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January, from the hands of Lancaster, king at arms, our herald. Your letter is dated the 26th day of March, in the year 1402, and we have heard its contents. Considering all things, more especially the situation in which it has pleased God to place us, we ought not to make you any reply to the request you make, nor to the replications since your first letter. However, as you attack our honour, we send you this answer, recollecting we did reply to your first request, which you pretended arose from the hot spirit of youth, and your earnest desire to gain renown in arms. It seems by your present letter that this desire has taken a frivolous turn, and that you wish for a war of words, thinking that by defaming our person, you may overwhelm us with confusion, which, God grant, may fall, and more justly, on yourself! We are therefore moved, and not without cause, to make answer to the principal points of your letter, in manner as will hereafter to you more plainly appear, considering that it does not become our state nor honour to do so by chiding; but in respect to such frivolous points, replete with malice, we shall not condescend to make any answer, except declaring that all your reproaches are false.
“First, in regard to the dignity we hold, that you write you do not approve it, nor the manner by which we have obtained it. We are certainly very much surprised at this, for we made you fully acquainted with our intentions before we departed from France ; at which time you approved of it, and even promised us aid against our very dear lord and cousin, king Richard, whom God pardon! We would not accept of your assistance; and we hold your approbation or disapprobation of our undertaking of little worth, since it has pleased God, by his gracious favour, to approve of it, as well as the inhabitants of our kingdom. This is a sufficient reply to such as would deny our right; and I am confident in the benign grace of God, who has hitherto guarded us, that he will continue his gracious mercy, and bring the matter to so happy a conclusion that you shall be forced to acknowledge the dignity we enjoy, and the right we have to it.
“In regard to that passage in your letter, where you speak of the decease of our very dear cousin and lord, whom God pardon! adding, God knows how it happened, and by whom caused, we know not with what intent this expression has been used; but if you mean, or dare to say, that his death was caused by our order or consent, it is false, and will be a falsehood every time you utter it; and this we are ready to prove, through the grace of God, in personal combat, if you be willing and have the courage to dare it. As to your saying, that you would have preserved the alliance made between us, if we had not undertaken such offensive measures against our very dear lord and cousin, who was so intimately related to your lord and brother by marriage, and treaties sealed with their seals, adding, that at the time you made the alliance with us, you never imagined we should have acted against our very dear lord and cousin, as is publicly known to have been done by us,—we reply, we have done nothing against him but what we wouid have dared to do before God and the whole world.
“ You say, that we might have seen, in the bond of alliance, what persons were excepted in it, and whether our very dear and well beloved cousin, the lady Isabella, your much honoured lady and niece, was not comprehended in those excepted. We know that you excepted them in general; but when, at your request, I entered into this alliance, you did not make any specific exceptions of them, like to what you did respecting your fair uncle of Burgundy; and yet the principal cause of your seeking our friendship, and requesting this alliance to be made, was your dislike to your uncle of Burgundy, which we can prove whenever we please, and then all loyal men will see if you have not been defective in your conduct as to our alliance ; and though hypocrisy may not avail before God, it may serve to blind mankind. When you maintain that, after you were acquainted with the pretended act done by us against our aforesaid lord and cousin, you lost all hope that I would abide by any agreement entered into with you, or any other person, we must suppose that you no longer wish to preserve any friendship with us; but we marvel greatly that some time after we were in possession of the dignity to which it has pleased God to raise us, you should send to us one of your knights wearing your badges, to assure us that you were eager to remain our very sincere friend, and that, after your lord and brother, the friendship of no prince would be so agreeable to you as ours. You charged him also to assure us, that the bonds
of alliance between us had been sealed with our great seals, which he said you would not that any Frenchman should know.
“ You have afterward made us acquainted, by some of our vassals, with your good inclinations, and the true friendship you bore us; but since you wish not any connexion with us, considering the state we hold (such is your expression), we know not why we should wish your friendship,—for what you formerly wrote to us does not correspond with your present letters. When you say, that in respect to the dignity we now enjoy, you suppose that divine virtue has not assisted us, adding, that God may have dissembled his intentions, and, like too many other princes, have caused us to reign to our confusion,-assuredly many persons speak thoughtlessly, and judge of others from themselves, so that the all-powerful God may turn their judgments against themselves, and not without cause. And as for the divine virtue having placed us on the throne, we reply, that our Lord God, to whom we owe every praise and duty, has shown us more grace than we deserve ; and it is solely to his mercy and benignity we are indebted for what he has been pleased to bestow upon us, for certainly no sorceries nor witchcrafts could have done it; and however you may doubt, we do not, but have the fullest confidence that, through the grace of God, we have been placed where we are.
