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mission, which they did, delivering to him the seals A.D. 1412. of their masters, and related to him how quite lately the dukes who had sent them there and their allies had despatched a notable embassy to him bearing letters and sealed blanks on behalf of the lords, who on the way had been fallen upon, their letters captured, and the greater part of them detained prisoners. The King of England answered them that this adventure weighed upon his mind, and that ho much wished that they might have come to him without hindrance; and then, finally, after several secret councils which these ambassadors had with King Henry, by means of the seals and credentials, they so negotiated that he was willing to send the above-named lords the full number of men they asked for, of whom the leader was to be Thomas, his second son, Duke of Clarence, and as security for this he gave to the said ambassadors his letters sealed with his great seal, at which they were much rejoiced; then after they had done their business with the king they took leave and departed, and hastened so that they came to the dukes their lords, whom they found all together at Bourges, and who were greatly rejoiced to see the seal of the King of England, for every day they expected to have to give assistance, because they were assured that the Duke of Burgundy was bringing the King of France with all his force against them to subdue them.
How the King of France departed from Paris to besiege Bourges; of the taking of Bovlinghuem; and of the letters of the King of England. Chapter XXVIII.
True it is, that at this time Charles King of France, to reduce his enemies to obedience, by the decision of
A.D. 1412. his great council, sent through all the extent of his kingdom for men-at-arms and archers to come to Melun, and at the same time were sent for carts in plenty. Likewise the Dukes of Acquitaine and Burgundy made great requisitions. And when all was ready for departure the Parisians in very great number, with those of the University, went to the king at his hotel of Saint Pol, where, present his council, they besought him urgently not to make any treaty with his adversaries unless they were expressly comprehended and named, which request was granted them. The king sallied forth from Paris in noble array on Thursday, the 5th day of May, and went to the wood of Vincennes, where was the Queen of France, and thence to Melun; in his company were the Dukes of Acquitaine, Burgundy, Bar, the Counts of Mortain and Nevers, with many other great lords, knights, and esquires, and he had decided with his great council never to return until he should have brought into obedience to him the Dukes of Berri, Bourbon, Orleans, and their allies. During this time the English of the frontier of Boullenois took by storm the fortress of Boulinghuem lying between Ardres and Calais, which belonged to the Lord of Diquenne by inheritance, notwithstanding that there was a truce; and it was commonly reported that the captain of the said place, named John Destambecque, had sold it. At this capture, when the news of it was known through the country, the French party were much troubled; and the said captain, his wife and children, remained peaceably with the English, which was a proof that this was done by his consent, for also some of his personal retainers were ransomed.
Moreover, King Henry of England, from the affinity and alliance which he had desired to have for his eldest son, as has been touched upon above, with the daughter of the Duke of Burgundy, was then altogether A.D. 1412. turned away in favour of the alliance which he had made with his adversaries; and to the Gantois, the people of Bruges, Ypres, and Le Franc, sent letters into Frauce by one of his heralds, the tenor whereof follows:
"Henry, by the grace of God King of France and "England, Lord of Ireland, to the honoured and wise "lords, burgomasters, aldermen, and magistrates of "the towns of Ghent, Bruges, Ypres, and of the "territory of Le Franc, our very dear and especial "friends, greeting and love. It has come to our "knowledge by credible report how, under the pro"tection of our adversary of France, the Duke of "Burgundy, Count of Flanders, is taking and wishes "to take shortly his way towards our country of "Acquitaine to destroy it, with our subjects, and in "particular our dear and well beloved relations the "Dukes of Berri, Bourbon, and Orleans, the Counts of "Alencon and Armagnac, the Lord of Albret, who at "that time called himself Constable of France, and "their allies; wherefore, if your lord desires to per"severe in his vicious and wicked purpose, will you "by the bearer of this letter certify to us by your "own letters, at the earliest that you can, if those of "the country of Flanders wish on their part to keep "between us and them the truce lately made, with"out seeking to assist in the evil purpose of your "lord against us? Understanding, honoured lords and "very dear friends, that in case you and the com"munes of Flanders wish to maintain and keep it "for the profit of the commons of Flanders, we "intend and have proposed to do likewise on our "part. Very dear and honoured friends, may God "have you in His holy keeping. Given under Our "Privy Seal at our Palace of Westminster, the six* "teenth day of May, fourteen hundred and twelve, "and of our reign the thirteenth."
The Flemings having received these letters, answered the bearer that the truce of which the said letter made mention they in no wise desired to infringe, and that the King of France, their sovereign lord, and their natural lord, Duke John of Burgundy, Count of Flanders, they would serve and assist as they had heretofore done to the utmost of their power. And no other answer gave the Flemings to him who carried the King of England's letters, who returned in haste to the king his lord, to whom he made report of the answer of the people of Flanders, at which neither he nor his barons were very well pleased, but at this time they showed no sign of it. After the departure of this messenger, the Flemings sent the letter which he had brought into the town of Sens, where were the King of France and the Duke of Burgundy, and the messenger delivered them to the king, in presence of the duke and all the other princes. In these same days news came to the king that the Duke of Berri had, by the advice of the Count of Armagnac, caused money to be forged in the town of Bourges, to pay the mercenaries, namely, white doubles and golden crowns closely resembling the money of the king's die in superscription and arms, whereat the king and those of his council were much displeased. At this time the town of Vervins in Terasse was taken by Sir Clugnet de Brabant, and afterwards recaptured by the Burgundians.
How King Charles heard certain news ihat his adversaries were allied with the King of England, and of the Constable of France, who went into Boullenois. Chapter XXIX.
In these days Charles King of France, being A.D. u12. still at the head of his army in the city of Sens in Burgundy, heard certain news that his adversaries were allied with the King of England, and that the said King of England wished to send a great army to their aid to ravage his realm, and that they were already sallied forth from Calais and other fortresses of the frontiers of Boullenois, where they were beginning to make inroads and cause innumerable ills, infringing the truce which existed between France and England; so that to prevent these designs of the English were sent to the parts of Boullenois Count Walleran de Saint Pol, then Constable of France, who hastily quitted the king, and with him Le Borgne de la Heuse and other knights, and he proceeded to thoroughly furnish the places on these frontiers with all necessaries proper for defence against the English. Immediately after all these places were thus supplied, all the English territory and frontier was disturbed by rumours, but they pretended to take no notice for a while, in order to observe the demeanour and place of meeting of the French, although they immediately recommenced raiding, taking prisoners, and doing the worst they could; wherefore the constable, seeing the extent of these deeds, took counsel with some of the wise knights of his company, such as the Lord of Channy, Sir Philip de Harcourt, and others; after this council was ended he assembled to the number of seven or eight hundred men-at-arms, and archers, and crossbowmen in great number, under the command of the Lord of Longroy, who was instructed to take them