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CHAPTER CX. —THE DETACHMENT THE DUKE OF BAR HAD LEFT TO BLOCKADE WAUDEMONT MARCH AWAY ON HEARING OF THE ILL SUCCESS OF THE BATTLE.
VERY soon after the defeat of the duke of Bar and his army, news of it was carried to the French before Vaudemont by those who had escaped; and it caused such an alarm among them that they instantly took to flight in a most disorderly manner, each man imagining the enemy at his heels, and leaving behind the artillery, stores, and provision, that had been intrusted to their guard, and which were in great abundance. The garrison, observing the confusion and disorder in the camp of the besiegers, concluded that the duke of Bar had been conquered, and instantly sallying out on horseback and on foot, made a great slaughter, and took many prisoners. They gained so much that they were all enriched.
Intelligence of this defeat was spread throughout the countries of Bar and Lorraine, and that their lord had been made prisoner, which caused the severest grief to all attached to him. The place where this battle had been fought was called Villeman; and from that day it bore the name of the Battle of Villeman. The count de Vaudemont was lavish in his thanks and praises to the marshal of Burgundy, and the other lords and gentlemen who had so essentially aided him. He then returned to his country, and the marshal, with his Burgundians and Picards, to Burgundy, carrying with him the duke of Bar, whom he placed under a good guard at Dijon.
CHAPTER CXI.—SIR JOHN DE LUXEMBOURG ASSEMBLES MEN-AT-ARMS AND MARCHES INTO CHAMPAGNE AGAINST THE FRENCH, FROM whoM HE conquers SEVERAL CASTLES.OTHER MATTERS.
In the month of July of this year, sir John de Luxembourg, count de Ligny, assembled, by orders from king Henry and the duke of Burgundy, about a thousand combatants, whom he led into the countries of Champagne and the Rethelois, to conquer some castles held by the troops of king Charles, which had much harassed those parts. Sir John was accompanied by the lord de Ternant and the Rethelois; and his first attack was on the castle of Guetron, in which were from sixty to four-score of king Charles's men, who, perceiving the superiority of the enemy, were so much frightened that they permitted them to gain the lower court without offering any resistance; and, shortly after, they opened a parley, and proposed to surrender the place on having their lives and fortunes spared. This offer was refused,—and they were told they must surrender at discretion. In the end, however, it was agreed to by the governor that from four to six of his men should be spared by sir John. When this agreement had been settled, and pledges given for its performance, the governor re-entered the castle, and was careful not to tell his companions the whole that had passed at the conference,—giving them to understand in general that they were to march away in safety; but when the castle was surrendered, all within it were made prisoners. On the morrow, by orders from sir John de Luxembourg, they were all strangled and hung on trees hard by, except the four or six before mentioned,—one of their companions serving for the executioner. An accident befel one of them, which is worth relating. The hangman was in such haste that the cord, as he was turned off the ladder, hitched under his chin, and thus suspended him, while the executioner went on to complete the sentence on others. Some of the gentlemen standing by took compassion on him, and one of them, with a guisarme, cut the cord: he fell to the ground, and soon recovered his senses. The spectators then entreated sir John to have pity on him for the love of God, and to spare his life, which request was at length complied with, and he went away in safety. Sir John de Luxembourg, having executed justice on these marauders, marched away with his army, but not before he had demolished the castle of Guetron, to the castle of Tours-en-Porcien”. He remained before it some days, during which the captain capitulated to deliver it up, with the exception of the cannon, on being allowed to march off unmolested, but without any baggage. Some, who had formerly taken the oaths to king Henry, were hung, and the castle was razed to the ground. Thence sir John marched to a castle called Bahin : the captain thereof was one Barete, who soon offered to surrender, on condition that he himself and his garrison might have their lives spared, and be allowed to depart with their baggage, which terms were accepted. At this time, the earl of Warwick's son joined sir John, with sir Gilles de Clamecy and four hundred combatants, to assist him should there be occasion ; but as the French were not in sufficient force in Champagne and those parts to resist, they returned shortly after to Meaux in Brie, and to the other garrisons whence they had come. Sir John reduced to obedience many other places and towns that had been held for king Charles,—some by treaty, others by force of arms. At this period, the lord de l'Isle-Adam, who was decorated with the duke of Burgundy's order of the Golden Fleece, was appointed, by the king of England and his council, marshal of France. He assembled about six hundred fighting men, part of whom were English; and in conjunction with the bastard de St. Pol, and one of his own brothers, he led them to the town of Lagny-sur-Marne, then possessed by king Charles's party, thinking to conquer it by surprise, but it was too well defended by those to whose guard it had been intrusted.
