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“We therefore entreat of you, and require most affectionately, that you will please to allow such as may be inclined to serve us, who live within your bailiwick, and all others of our friends who may travel through it, to pass freely without any molestation whatever ; for you may be assured, that what we shall do will be for the welfare and security of my lord the king, his family, and the whole kingdom, to the confusion of all disloyal traitors. Should there be anything that we could do to give you pleasure, you have but to signify it to us, and we will do it with our whole heart.–Very dear and good friends, may the Holy Spirit have you under his care! Written in our town of Douay, the 13th day of August."
These letters were very agreeable to Ferry de Hangest, then bailiff of Amiens, and to the others to whom they had boen addressed, for they were well inclined to favour the duke of Burgundy.
CHAPTER LXXVI.—THE PARISIANS TAKE UP ARMS AGANST THE ARMAGNACS.- A CIVIL WAR
BREAKS OUT IN SEVERAL PARTS OF FRANCE. At this time the king of France, who had for a considerable time enjoyed good health, relapsed into his former disorder; on which account, and by reason of the discontents that prevailed throughout the kingdom, (the seat of government had been transferred to Melun,) the butchers of Paris, who have greater power and privileges than any other trade, suspecting that the government of the realm, through the intrigues of the queen and the provost of merchants, named Charles Cudane, would be given to the dukes of Berry and Brittany, in preference to the duke of Aquitaine, the king's eldest son, waited upon the latter, and exhorted him, notwithstanding his youth, to assume the government for the good of the king and kingdom, promising him their most loyal aid until death. The duke of Aquitaine inclined to their request, and granted them their wishes. This done, they ordered it to be proclaimed by sound of trumpet in all the squares of Paris, that the provost of merchants, and others in Paris, who were numerous, and whom they suspected of being favourable to the dukes of Berry, Bourbon, and Brittany, and to their parties, must quit the town before a fixed day, under pain of suffering death. In consequence of this proclamation, twelve persons, men and women, without including the domestics of the said lords, left Paris; and shortly after, the duke of Brittany, hearing of these commotions, took leave of the queen at Melun and retired into his duchy. The butchers, and those who lived near the market-places, with the greater part of the Parisians, were strong partisans of the duke of Burgundy, and very desirous that only he, or those that were of his party, should govern the kingdom ; and, to say the truth, it was now become dangerous for the nobility, of whatever party they might be, to dwell in Paris, for the common people had great sway in its government.
In the mean time, the duke of Orleans and his allies were strengthening themselves, by every means in their power, with men-at-arms. The duke of Bourbon and the count d'Alençon came in these days with a numerous body before the town of Roye in the Vermandois, which belongs to the king of France, and entered it about mid-day, more through fraud than by force of arms, for the townsmen did not suspect any warfare. When they had dined, they sent for the principal inhabitants, and ordered them, whether it were pleasing to them or otherwise, to receive a garrison from them. They then rode to Nesle, in the Vermandois, belonging to the count de Dammartin, wherein they also placed a garrison. Thence they dispatched sir Clugnet de Brabant, who had joined them, sir Manessier Guieret, and other captains well attended, to the town of Ham in the Vermandois, belonging to the duke of Orleans: they returned by Chauni-sur-Oise, where they also left a garrison, and in many other places, as well belonging to themselves as to others attached to their party. The duke of Bourbon, on his arrival from this expedition at his town of Clermont, strengthened it, and all his other towns in that country, with fortifications. When the garrisons had been properly posted, the war suddenly broke out between the two parties of Armagnacs and Burgundians.
The duke of Burgundy had not been idle in fortifying his towns with garrisons, and in collecting men-at-arms to resist his adversaries : he himself was in Flanders making preparations to march an army to offer them battle. The army of the Armagnacs had already made incursions into Artois, and had done much mischief to friend and foe, by carrying off prisoners and great plunder to the garrisons whence they had come. The Burgundians were not slow in making reprisals, and frequently invaded the county of Clermont and other parts. When by chance the two parties met, the one shouted “ Orleans !" and the other “ Burgundy!” and thus from this accursed war, carried on in different parts, the country suffered great tribulation. The duke of Burgundy, however, had the king on his side, and those also who governed him; he resided in his hôtel of St. Pol in Paris, and the greater part of its inhabitants were likewise attached to the duke of Burgundy.