“In regard to your charge against us for our rigour against your niece, and for having cruelly suffered her to depart from this country in despair for the loss of her lord, and robbed her of her dower, which you say we detain, after despoiling her of the money she brought hither,—God knows, from whom nothing can be concealed, that so far from acting towards her harshly, we have ever shown her kindness and friendship ; and whoever shall dare say otherwise lies wickedly. We wish to God that you may never have acted with greater rigour, unkindness, or cruelty, towards any lady or damsel than we have done to her, and we believe it would be the better for you.
“As to the despair you say that she is in for the loss of our very dear lord and cousin, we must answer as we have before done ; and in regard to her dower, of the seizure of which you complain, we are satisfied, that if you had well examined the articles of the marriage, you could not, if you had spoken truth, have made this charge against us. In regard to her money, it is notorious, that on her leaving this kingdom we had made her such restitution of jewels and money (much more than she brought hither), that we hold ourselves acquitted; and we have, beside, an acquittance under the seal of her father, our lord and brother, drawn up in his council, and in your presence, as may be made apparent to all the world, and prove that we have never despoiled her, as you have falsely asserted.
“You ought, therefore, to be more cautious in what you write ; for no prince should write anything but what is the truth, and honourable to himself, which is what you have not hitherto done. We have, however, answered your letter very particularly, in such wise, that through the aid of God, of our Lady, and of my lord Saint George, all men of honour will think our reply satisfactory, and our honour preserved.
“With regard to your companions, we have not any fault to find, for we are not acquainted with them ; but as to yourself, considering all things, we do not repute very highly of you. And when you return thanks to those of your family for having felt more pity than we have done for our king and sovereign liege lord, we reply, that by the honour of God, of our Lady, and of my lord St. George, when you say so you lie falsely and wickedly, for we hold his blood dearer to us than the blood of those on your side, whatever you may falsely say to the contrary ; and if you say that his blood was not dear to us in his lifetime, we tell you that you lie, and will falsely lie every time you assert it. This is known to God, to whom we appeal, offering our body to combat against yours, in our defence, as a loyal prince should do, if you be willing or dare to prove it.
“I wish to God that you had never done, or procured to be done, anything more against the person of your lord and brother, or his children, than we bave done against our late lord,--and in that case we believe that you would find your conscience more at ease. * Although you think us undeserving of thanks for our conduct to those on your side, we are persuaded that we have acted uprightly before God and man, and not in the manner you falsely pretend, --considering that, after our faithful lieges and subjects, we have good reason to love those of France, from the just right God has given us to that crown; and we hope, through his aid, to obtain possession of it. For their preservation, we the more willingly shall accept a single combat with you, as it will spare the effusion of blood, as a good shepherd should expose himself to save his flock; whereas your pride and vain-glory would triumph in their death,-and, like the mercenary shepherd to whom the flock does not belong, on seeing the wolf approach, you will take to flight, without ever attending to the safety of your sheep, confirming the quarrel of the two mothers before Solomon ; that is to say, the true mother who had pity on her child, while the other cruelly wished to have the child divided, if the wise judge had not prevented it.
* This seems to allude, in an enigmatical manner, to the as we find afterwards in doctor Petit's justification of the charge of sorcery and witchcraft against the person of the duke of Burgundy, king of France, of which the duke's enemies accused him,
“ As you declare in your letter, that you are willing to meet us, body against body, or with a greater or lesser number of men, in the defence of your honour, we shall thank you to perform it, and make known to you, that, through God's assistance, you shall see the day when you shall not depart without the deed being accomplished according to one or other of these proposals, and to our honour. Since you are desirous to have the time ascertained when we shall visit our possessions on your side of the sea, we inform you, that whenever it may please us, or we may judge it most expedient, we shall visit those possessions, accompanied by as many persons as we shall think proper, for the honour of God, of ourself, and of our kingdom, which persons we esteem as our loyal servants and subjects, and friends, to assert our right,-opposing however, with God's aid, our body against yours, in defending our honour against the false and wicked aspersions you are inclined to throw on it, if you have the courage to meet us, which, if it please God, shall be soon, when you shall be known for what you are.
