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A.D. 1402. who had then rebelled against the King of England.
Then he embarked on board the ship which was ready for him, well furnished with all things necessary for them; he hoped to land at the port of Dartmouth, but the wind was contrary, wherefore he could not go there ; but when the Count of La Marche was at sea, cruising about, he saw depart from the same port seven ships laden with divers merchandise, which drew towards the port of Plymouth; so he caused his sails to be set to get to windward of them, and followed the ships very closely. The English merchants and others who were in the said ships, perceiving the vessels of the count draw on them in full sail, like wise men entered their little boats, which they launched, abandoning all their goods and merchandise, and pulled as hard as they could to the land for safety; and the count, very joyful, drew right up to the ships when he found no defence, so he took them and carried them away with him full of goods as they were, taking the way to Plymouth, which he ravaged with fire and sword. After this he went with all his company to a little island called Salmue, which was destroyed in like manner; but at the taking of the latter were several new knights made, namely, the two brothers of Count Louis of Vendome, and John of Bourbon, the eldest son; with them several gentlemen of the company. Afterwards, when the Count of La Marche, with all his army, had sojourned three days overrunning the whole island, fearing the English, who were preparing on all sides to attack him, like a prudent man he departed, for if he had remained there one day more he would never have departed without a fight.
And thence the count and his army returned to France, and there befel them when they were out at sea so great a tempest, that it lasted three days, so marvellous and so horrible that by ill fortune twelve
ships were lost therein with all on board, and the A.D. 1402. said count with the remainder in great fear and peril arrived at the port of Saint Malo, for which he praised our Lord when he found himself in a port of safety. Afterwards when he had landed he ceased not to hasten till he came to Paris before the King of France, to whom he related his adventures, and the knights and gentlemen who were drowned at sea were much pitied and regretted, but nothing else could be done. At this same season Philip of Burgundy made festival and solemnized very sumptuously and notably the marriage of his second son, Anthony Count of Retes, who was afterwards Duke of Brabant, to the only daughter of Walleran of Saint Pol, whom he had by the Countess Mehault, his first wife, formerly sister of King Richard of England.
How the Admiral of Brittany and other lords dis
comfited the English at sea. CHAPTER X.
In the year one thousand and four hundred and three A.1). 1403. the Admiral of Brittany, the Lord of Neufchatel, the Lord of Penhours, the Lord Du Bois, and many other knights and esquires of Brittany, to the number of twelve hundred men-at-arms, assembled and embarked at a port called Chastel-Pol, where they had thirty ships ready and furnished with all that their business required, at which place they heard that great plenty of English ships were at sea cruising about, and spying and waiting for any good fortune; which English were traitors and thieves, who did much harm at sea to merchants and other people when they could get the better of them.
This admiral and his company put to sea, cruised and directed his ships to where he expected to find the
A.D. 1403. said English ships, so it fell out that on a Tuesday whilst
the said English were cruising before a port called Saint Matthews, the Bretons came upon them, drew after them, and pursued them until sunrise next morning, when the English, seeing themselves thus chased by their enemies, and that they could not escape without a battle, stopped and set themselves in order. The Bretons came very quickly to attack them, and the English defended themselves very vigorously, and they fought against each other so valiantly that it was a long time before either could be adjudged the victor; great horror it was to see them fight, and many were wounded on one side and the other. This battle lasted more than three consecutive hours, but in the end the Bretons were victorious, and there were taken there two thousand English combatants, with forty vessels and one carack, of whom the greater part were drowned in the sea, but some escaped afterwards by ransom. At this capture were few English gentlemen, but they were people joined together to keep at sea and to rob all manner of people whom they met, making war on all nations, and it was principally to destroy them that the Duke of Brittany caused the fleet to be equipped by his admiral, so he was much rejoiced when he had news of their destruction ; but the King of England and the English grieving much at this event, hastily ordered men to march on all sides towards the ports of England, and ships to be kept ready to comfort, aid, and defend the islands, for the said king and his council rightly thought that the Bretons would not long refrain from recommencing some other expedition on account of the good fortune newly come to them, and so it was, for very soon after the Admiral of Brittany being a little rested and refreshed, and the Lord of Chastel Neuf, and several others with him, re-embarked, and there might be at this time as well of the country of Brittany as of Normandy as many as above
mentioned, that is to say, twelve hundred lances, all A.D. 1403. practised men of war, and they started from Vannes, and came to embark at the port of Saint Malo, with the intention of landing at the port of Dartmouth, wherefore when all were in the ships they made sail and made for that direction in very good order, but when they were also near, the admiral, who was a very prudent knight, and others of his opinion, much deprecated their landing, nevertheless the Lord du Chastel and several others did not agree with them, but disembarked and landed, thinking that the admiral and the others would follow them, which they did not.
When they were landed they drew up in order, and the English were near them, of whom the chief was the Earl of Warwick, who with his standard raised began to march, crying, “Saint George for Warwick," and so came to approach the Bretons, who defended themselves valiantly and with great courage, with all their power, but the English began to draw their bows all together so that the arrows seemed as hail ; afterwards when it came to axes and swords both parties fought vigorously, but the English too greatly outnumbered the Bretons, wherefore they were unable to bear up against the English force; so the Bretons were vanquished, and there were killed the Lord du Chastel and his two brothers, and with them a Norman knight called Sir John Marchel, and many others, and there were about a hundred prisoners, amongst whom was the Lord of Bacqueville, who afterwards escaped by ransom. On the other hand, the admiral, with those who had remained in the ships, knowing of the discomfiture of their people, and that it was not in their power to help them, returned to their country sad and grieving for their great loss.
How the Marshal of France and the Master of the
Archers went to England to aid the Welsh. CHAP-
A.D. 1404. ABOUT this time the Marshal of France and the Master
of the Archers, by command of King Charles and at his expense, assembled twelve thousand combatants. And they came to Brest in Brittany to go to aid the Welsh, and when they were come there they found their ships ready and furnished with all that their business required, and they entered therein, and there were about six score sailing vessels ; at which port they were obliged to remain to await a favourable wind, and when they had the desired wind they made sail and went to land at Haverfordwest, in England, where they killed all the inhabitants whom they found there, and laid waste the country around ; afterwards they went to the castle of the said place, Haverford, where were the Earl of Arundel and many other men of war, and when they had burned the outskirts of the said castle they went destroying all along their road with fire and sword, till they came to Tenby, a town situated at eighteen miles distant from the said castle, where they found some great lords of the country of Wales, with twelve thousand combatants who were awaiting them; then they went thence to Carmarthen, twelve leagues from Tenby, eighteen miles into the country of the Morgie, and from there to the Round Table, that is to say, to the noble abbey ; then they took the road to Winchester, where they burned the outskirts and the country round about. During the time these things were going on, King Henry was preparing, as previously warned of their coming, who, accompanied by as many men as in such