At that time, the governors of Paris were Waleran count de St. Pol and John of Luxem bourg *, his nephew, who was very young, Enguerrand de Bournouville, and other captains. They frequently made sallies, well accompanied by men-at-arms, on the Armagnacs, who at times even advanced to the gates of Paris. They were particularly careful in guarding the person of the king, to prevent him from being seduced by the Orleans party, and carried out of the town.
CHAPTER LXXVII.—SIR CLUGNET DE BRABANT IS NEAR TAKING RETHEL.—HE OVERRUNS
THE COUNTRY OF BURGUNDY.--OTHER TRIBULATIONS ARE NOTICED. SIR Clugnet de Brabant, who always styled himself admiral of France, one day assembled two thousand combatants, or thereabout, whom he marched as speedily as he could from their different garrisons, to the country of the Rethelois, having with them scaling-ladders and other warlike machines. They arrived at the ditches of the town of Rethel about sun-rise, and instantly made a very sharp assault, thinking to surprise the garrison and plunder the town. The inhabitants, however, had received timely notice of their intentions, and had prepared themselves for resistance as speedily as they could. - Nevertheless, the assault lasted a considerable time with much vigour on both sides, insomuch that many were killed and wounded of each party. Among the latter was sir Clugnet de Brabant, who, judging from the defence which was made, that he could not gain the place, ordered the retreat to be sounded ; and his men marched into the plain, carrying with them the dead and wounded. He then divided them into two companies; the one of which marched through the country of the Laonnois to Coucy and Chauni, plundering what they could lay hands on, and making all prisoners whom they met on their retreat. The other company marched through part of the empire by the county of Guise, passing through the Cambresis, and driving before them, like the others, all they could find, especially great numbers of cattle, and thus returned to the town of Hamsur-Somme and to their different garrisons.
When they had reposed themselves for eight days, they again took the field with six thousand combatants, and marched for the county of Artois. They came before the town of Bapaume, belonging to the duke of Burgundy, and, on their arrival, won the barriers, and advanced to the gates, where there was a severe skirmish. But the lord de Heilly, sir Hugh de Busse, the lord d'Ancuelles and other valiant men-at-arms, who had been stationed there by the duke of Burgundy, made a sally, and drove them beyond the barriers, - when many gallant deeds were done, and several killed and wounded on both sides; but the Burgundians were forced to retire within the town, for their enemies were too numerous for them to attempt any effectual resistance. The Orleans party now retreated, and collected much plunder in the adjacent country, which they carried with them to their town of Ham.
During this time, sir James de Chastillon t, and the other ambassadors from the king of France, negotiated a truce at Leulinghem, in the Boulonois, with the English ambassadors, to last for one year on sea and land. While these things were passing, the duke of Berry came with the queen of France from Melun to Corbeil, and thence sent Louis of Bavaria to the duke of Aquitaine in Paris, and to those who governed the king, and also to the butchers, to request that they would be pleased to allow him to attend the queen to Paris, and to reside in his hôtel of Nesle, near to the king his nephew, since he was determined no way to interfere in the war between the dukes of Orleans and Burgundy. But his request was refused, chiefly owing to the butchers of Paris, and others of the commonalty, who had great weight; and that he might give over all thoughts of coming, they broke every door and window of his hôtel de Nesle, and committed other great damages. They sent back the queen's brother with a message to her, to come and reside with her lord at Paris, without delay, but not to bring the duke of Berry with her.
* John, called count de Ligny, third son of John count in the room of Clugnet de Breban. He was lord of of Brienne, brother to the count de St. Pol.
Dampierre, and son of Hugh de Châtillon, formerly master + James de Châtillon was appointed admiral in 1408, of the cross-bows.
The Parisians, fearful that the king and the duke of Aquitaine might be carried off from the hôtel of St. Pol, made them reside at the Louvre, where they kept constant guard day and night, to prevent any attempts of the Orleans party to carry them away. The queen, on receiving the message by her brother from the Parisians, and suspecting the consequences of their commotions, set out from Corbeil, and returned to Melun with him and the duke of Berry. A few days after, the Parisians took up arms, marched in a large body to Corbeil, took the town, and placed a garrison therein. They then broke down all the bridges over the Seine, between Charenton and Melun, that the Armagnacs might not pass the river and enter the island of France.
