Pierre Terrail, seigneur of Bayard, 1475-1524

Pierre Terrail, seigneur of Bayard, 1475-1524


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Pierre Terrail, seigneur of Bayard, 1475-1524

Pierre Terrail, seigneur of Bayard (1475-1524) was a French military leader who earned an impressive reputation during the Italian Wars and become known as the 'Fearless and blameless knight', while later commanders of promise were sometimes called the 'New Bayard'.

Bayard was born at Chateau Bayard near Grenoble. His family had a long history of military sacrifice, with most heads of the family for the previous two centuries dying in battle. Bayard became a page at the court of the Dukes of Savoy, then moved to the court of the Kings of France.

Bayard took part in Charles VIII's failed invasion of Naples (First Italian War/ Italian War of Charles VIII). He fought at the battle of Fornovo (6 July 1495) during the French retreat from Naples, and was knighted by Charles VIII after the battle.

In 1499 he took part in the French conquest of Milan (Second Italian War/ Italian War of Louis XII). He then moved to Naples to take part in the conquest of that kingdom.

The French soon fell out with their Spanish allies in this conquest, and Bayard found himself facing Gonzalo Fernández de Córdoba (El Gran Capitán), one of the best Spanish commanders of the period. Between August 1502 and April 1503 Cordoba was blockaded at Barletta. Bayard enhanced his reputation in the regular tournaments held between the lines.

At the battle of the Garigliano (28-29 December 1503) he was said to have defended a bridge for two hours against 200 men single-handed (the battle still ended as a Spanish victory). This exploit encouraged Pope Julius II to try and take Bayard into his service, but without success.

In 1508 Bayard took part in the siege of Genoa, and in 1509 the siege of Padua, adding to his reputation on both occasions.

In 1512 he was badly wounded at Brescia (February 1512), serving under Gaston of Foix, duke of Nemours. When it became clear that a battle was about to be fought at Ravenna he ignored his wounds and rushed to the scene, taking part in the battle of Ravenna (11 April 1512), a French victory marred by the death of Gaston of Foix late in the fighting. Once again Bayard enhanced his reputation during the battle.

When the English became involved in the fighting in 1513 Bayard was sent north to face them, but was captured at the Battle of the Spurs (or Guinegate) of 16 August 1513. His reputation was already so impressive that he was released without a ransom in tribute to his bravery.

In 1515 the new king Francis I appointed him lieutenant-general of Dauphiné. He took part in Francis I's first invasion of Italy, and fought at the French victory of Marignano (13-14 September 1515). After the battle Francis was knighted by Bayard, who was judged to have been the bravest captain in the battle.

In the autumn of 1521 an Imperial army under Count Henry of Nassau invaded eastern France. Mouzon fell quickly, and he then moved on to Mézières, where Bayard commanded a garrison of only 1,000 men. Despite a powerful artillery bombardment Bayard was able to hold the fortress until Francis I appeared with the main army. The siege was duly lifted on 27 September. Bayard was awarded the Order of Saint-Michel for his part in the defence.

In 1523 Bayard was part of a French army commanded by Guillaume de Bonnivet that was sent into Italy in an attempt to recover Milan (lost in the previous year). Bonnivet had some initial successes, but in the spring of 1524 a new Imperial army under Charles de Lannoy, Viceroy of Naples, caught the French by surprise and forced them to retreat. Bonnivet was wounded at Robecco, leaving Bayard in command of the rearguard. During the crossing of the Sesia (April 1524) he was mortally wounded by a harquebus ball. He had to be left behind by the retreating French, but was treated with great respect by the Imperial commanders and his body was returned to Grenoble.

Bayard was known as 'le chevalier sans peur et sans reproche' - without fear or blame. He was known to have no interest in plunder, almost unique amongst commanders of the period, as well as for his skilled use of reconnaissance.


Pierre Terrail, Seigneur de Bayard (1475-1524) French hero, the knight without fear and beyond reproach'. Bayard mortally wounded during Charles V of France's invasion of Champagne. Nineteenth Century Trade Card Lithograph

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Contents

By 1518, the peace that had prevailed in Europe after the Battle of Marignano was beginning to crumble. The major powers (France, England, Spain, and the Holy Roman Empire) were outwardly friendly, pledging by the Treaty of London to come to the aid of any of the signatories that was attacked and to combine against any nation that broke the peace. They were divided, however, on the question of the Imperial succession. The Holy Roman Emperor, Maximilian I, intending for a Habsburg to succeed him, began to campaign on behalf of Charles of Spain, while Francis put himself forward as an alternate candidate. At the same time, the Papacy and the Holy Roman Empire were forced to deal with the rising influence of Martin Luther, who found support among some Imperial nobles, while Francis was faced with Cardinal Thomas Wolsey, who interposed himself into the quarrels of the continent in an attempt to increase both England's influence and his own.

Maximilian's death in 1519 brought the Imperial election to the forefront of European politics. Pope Leo X, threatened by the presence of Spanish troops a mere forty miles from the Vatican, supported the French candidacy. The prince-electors themselves, with the exception of Frederick of Saxony, who refused to countenance the campaigning, promised their support to both candidates at once. Before his death, Maximilian had already promised sums of 500,000 florins to the Electors in exchange for their votes, but Francis offered up to three million, and Charles retaliated by borrowing vast sums from the Fuggers. The final outcome, however, was not determined by the exorbitant bribes, which included Leo promising to make the Archbishop of Mainz his permanent legate. The general outrage of the populace at the idea of a French Emperor gave the Electors pause, and when Charles put an army in the field near Frankfurt, where they were meeting, the Electors obligingly voted for him. [6] He was crowned Holy Roman Emperor on 23 October 1520, by which point he already controlled both the Spanish crown and the hereditary Burgundian lands in the Low Countries.

