Some Knights and Gentlemen of the Duke of Burgundy's Court Hold a Tournament Near to Dijon
During the duke of Burgundy's residence in that duchy several gentlemen of his household, with his permission, and for his amusement, had proclaimed throughout Burgundy, and in other countries, that if there were any men of name desirous of gaining honour and renown by deeds of arms, there were gentlemen, whose names shall be presently declared, who offered to receive and furnish them with arms suitable for the enterprise. The challenges shall likewise be mentioned that were dispersed through divers countries for this purpose, by Sir Pierre de Bauffremont lord of Chargny, who was the chief of the enterprise.
The Challenges for the Tournament and the Names of the Champions
In honour of our Lord, and of his most glorious mother, of my lady Sainte Anne, and of my lord St. George, I, Pierre de Bauffremont lord of Chargny, of Monliet and of Montfort, knight, counsellor and chamberlain, to the most high, most puissant and excellent prince the duke of Burgundy, make known to all princes, barons, knights and esquires, without reproach, with the exception of those of the kingdom of France and of the countries in alliance, or subjects to my said sovereign lord, that for the augmentation and extension of the most noble profession and exercise of arms, my will and intention is, in conjunction with twelve knights, esquires and gentlemen, of four quarterings, whose names follow,-Thibault lord of Rougemont and Mussy, Sir William de Bresremont lord of Sees and of Sonnegnon, William de Brene lord of Mombis and of Gilly, John lord of Valengon, John lord of Rap and of Tirecourt, William de Champdivers lord of Chevigny, John de Chiron lord Rancheineres, Antony de Vaudray, lord of Aille, William de Vaudray lord of Collaon, James de Challant lord of Ainville, Sir Amey lord of Espirey, and John de Chavigny-to guard and defend a pass d'armes, situated on the great road leading from Dijon toward Exonne, at the end of the causeway from the said town of Dijon, at a great tree called the Hermits Tree, in the form and manner following.
"In the first place, two shields (one black besprinkled with tears of gold,--the other violet, having tears of sable), shall be suspended on the tree of the Hermit, and all those, who shall, by a king at arms or pursuivant, touch the first shield, shall be bounden to perform twelve courses on horseback with me, or with one of my aforesaid knights or esquires, with blunted lances.-- Item, if either of the champions, during their twelve courses, be unhorsed by a direct blow with the lance on his armour, such person, thus unhorsed, shall present to his adversary a diamond of whatever value he please.-- Item, the champions may arm themselves according to their pleasure, double or single, but without any wicked intentions, having their rest similar to the usual custom in war.-- Item, each person shall make provision of lances,-- but the rondelle, which lies on the hands, shall be only four fingers broad, and no more.-Item, the lances shall be all of similar length, from the point to the rest.-- Item, for the accomplishment of these feats of arms on horseback, I will supply all who may come without lances, precisely like to my own and to those of my companions.--- Item, these deeds of arms on horseback shall be performed a la toille which shall be six feet high."
Here Follow the Articles for the Deeds of Arms on Foot
"Those princes, barons, knights, and esquires, of the rank before-mentioned, who shall rather take their pleasure in performing feats of arms on foot, shall touch the violet shield, and shall perform fifteen courses with battles-axes or swords, as may be most agreeable to them."
"Item, if, during these courses, any champion shall touch the ground with his hand or knees, he shall be bounden to present his adversary with a ruby of whatever value he please.- Item, each champion shall be armed with the accustomed armour for combating in lists- Item, should any person be unprovided with battle-axe or sword, I will furnish him with the same, similar to my own or to those of my companions. These axes and swords are not to have anything extraordinary in their make, but such as are usual in these kind of combats."
"Item, he that shall have engaged himself to fight with me, or either of us, and shall throw the other to the ground, the person so thrown shall be obliged to surrender himself a prisoner whithersoever the conqueror shall order him.-- Item, the person thus made prisoner shall pay for his immediate ransom, to whomsoever the conqueror shall direct, any sum above five hundred crowns."
"Item, foreigners need not seek for particulars from me, or from my companions; for they will find persons ready to deliver such at the usual hours and places.-- Item, no stranger will be permitted to enter the lists with me or with any one of my companions, for more than one course at arms, namely, once on horseback and once on foot,-- and no one can require more of any of us during the present undertaking."
"Item, the aforesaid feats of arms, on Horseback and on foot, shall be performed on the following days: those on horseback on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays,-those on foot, Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays.-- Item, this pass d'armes shall commence on the first day of July, in the year 1443, and shall last forty days, exclusive of feast days and Sundays, and the feasts commanded to be kept by the court of Rome."
"Item, no prince, baron, knight, or esquire, shall pass within a quarter of a league of the spot assigned for these combats without entering the lists and taking part, or otherwise leaving as pledges his sword or spurs, according, to his pleasure."
"Item, for the accomplishment of these feats of arms, as well on horseback as on foot, to the articles above specified, I have most humbly supplicated and entreated my aforesaid sovereign lord, that he would grant me his licence and permission to perform them, he has most benignantly assented to. He has likewise most graciously appointed, as judge of the lists, that puissant prince and my most redoubled lord the count of Nevers and of Rethel, --and, in his absence, the lord marshal count of Fribourg and of Neufchatel."
"In order that this my intention of performing these deeds of arms in the manner before specified may be men fully declared, I have affixed my seal to these presents, and signed with my own hand, this 8th day of March, in the year 1442."
"Item, I beseech all princes, barons, knights, and esquires, not to construe this my intention as proceeding from any presumption on my part; for my sole motive is to exalt the noble profession of arms, and to extend the exercise of it,- and also to make acquaintance by arms with such renowned and valiant princes and nobles as may be pleased to honour me with their company. -- Item, all noble foreigners shall have sure and loyal passports from my aforesaid sovereign lord, or, in his absence, from his marshal,"
From: Monstrelet, Enguerrand de, The Chronicles of Enguerrand de Monstrelet. trans.
Thomas Johnes, two vols., (London, 1877), Book II, Chapter cclxix-cclxxi
Monstrelet's Chronicle began where Froissart's ended, in 1400, and he carried it up through the year 1444. He died in 1453, and continuations by other hands brought the Chronicle up to 1516. While less lively and anecdotal than Froissart, he does not seem to have shared Froissart's apparent willingness to freely invent plausible details as needed. His work is probably a better record of what is known of the events he records, even if it is less engaging as literature or as a record of contemporary customs, manners, and daily life. He leave us with a number of valuable accounts of chivalric deeds of arms.
Thomas Johnes' 1877 translation is neither lively nor particularly accurate, but, as for Froissart, at this writing it remains the only complete English translation. Spelling of the Johnes translation has been standardized on modern American English.