Tales from Froissart

edited by Steve Muhlberger, Nipissing University

A Deed of Arms at Montereau sur Yonne

On his way to the low countries, the King of France stops at Montereau sur Yonne.

Book III, ch. 117. The king went to Montereau sur Yonne, on the borders of Brie and the Gatinois, where he held his court, and frequently amused himself with hunting stags and other animals in the adjacent forests.

During the residence of the king at Montereau, a deed of arms was there performed by an English knight attached to the duke of Ireland, called sir Thomas Hapurgan, and sir John des Barres. This duel had made a great noise throughout France, and in other countries; and it was to be fought with five courses of the lance on horseback, five thrusts with swords, the same number of strokes with daggers and battle-axes; and, should their armour fail, they were to be supplied anew, until it were perfect.

The knights, being well armed, mounted their coursers to perform their duel, in the presence of the king, his barons and knights, and a great concourse of people. They tilted on horseback four courses very stiffly, and kept their seats well. It was then the custom, I believe, to lace on the helmets with a slight thong, that they might not make too great resistance to the blow of the lance. At the fifth course, John des Barres struck his opponent so violent a blow on the shield, that he knocked him over the crupper of his horse to the ground. Sir Thomas was stupified by the fall, and it was with much difficulty he could be raised: however he recovered well enough to perform his other courses with the different arms, to the satisfaction of the king and his lords.

Return to the Tales from Froissart Main Page

Contact the editor