Emprise Of The Black Lion VII

A tournament after the tournament book of King Rene of Anjou, traictié de la forme et devis d'ung tournoy, written circa 1460

Adapted for use by the Madrone Equestrian Guild for the Emprise of the Black Lion, September 22-23 2007 in Kent, Washington

Based on the translation by Elizabeth Bennett which may be found at: http://www.princeton.edu/~ezb/rene/renehome.html

The day of the festival:

On the morning of the day of the tourney each of the tourneyers ought to do what he needs to do before lunch time; and also they should rest if it seems good to them; for after nine o'clock they will have no spare time to do anything, except to arm themselves and get ready for the tourney.

tavern image

At 7:45 AM on this day the herald should mount up to the gallery, and cry:

“Hear Ye, Hear Ye, Hear Ye. Very high and powerful princes, dukes, counts, barons, lords, knights and squires at arms: I notify you on behalf of my lords the judges that each of you must bring your helm, with the crest which you intend to wear at the tourney, and your banner, at the hour of eight, to the gallery before the judges, so that the judges may set them up for the ladies to come and see and give their opinions to the judges”.

At 8:00 AM, the tourneyers should bring the banners and crests to the judges’ gallery, to present them to the judges. When the helms have been set up and displayed, then ladies and damsels may come, with lords, knights and esquires, to see all of them. The judges should lead them around the cloister to see the crests. And there should be a herald, who will tell the ladies the name of the person whose crest is before them. And if one of them has spoken ill of the ladies, they may touch his crest, and the matter will be considered.

crests in cloister image

At 8:30 AM on this day the herald should mount up to the gallery, and cry:

“Hear Ye, Hear Ye, Hear Ye. High and noble princes, counts, lords, barons, knights and squires who will be taking part in this tourney: I am to tell you on behalf of the judges that each of you must be in the lists at nine o’clock, armed and ready for the tourney, because at ten o’clock the judges will cut the ropes to begin the tourney, where there will be rich and noble gifts given by the ladies".

empty list image

And the heralds should make a cry, by the order of the judges, as follows:

“High and powerful princes, counts, barons, knights and squires, who today presented to my lords the judges and to the ladies also, your crests and banners: my lords the judges wish you to know that today at nine o’clock each of the noble tourneyers will come to show himself in the lists, accompanied by all who are of his party, on their destriers, covered with their coats of arms, and themselves dressed as well and prettily as possible, so that my lords the judges may take their oath. And let no one fail to appear”.

At 8:55 AM

And know that at the hour when they ought to come, the heralds should go crying through the city before the inns of the tourneyers:

"To honor, lords knights and squires! to honor! to honor!"

And then each tourneyer, armed with his weapons and gently dressed, should mount his horse. And he should have a banneret with him, who should carry his banner rolled and not displayed, and his valets on foot or on horseback, who will accompany him into the lists.

procession Brittany banners image

At 9:00 AM (the entrance of the judges, and the introductions)

In front of the judges should come sounding trumpeters, each carrying the banner of one of the judges, and after the trumpeters, heralds each wearing the coat of arms of one of the judges. And after the heralds should come the judges. The judges should be dressed in long robes, the best they can afford. Also each of the judges ought to have a white rod as tall as he is in his hand, which he carries upright, on foot and on horseback, wherever he is, during the festival, so that everyone may better know who are the judges.

procession judges image

This done, each of the tourneyers should enter the lists to show himself, as described below.

The highest ranked tourneyer ought to enter the list first, his destrier covered with the arms of the tourneyer on the four limbs of the horse. And next ought to enter similarly the other knights and squires, with the knights' and squires' arms on the four limbs or their destriers, as above. And after the tourneyers ought to come the heralds dressed in their coats of arms; and after them all their other followers.