Cardinal Wolsey, hoping to increase Henry VIII's influence on the continent, offered the services of England as a mediator for the various disputes between Francis and Charles. Henry and Francis staged an extravagant meeting at the Field of the Cloth of Gold. Immediately afterwards, Wolsey entertained Charles in Calais. Following the meetings, Wolsey, concerned mainly with improving his own stature in preparation for the next papal conclave, proceeded to stage a hollow arbitration conference at Calais, which lasted until April 1522 to no practical effect.

In December, the French began to plan for war. Francis did not wish to openly attack Charles because Henry had announced his intention to intervene against the first party to break the tenuous peace. Instead, he turned to more covert support for incursions into German and Spanish territory. One attack would be made on the Meuse River, under the leadership of Robert de la Marck. Simultaneously, a French-Navarrese army would advance through Navarre after reconquering St-Jean-Pied-de-Port. [7] The expedition was nominally led by the 18-year-old Navarrese king Henry d'Albret, whose kingdom had been invaded by Ferdinand II of Aragon in 1512, but the army was effectively commanded by André de Foix and funded and equipped by the French. [8] The French designs quickly proved flawed as the intervention of Henry of Nassau drove back the Meuse offensive and although de Foix was initially successful in seizing Pamplona, he was driven from Navarre after being defeated at the Battle of Esquiroz on 30 June 1521. [9]

Charles was meanwhile preoccupied with the issue of Martin Luther, whom he confronted at the Diet of Worms in March 1521. The Emperor viewed Catholicism as a natural way of binding the diverse principalities of the Holy Roman Empire to him. Since Pope Leo X, for his part, was unwilling to tolerate such open defiance of his own authority, he and the Emperor were forced to support one another against Luther, who was now backed by Frederick of Saxony and Franz von Sickingen. On 25 May 1521, Charles and Cardinal Girolamo Aleandro, the Papal nuncio, proclaimed the Edict of Worms against Luther. Simultaneously, the Emperor promised the Pope the restoration of Parma and Piacenza to the Medici and of Milan to the Sforza. Leo, needing the Imperial mandate for his campaign against what he viewed as a dangerous heresy, promised to assist in expelling the French from Lombardy, leaving Francis with only the Republic of Venice for an ally.

In June, Imperial armies under Henry of Nassau invaded the north of France, razing the cities of Ardres and Mouzon and besieging Tournai. They were delayed by the dogged resistance of the French, led by Pierre Terrail, Seigneur de Bayard, and Anne de Montmorency, during the siege of Mezieres, which gave Francis time to gather an army to confront the attack. [8] On 22 October 1521, Francis encountered the main Imperial army, which was commanded by Charles V himself, near Valenciennes. Despite the urging of Charles de Bourbon, Francis hesitated to attack, which allowed Charles time to retreat. When the French were finally ready to advance, the start of heavy rains prevented an effective pursuit and the Imperial forces were able to escape without a battle. Shortly afterwards, French-Navarrese troops under Bonnivet and Claude of Lorraine seized the key city of Fuenterrabia, at the mouth of the Bidasoa River on the Franco-Spanish border, following a protracted series of maneuvers, providing the French with an advantageous foothold in northern Spain that would remain in their hands for the next two years.

By November, the French situation had deteriorated considerably. Charles, Henry VIII, and the Pope signed an alliance against Francis on 28 November. [10] Odet de Foix, Vicomte de Lautrec, the French governor of Milan, was tasked with resisting the Imperial and Papal forces he was outmatched by Prospero Colonna, however, and by late November had been forced out of Milan and had retreated to a ring of towns around the Adda River. [11] There, Lautrec was reinforced by the arrival of fresh Swiss mercenaries but, having no money available to pay them, he gave in to their demands to engage the Imperial forces immediately. [12] On 27 April 1522, he attacked Colonna's combined Imperial and Papal army near Milan at the Battle of Bicocca. Lautrec had planned to use his superiority in artillery to his advantage, but the Swiss, impatient to engage the enemy, masked his guns and charged against the entrenched Spanish arquebusiers. In the resulting melee, the Swiss were badly mauled by the Spanish under Fernando d'Avalos, Marquess of Pescara, and by a force of landsknechts commanded by Georg Frundsberg. Their morale broken, the Swiss returned to their cantons Lautrec, left with too few troops to continue the campaign, abandoned Lombardy entirely. [13] Colonna and d'Avalos, left unopposed, proceeded to besiege Genoa, capturing the city on 30 May. [14]

Lautrec's defeat brought England openly into the conflict. In late May 1522, the English ambassador presented Francis with an ultimatum enumerating accusations against France, notably that of supporting the Duke of Albany in Scotland, all of which were denied by the king. Henry VIII and Charles signed the Treaty of Windsor on 16 June 1522. The treaty outlined a joint English-Imperial attack against France, with each party providing at least 40,000 men. Charles agreed to compensate England for the pensions that would be lost because of conflict with France and to pay the past debts that would be forfeit to seal the alliance, he also agreed to marry Henry's only daughter, Mary. In July, the English attacked Brittany and Picardy from Calais. Francis was unable to raise funds to sustain significant resistance, and the English army burned and looted the countryside.

