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Page 23. line 94. - To turn on the defenceless prisoners
The cruel sword of conquest. During the heat of the combat, when the English had gained the upper hand, and made several prisoners, news was brought to king Henry that the French were attacking his rear, and had already captured the greater part of his baggage and sumpter-horses. This was indeed true, for Robinet de Bournonville, Rifflart de Clamasse, Ysambart d’Azincourt, and some other men at arms, with about six hundred peasants, had fallen upon and taken great part of the king's baggage, and a number of horses, while the guard was occupied in the battle. This distressed the king very much, for he saw that though the French army had been routed, they were collecting on different parts of the plain in large bodies, and he was afraid they would resume the battle: he therefore caused instant proclamation to be made by sound of trumpet, that every one should put his prisoners to death, to prevent them from aiding the enemy, should the combat be renewed. This caused an instantaneous and general massacre of the French prisoners, occasioned by the disgraceful conduct of Robinet de Bournonville, Ysambart d'Azincourt, and the others, who were afterwards punished for it, and imprisoned a very long time by duke John of Burgundy, notwithstanding they had made a present to the count de Charolois of a most precious sword, ornamented with diamonds, that had belonged to the king of England. They had taken this sword, with other rich jewels, from king Henry's baggage, and had made this present, that in case they should at any time be called to an account for what they had done, the count might stand their friend. — Monstrelet, vol. iv. p. 180.
When the king of England had on this Saturday begun his marci towards Calais, many of the French returned to the field of battle, where the bodies had been turned over more than once, some to seek for their lords, and carry them to their own countries for burial, others to pillage what the English
had left. King Henry's army had only taken gold, silver, rich dresses, helmets, and what was of value, for which reason the greater part of the armour was untouched, and on the dead bodies; but it did not long remain thus, for it was very soon stripped off, and even the shirts and all other parts of their dress were carried away by the peasants of the adjoining villages.
The bodies were left exposed as naked as when they came into the world. On the Saturday, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, the corpses of many princes were well washed and raised, namely, the dukes of Brabant, Bar, and Alençon, the counts de Nevers, de Blaumont, de Vaudemont, de Faulquemberge, the lord de Dampierre, admiral sir Charles d'Albreth, constable, and buried in the church of the Friars Minors at Hesdin. Others were carried by their servants, some to their own countries, and others to different churches. All who were recognised were taken away, and buried in the churches of their manors.
When Philippe count de Charolois heard of the unfor. tunate and melancholy disaster of the French, he was in great grief; more especially for the death of his two uncles, the duke of Brabant and count de Nevers. Moved by compassion, he caused all that had remained exposed on the field of battle to be interred, and commissioned the abbot de Roussianville and the bailiff of Aire to have it done. They mea. sured out a square of twenty-five yards, wherein were dug three trenches twelve feet wide, in which were buried, by an account kept, five thousand eight hundred men. It was not known how many had been carried away by their friends, nor what number of the wounded had died in hospitals, towns, villages, and even in the adjacent woods; but, as I have before said, it must have been very great.
This square was consecrated as a burying-ground by the bishop of Guines, at the command and as procurator of Louis de Luxembourg, bishop of Therounne. It was surrounded by a strong hedge of thorns, to prevent wolves or dogs from entering it, and tearing up and devouring the bodies.
In consequence of this sad event, some learned clerk of the realm made the following verses :
A chief by dolorous mischance oppressid,
A prince who rules by arbitrary will,
A council prejudiced and partial still,
Nobles made noble in dame Nature's spite
A timorous clergy fear, and truth conceal ;
And the harsh yoke of proud oppression feel :
Ah feeble woe! whose impotent commands
The very vassals boldly dare despise :
And wavering counsels dare no high emprize,
Johnes's Monstrelet, vol. iv. p. 195.
According to Pierre de Fenin, the English did not bury their own dead; but their loss was so small that this is very unlikely. He says, Après cette douloureuse journée, et que toutes les deux parties se furent retirées, Louys de Luxembourg, qui estoit Evesque de Teroiiane, fit faire en la place où la bataille avoit esté donnée plusieurs charniers, où il fit assembler tous les morts d'un coste et d'autre ; et là les fit enterrer, puis il bénit la place, et la fit enclore de fortes hayes tout autour, pour la garantir du bestial.
After the battle of Agincourt Henry lodged at Maisoncelle; le lendemain au matin il en deslogea, et alla passer tout au milieu des morts qui avoient esté tuez en ce combat ; là il s'arresta grand
espace de temps, et tirèrent ses gens encor des prisonniers hors du nombre des morts, qu'ils emmenèrent avec eux. - Coll. des Mé moires, t. v. p. 384.
Page 24. line 127. — From the disastrous plain of Agincourt.
Perhaps one consequence of the victory at Agincourt is not generally known. Immediately on his return Henry sent his legates to the council of Constance : “ at this councell, by the assent of all nations there present, it was authorised and ordained, that England should obtaine the name of a nation, and should be said one of the five nations that owe their devotion to the church of Rome, which thing untill that time men of other nations, for envy, had delayed and letted.” Stowe, Elmham.
Page 24. line 129. - Henry as wise as brave had back to
England Henry judged, that by fomenting the troubles of France, he should procure more certain and lasting advantages than by means of his arms. The truth is, by pushing the French vigorously, he ran the risk of uniting them all against him; in which case, his advantages, probably, would have been inconsiderable; but by granting them some respite, he gave them opportunity to destroy one another : therefore, contrary to every one's expectation, he laid aside his military affairs for near eighteen months, and betook himself entirely to negotiation, which afforded him the prospect of less doubtful advantages. Rapin.
Page 26. line 166.
- For many were the warrior sons of Roan
“ Yet although the armie was strong without, there lacked not within both hardie capteins and manfull soldiers, and as for people, they had more than inough: for as it is written by some that had good cause to know the truth, and no occasion
to erre from the same, there were in the citie at the time of the siege 210,000 persons.
Dailie were issues made out of the citie at diverse gates, sometime to the losse of the one partie and sometimes of the other, as chances of warre in such adventures happen.” – Holinshed, 566.
Page 26. line 171.- Had bade them vow before Almighty God.
“ The Frenchmen indeed preferring fame before worldlie riches, and despising pleasure (the enemy to warlike prowesse), sware ech to other never to render or deliver the citie, while they might either hold sword in hand or speare in rest." Holinshed, 566.
Page 26. line 183.- Had made a league with famine. “ The king of England advertised of their bautie courages, determined to conquer them by famine which would not be tamed by weapon. Wherefore he stopped all the passages, both by water and land, that no vittels could be conveied to the citie. He cast trenches round about the walls, and set them full of stakes, and defended them with archers, so that there was left neither waie for them within to issue out, nor for anie that were abroad to enter in without his license. The king's coosine germane and alie (the king of Portugale), sent a great navie of well-appointed ships unto the mouth of the river of Seine, to stop that no French vessel should enter the river and passe up the same, to the aid of them within Rouen.
“ Thus was the faire citie of Rouen compassed about with enemies, both by water and land, having neither comfort nor aid of king, dolphin, or duke. Holinshed, 566.
King Henry of England marched a most powerful army, accompanied by a large train of artillery and warlike stores, in the month of June, before the noble and potent town of Rouen, to prevent the inhabitants and garrison from being supplied with new corn. The van of his army arrived there at mid