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better to effectuate his own business, this Alexander has so well practised that he has got Jean Vautier, who was his clerk, appointed to succeed him in the office of receiver-general; and notwithstanding the royal ordinances, and the oaths which receivers, and other officers in the receipt of taxes, take on entering their offices, to make the proper payments in regard to alms, they avoid, as it is said, by dissimulation and fraud, these distributions of alms, and frequently infringe the aforesaid ordinances.
"Item, respecting the administering of justice on those guilty of crimes against the revenuo laws, it appears to us that the great multiplicity of officers is useless in this general dissipation of the substance of the kingdom, as well as the number of inferior officers, who, from their salaries and the presents they receive, devour the wealth of the country; for the greater part of these aforesaid officers are intruded on this court by the influence of friends. Wo must also notice the many presidents of the criminal court. During the reign of king Charles, there was but one, or two at the utmost,—whereas at present there are seven, who receive each annually one hundred livres, not including the notaries. Were we to enter into any detail respecting the masters of requests of the king's household, God knows how far it would lead us. In former times, ancient men, experienced in the laws and customs of tho realm, were appointed to such places, who replied to all the petitions presented to them, and signed such as they judged expedient, so that the matter was speedily decided in chancery; but now raw and inexperienced youths are appointed, who expedite nothing but by orders from tho chancellor,—and this occasions supernumerary officers to be named, to supply their defects, whose pay is very great, and of course to your loss.
"Item, in respect to your chancery, it is well known, that your chancellor of France undergoes great labour, and is very deserving of a large salary, but without prejudice to your realm. Although his salary should not amount to more than two thousand livres parisis, he has, nevertheless, for these last twenty years, taken, besides these two thousand livres and the gift of two thousand livres for the profits of the great seal, fines on remissions and rcgistermgs, of twenty sols parisis, which in the course of a year amount to a very largo sum of money. He has also received other two thousand franes from the taxes levied for the support of the war.—Item, he receives annually for his robes two hundred francs; and also from the treasury, for the use of his chancery, five or six hundred livres parisis. Ho receives likewise, in addition to the above gifts, to a very large amount, on the different taxes and impositions. He has likewise signed and sealed with too great facility letters patent for large sums, without making any opposition: the particulars of them may be found in the accounts of Michel de Sabulon and Alexander Boursier, and in the accounts of several others, who have not failed to make advantage of them. To speak more plainly in regard to this article, there will be found in the above accounts grants, to the amount of six thousand franes, to private persons, sealed by the chancellor, although he well knew that this money was appropriated for carrying on the war.—These grants bring considerable emolument to the chancery, whose finances are managed by master Henry Machalie and master Buder, comptroller of the seal of chancery. They charge double fees on tho king's dues, namely, those of notary and secretary, and receive exorbitant salaries and presents; and in such wise is your chancery governed, that no great profit comes to you, although the emoluments of it are immense. In regard to tho fees of notaries, as they connect themselves with whomever they please, we shall enter more fully into their detail when occasion offers.
"Item, there are several offices in the kingdom which are incompatible, and yet are held by the same persons, who serve them by proxy, and thus in different ways pillage your subjects of their money. The debasement of your coin must not be forgotten,—and its weight and value have been lately so much diminished, that a crown is now of less worth than two sols were formerly. The penny and twopenny pieces are scarcely worth as many farthings, which is very prejudicial to your people; and thus the good money is carried off, —for the Lombards, in their exchanges, collect all the good, and make payment in the new coin. You ought to know by whose advice this debasement of the value of your coin has been made, for it is commonly said to have been thus lowered in value by the provost of Paris, the provost of the merchants, and Michel Lallier, who have taken upon themselves the management of your mint; and although they may have allowed you some profit on this diminution of the coin, the loss that you and the queen will ultimately suffer is incomparably g.-eater, as you may learn from those who are competent to give you information.
"Although your daughter and others of your subjects have now briefly laid before you the guilt of the aforesaid, this is not enough, nor will several days suffice, to enter into a full detail of all the wickedness and disgraceful conduct of your ministers and their adherents. Very many others, besides those we have named, are equally guilty, but we now pass them over, in the expectation of more amply speaking of them hereafter, for the welfare of yourself and of your kingdom. In regard to the aid, advice, and support, most sovereign lord, which you demand from your aforesaid daughter, and other loyal subjects, whom you have summoned for the purpose, they pray to God that he would be pleased, out of his grace, to comfort and advise you, for we are willing to expose our lives and fortunes in your service and support: indeed, we are bounden so to do by the solemn resolutions entered into at our last congregation, feeling ourselves greatly obliged to your royal majesty for the innumerable acts of kindness shown to us.
