Deeds of Arms

A Collection of Accounts
of Formal Deeds of Arms of the Fourteenth Century

edited by Steven Muhlberger

Account of the Deed of Arms at St. Inglevert in the Chronographia Regum Francorum, ed. H. Moranville, Paris, 1897 (pp. 97-100)

Translation by Steven Muhlberger.   Translation copyright 2001.

Deeds of Arms Index -- Historical Materials on Knighthood and Chivalry -- KCT Library

Eodem anno, videlicet Mo CCCo octogesimo nono [1390, n.s.], tres milites Karoli regis Francie et de ejus hospicio, scilicet Buchicaudus major qui non multum post fuit marescallus Francie ordinatus, Reginaldus de Roia et ille de Sempeio dominus, factum recitatione dignum viriliter peregerunt.  Nam contra omnes extraneos, videlicet de Anglia, Danemarcia, Almannia, Boemia, Polonia et aliis regionibus et patriis huius Christianitatis, finiente [p. 98] februario, apud Saint Inglevert, domum quorundam religiosorum inter Boloniam supra Mare et Kalesiam sitam, convenientes, ubique ex parte eorum precognizatione predicta facta in regnis et regionibus supradictis per hiraldum ducis Lincestrie, gallice dictum Lincastre, quod erant parati ad sustinendum omnes cujuscumque conditionis, dum tamen essent nobiles, qui ibi ad eos venirent et contra eos spacio xxxa dierum, a prima die mensis marcii, demptis dominicis et festivis diebus, cursus lancearum ferratarum atque aliarum ad rochetos facere vellent, tali conditione quod si quis eorum trium quocumque casu infirmaretur eodem xxx dierum feriatarum spacio perdurante, taliter quod ipse non posset hastiludiare, alii duo debebant de cunctis supervenientibus, in quocumque numero, cursus suos percomplere; quod si duo ex eis infirmarentur, tercius nichillominus ad sustinendum et supervenientibus furniendum (sic) omnes istos cursus lancearum supradictos habebat : hoc adjuncto quod is quis deintus vel a foris forcurreret, equum suum amiteret et si quis contracurrentis sibi equum occideret, tam de ipsis quam de supervenientibus universis equum ad plenum restitueret.

Et ut hii tres firmam haberent noticiam quolibet sero quid in crastino agere deberent, erat quedam spineta in platea ad hastiludiandum apta, pulcra, ramosa et bene ordinata, in quo ordinatum erat pendere duo scuta, unum ad rocetos pro hastiludio pacis, et alium ad ferrum acutum pro hastiludio pacis, et [p. 99] alium ad ferrum acutum pro hastiludio armorum; et quilibet nobilis superveniens ad hanc spinetam et de duobus scutis tangeret quod vellet de quadam virgulta quam ibi reperiebatur parata, et quidam hiraldus inter ramos in summitate spinete positus ibi expectaret ab ortu solis usque occasum et responderet cuilibet tangenti quis, et de qua patria, qui diceret ei nomen suum, patriam et genus, et si nomine et armis ipse esset ingenuus.  Et ille continuo scriberet in suo papiro et semper referet in sero ad suos tres magistros supradictos.

Ad quorum quidem cursus lancearum exercendum et hujusmodi armorum predictorum potentiam pretentandam, infiniti nobiles milites et domicelli diversarum regionum a regno Francie extranei eo in loco convenerunt et maxime Anglici; inter quos ad hastiludiandum contra hos tres Gallicos, sicut et ceteri advenit comes Herbicensis, primogenitus ducis Lincestrensis supradictis, in proximo rex Anglie futurus, ut infra dicetur, qui eis sua largitate, plura et magna donativa dedit.

Sed hii tres milites memorati taliter tanquam potenter et virtuose in hoc faciendo se habuerunt, in nullo deficientes, quo pre aliis quibuscumque supervenientibus extraneis et in armis strenuosis et in conviviis profusioribus ac donis munificencia prefati regis dandis in omni gente et natione tocius Christianitatis nostri laudem importantes recommendati fuerunt et [p. 100] prelibati regni sui gallici honorem et gloriam quamplurimum accumulaverunt.

In that same year, 1389 [n.s. 1390], three knights of King Charles of France, his chamberlains, namely Boucicaut the greater, who not long afterward was appointed marshal of France, Reginald de Roye, and the Lord of Sempy manfully performed a deed worthy of recitation.  For  performed this deed   against all foreigners, from England, Denmark, Germany, Bohemia, Poland and all regions and countries of Christendom who gathered at the end of February at St. Inglevert, a religious house located between Boulogne on the sea and Calais.  These people came from everywhere having news of the upcoming deed through herald of the Duke of Lancaster, who was called in French "Lincastre", namely that the three were prepared to meet everyone of whatever condition, as long as they were nobles, who would come to them over a thirty day period, beginning on the first of March, and excepting Sundays and holy days, and who wished to perform courses with sharp lances or others with blunt ones.  And the following conditions were set forth:   that if any of the three of them for whatever cause should be rendered unable to joust during the thirty days of the festival, the other two would be obligated to fulfill the courses of the rest of the comers, however many there were; and that if two of them were incapable the third nevertheless would have all those courses of the lances aforesaid for withstanding the comers  and fulfilling their courses.   And it was added that he who ran out of bounds, either within or without, should lose his horse; and if anyone killed the horse of his oppoinent, he should give full compensation, either out of his own funds or from that of the comers as a group.

And so that these three should have firm notice, however late, of what they were committed to do on the morrow, there was in an open area  well suited for jousting a certain spruce tree, which was beautiful, branchy and well shaped, in which it was arranged that two shields should hang, one for blunt lances for the joust of peace, and the other for sharp steel for the joust of war; and any noble coming to this spruce tree should touch which of the two shields he wished with a certain wand which he would find ready there, and a certain herald was placed among the branches at the highest point of the spruce tree waiting from sunrise to sunset and he should respond to anyone  touching the shields by asking who he was and from what country, and that one should tell the herald his name, country, and family, and whether he was noble by name or by arms.    And the herald should immediately write this down in his papers and always late in the day to his three masters who were named above.

Indeed a very large number of noble knights and squires from different regions outside of the kingdom of France came together in that place to take part in this jousting and to test the prowess of these men at arms; and especially the English came.   Among them, just like the rest, came the Earl of Derby, the heir of the aforesaid duke of Lancaster, who was soon to be king of England, as will be reported below.   He gave the Frenchmen from his largesse many great gifts.

But these three knights, failing in nothing, so mightily and valorously conducted themselves in this deed,  in which they overcame all the others who came both by their vigor in arms and by their lavish banquest and gifts, through the generosity of the aforesaid king, that they were commended with  praises from abroad and heaped up the highest possible honor and glory for his consecrated Gallic realm.