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woman of low degree compared with his rank, named Eleanor Cobham *, of whom mention has been before made. The duke had for some time lived with her as his mistress; and her character was not spotless in regard to her connexions with others beside the duke. This created much wonder in France and in England, considering that the duke did not act conformably to the blood he sprung from.
At this period sir John Blondel, accompanied by John Blondel, his cousin-german, and eight others his companions in arms, by means of the chaplain, gained the fortress of Oripecte in Provence, of which John Cadart was governor, and made him prisoner, expecting to receive a large sum for his ransom. News of this was soon spread over the country, and the place was so expeditiously and strongly besieged, that those who had won it were glad to be allowed to depart in safety, and without carrying away anything. Notwithstanding this treaty, on their marching out, John Blondel was slain by the peasants, and the chaplain who had done the treason was beheaded.
CHAPTER XLI.—THE DUKE OF BEDFORD LAYS SIEGE TO MONTARGIS. -TIIE SIEGE IS RAISED BY
THE FRENCH.-OTHER EVENTS BRIEFLY TOUCHED ON. This year, the duke of Bedford, who styled himself regent of France for king Henry, had the town and castle of Montargis besieged by the earls of Warwick and Suffolk. With them were the lord de la Pole, brother to the earl of Suffolk, sir Henry Bisset, and other captains, having under them three thousand combatants.
The town was so situated that it required three different sieges, which could with difficulty afford assistance to each other : however, the English formed lodgments all around it and fortified them. The earl of Warwick was quartered in a nunnery on one side of the town. They soon threw bridges over different parts of the river to serve for communications between their quarters. Having done this, they made vigorous approaches toward the town, which they damaged very much by their cannon and engines of war. The besieged made so good a defence, that the business was continued for more than two months, during which time they sent notice to king Charles that, unless speedy succours were afforded them, they must surrender to his enemies. The king, hearing this, assembled his council, when it was resolved to raise the siege, or at least to throw reinforcements of men and provision into the place. This was attempted, but without effect. An assembly of men-at-arms was then ordered by king Charles at Orleans, and the command of them given by the king to the count de Dunois, bastard of Orleans. He had with him sir William d'Albretht lord d'Orval, the lords de Graville, de Villag, de Gaucourt, Estienne Vignolles, surnamed La Hire, sir Gilles de St. Simon, Gaultier Boussart, and many other captains, amounting to sixteen hundred combatants, all men of tried courage. They commenced their march with a large train of forage-carts, intending only to revictual the town, and not to raise the siege.
When they were arrived within half a league of the enemy's camp, they held a council as secretly as they could, and determined to attack the nearest quarters of the English. They had some of the garrison of Montargis with them as guides, -and in the number was one called le Petit Breton. La Hire was appointed leader of one of the parties, and fell on the English quarters with great courage, shouting, “ Montjoye St. Denis !" The English were quite unprepared, --and their camp was soon on fire in various parts,—and much slaughter was committed near to where the lord de la Pole was lodged: indeed the whole of that part was defeated, and the lord de la Pole escaped with eight others in a small boat. The garrison of the town had dammed up the river so high that the bridges the English had made were overflowed, and most of them who attempted to escape over them fell into the water and were drowned.
The bastard of Orleans, while this was going forward, made a vigorous attack on the quarters of sir Henry Bisset : he had dismounted, and began to be hard pressed, when those who had destroyed the lord de la Pole's quarters opportunely came to his support, for the lord de Graville had been wounded. The English, finding that fortune was against them, began to retreat toward the quarters of the earl of Warwick ; but crossing a bridge in haste, and too many at once, it broke down with their weight, and great numbers lost their lives. Add to this, that the garrison made a well-timed sally to assist their friends, and killed great numbers and made many prisoners.
* She was third daughter to Reginald lord Cobham, + William, second son of the constable d'Albreth, lord who died 24 Hen. VI.
In the mean time, the earl of Warwick assembled his men around him as speedily as he could ; but when he perceived the greatness of his loss, for from one thousand to fifteen hundred had been slain, drowned, or taken, he formed his men in order of battle, and thus retreated to a small eminence, covered with vineyards, above his quarters. The French, who had fought hard and were fatigued, entered Montargis. When night came on, the English collected their men together, the greater part of whom were now on foot, and retreated to castle Landonin Nemours, and to other places under their dominion. The French remained in Montargis, making good and hearty cheer, being rejoiced that with the aid of God they had accomplished the purpose they had been sent on. They afterward returned to king Charles of France, who received them most graciously.
In this year, duke John of Brabant, after a very severe illness, departed this life in his castle of Leneure*, repeating most devoutly, “ Miserere mei, Deus," &c. He was buried in the chapel of this castle, near to the body of his father. On his decease, his brother Philip count de Liguy and de St. Pol took possession of all his territories. Thus was the duchess Jacqueline deprived of her two husbands,—for, as I have before said, the duke of Gloucester had married another woman, and the duke of Brabant was dead. During the life of the duke of Brabant, a person named John Chevalier had engaged, at the request as it was said of the countess-dowager of Hainault, to put an iron collar round the duke's neck, for which this chevalier was arrested at Brussels and beheaded.
