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France, the duke d'Alençon, the count de Richemont, with a numerous and gallant chivalry, were in Abbeville. On hearing of the line of march which the king of England was pursuing, they departed thence and went to Corbie and Peronne, with their army near at hand, but dispersed over the country to guard all the fords of the river Somme against the English. The king of England marched from Hangest to Ponthieu", passing by Amiens, and fixed his quarters at Boves, then at Herbonnieres, Vauvillet, Bainviller, the French marching on the opposite bank of the Somme. At length the English crossed that river on the morrow of St. Luke's day, by the ford between Betencourt and Voyennet, which had not been staked by those of St. Quentin as they had been ordered by the king of France. The English army were quartered at Monchy-la-Gache$, near the river of Miraumont; and the lords of France, with their forces, retired to Bapaume and the adjacent parts.
CIIAPTER CXLV.--THE KING OF FRANCE AND SEVERAL OF THE PRINCES OF THE BLOODRoy AL Hold A Council. At ROUEN, AND RESOLVE ON FIGHTING THE ENGLISH.
WHILE these things were passing, the king of France and the duke of Aquitaine came to Rouen, and on the 30th day of October a council was held to consider how they should best act, in regard to opposing the king of England. There were present at this council the king of Sicily, the dukes of Berry and Brittany, the count de Ponthieu, youngest son to the king of France, the chancellors of France and of Aquitaine, with other able advisers, to the amount of thirty-five persons. When the matter had been fully discussed in the king's presence, it was resolved by thirty of the said counsellors, that the king of England should be combated. The minority of five gave substantial reasons against fighting the English army at the time they had fixed on; but the opinion of the majority prevailed. The king of France instantly sent his commands to the constable, and to his other captains, to collect incontinently as large a force as they could, and give battle to the king of England. Orders were likewise dispatched through every part of the realm for all noblemen accustomed to bear arms to hasten day and night to the constable's army wherever it might be. The duke of Aquitaine had a great desire to join the constable, although his father had forbidden him; but, by the persuasions of the king of Sicily and the duke of Berry, he was prevailed on to give it up.
The different lords now hastened with all speed to unite their men to the army of the constable, who, on his approach towards Artois, sent the lord de Montgaugier to announce to the count de Charolois, only son of the duke of Burgundy, the positive orders he had received to give battle to the English, and to entreat him most affectionately, in the king's and constable's name, to make one of the party. The lord de Montgaugier met the count de Charolois at Arras, and was well received by him and his courtiers. When he had explained the cause of his coming to the count in presence of his council, the lords des Robais and de la Viefville, his principal ministers, replied, that the count would make sufficient haste to be present at the ensuing battle, and on this they parted. Now, although the count de Charolois most anxiously desired to combat the English, and though his said ministers gave him to understand that he should be present, they had received from the duke of Burgundy express orders to the contrary, and they were commanded, under pain of his highest displeasure, not to suffer him to go on any account. In consequence, to draw him farther off, they carried him from Arras to Aire. To this place the constable sent again to request his support; and Montjoye, king-at-arms, was despatched to him with a similak request from the king of France. However, matters were managed otherwise by his ministers, and they even contrived to keep him'secretly in the castle of Aire, that he might not know when the day of the battle was fixed. Notwithstanding this, the greater part of the officers of his household, well knowing that a battle must be near at hand, set out, unknown to him, to join the French in the ensuing combat with the English. The count de Charolois, therefore, remained with the young lord d'Antoing and his ministers, who at last, to appease him, were forced to avow the positive orders they had received, not to permit him to be present at the battle. This angered him very much ; and, as I have been told, he withdrew to his chamber in tears. We must now return to the king of England, whom we left at Monchy-la-Gache. He thence marched towards Ancre", and quartered himself at Forcevillet, and his army at Cheu and the adjacent parts. On the morrow, which was Wednesday, he marched near to Lucheuxt, and was quartered at Bouvieres-l'Escaillon; but his uncle the duke of York, who commanded the van division, was lodged at Fienench, on the river Canche : it is true, that this night the English were quartered much apart, in seven or eight different villages. They were, however, no way interrupted; for the French had advanced, to be beforehand with them, at St. Pol and on the river Aunun. On the Thursday, the king of England dislodged from Bouvieres, and marched in handsome array to Blangyś: when he had there crossed the river, and ascended the heights, his scouts saw the French advancing in large bodies of men-at-arms to quarter themselves at Rousiauville and Azincourt, to be ready to combat the English on the ensuing day. On this Thursday, Philip count de Nevers, on his return from a reconnoitring party about vespers, was knighted by Boucicaut marshal of France, and with him many other great lords received that honour. Shortly after, the constable arrived near to Azincourt; and the whole French army, being then formed into one body, was encamped on the plain, each man under his banner, excepting those of low degree, who lodged themselves as well as they could in the adjoining villages. The king of England quartered his army at a small village called Maisoncelles, about three bow-shots distant from the enemy. The French, with all the royal officers, namely, the constable, the