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CHAPTER CLXI. * -THE NEAPOLITANS REBEL AGAINST THEIR KING, JACQUES DE LA
MARCHE, AND MAKE WAR ON HIM.-THEY TAKE THE QUEEN PRISONER.—THE CON
SEQUENCES THAT FOLLOW. This year the Neapolitans rebelled against king James count de la Marche, and would have made him prisoner had he not been informed in time of their intentions. They confined the queen, and made a bitter war against him and his supporters. The constable and the lord de St. Maurice, his father-in-law, were imprisoned. The king, for his greater security, embarked on board a brigantine for the castle del Ovo, leaving a good garrison in Castel Nuovo. This war lasted until the 27th day of October in the same year, when peace was made on condition that all the French who held any offices in the kingdom should depart and return to their own country, excepting the very few employed personally to serve the
On the conclusion of the peace, the king and queen returned to Castel Nuovo, when all persons renewed their oaths of allegiance, promising to consider him as their king during his life, but that he was no way to interfere in the government of the kingdom. His establishment of guards, attendants, and horses, were all arranged according to the pleasure of the Neapolitans. On the day the king returned to Castel Nuovo, there were great rejoicings throughout the town, with bonfires, and illuminations on the terraces of the houses, and on the morrow there was a grand ball at the castle. But on the third day, the king was so strictly watched that none were allowed to speak to him but in the presence of those who bad seized the government, and the French gentlemen were not permitted to take leave of him on their departure. The rulers of the kingdom soon after obliged the queen to join their party, lest the two when united might be over much for them: however, in conformity to their oaths, they showed the king and queen all outward respect, but governed the country as they willed. The chief of these usurpers was of one of the greatest and richest families, called Hanequin Mournil, one in whom the king had placed most confidence of all the Italians. The king was for a long time kept under this restraint : at length he escaped, and fled by sea to Tarentum, which had been given to him as a principality,—but he was, soon after, driven out of the kingdom. The duke of Anjou, son to king Louis, went thither on his expulsion, and was well received in the city of Aversa ; but it was not long before he was forced out of the realm by the king of Arragon.
In regard to king James, besides the rebellion of his subjects, the queen likewise, old and capricious, was much displeased and jealous of his being a lover to young ladies of the country and neglecting her. This was also the cause why the nobles whom he had brought from France with him were generally hated.
CHAPTER CLXIII.—THE EARL OF DORSET, GOVERNOR OF HARFLEUR, MAKES AN INCURSION
INTO THE COUNTRY OF CAUX, AND IS COMBATED BY THE FRENCH.—THE EMPEROR
CREATES THE COUNT OF SAVOY A DUKE. At this same time, the earl of Dorset, who commanded in Harfleur, one day marched three thousand English combatants toward Rouen, and thence made a circuit through the country of Caux, where he remained three days doing great mischief with fire and sword. In the mean time the garrisons and nobles of those parts collected together under the lord de Villequier to the amount of three thousand men also, and met the English near to Valmont, who instantly attacked them ; but the French defended themselves so valiantly, the English were defeated, and eight hundred left on the field of battle. The remainder retreated with the earl into a garden surrounded by a strong hedge of thorns, and therein continued the rest of the day without the French being able to gain further advantage over them, although they took much pains. In the evening the French retired to a village hard by to refresh themselves; but the earl of Dorset, doubtful of the event, on the morrow marched out of the garden with his men about day-break, and pushed forward to Harfleur. The French, perceiving this, pursued them, and overtook them in the marshes, about two leagues from that town, when they renewed the battle; but, as the French were not all come up, they were defeated, and two hundred slain,-among whom was their commander, the lord de Villequier, and other nobles of that country.
* See Giannone, lib. 25, cap. 1 and 2, for an account of these cvents, which are not very accurately related by Monstrelet.
The emperor of Germany, on his return home, passed through Lyons, where he was desirous of creating Amadeus count of Savoy a duke,—but the king of France's officers would not permit it. He was very indignant at this, and went to a small castle called Moulnet that belongs to the empire, and he there created him a duke. On his coming to France, through the interference of duke Louis of Bavaria, brother to the queen of France, and others of the Orleans faction, he had been of the opposite party to the duke of Burgundy, but on his return he had changed his sentiments, and liked better the Burgundy faction than that of Orleans.
CHAPTER CLXIV.-DUKE WILLIAM, COUNT OF IAINAULT, DIES AT BOUCHAIN.JOHN OF BAVARIA DECLARES WAR AGAINST HIS NIECE, DAUGHTER TO TIIE LATE DUKE WILLIAM.
