Mrs E. A. Ferreira Pinto Basto
Middle-Ages and the Renaissance
"Challenge by Twelve Portuguese Knights, who at «the Court of Saint James fought to redress the «wrongs of Twelve English Ladies, in 1396"
From the Portuguese narrative of Ignacio Rodrigues Vedouro, 1732
(W. J. Mickle, who translated Camões' "Lusiad", Book VI, p. 240, alluding to a reference by Camões to this incident, writes that "although he was unable to find any vestige of this chivalrous adventure in any memoirs of English history, it nevertheless is probable that it is not entirely without foundation in truth since Castero (whom he cites) gives the names of the twelve Portuguese champions, although those of the English knights and the offended English ladies he confesses are unknown to him. The affair must, however, have been such as to require the atonement of blood - « «Il falloit qu'elle fût sanglante» since two Sovereigns allowed it to be determined by the sword").
The article can be downloaded here
SUBSCRIBE TO OUR NEWSLETTER