The mortally wounded knight from Auvergne who dragged himself to the chapel to die

March 31, 2011

Levée du siège de Malte by Charles-Philippe Larivière

When Mustapha finally called off his troops, it was estimated that he had lost nearly 2,000, most of them the cream of the Janissary advance guard. The defenders had lost only ten Knights and seventy soldiers….

It was at the close of this day that a Knight of Auvergne, Abel de Bridiers de la Gardampe, was shot and mortally wounded. As his friends ran to help him, he motioned them back with the words: “Count me no more among the living. Your time will be better spent looking after our other brothers.”

While the cannon thundered, and the fire rained down from the walls, and the Janissaries came on in wave upon shouting wave, La Gardampe dragged himself to the chapel of St. Elmo. In the afternoon, when the Knights of the Order made their way to the chapel to give thanks for what seemed almost a victory, they found the Knight of Auvergne stretched dead at the foot of the altar.

 

Ernle Bradford, The Great Siege: Malta 1565 (Hertfordshire, UK: Wordsworth Editions Ltd., 1999) pp. 103-104.

 

Short Stories on Honor, Chivalry, and the World of Nobility—no. 62

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