Each herald ought to approach the judges and say what their master has prepared for them to say, and strike four shields to indicate the games in which their master will compete. During this time the tourneyer should ride with their banneret and other followers into the middle of the list and salute to the judges and the ladies, and then go to the opposite side of the field and there wait quietly. The heralds, bannerets and other followers should wait outside the list when their master is not being presented to the judges.

procession Brittany destrier image

At 9:45 AM (or when the introductions are finished)

This done, the judges should come to the ladies, and choose from them two of the most beautiful and noble, whom they should lead with heralds. And one of the judges should carry a long veil, ornamented very beautifully with gold. And the judges should lead the ladies around the room on their arms, until they find a knight or squire who is among the tourneyers, whom the judges have chosen beforehand to honor above all others, before whom the ladies and judges stop together. And the herald should say to the knight or squire what follows:

“Very noble and redoubted knight (or very noble and gentle squire), as it has always been the custom of ladies and damsels to have compassion, those who have come to see the tourney that will be held tomorrow, fearing that some gentleman who has done ill out of simplicity may be chastised too heavily by the demands of justice, and not wishing to see anyone beaten very hard, regardless of who he is, unless they can help him, the ladies have asked the judges to assign to them a famous, wise, and notable knight or squire who, more than all others, deserves the honor of carrying on their behalf this veil on the end of a lance tomorrow at the tourney. And if someone is too severely beaten, the knight or squire will touch his crest with the veil, and all those beating him must stop and not dare touch him: because from that hour forward, the ladies have taken him under their protection and safeguard. You have been chosen above all others at this tourney to be their knight (or squire) of honor, and undertake this charge, and they ask and require you to do as they wish, and so do the judges.”

Then the ladies should give him the veil, asking him to do this; and after, the knight (or squire) kisses them, and then answers them as follows:

“I humbly thank my ladies and damsels for the honor it has pleased them to do to me. I obey the ladies freely and will do my loyal duty, asking always that they forgive my mistakes.”

Then the herald should tie the veil to the end of a lance, which they should raise on high, and afterwards one of the pursuivants should carry it upright in front of the knight or squire of honor from that hour onwards.

And while they are with the ladies, the herald should make a cry, as follows:

“Hear Ye, Hear Ye, Hear Ye. Let all prince, lords, barons, knights and esquires know that [N.] has been chosen by the ladies to be knight (or squire) of honor, because of his honor, courage, and gentleness. You are commanded by the judges, and the ladies also, that when you see this knight (or squire) today lower this veil over some one of you who is being beaten for his misdeeds, no one should dare to beat or touch him; from that hour the ladies have taken him under their protection and mercy, and this veil is called The mercy of ladies.”

At 9:55 AM (the oath)

The oath that the judges take from the tourneyers is as follows:

The judges' herald will say to the tourneyers:

“High and powerful princes, lords, barons, knights and squires, each and every one of you, please raise your right hand on high, and all together, as you will in the future, promise and swear by the faith and promise of your body, and on your honor, that you will strike none of your company at this tourney knowingly with the point of your sword, or below the belt, and that no one will attack or draw on anyone unless it is permitted, and also that if by chance someone's helm falls off, no one will touch him until he has put it back on, and you agree that if you knowingly do otherwise you will lose your arms and horses, and be banished from the tourney; also to observe the orders of the judges in everything and everywhere as they order delinquents to be punished without argument; and also you swear and promise this by the faith and promise of your body and on your honor.”

To which they will answer. "Yes, yes."

The tourneyers who will not be participating in the Behord may depart the list at this time.

At 10:00 AM (the behord)

Hereafter follows the way in which the knight (or squire) of honor ought to enter the lists with the veil, the place where he should stand, and what he should do.

neatly arrayed list image

On the day of the tourney, after the ladies have climbed up into their scaffold, the knight (or squire) of honor ought to enter the lists with the judges, fully armed, with a helm with a crest on his head, carrying the lance to which the veil is tied. And in this way he should come first between the herald and the judges. And they ought to enter the lists, and go around the lists, to see if the ropes are good; and then they should leave the said knight (or squire) of honor between the two ropes; and the four judges should take the helm off his head with their own hands, and give it to the herald, who should carry it before them to the ladies' scaffold, and there the judges should give it to the ladies. Then the herald should say:

“My very redoubted and honored ladies and damsels, behold your humble servant and knight (or squire) of honor, who has entered the lists ready to do what you have commanded, and behold his helm and crest which you should keep in your scaffold, if it pleases you.”

