Soldiers of fortune, either officers or foot soldiers, were widely used throughout Europe and England. During the 13c many mercenaries were recruited from Flanders and were variously outlaws, criminals, erstwhile priests, and prisoners released for the purpose. When they were not paid, as often happened, they continued their pillaging regardless of whose side their victims were on. [< Lat. merces = reward] -

Dictionary of Medieval Terms and Phrases. .

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