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The ambassadors, finding they could not obtain more satisfactory answers to the points on which they were sent, were obliged to be contented. They resolved, however, to wait the event of this expedition against the Liegeois; and during that time there came to the duke of Burgundy, from the country of IIainault, his brother-in-law duke William, accompanied
Dukr or Burgundy AR Mr D, AND BEARING tur Garat Ducal Sword.—From an original picture
by the counts de Conversan, de Namur, and de Salines, in Ardennes, with many notable lords, as well knights as esquires, from Hainault, Holland, Zealand, Ostrevant, and other places, to the number of twelve hundred helmets", or thereabout, and two thousand infantry well equipped, with from five to six hundred carriages laden with provision and military stores. Many councils were held at Flourines, and in that neighbourhood, as to their future conduct, and whither they might march their army with the greatest probability of success. It was determined that duke William should command the van, and, as he advanced, destroy the whole country with fire and sword; that the duke of Burgundy, with the earl of Mar and the main body, should direct their march along the causeway of Branchaut, which leads straight to Tongres and Maestricht. In the last place, the lord de Pier-vvest and the Liegeois had, as has been before said, besieged their bishop and lord, John of Bavaria. In consequence of this resolution, the two dukes began their march by different roads, and destroyed all the country on the Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday, and met on the Saturday evening, about vespers, in the town of Montenach, situated on the above causeway. In this place and neighbourhood was the whole army lodged, forming but one body; and two marshals were appointed to command and find quarters for it;-on the part of the duke of Burgundy, the lord de Vergyf,-and on that of duke William, the lord de Jeumont. They had under their immediate orders five hundred helmets, seven hundred cross-bows, and fifteen hundred archers, all men of tried courage, with sixteen hundred carriages, as well carts as waggons, laden with arms, ammunition, and provision, and all other necessaries for such an expedition. On this Saturday, the lord de Pier-vves, and his son the newly-elected bishop of Liege, as they were besieging Maestricht, learnt from their spies, that the two before-mentioned dukes were rapidly advancing against them, and burning the country on their line of march. They instantly raised the siege, and retreated to the city of Liege with full forty thousand combatants, where they fixed their quarters, Liege being only five leagues distant from Maestricht. The commanders there held a council, with such of the inhabitants as had not been at the siege ; and at its close it was proclaimed through different parts of the town, by orders of the governor and his son, the bishop, that every man capable of bearing arms should, on the morrow morning, at the sound of a bell, be ready equipped to follow their commanders out of the town whithersoever they might lead them. In consequence of this order, on the morrow, the 22d day of September, 1408, there issued out of Liege, according to computation, about fifty thousand armed men. In this number were from five to six hundred well armed, in the French manner, on horseback, and from one hundred to six score English archers, in their pay. They were followed by infinite numbers of carts and other carriages, and a mob of people dressed in various manners, according to their own fancies. The bell tolled at break of day, and they then sallied forth in good array, following their governor and bishop, very eager to offer combat to the enemy. Their governor had frequently warned them of the dangers that might ensue from a battle, as their enemies were, for the greater part, nobles or gentlemen accustomed to war and obedience to their commanders, which was not the case with them; and that it would be more to their advantage to remain within well-inclosed towns and castles, harassing the enemy by various means, and so tiring him out that he should be forced to quit their country. This advice, however, was not agreeable to the Liegeois; for it seemed to them that their numbers were so great that the enemy could not resist them; and they were not well pleased with what their governor had told them. The governor, perceiving the Liegeois determined on battle, led them into the plain, and drew them up in handsome array. He frequently exhorted them to behave themselves valiantly, and with one accord, this day against the enemy, who was marching to attack them, and to defend with courage their lives and liberties. They marched near to Tongres, which is five leagues distant from Liege, whither the two dukes had advanced on the Saturday; for they had already heard the siege of Maestricht was broken up, and that the men of Liege were intending to offer them battle. After some councils had been holden with the captains and the most experienced in their army, they sent off, very early on the Sunday morning, two hundred light troops, under the command of Robert le Roux and some other noblemen of the country, to inquire into the truth of what they had heard, and to see what the enemy was about. They shortly returned, and told the dukes that the intelligence they had received was true; for that they had seen the Liegeois in great numbers marching in battle-array. The dukes, on hearing this, commanded their men to arm, and to draw