Then a gentleman or honest valet, chosen for this, should take the crest to the ladies' scaffold and put it up on a lance about the height of a man, or a little more, and carry it in his hands in front of the ladies, so that everyone can see it during the tourney.

And this done, the judges should go up into their scaffold, and the knight (or squire) of honor should stay between the ropes, until the tourneyers arrive.

The tourneyers who will participate in the behord should split into two groups and enter the two halves of the list.

Between the two ropes there should be a space established by the judges, as described before. And at the four ends of the stretched ropes, there should be four big strong men, each of whom holds a big carpenter's axe or hatchet to cut the ropes. But before they are cut, the herald should have the trumpets sound, and cry in a loud voice three times,

"Be ready for the ropes to be cut, be ready for the ropes to be cut, be ready for the ropes to be cut, you who are committed to this; then rush into battle and do your best."

Then when the tourneyers are arranged as if for battle and ready for the tourney the herald should make another cry:

''“Hear Ye, Hear Ye, Hear Ye. My lords the judges pray and require that none of you gentlemen tourneyers beat another with the point or back of the sword, nor below the belt, as you have promised, nor strike nor draw unless it is permitted; and also that none of you attack anyone whose helm falls off until he has put it on again. Moreover, I advise you that when the trumpets have sounded the retreat and the barriers are open, if you stay longer in the lists, you will not win the prize.”''

After the trumpets have sounded and the cry has been made, the judges should give the tourneyers a little space to put themselves in order. And when this is done, the herald should cry, by the order of the judges, taking three great breaths and three great pauses,

"Cut the cords, and begin the battle when you wish."

And after the cry has been made, those who are to cut the cords should cut them. And at once those who carry the banners and the foot servants should shout the cries of each of their tourneying masters. Then the two sides should gather together and fight until by the order of the judges the trumpets sound the retreat.

melee Burgundy enters the list image-

At 11:00 AM (or when the judges choose- the end of the behord)

When it seems to the judges that the tourney has lasted long enough, they should have their trumpets and horns sound to end the tourney, which done, they should have their herald say the following words:

“Let the banner bearers ride out, leave the lists, and return to the track; for you lords, princes, barons, knights and squires who have tourneyed in this place before the ladies, have so done your duty that henceforth you may go out and leave the lists in good time”.

This cry made, the trumpeters should sound the retreat; and then the guards of the lists and the foot servants should open the lists, and the tourneyers should go out. And the banners should follow one after another, going out where they entered, as beautifully as possible and attended by all their men; and they should return to the track. And at the same time the trumpeters should keep sounding the retreat until there are no more tourneyers in the lists.

At 11:15 AM (the move to the track)

After eleven o'clock the tourneyers should be ready and armed on their destriers, leaving their inns to assemble at the track, where they are tourneying that day, at the hour that the heralds have announced. For at eleven o'clock, the heralds should go crying before the inns of the tourneyers, with loud voices,

"Take up, take up your pig-spears, take up your javelins, lords knights and squires, you who are committed to this; take up, take up, take up your spears and come out with banners to gather before the judges."

Then each of the tourneyers should be ready in the list.

At 11:30 AM Pigs/Birjas

At the tail of the tourneyer’s horse should come whoever carries his banner, and in such order they proceed to the track. And when they are before the barriers, their servants should make a great cry; then they should go to the gate through which they should enter the lists, and there wait quietly. And then the herald of the field should say to the judges:

“My honored and redoubted lords, the very high and very powerful prince and my very redoubted lord (tourneyer’s name), presents himself to you, very eager and ready to begin the tourney assigned today with my very redoubted lords these other tourneyers equally ready to fight with him; asking that it please you to prepare for him a place to do this, so that the ladies who are present can see the entertainment.”