Francis tried a variety of methods to raise money, but concentrated on a lawsuit against Charles III, Duke of Bourbon. The Duke of Bourbon had received the majority of his holdings through his marriage to Suzanne, Duchess of Bourbon, who had died shortly before the start of the war. Louise of Savoy, Suzanne's sister and the king's mother, insisted that the territories in question should pass to her because of her closer kinship to the deceased. Francis was confident that seizing the disputed lands would improve his own financial position sufficiently to continue the war and began to confiscate portions of them in Louise's name. Bourbon, angered by this treatment and increasingly isolated at court, began to make overtures to Charles V to betray the French king. [15]

By 1523, the French situation had entirely collapsed. The death of Doge Antonio Grimani brought Andrea Gritti, a veteran of the War of the League of Cambrai, to power in Venice. He quickly began negotiations with the Emperor and on 29 July concluded the Treaty of Worms, which removed the Republic from the war. [16] Bourbon continued his scheming with Charles, offering to begin a rebellion against Francis in exchange for money and German troops. When Francis, who was aware of the plot, summoned him to Lyon in October, he feigned illness and fled to the Imperial city of Besançon. Enraged, Francis ordered the execution of as many of Bourbon's associates as he could capture, but the Duke himself, having rejected a final offer of reconciliation, openly entered the Emperor's service.

Charles then invaded southern France over the Pyrenees. Lautrec successfully defended Bayonne against the Spanish, but Charles was able to recapture Fuenterrabia in February 1524. [17] On 18 September 1523, meanwhile, a massive English army under the Duke of Suffolk advanced into French territory from Calais in conjunction with a Flemish-Imperial force. The French, stretched thin by the Imperial attack, were unable to resist, and Suffolk soon advanced past the Somme, devastating the countryside in his wake and stopping only fifty miles from Paris. When Charles failed to support the English offensive, however, Suffolk—unwilling to risk an attack on the French capital—turned away from Paris on 30 October, returning to Calais by mid-December. [18]

Francis now turned his attention to Lombardy. In October 1523, a French army of 18,000 under Bonnivet advanced through the Piedmont to Novara, where it was joined by a similarly sized force of Swiss mercenaries. Prospero Colonna, who had only 9,000 men to oppose the French advance, retreated to Milan. [19] Bonnivet, however, overestimated the size of the Imperial army and moved into winter quarters rather than attacking the city and the Imperial commanders were able to summon 15,000 landsknechts and a large force under Bourbon's command by 28 December, when Charles de Lannoy replaced the dying Colonna. [20] Many of the Swiss now abandoned the French army, and Bonnivet began his withdrawal. The French defeat at the Battle of the Sesia, where Bayard was killed while commanding the French rearguard, again demonstrated the power of massed arquebusiers against more traditional troops the French army then retreated over the Alps in disarray. [21]

D'Avalos and Bourbon crossed the Alps with nearly 11,000 men and invaded Provence in early July 1524. [22] Sweeping through most of the smaller towns unopposed, Bourbon entered the provincial capital of Aix-en-Provence on 9 August 1524, taking the title of Count of Provence and pledging his allegiance to Henry VIII in return for the latter's support against Francis. [23] By mid-August, Bourbon and d'Avalos had besieged Marseille, the only stronghold in Provence that remained in French hands. Their assaults on the city failed, however, and when the French army commanded by Francis himself arrived at Avignon at the end of September 1524, they were forced to retreat back to Italy. [24]

In mid-October 1524, Francis himself crossed the Alps and advanced on Milan at the head of an army numbering more than 40,000. Bourbon and d'Avalos, their troops not yet recovered from the campaign in Provence, were in no position to offer serious resistance. [25] The French army moved in several columns, brushing aside Imperial attempts to hold its advance, but failed to bring the main body of Imperial troops to battle. Nevertheless, Charles de Lannoy, who had concentrated some 16,000 men to resist the 33,000 French troops closing on Milan, decided that the city could not be defended and withdrew to Lodi on 26 October. [26] Having entered Milan and installed Louis II de la Trémoille as the governor, Francis (at the urging of Bonnivet and against the advice of his other senior commanders, who favored a more vigorous pursuit of the retreating Lannoy) advanced on Pavia, where Antonio de Leyva remained with a sizable Imperial garrison. [27]

The main mass of French troops arrived at Pavia in the last days of October 1524. By 2 November, Montmorency had crossed the Ticino River and invested the city from the south, completing its encirclement. Inside were about 9,000 men, mainly mercenaries whom Antonio de Leyva was able to pay only by melting the church plate. [28] A period of skirmishing and artillery bombardments followed, and several breaches had been made in the walls by mid-November. On 21 November, Francis attempted an assault on the city through two of the breaches, but was beaten back with heavy casualties hampered by rainy weather and a lack of gunpowder, the French decided to wait for the defenders to starve. [29]

