Deeds of Arms

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

edited by Steven Muhlberger

Excerpts from The Brut or The Chronicles of England, ed. Friedrich W.D. Brie (London, 1906), pp. 343-4, 348.

Translation by Steven Muhlberger.  Translation copyright 2001.

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

p. 343-4

[1388; but this is the same tournament found in Froissart dated to 1390, which seems to be correct]

    In þis forsaide parliament, and þe xij 3ere of King Richarade3 regne, he let crye and ordeyne generalle Iusti3e, þat is called a turnement, of lorde3, kny3tis and skquiers.  And þese Iustes & turnement were holden at London in Smithfelde, for alle maner of strayngers, of what londe & cunctre þei were, and þidir þei were ri3t welcome; and to hem and to alle oþer was holden opon housholde and grete ffestis; and also grete yftis were yeue to all maner of straungers.   And þay of the kinges syde were alle of on sute: her cotis, her armyour, schelde3, & her hors & trapure, alle was white hertis, with crowne3 about her nekkis, and cheyne3 of golde hagnyng þere vp-on, and þe croune hangyng lowe before þe hertis body; þe which hert was þe kingi3 lyveray þat he yaf to lorde3 & ladie3, kny3tis and skquiers, for to know his housholde from oþer peple.  And at þis first comyng to her Justes, xxiiij ladie3 ladde þese xxiiij lorde3 of þe Garther with cheynes of goolde, and alle yn þe same sute of hertis as is afore sayde, from þe Tour on hors bak þrou3 the cite of London yn-to Smythfelde, þere þe Iustes schulde be do. And þis fest and Iustes was holde general, and to all þo þat woulde come, of what land or nacion þat euyr he were; and þis was holde duryng xxiiij daye3, of of the kinge3 owne cost; and þese xxiiij lorde3 to answere to alle maner of pepil þat woulde come þidir.  And þedir come þe Erle of seint Poule of Fraunce, and mony oþer worthi kny3tes with hym of divers parteys, fful welle arayed.  And out of Holand and Henaude come þe Lorde Ostrenaunde, þat was þe Duke3 sone of Holande, & mony oþer worthi kny3tes with hym, bothe of Holand and Henaude fulle welle arayede.  And whenne þese feste and Iustes was do and endid, þe King þanked þese st[r]ayngers and yaf ham mony grete yeftis; and and þanne þei token hir leue of þe King & of oþer lorde3 and ladie3, and went hom ayen yn-to her owne countre, with grete love and & moche þanke.

[1388; correctly, 1390]

In this aforesaid parliament, in the twelfth year of King Richard's reign, he had cried and proclaimed general jousts, what is usually called a tournament, of lords, knights and squires.   And these jousts or tournament were held in London at Smithfield, for all manner of foreigners, whatever land or country  they might come from, and they were made very welcome; and for them and everyone else it was open house, and there were great feasts held.  And also great gifts were given to all manner of foreigners.   And those on the king's side wore a uniform: on their coats, armor, shields, horses and trappings were white harts, with a crowns around their necks, and chains of gold hanging thereupon, and the crown hanging low upon the hart's body.   This hart was the king's livery which he gave to lords and ladies, knights and squires, so his household could be distinguished from other people.  And at the opening of the jousts, twenty-four ladies led twenty-four lords of the Garter with chains of gold, and all were in the same livery of harts described before, leading the lords on horseback from the Tower through the city of London to Smithfield, where the jousts were to be done.  And this feast and joust was open to all who wished to come, of whatever land or nation they might be.  And it was held over twenty-four days, at the king's own cost.   These twenty-four lords requited anyone who wished to come there.   And the Count of St. Pol from France came, and with him many other worthy knights from diverse places, all well arrayed. And out of Holland and Hainault came the Lord of Ostrevant, that was the sone of the Duke of Holland, and many other worthy knights with him, both of Holland and Hainault, well arrayed.  And when these feasts and jousts were accomplished and came to an end, the king thanked these strangers and gave them many great gifts; and then they took their leave of the king and the other lords and ladies, and went home again to their own country, with great love and much gratitude.


And yn þe xvij yere of his regne, certeyne lorde3 of Scotlande com yn-to Englonde to get worschip, as by feet of arme3: þese were þe persons:  þe Erle of Marre, and chalanged the Erle Marchall of Englelonde to Iuste with hym certeyn poynte3 on horsbak with scharpe speris.  And so þai redyn togadir, as ij worthi kny3tis & lordes, certayne cours, but not þe fulle chalange þat þe Scottysche Erle made; for he was cast both hors and man, and ij of his rybbis brokyn with þe falle; and so he was born out of Smythfelde, hom yn to his Inne; and with-ynne a litil while aftir-ward he was caried homwarde yn a liter; & atte York he deied.  And Ser William Darell, kny3t, and banerrer of Scotland, made anoþer chalange with Sire Piers Courteney, kny3t; and þe Kinges banerrer of Engelonde, of certeyne course3 hit on horsbak yn þe same ffelde.  And whanne he hed y rede certeyn cours hit, and saw he my3t not haue the better, yaf it ouyr, and wolde no more of his chalang, and turned his hors and rode hom vnto his owne in.  And one Kocborne, squier, of Scotland, chalanged Sir Nicholl Hawberke, kny3t, of certeyne cours, hit with scharp speris on horsbak; and redyn .v. cours hit togadir; and att every cours þe Scotte was cast doun, both hors and man, and þus our Englisch lorde3 -- þankyd be God ! -- had þe felde.


And in the seventeenth year of his [Richard II's] reign, certain lords of Scotland came to England to win renown through deeds of arms.   And these are the persons:  The Earl of Mar, who challenged the Earl Marshal of England to joust with him certain points on horseback with sharp spears.  And so they rode against each other certain courses, like two worthy knights and lords, but not the full challenge that the Scottish earl made.  For he was cast down, both horse and man, and two of his ribs were broken in the fall; and so he was carried out of Smithfield and home to his inn.  And a little time afterwards he was carried homeward in a litter, and at York he died. And Sir William Darell, knight, and banner-bearer of Scotland, made another challenge with Sir Peter Courteney, knight, and king's banner-bearer of England, to certain courses on horseback on the same field. And when he had ridden certain courses, and saw that he could not win, he gave up, and did not wish to do rest of his challnege, and turned his horse around and rode home to his own inn. And one Kocborne, squire, of Scotland, challenged Sir Nicholas Hawberke, knight, to certain courses with sharp spears on horseback; and rode five courses all together.   And at every course the Scot was cast down, both horse and man, and thus our English lords -- God be thanked! -- had the field.