Pierre du Terrail, Chevalier de Bayard.
PIERRE DU TERRAIL, chevalier de Bayard (about 1473 at Castle Bayard at Grenoble; † April 30, 1524), the Chevalier sans peur et sans reproche (“The Knight in shining armor”), began his career by serving as page to the Duke of Savoy, and was knighted in 1494 for his bravery in capturing a standard at the battle of Fornova.
Many incidents are related of his bravery. He is said to have defended single-handed the bridge over the Garigliano against a troop of Spaniards. In 1512, he led a storming party at the siege of Brescia and was the first to mount the rampart. He was wounded in the attack. The exploit forms the subject of the above illustration.
In 1515 after the victory of Marignano, he had the honor of knighting his king, Francis I, at the latter’s own request. Bayard was mortally wounded at the passage of the Sesia, in 1524. He got a shot from a arquebus, which shattered his spine. He asked to be seated with his back against a tree, that he might die facing his enemies, and repeated the “Miserere” just before his death. When the fallen of France Constable of Bourbon came to him and mourned for him, Bayard said: “You Do not pity me, but probably you, leading you to King and Country weapons”. Pierre du Terrail died at the age of about 48 years on April 30, 1524. A year later wrote his former personal physician and secretary, Symphorien Champier, called Le Loyal Serviteur, whose biography, which was widely distributed.
Larivière, Artist. A. Lefevre, Engraver.
Source: Character sketches of romance, fiction and the drama by Rev. Ebenezer Cobham Brewer, 1892. A revised American edition of the readers handbook. Edited by Marion Harland.