Sunday, March 18, 2012

Rumaindres vs. de Bars (1415)

After these arms were done at Bar le Duc, the aforesaid Sir Alvaro Continge and other Portuguese went to Paris, where they began to perform many arms between the Portuguese and the French. One of these was done in the courtyard of Saint-Pol, one of the lodgings of the king, by a brave and powerful squire of Portugal, named Rumaindres, to meet with a Bourbon knight named Sir Guillaume de Bars. These arms were to be done on foot for a number of strokes; that is to say twelve strokes with the axe, twelve strokes with the sword and twelve strokes with the dagger. They were to do these arms before the king, but Sir Jean de Toresay, seneschal of Poitou, had to serve as judge in the king's place. After the knight and squire were led within their pavilions and all the customary ordinances that are done in such cases were given, the knight and the squire issued out of their pavilions, axes in hand, which were without a spike, with a large hammerhead and a small cutting edge. They approached each other, and struck with the axes against each other, from high to low and without pushing , with such great strength and force that in truth that it seemed that they would break their helmets. And finally they gave each other such great strokes that they were not able to perform the full number; they became entangled and took each other by the arms. Because of this, the seneschal of Poitou had them restrained by the guards and would not allow them to do more with axes. And they retreated into their pavilions since when the arms were accomplished with each weapon they were supposed to retreat.

After doing arms with axes, they came out holding the swords in their hands, these were furnished with very strong and large rondels over the hand. They came together to fight with them, striking one against the other with point and edge with such great force that notwithstanding that the number of the strokes had been accomplished and the baton thrown down to restrain them, the guards, in spite of all their diligence, did not know how to separate them before they made eighteen strokes instead of twelve, so rudely did they fight.

And after they had done these arms with swords and retreated into their pavilions, they issued out with daggers in hand, and with which they met to fight and give the number and more; but that seemed little enough compared to what they had done with axes and swords. And they did the arms which I have told you of and accomplished them to the honor of both parties. Other arms were done on horseback with a Portuguese against a Frenchman before St. Antoine near the Baudet gate, which arms were given and performed for a numbered course of lances.

Jean Le Fèvre, Seigneur de Saint-Rémy Chronique Paris 1876 I. 206-208
Translation copyright Will McLean, 2003

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