up in order of battle. When this was done, they marched to meet the Liegeois; and scarcely had they advanced half a league, when they appeared in sight. The Liegeois also saw them, for they were near to Tongres. Both armies advancing, the dukes then posted themselves and all their infantry on a very advantageous spot; and thinking the enemy would attempt to dislodge them, they formed their army into one battalion, the better to support the attack, and placed their baggage in their rear. They posted the greater part of their archers and cross-bows on their right and left as wings. The lord de Miraumont this day commanded the archers, by orders of the duke of Burgundy, and with great credit to himself. The duke of Burgundy was on the right, and duke William on the left of the army, each attended by his own people. After the proper orders had been given, and every arrangement made according to the advice of the most experienced officers, very many new knights were created. The men of Liege, swelled with pride, and arrogantly considering the army of their opponents as infinitely inferior to them, marched on the right for an eminence called the heights of Hasbane, where they halted in handsome array. They had with them the standard of St. Lambert, and those of their different guilds; and the reason why they had halted on this spot was, that some of their old men had told them that it was there their ancestors had gained a victory, and they flattered themselves with similar success. They then formed their army in handsome order, and played off many cannons against their enemies, which annoyed them very much. It should be known, that between the two armies was a narrow valley, at the bottom of which was a ditch to carry off the water in times of rain. The two dukes having with their army remained stationary, observing that the Liegeois did not seem inclined to quit their position, and begin the battle, held a short council with their ablest officers; and thinking success was more likely to follow the most courageous, determined to advance slowly toward them in battle-array, on account of the weight of their arms, and attack them where they were, before they could fortify themselves, or increase their numbers by reinforcements. In consequence, five hundred men-at-arms, on horseback, were ordered to attack the army of Liege on its rear, and about a thousand infantry, under the command of the lords de Croy, de Helly, de Neufville, and de Raise, knights, with Enguerrand de Bournouville, esquire, on the part of the duke of Burgundy; and by the lords de Hamette and de Ligne, knights, with Robert le Roux, esquire, who instantly advanced into the plain according to their orders. The Liegeois, observing so large a detachment quit the duke's army, and march away, as it were, thought they were running off from fear of their great numbers, and began shouting, in their language, “Fuyo, fuyo!" and repeating this word many times. The lord de Pier-vves, the governor, like an able man, well versed in war, frequently, but gently, checked them for making this noise, saying, “My very dear friends, that troop on horseback which you see, are not running away, as you suppose; but when that other body of infantry, much greater, as you may observe, shall be advanced near enough to begin the attack, those on horseback will instantly wheel about, like skilful soldiers, and charge your rear, with a design to divide your army, while the others shall attack you in front. Notwithstanding we have every appearance of a successful issue to our battle, I have always advised you to the contrary; and though your hearts are set upon it, as if already sure of victory, I remain still in the same opinion,--because you are not so well used to warfare, nor armed like to your adversaries, who have learnt all military exercises from their childhood. This was the reason why I proposed avoiding a battle; for it would have been more to your advantage to have defended your towns and fortresses, and whenever a favourable opportunity offered, to have fallen on your enemies, so that they would have been forced to have quitted your country. However, the day you have so ardently wished for is now come; and I beg of you to put your hopes in God, and boldly and steadily exert yourselves in the defence of your country against the enemy now marching to attack you.” Having finished this speech, he wanted to mount some of his most determined men on horseback to oppose the detachment then on the plain; but in truth the commonalty would not suffer it to be done, and uttered against him many reproaches, calling him a traitor. He patiently suffered their rude ignorance, and hastily commanded the army to be formed into a square, in the front of which was a body drawn up in the form of a triangle,_and the carts and baggage were towards the rear, on the right and left of his army, handsomely arranged: their horses were in the rear, on one of the wings, intermixed with their archers and cross-bows.