[A. D. 1417.) At the commencement of this year, duke William and his duchess, after their return from Compiegne, went to visit the duke of Burgundy at Douay, when many conferences were holden on the state of public affairs, and on the answers duke William had received from the queen of France and the king's ministers. When these were ended, duke William returned to his castle of Bouchain, where he was seized with a violent illness that put an end to his life in a few days. His body was carried to Valenciennes, and buried in the church of the Minorite friars. He left one only daughter by the duchess, called Jacquelina of Bavaria, who, as his legal heiress, took possession of all his inheritances, which fell to her on the decease of the duke. Nevertheless, John of Bavaria, her uncle on her father's side, made opposition to this, on pretence that the succession of the late duke Albert, his father, had not been fairly divided in regard to him ; adding, that Jacquelina could not lawfully succeed to the country of Holland ; and, with the consent of the inhabitants, he gained possession of Dordrecht and some other towns, which acknowledged him for their lord. He soon after declared open war against her, and resigned into the hands of the pope his bishopric of Liege, which bishopric was put into commission. He made this resignation to strengthen his claims against his niece,—and shortly married the duchess of Luxembourg, the widow of duke Anthony of Brabant, brother to the duke of Burgundy.
CHAPTER CLXV.-TIE DUKE OF BURGUNDY SENDS LETTERS TO MANY OF THE PRINCIPAL
TOWNS IN FRANCE, DESCRIBING THE STATE OF THOSE WHO GOVERN THE KINGDOM. In these days, the duke of Burgundy sent letters, open and closed, to many of the chief towns in France, to stir them to rebellion, and to join his faction, which letters were of the following tenor:
“ John duke of Burgundy, count of Flanders and Artois, palatine of Burgundy, lord of 'alines and Mechlin, to all to whom these presents shall come, health and peace.
“ Whereas, by divine grace, we had in former times the government of the kingdom of France ; but since we have withdrawn ourselves therefrom, persons of low degree, and of doubtful birth, have seized the management of public affairs, with the sole intent of appropriating to themselves, by open or secret means, the treasure of the realm ; and so outrageous has been their conduct, that my lord the king, his family, and officers, were kept in the utmost penury. They neither paid nor suffered to be paid the usual royal charities, nor did they see to the repairs and maintenance of the various garrisons, with things absolutely necessary for them ; for notwithstanding the immense sums yearly raised by taxes and loans, scarcely any part of them were applied to public uses, or for the welfare of the kingdom. We therefore, having fully considered all these matters, and how nearly we are by blood connected with my lord the king, being his cousin-german, and holding from him the duchy of Burgundy and counties of Flanders and Artois, and that we are in a double degree father and dean of the peers of France, and that our various and great obligations to him and to his crown are well known, have determined to provide a sufficient remedy for the above evils, and that restitution be made to the public treasury to the utmost of our power.
“We have had the above facts demonstrated by our ambassadors, in the presence of the grand council at the Louvre in Paris, presided by our very dear lord and son, the duke of Aquitaine, lately deceased, whose soul may God pardon ! requesting at the same time, that from his good sense, and for the acquittal of his conscience, he would check these said abuses, and attend to the better government of the state. In this matter we were joined by the members of the university of Paris, who sent us letters to that effect, and which were publicly read in the church of St. Genevieve at Paris ; and at that time there were appearances that our remonstrances would be listened to. But their real intentions were otherwise ; for it is notorious that we have met with nothing but tricks and dissimulations of all sorts, and perseverance in their evil government, whence have proceeded these intestine wars ; although we have never ceased to urge our remonstrances against the present ministers, by able clerks, as well of the parliament and university as otherwise, by prudent knights, and other wise citizens, in whose presence ordinances were published by our said lord the king, and sworn to in his court of justice without any novelties being introduced or exception of persons made.
