Bertrandon De La Broquière - Life

Life

Bertrandon was born late in the fourteenth century or early in the fifteenth in the Duchy of Aquitaine. His life before 1421 is unknown. In that year he was made an esquire (écuyer tranchant) by Philip the Good. He rapidly gained the confidence of the duke and was entrusted with a series of important missions. In 1423 he was honoured with the title premier écuyer tranchant, "first esquire".

From February 1432 to the middle of 1433 Bertrandon was undergoing his pilgrimage to the Mideast. Upon his return he was treated to more honours. In 1442 Philip arranged for Bertrandon to marry Catherine, daughter of Jean de Bernieulles, one of the richest heiresses of the Artois, and in 1443 he granted Bertrandon the captaincy of the castle of Rupelmonde on the left bank of the Escaut, a strategic fortress. In 1452 Bertrandon was present with Philip at the Battle of Gavere against the rebels of Ghent. In July 1453 he was among the elite lords present in the ducal tent when the conditions of peace were imposed on Ghent.

The last mention of Bertrandon in contemporary records dates from 1455, when Philip coaxed him to compose some memoirs of his expedition to the east. A finished copy of these was given to Philip in 1457. One of the manuscripts of the Voyage records that Bertrandon died at Lille on 9 May 1459 and was buried in the collegiate church of Saint-Pierre.

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