In early December, a Spanish force commanded by Hugo of Moncada landed near Genoa, intending to interfere in a conflict between pro-Valois and pro-Habsburg factions in the city. Francis dispatched a larger force under Michele Antonio I of Saluzzo to intercept them. Confronted by the more numerous French and left without naval support by the arrival of a pro-Valois fleet commanded by Andrea Doria, the Spanish troops surrendered. [30] Francis then signed a secret agreement with Pope Clement VII, who pledged not to assist Charles in exchange for Francis's assistance with the conquest of Naples. Against the advice of his senior commanders, Francis detached a portion of his forces under the Duke of Albany and sent them south to aid the Pope. [31] Lannoy attempted to intercept the expedition near Fiorenzuola, but suffered heavy casualties and was forced to return to Lodi by the intervention of the infamous Black Bands of Giovanni de' Medici, which had just entered French service. Medici then returned to Pavia with a supply train of gunpowder and shot gathered by the Duke of Ferrara but the French position was simultaneously weakened by the departure of nearly 5,000 Grisons Swiss mercenaries, who returned to their cantons in order to defend them against marauding landsknechts. [32]

In January 1525, Lannoy was reinforced by the arrival of Georg Frundsberg with 15,000 fresh landsknechts and renewed the offensive. D'Avalos captured the French outpost at San Angelo, cutting the lines of communication between Pavia and Milan, while a separate column of landsknechts advanced on Belgiojoso and, despite being briefly pushed back by a raid led by Medici and Bonnivet, occupied the town. [33] By 2 February, Lannoy was only a few miles from Pavia. Francis had encamped the majority of his forces in the great walled park of Mirabello outside the city walls, placing them between Leyva's garrison and the approaching relief army. [34] Skirmishing and sallies by the garrison continued through the month of February. Medici was seriously wounded and withdrew to Piacenza to recuperate, forcing Francis to recall much of the Milan garrison to offset the departure of the Black Band but the fighting had little overall effect. On 21 February, the Imperial commanders, running low on supplies and mistakenly believing that the French forces were more numerous than their own, decided to launch an attack on Mirabello Castle in order to save face and demoralize the French sufficiently to ensure a safe withdrawal. [35]

In the early morning of 24 February 1525, Imperial engineers opened breaches in the walls of Mirabello, allowing Lannoy's forces to enter the park. At the same time, Leyva sortied from Pavia with what remained of the garrison. In the ensuing four-hour battle, the French heavy cavalry, which had proven so effective against the Swiss at Marignano ten years prior, masked its own artillery by a rapid advance and was surrounded and cut apart by landsknechts and d'Avalos's massed Spanish arquebusiers. Meanwhile, a series of protracted infantry engagements resulted in the rout of the Swiss and French infantry. The French suffered massive casualties, losing the majority of their army. Bonnivet, Jacques de la Palice, La Trémoille, and Richard de la Pole were killed, while Anne de Montmorency, Robert de la Marck, and Francis himself were taken prisoner along with a host of lesser nobles. [36] The night following the battle, Francis gave Lannoy a letter to be delivered to his mother in Paris, in which he related what had befallen him: "To inform you of how the rest of my ill-fortune is proceeding, all is lost to me save honour and life, which is safe." [37] Soon afterwards, he finally learned that the Duke of Albany had lost the larger part of his army to attrition and desertion, and had returned to France without ever having reached Naples. [38] The broken remnants of the French forces, aside from a small garrison left to hold the Castel Sforzesco in Milan, retreated across the Alps under the nominal command of Charles IV of Alençon, reaching Lyon by March 1525. [37]

After Pavia, the fate of the French king, and of France itself, became the subject of furious diplomatic manoeuvring. Charles V, lacking funds to pay for the war, decided to forgo the marriage into the House of Tudor which he had promised Henry VIII and sought instead to marry Isabella of Portugal, who would bring with her a more substantial dowry. Bourbon, meanwhile, plotted with Henry to invade and partition France, and at the same time encouraged d'Avalos to seize Naples and declare himself King of Italy. [39]

Louise of Savoy, who had remained as regent in France during her son's absence, attempted to gather troops and funds to defend against an expected invasion of Artois by English troops. [40] She also sent a first French mission to Suleiman the Magnificent requesting assistance, but the mission was lost on its way in Bosnia. [41] In December 1525 a second mission was sent, led by John Frangipani, which managed to reach Constantinople, the Ottoman capital, with secret letters asking for the deliverance of king Francis I and an attack on the Habsburg. Frangipani returned with an answer from Suleiman, on 6 February 1526, initiating the first steps of a Franco-Ottoman alliance. [41] Suleiman eventually wrote an ultimatum to Charles, asking for the immediate release of Francis—and demanding a yearly tax from the Holy Roman Empire when this was not forthcoming, the Ottomans launched an invasion of Hungary in the summer of 1526, aiming to reach Vienna.

