Bartwald on Jousting

I want to tell you about my favourite sporting hero – my apologies in advance


Bartwald was the premier jouster of his time. He performed many times in front of Henry II. Undeniably the star of sport, he had a serious following throughout England and neighbouring European countries. This consisted mostly of young women, including a large proportion of the Royal Court. It would be fair to say that he was the forerunner of the modern football star.

Bartwald never won a tournament but was often in the final. He never gave up, and was eventually immortalised in the well-known portrait Bartwald Flies Again, by the famous painter of the time, Thyrdwulf Eardwulf. He acquired his nickname due to the number of times he copped a lance in his face and ended up flat on his back, or fell headfirst from his horse.

His rugged although rapidly deteriorating good looks and his lack of intelligence, made him perfectly suitable for the sport. It was said in some quarters, perhaps unfairly, that he managed to carry on jousting for so long because there was nothing in his head to damage. This was mainly from jealous tournament winners who could not get the women they fancied because they all swooned over Bartwald. Unfortunately he was often too drunk to notice, this being the only way he could dull the pain of his injuries.

Unfortunately Bartwald met an early end when he was knocked off his horse in a joust, fell on his head and suffered severe concussion. In his disoriented and confused state he mistook King Henry for his opponent and went to launch a full-blooded attack. Running full pelt at an increasingly worried king, he drew his sword, tripped, and managed to impale himself with his own blade. This was another scene captured by Thyrdwulf Eardwulf entitled Bartwald Ends.

Being a forerunner of the modern sports star, Bartwald was often cornered by the local Court Reporters for an interview. He struggled manfully at such times but was not capable of putting many coherent sentences together. Some of his more relevant insights to his sporting life were recently found in papers that had been mixed with valuable historical documents at the British Museum.

On his chosen sport:

‘Yeah…jousting…it’s like…a game of two ends…you know?’

‘It’s a mental game, jousting. You got to have a mental approach…really mental, if you know what I mean!’

On a recent performance:

‘I done everyfing right, and would have won if I hadn’t lost’

‘I’m in good shape, probably just a couple of broken ribs and a punctured lung… Tomorrow’s annuvver day.’



Bartwald is one of the dregs of history – available Here

About George Fripley
I am a writer who enjoys writing humour, satire, poetry and sometimes a bit of philosophy. I live in Perth, Western Australia and occasionally get a poem or article published. It's all good fun! I have two books available for unwary readers, Grudges, Rumours and Drama Queens- The Civil Servant's Manual (This contains all that anybody could ever want to know about why government runs so slowly) and More Gravy Please! - the Politician's Handbook. (available through Amazon). Real name Peter Tapsell...just started off writing under a pseudonym and kept going.

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