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Notwithstanding this, our much-regretted lady-mother and ourselves have never been able, with all our exertions, to overcome the premeditated delays to obstruct justice ; for three years and a half are elapsed since we first brought the matter before you, and we are not one step more advanced to the attainment of judgment than we were then. It is painful to consider what may be the consequence of this wilful delay of justice to the welfare of your kingdom, and that the most dangerous consequences may ensue, unless a speedy and decisive remedy be applied.
“ May it therefore please your grace to do your loyal duty, in executing this act of justice, in obedience to God your Creator, to whom judgment appertains, and from whom you hold your authority. Have regard also to the good government of your realm, and exert yourself to put an end to every obstacle in the way of a just punishment on the traitor. We most earnestly supplicate you to comply with this our request as soon as possible, for we are bounden to press you to it, to the utmost of our powers, under pain of not being reputed the children of our late lamented father, and of being disgraced, and unworthy of bearing his name and arms, and of succeeding to his honours and estates : such dishonour we will never endure, but would rather suffer death, as ought to be the determination of every man of noble heart, of whatever rank or estate he may be. We therefore entreat you, with all possible humility, that for this purpose, and also in order to resist and oppose his wicked intention to destroy us by any means whatsoever, it may please you, from your benignant grace, to aid, assist, and abet by your power, us to whom God hath vouchsafed so great favour as to cause us to be born your relations, even of your own kin, and your true nephews, children of your only brother,—or, to speak more properly, assist your only brother, who has fallen a martyr to the ambitious views of this traitor. Most redoubted lord, there is no man so poor, who, having had his brother murdered, will not prosecute the murderer to death, and the more earnestly as the criminal displays greater obstinacy. This is exemplified in the conduct of our traitor ; for it is notorious, that he has dared to write, and to declare to many respectable persons, that he slew your brother, whom God pardon! our much-redoubted lord and father, fairly and meritoriously. In answer to which, I Charles of Orleans say, that he lies, and I at present decline to make a more ample reply,- for it is very manifest, as I have before explained, that he is a liar, and a false disloyal traitor, and that, through the grace of God, I am, and ever will be without reproach, and a teller of truth. Since, therefore, such things cannot fail of being very prejudicial to your realm and to the public welfare, we beseech you most humbly to do us that justice which you are bounden to do, and to assist us by every means in your power, that we may have full and ample reparation for the wrongs done us and our family, and that this murder may be punished in the manner it deserves. In acting thus, you will acquit yourself toward God our Creator, and execute justice, of which you are the supreme head, to whom we must have recourse after God.
- That you, our most redoubted lord, may be assured that the contents of this letter are from our free will and knowledge, we, Charles, Philip, and John, your most humble children and nephews, have each of us signed it with our own hands. Written at Gergeau, the 10th day of July, in the year 1411."
This letter was sent, by a herald of the duke of Orleans, to the king at Paris, and was laid before the whole of the council, where different opinions were held as to the contents. Some wished that the brothers should have their requests complied with, and that the duke of Burgundy should be summoned, that they might hear what he had to say in his defence to the charges which they should make against him. But at length the business was postponed, and the duke of Orleans could not obtain any favourable answer ; for the greater part of those who ruled the king and the duke of Aquitaine were favourers of the duke of Burgundy, to whom they shortly after sent a copy of the above letter. The duke of Burgundy, on reading it, was convinced that the family of Orleans and their friends would very soon declare war against him; and in consequence, he immediately began to make every preparation to oppose them, by forming magazines of stores, and engaging a numerous body of men-at-arms, in various parts of his possessions.
The duke of Orleans and his brothers had not only written to the king of France, and to the princes of the blood, but also to the principal towns, making complaint against the duke of Burgundy, and requiring their support. When they perceived that the king and his ministers did not intend to answer their letter, they again wrote to the great towns, giving them to understand, that if redress were not granted them in the legal manner, as they had demanded it, they should seek other means of obtaining it.
It was now ordered by the king, the queen, and the duke of Berry, and others of weight in the council, that measures should be adopted for appeasing the quarrels of the dukes of Orleans and of Burgundy. Ambassadors were sent to each of the parties, but without success, principally because the duke of Burgundy would not condescend to make any other reparation than what had passed at the treaty of Chartres; and his pride was increased by having the king and the duke of Aquitaine on his side. The Orleans party were much discontented, but not dismayed; for many very considerable lords were with them, and had promised them aid and support against the duke of Burgundy to the utmost of their powers. The queen, therefore, and the others employed to negotiate a peace between the two factions, finding their attempts fruitless, gave it up, and on a certain day made a report to the king of what they had done, and the answers they had received from both parties. Shortly after, the duke of Orleans and his faction resolved to make mortal war on the duke of Burgundy and his allies, and sent him their challenges by a herald.
