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It’s not easy being a minstrel!

Musicians who played in the courts in medieval times were called minstrels .  But being a minstrel wasn’t always an easy job.  They were expected to follow their masters everywhere, and this sometimes included following him in to battle.  William the Conqueror had a minstrel called Taillefer, who tried to inspire the Norman troops by juggling a sword and singing the Chanson de Roland .  One of the English soldiers tried to kill him, but Taillefer was clearly much more than a musician and killed the Englishman.  Taillefer then charged the English line but was lost.