The London Bridge Joust

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The London Bridge Joust

On St. George's Day, 23rd of April 1390 London Bridge was the scene of an extraordinary event - a joust!

John de Wells, the English Ambassador to Scotland, had offended many Scotts by boasting of the prowess of the English at the Scottish Court. He was challenged to duel on London Bridge to settle the matter, by David Lindsay Earl of Crawford, a famous Scottish knight.

By a royal safe-conduct, he travelled to London with an entourage of twenty-nine people. When the day of battle arrived, both parties, armed, were most honourably conducted to the bridge, which was splendidly decorated with rich hangings of tapestry and cloth of gold, and filled with noble spectators.

King Richard II. himself was seated in the place of honour:

"All furnish'd, all in arms. All plumed like ostriches that wing the wind: Baited like eagles having lately bathed; Glittering in golden coats, like images; And gorgeous as the sun at midsummer, their horses printing their proud hoofs in the receiving earth!"

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