Sunday, February 26, 2012

Jaques de Lalaing vs. Jean Pientois, 1450

The following Wednesday, which was the 14th day of September, Sir Jacques de Lalaing presented himself for the ninth time in that month, which was the last month of the Pass. And it should not be forgotten that Sir Jacques had already fought eleven times in the field.

On the other side a squire of the duchy of Burgundy presented himself, named Jean Pientois, and the two of them armed themselves in their pavilions. And axes were presented to them because the squire had touched the white shield and had requested 52 strokes with the axe.

With the cries and ceremonies done, the host of the enterprise issued from his pavilion, armed, dressed in the colors of the targe touched, as he had done before. And the host of the enterprise had no armor on his right leg.

On the other side issued the said Jean Pientois, armed appropriately with his coat of arms on his back and his head armed with a salade with a haussecol* of mail, very much like the host of the enterprise. And certainly the squire marched in good array, and the champions were both splendidly equipped.

And they fiercely met there, and the squire tried to strike with the lower point of his axe but the knight beat aside the blow. And there he sought to wound the squire, but he stepped back and beat aside the blow. And so they pursued each other on one side and the other with many blows given and struck with great force and fierceness and all their strength.

When about 30 strokes had been struck with the axe, Sir Jacques released his weapon and took that of his companion and held it so strongly that the squire was unable to make use of it. And Sir Jacques held his own axe close to the head, and struck many blows with the upper spike at the face of his companion, and the squire beat them all aside with his right hand with his gauntlet closed. And he beat aside the assault of the knight very vigorously, and the squire with his closed gauntlet struck with all his force at the face of the knight.

He in turn beat aside those strokes, while with his arm he continued to hold the axe of his companion,

And they continued their battle in this way, until the squire was wounded and bleeding from the point of the axe in his face. And after having fought for a long time they were taken and parted by those that guarded the lists.

Sir Jacques said to the squire “It is not honorable to fight with your fist like a woman". To which the squire responded “If you had not taken my axe I would have fought you with my weapon, and the hands of a man are made to attack and to defend”.

*haussecol: a neck defense that could also cover the face up to the bottom of the lip.

La Marche, Olivier de. 1836.-1839 Les mémoires de Messire Oliver de La Marche: augmentés d'un estat particulier de la maison du duc Charles Le Hardy, composé du mesme auteur. Paris: [s.n.]. 1837 Vol. 3, ch. 22 p. 443 Translation copyright Will McLean 2012

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