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Biographical notes on War Captains and Mercenary Leaders operating in Italy between 1330 and 1550

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Andrew Belmont: The Gallant Condottiere of the White Company

Italian CondottieriAndrew Belmont: The Gallant Condottiere of the White Company

English, of royal blood. One of the most famous condottieri of the White Company or the Company of Englishmen. According to contemporary chroniclers, he always stands out for his gentleness, rather than for the brutal acts usually committed by his fellow captains. He is thus the protagonist of a romantic relationship with Monna Tancia, the wife of a prominent citizen of Pisa. Upon his probable return to England, his son Thomas remains in Italy to join the company of John Hawkwood.

Indice delle Signorie dei Condottieri: ABCDEFGIJLMNOPQRSTUVZ

Andrea di Belmonte, the Noble Heart of the White Company

Andrew Belmont (Andrea di Belmonte), also known as Andrea Dubramonte. English. The illegitimate son of Henry Beaumont, the Earl of Buchan.

Death: 1368

Year, monthState, Comp. venturaOpponentConductActivity AreaActions taken and other salient facts
1351
…………EnglandFranceFranceNicknamed Dubramonte and credited with royal blood for his gentle manners, which contrast with those of other condottieri. He fought in France during the Hundred Years’ War.
1360Comp. venturaChurchFranceHe joined forces with John Hawkwood (Giovanni Acuto) at Pont-Saint-Esprit.
1361
Jan. – Mar.Comp. venturaChurchFranceAfter the Treaty of Brétigny, he became part of the “Grande Compagnia” (Great Company). He followed the mercenaries in their actions against Avignon, where Pope Innocent VI resided.
Nov.MonferratoMilanPiedmont, LombardyThe company disbanded; part of the mercenaries formed the White Company (Compagnia Bianca) or the Company of Englishmen. Encouraged by the papal authorities, they moved into Piedmont to fight the Visconti on behalf of John II, Marquess of Montferrat (Giovanni Paleologo). The company was led by Albert Sterz, and included numerous veterans of the Hundred Years’ War such as John Hawkwood (Giovanni Acuto), Robert Canolles, William Boson (Guglielmo Bosone), William Quarton, and Ugolino Ethon. At the end of the month, the company was reported in Rivarolo Canavese to sign an agreement between the mercenaries and the Marquess of Montferrat.
1363PisaFlorenceTuscanyAt the head of the White Company (Compagnia Bianca), commanding 16,000 men, Andrew Belmont (Andrea di Belmonte) joined the service of the Pisans. Bernabò Visconti, the lord of Milan, lent them 100,000 florins to recruit the English mercenaries against the Florentines. Belmont participated in the raids and devastations carried out by the company. Yet, he continued to stand out for his gentleness, a stark contrast to the brutal actions typical of other English captains.
In November, Belmont became romantically involved with Monna Tancia of Figline Valdarno, the wife of a prominent citizen of Pisa, Guido della Foresta. Guido graciously received Belmont at his castle, known as dei Benci e alla Foresta, near Reggiolo. As a true gentleman, Belmont ensured that no harm came to Guido’s lands, preventing any damage during his stay.
1364
Jan.TuscanyAndrew Belmont (Andrea di Belmonte) served in the company of John Hawkwood (Giovanni Acuto).
MayComp. venturaTuscanyAndrew Belmont (Andrea di Belmonte) followed Albert Sterz and Hanneken von Baumgarten (Anichino di Baumgarten) in leaving the service of the Pisans. Along with them, 600 English soldiers also defected. Belmont was given 2,000 florins for his departure. He joined Sterz and Baumgarten in forming the Company of the Star (Compagnia della Stella).