“Nevertheless, grievous as it may be to relate, the contrary to these ordinances has been done ; and it is a well-known fact, that the wretches have found means to keep me from the presence of our said lord the king. Soon after these edicts were annulled, and every sort of disorder was committed, taxes upon taxes were laid, loans on loans, reductions of offices, banishments, beheadings, and innumerable despotic acts done, to the very great dissatisfaction of my said well-beloved lord and son, lately deceased, and to which he had resolved to put an end, by ordering us to come to him with a competent number of men-at-arms, notwithstanding any orders we might receive to the contrary; and, as proofs thereof, I have in my possession three letters written and signed with his own hand, containing the above commands. In obedience to these orders, we came to St. Denis, and advanced toward the town of Paris, but could not gain admittance to his person ; for the affair was become known to the aforesaid evil advisers, who instantly laid hands on our very redoubted lord and his son, confining them in the castle of the Louvre for a considerable time, with the drawbridges raised and gates closed. They also imprisoned the greater part of the king's servants, thus illegally depriving them of their liberties, although they had certain intelligence upwards of a year prior to this, that the enemies of the kingdom were preparing to invade it ; but through their dampable avarice and concupiscence of wealth, they made no provision whatever to resist them. Hence it happened that our said lord and king has lost one of the finest seaports in his realm, the key to his country, and has suffered the almost total destruction of his chivalry; and none can foresee the infinite misfortunes that may now ensue, but which God avert. We also, bound by our royal duty toward our sovereign, have assembled for his service the greatest possible force we could to defend his kingdom, as we are bounden to do by every tie. But the aforesaid evil advisers have ordered several cities and towns not to permit us to enter them, and have forbidden them to supply our men with provision, as if we had been public enemies ; but, notwithstanding such atrocious conduct, our vassals and subjects have been, and still are, strongly attached to his majesty's person.
“They have likewise, heaping grievance on grievance, imprisoned a great number of notable inhabitants of many towns well affected to the king, but who saw with displeasure the miserable state the nation was reduced to by their wicked measures. But the worst part of their conduct has been the poisoning of the said deceased well-beloved lord and son (as the manner of his death plainly showed,) the moment he was made acquainted with their wickedness, and testified a resolution to remedy the various evils they had caused; and this was done to increase and strengthen their authority.
“When we witnessed their fury, to avoid all manner of quarrel as much as in us lay, we retired to our countries of Flanders and Artois, and to our very dear brother the count of Hainault, to explain to our well-beloved nephew, my lord the dauphin, lately deceased, whose soul may God receive! the honesty of our intentions, and the bad consequences that would infallibly ensue if the present public measures were continued. We did not expect to have done this immediately, because our foresaid lord and nephew was in Holland, and could not instantly come to us in Hainault, from the dangers of the sea : nevertheless, on his arrival at Valenciennes we waited on him, and explained fully many matters, and our desire for a general peace with all so inclined, excepting king Louis of Sicily, with whom we had cause for quarrel that greatly affected our honour and estate : with these explanations he was very well satisfied, as was our aforesaid brother. For the more effectually accomplishing this peace, and for the better considering of other public affairs, they went from Valenciennes to St. Quentin, in the Vermandois, and thence to Compiegne ; but these wicked ministers, by their deceits, attempted to detain our brother in Paris, when he was about to proceed on his journey toward Compiegne, with an earnest desire of attending to the before-mentioned business, not supposing that any attempt would be made against his person while he was endeavouring to conclude measures of such interesting importance. They would, however, have succeeded in their attempt, had not his good sense provided a timely remedy, by hastily leaving Paris with few attendants. He arrived at Compiegne early in the day, although the distance from Paris is twenty leagues. Soon after his arrival, a grievous misfortune befel us; for about vespers of that same day, our very dear lord and nephew was taken so dangerously ill that he shortly after expired, having his cheeks, tongue, and lips greatly swelled, and his eyes starting out of his head,—in such wise that it was a most melancholy sight, considering that such are the usual appearances of those who die by poison. These aforesaid rapacious ministers poisoned him, as they had done our very redoubted lord and son his brother, which we now relate with grief, believing firmly that all the honest and good men of the kingdom will be sorely displeased when they shall hear of these deaths.
“In this state remained public affairs while these infamous poisoners, who governed the realm, would not listen to our terms of peace, nor take pity on the poor people of France, destroyed through their quarrels. In truth, the tempers of these men must be wretched, who are only desirous of evil, and who have broken or infringed six treaties, solemnly sworn to, namely, those of Chartres, Bicêtre, Auxerre, Pontoise, Paris, and of Rouvres in Burgundy. We shall not detail, at this moment, how these treaties have been broken, for it would take too much time, and it is notorious to every one. We only mention the circumstance, that you may be thoroughly acquainted with the wickedness of these false, disloyal and perjured traitors, who add murder, rapine and poison to their crimes, who are without faith, and made up of treasons and cruelty. We also make known to you, that we, in former times, bore patiently, as became us, all the insults and persecutions that were heaped on our person,-having in our memory, what is to be found in history both sacred and profane, that it was usual for the friends of God and of the public good to be bitterly persecuted for their virtuous actions.
