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a hurry he could assemble, hastily took the road to- A.D. 1404. wards his enemies, and he so pushed on because it was reported to him by his scouts that the French and Welsh were joined together in great force, at which news he was very joyful, and so went forward till he approached within three leagues of Winchester, at a place which he had chosen, his enemies, warned of his coming, being ranged in order of battle on a mountain; and he reconnoitred and caused to l»e reconnoitred their muster. And it appeared to him that without great loss of his men he could not fight them there. Wherefore, with all his battalions he drew up on another high mountain right before that upon which were his enemies. Between these two mountains was a deep valley, and there each party, for his own advantage, waited till the other should come to attack him, which they did not. Thus, as you have heard, were these two armies facing each other for the space of six days without doing anything, save that every morning they put themselves in battle array which they kept till night; but know of a truth that many skirmishes and fine deeds of arms were done without fail daily in this valley, in which were slain about two hundred men of the two parties and many were wounded. On the side of the French died three gentle knights, namely, Sir Patrouillart de Tryes, brother of the said Marshal of France, the Lord of Mathelone, and the Lord of Laval. Besides this, the French and Welsh the time that they were there were much tormented by famine, for with great difficulty could they obtain subsistence for themselves and their horses, for the English King, who was very valiant and prudent in the business of war, had placed men in the passes so that provisions could not come to his enemies. Finally, on the eighth day that the two forces had been there, as was said, one opposite the other, King Henry seeing that his enemies would not assault him,
A.D. 1404. retired in the evening to Winchester, but he was pursued by some French and Welsh, who destroyed eighteen carts laden with provisions and other baggage, and then with their spoil retired into the country of Wales to rest themselves a little. During the time that this expedition was going on, the fleet of the French cruised at sea, on board of which was a certain number of men-at-arms and archers whom they had placed there to protect it, which fleet returned to Wales on a day appointed for those in charge of it; and the Admiral of France, the Master of the Archers, and their advisers, seeing that their army could profit little there nor could do anything useful, because the King of England was too powerful in the field, to whom every day came fresh men and supplies, whilst to them came none, put to sea again, and then sailed with wind and sail till they reached Saint Pol des Lyons. However, when they had landed and had inspected their men they found that they had lost full seventy, of whom the three knights above-named were the principal. This done they departed thence and returned to France, everyone to his abode, save the two royal officers, who went to Paris to the King of France and the princes of the blood, by whom they were received as belonged to them.
Of the death of Duke Philip of Burgundy, and how
In the year one thousand four hundred and four died
of that name. Before his decease the noble duke sent A.D. u04. for his children, namely, John, the eldest, Count of Charolois, Philip Count of Nevers, and Anthony Count of Retes, whom he prayed, enjoined, and commanded that they should be good, loyal, and obedient all their lives towards King Charles of France, their uncle, his noble progeny, his crown, and his kingdom, which request they granted very willingly and humbly to the good duke their father, who, thereafter, divided amongst them his lands and seignories, namely, to John the duchy an d county of Burgundy, of Flanders, and of Artois; to Anthony, the second, Count of Retes, the duchy of Brabant; and to Philip, the third, Count of Nevers, the barony of Donzy. Which things done, as you have heard, the good duke ended his life, which was a great loss for the kingdom of France, but since it pleased God it is meet to be satisfied with it. Soon after the decease of Duke Philip, Count Walleran of Saint Pol assembled at Abbeville in Ponthieu about sixteen hundred combatants, of whom the greater part were noblemen, knights, and esquires, who, in order to accomplish their enterprise, had made great provisions of victuals, salted meats, biscuits, wines, beer, butter, salt fish, Hour, and other things necessary to embark. The Count of Saint Pol seeing his army ready started from Abbeville with all his brigade and came to Harfleur, where he found his fleet all ready for the embarkation; then when they had remained there some days to arrange their business, commending themselves to Saint Nicholas, they weighed anchor and made sail, and sailed till they came to the Isle of Wight, which is near the port of Southampton, where they landed, showing great anxiety to fight the English, of whom they saw very few on their landing, for all those of the island had retired into fortresses, mountains, forests, or caverns; and there were made at this landing several new knights on the
A.D. 1404. part of the Count of Saint Pol, namely, Philip de Harcourt, John de Fosseus, the Lord of Guiency, and several other notable esquires, and they proceeded to pillage some wretched villages and raise fires in various places. At this time there came to Count Walleran a priest of the island, of fairly good understanding, who treated with him for the ransom and safety of the island, provided, as he gave them to understand, that a large sum was paid to the profit of the count and of his captains, who for this reason agreed thoughtlessly enough; but, to be brief, it was a deception which the priest contrived to delay and retard the count whilst the English prepared themselves to come and fight him, of which he was informed soon enough, wherefore ho and his men, without making any long stay, re-embarked in their fleet and returned whence they were come without doing anything. For this, many great lords who had gone with him took great offence, because they had incurred great expense in furnishing their outfit and equipping themselves, and had come away without doing anything which deserves to be recounted, and also the places through which these men-atarms passed were greatly burdened; so men began in different places to murmur greatly against the said Count Walleran of Saint Pol, though they could not have it otherwise. Of this descent in England by the French, King Henry and the princes were immediately informed, at which they were very joyful, but spoke greatly amongst themselves in the way of reproach, because they (the French) had, without doing anything, and only on hearing that they were to be fought, taken to flight after setting fire to a few poor defenceless villages, for which they greatly blamed the count and his allies.
How the Count of Saint Pol led his army before the Castle of Mercq, and was discomfited by the English of the garrison of Calais. Chapter XIII.
About the month of May, one thousand four hundred A.D. uo5. and five, the said Count of Saint Pol, then Captain of Picardy and Boullenois for the King of France, assembled parties from Picardy and Boullenois of four to five hundred men-at-arms, with fifty Genoese crossbowmen, and about three hundred Flemings on foot from the marches around Gravelines, whom he brought towards Tournehem, and thence came to besicge the Castle of Mercq, which is a good league from Calais, and which the English held, who, with the other garrisons of their party, had lately overrun and harrassed the country of Boullenois and the neighbouring lands. The count arrived before the said Castle of Mercq, caused to be raised and placed in position several engines, with which he was largely furnished, by which the castle was much knocked about and pressed, but those within defended themselves very courageously, wherefore the count, seeing that it would be impossible for him to take it by assault without great loss of his men, made them occupy the houses of the town which was enclosed by old ditches which he caused to be repaired in order to be more secure against his adversaries, as well those of Calais as of Guines and other places. One day the count caused the inner court to be assaulted, which was immediately taken by force, and there the assailants captured plenty of horses, cows, and sheep; at which assault Sir Robert de Bcrengeville got a wound, of which ho died directly after. On the same day there sallied out from Calais about a hundred men-at-arms, who came u 17967. Q