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completely overwhelmed, and these went on striking A.D. 1415-. right and left till they came upon the second battalion, which was behind the advance guard, and there the king personally threw himself into the fight with his men-atarms. And there came suddenly Duke Anthony of Brabant, who had been summoned by the King of France, and had so hastened for fear of being late, that his people could not follow him, for he would not wait for them, but took a banner from his trumpeters, made a hole in the middle of it, and dressed himself as if in armour; but he was soon killed by the English. Then was renewed the struggle and great slaughter of the French, who offered little defence; for, because of their cavalry above mentioned, their order of battle was broken; and then the English got among them more and more, breaking up the two first battalions in many places, beating down and slaying cruelly and without mercy; but some rose again by the help of their grooms, who led them out to the melde; for the English, who were intent on killing and making prisoners, pursued nobody. And then all the rear guard, being still on horseback, and seeing the condition of the first two battalions turned and fled, except some of the chiefs and leaders of these routed ones. And it is to be told that while the battalion was in rout, the English had taken some good French prisoners.
And there came tidings to the King of England that the French were attacking his people at the rear, and that they had already taken his sumpters and other baggage, which enterprise was conducted by an esquire named Robert de Bornouille, with whom were Rifflart de Plamasse, Yzembart d'Azinconrt, and some other menat-arms, accompanied by about six hundred peasants, who carried off the said baggage and many horses of the English while their keepers were occupied in the fight, about which robbery the King was greatly troubled, nevertheless he ceased not to pursue his
A.D. ui.i. victory, and his people took many good prisoners, by whom they expected all to become rich, and they took from them nothing but their head armour.
At the hour when the English feared the least there befel them a perilous adventure, for a great gathering of the rear guard and centre division of the French, in which were many Bretons, Gascons, and Poitevins, rallied with some standards and ensigns, and returned in good order, and marched vigorously against the conquerors of the field. When the King of England perceived them coming thus he caused it to be published that every one that had a prisoner should immediately kill him, which those who had any were unwilling to do, for they expected to get great ransoms for them. But when the king was informed of this he appointed a gentleman with two hundred archers whom he commanded to go through the host and kill all the prisoners, whoever they might be. This esquire, without delay or objection, fulfilled the command of his sovereign lord, which was a most pitiable thing, for in cold blood all the nobility of France was beheaded and inhumanly cut to pieces, and all through this accursed company, a sorry set compared with the noble captive chivalry, who when they saw that the English were ready to receive them, all immediately turned and fled, each to save his own life. Many of the cavalry escaped ; but of those on foot there were many among the dead.
When the King of England saw that he was master of the field and had got the better of his enemies he humbly thanked the Giver of victory, and he had good cause, for of his people there died on the spot only about sixteen hundred men of all ranks, among whom was the Duke of York, his great uncle, about whom he was very sorry.1 Then the king collected on that
i And in truth the day before they J on the French side 500 new knights met in battle there had been made | or more. The King of England place some of those most intimate with him, and A.D. Uis.
inquired the name of a castle which he perceived to
be the nearest; and they said, "Azincourt." "It is
right, then," said he, "that this our victory should
"for ever bear the name of Azincourt, for every battle
"ought to be named after the fortress nearest to the
"place where it was fought."
When the King of England and his army had been there a good while, waiting on the field, and guarding the honour of the victory more than four hours, and no one whatever, French or other, appeared to do them injury, seeing that it rained and evening was drawing on, he returned to his quarters, at Maisoncelles. And the English archers busied themselves in turning over the dead, under whom they found some good prisoners still alive, of whom the Duke of Orleans was one; and they carried the armour of the dead by horse loads to their quarters. And they found on the field the Duke of York and the Earl of Oxford, whom they carried into their camp; and the French did little injury to the said English, except in the matter of these two.
When evening came the King of England, being informed that there was so much baggage accumulated at the lodging places, caused it to be proclaimed everywhere with sound of trumpet that no one should load himself with more armour than was necessary for his own body, because they were not yet wholly out of danger from the King of France. And this night the corpses of the two English princes, that is to say, the Duke of York and the Earl of Oxford, were boiled, in order to separate the bones and carry them to England;
then seeing himself remain victorious places, called to him some of his
on the field as has been said, and princes on the field where the
that all the French except the slain, battle had been, and when he had
captured, or grievously wounded well surveyed the place he inquired,
had departed, flying toward different &c., H.
A.T>. 1415. and this being done, the king further ordered that all the armour that was over and above what his people were wearing, with all the dead bodies on their side, should be carried into a bar n or house, and there burnt altogether; and it was done according to the king's command.
Next day, which was Saturday, the King of England and his whole army turned out from Maisoncelles, and passed through the scene of slaughter, where they killed all the French that they found still living, except some that they took prisoners; and King Henry stood there, lookingi on the pitiable condition of those dead bodies, which were quite naked, for during the night they had been stripped as well by the English as by the peasantry.
"When the king had been there for some time he passed on on the direct road to Calais. And it came to pass that at another halt which he made in the way without dismounting, he caused some bread and wine to be brought, and sent it to the Duke of Orleans, who would neither eat nor drink; which thing being reported to the king, he thinking it was through displeasure that he refused to eat and drink, he went to him himself, saying, "Fair cousin, how fare you?" And the Duke of Orleans replied, "Well, Sire." And the king asked, "Whence comes it then that you will '' neither eat nor drink?" To which he answered that the truth was he was keeping a fast. Then the king said to him, "Fair cousin be of good cheer. I "acknowledge that God has given me victory over "the French, not because I am worthy of it, but T "believe that God has willed to punish them; and
i On the dead, and it was a pitiable thing to sec the great body of nobles who were there slain for wishing loyally to serve their
sovereign lord the King of France, who were all naked as they left their mother's womb, H.
"if what is said is true, it is no wonder, for they A.u. Uis "say that there never prevailed in any kingdom "greater misrule and extravagance of sin and vice "than overruns France at present, such that it is "sad to relate and hoiTible to hear; and if God is "angry at it, one ought not greatly to marvel or "be astonished." The King of England and the Duke of Orleans had then much conversation together; then the English rode on in fine order as they were used to before the battle, except that they wore no coats of mail, and the King of England so made his way that he arrived at his castle at Guines, where he was received with great honour and reverence by the captain of the place; and know that he always had the French prisoners led between the vanguard and the main body.
The king, as has been said, having come to Guines, lodged within the castle, and his battalion in the town; but the great mass of the men-at-arms and archers proceeded to Calais, very tired, and cumbered with bootj' and prisoners; the king, however, detained with himself the captive dukes, counts, and great barons of France. When these English men-at-arms, thus worn out and weary, arrived before Calais, where they expected to refresh themselves, they were refused admission, which was a great hardship for them, for there were those among them who had not tasted bread for eight days, whatever other provisions they might have found in any way. So you may think that the prisoners, of whom the greater number were wounded, had much to suffer, for every one had hoped to get relief at Calais, which they failed to do, for none were allowed to enter, except some great lords. The governors of the town did this in order that at any risk those who were on the frontier should not remain there stripped of provisions. And in consequence of this, the men-atarms and the archers who were as it were famished and