At the same time, the fortress of Escandeur, near to Cambray, was put into the hands of sir John de Luxembourg, with the consent of the duke of Burgundy, and was the cause why sir Louis, bastard brother to the duchess Jacqueline, to whom it had belonged, carried war and tribulation through that country in fighting the battles of his sister, but he lost his inheritance for so doing.
In these days a terrible combat took place near to Mont St. Michel, between the English who had possession of Mont de Hellemt on the one side, and the French and Bretons on the other ; but in the end the French were victorious, having killed or put to flight the English and consequently gained the castle.
('ITAPTER XLII.—THE CASTLE OF MALMAISON, BELONGING TO THE BISHOP OF CAMBRAY, 18
TAKEN BY SIR JOHN BLONDEL.-OTHER EVENTS.
[A. D. 1427.1 In the beginning of this year, the fortress of Malmaison, situated two leagues from the castle of Cambresis, belonging to Jean de Lens, lord of Liéequerque and bishop of Cambray, in right of his bishopric, was surprised by sir John Blondel of king Charles's party, accompanied by a few men. The governor for the bishop was a fair esquire, called Walter de Baillon, whom they caught in bed. Sir John Blondel, having traversed the ditches, though full of water, scaled the walls by means of ladders, and entering the lower court, seized the guard, and his troops posted themselves in ambuscade near the bridge of tho dungeon. In the morning, when the porter lowered the drawbridge, they rushed upon him with drawn swords, and put him to death ; after which, they entered without further opposition, although it was the strongest of all the forts in that country.
The adjacent parts were greatly alarmed at this conquest, even those within the castle of Cambresis ; and the bishop of Cambray, being then there, was much surprised how and by
* Leneure. The annotations at the beginning of the tion, substitutes Genappe for Lencure, but without any volume, French edition, suppose it to be Geneppe or comment.--Ed.] Gueneppe, a summer residence of the dukes of Brabant, + Mont de Hellem must be Tombelaine (probably a whither Louis XI. when dauphin, fled to, and resided at corruption of Tombe d' Heléne), a small rock near to during his stay in Brabant. [Buchon, in his recent edi- Mont St. Michel.
whom it could have been taken, for at that time the whole country was at peace. The bishop, however, sent some of his people and the inhabitants of Cambresis to Malmaison, to learn who had done this, and by what means. On their arrival, they had a parley with those who had taken it; but they, through mischief, replied by shouting the war-cries of Burgundy and Luxembourg, and those who had come thither returned to Château Cambresis. Sir John Blondel, having soon provided himself with provision, stores, and men in abundance, began to make inroads on the country of Cambresis, and the parts adjoining, committing irreparable injuries, and in some of these he was joined by parties attached to the duke of Burgundy and sir John de Luxembourg. In the mean time, the bishop sent to the duke of Burgundy, to know if it had been with his consent that his castle had been taken. The duke replied, that so far from having consented, he would send him such assistance that his castle should be restored to him.
Some time after the decease of duke John of Brabant, a grand assembly of the nobility was held at Valenciennes, at which were present the duke of Burgundy, the counts de Namur, de Penthievre, and de Conversan, the prince of Orange, sir John de Luxembourg, the bishops of Tournay and of Arras, with many other churchmen, to consider who was to have the government of Hainault. After long and mature deliberation, it was resolved it should remain in the hands of the duke of Burgundy, who in consequence nominated various officers for the due government thereof.
In this year, the earl of Warwick and other Englislımen besieged the town of Pontorson, and forced the garrison to surrender on capitulation, provided they were not relieved by a certain day, and that the French and Bretons should not be sufficiently strong to conquer the English. As they were not relieved, the place was surrendered according to the terms of the capitulation.
CHAPTER XLIII.-SIR JOIN BLONDEL SURRENDERS THE CASTLE OF MALMAISON, WHICH HE
HAD TAKEN FROM THE BISHOP OF CAMBRAY. When the meeting broke up at Valenciennes, the duke of Burgundy went to Mons in Hainault, attended by a great part of his council, and while there constituted (as I have said) different officers, natives of Hainault, for the well governing that country. During his stay at Mons, sir John Blondel came thither on a passport from the duke, and was by him more than once summoned and required to restore the castle of Malmaison to the bishop of Cambray. Sir John would not consent to this, but gave evasive answers. The duke then resolved to afford the bishop such aid as should recover for him the castle; and the bishop sent summonses to all his friends to come to his assistance.
The duke of Burgundy made sir William de Lalain, bailiff of Hainault, the bégue de Launoy, knight, governor of Lille, with some other nobles, commanders of the aid which he sent to the bishop; but Sir John Blondel, hearing of these preparations, and knowing that the duke was displeased at his conduct, condescended to treat, and offered to surrender the castle on condition that his peace was made with the dukes of Bedford and Burgundy, that all his lands and castles, which bad been confiscated to king Henry of Lancaster, were restored to him, that he and his men were to carry away all their effects, and that he was to be paid four thousand crowns for his expenses. High as these terms were, they were in the end agreed to, and securities given for their due performance. Thus was Malmaison delivered into the hands of Balthazar, bastard of Quesnoy, who had been appointed by the duke of Burgundy to take possession and the charge of it for a certain time. To pay the ransom-money, and other expenses, a heavy tax was laid on all ranks throughout the country of Cambresis, as well on churchmen as others, the payment of which was most rigorously exacted.