CHAPTER LXXII.-THE DUKE OF ORLEANS AND HIS BROTHERS SEND A CHALLENGE TO
THE DUKE OF BURGUNDY, IN HIS TOWN OF DOUAY. The following is the tenor of the challenge sent by the three brothers of Orleans to the duke of Burgundy, in consequence of the murder of their late father, the duke of Orleans :
“ Charles, duke of Orleans and of Valois, count of Blois and of Beaumont, and lord of Coucy, Philip count of Vertus, John count of Angoulême, brothers,—to thee, John, who callest thyself duke of Burgundy. For the very horrible murder by thee committed (in treacherously waylaying by assassins) on the person of our most redoubted lord and father, Louis duke of Orleans, only brother to my lord the king, our sovereign and thine, in spite of all the divers oaths of brotherhood and fellowship thou hadst sworn to him ; and for the numberless treacheries and disloyal acts that thou hast perpetrated, as well against our sovereign lord the king as against ourselves, we thus acquaint thee, that we shall make war upon and distress thee and thine by every possible means in our power. And we appeal to God and justice against thy disloyalty and treason, and call for the assistance of every worthy man in this world. In testimony whereof, and to assure thee of its truth, we have subjoined the seal of me Charles of Orleans to these presents. Given at Gergeau, the 18th day of July.”
The above letter was delivered to the duke of Burgundy by a herald in his town of Douay, who, having considered its contents, wrote the following answer, which he sent by one of his heralds at arms to the aforesaid brothers.
CHAPTER LXXIII.-THE DUKE OF BURGUNDY SENDS AN ANSWER TO THE CHALLENGE OF
THE DUKE OF ORLEANS AND HIS BROTHERS. “ John duke of Burgundy, count of Artois, of Flanders, palatine of Burgundy, lord of Salines and of Malines,—to thee Charles, who stylest thyself duke of Orleans and Valois, and to thee Philip, who signest thyself count of Vertus,—and to thee John, who callest thyself count of Angoulême, who have lately sent me your letters of defiance. We make known to you, and to all the world, that to put an end to the abominable treasons and mischiefs that were daily plotted in various ways, against the person of our sovereign lord and king, and against all his royal offspring, by Louis your father, and to prevent your false and disloyal father from succeeding in his abominable designs against the person of our and his most redoubted lord and sovereign, which were become so notorious that no honest man ought to have suffered him to live, more especially we who are cousin-german to our lord the king, dean of the peerage, and twice a peer*, felt it incumbent on us not to permit such a person longer to exist on the earth, and, by putting an end to his life, have done pleasure to God, and a most loyal service to our sovereign lord, in destroying a vile and disloyal traitor. And since thou and thy brothers are following the detestable traces and felony of your said father, thinking to succeed in the aforesaid damnable attempts, we have received your challenge with great gladnees of heart. But in regard to the charges therein made against us, we declare ye have falsely and wickedly lied, like disloyal traitors as ye are ; and with the assistance of our sovereign, who is perfectly well acquainted and satisfied with our loyalty and honour, and for the welfare of his people, we will inflict that punishment on you as such abandoned traitors and wicked rebels are deserving of. In witness of which, we have had this letter sealed with our seal. Given at our town of Douay, the 14th day of August, in the year 1411."
This answer, as I have before said, was carried by one of the duke of Burgundy's officersat-arms to Blois, and there delivered to the duke of Orleans and his brothers, who were very indignant at the expressions contained therein. He nevertheless entertained the bearer well, and, having maturely considered the matter, exerted himself to the utmost in collecting men-at-arms to wage war on the duke of Burgundy.
CHAPTER LXXIV. -THE DUKE OF BURGUNDY IS DISCONTENTED WITH SIR MANSART DU BOS.
HE SENDS LETTERS TO REQUIRE THE ASSISTANCE OF THE DUKE OF BOURBON. When the duke of Burgundy was convinced that he could not avoid war with the family of Orleans and their adherents, for several of them had challenged him by letters and otherwise, he vigorously applied himself to collect forces to resist them. Among those who had sent him letters of defiance, he was more displeased with sir Mansart du Bos, a knight of Picardy, than with any of the rest ; but of him, and his end, more shall be said hereafter.
