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CnAPTER CVI.—THE GENERAL COUNCIL 18 CONTINUED AT BASIL, BY THE SOLICITATIONS OP
In this year, a general council of the holy church, which had been moved for during the pontificate of pope Martin, was ordered by the pope to be held in the city of Basil. Basil is a handsome city, abounding in wealth, and seated on the banks of the Rhine; whither came crowds from all parts to attend the council, more especially many notable clerks from the university of Paris, and numberless ambassadors from the emperor of Germany, different kings, princes, and prelates. Pope Eugenius, however, was desirous of deferring this council for a year and a half, and wished to have it transferred to Bologna la Grassa, for the accommodation of the Greeks, who he was in hopes would attend it. The emperor, when he heard of this, wrote letters to the pope, containing in substance as follows.
In the first place, he was unwilling that the council should be transferred from Basil, or
any way delayed on account of the Greeks; for as much pains had been taken in vain to
unite them with the holy church, it would be better to extirpate reigning heresies.—Item,
the members of the council had written to those of Prague, called Hussites, to attend this
council; and he, the emperor, had likewise written to them, and sent them passports for
their coming and return. The Hussites had shown intentions of compliance with these
requests, for they had suffered great losses in Hungary, having been twice defeated by the
duke of Austria.— Item, as the Hussites knew that this council was chiefly held for the
abolition of their heresies, could it be expected that any sincere conversions would take effect,
without the points of the disputed doctrines having been fully and publicly argued ?—Item,
-In >uld it happen that they be converted by force of reason, as the members of the council are
from various countries, they will admonish their countrymen when returned to destroy these
Hussites.—Item, because the Hussites declare their sect to be founded on the Holy Scriptures,
should the council be delayed, they will naturally conclude that this is done through a
consciousness of inability to controvert their doctrines, and will become more hardened and
obstinate in their errors.—Item, because common report has bruited it abroad that this council
was assembled for the reformation of public manners and the state of the church, it is to be
feared that many, who have loudly spoken of these matters, will say, if the council be
adjourned, that it is a mockery and farce, and will end as unprofitably to the church as those
of Pisa and of Constance.
Item, since this council has been called to appease dissentions that have arisen between the clergy and laity in many towns of Christendom ; and since the members have summoned the attendance of several of the chief inhabitants of different towns in Saxony, particularly of Magdebourg, who had expelled the bishop and his clergy from their town, and of others who had rebelled against their bishops because they leaned to the doctrines of the Hussites; it is to be feared, should the council be deferred, that they will form such strong connexions with the Hussites that it will be no longer possible to remedy the mischief.—Item, although several towns and princes, situated amidst these heretics, have made truces with them, nevertheless the majority of them are firmly united with the Hussites, in hopes that the council will decide on their doctrines; but should they find it is adjourned for so long a time as a year and a half, they will be for ever lost to the church.
Item, it was hoped that this council would employ itself in the pacification of many kings and princes now waging war against each other, and in taking proper measures for a secure and lasting peace. Should it now separate, these princes would continue a cruel warfare, and no hope remain of again assembling it for the prevention of seditions and heresies, and thus very many things profitable to the Christian church will be delayed, if not totally obstructed; and greater slanders and mischiefs will arise than he was willing to write. These arguments having been adduced in the letters from the emperor, he thus concludes: "We, therefore, require of your holiness, that you instantly write to the president and members of the council that they do not on any account separate, but that they do accomplish that which they have begun, and for which they have been assembled in the name of the Lord; and that you do recal and annul whatever you may have written to the contrary. Have the goodness to consider also, that the hereties are increasing in arms ; and that if yon do not disband them by clerical measures, and replace them in their primitive state, there will not be left a possibility of doing it by any other means whatever. Those who have advised you to adjourn the council have not assuredly understood the grievous evils that may result from that measure. Would to God they were sensible of the dangerous consequences at this moment arising from delay! Should they fear that laies would usurp power belonging to the church, they would deceive themselves,—for this is only a subtlety to retard the council; which measure, if carried into effect, would indeed force the laies to act against the church.
"This can only be prevented by continuing the sittings of the council; for then the laics will be effectually restrained, when they shall see the clergy abstain from all considerations of personal profit. You should also consider, that perhaps the holy council will not consent to adjourn itself, and that in this it will be followed by the kings, princes, and common people; and your holiness, who has hitherto been held in respect, and considered as spotless by the members of the Christian church, will fall under suspicion, and your mandates be disregarded. For this adjournment, without any essential cause, will stain your innocence; and it may be said that you nourish heresies among Christians, a perseverance in wickedness, and in the sins of the people. Disobedience may, therefore, be consequently expected to the church of God; for there are some who will not scruple to publish that you have been the cause of these evils,—and many more than you are aware of will agree with them. It would be very useful and good, if your holiness would attend the council in person; but if that cannot be, send your immediate commands for it to continue its sittings in the manner in which it has commenced; for there are measures before it, affecting the very vitals of Christianity, that cannot and ought not to suffer a moment's delay.