“Nevertheless, it is our fixed intention to follow up our measures, with the aid of our Creator, and our whole force, with that of our relations, friends, vassals, and well-wishers to the king and crown of France; and to prosecute to conviction those who are guilty of these poisonings, their accomplices and adherents, so long as God shall grant us life. At the same time also, we shall urge on those reforms of grievances already begun by us, that press so heavily on the poor people under the names of gabelles, tithes and other exactions ; and we have determined to employ every force we can collect to obtain so desirable an object.
“To this end, we entreat and summon you, on the faith and obedience you owe to my aforesaid lord, and on your love of the public weal, to eschew the crime of high treason, and require that you, and each of you, do aid, counsel and assist in the punishment of theso destroyers of the noble house of France, who are guilty of murders, treasons and poisonings, as you are bounden to do by every law natural and divine. By your conduct, we shall know whether you possess charity, loyalty, virtue, and the fear of God,—and whether you be desirous of repressing cruelty, disloyalty, vanity and avarice. This can alone save the
kingdom of France from ruin. By this alone, my lord the king will recover his power, and be obeyed and honoured, which is the utmost extent of our wishes in this world, and which it seems to us you should be most desirous of also. Thus the kingdom will be at peace, the churches supported, the wicked punished, and the injuries done to the people will cease. Surely these are objects more worthy and fit to occupy your attention than seeking the favour of these false and infamous traitors, in contempt of the grace of God.
“ Doubt not of our intention to revenge the insults that have been shown us; for we promise, on the faith and loyalty we owe to God, to our aforesaid lord, and to the public
Louis, ibinad, we offer peace do opinions of those wat satisfactory repared, which these
my aforesaid lord and his kingdom from being completely destroyed, which these disloyal traitors are compassing to accomplish,—and that satisfactory justice be done on them, according to the advice and opinions of those who shall assist us in these our intentions. For this end, we offer peace' to all who shall be inclined to accept of it from us, excepting Louis, king of Sicily, for the better prosecution of our intentions to support the king and his realm,-being resolved to persist in these loyal measures until death, without offering any conciliatory terms to these profligate traitors and poisoners. This business has been too long delayed; for it may be clearly seen that the aforesaid traitors are determined on the total ruin of the royal house of France and the whole of the nobility, and that they are resolved to deliver up the kingdom to foreigners ; but we have firm reliance and hope in God, who knows the secrets of every heart! that we shall obtain a happy issue to our enterprise by means of the good and faithful subjects of the realm, whom in this case we will support to the utmost of our power, and maintain for ever in the fullest enjoyment of their liberties and franchises. We will also exert ourselves that in future no taxes, impositions and gabelles, may be ever again paid in France; and we will proceed against all who shall say or act to the contrary by fire and sword, whether they be universities, corporations, chapters, colleges, nobles, or any others, of whatever condition they may be.
“In testimony whereof, we have signed these presents with our own hand and our privy seal, in the absence of the great seal, in our castle of Hesdin, the 24th day of April, 1417, after Easter.”
These letters were sent to the towns of Montreuil, St. Riquier, Abbeville, Dourlens, Amiens, Corbie, St. Quentin, Roye, Mondidier, Beauvais, and to many other places ; and by their means several principal towns and corporations were strongly excited against those who then governed the king.
CHAPTER CLXVI.-SIR LOUIS BOURDON, KNIGHT, IS ARRESTED AND EXECUTED.-THE QUEEN
OF FRANCE IS BANISHED TO BLOIS, AND THENCE TO TOURS.
About this time, while the queen of France resided with her court at the castle of Vincennes, she was visited by the king her lord. On his return to Paris in the evening, he met sir Louis Bourdon, knight, coming thence, and going to Vincennes, who, on passing very near the king, made a slight inclination of his head as he rode by, and gaily pursued his road. The king instantly ordered the provost of Paris to follow and arrest him, and to take especial care to give a good account of him. The provost performed his duty in obeying this command, and confined sir Louis in the Châtelet of Paris, where he was, by command of the king, very severely tortured, and then drowned in the Seine.*
Some few days after, by orders from the king, the dauphin, and those who governed in Paris, the queen, accompanied by her sister-in-law the duchess of Bavaria, was banished to Blois, and thence to reside at Tours in Touraine, with a very private establishment. She was placed under the guard of master William Torel, master John Picard, and master
* The count of Armagnac had persuaded the king to tainly laid her open to suspicion. From this moment she believe that Sir Louis de Bourdon had been guilty of did not hesitate to intrigue with the duke of Burgundy, certain gallantries with the queen. It is uncertain whether even against the dauphin, being willing to sacrifice her there was any foundation for the report, but the former own son, to revenge herself upon her enemies. behaviour of Isabella towards the duke of Orleans cer