-but they were of little value, except the English archers, who were better disposed of in other places. The lord de Pier-vves, accompanied by his son the bishop and some of his best companions in arms, like a good commander, posted himself at the head of his army, fronting the enemy. During this time, the two dukes began their march, gaily exhorting their men to behave themselves gallantly against the enemy, a rude and ignorant people, who had rebelled against their lord, and who confidently trusted in their superior numbers for success, telling their men, that if they acted as they expected they would, victory would infallibly be theirs, and they would gain everlasting honour. When the dukes had made such like speeches, they retired to their posts, and under their banners, and advanced slowly toward the enemy, who kept up a heavy fire against them with their cannons. The banner-bearer of the duke of Burgundy was a very valiant knight, called sir James de Courtjambe, who, accidentally falling on his knees as he marched, alarined many, who thought it was an unfavourable omen of their success; but he was soon raised by the help of those of his guard, and behaved himself honourably the whole day. This knight was a native of Burgundy. The banner of duke William was that day borne by a gallant knight, called sir Hoste d'Escaussines, who behaved himself right well. When the two armies met, the conflict became very severe on each side, and lasted for upwards of an hour, when many deadly blows were given by both parties. At this moment, the detachment on horseback, with the infantry, according to their orders, advanced to the rear of the Liegeois; but from the position of their baggage-waggons, they had much difficulty to force their way. At length, by dint of courage, they succeeded, and, having gained an entrance, began to lay about them so vigorously that the army of the enemy was divided, - and they saw full six thousand Liegeois quit their ranks, with their guns and the banners of their guilds, and take flight with all speed towards a village half a league from the field of battle. When the detachment perceived this, they left off the attack they had begun, and pursued the runaways, whom they charged, not once, but several times, beating down and slaying them without mercy, — and, in short, routed them so effectually that, through fear of death, they fled here and there, into woods and other places, to hide themselves. This party of the Liegeois being either killed, dispersed, or taken prisoners, the horsemen returned to their main body, galantly fighting the enemy, who, it must be said, defended themselves courageously. In truth, the event of this battle was some time doubtful,-for, during one half hour, it could not be known which side would be victorious. The noise of their war-cries was frightful:—the Burgundians and Hainaulters shouted under their banners, “Our Lady for Burgundy! Our Lady for Hainault;" and the Liegeois, in their turn, shouted, “ St. Lambert for Pier-vves!" The men of Liege would perhaps have conquered, if this detachment on horseback, when returned from the defeat of the runaways, had not again fallen on their rear, and behaved so marvellously well that those who opposed them were pierced through, and all attempts to check them were vain. A great slaughter was made by them in a short time, for none were admitted to ransom; and by their vigour whole ranks fell one over the other, for now all the weight and power of the infantry were brought against them. The defeat once begun, there were such heaps of dead and wounded that it was melancholy to behold, for they were thicker in many places than stooks of corn in harvest. This ought not to occasion surprise; for when the common people are assembled, badly armed, and puffed up with their extravagant desires, although they be in great numbers, yet shall they hardly be able to resist an army composed of noblemen well tried in arms, even when God shall permit it so to be. At this period of the battle, and near to the banner of the duke of Burgundy where the conflict was the strongest, fell the lord de Pierre-vves and his two sons,—namely, the one who had been elected bishop of Liege and his brother: they were instantly put to death. The heir of Salmes", who bore the standard of St. Lambert, namely, the eldest son to the count de Salmes”, who was in the army of the two dukes; sir John Collet, and many other knights and esquires to the amount of upwards of five hundred; all the English archers, and about twenty-eight thousand of the commonalty, were left dead on the field,—and more perished by arrow-shots than by any other weapon. Sir Baldwin de Montgardin, knight, to save his life, surrendered himself to the duke of Burgundy –he was led out of the engagement, and afterward given by the duke to sir Wicart de Bours. I have no need to particularise the great courage and coolness of the duke of Burgundy, nor how he galloped to different parts of the army, exhorting them to act well,—nor how, until the end of the battle, he most gallantly behaved himself, - for in truth, his conduct was such that he was praised and spoken of by all knights and others; and although he was frequently covered with arrows and other missile weapons, he did not on that day lose one drop of blood. When he was asked, after the defeat, if they should cease from slaying the Liegeois, he replied, “Let them all die together! for I will not that any prisoners be made, nor that any be ransomed !!” In the like gallant manner did duke William, the other princes, and in general the whole
* “Bachines.’ Q. Is not this rather lances 3 the more : John III. de Vergy, lord of Champlite, seneschal,
body of the chivalry and nobility of the two dukes, behave themselves. There were slain from five to six hundred of their men; and among the number were, John de la Chapelle, knight to the above duke, sir Flourimont de Brimeu, John de la Trémouille, who on this day had been made a knight, Hugotin de Nambon, John de Theune, viscount de Brimequet, a native of Hainault,-Rollant de la Mote, and others, to the amount of one hundred and six score gentlemen: the rest were varlets*.
