Pierre Terrail LeVieux, seigneur de Bayard, 1473-1524: Le Chevalier sans peur et sans reproche

“Without fear and without reproach.”

It’s one of those phrases that crops up in romantic literature,  all very Arthur and Camelot and such.   However medieval it may sound, the title didn’t really enter the language until his fans had to describe the sixteenth century knight and warrior de Bayard.  Not a lot of dragons by then- most fighting was over politics.

Bayard was a native of Dauphiné in south east France and a faithful subject of the king of France.  This was not necessarily a given at the time, when loyalty was fluid and power unpredictable. 

He was from a military family and he first honed his skills on horseback and tilting as a page for Louis de Luxembourg.  Presumably he worked on his wit and charm as well, features which seemed to follow him throughout his life.  Good looks were just an afterthought. Continue reading