Today in Celtic History
March 27, 1351

The Combat of the Thirty.

March 27, 1351


The Combat of the Thirty


The Combat of the Thirty was a famous battle fought on March 27, 1351, during the Breton civil war (part of the Hundred Years' War) between Jean de Montfort (supported by the English) and Charles de Blois (supported by the French). The combat was an emprise, an arranged passage of arms, between thirty men of the pro-Blois garrison of Josselin, led by Robert de Beaumanoir, and thirty men of the pro-Montfort garrison of Ploermel, led by Robert Bemborough.

The combatants used axes and daggers, and continued until a break was called. Two English and four French were dead at that point, and de Beaumanoir was bleeding and exhausted. He is said to have called for a drink, to which Bemborough is quoted as replying, "Drink your blood, Beaumanoir, your thirst will pass soon enough." Once the combat resumed it did not stop until Bemborough and eight of his party were dead, and the rest had been taken for ransom. De Beaumanoir and the French were victorious.

While the combat did not have any real effect on the war, or the political issues surrounding it, the legend it created, and the renown attached to those who participated were such that twenty years later Jean Froissart noticed a scarred survivor at the table of Charles V, where he was honored above all others.

What else happened today on March 27

March 27, 1306
King Robert I ("The Bruce") crowned at Scone.
March 27, 1371
King Robert II crowned at Scone.
March 27, 1599
Robert Devereux becomes Lieutenant-General of Ireland
March 27, 1625
Charles 1 becomes king of England, Scotland and Ireland
March 27, 1650
Kilkenny surrenders to Cromwell
March 27, 1725
The first number of Faulkner's Dublin Journal is published
March 27, 1766
First publication of The Vicar Of Wakefield by Oliver Goldsmith
March 27, 1782
A Whig administration comes to power in Britain
March 27, 1839
Birth in Glenavy, Co. Antrim, of John Ballance, Prime Minister of New Zealand. The eldest son of a tenant farmer, John is not interested in farming and goes to Belfast to stay with his uncle. At eighteen, he goes to Birmingham and earns a living in the ir
March 27, 1871
First Scotland/England rugby international, 20 a side, played at Raeburn Place. (Scotland won).
March 27, 1872
Mary MacSwiney, Maire Nic Shuibhne, Irish patriot, is born. Educated in the Ursuline Convent, she later trains as a teacher at Cambridge University. She teaches in Cork where she becomes a founding member of the Munster Women's Franchise League and a memb
March 27, 1943
Aircraft carrier HMS Dasher blew up and sank off the island of Arran in the Firth of Clyde with the loss of 350 crew; there were 149 survivors.