"Should your holiness require, in future, any measures to be discussed that do not demand such haste,—such as touching a union with the Greek church,— another council maybe called better inclined towards it; for should this council be now dissolved, it is to be doubted whether another can be assembled within the eighteen months, from events that may arise. Your holiness will be pleased to weigh maturely all that we have written to you, and give directions for the continuation of this council; and have the goodness to receive our admonitions paternally and kindly; for it has been our conscience, and the great difficulties into which the church of God has fallen, and also our anxiety that your character may not be liable to the least suspicion, that have urged us to make them. This we will more clearly demonstrate to you when we shall be in your presence, which we hope will shortly happen."
This remonstrance had its duo effect on the holy father, who re-established the council at Basil, which was attended by great multitudes of ecclesiastical and secular lords, ambassadors, princes, and prelates, and common people out of number.
CHAPTER CVII. THE DUKE OF BAR ENTERS TOE COUNTY OF VAUDEMONT TO CONQUER IT
I Have before mentioned that a serious quarrel * had taken place between Rene duke of Bar and Anthony de Lorraine count de Vaudemont. In consequence, thereof, the duke of Bar had collected a great body of men-at-arms, as well from his own duchy as from other parts of Germany, to the amount of six thousand men. The principal leaders were, the counts de Salmes, de Salivines and de Linanges, the bishop of Metz, sir Thibaut de Barbey, and other noblemen of high rank. The duke had also with him that gallant and renowned
* The duchy of Bar having passed to the house of Anjou, Isabella, only daughter of Charles the late duke; and
Rene;, in the year 1431, sent his bailiffs from Bar and St. Heuterus, relating the cause of this quarrel, says, that
Michel to receive from Anthony of Lorraine, count de Anthony, count of Vaudemont, brother of the deceased,
Vaudemont, his acknowledgment of him as lord para- refused to admit Rene's pretensions, alleging that the duchv
mount. The duke insisted on having full obedience of all could not descend to heirs-female. For some reasons
places within the county that had been held as fiefs from however, it would appear probable that Heuterus is mis
the dukes of Bar, under pain of confiscation. Diet, de taken, and that the dispute related to the affairs of the
Murtiniere. This was probably the cause of quarrel, county of Vaudemont only.
knight the lord do Barbasan, by whoso advice he ordered his army,—for he had great knowledge and experience in war.
Having provided a sufficiency of artillery, provision, and stores, the duke marched his army before Vaudemont *, the capital of that country, which was naturally strong, and had been repaired with additional fortifications, by the count, who had likewise well victualled and garrisoned it, knowing that it was intended to be attacked by his enemies. He had appointed, as governors in his absence, Gerard de Passenchault, bailiff of the county, and Henry de Fouquencourt, who made great exertions to put the place in a proper state of defence. They were, however, in spite of their efforts, soon besieged on all sides, by reason of the superior numbers of their enemies.
The besiegers also overran and destroyed by fire and sword most part of the county of Vaudemont, which, although very vexatious to the count, he could no way resist for the present. He garrisoned all his strong places as well as he could, and resolved to wait on duke Philip of Burgundy, whose party he had always supported, and humbly request aid from him to deliver his country from his enemies.
He found the duke in Flanders, to whom having told his distress, the duke replied, that he would willingly lay the case before his council, and give him a speedy answer, and the best assistance he could afford. A short time before the count's arrival, sir Anthony de Toulongeon, the marshal of Burgundy, and other noble persons from that country, had come to remonstrate with the duke on the state of affairs in that duchy, and on the devastations there done by his enemies the French and Bourbonnois, who were daily committing murders and mischiefs by fire and sword, having already conquered some of his towns and castles, and intending further inroads unless they were checked. They earnestly solicited that he would, for the salvation of the country, send thither some of his Picard captains, accompanied by a certain number of men-at-arms, more particularly archers, of whom, they said, they were in much need.
