The Battle of Hastings - 1066

The Story of the Norman Knight

  • What happened in the Battle of Hastings ?
  • The weapons that were used - the bills, halberd and mace
  • The terrible injuries that were inflicted
  • Key Events

Medieval Knights in the Battle of Hastings - 1066

The Story of the Norman Knight

"There was a French soldier of noble mien who sat his horse gallantly. He spied two Englishmen who were also carrying themselves boldly. They were both men of great worth and had become companions in arms and fought together, the one protecting the other. They bore two long and broad bills* and did great mischief to the Normans, killing both horses and men.

The French soldier looked at them and their bills* and was sore alarmed, for he was afraid of losing his good horse, the best that he had, and would willingly have turned to some other quarter if it would not have looked like cowardice.

He soon, however, recovered his courage, and, spurring his horse, gave him the bridle and galloped swiftly forward. Fearing the two bills, he raised his shield, and struck one of the Englishmen with his lance on the breast, so that the iron passed out at his back. At the moment that he fell the lance broke, and the Frenchman seized the mace** that hung at his right side, and struck the other Englishman a blow that completely fractured his skull.

On the other side was an Englishman who much annoyed the French, continually assaulting them with a keen-edged hatchet. He had a helmet made of wood, which he had fastened down to his coat and laced round his neck, so that no blows could reach his head. The ravage he was making was seen by a gallant Norman knight, who rode a horse that neither fire nor water could stop in its career when its master urged it on.

The knight spurred, and his horse carried him on well till he charged the Englishman, striking him over the helmet so that it fell down over his eyes; and as he stretched out his hand to raise it and uncover his face, the Norman cut off his right hand, so that his hatchet fell to the ground.

Another Norman sprang forward and eagerly seized the prize with both his hands, but he kept it little space and paid dearly for it, for as he stooped to pick up the hatchet an Englishman with his long-handled axe struck him over the back, breaking all his bones, so that his entrails and lungs gushed forth. The knight of the good horse meantime returned without injury; but on his way he met another Englishman and bore him down under his horse, wounding him grievously and trampling him altogether under foot.

* A Bill - A halberd or similar weapon with a hooked blade and a long handle

* A Halberd - A weapon of the 15th and 16th centuries having an axe-like blade and a steel spike mounted on the end of a long shaft.

** A Mace - A heavy medieval war club with a spiked or flanged metal head, used to crush armor

The Story of the Norman Knight

The Battle Of Hastings

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The Battle of Hastings - 1066

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