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Brémule, battle of

Brémule, battle of, 1119. Fought on 20 August between Henry I and Louis VI of France. Louis invaded Normandy in support of William Clito's claim to the duchy and was keen to bring Henry to battle. His enthusiasm led him to launch poorly controlled cavalry attacks against the English and Norman household troops, most of whom were fighting on foot. Henry himself received some blows on his helmet, but the French were beaten off and fled in disorder. The contemporary Norman historian Orderic Vitalis noted that the quality of their armour and the chivalrous preference for capturing (and presumably ransoming) the enemy meant that of the 900 knights engaged in ‘the battle of the two kings’ only three were killed.

John Gillingham

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