Francis, convinced that he would regain his freedom if he could obtain a personal audience with Charles, pressed d'Avalos and Lannoy, who had intended to transport the king to the Castel Nuovo in Naples, to send him to Spain instead. Concerned by Bourbon's scheming, they agreed and Francis arrived in Barcelona on 12 June. [42]

Francis was initially held in a villa in Benisanó, near Valencia, but Charles, urged to negotiate a settlement by Montmorency and Lannoy, who suggested that the Italians would soon prove unfaithful to their Imperial alliance, ordered the king brought to Madrid and imprisoned in the citadel there. [43] However, Charles adamantly refused to receive Francis personally until the latter had accepted an agreement. [44] Meanwhile, Henry II of Navarre, who had fought alongside Francis at Pavia and who had been imprisoned in Madrid as well, escaped. The struggle for Navarre continued, with Charles occupying the southern fringes of Lower Navarre and Henry remaining at large. [45]

Charles demanded not only the surrender of Lombardy, but also of Burgundy and Provence, forcing Francis to argue that French law prevented him from surrendering any lands possessed by the crown without the approval of Parlement, which would not be forthcoming. [46]

In September, Francis fell gravely ill, and his sister, Marguerite de Navarre, rode from Paris to join him in Spain. [47] The Imperial doctors examining the king believed that his illness was caused by his sorrow at not being received by the Emperor, and urged Charles to visit him. Against the advice of his Grand Chancellor, Mercurino Gattinara (who argued that seeing Francis on his deathbed was an action motivated by mercenary concerns rather than by compassion, and was thus unworthy of the Emperor) Charles consented and Francis soon made a complete recovery. [48] An attempt to escape, however, proved fruitless, and succeeded only in getting Marguerite sent back to France.

By the beginning of 1526, Charles was faced with demands from Venice and the Pope to restore Francesco II Sforza to the throne of the Duchy of Milan, and had become anxious to achieve a settlement with the French before another war began. Francis, having argued to retain Burgundy without result, was prepared to surrender it to achieve his own release. [49] On 14 January 1526, Charles and Francis agreed to the Treaty of Madrid, by which the French king renounced all his claims in Italy, Flanders, and Artois, surrendered Burgundy to Charles, agreed to send two of his sons to be hostages at the Spanish court, and promised to marry Charles' sister Eleanor and to restore to Bourbon the territories that had been seized from him. [50] Francis, who held the title of "Most Christian King", also agreed to persuade Henry to relinquish the throne of Navarre in favor of Charles "in order to uproot the errors of the Lutheran sect and the rest of condemned sects". [51]

Francis was released on 6 March and, escorted by Lannoy, journeyed north to Fuenterrabia. On 18 March, he crossed the Bidasoa north into France, while at the same time the Dauphin and his brother, who had been brought to Bayonne by Louise and Lautrec, crossed into Spain and into captivity. [52] By this time, Francis had attained peace with England by the Treaty of Hampton Court drafted by Thomas Wolsey and the French ambassador at the Hampton Court Palace, the treaty was signed in 1526, and was ratified by a French delegation in April 1527 at Greenwich.

Francis, however, had no intentions of complying with the remaining provisions of the Treaty of Madrid. On 22 March, with the Pope's blessing, he proclaimed that he would not be bound by the Treaty of Madrid because it had been signed under duress. Clement VII, who had meanwhile become convinced that the Emperor's growing power was a threat to his own position in Italy, sent envoys to Francis and Henry VIII suggesting an alliance against Charles. [53] Henry, having received nothing from the Treaty of Madrid, was receptive to the offers. In May, Francis and the Pope launched the War of the League of Cognac in an attempt to reclaim the territory the French had lost Henry, rebuffed in his attempt to have the alliance signed in England, would not join until 1527. [54] The war would prove unsuccessful but Francis and his successor, Henry II, would continue to assert their claims to Milan through the remainder of the Italian Wars, only relinquishing them after the Peace of Cateau-Cambrésis in 1559.


1515 - Service of King Francis I of France

On the accession of Francis I in 1515, Bayard was made lieutenant-general of Dauphiné but soon accompanied the King and army into the territory of Milan, control of which was challenged by the Swiss. At the Battle of Marignano the opposing armies engaged in a protracted and bloody struggle which the French won largely because of the valour of Bayard, King Francis, and the French gendarmes (armored lancers). After the battle, Bayard had the honour of conferring knighthood on his youthful sovereign. [1]

1521 - Siege of Mézières

When war again broke out between Francis I and Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor, Bayard, with 1000 men, held Mézières, which had been declared untenable, against an army of 35,000, and after six weeks, compelled the imperial generals to raise the siege. This stubborn resistance saved central France from invasion, as the king had not then sufficient forces to withstand the Holy Roman Empire. [1]

All France celebrated the achievement, and Francis gained time to collect the royal army which drove out the invaders (1521). The parlement thanked Bayard as the saviour of his country the king made him a knight of the Order of Saint Michael, and commander in his own name of 100 gens d'armes, an honour until then reserved for princes of the blood. [1]

1524 - Death in Italy

After allaying a revolt at Genoa, and striving with the greatest assiduity to check a pestilence in Dauphiné, Bayard was sent into Italy with Admiral Bonnivet, who, being defeated at Robecco and wounded in a combat during his retreat, implored Bayard to assume command and save the army. He repulsed the foremost pursuers, but in guarding the rear at the passage of the river Sesia between the towns of Romagnano Sesia and Gattinara, was mortally wounded by an arquebus ball, on 30 April 1524. [2]

He died in the midst of the enemy, attended by Pescara, the Spanish commander, and by his old comrade, Charles, duc de Bourbon, who was now fighting on the opposite side. Charles is reported to have said "Ah! Monsieur de Bayard. I am very sad to see you in this state you who were such a virtuous knight!" Bayard answered,

"Sir, there is no need to pity me. I die as a man of honour ought, doing my duty but I pity you, because you are fighting against your king, your country, and your oath."