"The first advice we shall give regards your finances, that they may be put under a better administration as speedily as may be. We therefore recommend it as expedient for you to shut the hands of all your treasurers, directors, and receivers, without any exception, and to dismiss them from their offices, taking, at the same time, possession of all their fortunes, moveable and immoveable, and having their persons secured, until they shall have rendered you a just account of their administration.—Item, we think it necessary that you should annul all assignments of grants and extraordinary pensions. We advise, that you instantly command, under pain of death and confiscation of goods, all receivers, treasurers, and other officers in the country, as well of your domain as of other taxes, to bring you the whole sums they may have in their hands, and that they make no payment whatever, by way of assignation, to any one, however great his rank, excepting to such as yourself shall then order; that, at the same time, they bring you their books, and all papers concerning their receipt, and that, on their arrival, they have no communication whatever with the aforesaid directors, under pain of the above punishments.
"Item, in order the more effectually to establish order in your finances, seeing the great waste and misapplication of the largo sums that have been raised for your personal defence, and in support of the war, you will order the whole of the receipt of taxes to be produced before you, as is your right, that henceforth they may be applied according to the true intent of raising them, and as the urgency of events may require. When the great need of such an ordinance is considered, no one ought to be dissatisfied ; and on this subject have the goodness to keep in remembrance the prudent conduct of your father king Charles, whose soul may God receive! who nobly employed his taxes in driving the English out of his kingdom, and by this means made himself master of fortresses that were not before under his subjection: his officers and army were, at the same time, well paid; and there remained to him an overplus, which served him to purchase many precious jewels.—Item, should these means not be sufficient for your immediate wants, it seems to us that as you have treasuries in different parts, you may justly take from them, for they are alike your own. There are also a number of very rich persons, to the number of sixteen hundred, who.can at any time be named to you : these ought to assist in the support of the poor,—for one-third of them do not pay, one with another, one hundred franes, which certainly cannot oppress them; but repayments may be made them when the treasury shall be better filled, according to the most advised plan.
"Item, we recommend that you nominate for receivers of your finances, as well from your demesne, as from the taxes, prudent persons, fearing God, without avarice, and who were never employed in any such offices, with reasonable salaries, but without any extraordinary presents, by whom your finances will be distributed according to the wants of the state, and the overplus paid into your private treasury. When such are appointed, all deputy-receivers, and tax-collectors, should be ordered to produce their papers and books to them.—Item, wo recommend that all the schedules of the common expenses of yourself, the queen, and the duke of Aquitaine, be carefully examined, so that the annual amount may be exactly known, which we believe does not exceed two hundred thousand franes; for the treasurers do not receive more than that sum from the demesne or taxes.—Item, in regard to the court of parliament, it is necessary that all inefficient members be dismissed, and replaced by others better informed, who shall adhere to ancient usages. The presidents of finances, of the civil and criminal courts, with the greffiers, treasurers, and clerks, must bo handsomely provided for, but reduced to a competent number.—Item, the chamber of accounts must undergo similar regulations; and the members of it should consist of men of a prudent age, who may inform you of any mismanagement in the finance department.—Item, in regard to the minor officers, and deputy-receivers of finance, we think that if the whole of this business was put under the management of the presidents, you would gain considerably, whereas these minor officers swallow up great sums in salaries and fees.
"Item, it appears to us that you ought to select certain wise men, that they may be solely" your council, in conjunction with the princes of your blood, and that they may loyally advise you for the real good of yourself and state, having their attention directed to nothing else, and that, when so doing, they should be strenuously supported by you in such wise that whatever they may propose for the welfare of the state may be instantly put into execution, without any opposition whatever. They should take such oaths as are usually taken, or any
more solemn ones, such as you shall think proper. Item, we recommend that the defence
of the frontiers of Picardy, of Aquitainc, and of other parts, be sufficiently provided for, by allotting adequate sums of money for the payment of mon-at-arms and repairs of castles, so that all danger of invasion, and other inconveniences, may be prevented.—Item, to check as much as possible the daily oppression of the lower orders, by provosts and other inferior officers, it will be necessary to nominate honest and discreet persons, with moderate salaries, to overlook their conduct, and see that these men do not surcharge the poor by exorbitant fines.