While the queen and the duke of Berry were at Melun, with the count Waleran de St. Pol, whom the marshal Boucicaut had sent thither, the master of the cross-bows and the grand-master of the household came to them with few attendants. The duke of Bourbon and the count d'Alençon, on their road from the Vermandois and Beauvoisis, to join the duke of Orleans, who was assembling his troops in the Gâtinois, called on the queen and the duke of Berry, to require their aid and support against the duke of Burgundy, which was not granted,–because the king in full council, presided by the duke of Aquitaine, had just published an edict in very strong terms, and had caused it to be sent to all the bailiwicks and seneschalships of the kingdom, ordering all nobles, and others that were accustomed to bear arms, to make themselves ready to serve the king, in company with John duke of Burgundy, and to aid him in driving out of his realm all traitorous and disobedient subjects, commanding them to obey the duke of Burgundy the same as himself, and ordering all towns and passes to be opened to him, and to supply him with every necessary provision and store, the same as if he were there in person. On this proclamation being issued, very many made preparations to serve under the duke of Burgundy with all diligence. In addition, the duke of Aquitaine wrote the duke letters in his own hand, by which he ordered all the men-at-arms dependent on the crown to serve personally against his cousin-german, the duke of Orleans, and his allies, who, as he said, were wasting the kingdom in many different parts, desiring him to advance as speedily as he could toward Senlis and the island of France.
CHAPTER LXXVIII.-THE DUKE OF BURGUNDY ASSEMBLES A LARGE ARMY TO LAY SIEGE
TO THE TOWN OF HAM, AND LEADS THITHER AIS FLEMINGS. The duke of Burguudy, being now assured that the duke of Orleans and his allies were raising a large force to invade his countries, and that they had already placed garrisons in towns and fortresses belonging to him or his allies, whence they had made frequent inroads to the despoiling of his country, was highly discontented. To oppose them, he had sent his summons to all his territories in Burgundy, Artois and Flanders, and elsewhere, for all nobles, and others accustomed to bear arms in his behalf, to prepare themselves to join him with all speed, well accoutred and armed, in obedience to the king's commands, and to oppose his and the king's enemies. He also solicited the assistance of his good towns in Flanders, and requested that they would powerfully exert themselves in his favour, to which they readily and liberally assented. They raised a body of forty or fifty thousand combatants, well armed and provided with staves according to the custom of the country. They had twelve thousand carriages, as well carts as cars, to convey their armour, baggage, and artillery, and a number of very large cross-bows, called ribaudequins, placed on two wheels, each having a horse to draw it. They had also machines for the attack of towns, behind which were long iron spits, to be used toward the close of a battle,—and on each of them was mounted one or two pieces of artillery. The duke of Burgundy had also summoned to his assistance the duke of Brabant, his brother, who attended him with a handsome company;
as did likewise a valiant English knight, named sir William Baldock, lieutenant of Calais, with about three hundred English combatants.
Their places of rendezvous were at the towns of Douay and Arras, and the adjacent country. The duke of Burgundy, on quitting Douay with his brother of Brabant, and great multitudes of men of rank, advanced to Sluys, belonging to the count de la Marche, where he lodged. On the morrow, the first day of September, he marched away early, and fixed his quarters on the plain near to Marcouin, where he had his tents and pavilions pitched, and waited there two days for the arrival of his whole army, and particularly for his Flemings, who came in grand parade, and drew up to their quarters in handsome array.-So numerons were their tents that their encampments looked like large towns; and in truth, when all were assembled, they amounted to sixty thousand fighting men, without including the varlets, and such like, who were numberless,—and the whole country resounded with the noises they made. With regard to the Flemings, they thought that no towns or fortresses could withstand them; and the duke of Burgundy was obliged, on their setting off, to abandon to them whatever they might conquer; and when they went from one quarter to another, they were commonly all fully armed, and in companies, according to the different towns and the custom of Flanders,—and even when they marched on foot, the greater part wore legarmour.
