The Hundred Year War between France and England was the birthplace of many legends and tales of revenge. Years of turmoil and battles created the perfect outlet for warriors to become legends. Or they became the perfect place for you to seek your vengeance: to hunt your demons. That is what Marguerite de Bressieux did, she hunted rapists.
Her story begins in France, in the late 1400s, when not only was France at war with England they were also in a civil war. Marguerite was the daughter of a royal nobleman, and her father’s castle was surrounded by renegade nobles. Louis de Chalons, the prince of Orange, was the rebels leader: he sacked Marguerite’s castle. Destroying everything in her life, if that was not enough, the soldiers brutally assaulted Marguerite and her eleven women in waiting.
Marguerite had no intention of becoming a forgotten victim of war. She had other plans and they included having her revenge upon her rapists. For months she and the other woman trained, learning how to wield arms. They donned armor and painted it all black: even their faces were painted black. And to top it off they had black veils over their helmets.
Suddenly, reports of twelve black knights started to circulate. They would ride into war hunting rapists down. And by all accounts left by historians, they were ferocious fighters leaving no mercy. And their banner?
A black banner with an orange being speared completely through. With the following words emblazoned across: Ainsi tu seras, meaning “You will be so.” A direct insult towards their aggressor Louis de Chalon and his men. They rode always seeking to kill their rapists.
When the royalist troops prepared a huge assault on the renegades at the battle of Autun, these twelve black knights appeared. The royalist welcomed them into their ranks and they spearheaded the assault. During the battle, they cornered their rapists and took off their helmets before executing them. Slaying every last one of them down, reports even suggest the men believed ghosts had come to kill them!
Sadly this was the last fight for Marguerite, who had been gravely wounded during the fight, but she held on to hear that their mission had been achieved. Her legacy lives on, buried with full military honor: a reminder to any would-be predator.