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Justin King
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Location: flagstaff,arizona
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PostPosted: Fri 31 Jul, 2009 7:16 am    Post subject: The Death of Richard Shaw, 1335         Reply with quote

The following is excerpted from "The Second Scottish Wars of Independance 1332-1363" by Chris Brown, relating to events that took place during the English campaign of 1335 against the Scots. The Count of Namur had arrived late for the English muster and followed the main English army north with his small force of knights, men at arms and archers. A Scottish force caught them up near Edinburgh and there was a running skirmish which continued into the streets of the town.

"With no prospect of relief, Namur was forced to surrender. His company had suffered heavy casualties, including one female soldier who had killed her assailant, Richard Shaw, in the same moment as her assailant killed her. The gender of this "woman-at-arms" was only discovered when the bodies were being stripped of their armor at the end of the engagement. The chronicler Bower seems to have been at least as impressed by the rarity of two mounted soldiers simultaneously transfixing one another with their lances as with the fact that one of them was a woman."

Does anyone know of any other sources confirming this, or any further information? The part about her gender not being discovered until the bodies were stripped seems unlikely to me, even if one is prepared to accept the rest at face value. On the other hand, truth is often stranger than fiction. More context would be much appreciated if anyone has such to offer.
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Lafayette C Curtis




Location: Indonesia
Joined: 29 Nov 2006
Reading list: 7 books

Posts: 2,689

PostPosted: Wed 05 Aug, 2009 4:20 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Considering the slim, curvy, pigeon-breasted look of men's fashion in the mid-14th century, mistaking a female warrior for a male one seems like a very plausible thing to me, especially considering that a woman who joined a military outfit (whether openly or in secret) would almost certainly have worn men's clothing and armor. Think of female soldiers as female bodybuilders rather than pulp-fiction "chicks in chainmail" and you'll get a good general picture.
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