“God knows, and we wish all the world to know, that this our answer does not proceed from pride or presumption of heart, but from your having made such false charges against us, and from our eager desire to defend our right with every means that God, through his, grace, has granted us. We have, therefore, made the above answer; and that you may be assured of its truth, we have scaled with our arms this present letter.”
Notwithstanding these letters and answers that passed between the king of England and the duke of Orleans, they never personally met, and the quarrel remained as before.
CHAPTER X.-WALERAN COUNT DE SAINT POL SENDS A CHALLENGE TO TIE KING OF
ENGLAND. · In this same year, Waleran count de St. Pol sent a challenge to the king of England, in the following words :
“ Most high and mighty prince Henry, duke of Lancaster,-1, Waleran de Luxembourg, count de Ligny and de St. Pol, considering the affinity, love, and esteem I bore the most high and potent prince Richard, king of England, whose sister I married *, and whose destruction you are notoriously accused of, and greatly blamed for ;-considering also the disgrace I and my descendants would feel, as well as the indignation of an all-powerful God,
known to you by these presents, that I will annoy you by every possible means in my power, and that personally, and by my friends, relations, and subjects, I will do you every mischief by sea and land, beyond the limits of the kingdom of France, for the cause before said, and no way for the acts that have taken place, and may hereafter take place, between my very redoubted lord and sovereign, the king of France, and the kingdom of England.
“ This I certify to you under my seal, given at my castle of Luxembourg, the 10th day of February, in the year 1402.”
• This was the half-sister of Richard, and daughter of husband, William Montague, carl of Salisbury. Her third the countess of Kent, by her second husband, Thomas husband was Edward prince of Wales, by whom she had Holland, knight of the Garter, and earl of Kent in right of king Richard. his wife. She had been before separated from her first
This letter was carried to the king of England by a herald of count Waleran; and thereto the king, Henry, made answer, that he held his menaces cheap, and that it was his will that count Waleran should enjoy his country and his subjects.
The count de St. Pol, having sent this challenge, made preparations to begin the war against the king of England and his allies. He also caused to be made, in his castle of Bohain, a figure to represent the earl of Rutland *, with an emblazoned coat of arms, and a portable gibbet, which he got secretly conveyed to one of his forts in the country of the Boulonois ; and thence he caused them to be carried by Robinet de Robretanges, Aliaume de Biurtin, and other experienced warriors, to the gates of Calais. There the gibbet was erected, and the figure of the earl of Rutland hung on it by the feet; and when this was done, the above persons returned to their fort. When the English garrison in Calais saw this spectacle in the morning, they were much surprised thereat, and without delay cut the figure down, and carried it into the town. After that time, they were more inclined than ever to do mischief to the count Waleran and his subjects.
CHAPTER XI.-CONCERNING THE SENDING OF SIR JAMES DE BOURBON, COUNT DE LA
MARCHE, AND HIS TWO BROTHERS, BY ORDERS FROM THE KING OF FRANCE, TO THE
ASSISTANCE OF THE WELSH, — AND OTHER MATTERS. In this year, sir James de Bourbont, count de la Marche, accompanied by his two brothers, Louis and Jean S, with twelve hundred knights and esquires, were sent, by orders from the king of France, to the port of Brest, in Brittany,—thence to embark for Wales, to the succour of the Welsh against the English. They found there a fleet of transports ready provided with all necessaries, on board of which they embarked, intending to land at Dartmouth, but the wind proved contrary. Having noticed seven sail of merchantmen coming out of this harbour, fully laden, making sail for Plymouth, they chased them so successfully that their sailors abandoned their ships, and, taking to their boats, made their escape as well as they could. The count de la Marche took possession of the vessels and all they contained, and then entered Plymouth harbour, which they destroyed with fire and sword. Thence he sailed to a small island, called Sallemue | ; and having treated it in the same manner as Plymouth, he created some new knights, -among whom were his two brothers, Louis count de Vendôme, and Jean de Bourbon his youngest brother, and many of their companions. When the count de la Marche had tarried there for three days, suspecting that the English would collect a superior force to offer him battle, he set sail for France; but shortly after a tempest arose that lasted for three days, in which twelve of his ships and all on board perished. With much difficulty the count reached the port of St. Malo with the remainder, and thence went to Paris to wait on the king of France.