* Porcien, a principality in Champagne.
chapter CxII.—the DUKE D'Alençon MAKES THE CHANCELLOR OF BRITTANY PRISON.E.R.
This year the duke d'Alençon made his uncle's chancellor of Brittany prisoner, because he would not assist him with money according to his pleasure, for his ransom when captured at the battle of Vermeuil in Perche, wbich he looked to obtain from the chancellor. He carried him prisoner to his town of Poussay. But in a short time, the duke of Brittany, being much exasperated at such conduct, assembled his barons and a large force of men-atarms, whom, with some English captains, he marched to the town of Poussay, and besieged it all round,-but the duke d'Alençon had quitted it from fear of his enemies; he had, however, left there his duchess, daughter to the duke of Orleans, then a prisoner in England, who was ill in child-bed, and sorely vexed at these matters.
The siege was carried on for some time; but at length the duke of Alençon, on account of the situation of the duchess, and to prevent his town and subjects being further harassed, made peace with his uncle, and restored to him his chancellor, and the others whom he had made prisoners. Thus was the siege broken up. The duke had taken the chancellor prisoner at a country-seat which he had near to Nantes,—and his object was to get paid a certain sum of money that his uncle, the duke of Brittany, was indebted to him.
CHAPTER CXIII.-THE FRENCH ARE NEAR TAKING THE CASTLE OF ROUEN.
On the third day of February in this year, at the solicitations of the marshal de Bousac, the lord de Fontaines, sir John Foulquet, the lord de Mouy, and other captains, assembled a force of about six hundred fighting men in the city of Beauvais. They marched thence to within a league of Rouen, and posted themselves in ambush in a wood. Thence the marshal sent off secretly a gentleman called Richarville with a hundred or six-score combatants, all on foot, except four or five who were mounted on small horses, to the castle of Rouen, in which the marshal had for some time kept up a correspondence with a marauder on the part of the English named Pierre Audeboeuf, a Béarn-man, who had promised to deliver up the castle to him.
When Richarville and his detachment approached the castle, he found the Béarn-man ready to perform his promise; and they all entered, except a few who were left to guard the horses. They instantly made themselves masters of the greater part of the castle, and particularly the great tower, which was well supplied with stores. The earl of Arundel and many English were in bed in the castle, most part of whom saved themselves as well as they could over the walls: the others retired within the town, but not without leaving several killed and wounded by the French. When this was done, Richarville mounted his horse, and hastened back with all speed to where he had left the marshal, and told him the success of his enterprise, requiring him, at the same time, to advance quickly to the support of his men, when, without doubt, the whole of the castle would be won. But, to make short of the matter,-for all that he could say, and notwithstanding the urgency of the case which he stated to the commanders, he could not prevail on them to march, although the marshal and the principal captains had most faithfully promised to support him, if he should succeed in making a lodgment within the castle: now he had succeeded, they would not fulfil their engagements; and when within one league, as I have said, of Rouen, they began to quarrel among themselves about the division of the plunder, which had not as yet been won. These disputes caused them to march back without proceeding further, and leave part of their men in the utmost danger. Richarville seeing this, and knowing that he had successfully done his duty, abused them in the coarsest terms, which they very patiently suffered, and hastened their departure. They returned to Beauvais and the other places whence they had come, to the great vexation of Richarville, who had flattered himself that he should conquer the castle of Rouen. He remonstrated with several who had friends and relatives within the town of Rouen, but in vain; they marched away with the others to Beauvais. While this was passing, the French were exerting themselves to drive the English without the gates of the castle, which they had gained possession of; but when day appeared, and they heard nothing of their army, they began to fear they should not be supported, and that they had been deceived in the promises made them. They were much surprised and cast down; and, on the other hand, the English were hourly increasing, and attacking them with great courage. They were accompanied by many of the townsmen, for fear they might be suspected of favouring the French. The French, finding they were not in sufficient force to defend all they had conquered, with one accord retired to the great tower, with all the provision they could lay hands on, and determined to hold out until death. They were, however, soon attacked on all sides, by the cannon and engines the English brought against it, which damaged it in many places. Those within were in a few days much straitened for provision and other things, which forced them, having now no hopes of relief, to surrender at discretion to king Henry and his council, after having held out for twelve days. Before they were conquered, they had done much mischief to the English by the artillery they found within the tower, and that which they had transported thither. They were all made prisoners, and put under a.good guard; and shortly after, one hundred and fifty were beheaded in Rouen,_and Pierre Audeboeuf was quartered, and his body affixed at the usual places. About this period the duke of Burgundy marched a thousand combatants from his country of Artois to Burgundy, where he remained three days to visit those parts that had been much harassed by the enemy. While there, he was waited on by the archbishop of Rheims and other notable ambassadors from king Charles, to treat of a peace between them; but as they could not conclude on terms, they returned to the king. When the duke of Burgundy had ordered proper measures for the government of that country he returned to Artois, Flanders, and Brabant.