Just as the dukes had gained the victory, about two thousand men made a sally from
Tongres, to assist the Liegemen. When they saw they were defeated, they retreated to their town, but were so closely pursued by the body of horse that had done such essential service, that very many of them were killed. The two dukes, seeing their victory was now complete, met, and returned thanks to the Creator, congratulating with one another for their success. They had tents pitched on the field of battle, and remained there for three days and three nights. The French ambassadors, having now taken their leave, departed for Tournay, and continued their road to Paris to the king and his council; but prior to their departure, the duke of Burgundy had despatched a messenger to the king of France, with letters to inform him and his good friends in Paris of the fortunate event of the battle. This news was not very agreeable to many who were intending to urge the king to prosecute the duke of Burgundy for the murder of the late duke of Orleans,—and on the contrary, it gave great joy to his friends. On Monday, the morrow of the battle, about the hour of twelve, John of Bavaria, bishop of Liege, attended by the heir of Heinseberg, and several others, nobles and not nobles, to the number of six hundred helmets, or thereallout, came from the town of Maestricht, wherein they had been besieged, to the camp of the two dukes, and most humbly thanked them for the succour they had afforded him. He and his party were received with much joy; and, on his arrival, he was presented with the head of the lord de Pier-vves, which had been found among the dead, with his two sons, and was fixed to the top of a lance, that all who pleased might see it! On the following Tuesday, the feast of St. Fremin, a martyr, the inhabitants of Liege, Huy, Dinant and Tongres, and of all the other good towns in the bishopric of Liege, excepting the castle of Bouillon, hearing of the great destruction of their countrymen, and the power of their enemies, were panic-struck, and, seeing no probability of any assistance, surrendered themselves to the obedience of the dukes of Burgundy and of Holland. They sent to them ambassadors to this effect, and also to supplicate John of Bavaria, their bishop and lord, that he would graciously have pity upon them, and grant them his pardon. The bishop, through the intercession of the two dukes, complied with their request, on condition that such as had been most active in promoting the rebellion, many of whom were still alive, whose names they would set down, should be given up to the two dukes, to do by them as they in their justice should think right; and each of the towns gave sufficient hostages for the due performance of the terms. On the ensuing Thursday, the two dukes and the bishop, with the whole army, broke up the camp, and advanced toward the town of Liege. The duke of Burgundy was quartered in the town of Flauye, on the river Meuse, one league distant from Liege, and duke William among the mountains. On the following Sunday, the dukes and the bishop held a full council, to which all their ministers were admitted, on the present state of affairs. Other councils were continued until the Tuesday, when the bishop made his entry into Liege, and was received with great humility by the remnant of its inhabitants. The most culpable in the late rebellion had been before arrested and thrown into prison in this and in all the other towns. The bishop went first to the cathedral church of St. Lambert to offer his prayers, and reconcile himself with the chapter: after this he went to his palace, when he was most humbly entreated by the people to have mercy on them, which he granted; and, shortly after, he returned to the camp of the two dukes. About two o'clock in the afternoon, on the morrow, the dukes and the bishop, with several nobles of the army, assembled on an elevated spot near the camp, whither sir John de Jeumont, marshal to duke William, by the commands of the two dukes and the bishop, * This battle was fought on the plains of Eichtfeld, near Tongres.