14th Century Illustrations of Costume & Soldiers on
The Courtrai Chest
The Flemish line of battle during the Battle of the Golden Spurs / The collection of the booty: the golden spursClick for a larger image.
Previous: Tower Next: The Bruges Matins
The Flemish line of battle. At far right we see the packed wall of pikes into which the French knights will crash. The first slain horses can already be seen lying on the ground at right. Behind these pikes are the crossbowmen and the rest of the town militias. Above the Flemish army fly the banners of Guy of Namur, William of Jülich, Henry of Lontzen, the town guilds and Pieter de Coninck. The two large figures on the right are again Guy of Namur and William of Jüllich. To the left a French knight is being stopped. A pike seems to hit him under his helmet and a sword is driven into his horse's chest.
Collecting the booty. Hardly any prisoners were taken at the battle of Courtrai. There were strict orders that everyone trying to take prisoners was to be executed at once by his comrades in arms. The battle was therefore fought in a very vicious and bloody manner. After the battle the dead bodies are searched and stripped of everything that could be useful. More than 500 golden spurs were collected from the battlefield. This gave the battle its modern name: Battle of the Golden Spurs. In the front we can observe a body with a ripped open belly, demonstrating the harshness of the battle. Above this man, two men seem to be fighting over the booty, or else they are using their daggers to remove equipment from the dead. At their right a man strips a dead man of his gambeson. Notice the heavy wounds on all the dead men.
Back to the Courtrai or Oxford Chest (Kist van Kortrijk)