CHAPTER CxIv.–THE FRENCH TAKE THE CASTLE OF DOMMART IN PONTHIEU, AND CARRY OFF THE LORD DE DOMMART PRISONER.
IN the month of February a party of king Charles's men, to the amount of fourscore combatants, under the command of a noble knight called sir Regnault de Verseilles, collected from Beauvais, Breteuil, and other places, crossed the river Somme in small boats near to Pequigny, and were thence conducted to the castle of Dommart in Ponthieu, to the walls of which, without being perceived by the guard, they fastened their ladders and gained an entrance. They instantly shouted, “The castle is won!” and began to batter down doors and windows. This noise awakened the inhabitants, and especially the lord, sir James de Craon, who was in bed with his wife. He suddenly arose, thinking to put an end to it, but it was in vain; for his enemies were too powerful, and his men, who were not very numerous, could not collect together. He and the greater part of them were made prisoners; the rest escaped over the walls. The French, after having gained possession, packed up all the moveables they could find within the castle, such as gold and silver plate, furs, clothes, linen, and other things, which, after having refreshed themselves, they carried away, with their prisoners, by the way they had come, leaving the castle in the same outward state as they had found it. In the mean time, the inhabitants of the town of Dommart, hearing the noise in the castle, collected together, and sent notice of what had passed to Pequigny and to other places. It was not long before nearly two hundred men of all sorts were assembled, who pursued the French with such haste, that they overtook them at the place where they had before passed the Somme, and instantly attacked them. They were soon defeated: part were made prisoners or killed, and the others were drowned in attempting to cross the river. However, sir Regnault had crossed the Somme before they came up with them, with his prisoner sir James de Craon, and carried him, without any opposition, to Beauvais, whence he afterward obtained his liberty by paying a large sum of money.
chapter CXv.—siR THOMAS KIRIEL, AN ENGLISHMAN, Is AppointED Gover Nor of The CASTLE OF CLERMONT IN THE BEAUVOISIS.
Trus year, through the intrigues of sir John de Luxembourg, the strong castle of Beauvoisis was given to the command of sir Thomas Kiriel, an Englishman,—which castle had been long held by the lord de Crevecoeur, under the duke of Burgundy. The duke had consented to this appointment, on sir Thomas giving sir John de Luxembourg a promise, under his hand and seal, that he would yield it up whenever required. Sir Thomas soon collected a large company of English, whom he placed in this castle, and carried on a severe warfare against the towns on the French frontier, such as Creil, Beauvais, Compiègne, and others. In like manner, did they act in regard to the castlewicks of Mondidier and other places under the obedience of the duke of Burgundy.
In truth, during these tribulations, they made many prisoners, and even carried off women, as well noble as not, whom they kept in close confinement until they ransomed themselves. Several of them who were with child were brought to bed in their prison. The duke of Burgundy was very angry at such things being done to those under his obedience, but could not obtain redress; for when he demanded the restitution of the castle according to sir Thomas's promise and agreement, he put off the matter with different reasons for delay, such as soldiers readily find, who often, on certain occasions, follow their own will. In short, after many delays, the duke of Bedford, in compliment to his brother-in-law the duke of Burgundy, ordered sir Thomas to deliver up the castle of Clermont to the lord d'Auffremont
CIIAPTER CXVI.--THE INHABITANTS OF CHAUNY-SUR-OISE DESTROY THE CASTLE OF THEIR TOWN.
