Erard de Severy Died on Crusade Upholding his Family Honor

July 11, 2019

King St. Louis IX at the Battle of Mansourah

The greater part of the French warriors, when in the presence of danger, were never abandoned by that sentiment of honor that constituted the spirit and character of chivalry. Erard de Severy, whilst fighting bravely with a small number of knights [in the battle of Mansourah, Seventh Crusade], received a sabre cut in the face; his blood flowed fast, and it appeared not at all likely that he would survive the wound; when, addressing the knights that fought near him, he said, “If you will assure me that I and my children shall be free from all blame, I will go and demand help for you, of the duke of Anjou, whom I see yonder on the plain.” All praised this determination highly, and he immediately mounted on horseback, pierced through the enemy’s squadrons, reached the duke of Anjou, and returned with him to rescue his companions, who were near perishing. Erard de Severy expired shortly after this heroic achievement; he died, bearing away with him, not the sentiments of a vain glory, but the consoling certainty that no blame, as he had desired, should stain his name, or that of his children.

Joseph François Michaud, History of the Crusades, trans. W. Robson (London: George Routledge and Co., 1852), 2:410-11.

Short Stories on Honor, Chivalry, and the World of Nobility—no. 682

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