June – JulyFlorencePisa, LuccaTuscanyJohn Hawkwood (Giovanni Acuto) revealed to the Elders of Pisa the secret treaty between Andrew Belmont (Andrea di Belmonte) and Albert Sterz with the Florentines. As a result, Belmont was prevented from entering the city. In retaliation, the English condottiero ravaged the countryside. He then went to Florence, entered the Palazzo Vecchio, and signed a six-month contract to fight against Lucca and Pisa. Following this period, Belmont swore an oath to maintain peace towards the Republic of Florence and its allied communes for six years.
Aug.Comp. venturaPerugiaUmbriaWas compelled by Hanneken von Baumgarten (Anichino di Baumgarten) to leave the Perugia region, under the condition that he promised not to harass its countryside in the future.
Sept.church, NaplesComp. venturaTuscanyAndrew Belmont (Andrea di Belmonte) offered his services to the Florentines in San Miniato. However, he eventually accepted 1,200 florins to join the service of the Papal States and Queen Joanna I of Naples (Giovanna d’Angiò). His task was to confront Hanneken von Baumgarten (Anichino di Baumgarten) and Albert Sterz, who had occupied Sutri and Vetralla in the Papal territories.
Oct.Comp. venturaPerugiaUmbriaAndrew Belmont (Andrea di Belmonte) returned to the Perugia region with Giovanni Breccia and Ugo della Zucca. He moved to Passignano sul Trasimeno and conducted ongoing raids towards Chiugi and Castel della Pieve (Città della Pieve). During this period, he also captured Castelnuovo from the Michelotti family.
Nov.UmbriaAndrew Belmont (Andrea di Belmonte) was at Pian del Carpine (Magione), from where he launched widespread raids into the districts of Santa Maria Possa (Santa Maria), Capocavallo, Migiana di Monte Tezio, Corciano, and Antria, setting fire to houses and palaces everywhere. He advanced to San Marco near Perugia, then to Montemolino, seized San Mariano, and stopped at the Taverna di Olmo.
However, he was soon confronted by Hanneken von Baumgarten (Anichino di Baumgarten) and Albert Sterz and was significantly outmatched. He took refuge in a castle near Lake Trasimeno. Under pressure, he was forced to surrender after requesting a ransom from the Perugians and lowering his demands to 25 scudi. Invited by the Priors to Perugia for a feast, Belmont soon after left the Perugia region, obtaining safe passage and supplies for ten days, paid for by the city.
1365
Jan. – Feb.Molise, LazioAndrew Belmont (Andrea di Belmonte), along with other condottieri, negotiated an agreement at the castle of Pissina in the Marsica region with Gomez Albornoz. They agreed to serve the Kingdom of Naples and the Papal States. For a sum of 160,000 florins, Belmont committed to not harass these territories for five years and to fight against Hanneken von Baumgarten (Anichino di Baumgarten) and Albert Sterz.
He then headed towards the Kingdom of Naples. During the march, the rearguard of the White Company (Compagnia Bianca), led by Ugo della Zucca and Nicola Unghero, along with the Papal troops commanded by Gomez Albornoz, Ugolino da Montemarte, and Tommaso da Spoleto, encountered an ambush at Roccasecca set by local peasants. Belmont’s forces suffered significant losses in this confrontation.
………ChurchPerugiaUmbriaAndrew Belmont (Andrea di Belmonte) returned to the Perugia region with Albert Sterz and John Hawkwood (Giovanni Acuto).
JulyComp. venturaPerugiaUmbriaAndrew Belmont (Andrea di Belmonte) appeared with Ugo della Zucca in the Valle del Peglio, near Orvieto, to demand their overdue wages. This led to widespread devastation and fires in the area. In response, Gomez Albornoz sought assistance from the Perugians and turned to the Company of the Star (Compagnia della Stella), led by Hanneken von Baumgarten (Anichino di Baumgarten) and Albert Sterz. Belmont and his fellow leaders from the White Company (Compagnia Bianca) attempted to flee. However, they were spotted and violently attacked near San Mariano. Defeated, Belmont sought refuge in a nearby castle. The intense heat and the shortage of water and wine forced the English forces to surrender after two days of siege. Belmont was captured and brought to Perugia along with 1,600 men and various captains, including Ugo della Zucca, Giovanni Breccia, and a Hungarian leader.
