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CHAPTER XXIV.-TILE DUKE AND DUCHESS OF GLOUCESTER LEAVE CALAIS FOR HAINAULT,
TO RECEIVE THE ALLEGIANCE OF THE PRINCIPAL TOWNS OF THAT COUNTRY.-THE
BRABANT. Toward the end of November the duke and duchess of Gloucester marched their great army from Calais, and taking their route by Hesdin, and passing by Lens in Artois, arrived in Hainault. As they marched through the territories of the duke of Burgundy, no disorders were suffered to be committed, but all provisions were courteously paid for. They were liberally received at Bouchain and Mons, whither they went first, and many lords and gentlemen of the country came thither to pay obedience and homage to the duke and to his lady. Shortly after, all the principal towns in Hainault, dependent on the lady Jacqueline took oaths of allegiance to the duke of Gloucester ; for she declared herself his wife, and all the lords and gentlemen did the same, excepting the single town of Halx, which held for the duke of Brabant. In like manner did the count de Conversan, lord of Anghien, support duke John and sir Angilbert d’Anghien, with Jean de Jumont, and all their garrisons and dependants. The remainder, as well towns as nobles, breaking the oaths they had formerly taken to the duke of Brabant, now openly espoused the cause of the duke of Gloucester and the duchess Jacqueline.
Some days after the marriage of the duke of Burgundy, he quitted the duchess and went to Mâcon, where he had a conference with the duke of Savoy, and with ambassadors from the duke of Brittany, the principal of whom was Arthur count de Richemont. While these conferences were holding, Charles de Bourbon count de Clermont, the archbishop of Rheims, the bishop of Puy, and some others, came to Mâcon, by orders of king Charles, who, among different matters, treated for a marriage between the count de Clermont and Agnes, sistergerman to the duke of Burgundy. Charles de Bourbon promised the said archbishop, on the word of a prince, that he would espouse her at the time that had been fixed. When this and other great affairs had been discussed and settled, they separated, and each returned to the place he had come from.
Philip duke of Burgundy, hearing of the arrival of Humphrey duke of Gloucester in Hainault, was very indignant thereat, and issued his summonses to the men-at-arms, and others accustomed to serve him in war, throughout his countries of Flanders, Artois, and his other dominions, which were proclaimed in the usual places, ordering all nobles, and others of every degree, able to bear arms, to prepare themselves to support the duke of Brabant against the duke of Gloucester, under the orders of sir John de Luxembourg, the lords de Croy, de l'Isle-Adam, and such other captains as should be commissioned to command and conduct them.
In consequence of these proclamations, very many men-at-arms assembled under the aforesaid lords, who marched them to Philip count de St. Pol, brother to duke John of Brabant, he having been appointed by the duke commander-in-chief in this war against the duke of Gloucester. The principal adviser * of the count de St. Pol was Pierre de Luxembourg count de Conversan, and Braine lord d'Anghien. There were also with him, sir Angilbert d'Anghien, le Damoiseau de Vissemale, de Rosbarre, and other great lords and bannerets of the country of Brabant, a multitude of the commonalty, and an infinity of warlike engines.
A bitter war now commenced, with fire and sword, throughout Hainault, to the ruin of the poor people, for the duke of Gloucester had strongly garrisoned with English all the towns in that country under his obedience; and in like manner had the count de St. Pol done to those on the borders, and what remained in Hainault subject to the duke of Brabant. These garrisons made frequent sallies on their enemy's country, and committed every kind of mischief.
* Namely, the count of Conversan and Brienne, and Louis, afterwards count de St. Pol, and constable of also lord of Anghien. He was eldest son of John de France; and his brothers were, Louis, cardinal arch bishop Luxembourg, count of Ligny, and his wife, the heiress of of Rouen ; and John, count of Ligny, called in this book Anghien, Conversan, and Brienne. He was father of sir John de Luxembourg.
