vigorously to the encounter.

And they came to meet each other with a push of the lance, so harshly that the stroke from Galiot broke the point of his lance, a good half finger width, and lord de Ternant hit Galiot on the edge of his bassinet, and broke clear through it. The lord de Ternant took a step in completing the blow, and as he gave the blow he drove his foot nearly a foot deep into the sand. When the blow was struck the guards put themselves between them to prevent them from following up, and the kings of arms came, carrying cords marking with the seven paces they should move back to give each push of the lance, as was declared in the chapters as I wrote earlier, and each one marked with knots. Afterwards I asked the officers of arms how the paces were measured. They answered that each pace was taken as two and a half feet, by the measure of the hand of a knight, or at least a gentleman, and that they are measured by the marshal of the lists as required. And so they measured the seven paces on each side, and they moved back according to the measure, and they took new lances, at the choosing of Galiot. They advanced a second time, and both of them hit hard. And they went a third time, and met so hard that the lord de Ternant broke and damaged the point of his lance, and Galiot his at the middle of the haft. And to shorten the tale of these arms, they accomplished the seven pushes of the lance ordained by the chapters, and accomplished them most chivalrously.

Oliver de la Marche, Memories Paris 1884 II. p. 70-72

Translation copyright 2006 Will McLean

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hello. These guys were my direct anscestors, very happy to read this. C de Ternant.