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which these mad Frenchmen bore towards them, and A.D. 1416. also that they could not escape death or captivity except by valour and hardihood, also to avenge the injury received on the previous day, and extricate themselves from present danger, all got down from their horses, and put themselves in such order, and made such a vigorous defence, that they discomfited the French, and put them to flight; and there died at least twelve hundred of them on the spot, among whom was their captain the Lord of Willequier, and many noble men of the country, and the rest got away as well as they could, or surrendered themselves prisoners. So happen the chances of war, at one time to lose and at another to gain.
At the time that these things happened the emperor had returned from the second journey he had made to meet the King of England, hoping to make peace between him and the King of France, which he never was able to accomplish; wherefore he took leave of the King and of the French princes, then took his way towards Germany; and in passing through Savoy he made the count a duke; which duke was afterwards elected pope by the Council of Bâle. .
How the King of England with a great force of armed
men came to land. in Toucques in Normandy,
to him by treaty. CHAPTER XIX. In the year 1417 King Henry of England, seeing the A.D. 1417. time propitious for following up his conquests, after he had held a great parliament at his palace of Westminster, and had settled all his affairs as well for the government of his kingdom as touching the army he wished to lead this season into France, sent out a
A.D. 1417. special summons throughout the kingdom of England
to all princes, barons, knights, men-at-arms, archers, and generally to all those who were accustomed to warfare, that each without delay or objection should be ready on a day which he fixed, supplied with horses and weapons, and all accoutrements pertaining to the person of a warrior, and should appear on the day named at the port of Southampton, where they would find him ready to receive them. On the day appointed by the king, all those who were summoned came to Southampton, and there found with the king the Dukes of Exeter, Clarence, and Gloucester; the Earls of Huntingdon, Warwick, Salisbury, Northumberland, Arundel, Stanfort, and Kent 1; also there came the great Lord de Rós, the Lord of Cornwall, 2 and Sir John his son, and many great barons, knights, and esquires, with a great number of archers and other warlike men. Then King Henry, seeing his affairs ready, went on board his fleet, and had the anchors weighed, and set sail; and at the departure from the harbour of Southampton there was a great sound of trumpets and clarions, with musicians and different instruments.
The English sailed before the wind so that they came to port at Toucques in Normandy; and it was the intention of the king to conquer the whole duchy of Normandy, and bring it under his command; and having come before the said Toucques, where they saw that the castle was very 3 . . . they besieged it on every side, for they landed as they pleased in good order without any resistance; and the king lodged in the village, and the rest as best they could in tents, arbours, and pavilions. The king quickly set up his engines and all things proper for the assault; wherefore the captain, called Sir John de Jennes, seeing these preparations, and knowing that help would be long in appearing, surrendered the castle to the command of the King of A.D. 1417. England, bargaining for the safety of his own person and goods, and those of his men. So he had three days indulgence to clear them out, and these they received from the King of England, who truly kept his promise to them.
1 See note on p. 140. ? See note on p. 181.
1 3 Some word omitted in the French I text.
After this surrender, and when the king had appointed a good garrison to keep the place, he prepared to set out thence, and placed in front his vanguard, then rode himself in the midst of his main body, and afterwards came his rear-guard ; but between the vanguard and the main body were the waggons and carts, provisions and artillery. In the way you have heard the King of England proceeded through the country of Normandy, conquering towns and castles with little resistance; such as Harcourt, Verhelwin, Beaumont, Evreux, and many others, where he always placed good garrisons. And besides this, many towns made an agreement with the King of England, promising under good security to do whatever the town and city of Rouen should do.
The other more powerful towns and fortresses of the country began to be much astonished at these surrenders, promises, and agreements; moreover they had few to defend them, for most of the nobles of the country were disunited, some holding to the party of the King of France, and others to that of Duke John of Burgundy, so that they would not trust one another. On the other hand, the constable had collected all his men, and withdrawn the garrisons that they might be in Paris or its neighbourhood this March, against the approach of the said Duke John, whom they daily expected with his whole force. Thus, as you hear, the whole kingdom of France was disunited, which was a thing very favourable for the enterprise of the King of England.
And about this time the Cardinal of Colonna was elected to the popedom, and was called Pope Martin.
Here it makes mention of the great exploits of the
King of England in the country of Normandy.
A.D. 1417. DURING this season, as has been told, while the King
of England was in the country of Normandy, with a great force of men-at-arms and archers, he conquered towns and fortresses in such wise that there were few that durst refuse him or resist him, because of the great dissensions between the French and the Burgundians, as has above been intimated. So he brought under his command the towns of Evreux, Falaise, Bayeux, Liseux, Coutances, Avranches, Saint Lo, and many others.
For fear of this king the Count of Harcourt retired to his Castle of Aumarle, at which place his cousin, Jacques de Harcourt, came to see him with the appearance of great love; wherefore the count allowed bim to enter, he and all his people, within the place. When the said Sir Jacques found himself the strongest inside, he took the said Count of Harcourt prisoner, and sent him to Crotoy ; thus Sir Jacques de Harcourt played his cousin a trick which was not honourable, but to his very great dishonour.
During this time three captains of the Duke of Burgundy, that is to say, the Lord of Lilladam, the Lord of Chasteller, and le Veau de Bar, with their men took the good town of Paris, where the King of France was at that time; and there marvellous deeds were performed, and great slaughter of men. At which taking of Paris the Count of Armagnac, constable of France, was killed, and with him the chancellor, and many other great lords; so it was piteous to be in Paris then because of the enormities that were committed in it.
At this time also, with the approval of the holy A.D. 1417. council of Constance, Pope Martin appointed the said general council to be convoked in the fifth year following, that is the year 1423.
Then the King of England sojourned no longer in the country of Normandy, but continued to go forward, taking, as we have said, towns and castles as his true and lawful heritage, which several kings his predecessors 1 had peacefully enjoyed; and he desired to have it as belonging to him. Therefore when he found himself possessed of a large extent of country, he went to lay siege to the good town of Caen, which was very powerful and populous.
He immediately assaulted it, and lost many of his men, but so continued his attacks that he took the town by force, and there perished at least six hundred of the defenders. The castle held out about three weeks longer, and in it were the Lords of La Faiette and Montenay, with Sir John Bigod, who at last surrendered, in consequence of the assurance which King Henry gave them that he would allow them to depart in safety with their goods. :
After this conquest of the town and castle of Caen, he sent his brother the Duke of Gloucester to besiege the strong town and castle of Cherbourg, which was the strongest place in all the Duchy of Normandy, and the best supplied with provisions and all the apparatus of defensive warfare. So the siege continued at least ten months without [the besieged] ever receiving help ; but at the end of that time Sir John de Jennes, who was the captain, surrendered it to the Duke of Gloucester for and in the name of the King of England, stipulating that at his departure he should have a certain sum of money, and safe-conduct to go where it seemed good to him. He was in the city of Rouen after it was conquered by the King of
Successeurs in text.