CHAPTER XXV.-THE DUKE OP GLOUCESTER SENDS A LETTER TO THE DUKE OF BURGUNDY
A COPY THEREOF. WHEN the duke of Gloucester heard that the duke of Burgundy had issued his summons for men-at-arms to assemble against him, in support of the duke of Brabant, he was highly displeased, and wrote to the duke of Burgundy a letter, of which the following is an exact copy :
“ High and potent prince, very dear and well-beloved cousin,—we have heard that in your lands and territories a proclamation has been made for all able men-at-arms to assemble and march under the orders of sir John de Luxembourg and others, to the support of my cousin of Brabant, against me, my friends, allies, and subjects, and stating, as reasons for the above, many charges contrary to the truth, which I have discovered, in a copy of certain letters said to be written by you, in your town of Dijon, the 21st day of last December. These letters, I am convinced, have been written with your knowledge, and by your orders, although you cannot have forgotten all that I have done in times past at your request and solicitation ; nor how often I have submitted the whole of my dispute with our cousin of Brabant to the arbitration of my brother the regent and yourself, - what appointments I have made, and what things I offered to relinquish to my prejudice,--and which you know those of the party of the duke of Brabant would not accept, nor enter into any treaty, notwithstanding these letters I allude to have given a contrary colour to the business, as will be apparent if you compare the copy I enclose with the originals.
“I know also, that what I have formerly done has not escaped your good memory. You must also feel, that if proximity of lineage is of any avail, you should be more inclined to serve me than my adversary, seeing that my companion and spouse is your cousin-german by two lines, and that my said cousin of Brabant is not so nearly related to you. You are likewise bounden to assist me by the treaty of peace solemnly sworn to by us, which the duke of Brabant has never done, but on the contrary, as you know, made alliances inimical to your interests, which should move you to act against him. The treaty between us has never been infringed by me; and it would have grieved me to have even thought of it,-for I should believe, that had I broken it, nothing fortunate would have ever happened to me. I am also persuaded, that during your life, you will not act contrary to it.
“ You must likewise have noticed, that ever since I have been on this side of the sea, I have alway endeavoured so to act as would be most agreeable to you; that I have never, in the smallest degree, done, or suffered to be done, any damage to your subjects or your lands, but have acted toward them as if they had been my own proper subjects, as they can truly inform you.
“I have lately written to you, to declare I ask for nothing but what is my own, but am contented to have what belongs to me in right of my said companion, your cousin, and which, with the aid of God, I will guard and preserve so long as she shall live, for that fortune is sufficient for me. Should any circumstances have induced me to act against my said cousin of Brabant, I am not as you know any way to blame, but constrained thereto by his enterprises, in the defence of my own honour, and for the preservation of my country, which will make me exert myself to the utmost of my power.
“Now as you are perfectly well acquainted with all that I have mentioned, I can scarcely persuade myself that these said letters have been written with your knowledge; and I most earnestly entreat, most high and potent prince, my very dear and well-beloved cousin, that you would maturely consider of all that I have done for your service, the different conduct of my adversary toward you, the nearness of the relationship, the treaty of peace between us, which I have never violated, and the enterprises of my opponent. I am firmly convinced that, supposing the measures hitherto followed have had your approbation, when you shall have maturely reconsidered the whole of mine and of my adversary's conduct, you will be of a contrary opinion. Should, however, your intentions remain unaltered, God, to whom nothing is hidden, will defend my just rights, if you be regardless of the oath you have taken for the same purpose. Iligh and potent prince, my very dear and well-beloved cousin, let me know your intentions by the bearer of this, and if there is anything I can do for your service, I will most heartily employ myself therein, as our lord knows, and to his care I commend you.
“ Written at my town of Mons, and signed with my signet, this 12th day of January. High and potent prince, very dear and well-beloved cousin, I send with this letter copies of the letters I have alluded to, signed “De Croy."
The address on this letter was “ To the high and potent prince, my very dear and wellbeloved cousin, the duke of Burgundy ;” and lower down, “ Your cousin the duke of Gloucester, count of Hainault, of Holland, of Zealand, and lord of Frizeland.”
The duke of Burgundy, on receiving this letter, laid it before the whole of his council, and, after duc deliberation, returned the following answer to the duke of Gloucester.
CHAPTER XXVI.-COPY OF THE ANSWER OF THE DUKE OF BURGUNDY TO THE LETTER
FROM THE DUKE OF GLOUCESTER. “ High and mighty prince Humphrey duke of Gloucester, I, Philip duke of Burgundy, earl of Flanders and of Artois, have received your letter addressed to me, and written at Mons in Hlainault, under your signet, the 12th day of January last, containing, among other things, that you have heard of proclamations having been issued throughout my dominions, for all well-disposed men-at-arms to assemble, and to march under the command of our very dear and well-beloved cousin sir John de Luxembourg and others, for the service and support of our very dear and well-beloved cousin the duke of Brabant, in opposition to you, your friends, allies, and subjects, and which proclamations contained, according to the tenor of your letter, many charges contrary to truth,—the which, and other things, you have discovered in the copy sent me, of certain letters said to have been written by me, on the 21st day of December, in my town of Dijon.