He wrote a letter to the duke of Bourbon, which he sent by Flanders king-at-arms, the contents of which were as follows:
“Very dear and well-beloved cousin, duke of Bourbon and count of Clermont, John duke of Burgundy, count of Artois, Flanders, and Burgundy, hopes he remains well in your good memory. In the year 1405, you and he formed certain alliances, which, three years ago, were, at your request, renewed and again sworn to, in the presence of many knights and of other persons well deserving credit. In consequence, you were to remain my good and true friend during your life, to promote to the utmost my welfare and honour, and to ward off any evil from me, as a sincere relation is bound to do; and likewise, whenever anything should affect my own honour, or that of my friends, you were bound to assist them
vassals against all the world, excepting only the persons of my lord the king and of my lord of Aquitaine, or whoever may succeed to the throne of France, and of my late fair cousin, the duke of Bourbon, your father. Should it have happened that a war took place between me and any enemy, whose side the late duke of Bourbon embraced, in that case you might have joined your late father, but only during the course of his life, without any way dero
to the observance of this alliance on the holy evangelists of God, and on sacred relics touched by us, to the damnation of our souls in case of failure, I inform you, very dear and wellbeloved cousin, that Charles, who calls himself duke of Orleans, in conjunction with Philip and John, his brothers, have sent me a challenge, and intend to wage war on me to the utmost of their power ; but I hope, through the will of God, and the assistance of my friends and allies, in council and in arms, and with the aid of my subjects and vassals, to make a successful defence of my honour against their attempts. And since, very dear and well-beloved cousin, you have so solemnly bound yourself to assist me on every lawful occasion, I now, therefore, in virtue of this alliance, require and summon you to come personally to my aid, attended by as many of your friends and men-at-arms as you can collect, in opposition to the
* He was a peer as duke of Burgundy, and ngain a pcer as count-palatinc of Burgundy.
aforesaid Charles, Philip, and John, and thus honourably acquit yourself of your oaths and promises,-knowing, at the same time, that on a similar occasion I would accomplish every article of my oaths, without any fraud whatever. And this I hope you will do.—Have the goodness to write to me by the return of the bearer, to inform me of your pleasure and intentions, as the necessity of the case requires it. Given at my town of Douay, and sealed with my great seal appendant to these presents, the 14th day of August, in the year 1411."
This letter was delivered by the aforesaid herald to the duke of Bourbon, who, having fully read and considered its contents, replied to the herald, that he would speedily send his answer to the duke of Burgundy. This he did ; for in a few days he returned the articles of confederation, which he had formed with the duke of Burgundy, declaring them annulled, and strictly united himself to the duke of Orleans and his brothers, to the great displeasure of the duke of Burgundy, but who at that time could not redress it.
CHAPTER LXXV.-A ROYAL PROCLAMATION IS ISSUED, THAT NO PERSON WHATEVER BEAR
ARMS FOR EITHER OF THE PARTIES OF THE DUKES OF ORLEANS OR OF BURGUNDY.
-THE LATTER WRITES TO THE BAILIFF OF AMIENS. The duke of Burgundy, fearful that many of his friends would desert him, in obedience to the royal proclamation which had been made in every town and bailiwick through France, strictly commanding all persons whatever not to interfere, or in any manner to assist the dukes of Orleans and Burgundy in their quarrels with each other, wrote letters to the bailiff of Amiens, to his lieutenant, and the mayor and sheriffs of that place, and to each of them, the contents of which were as follows:
“Very dear and well-beloved, we have heard from several of the declaration of my lord the king, by which you are forbidden, as well as all his other subjects, to arm in our defence, or in that of our adversaries. This proclamation had been issued by our lord the king, because he was very desirous of establishing peace and concord between us and our enemies; and for this purpose he had many times sent his ambassadors as well to them as to us, to which we have always replied like a true and loyal subject and servant; and, through God's mercy, all our answers have tended to a good end, and to peace and union, which has made them perfectly agreeable to our lord the king. But our adversaries having persisted in the same damnable and wicked purposes, which they have ever followed against the peace of my lord the king, his noble family, and the public welfare, by continuing to tread in the footsteps of their father, who, for a long time, persevered in his intentions of destroying my lord the king and his family, have acted quite contrariwise, and sent answers full of dissimulation and treachery, with the sole design of gaining time.