The duke held several councils on these two demands, and on the means of complying with them. They caused many debates, and his ministers urged the necessity of non-compliance, saying that the French were on the borders of Picardy, eager to make an inroad on Artois, and the moment they should know that his Picards had left their country, they might do him very great mischief. Notwithstanding all the dangers that might ensue, it was resolved, as a matter of necessity, that a thousand or twelve hundred combatants should be given to the marshal, who should have the chief command, with the Picardy captains under him; and when they were arrived in Burgundy they should afford the count de Vaudemont the strongest support they could.
When this had been resolved upon, it was necessary to seek for captains to conduct the expedition; for there were few of any rank willing to undertake it, because it was to a distant country, where the enemy was in great force, and they did not expect to be well paid, according to the custom in those parts. However, the duke of Burgundy, the count of Vaudemont, and others of weight in Picardy, determined to accept of such as they could find willing to go; and they sounded Matthieu de Humieres, Kobinct de Huchechien, the bastard de Fosseux, the bastard de Neufville, Gerard bastard de Brimeu, and some other gentlemen and men-at-arms of the middle ranks, who had no great properties in their own country, to know if they were inclined to assemble men-at-arms, and to follow their leader whither he pleased, to seek adventures. Some presents and greater promises being added to this proposal, they agreed to accept of the offers.
They collected, therefore, about the beginning of May, as many men-at-arms as they could, in various parts, to the amount of a thousand or twelve hundred, and had the duke of Burgundy's commands to keep them on foot for a certain time; the most of them were poor soldiers, accustomed to support themselves by living on their neighbours, when they could not find wherewithal in their own countries, but strong, healthy, and vigorous, and accustomed to war. When they were assembled in companies, they marched for the Cambresis, and were mustered in a large village called Solames, belonging to the abbot of St. Denis in France. They thence advanced under the command of the marshal, and otfer Burgundian lords, to Rcthel, wlicre they received a proportion of their pay, and thencr returned through St. Menehould to Burgundy, where they remained some little time. waiting until the Burgundian forces were ready.
* Vaudemont, a small town in Lorraine. It had been the capital of the county, but had given up that honour to the little town of Vezclize.
VOL. I. Q O.
In the meantime, while these preparations were going forward, the duke of Bar mj besieging, with his numerous army, the town of Vaudemont. He had remained before n for three complete months, and had greatly damaged the walls by his cannon and other engines. The besieged were in the utmost distress; but, as they had hopes of beit; speedily relieved by the count, from whom they had secret messages, they bore all mlk much patience. Their two governors made great exertions to defend the place, that ll i lord might not reproach them with having any way neglected their duty.
CHAPTER CVIII. THE DUKE OF BAR IS COMBATED BY TnE COUNT DE VACDEMONT i.W
When the marshal of Burgundy had assembled all his men, he marched them towrl Langres; and thence the Burgundians and Picards advanced toward the Barrens, *ta thny were joined by the count de Vaudemont with all the forces he could collect. Wlw united, they might amount to about four thousand combatants, and their chief captains wef the said Anthony de Toulongeon, marshal of Burgundy, the count de Vaudemont, their d'Antoing, Gerard do Marigny, the count de Fribourg *, the lord de Mirabean f, the 1 ri de Sez, the lord de Roland, sir Imbert Marcchal, a Savoyard, the bastard du Vergr. Matthieu de Humieres, nephew to the above-mentioned lord d'Antoing, sir John de Cardonne lord de Bichancourt, Boort de Bazentin, a gallant English knight called sir JoL: Ladan, and sir Thomas Gergcras.
Sir John Ladan was governor of Montigny-le-Roi, and had with him six score combatu* at the least, with many notable gentlemen renowned and expert in war. They advanced" handsome array into the Barrois, followed by sixteen or twenty carts laden with stores ani provision. They announced their entrance into the Barrois by setting fire to different p»» of that country; and thus they advanced to a large village called Sandacourt, within s« leagues of their adversaries, where they arrived on a Saturday night. On the morn*. Sunday, they expected an attack from the enemy, and, consequently, they formed thein» in order of battle, and remained in this state the most part of that day, having their arch* posted behind sharp stakes to prevent the charge of the cavalry. As the enemy did r«< appear, they retired, about vespcrs/to the village to refresh themselves, and called a courx"' to consider how they should act. It was resolved that since, from the badness of the rows. and from the country being so intersected with hedges, they could not, without danjft march to meet the enemy, who were superior to them in numbers, they should rrtun through the Barrois to Burgundy, destroy the country they marched through, and reiafew themselves with men and everything necessary to enable them to combat the enemy.