“ With regard to this, high and mighty prince, and the greater part of your letter, I shall forbear repeating, or making any reply thereto ; for as there is nothing but what touches my honour that I shall consider, and this I will not suffer any one to treat or to blame unjustly.
“You say, however, that the writings, of which you have enclosed a copy, have been done with my knowledge, and by my command. To this I answer, that I was moved thereto by your refusal to conform to the articles of pacification entered into with great deliberation of council, between your fair brother the regent and myself at Paris, to put an end to the discord between you and our very dear cousin the duke of Brabant.
“ On the contrary, the duke of Brabant (to gain the favour of God, and to please your said brother and myself) agreed to abide by these said articles, while you, persisting in your refusal, and without waiting for the final decisions of your suit at the court of Rome, have entered the country of Hainault with a powerful army, with the intent of driving therefrom our said cousin of Brabant, and taking possession of the same. These have been the reasons for my said letter, which contains truths which you cannot any way deny, or be ignorant of. I have not therefore given anything to be understood contrary to truth, or by way of lie, with which you seem most wrongfully to charge me in your letter, which I shall carefully preserve to show in proper time and place.
“I am sufficiently aware of all that you are attempting against our said cousin of Brabant, and very displeasing has it been to me, without your endeavouring to tarnish our own honour and fair fame, which I will not endure from you nor from any one ; and I am persuaded that those with whom I am connected by blood, all my loyal friends, subjects and vassals, who have been greatly attached to and have served my predecessors, will not suffer such a slur to be passed over with impunity. I therefore, now summon and require of you to recall all that you have said in your letter, touching what you have therein declared to have been asserted by me contrary to the truth. Should you be unwilling to do this, and to support the charges you have made against my honour and fame, I am ready to defend myself personally against you, and to combat you, with the aid of God and our lady, within
a reasonable time, in the presence of that most excellent and most potent prince, the emperor, my very dear lord and cousin.
“But that you and all the world may witness that I am anxious to bring this matter to a speedy conclusion, and instantly to repel all attempts on my honour, I am contented, should it be more agreeable to you, that we choose for the judge of our combat your fair brother the regent duke of Bedford, which you cannot reasonably refuse ; for he is such a prince that I know he will do the utmost justice between us, as between the most indifferent persons. And for the honour of God, and to avoid the effusion of Christian blood, and the destruction of the poor people, whose sufferings I in my heart compassionate, you and I, who are youthful knights, ought to accept of this proposal (supposing you be determined to maintain what you have written), as it personally concerns us, rather than engage in public warfare, by which numberless gentlemen and others of each party will have their days miserably shortened; and I must add, that it will be highly disagreeable to me if this last mode shall be resorted to. It ought to be matter of regret to us and all catholic princes, that Christian people should engage in war one against another; for my part I repeat that it will be very unwillingly that I shall engage in a public warfare, unless urgent necessity forces nie to it.
“ High and mighty prince, have the goodness to send me a speedy answer to the contents of this letter by the bearer, or by any more expeditious mode, without prolonging matters by letters; for I am impatient, that everything touching my honour may be as briefly settled as possible, and I will not that matters concerning it remain as they now are. I should sooner have replied to your letter on this subject, had I not been delayed by several concerns of high import that have retarded me.
“ That you may be assured this letter is mine, I have signed it with my own hand, and affixed my signet.
“ Written the 3rd day of March, in the year 1424.".
This letter was read by the duke of Gloucester with great attention, in the presence of bis council; in reply, he sent the following letter.
CHAPTER XXVII.--COPY OF TIE SECOND LETTER SENT BY TIIE DUKE OF GLOUCESTER TO
THE DUKE OF BURGUNDY. “ High and mighty prince Philip duke of Burgundy, earl of Flanders, of Artois, and of Burgundy,-1, Humphrey duke of Gloucester, son, brother, and uncle to the kings of England, count of Hainault, of Holland, of Zealand, lord of Frizeland, and high chamberlain to the king of England, have received your letter in form of a placart, addressed to me, and written on the 3rd day of this month, which letter, that it may appear to be from yourself, you have signed with your own hand and sealed with your signet. The contents of the greater part thereof concern me as little as those of mine did you, addressed and written in my good town of Mons in Hainault, under my signet, the 12th day of January last past, excepting what you say of my refusing to agree to terms of pacification between me and my cousin the duke of Brabant, which is not true; for my very dear and well-beloved brother the regent of France, and the whole of the French council, as well as yourself, know how I have acted therein. Should you wish to be ignorant thereof it is not in your power.
