Tales from Froissart

edited by Steve Muhlberger, Nipissing University

The Tournament at St. Inglevert--An Analysis of the Action

Using the Johnes translation, I have come up with the following analysis of the action during the four days reported by Froissart.
In this table I show the records of the three French champions.   A reader of the full account can see that I have not counted such occurrences as lances being dropped, shields being pierced, or horses being stopped in mid-career.

How these actions were evaluated is uncertain to me.   The story I've called Trickery in the lists? shows that losing one's helmet was not necessarily counted against one, and that a loose helmet might be worn by a daring champion (the same Reginald de Roye who was at St. Inglevert) to deny his opponent (Sir John Holland, also at St. Inglevert) a solid stroke with the lance.   Unhorsing one's opponent was clearly impressive, as was breaking a spear.   Froissart's account seems to show that qualitative judgement of a competitor's handling of horse and lance was more important than an abstract count.

Boucicaut Roye Saimpi Totals
Opponents 18 12 16 46 (39)*
Warshield** 13 8 11 32
Courses 50 41 46 137
Lost helm 7 4 9 20
Unhelmed opponent 12 7 12 31
Broke lance on opponent 5 5 6 16
Had lance broken on him 5 4 8 17
Unhorsed opponent 3 2 3 8

In 18 of the 137 courses, the horses swerved or refused to the point that the combattants did not strike each other at all.


*Adding the number of English and allied opponents each French knight faced yields 46; but the French in fact faced only 39 distinct persons.
**The French displayed a shield of war and a shield of peace, and opponents could touch either, depending on whether they wished to face sharp or blunted lances.   In the Johnes translation, some are noted as indicating the "war shield" or "war target," while others are said to have indicated the "shield" or "target."    There is therefore a certain ambiguity in these numbers.

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