This done, the herald in the judges' scaffold should answer for the judges, saying as follows:

“Very high and very powerful (prince) and my very redoubted lord, my lords the judges here present have heard and understood what your herald has said for you; to which they answer that your presence is very pleasing, and they well perceive the great and high will for honor and desire for valor that is in you and in the tourneyers present with you, for which reason they assign the place there within the lists, and you may enter when you like.”

This said, the highest ranked tourneyer should enter first, and then immediately he who carries his banner, and then the tourneyers in the order in which they came, and as soon as someone opens the passage into the lists, they should enter within, and their servants should make a great cry. And when they are in the lists, they should take their place on their side. And those who hold banners should place themselves wherever seems best, but not in the front where their masters are, and in this way they should wait for their turn in the way which follows.

There will be no pre-determined order of competition. The tourneyers should go to the start area of the game for which they have declared, which will be marked with the shield which was struck earlier by their herald. When ready, they should get their weapon from the weapons station and queue up at the starting point. The field herald will announce each tourneyer at the start area before they make their passes. The tourneyer may present the field herald with a very brief script on a card if they wish. When the passes are complete, the tourneyer may move to the start area of the other game, exchange riders, or leave the list, as appropriate.

At 12:30 PM:

There will be a break for lunch. The heralds should make another cry:

“Let the banner bearers ride out, leave the lists, and return to [lunch location]; for you lords, princes, barons, knights and squires who have tourneyed in this place before the ladies, have so done your duty that henceforth you may go out and leave the lists in good time; for it is time for all to refresh themselves, which will be provided by the worthy cooks of Wyewood in the [lunch location] for the modest fee of [lunch price].”

At 1:15 PM Speed Quintain

The heralds should should go crying before the inns of the tourneyers, with loud voices: "Take up, take up your lances, take up your lances, lords knights and squires, take up, take up, take up your lances and come out with banners to gather before the judges."

There will be no pre-determined order of competition. The tourneyers should go to one of the two start areas for the game, one half of them at each end of the field. When ready, they should get their lance from the weapons station and queue up at the field herald. The tourneyer may present the field herald with a very brief script on a card if they wish, and should tell the field herald who he wishes to challenge. The field herald will announce the challenge, and the field herald at the opposite end of the field will accept or decline for the rider challenged. Challenges must be issued only to riders at the opposite end of the field, and should not be issued to riders against whom the challenger has already ridden. When a tourneyer has made five passes, he will leave the list.

At 2:00 PM Reeds / Rings

The heralds should go crying before the inns of the tourneyers, with loud voices:

"Take up, take up your swords, take up your ring-spears, lords knights and squires, you who are committed to this, take up, take up, take up your swords and come out with banners to gather before the judges."

There will be no pre-determined order of competition. The tourneyers should go to the start area of the game for which they have declared, which will be marked with the shield which was struck earlier by their herald. When ready, they should get their weapon from the weapons station and queue up at the starting point. The field herald will announce each tourneyer at the start area before they make their passes. The tourneyer may present the field herald with a very brief script on a card if they wish. When the passes are complete, the tourneyer may move to the start area of the other game, exchange riders, or leave the list, as appropriate.

At 3:00 PM Jousting

The heralds should should go crying before the inns of the tourneyers, with loud voices:

"Take up, take up your helms, take up your lances, lords knights and squires, take up, take up, take up your helms and come out with banners to gather before the judges."