As to their mode of marching through a country, whatever they could lay hands on was seized, and, if portable, thrown into their carts; and they were so proud, on account of their great numbers, that they paid not any attention to noble men, however high their rank; and when the army was to be quartered, or when they were on a foraging party, they rudely drove away other men-at-arms, especially if they were not their countrymen, taking from them whatever provision they might have collected, or anything else that pleased them. This conduct created great disturbances and quarrels, more especially among the Picards, who would not patiently endure their rudeness, insomuch that the duke of Burgundy and his captains had great difficulty in keeping any kind of peace between them. The duke, after waiting some days for the whole of his army, saw it arrive ; and then he marched off triumphantly, and in handsome array, and fixed his quarters on the river Scheldt, near to the town of Marcouin.
On the morrow, he advanced to Mouchi-la-Garbe, between Peronne and Ham, and halted there. At this place, a Fleming was hanged for stealing a chalice and other valuables from a church. He thence marched toward the town of Ham-sur-Somme, where his enemies were. On his approach to the town of Athies, belonging to the count de Dammartin, one of his adversaries, the inhabitants were so terrified that they came out in a body to present him with the keys of the gates, on the condition of being secured from pillage. The duke liberally granted their request, seeing they had thus humbled themselves before him of their own free will, and gave them a sufficient force to guard their town from being any way molested. The duke then advanced with his army near to Ham, but sent forward some of his best light troops to observe the countenance of the enemy. The Orleans party sallied out against them, and a sharp skirmish took place ; but they were compelled, by the superior number of the Burgundians, to retire within the town. The next day he marched his whole army before the place in battle-array, and had his tents pitched on an eminence in front of one of the gates, and about the distance of a cannon-shot. The Flemings were likewise encamped according to the orders of their marshals and leaders, during which the garrison made some sallies, but were repulsed, in spite of their valour, by superior numbers, and many were killed and wounded on each side. When the duke had surrounded this town on one side only, he ordered battering machines to be placed against the gate and wall, to demolish them; and the Flemings pointed their ribaudequins, and shot from them so continually, day and night, that the enemy were greatly annoyed. Breaches were made in the wall and gate within a few days; but though the garrison was much harassed, they rcpaired both in the best manner they could, with wood and dung.
At length, the besiegers fixed on a day for a general attack on the gate, intending to force an entry: the engagement continued very sharp for three hours, but the garrison defended themselves so valiantly, wounding and slaying so many of the assailants, that they were
forced to retreat. This happened on a Thursday ; and on the Friday, the duke of Burgundy, I know uot for what reason, had it proclaimed that no one should, on any account, make an assault on the town, but that all should labour in forming bridges over the Somme, that a
Ham, as it appeared in 1742.–From an original drawing in the King's Library. passage might be obtained for the army, and that the place might be besieged on all sides, —but events turned out very far from his expectations. On the Friday morning, the besieged were expecting that the attack would be renewed ; but hearing of the duke's intentions to cross the river with his army and surround the town, they packed up all their valuables and fled, leaving within the walls only poor people and peasants, who had retired thither for safety. Those persons not having ability or inclination to defend themselves, the dukc's army, headed by the Picards, entered the place without any danger. The Flemings, observing this, rushed so impetuously to gain admittance that many were squeezed to death. When they had entered, they instantly began to plunder all they could lay hands on, according to the liberty which their lord the duke had granted them; for, as I have said, he had been necessitated so to do before they would march from home. Part placed themselves on one side of the street, leading to the gate which they had entered, and part on the other ; and when the Picards, or others not of their country, were returning, they stopped and robbed them of all they had : they spared no man, noble or otherwise ; and in this riot several were killed and wounded.
They entered a monastery of the town, and took away all they could find, and carried to their tents many of both sexes, and children ; and, on the morrow, having seized all they had, they set fire to several parts of the town, and, to conclude all, the churches and houses, with many of the inhabitants, were burnt, as well as a great quantity of cattle that had been driven thither as to a place of security. Notwithstanding this cruel conduct of the Flemings, six or seven of the monks escaped from the monastery, by the assistance of some noblemen, particularly the prior, who most reverently held in his hands a cross, and were conducted to the tents of the duke of Burgundy, where they were in safety.
Such was the conduct of the Flemings at the commencement of this war. There were many towns beyond the Somme that belonged to the duke of Orleans and his allies, who, bearing of what had passed at Ham, were, as it may be readily believed, in the utmost fear and alarm ; and there were few people desirous of waiting their coming, lest they should be besieged in some fortress, and suffer a similar fate,- for sir Cluguet de Brabant and sir