hist-games: Lance-knights (card) game

Matthew Whitaker esugenas at jps.net
Thu Mar 11 07:07:20 PST 2004

It looks like your Lance Knight is probably Lansquenet which is a card

Seemingly played in Land(e)sknecht Germany; according to the History of
Playing Cards, the first time this was mentioned was in Rabelais'
Gargantua (fifth edition) published in 1542.

The two references I have for the game are: 

1) The Compleat Anachronist #71 [January 1994]:  Period Pastimes, by
Patrick J Smith; p16 [a publication of the Society for Creative

2) A History of Card Games by David Parlett, Oxford University Press,
1991, ISBN:  0-19-282905-x, p76-77

Also, Pique (French) and Pik (German) are translations of the Spades

Hope that helps,

-----Original Message-----
From: hist-games-admin at www.pbm.com [mailto:hist-games-admin at www.pbm.com]
On Behalf Of Imran Ghory
Sent: Thursday, March 11, 2004 6:15 AM
To: hist-games at www.pbm.com
Subject: hist-games: Lance-knights (card) game

Can anyone identify what game is meant by "Lance-knights game" (a quote
which mentions it is included below). Incidently the quote calls one of
the suits "pickes", is this a standard term for the period ?

>From John Eliot's section on pastimes in  "Ortho-epia Gallica Eliots
fruits for the French" (A work to help englishmen learn french published

Shuffle the cards.
Cut, He shall deale vvho lifts the highest card, I shall deale.
Lets play at Primero.
No, no, wee will play at Spanish triumph.
Fie vpon it, tis euerie common alehouse game in England.
At Sant then.
No, for Gods sake, vve will play at the
Lance-knights game.
Well tis done, cut the cards.
Steuen you cut at the boung card.
I know not what it means truly.
Theres for thee Antonie, a dame without blame.
I haue a king without a kingdome.
Looke this is mine owne.
What, maister knaue of clubs, you are vvelcome.
Will you vvin me six pence?
Here is a ten, a nine, an ace, the foure of spades, the three of pickes,
the two of harts.
A plague of the cards, I shal not turne vp one of these cards.
I thinke that there is no more kings or queenes in the decke.
O heres the brother of Robin Hood come.
You haue lost the game.

There's more in the section but I've cut it down to make it more
I can supply the full section if anyone wants it.

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