This resolution was very displeasing to the count de Vaudemont, but he was, thron: necessity, forced to abide by it. The captains then ordered all things to be packed already for the march on the ensuing day, Monday, the feast of St. Martin in the sumnw. but the duke of Bar, having heard of their arrival, quitted the siege of Vaudemont, leanni a sufficient body to blockade it until his return, and marched his army to offer them W» before they were reinforced. His strength consisted of about six thousand combatants, Wkk some of the highest rank in Bar, Lorraine, and Germany, and advanced in handsome am? The scouts of the marshal of Burgundy fell in with those of the duke of Bar, attacked anconquered them ; and this was the first intelligence the marshal had of their intentions.
* The county of Frcyburg became united with, that of daughteroftheprincoofOrange,bHtdiedM58,*'l'»DI'*!' Ncufchatel by the marriage of Egon XIV, count of Furs- f Henry de Bauffremont married Jane, (Hteriod ■
tenburg and Frcyburg, with Verena, heiress of Ncufchatel. to John, last lord of Mirabeau, of the ftmtiv^ *r^'
Their grandson John, count of Freyburg, &c. married a about 1388.
He gave instant notice of the coming of the enemy to his captains, who drew up their men in good order, chiefly under the directions of the English knight. The archers were posted in front, and on the wings, with their stakes before them. The Burgundian men-atarms wanted to remain on horseback, but the Picards and English would not suffer them; and at last it was ordered, that every man, whatever might be his rank, should dismount,—. and all who should disobey should be put to death. The horses and carriages were placed in the rear, in such wise as to prevent the enemy from making any attack on that quarter.
While this was passing, the duke of Bar had advanced his army to within half a quarter of a league of them, and thence sent his heralds and trumpets to announce to them his approach, and to say, that if they would wait for him, he would offer them battle. The Burgundian captains sent for answer, that they were ready to receive him, and wished for nothing better than what he had proposed.
The heralds returned with this answer to the duke, who then advanced to within crossbow shot of his enemies, although the lord de Barbasan had frequently advised him to avoid an open combat, but to force them to retreat from his country by famine and other means. He added many arguments in support of his advice; but the duke would not listen to them, trusting to superiority of numbers, notwithstanding the greater part of his men had not been accustomed nor experienced in war like to his adversaries, the Burgundians, Picards, and English.
The duke, partly by the advice of the lord de Barbasan, drew up his army handsomely; for he had a great desire for the combat, though he had with him but very few archers. When this was done, many new knights were created on his side. Preparatory to the battle, the marshal of Burgundy and the count de Vaudemont had two tuns of wine brought to the front of their line, which, with bread and other victual, were delivered out to their men in what quantity they pleased; and all who had any hatreds made peace with each other. They had also some cannon and culverines on the two wings and in the centre of their army, and they remained for two hours fronting each other.
While they were thus situated, a stag, as I was informed, came between their battalions, and, stamping thrice with his feet on the ground, paced along the Burgundian line,—and then, returning, dashed through that of the Barrois, when great shoutings were made after it.
Some new knights were now created by the Burgundians and Picards, such as Matthieu de Humieres, Gerard do Marigny, his son, and others. The count de Vaudemont. during this ceremony, rode on a small hackney along the line, entreating the men " to combat bravely, assuring them, on the damnation of his soul, that his cause was good and just,— that the duke of Bar wanted to disinherit him,—and that he had ever been strongly attached to the party of duke John and duke Philip of Burgundy." The Burgundians and Picards were well pleased with this address, and determined to remain as they were, and not advance on the enemy. On the other hand, the duke of Bar, having finished his preparations, and drawn up his army mostly on foot, observing that the enemy did not move, resolved to begin the combat, and marched toward them, who still remained in their position.
When the Barrois were advanced to within twelve or sixteen diestres* of their line, they discharged the cannons and culverines before-mentioned, and set up a loud shout. This caused such an alarm among the Barrois that they flung themselves on the ground, and were greatly frightened. Shortly after, the battle raged on all sides, and it might then be about eleven o'clock. The Picard-archers made excellent use of their bows, and killed and wounded numbers with their arrows.
The violence of the combat lasted about a quarter of an hour, and the two parties were engaged in different quarters; but at length that of the duke began to give way, and to fly in various directions,—which being observed by the enemy, it renewed their courage, and they made fiercer attacks than before. The Picard archers especially killed and wounded an incredible number, so that the disorder and defeat very soon became general on the side of the Barrois.
The duke of Bar was made prisoner by one named Martin Fouars, belonging to the count de Conversan, lord d'Enghien, who had all the honour and profit of such a prize, although * Diestres. See Du Cange, Supplement, Dextri.