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A.D. uis. would make further attempts on the kingdom, and, in order to resist him, word was sent throughout the whole kingdom that every one should bestir himself with the greatest force he could obtain. And besides this the King of France wrote to all the great towns of his kingdom what he had endeavoured to do towards the King of England, by embassies as well as messengers carrying letters, but nothing had availed; wherefore he prayed and commanded all his vassals and subjects, as well in Picardy as elsewhere, that they should come and serve him diligently, in order to repel his said adversary, who was striving to devastate and destroy his kingdom, ordering all to resort to his son the Duke of Guienne. All obeyed these orders, and came in great force; albeit Duke John of Burgundy, on account of the war which he had in France against the Orleans children, commanded by his letters patent to the Lords of Picardy, namely, to the Lords of Croy, Wavrin, Fosseux, Crequy, Heuchin, Brimeu, Maumez, La Vieville, Beaufort, Inchy, Noyelle, Noefville, and other noblemen that they should not leave their houses till he instructed them. Nevertheless they obeyed the command of the king in this matter.
How the King of England entered Harfleur, how he went towards Calais, and what happened to him on the way. Chapter VII.
After the French of Harfleur had come out of the town, the King of England and his delegates entered it; but at the threshold of the gate he alighted from his horse; then he caused his shoes to be taken off; and thus barefooted he proceeded to the church of St. Martin, the patron saint of the town; and there he very devoutly made offerings and orisons, thanking his A.D. 1415. Creator for the good fortune; and afterwards all the nobles were secured in prisons; and some warriors were set free in their doublets; and these swore to surrender themselves prisoners in the town of Calais on the ensuing day of St. Martin in the winter. And likewise several of the burgesses of the town agreed to ransom themselves with large sums of money; and besides all these there were allowed to go out a great number of women and children. And there was granted to each at departing five sous, and some of their least valuable garments; and it was a pitiful thing to hear the wailings and lamentations which the said inhabitants of Harfleur made at leaving the town and their property. Moreover, all the priests and churchmen were set free; and there were found there valuables without number, which the king ordered according to his pleasure, distributing them where he pleased, and giving them to those by whom it seemed to him they would be well employed. There were still two large towers on the sea that held out for two days after the surrender of the town; then they surrendered like the rest. Afterwards the King of England sent to England in the ship that had carried him, some of his prisoners, namely, the Lord of Estouteville and the Lord of Gaucourt, with the spoil which he had gained by the capture of the said town, and with several men ill with the plague of diarrhoea. And then because of this disease there returned to England the Duke of Clarence, the Earl of Arundel, and several other noblemen; and it was said that by this malady the good King Henry had lost quite five hundred knights and esquires, besides other people of low rank. And likewise the kiDg sent his heavy artillery with some common people by sea to Calais, the slap being taken to England by the said Duke of Clarence, captain general.
A.D. 1415. After these matters were arranged, King Henry had the walls, towers, and moats of the town of Harfleur repaired; then he placed as a garrison the Duke of Exeter, with five hundred men-at-arms and a thousand archers; and with the said duke was Sir John Le Blond, knight, and the town was furnished with provisions and artillery, and with all appurtenances of war necessary for its safety.
After the said King of England had sojourned fifteen days in the town of Harfleur, he departed, endeavouring to go to Calais. At his departure he arranged his men in three battalions; the vanguard was led by the Earls of Kent and Cornwall; in the centre division with the king were the Duke of Gloucester, his brother, the Earl of Huntingdon, and his brother, the great Lord De Ros, with several others; the rear guard was commanded by the Duke of York and the Earl of Oxford.
In this order the King of England journeyed in the midst of his troops through the lands of Normandy, burning and destroying all before him; for he had in his army at least two thousand men-at-arms, and fourteen thousand archers. And he encamped at Fauvelle and the neighbouring places; then passed through the country of Caoursin towards the county of Eu, and sent his couriers to the town of Eu, where there were in garrison many of the French. These sallied out against them, and among them was a valiant man-at-arms named Lancelot Pierre, upon whom rushed a renowned Englishman; but the Frenchman drove his lance right through his body, and so did the English esquire to him; so they fell both dead on the ground, and were much regretted, each by his own party.
The King of England, leaving the camp above mentioned, intended to ford the Vimeu, and cross the Somme, at a place called la Blanche Tache, to start from it to Calais on the direct road by which his -A-.D. 1415. ancestor King Edward formerly passed when he gained the battle of Cressy against Philippe of Valois, King of France.1 But when he came within about two leagues of the said passage, there happened what follows, as it was told me by a gentleman who was afterwards king-at-arms of the order of the Golden Fleece, in the house of Philip, Duke of Burgundy, and who, as he said was all along with this cavalcade, and was even one great cause of dissuading King Henry from crossing there.
When the King of England and his army were proceeding by the most direct way that they could towards la Blanche Tache, the vanguard scoured the
i The following important addition occurs in M.S. H. instead of the words ending with " a gentleman" on the next page: But when he came to about two leagues' distance from the said passage, as I have heard a nobleman certify who on this dag was the cause of hindering the English King from the passage [then happened what fallows']: this gentleman was afterwards called Golden Fleece, King-at-Arms of the noble order of the Fleece which Duke Philip of Burgundy, father of Duke Charles, first established, which gentleman, of whom I speak, who on account of his good sense and probity chosen king of the said order, was at the time of the fight of Azincourt of the age of nineteen, and was in company with the said King of England in all the affairs of this time, and I, the author of this present work, being thai of the age of fifteen, was in the French army. And we were acquainted and found ourselves together since that time,
I the said Golden Fleece and I, and
I away idleness, the mother of vices,
I happened in our time, and especially
t mencement with Albina and her
I sisters who first inhabited the island
| Albina had the name of Albion, as
| is, in the first book of these pre
I sent chronicles, treated of at length.
: Now then to re-enter on our matter
- and pursue the journey which King
I towards la Blanche Tache intend-
I tured a gentleman, fyc, frc.
A D. 1415. country, and took prisoner a gentleman who was a native of Gascony, and the servant of Sir Charles of Labrech, then constable of France, which gentleman was handsomely mounted and armed, so that he appeared to be a man of good presence in his mien and bearing; but I do not know what I ought to say of him, because of the sad misfortune which followed, for if at that hour the gentleman had not been taken, the King of England would have crossed at la Blanche Tache without hindrance or opposition to proceed safely to Calais; and there would not have been that evil day for the French which befel by reason of the battle of Azincourt, as shall afterwards be told. Concerning this gentleman of Gascony, whom many Frenchmen have called devil and not man, it is true that when the English had taken the said Gascon, they brought him before the chiefs of the vanguard, and he was asked whence he came, of what country he was, and the name of his master. He replied that he was born in Gascony, and that he had just come out of Abbeville where he had left his master, the constable of France. And after much questioning they asked him whether the crossing at Blanche Tache was guarded by anyone; to which he answered yes, and that several great lords were there, such as Sir Guichart Daulphin, and the Marshal Boucicault, and in their company six thousand good fighting men, well furnished with artillery to keep the said passage, and this he affirmed to be true, or they might cut off his head. Because of these tidings the said Gascon was brought before the King of England, and there questioned anew, while all the battalions were ordered to halt. When the king heard the esquire thus swear and affirm that the said passage was so carefully guarded, he assembled his princes, to deliberate on this thing in a' council which lasted at least two hours, and in which it was at last