"Item, there are several other oppressive grievances that have lasted for a considerable time, *id which cannot be immediately remedied. Your daughter and aforesaid dutiful subjects promise to apply themselves diligently concerning them ; and they most humbly and earnestly supplicate you to reform the abuses they have stated to you, and more especially those that relate to your treasury, which has been exceedingly wasted, and that without any cause. They also beg of you to appoint a commission of the princes of your blood, with other well-informed persons, no way connected or related to those who have had the management of your finances, that they may reform and punish all who have been culpable
let their rank be what it may. Item, we also entreat that you would order the prelates
and chief citizens in the difierent provinces, to impeach those who in their districts have been guilty of any peculations in your finances. All these things, most redoubted lord, have your aforesaid daughter and dutiful subjects laid before you, as being anxiously interested in your honour and welfare, and in the preservation of your crown and kingdom. Your aforesaid daughter has not done this through any expectation of worldly profit, but simply as her duty; for it is well known she has not been accustomed to hold offices, nor to seek for such profits, but solely to attend to her studies, and to remonstrate with you on what touches your honour and welfare whenever the case may require it.
"But although she has several times presented herself before you, to remonstrate on some of the before-mentioned grievances, no remedy has been hitherto applied, by which your kingdom is in the utmost possible danger. Your faithful and loyal subjects again acquit themselves of their duty; and, that the reformation may now bo entered upon in earnest, your aforesaid daughter requires the aid of your eldest son the duke of Aquitaine, and of the duke of Burgundy, by whom a reform was some time since begun, with heart and hand, without sparing any one, with whom your daughter joined, considering such reformation was so much wanted. However, from the great opposition made by those who wero interested in checking it, no great progress was made, for they were afraid the consequences would have been fatal to them. They urged every objection to it, as well as those now in power. We demand also the assistance of our much-honoured lords of Nevers, of Vertus, of Charolois, of Bar, and of Lorrain, of the constable and marshal of France, of the grand-master of Rhodes, of the admiral, of the master of the cross-bows, and in general of all the chivalry and esquiredom in the realm, whose peculiar duty is to watch for the preservation of your
crown, and also of your counsellors and all other your subjects, who, according to their several situations, may wish to acquit themselves toward your majesty.
"It has been publicly said by some, that your aforesaid daughter has made this exposition to your majesty, through hatred to particular persons, and from the reports of five or six. May it please you to know, that she has never been accustomed to gain information by such means, but has learnt the existence of the before-stated grievances from their public notoriety; and there is no man so ignorant as not to be fully sensible of the truths we have asserted, and of the culpability of those we have impeached. She has also received informations from many who are attached to your person, who have not indeed been gainers by it; but in further regarctto them, she will be silent, unless you shall order otherwise in a private audience. Your daughter, therefore, concludes by begging your majesty to pursue diligently, and without delay, an examination and reform of the above grievances, ;in which she will join without the least personal disrespect to your royal person, otherwise your daughter would not acquit herself properly in regard to your royal majesty."
After this conclusion, the university demanded of the princes, prelates, and lords, then present, that they would avow that what they had declared would be for the honour of the king and the welfare of the kingdom, which they complied with; adding, that they were ready to assist in carrying the aforesaid reforms into execution to the utmost of their power. The king's ministers, more especially those of the finances, were thunderstruck, and fearful of an immediate arrest. Among them, master Henry de Marle, chancellor of France, seeing that he was accused with the others, found means of admission to the king, and by his fair promises, and by engaging to pay a very large sum of ready money within a few days, he contrived to gain his favour. On the following Saturday, the 2d day of March, Andrew Guiffart, one of the treasurers, was arrested and confined in the Chatelet: his associate, John Guerin, took refuge in a church,—and thither also fled sir Peter das Essars, provost of Paris, who lately had great command in the expedition to Bourges. The duke of Burgundy had hitherto supported him, but his affection was cooled, for the provost had lately shown himself more attached to the party of Orleans. Having formed the resolution of quitting Paris, sir Peter des Essars sent Thomelin de Brie with five other men-at-arms to gain possession of the bridge at Charenton, that his passage over it might be secured; but they were made prisoners by the inhabitants of Charenton, who had received information of their coming, and carried back to the tower of the Louvre, wherein they were confined. The provost, learning this, took another road, and escaped to Cherbourg, of which place he was the governor, and remained there for some time. Shortly afterward, Baudrin de la Heuse was appointed provost of Paris, for the king had now relapsed into his former disorder. The duke of Aquitaine, however, took the whole government of the kingdom into his own hands; and many of the king's ministers, particularly those in the treasury, were ordered to be put under arrest, until they should have rendered a faithful account of all their receipts.
CHAPTER C.—THE DUKE OP AQUITAINE IS DISPLEASED WITH HIS CHANCELLOR.