“ You say, that I have in my letter wrongfully and falsely offended your honour, by charges therein made, and that you were sufficiently hurt at my attempts against my said cousin the duke of Brabant, without my having attacked your honour and fame. You therefore summon and require of me to recant what I have thus written in my letter, or else you are ready to defend your honour in a personal combat with me. I make known to you that I hold for true the whole of the contents of my said letter, and shall remain in the firm belief thereof, which has indeed been confirmed by what your people have done and perpetrated in my country of Hainault, conformably to the tenor of your summons; nor shall you nor any one force me to recal my words, but with the aid of God, of our lady, and of my lord St. George, I will, by personal combat, oblige you to own their truth before either of the judges you have named, for they are both of them to me indifferent. I am equally desirous with yourself that the matter should be brought to a short and speedy issue ; but solely because my fair brother is nearest at hand am satisfied to perform the combat before him, and accept of him as judge of the field. Since you leave the appointment of the day of combat to me, I shall fix on the feast of St. George next ensuing for that purpose, or any other day more convenient for my brother, when, with God's favour, I shall be ready prepared to meet you without fail.
“ Should my said brother decline the office of judge of the field, I am willing that the combat take place before the very high and potent prince the emperor ; and should he in like manner decline it, our brother of Oldeberth *, or any other indifferent person may be the judge. But as I am doubtful whether you will abide by the terms under your signet, I summon and require of you, by the bearer of this letter, that you send me other terms scaled with your seal, in like manner as I have done to these presents.
“With regard to the duke of Brabant, if you shall dare to say that his right is superior to mine in this present dispute, I am ready to attack you body to body on the day abovementioned, and prove that I have the better right, with the favour of God, of our lady, and of St. George. That these presents may appear fully authentic, and to show that I am resolved to abide by their contents, I have signed my name to them, and have likewise affixed my seal.
“ Written in my town of Soignies, the 16th day of March, in the year 1424."
CHAPTER XXVIII.—THE DUKE OF BURGUNDY RETURNS TO FLANDERS, WHENCE HE SENDS
HIS ANSWER TO THE DUKE OF GLOUCESTER’S LETTER.—A COPY THEREOF. During the time of this correspondence between these two princes, the duke of Burgundy returned to Flanders, and ordered a considerable force to march thence to the aid of the duke of Brabant. He likewise sent an answer to the duke of Gloucester's last letter, accepting the day he had fixed for their combat, the tenor of which was as follows.
“ High and mighty prince Humphrey duke of Gloucester, I, Philip, duke of Burgundy, earl of Flanders and of Artois, have this day received your letter, written and signed with your own hand, in answer to mine of the 3rd of this present month, in which I said that you had, after mature deliberation, refused the terms of pacification between you and our cousin of Brabant, that had been agreed on by my brother-in-law the regent and myself. To this you reply, that it is not true. My fair brother the regent and the whole council of France know full well to the contrary : I am not ignorant thereof, and were I inclined to be so it is out of my power. You persist in denying what the ambassadors, sent to you by my brother the regent and myself with a copy of these articles, can most satisfactorily prove; and in the direct face of them you have invaded the country of Hainault, notwithstanding my fair cousin of Brabant had accepted of our terms, and you have called all these things which I had written to you falsehoods. Your conduct toward my cousin of Brabant was to me dishonourable and displeasing enough, without adding insults against my honour.
“For this did I summon you to recant all that you have thus offensively written ; otherwise I was ready to defend my honour in personal combat, in the presence of my fair brother the regent, or before the emperor. You in reply maintain the truth of what you had written, and that you shall remain in that belief; for what my troops had done in Hainault was a full confirmation of the truth of what you had advanced, and that you would not for me, nor for any one else, recal your words, but would force me, by personal combat, to acknowledge their truth, before either of the aforesaid judges.
“ You add, that as the said regent is nearer at hand, you are content to name him as judge, and fix on St. George's day next ensuing, or any other more agreeable to the regent, for the day of combat, being equally desirous with myself that this matter should be speedily brought to issue. I make for answer, that in regard to the judge and the day I am well satisfied, and, with the aid of God and of our lady, I will defend myself, and maintain the
* Oldeberth,--probably Oldenbourg.