de Welles, 5th Baron Welles (1352–1421) was an English
soldier and noble the English ambassador to Scotland. He married
Margaret "Eleanor," daughter of John,
Lord Mowbray by Elizabeth, Baroness Segrave.
He was born in Welle, Lincolnshire, England on 20th April 1352.
John De Welles died on 26 August 1421.
At a banquet in Edinburgh , after arguing over who was the most
gallant of their countrymen, he issued, as Champion of England,
the following challenge to David Lindsay (later
1st Earl of Crawford): “Let words have no place; if ye know
not the Chivalry and Valiant deeds of Englishmen; appoint me a day
and a place where ye list, and ye shall have experience.”
As a result of the challenge, on St George’s Day, 23rd April
1390, in the presence of Richard II of England , he fought David
Lindsay in a jousting tournament on London Bridge.
The day for the encounter arrived, and the two knights fully armed
in the plate armour of the period were conducted to the Bridge,
where a daïs had been erected for Richard II and the members
of his Court.
All the suitable positions were occupied by the nobility, and elsewhere
the populace crowded every available corner. When all was in readiness
the heralds gave the signal and the two horsemen, spurring their
heavy horses, charged full at one another.
Spears were broken, but both warriors remained seated firmly in
their saddles. "The people beholding how stiffelie earle (sic)
David sat without moving, cried that the Scottisman was locked in
his saddle. He hearing this, leapt beside his horse, and verie nimblie
mounted up againe into the saddle, armed as he was, to the great
wonder of the beholders."
With fresh spears a second course was taken and once more the
weapons were splintered "and yet without anie great hurt on
either part." At the third collision Lord Welles was borne
from his saddle and fell heavily to the ground, being "sore
hurt." The onlookers appear to have thought he was killed,
but Lindsay was quickly off his horse, and, kneeling by his side,
he tenderly held him in his arms until the doctor came to tend his
John de Welles, 5th Baron Welles, is our 20th Great Grandfather