A gendarme was a heavy cavalryman of noble birth, primarily serving in the French army from the Late Medieval to the Early Modern periods of European history. Their heyday was in the late fifteenth to mid sixteenth centuries, when they provided the Kings of France with a potent regular force of heavily armoured, lance-armed cavalry which, when properly employed, could dominate the battlefield.

“Louis Le Grand Commandant son armée devant Cambray” [Louis Grand Dauphin] by Jean Dieu de Saint-Jean. Date: 17th Century.

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  • Image: BnF.