marshal Boucicaut, the lord de Dampierre and sir Clugnet de Brabant, each styling himself admiral of France, the lord de Rambures, master of the cross-bows, with many other princes, barons, and knights, planted their banners, with loud acclamations of joy, around the royal banner of the constable, on the spot they had fixed upon, and which the English must pass on the following day, on their march to Calais. Great fires were this night lighted near to the banner under which each person was to fight; but although the French were full one hundred and fifty thousand strong, with a prodigious number of waggons and carts, containing cannon and all other military stores, they had but little music to cheer their spirits; and it was remarked, with surprise, that scarcely any of their horses neighed during the night, which was considered by many as a bad omen. The English, during the whole night, played on their trumpets, and various other instruments, insomuch that the whole neighbourhood resounded with their music, and notwithstanding they were much fatigued and oppressed by cold, hunger, and other discomforts, they made their peace with God, by confessing their sins with tears, and numbers of them taking the sacrament; for, as it was related by some prisoners, they looked for certain death on the morrow. The duke of Orleans sent, in the night-time, for the count de Richemonte, who commanded the duke of Aquitaine's men and the Bretons, to join him; and when this was done, they amounted to about two hundred men-at-arms and archers : they advanced near to the quarters of the English, who, suspecting they meant to surprise them, drew up in battle array, and a smart skirmish took place. The duke of Orleans and several others were, on this occasion, knighted; but the action did not last long-and the French retired to their camp, and nothing more was done that night. The duke of Brittany was, at this time, come from Rouen, to Amiens, to join the French with six thousand men, if the battle had been delayed until the Saturday. In like manner, the marshal de Longny was hastening to their aid with six hundred men. He was quartered that night only six leagues from the main army, and had set out very early the following morning to join them. * Ancre or Albert, four leagues from Peronne, seven : Lucheux,-a town in Picardy, near Dourlens
* Ponthieu,-a village near Amiens. : Willages between Ham and St. Quentin. t Vauville,_a village near Peronne. § Monchy-la-Gache, a small town near Hau.
CHAPTER CXLVI.--THE FRENCH AND ENGLISH MEET IN BATTLE ON THE PLAINS OF AZINCOURT.-THE ENGLISH GAIN THE WICTORY.
On the ensuing day, which was Friday the 25th of October, in the year 1415, the constable and all the other officers" of the king of France, the dukes of Orleans, Bourbon, Bar, and Alençon ; the counts de Nevers, d'Eu, de Richemonte, de Vendôme, de Marle, de Vaudemont, de Blaumonte, de...Salines, de Grand Pré, de Roussy, de Dampmartin, and in general all the other nobles and men-at-arms, put on their armour and sallied out of their quarters. Then, by the advice of the constable and others of the king of France's council, the army was formed into three divisions, the van-guard, the main body, and the rear-guard. The van consisted of about eight thousand helmets, knights, esquires, four thousand archers, and fifteen hundred cross-bows. This was commanded by the constable, having with him the dukes of Orleans and Bourbon, the counts d'Eu and de Richemonte, the marshal Boucicaut, the master of the cross-bows, the lord de Dampierre admiral of France, sir Guichart Dauphin, and some others. The count de Vendôme, and others of the king's officers, were to form a wing of fifteen hundred men-at-arms, to fall on the right flank of the English ; and another wing, under the command of sir Clugnet de Brabant, admiral of France, sir Louis Bourdon, and eight hundred picked men-at-arms, was to attack the left flank: with this last were included, to break in on the English archers, sir William de Saveuses, with his brothers sir Hector and sir Philippe, Ferry de Mailly, Aliaume de Gaspammes, Allain de Vendôme, Lamont de Launoy, and many more. The main battalion was composed of an equal number of knights, esquires, and archers, as the van, and commanded by the dukes of Bar and Alençon, the counts de Nevers, de Vaudemont, de Blaumont, de Salines, de Grand-pré, and de Roussy. The rear-guard consisted of the surplus of menat-arms, under the orders of the counts de Marle, de Dampmartin, de Fauquembergh, and the lord de Louvroy, governor of Ardres, who had led thither the garrisons on the frontiers of the Boulonois. When these battalions were all drawn up, it was a grand sight to view; and they were, on a hasty survey, estimated to be more than six times the number of the English. After they had been thus arranged, they seated themselves by companies as near to their own banners as they could, to wait the coming of the enemy; and while they refreshed themselves with food, they made up all differences that might before have existed between any of them. In this state they remained until between nine and ten o'clock in the morning, no way *doubting, from their numbers, but the English must fall an easy prey to them. Sime, however, of the wisest of them had their fears, and dreaded the event of an open battle. The English on that morning, perceiving that the French made no advances to attack them, refreshed themselves with meat and drink. After calling on the Divine aid against the French, who seemed to despise them, they dislodged from Maisoncelles, and sent some of their light troops in the rear of the town of Azincourt, where, not finding any men-atarms, in order to alarm the French they set fire to a barn and house belonging to the priory of St. George at Hesdin. On the other hand, the king of England despatched about two hundred archers to the rear of his army, with orders to enter the village of Tramecourt+ secretly, and to post themselves in a field near the van of the French, there to remain quiet until it should be proper time for them to use their bows. The rest of the English remained with king Henry, and were shortly after drawn up in battle array by sir Thomas