About the same time, sir Colart de Mailly, bailiff for king Henry in the Vermandois, and sir Ferry de Mailly, resided at the castle of Chauny-sur-Oise, the lawful inheritance of Charles duke of Orleans, a prisoner in England. Sir Ferry happened to say some things not very respectful, in regard to the townsmen, which alarmed them lest he might introduce a stronger garrison of English into the castle by the back gate than would be agreeable to them, and reduce them the more under his subjection. They, consequently, held some secret meetings of the principal inhabitants, namely, John de Longueval, Matthew de Longueval his brother, Pierre Piat, and others, who bound themselves by a solemn oath to gain possession of the castle, and demolish it, the first day that sir Colart and sir Ferry de Mailly should be in the town.
Having arranged their plan, they posted some few of their accomplices near to the gate of the castle, properly instructed how to act. When they saw the two knights, with their attendants, quit the castle to amuse themselves in the town, as was their usual custom, they crossed the drawbridge, the guard having no suspicion of them, and instantly raised it and gained possession of the place. The guard was greatly vexed, but there was no remedy; and those in the secret within the town instantly, on hearing what had passed, rang the alarm-bell, and, arming themselves with staves and what weapons they could find, hastened to the castle, wherein they were instantly admitted.
Some of the principal inhabitants waited on the two knights to assure them they needed not be under any apprehension for their persons or property; that all their effects should be strictly restored to them, for what they were about was for the good and security of the town. The knights, seeing there was no alternative, replied, that since it could not be otherwise, they would act according to their pleasure; and, much discontented with what was passing, they retired with their friends to a house in the town, where all their property was delivered to them. The inhabitants, with one accord, followed up the destruction of the castle, so that within a very few days it was demolished from top to bottom.
Shortly after, the bailiff of the Vermandois and his brother quitted the town of Chauny, and in their stead sir John de Luxembourg first sent sir Hector de Flavy to govern them, and then Waleran de Moreul; but, after what the inhabitants had done, they found them more inclined to disobedience than before the castle was demolished.
CHAPTER cxvi.I.--THE CITY OF CHARTREs Is CoNQUERED BY KING CHARLEs's PARTY.
On the 20th day of April, in this year, was won the noble city of Chartres by the arms of king Charles. This city had followed the party of dukes John and Philip of Burgundy since the year 1417, when she first attached herself to duke John, and afterward to the English party. The taking of it was owing to two of the inhabitants, named Jean Conseil and le Petit Guillemin, who had formerly been prisoners to the French, with whom they had resided a long time, and had been so well treated by them that they had turned to their side. They had made frequent journeys, with passports from the French, to Blois, Orleans, and other places under their obedience, with different merchandise, bringing back to Chartres other articles in exchange. There was also within Chartres a jacobin doctor of divinity, called Friar Jean Sarrazin, of their way of thinking, who was the principal director of their machinations, and to whom they always had recourse. Having formed their plan, when the day arrived for its execution, the French collected in different parts a force amounting in the whole to four thousand men, the principal leaders of which were the lord de Gaucourt, the bastard of Orleans, Blanchet d'Estouteville, sir Florent de Lers, La Hire, Girard de Felins, and other chiefs of inferior rank. They began their march toward Chartres, and when within a quarter of a league, they formed an ambuscade of the greater number of their men. Others, to the amount of forty or fifty, advanced still nearer the town; and the two men before named, who were the plotters of this mischief, were driving carriages laden with wine and other things, especially a great quantity of shad fish. Some expert and determined men-at-arms were dressed as drivers of these carriages, having their arms concealed under their frocks. So soon as the gate leading to Blois was opened these carriages advanced to enter, led on by Jean Conseil and Petit Guillemin. The porters at the gate, knowing them well, asked what news. They said they knew none but what was good, on which the porters bade them welcome. Then, the better to decaive them, Jean Conseil took a pair of shad, and, giving them to the porters, said, “There's for your dinner: accept of them with our thanks,—for we often make you and others wait for us to shut and open the gates and barriers.” While this conversation was passing, those disguised as carters suddenly armed themselves and fell on the porters, killed part of them, and gained possession of the gate. Then making the signal that had been agreed on, the whole army that was in ambuscade quickly advanced,