JEALOUSIES ARISE AMONG THE GREAT LORDS, AND OTHER MATTERS.
In these days, at a full council, of which the duke of Aquitaino was president, high words passed between the chancellor of France and sir John de Nesle, lord d'Ollehaing chancellor of Aquitaine, insomuch that the latter told the chancellor his words were not gospel; and the other madly replied, that he lied in his throat.—Several other abusive expressions were used by him, and so often that tho chancellor of France said, "You abuso me, who am chancellor of France, and have often done so: nevertheless, I have always borne it patiently, from respect to my lord of Aquitaine, who is now present, and shall even still suffer it." But tho duke of Aquitaine, hearing these words, arose in a passion, and taking his chancellor by tho shoulders, thrust him out of the council-chamber, saying, " You are * wicked and proud vagabond, for having thus abused the chancellor of my lord the king in my presence,—and I have no farther need of your services." In consequence, the lord d'Ollehaing resigned the seals, which were given to master John de Vailly, advocate in the parliament, who was appointed chancellor of Aquitaine in his stead.
The queen attempted, but in vain, to appease her son, as did the duke of Burgundy, who had recommended the late chancellor to him; for he now took the whole government into his hands, and insisted that every thing should be done according to his pleasure. Some of his confidential servants encouraged him in this conduct, as the welfare of the kingdom concerned him more than any one else; and since, as he was now of a proper age to govern it was absolutely necessary for him to take the reins, considering the melancholy state of the king his father. Among those who thus encouraged him were the duke of Bar, duke Louis of Bavaria, the count de Vertus, and others of that faction then at Paris, who visited him often, and desired nothing more than that he would take the government of the kingdom upon himself. The duke of Burgundy was duly informed of all these intrigues, and saw clearly that their object was to drive him from the administration, which very much displeased him. He formed different plans, and remembered that the duke of Aquitaine had told him, when before Bourges, that he would put an end to the war, and was sensible that the treaty of peace then concluded was contrary to the engagements sworn to be observed at the royal council held at Paris, previous to their march from the capital. Nevertheless, he did not openly show that ho was hurt by what was passing.
At this time, the county of Poitou was given to John de Touraino*, at the instance of duke William of Hainault, whose daughter he had married. The Poitevins made all the opposition they could, as they preferred being vassals to the king; but it was taken possession of in the name of the duke of Touraine, by the lords d'Andregines and de Mouchas, members of duke William's household, who brought with them the king's grant of this county, which was proclaimed in the usual manner.
At the same period, namely, about Mid Lent, some of the inhabitants of Soissons rose suddenly in rebellion, and, advancing to the castle, broke down all the out-walls as well as those which surrounded their city, to open a free entrance on all sides. They also demolished the bridge over the river that gave access to the castle, so that none could gain admittance but by means of boats, which might formerly have been done without their leave. This castle belonged to the duke of Orleans, who was much exasperated by their conduct, although at the moment he could not obtain any reparation, notwithstanding he had remonstrated with the king's ministers on the subject. At the request of the duke of Aquitaine, the head and body of sir Mansart du Bos, who had been beheaded at Paris, were restored to his widow and children. At ten o'clock at night his head was taken down from the market-place, and his body from Montfaucon : they were united together in a coffin, and carried to the town of Rainsseval, in the diocese of Amiens, where his remains were honourably interred near the bodies of his father and ancestors.
CHAPTER CI.—HENRY OF LANCASTER, KING OP ENGLAND, WHO HAD BEEN A VALIANT KNIGHT, DIES IN THIS YEAR.—OP THE ALLIANCE BETWEEN HIM AND THE FRENCH PRINCES.
Toward the end of this year, died Henry of Lancaster king of England. He had in bin time been a valiant knight, eager and subtile against his enemies, as is recorded in history, which also has enregistered the strange and disgraceful manner of his obtaining the crown of England, by dethroning his cousin-german Richard, after he had reigned peacefully for twenty-two years. He was before his death sorely oppressed with leprosy, which pitifully put an end to him, and he was royally and honourably interred among his ancestors in Westminster Abbey. This king left behind him four sons,—namely, Henry prince 01 Wales, who succeeded to the throne, Thomas duke of Clarence, John duke of Bedford, and Humphry duke of Gloucester,—and a daughter married to Philip Barbatus, duke of Bavariat.
* Second son of the king. of Bavaria, and her second husband the king of Arragon,
t MonstrclethasforgottenPhilippaof Lancaster, Henry's was married to the duke of Bar, but had no issue by any
younger daughter, married to Eric king of Denmark, and of them.
died without issue. Hit elder daughter outliving the duke