His body was restored to his friends and interred at Saint-Martin-d'Hères. In 1822, his remains were finally buried in the collegiate church Saint-André of Grenoble. [3]


1515 – Service of King Francis I of France

On the accession of Francis I in 1515, Bayard was made lieutenant-general of Dauphiné but soon accompanied the King and army into the territory of Milan, control of which was challenged by the Swiss. At the Battle of Marignano the opposing armies engaged in a protracted and bloody struggle which the French won largely because of the valour of Bayard, King Francis, and the French gendarmes (armored lancers). After the battle, Bayard had the honour of conferring knighthood on his youthful sovereign.

1521 – Siege of Mézières

When war again broke out between Francis I and Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor, Bayard, with 1000 men, held Mézières, which had been declared untenable, against an army of 35,000, and after six weeks, compelled the imperial generals to raise the siege. This stubborn resistance saved central France from invasion, as the king had not then sufficient forces to withstand the Holy Roman Empire.

All France celebrated the achievement, and Francis gained time to collect the royal army which drove out the invaders (1521). The parlement thanked Bayard as the saviour of his country the king made him a knight of the Order of Saint Michael, and commander in his own name of 100 gens d’armes, an honour until then reserved for princes of the blood.

1524 – Death in Italy

After allaying a revolt at Genoa, and striving with the greatest assiduity to check a pestilence in Dauphiné, Bayard was sent into Italy with Admiral Bonnivet, who, being defeated at Robecco and wounded in a combat during his retreat, implored Bayard to assume command and save the army. He repulsed the foremost pursuers, but in guarding the rear at the passage of the river Sesia, was mortally wounded by an arquebus ball, on April 30, 1524.

He died in the midst of the enemy, attended by Pescara, the Spanish commander, and by his old comrade, Charles, duc de Bourbon, who was now fighting on the opposite side. Charles is reported to have said "Ah! Monsieur de Bayard… I am very sad to see you in this state you who were such a virtuous knight!" Bayard answered,

His body was restored to his friends and interred at Saint-Martin-d’Hères. In 1822, his remains were finally buried in the collegiate church Saint-André of Grenoble.Gilles-Marie Moreau, Le Saint-Denis des Dauphins : histoire de la collégiale Saint-André de Grenoble, L’Harmattan, Paris, 2010.


Legacy

As a soldier, Bayard was considered the epitome of chivalry and one of the most skillful commanders of the age. He was noted for the exactitude and completeness of his information on the enemy's movements, which he obtained by careful reconnaissance and a well-arranged system of espionage. In the long history of mounted warfare, he rates highly as one of the greatest cavalry leaders of all time.

In the midst of mercenary armies, Bayard remained absolutely disinterested, and to his contemporaries and his successors, he was, with his romantic heroism, piety, and magnanimity, the fearless and faultless knight (le chevalier sans peur et sans reproche). His gaiety and kindness won him, even more frequently, another name bestowed by his contemporaries, le bon chevalier.

Monuments and memorials

  • Equestrian statue at Pontcharra (Isère).
  • Statue at Grenoble, place Saint-André.
  • Bayard Mausoleum, (1625), Saint-André Collegiate church at Grenoble.
  • Musée Bayard at the Château Bayard in Pontcharra.
  • Statue at Charleville-Mézières, inaugurated October 2005. An earlier statue was damaged during World War I and demolished by the Germans in World War II.
  • Statue in the Collège Stanislas de Paris
  • Statue in Saint-Denis
  • Statue in Sainte-Anne-d'Auray , an auto-mobile manufacturer of Mézières, was named in his honour and his image was incorporated in the logo. , an entrepreneur who created the Clément-Bayard auto-mobile company in honour of the knight in 1903, and then added Bayard to his family name in 1908.

In popular culture

Bayard is a recurring character in three novels by author Samuel Shellabarger:

The name Chevalier Bayard is used in reference to a character in Dashiell Hammett's The Dain Curse.

Patrick O'Brian's fighting captain Aubrey is compared by another character to Bayard in The Mauritius Command.


Legacy [ edit ]

As a soldier, Bayard was considered the epitome of chivalry and one of the most skillful commanders of the age. He was noted for the exactitude and completeness of his information on the enemy’s movements, which he obtained by careful reconnaissance and a well-arranged system of espionage. In the long history of mounted warfare, he rates highly as one of the greatest cavalry leaders of all time.

In the midst of mercenary armies, Bayard remained absolutely disinterested, and to his contemporaries and his successors, he was, with his romantic heroism, piety, and magnanimity, the fearless and faultless knight (le chevalier sans peur et sans reproche). His gaiety and kindness won him, even more frequently, another name bestowed by his contemporaries, le bon chevalier.

Monuments and memorials [ edit ]

  • Equestrian statue at Pontcharra (Isère)
  • Statue at Grenoble, place Saint-André
  • Bayard Mausoleum, (1625), Saint-André Collegiate church at Grenoble
  • Musée Bayard at the Chà¢teau Bayard in Pontcharra
  • Statue at Charleville-Mézières, inaugurated October 2005. An earlier statue was damaged during World War I and demolished by the Germans in World War II.
  • Statue in the Collège Stanislas de Paris
  • Statue in Saint-Denis
  • Statue in Sainte-Anne-d’Auray , an auto-mobile manufacturer of Mézières, was named in his honour and his image was incorporated in the logo. , an entrepreneur who created the Clément-Bayard automobile company in honour of the knight in 1903, and then added Bayard to his family name in 1908

In popular culture [ edit ]

Bayard is a recurring character in three novels by author Samuel Shellabarger:

The name Chevalier Bayard is used in reference to a character in Dashiell Hammett‘s The Dain Curse.