“ Whilst our much-redoubted lady the queen of France, our very dear lord and uncle the duke of Berry, and our very dear brother the duke of Brittany, were endeavouring, according to the king's orders, to negotiate a peace between us and our adversaries, these false and disloyal traitors, and disobedient subjects, Charles, who calls himself duke of Orleans, and his brothers, sent to us their challenges, and, before that time, have often scandalously, and in violation of their oaths, defamed our person and character as they had before done. This, however, under God's pleasure, will fail in having any effect, for he who knows all hearts is acquainted with the steady love and attachment we bear, and shall bear so long as we live, to our lord the king and to his family, and to the welfare of his kingdom ; and we shall ever support the same with all the worldly possessions and powers that God has bestowed upon us. With these views we have done and commanded such acts as have been done, without paying regard to the scandalous defamations that have been thrown out against us, or any way fearing a diminution of honour by such false, wicked, and disobedient traitors to our lord the king, and the aforesaid Charles and his brothers, the issue of that infamous traitor, their father, so notorious throughout the realm. In truth, we hold it not to have been the intention of our lord the king to prevent any of our relatives, friends, allies, subjects, and well-inclined vassals, from joining us, in the defence of our honour, against our enemies, and to defend our countries from invasion.
“We therefore entreat of you, and require most affectionately, that you will please to allow such as may be inclined to serve us, who live within your bailiwick, and all others of our friends who may travel through it, to pass freely without any molestation whatever ; for you may be assured, that what we shall do will be for the welfare and security of my lord the king, his family, and the whole kingdom, to the confusion of all disloyal traitors. Should there be anything that we could do to give you pleasure, you have but to signify it to us, and we will do it with our whole heart.–Very dear and good friends, may the Holy Spirit have you under his care! Written in our town of Douay, the 13th day of August.”
These letters were very agreeable to Ferry de Hangest, then bailiff of Amiens, and to the others to whom they had been addressed, for they were well inclined to favour the duke of Burgundy.
CHAPTER LXXVI.-THE PARISIANS TAKE UP ARMS AGANST THE ARMAGNACS.-A CIVIL WAR
BREAKS OUT IN SEVERAL PARTS OF FRANCE. At this time the king of France, who had for a considerable time enjoyed good health, relapsed into his former disorder; on which account, and by reason of the discontents that prevailed throughout the kingdom, (the seat of government had been transferred to Melun,) the butchers of Paris, who have greater power and privileges than any other trade, suspecting that the government of the realm, through the intrigues of the queen and the provost of merchants, named Charles Cudane, would be given to the dukes of Berry and Brittany, in preference to the duke of Aquitaine, the king's eldest son, waited upon the latter, and exhorted him, notwithstanding his youth, to assume the government for the good of the king and kingdom, promising him their most loyal aid until death. The duke of Aquitaine inclined to their request, and granted them their wishes. This done, they ordered it to be proclaimed by sound of trumpet in all the squares of Paris, that the provost of merchants, and others in Paris, who were numerous, and whom they suspected of being favourable to the dukes of Berry, Bourbon, and Brittany, and to their parties, must quit the town before a fixed day, under pain of suffering death. In consequence of this proclamation, twelve persons, men and women, without including the domestics of the said lords, left Paris; and shortly after, the duke of Brittany, hearing of these commotions, took leave of the queen at Melun and retired into his duchy. The butchers, and those who lived near the market-places, with the greater part of the Parisians, were strong partisans of the duke of Burgundy, and very desirous that only he, or those that were of his party, should govern the kingdom ; and, to say the truth, it was now become dangerous for the nobility, of whatever party they might be, to dwell in Paris, for the common people had great sway in its government.
In the mean time, the duke of Orleans and his allies were strengthening themselves, by every means in their power, with men-at-arms. The duke of Bourbon and the count d'Alençon came in these days with a numerous body before the town of Roye in the Vermandois, which belongs to the king of France, and entered it about mid-day, more through fraud than by force of arms, for the townsmen did not suspect any warfare. When they had dined, they sent for the principal inhabitants, and ordered them, whether it were pleasing to them or otherwise, to receive a garrison from them. They then rode to Nesle, in the Vermandois, belonging to the count de Dammartin, wherein they also placed a garrison. Thence they dispatched sir Clugnet de Brabant, who had joined them, sir Manessier Guieret, and other captains well attended, to the town of Ham in the Vermandois, belonging to the duke of Orleans: they returned by Chauni-sur-Oise, where they also left a garrison, and in many other places, as well belonging to themselves as to others attached to their party. The duke of Bourbon, on his arrival from this expedition at his town of Clermont, strengthened it, and all his other towns in that country, with fortifications. When the garrisons had been properly posted, the war suddenly broke out between the two parties of Armagnacs and Burgundians.
The duke of Burgundy had not been idle in fortifying his towns with garrisons, and in collecting men-at-arms to resist his adversaries : he himself was in Flanders making preparations to march an army to offer them battle. The army of the Armagnacs had already made incursions into Artois, and had done much mischief to friend and foe, by carrying off prisoners