This same year, duke Philip of Burgundy made grand feasts for the solemnization of the marriage of his second son Anthony, count of Rethel, who was afterwards duke of Brabant, with the only daughter of Waleran count of St. Pol,—which daughter he had by the countess Maud, his first wife, sister to king Richard of England. These feasts were very magnificent, and well attended by many princes and princesses, with a noble chivalry; and they were all supported at the sole expense of the duke of Burgundy.
* Edward duke of Aumerle and earl of Rutland, son to + James II., count de la Marche, great chamberlain of Edmund duke of York, and cousin-german both to Richard France, succeeded to his father John in 1393, died 1438. II, and Henry IV. The reason of the personal hatred of I Louis, count of Vendôme (the inheritance of his the count de St. Pol against this prince, appears to be his mother) second son of John count de la Marche, died 1446. having deserted and betrayed the conspirators at Windsor. John, lord of Clarency, third son of John count de la The discovery of that plot probably hastened the death of Marche, died 1458. Richard II.
|| Sallemue. Q. Saltash ?
CHAPTER XII.—THE ADMIRAL OF BRITTANY, WITH OTHER LORDS, FIGHTS THE ENGLISH AT SEA. - GILBERT DE FRETUN MAKES WAR AGAINST KING HENRY.
[n. D. 1403.] In the beginning of this year, the admiral of Brittany, the lord de Penhors, the lord du Chastel *, the lord du Boys, with many other knights and esquires of Brittany, to the amount of twelve hundred men at arms, assembled at Morlens t, and embarked on board thirty vessels at a port called Chastel-Pol I, to engage the English, who had a large fleet at sea on the look-out for merchantmen like pirates. On the following Wednesday, as the English were cruising before a port called St. Matthieu g, the Bretons came up with them, and chased them until sun-rise the ensuing morning, when they engaged in battle. It lasted for three hours ; but the Bretons at last gained the victory, and took two thousand prisoners, with forty vessels with sails, and a carrack. The greater part of the prisoners were thrown overboard and drowned, but some escaped by promising punctual payment of their ransom.
About this same time, an esquire, named Gilbert de Fretun, a native of the country of Guisnes, sent his challenge to the king of England, to avoid paying him his homage ; and in consequence, this Gilbert collected many men at arms, and made such exertions that he provided himself with two vessels well equipped, and carried on a destructive war against the king as long as the truces between the kings of France and England were broken, from which event great evils ensued.
CHAPTER XIII.-THE UNIVERSITY OF PARIS QUARRELS WITH SIR CHARLES DE SAVOISY
AND WITII THE PROVOST OF PARIS. At this period, when the university of Paris was making its annual processions, much dissention arose between some of its members, as they were near to St. Catherine du Val des Escoliers, and the grooms of sir Charles de Savoisy, chamberlain || to the king of France, who were leading their horses to drink in the river Seine. The cause of the quarrel was owing to some of the grooms riding their horges against the procession, and wounding some of the scholars,—who, displeased at such conduct, attacked them with stones, and knocked some of the riders off their horses. The grooms, on this, returned to the hôtel de Savoisy, but soon came back armed with bows and arrows, and accompanied by others of their fellowservants, when they renewed the attack against the scholars, wounding many with their arrows and staves even when in the church. . This caused a great riot. In the end, however, the great number of scholars overpowered them, and drove them back, after several of them had been soundly beaten and badly wounded.
When the procession was concluded, the members of the university waited on the king, to make complaints of the insult offered them, and demanded, by the mouth of their rector, that instant reparation should be made them for the offence which had been committed, such as the case required, — declaring, at the same time, that if it were not done, they would all quit the town of Paris, and fix their residence in some other place, where they might be in safety. The king made answer, that such punishment should be inflicted on the offenders as that they should be satisfied therewith. In short, after many conferences, in which the members of the university urged their complaints to the king, as well as to the princes of the blood who composed his council, it was ordered by the king, to appease them, that the lord Charles de Savoisy, in reparation for the offence committed by his servants, should be banished from the king's household, and from those of the princes of the blood, and should be deprived of all his offices. His hôtel was demolished, and razed to the ground ; and he was besides condemned to found two chapelries of one hundred livres each, which were to be in the gift of the university. After this sentence had been executed, sir Charles de
* Chastel, the name of a noble house in Brittany, Tan Chastel-Pol. Q. St. Pol de Leon ? neguiy, so often mentioned hereafter, was of the same $ At the entrance of Brest barbour. family,
|| In 1383, he was appointed to the office of grand trea† Morlens. Q. Morlaix ?