Sunday, July 09, 2006

D’Ollumen vs. de la Haye 1415

…in the same place of Sainthouyne, in the month of February a Portuguese named Diego d’Ollumen did arms, meeting with a Breton named Guillame de la Haye. Their arms were done before the Duke of Guienne; the Portuguese and Breton were taken* as they were fighting without either one of them being defeated (sans oultrance de l’un ne de l’autre)

*i.e., separated by the guards and prevented from fighting further

Jean le Fevre, Seigneur de Saint-Remy Chronique Paris 1876 I. 211
Translation copyright 2006 Will Mclean

These English that were in Paris had with them Portuguese, who had a great willingness to do arms for the love of their ladies. There was also the unspoken issue of the principal quarrel between France and England, as they were allied with the English. There was an engagement between one of the Portuguese and a gentleman of Brittany named Guillaume de la Haye. On the chosen day the parties came together in the field in the presence of the king and the lords of both France and England, and the Portuguese was accompanied by the English. Guillaume de la Haye was advised to do nothing but defend himself. And the arms of the Portuguese were entirely red.

Now the parties came into the field well dressed and armed, with trumpets and minstrels, and each one had a chair. After the herald had cried “Do your duty!” (Faites devoir) they rose, and came against each other, each equipped with lance, axe, sword and dagger. When they neared each other they threw their lances, neither of which hit, and took up their axes.

And the Portuguese came very boldly and joyously, seeking to strike his adversary. But he always put aside his blows, without doing anything else. The fight continued for some time, but he still remained on the defensive as he had been advised. Often the Portuguese lifted his visor, and made signs to the other that he should do likewise. When the fight had continued for some time in this way the Portuguese lifted his visor and Guillaume de la Haye, without lifting his, sought to present the point of his axe to his face. The Portuguese began at once to retreat, but when they saw how it was going they cried “Ho, ho, ho” and went diligently to take them. They say that the Portuguese was very short of breath, and that if de la Haye had wanted to come a little closer he could have thrown him to earth in wrestling, as he was one of the best wrestlers you could find. Then both of them were given honor and good cheer.

Jean Juvenal des Ursins Histoire de Charles VI, Roy de France in Nouvelle Collection des Memoires pour Servir a l’Histoire de France Paris 1836 Vol. 2 p. 503

Translation copyright 2006 Will McLean


Anonymous said...

Now this is interesting:
"Often the Portuguese lifted his visor, and made signs to the other that he should do likewise."

Do you suppose he was attempting a sort of "hold," perhaps to catch his breath, or maybe to taunt the Breton for not attacking?

The contrast between the attacking Portuguese and the defensive Breton is fascinating. Especially as the Breton doesn't seem to have suffered any reproach for it.

Brazilian Dog said...

Thanks for the great episode.