Erpingham, a knight grown grey with age and honour, who placed the archers in front, and the men-atarms behind them. He then formed two wings of men-at-arms and archers, and posted the horses with the baggage in the rear. Fach archer planted before himself a stake sharpened at both ends. - Sir Thomas, in the name of the king, exhorted them all most earnestly to defend their fives, and thus saying he rode along their ranks attended by two persons. When all was done to his satisfaction, he flung into the air a truncheon which he held in his hand, crying out, “Nestrocque" !" and then dismounted, as the king and the others had done. When the English saw sir Thomas throw up his truncheon, they set up a loud shout, to the very great astonishment of the French. The English seeing the enemy not inclined to advance, marched toward them in handsome array, and with repeated huzzas, occasionally stopping to recover their breath. The archers, who were hidden in the field, re-echoed these shoutings, at the same time discharging their bows, while the English army kept advancing upon the French
* The custom was not yet fixed of giving precedence beginning of the next chapter, and Boulainvilliers on the to the officers of the crown over the nobility, and even ancient parliaments of France. over the princes of the blood; but Monstrelet, who wrote t Tramecourt, a village of Artois, bailiwick of St. under Louis XI., when that order was established, adopts Pol. it as a matter of course. See more particularly at the
Plan or the Battle of Azincount.—From a plate in Barante's Histoire des Ducs de Bourgogne.
Their archers, amounting to at least thirteen thousand, let off a shower of arrows with all their might, and as high as possible, so as not to lose their effect: they were, for the most part, without any armour, and in jackets, with their hose loose, and hatchets or swords hanging to their girdles; some indeed were bare-footed and without hats. The princes with the king of England were the duke of York, his uncle, the earls of Dorset, Oxford+. Suffolk, the earl marshalf, the earl of Kent $, the lords Cambre, Beaumonts, Willoughby's, sir John de Cornewall, and many other powerful barons of England.
* Hollingshed says, his throwing up his truncheon was for a signal to the archers posted in the field at Tramecourt to commence the battle.
f Richard de Vere, earl of Oxford. This nobleman died the year following, and was succeeded by his son, John de Vere, then only nine years old.
f John, lord Mowbray, brother of Thomas earl, of Nottingham, and son of Thomas, duke of Norfolk, attainted and banished in the reign of Richard II. Henry
W. restored to him the title of Nottingham, and Henry
When the French observed the English thus advance, they drew up each under his banner, with his helmet on his head : they were, at the same time, admonished by the constable, and others of the princes, to confess their sins with sincere contrition and to fight boldly against the enemy. The English loudly sounded their trumpets as they approached, and the French stooped to prevent the arrows hitting them on the vizors of their helmets; thus the distance was now but small between the two armies, although the French had retired some paces. Before, however, the general attack commenced, numbers of the French were slain and severely wounded by the English bowmen. At length the English gained on them so much, and were so close, that excepting the front line, and such as had shortened their lances, the enemy could not raise their hands against them. The division under sir Clugnet de Brabant, of eight hundred men-at-arms, who were intended to break through the English archers, were reduced to seven score, who vainly attempted it. True it is, that sir William de Saveuses, who had been also ordered on this service, quitted his troop, thinking they would follow him, to attack the English, but he was shot dead from off his horse. The others had their horses so severely handled by the archers, that, smarting from pain, they galloped on the van division and threw it into the utmost confusion, breaking the line in many places. The horses were become unmanageable, so that horses and riders were tumbling on the ground, and the whole army was thrown into disorder, and forced back on some lands that had been just sown with corn. Others, from fear of death, fled; and this caused so universal a panic in the army that great part followed the example. The English took instant advantage of the disorder in the van division, and, throwing down their bows, fought lustily with swords, hatchets, mallets, and bill-hooks, slaying all before them. Thus they came to the second battalion that had been posted in the rear of the first ; and the archers followed close king Henry and his men-at-arms. Duke Anthony of Brabant, who had just arrived in obedience to the summons of the king of France, threw himself with a small company (for, to make greater haste, he had pushed forward, leaving the main body of his men behind), between the wreck of the van and the second division; but he was instantly killed by the English, who kept advancing and slaying, without mercy, all that opposed them, and thus destroyed the main battalion as they had done the first. They were, from time to time, relieved by their varlets, who carried off the prisoners; for the English were so intent on victory, that they never attended to making prisoners, nor pursuing such as fled. The whole rear division being on horseback, witnessing the defeat of the two others, began to fly, excepting some of its principal chiefs. 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 Bournouville, 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 renew 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 Bournouville, Ysambart d'Azincourt, and the others, who were afterward 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. The count de Marle, the count de Fauquemberg, the lords de Louvroy and du Chin, had with some difficulty retained about six hundred men-at-arms, with whom they made a gallant charge on the English ; but it availed 1:othing, for they were all killed or made * See the Foodcra, where the loss of these jewels, &c. is specifica.