Thursday, May 04, 2017

Military humor of the 14th century: Robert Knowles

The Chronicle of the Good Duke:

The duke of Bourbon the Constable of France, Sir Bertrand and the marshal Sir Louis de Sancerre remained before Brest for 40 days. In that time it rained continually so hard that no one had ever seen so much rain fall, and in the country of the Breton Brittany there was no provision for horses, from which the lords had a great loss, and the same M Robert Knowles had nothing to eat in Brest except his horses, and spoke to a Constable of France about how he held himself discontent that he was not able to raise the siege which the duke of Bourbon, himself, and the marshal held before Brest where they had besieged him, but he counted it for little, because he knew that the horses and the army were much weakened by the rain and this he was consoled that the lords also had very little to eat; just like him and that he was not at all afraid of their assault. He sent a further message to the Constable: "You have made me eat my horses here this castle of Brest, as I made you eat yours at the siege of Rennes; and so go the changes of fortune and war."

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