Nursery Rhymes

Batons

Middle Ages - Lords and Ladies

Description of Batons


The weapons used during the Middle Ages include the use of Batons. Batons were the name of the swords which were used in Sword training or Tournaments and were made of whalebone or wood. The description of the Batons which provides basic facts and information about the weapon is as follows:

  • Batons - This weapon originated as a club or cudgel and is the simplest of all mêlée weapons
  • The Baton - Batons, were the names of the swords which were used in Tournaments or training and were made of whalebone or wood
  • Wooden batons measured two and a half feet long
  • The length of batons were specified in a fifteenth century treatise on cries des joustes
  • A Rebated sword is one that has had its point and edge blunted for training or tournament
  • Behourd was the old name of the training ground for young knights and squires
  • The behourd was also used as a friendly tournament to be held at special occasions such as weddings, knight ceremonies and coronations
  • At these special tournaments, or behourds, the batons were decorated to give the appearance of real weapons
  • Batons were only used to strike 'above the belt'
  • Training Combats or tournaments using batons were settled by either a set number of counted blows, or until one or both combatants had been “satisfied” i.e. had enough
  • Used as a versatile, close contact weapon. It was cheap to produce in its simplest form being made from a single piece of wood  that is narrow enough on one end to be grasped by the hand
  • Batons were made of any type of hard wood, lime was often preferred  
  • A blow from a baton could apply tremendous force

Training Combats or tournaments (behourds) using batons
Training Combats or tournaments (behourds) using batons were settled by either a set number of counted blows, or until one or both combatants had been “satisfied” i.e. had enough. Certain blows or manoeuvres using batons were allocated set numbers of points. 

  • Thrusts to the body, shoulder and face counted as three points
  • An immobilization or disarm was counted as three points
  • Thrusts to the rest of the body or wrists counted for one point
  • Strikes made with the use of the pommel or quillon also counted for one point

N.B. The quillon was the crossbar on the hilt of a sword. The pommel was part of the hilt which acted as a counterweight to the blade.

Middle Ages Weapons
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