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A.D. 1421. When the dauphinists perceived the forerunners of
the Duke of Burgundy, who, as we have said, were riding towards them, they had great misgivings; therefore as soon as ever they could they hastened, making for the said ford of La Blanche Tache, in order to cross the water of the Somme and join Sir Jacques de Harcourt and his people, who were on the other side of the river towards Saint Riquier, waiting for them. During this time the said forerunners of the Duke of Burgundy were sending him messengers bearing news of the said dauphinists, to make him hasten, so that he might come up before they had crossed the said river, which he greatly desired, as he plainly showed, for he made his men push on as fast as the horses could go to the end that his enemies might not escape him without a battle. But hasten he never so fast the said dauphinists were beginning to cross the river before he could come up. Notwithstanding this, when these perceived the Burgundians coming so briskly to surprise them, and that they would not be half crossed before their arrival, they changed their purpose to avoid the danger of being taken in disorder, and leaving the ford they returned to the open fields, and rode in good order to meet Duke Philip and his followers, making a display of willingness to fight him and his force, although they were a small number compared with the said Burgundians. To these was now joined Pothon de Sainte Treille who with eleven men only had been riding all night from Saint Riquier to be at this business. Then began the two parties to approach each other, and so near that each party could estimate the power of its adversaries. Then, because Duke Philip's men rode at a regular pace, several heralds and poursuivants were sent to hasten them. And Sir Jacques de Harcourt, who was on the other side of the river with all his men, seeing
these parties thus riding to meet each other, did not A.D. 1421, go forward to cross the river and assist the people whom he had himself sent for, and who were coming to serve him, but he returned to Le Crotoy, from whence he had set out that morning,
How the Duke of Burgundy conquered and routed
the Dauphinists. CHAPTER XV.
Now it is true that on that Saturday, the last of August, at midday, the two armies aforesaid rode proudly to meet each other. At three bowshots distance they halted a little, and there in haste some new knights were created by each party. Among these Duke Philip was dubbed and received the accolade from the hands of Sir John of Luxenbourg, and afterwards the said Duke dubbed as a knight Philip de Saveuses, and several others on his side, and afterwards the standard of the said Philip de Saveuses with six score warriors commanded by Sir Maurroy de Saint Leger and the Bastard of Coucy was sent away to the open fields on one side to strike into the said dauphinists in flank. Then the two parties, who were very desirous to get at each other, approached, and especially the dauphinists, with a great noise struck into the battalion of the Burgundians as far as their horses in full career could carry them; and there they were very well received. And at this meeting there was great breaking of lances, and many men-at-arms and horses terribly borne to earth on both sides. And then they began every where to strike one another, and very horribly to beat down and kill. They had not been long fighting when at least two thirds of the Duke Burgundy's army fed towards
A.D. 1421. Abbeville, where they were not received ; wherefore
they went from that to Picquigny; with this company was the banner of the duke himself, which, in the hurry had not been committed to any other hands than those of the groom, who, when not in battle, was usually accustomed to carry it when the duke rode with his army from one camp to another through the fields. This groom, when flying with the rest, threw away the said banner on the ground; but it was picked up by a gentleman named John de Roisimbos, round whom several noble men among the said fugitives rallied and collected; a large number of these had been renowned as valiant in arms before this day; however at that hour they left the duke their lord and the others with him to remain in this imminent danger. For this they were greatly blamed ; but some wished afterwards to excuse themselves saying that, through the aforesaid banner they thought that the duke was with it; and also again it was certified to them by the king-at arms of Flanders that the said duke was killed or taken prisoner, and that he knew it to be true ; wherefore going from bad to worse they were more afraid than before, so they went away, as we have said to Picquigny without returning, and thence to their own homes.
Meanwhile a party of the said dauphinists who saw them leave the army of the said Duke of Burgundy, began to pursue them, that is to say, one named John Raullet and Peron de Luppel, with about six score fighting men, so they captured and killed some, and thought they had gained the day, and that all were routed; but their idea was false, for the brave duke and about five hundred combatants who remained with him, some of the noble most and expert in arms of his company, fought fiercely and valiantly against the said dauphinists, and in the end obtained the victory, and remained masters of the field. And as it was afterwards related by both parties, Duke Philip A.N. 1421. behaved this day very prudently and bravely against his enemies, and was in great danger from the commencement, for he was one of the first that met the foe, and he was attacked by two lancers at the first onset, of which one pierced his war saddle quite beyond the saddle bow in front, and passed over his side above his armour, and besides his arm was caught by a powerful man-at-arms, who thought to throw him on the ground; but the good steed on which he was mounted carried him by force quite clear, where he gave that day some heavy blows to his enemies, and in his own person engaged in many fine skirmishes, exhibiting a worthy commencement of chivalry, which he happily maintained all his life. That day he also with his own hands made prisoners of two brave men-at-arms; so the dauphinists were in the end broken and obliged to take flight, principally through the labour, conduct, and diligence of the good duke, who pursued them a long way towards the river with a small company, and at last found himself alone, but for one gentleman named Guy de Rely, who made him return in haste; for he was taking his way towards a little hill on which were some dauphinists, and he, supposing that they were his own men was going at a good speed towards that quarter, when the said Sir Guy told him they were his enemies. Very soon there came up to him the Lord of Longueval and some others, who kept him company very well ; so for a long while most of his people were in great fear about him, for they knew not what had become of him.
Just at this hour John Rollin and Peron du Lupel, dauphinists, with their men, returned from pursuing the first Burgundian fugitives of whom mention has been made, and they expected immediately to come and enter boldly among their people, whom they supposed
A.1). 1421. victorious, in the place where the conflict had been ;
but when they perceived the contrary they took to flight at a good pace, and with them the Lord of Mouy, towards Saint Wallery; while the rest had taken the way towards Araines.
Then the Duke of Burgundy, who had returned to the field, made his people assemble, and raise up some who were lying there dead, especially the Lord of La Viesville. And albeit that the nobles and great lords who had remained with the duke had all behaved valiantly all that day, among the rest it is fit to speak of John Villain, a noble man of the country who had that day been made a knight. He was a man of lofty stature and powerful frame, mounted on a strong horse, and wielding a very heavy axe with both hands. With this at the encounter he pushed into the greatest throng of his enemies, and having let go his bridle he dealt such heavy blows that those whom he reached with a fair aim could but fall to the ground to rise no more. In this condition he met Pothon de Sainte Treille, who, as he afterwards related, seeing the marvels that the said new knight was doing, withdrew to the rear as fast as he could for fear of the axe which was dealing such heavy blows.
Now then, when the Duke of Burgundy found that he had the advantage in this affair, he returned to Abbeville, where he was very joyfully received, and he brought there a great company of dauphinist captains, who had been taken this day, that is to say, the Lord of Conflans, Louis d'Auffemont, Sir Giles de Gamaches and his brother Louis, Sir Louis de Thienbronne, Pothon de Sainte Treille, the Marquis of Serre and his brother, Philip de Saint Sollier, Sir Rigaut de Fontaines, Sauvage de La Rivière, Sir Ralph de Gaucourt, Sir John de Rogan, Bernard de Saint Martin, John de Joigny, the Lord of Mommer, and many other gentlemen to the number of six score.