There will be no pre-determined order of competition. The tourneyers should go to a start area for the game, one half of them at each end of the field. When ready, they should get their lance from the weapons station and queue up at the field herald. The tourneyer may present the field herald with a very brief script on a card if they wish, and should tell the field herald who he wishes to challenge. The field herald will announce the challenge, and the field herald at the opposite end of the field will accept or decline for the rider challenged. Challenges must be issued only to riders at the opposite end of the field, and should not be issued to riders against whom the challenger has already ridden. When a tourneyer has made five passes, he will leave the list. If there are a small number of competitors, the format may change to 2 passes against each of 3 opponents.

At 3:45 PM (the return to the arena)

When it seems to the judges that the jousting has lasted long enough, they should have their trumpets and horns sound to end the tourney, which done, they should have their herald say the following words:

“Let the banner bearers ride out, leave the lists, and return to the arena; for you lords, princes, barons, knights and squires who have tourneyed in this place before the ladies, have so done your duty that henceforth you may go out and leave the lists in good time.”

At 4:00 PM Foot Combat

The heralds should go crying before the inns of the tourneyers, with loud voices:

"Take up, take up your helms, take up your swords, lords knights and squires, take up, take up, take up your shields and come out with banners to gather before the judges."

This is also open to any authorized heavy fighter, and will be fought with a single-handed weapon and shield. Each combatant may only throw five blows, whether landed or not. The combat ends when both combatants have thrown their five blows. Blows will be verbally acknowledged; not physically acknowledged. It will be staged either round-robin or single elimination, depending upon the number of entrants, and the Judges’ determination.

When it seems to the judges that the tourney has lasted long enough, they should have their trumpets and horns sound to end the tourney, which done, they should have their herald say the following words:

“Let the banner bearers ride out, leave the lists, and return to your inns; for you lords, princes, barons, knights and squires who have tourneyed in this place before the ladies, have so done your duty that henceforth you may go out and leave the lists in good time; for already the prize is awarded, which will be given by the ladies to him who deserves it.”

The knight of honor should leave the list and march first, and the banners should come after him. And when they pass before the ladies' scaffold the man who held his helm and crest in the scaffold should come down, and carry the helm in front of the knight of honor till they reach the inns, in the same way as they entered.

melee exiting list image

The evening and the prizes:

In the evening after supper all the ladies, damsels and tourneyers should assemble in the hall where they dance. And the knight of honor should come there with the veil carried in front of him on the end of a lance, and in the company of the judges come before the ladies, thank them for the honor they have done to him, and ask them to pardon his faults and excuse his simplicity. This said, the veil is taken off the lance and given to the knight of honor who returns it to the ladies and kisses them, and then returns with the judges.

When it is time to give the prize, the judges and the knight of honor, accompanied by the heralds, should go to choose three of the ladies, and lead them out of the hall to some other place, and then should return to the hall with the prize in the way that follows:

First, the trumpeters of the judges should go before, playing, then all the heralds like a fleet of ships; and after them the knight of honor carrying the shaft of a lance in his hand, about five feet long or thereabouts. After the knight of honor should come the lady who carries the prize covered with the veil that was carried before the knight of honor, and on her right and left should come the judges, who should support her under the arms; and to the right and the left should be the two damsels on the arms of the two judges. The two damsels should hold the two ends of the veil, and in this way they should go around the hall, and then stop before the one to whom they wish to give the prize.

prize presentation image

Then the herald should say to the knight to whom the prize will be given the words that follow:

“Behold here this noble lady, my lady of Wyewood, accompanied by the knight (or squire) of honor and by my lords the judges, who have come to give you the tourney prize, because you have been judged the knight (or squire) who has fought best today in the tourney, and my lady prays that you will take it with good will.”

Then the lady should uncover the prize, and give it to him. Then he should take it and kiss her, and the two damsels if he likes. And then the heralds should shout his battle cry around the whole room. And this done, he should lead the lady to the dance, and the judges, the knight of honor and the heralds should lead the two damsels back to their places, without sounding the trumpets any more.

When they have finished their dance, the herald should cry the jousts for the next day.

© 2005-2019 Alexis Garrigues
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Page last modified on December 03, 2007, at 11:04 PM PST