Aug.UmbriaAndrew Belmont (Andrea di Belmonte), along with Albert Sterz and Hanneken von Baumgarten (Anichino di Baumgarten), was invited to a banquet hosted by the Perugians. During this event, he was offered citizenship and the ownership of a house in Perugia. In return, Belmont promised not to bring his troops into the Perugia region for the next five years. To ensure his compliance, he remained as a hostage in the city, alongside Ugo della Zucca, Giovanni Breccia, and the Hungarian captain.
1366UmbriaAndrew Belmont (Andrea di Belmonte), along with the other condottieri, was released following an agreement brokered by John Hawkwood (Giovanni Acuto) with the Commune of Perugia. However, despite his release, Belmont was prohibited from leaving the city.
1367
Jan. – Feb.Comp. venturaPerugiaUmbria, TuscanyAndrew Belmont (Andrea di Belmonte) was tasked with gathering troops on behalf of the Perugians, while the other three captains—Ugo della Zucca, Giovanni Breccia, and the Hungarian captain—remained in Perugia as hostages. Instead of fulfilling his duty, Belmont connected with the Company of St. George (Compagnia di San Giorgio) led by John Hawkwood (Giovanni Acuto) and Ambrogio Visconti in Bagno al Morbo. He was reported to be operating in the area around Lake Trasimeno. In response to Belmont’s defection, the Perugians intensified their surveillance and harshened the living conditions of the three remaining hostages. Due to his betrayal, the room in Perugia where the magistrates had decided to grant him freedom was later named the “Sala del Mal Consiglio” (“Hall of Bad Counsel”).
Mar.Comp. venturaSiena, PerugiaTuscany, UmbriaAndrew Belmont (Andrea di Belmonte) ravaged the nearby countryside around Lake Trasimeno, but when faced by the Florentines, he retreated to the Arezzo region. He then defeated the Sienese forces at Montalcinello.
With increased strength, Belmont returned to the Perugia region, moving through Piegaro and advancing to San Mariano and San Biagio della Valle, where he set fire to houses and palaces and killed many men. After fifteen days, he reached San Costanzo, crossed the Tiber near Torgiano, and penetrated the territory of Assisi, eventually setting up camp at Isola Romanesca (Bastia Umbra). Belmont then defeated the Perugians at Ponte San Giovanni in a fierce battle, leaving between 1,500 and 1,800 men dead. Among the captured opponents were Enrico Paher, the podestà, and the commissario Lamberto da Pietramala. Following his victory, Belmont returned to the Siena region to collect the remaining portion of the ransom previously imposed on the Sienese.
Apr.MilanLombardyAndrew Belmont (Andrea di Belmonte) left John Hawkwood (Giovanni Acuto) and the Company of St. George (Compagnia di San Giorgio) and moved to Lombardy, where he entered the service of Galeazzo and Bernabò Visconti.
………ViscontiAs a reward for his service, the Visconti granted him a castle as a fief to settle his unpaid wages.
1368Andrew Belmont (Andrea di Belmonte) rebelled against the Visconti. According to Pellini, he was captured and executed. However, other sources, such as Caferro, dispute this account and suggest that in 1369 he was still alive. According to these sources, Belmont, along with Ugo della Zucca, crossed the Alps again to fight in France during the Hundred Years’ War.
His son, Thomas, remained in Italy. Thomas joined the Company of St. George (Compagnia di San Giorgio) under John Hawkwood (Giovanni Acuto), where he held the rank of marshal.

Sources

“Di stirpe regia, di sangue regale.” GRAZIANI

Con Giovanni Breccia ed Ugolino Ethon “Nec non egregii et potentes viri.” THEINER

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Roberto Damiani
Roberto Damiani
Roberto Damiani è l'autore del sito Condottieri di ventura.