Patrick O’Brian‘s fighting captain Aubrey is compared by another character to Bayard in The Mauritius Command.

Phineas Finn compares the Duke of Omnium to Sir Bayard in Anthony Trollope’s novel The Prime Minister.

In Ford Madox Ford‘s 1915 novel The Good Soldier, the character Edward Ashburnham is twice compared to Bayard.

Nick Burden refers to Colum McInnes as “the Bayard of the film world” in L. P. Hartley‘s 1951 novel My Fellow Devils.

The movie Sans peur et sans reproche directed in 1988 by Gérard Jugnot is based on him.

Louis Auchicloss mentions Chevalier Bayard in The Rector of Justin.


Birthdays in History

    Luis de Camões, Portuguese poet (d. 1580) Albrecht Giese, German politician and diplomat (d. 1580) Charles de Guise, archbishop/cardinal of Reims

Selim II

May 28 Selim II "the blonde", 11th Sultan of the Ottoman Empire (1566-74, born in Constantinople, Ottoman Empire (d. 1574)

    Francois Hotman/Hotomanus, French lawyer and diplomat (Anti-Tribonien), born in Paris (d. 1590) Thomas Erastus, Swiss physician and theologist, born in Baden, Switzerland (d. 1583)

Peter Terrail, seigneur de Bayard. Pierre du Terrail, seigneur de Bayard.

Dates / Origin Date Issued: 1757 - 1772 Place: London Publisher: T. Jefferys Library locations The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Art & Architecture Collection Shelf locator: MMC+ (Collection of the dresses of different nations) Topics Costume -- History Men -- Clothing & dress -- France -- 1400-1499 Men -- Clothing & dress -- France -- 1500-1599 Bayard, Pierre Terrail, Seigneur de, ca. 1473-1524 Genres Prints Notes Content: Originally published in 1650 in Portraits of the illustrious persons of France. Physical Description Engravings Hand-colored Type of Resource Still image Languages English French Identifiers NYPL catalog ID (B-number): b14140320 Universal Unique Identifier (UUID): 69558570-c5fc-012f-b718-58d385a7bc34 Rights Statement The New York Public Library believes that this item is in the public domain under the laws of the United States, but did not make a determination as to its copyright status under the copyright laws of other countries. This item may not be in the public domain under the laws of other countries. Though not required, if you want to credit us as the source, please use the following statement, "From The New York Public Library," and provide a link back to the item on our Digital Collections site. Doing so helps us track how our collection is used and helps justify freely releasing even more content in the future.


The Battle of Garigliano

In the aftermath of the First Italian War, Cordoba overhauled the Spanish army. He reorganised his infantry by replacing the bulk of his swordand-buckler foot soldiers with pikemen and arquebusiers. His pike and shot troops were taught to manoeuvre over rough ground, resist cavalry attacks, and deliver shock attacks.

Charles VIII died in 1498 and was succeeded by Louis XII. Louis was keen on retaining some portion of the Kingdom of Naples and therefore proposed to Ferdinand that they divide the Kingdom of Naples between themselves. Pope Alexander, who condoned the agreement, conveniently deposed the Trastamara ruler of the kingdom. A treaty signed in 1500 gave Charles the northern part of the kingdom and Ferdinand the southern part.

Ferdinand, who became dissatisfied with the arrangement, went to war in 1502 to win control of the Kingdom of Naples for Spain. The French made the first strategic move when Louis d’Armagnac, Duke of Nemours, besieged Cordoba in the Apulian fortress of Barletta. After receiving a large body of reinforcements in early 1503, Cordoba seized the nearby French base at Cerignola.

Cordoba ordered his troops to widen a ditch at the base of the hilltop town. His men drove sharp stakes into the bottom of the ditch to prevent the enemy from crossing the ditch. The excavated dirt was then used to build a parapet behind the ditch.

As the French approached Cerignola, Cordoba deployed his 2,000 arquebusiers four ranks deep in the centre behind the parapet. To protect them, he placed 1,000 pikemen on each side of the arquebusiers. Any French troops near the ditch would be within the 40-metre range of the arquebusiers. Spanish guns on the hillside supported the troops behind the rampart.

Clash at Cerignola

Even with the field works the Spanish were in for a desperate battle. Nemours’s 9,000-strong army was nearly twice the size of Cordoba’s army however the various arms were not well integrated. The French right division consisted of lance-wielding heavy cavalry, the centre division was composed of mercenary Swiss pikemen, and the left division was made up of French and German crossbowmen.

Nemours attacked before his artillery had a chance to deploy. Cordoba’s Spanish jinetes screened the ditch so superbly that the French had no knowledge of the existence of a ditch until their heavy cavalry reached it.

The French cavalry attack stalled at the ditch. As Nemours looked for a way through the ditch he was slain by the arquebus fire. When the surviving French gendarmes withdrew from the ditch, the Swiss pikemen attacked with all of their fury. Although they tried desperately to fight their way into the Spanish position they could not breach the field works.

As the French army began withdrawing Cordoba launched a counterattack with his pikemen. The Spanish swept the field, inflicting 5,000 casualties on the French at the loss of a few hundred Spanish troops.

Stalemate on the Garigliano

The remnant of Nemours’s army withdrew to the safety of the citadel at Gaeta to await the arrival of a new French army. King Charles XII sent 20,000 French troops overland to Naples and gave overall command of the army to Italian Condottiero Francesco II Gonzaga, Marquess of Mantua. Meanwhile Cordoba took possession of the city of Naples on 13 May 1503.

Cordoba deployed his 12,000 troops behind the Garigliano River in October to block the anticipated French advance against Spanish held Naples. As expected Mantua marched south only to find Cordoba’s army heavily entrenched on the south bank.

After his pioneers laid a pontoon bridge over the lower Garigliano, Mantua established a tete de pont on the far bank in early November, but Cordoba bottled up the forces in the bridgehead. When Mantua was stricken with a fever command devolved to Marquis Ludovico II of Saluzzo.

A six-week stalemate followed. Troops on both sides suffered acute hardship encamped on the marshy ground during the rainy season. While Cordoba remained at the battlefront with his troops throughout this time, the high-ranking French commanders billeted themselves in comfortable quarters in nearby towns. Believing the Spanish would remain on the defensive the French did not keep a close watch on the Spanish.

Flank attack

Spanish ally Condottiero Bartolomeo d’Alviano reinforced Cordoba’s army with 5,400 troops in mid-December. In preparation for a surprise attack on the French army Cordoba instructed his chief engineer, Pedro Navarro, to construct a pontoon bridge that could be deployed in a matter of hours when needed.

In a driving rain in the pre-dawn darkness of 29 December Navarro’s pioneers laid the bridge on a narrow portion of the swollen river opposite the extreme left flank of the French army.

For the surprise attack Cordoba had organised his army into three divisions. Alviano led the vanguard, Cordoba led the centre division, and Fernando Andrada commanded the rearguard. Alviano’s Italian troops streamed across the bridge at dawn while the French and Swiss foot soldiers were fast asleep in their huts. His light cavalry swept past the disorganised French infantry and turned east to secure the village of Castleforte to prevent the French from using it as a strongpoint. Believing the day was lost the troops on the French left streamed north towards Gaeta.

Cordoba then led his mounted Spanish men-at-arms and pikemen across the pontoon bridge to the north bank. He caught the French centre in the flank and dislodged it from the river line. At that point Saluzzo ordered a general retreat to Gaeta. A heroic French nobleman, Pierre Terrail, Seigneur de Bayard, began rallying the retreating French at a defile between the mountains and the sea near the village of Formia.

Meanwhile Andrade crossed the French bridge on the lower Garigliano and captured most of the French artillery since the French gendarmes had fled north to Formia.

Up to that point there had only been light fighting, but the two sides became locked in furious combat for an hour at the defile. When Andrada’s troops arrived to reinforce the Spanish forces already engaged at Formia, it proved too much for the French. Those French soldiers who had not been taken prisoner proceeded west to Gaeta.

Viceroy of Naples

On 1 January 1504 the French capitulated. Cordoba freed his French prisoners on the condition that they return home by sea. At the end of the month, Charles XII and Ferdinand of Aragon signed the Treaty of Lyon by which Charles ceded the Kingdom of Naples to Spain. In appreciation for the military achievement of defeating the French, King Ferdinand made Cordoba the Viceroy of Naples.

Isabella, who had always championed Cordoba, died in November 1504. Ferdinand who grew jealous of Cordoba’s reputation recalled him to Spain in 1507. He was called out of retirement in 1512 to command the Spanish forces in Italy after a major reverse at the hands of the French at Ravenna during the War of the League of Cambrai. Three years later, at the age of 62, he returned to Spain stricken with malaria. He died at Granada on 1 December 1515.

Cordoba’s genius lay in his ability to correct the shortcomings of his forces by adopting the best tactical concepts of his enemies. He readily embraced the greater use of firearms in the belief that they would transform infantry tactics. In this he was correct, for his initial integration of shot and pike troops laid the foundation for the Spanish tercios. From a geopolitical standpoint his decisive victories in the First and Second Italian Wars enabled Spain to control Sicily and southern Italy for two centuries.

Pierre Terrail, seigneur de Bayard (1474-1524)

Nobleman, military leader Known in legend and tradition as “chevalier sans peur et sans reproche” (fearless and blameless knight), Pierre Terrail, seigneur de Bayard, considered a model of chivalry, was born in Dauphiné, near GRENOBLE. As a young soldier, he came to the attention of CHARLES VIII, and was knighted for his bravery after the battle of Fornovo in Italy (1495). He was cited for contributing to LOUIS XII’s conquest of Milanais (1499-1500) and distinguished himself in the defense of the bridge at Garigliano (1503) against a Spanish force, and in the battle against the Venetians at Agnadel (1509). Such was Bayard’s reputation for valor that several incredible stories were told of him, including one in which he singlehandedly defended a bridge against 200 of the enemy. He was captured twice, but his chivalrous character and reputation secured his release without a ransom payment. During the war between FRANCIS I of France and Holy Roman Emperor Charles V, Bayard held the fortress town of Mezieres with only 1,000 men for six weeks, against a force of 35,000. He also played a part in the decisive victory of Marignan (1515). Bayard was mortally wounded while covering the retreat at the Sesia River in Italy.


Watch the video: The Perfect Knight: Pierre Terrail Seigneur De Bayard