When these matters had been settled, the castle of Malmaison was razed to the ground, with the consent of the bishop and others of that country. It was a great pity, for it was a nonpareil, and the best built and strongest place in all those parts. Sir John Blondel, by means of his misconduct, succeeded in his intentions, for all his castles, lands, and manors, were restored to him.
CHAPTER XLIV.-THE DUKE OF BURGUNDY RETURNS TO HOLLAND, AND ATTACKS THE TOWN
OF HERMONTFORT* -OTHER EVENTS. The duke of Burgundy, having finished his business in Hainault, returned to Holland with a great force of men-at-arms to punish those who, after having sworn allegiance to him, had revolted. On his march, he attacked a town fortified with thick hedges and deep ditches, called Hermontfort, which attack lasted a long time, and was very severe. The duke crossed the ditches, and valiantly fought in person with his enemies, who defended themselves with the utmost courage, regardless of their lives. In this attack the lord de Voydanquin, a valiant and powerful knight, who had with him some very expert warriors, was slain. The good lord de Saveuses was also wounded, and so badly, that he was obliged to be carried from the field, with many more in the same condition. The duke, seeing the loss he was suffering, took council, and ordered the retreat to be sounded, which was done, and they lodged themselves near to the town, where they were badly off that night for all sorts of necessaries. On the morrow, the duke marched away in another direction.
The town of Utrecht had now joined the party of the duchess Jacqueline, and the dukes of Gueldres and of Cleves that of Burgundy, by which means war and misery were daily increased throughout that country. At this time, about five hundred combatants, as well men-at-arms as archers, were assembled on the confines of Picardy, and, by orders from the duke of Burgundy (at the request of a knight called sir Phillebert Andrinet), were conducted by sir Charles de Moyencourt, Matthieu d'Hermierest, John de Longueval, and other gentlemen, to the aid of Amé duke of Savoy, uncle to the duke of Burgundy, then at war with the duke of Milan. This body of men-at-arms, after many days marches, arrived in Savoy, and were joyfully received by the duke. They were thence ordered to the borders of Lombardy, where they committed numberless mischiefs, insomuch that, through fear of them, and from compassion to the poor natives, these two princes concluded a peace. When this was donc, duke Amé of Savoy gave orders for the Picards to return home, thanking them greatly for their effective services, and presenting to some of the principal captains pieces of damask and other precious ornaments. The Picards were now marched home again. The origin of this war was owing to the duke of Milan having forcibly taken Novara and the city of Vercelli from the duke of Savoy, which were restored to him.
After the duke of Burgundy had visited many parts of Holland, and placed garrisons on the frontiers of Gouda, where the duchess Jacqueline resided, leaving some of his most expert captains for the defence of the country, such as the lord de l'Isle-Adam, sir Lyonnel de Bournouville, and others, he returned to Flanders.
In this year there were great earthquakes in Spain, Catalonia, and Languedoc, which overthrew many towns and handsome edifices; and the people remained for a long time in the utmost trouble and dismay.
CHAPTER XLV.-TIE SULTAN OF BABYLON WRITES LETTERS TO THE PRINCES IN CHRISTENDOM.
-TIE TENOR OF THESE LETTERS. In these days, the sultan of Babylon sent letters to all the kings and princes in Christendom, of the following tenor :
“ Baldadoch, son of Aire, constable of Jericho, provost of the terrestrial paradise, nephew of the gods, king of kings, prince of princes, sultan of Babylon, of Persia, of Jerusalem, of Chaldea, of Barbary, prince of Africa, and admiral of Arcadia, lord de Siche, des Ainces, des Payens, and des Maritans,-master Archipotel, protector of Amazone, guardian of the islands, dean of the abbeys, commander of the temples, crusher of helmets, splitter of shields, piercer of hauberks, breaker of armour, lancer of spears, overturner of war-horses, destroyer of castles, flower of chivalry, a wild boar for courage, an eagle for liberality, the fear of his enemies, the hope of his friends, the raiser up of the discomfited, standard of Mohammed, lord of all the world. * Hermontfort. Q. if not Hercnthuls ?
+ Q. Humjeres.
“ To the kings of Germany, of France, and of England, and to all other kings, dukes and counts, and generally to all on whom our courtesy may condescend, greeting, and love in our grace. Whereas it is very commendable for all who please to relinquish error, through wisdom,—we send to you that you may not delay coming to us to receive your fiefs and inheritances from our hands, by denying your God and the Christian faith, and laying aside your errors, in which you and your predecessors have been too long involved. Should you not instantly obey these our commands, our indignation will be raised, and our powerful sword turned against you, with which we will have your heads as a recompense, without sparing yourselves or your countries. These letters were given on the vigil des Ambassadiens, the 10th year from our coronation, and the 2d from our noble victory and destruction of the unfortunate country of Cyprus."
CHAPTER XLVI. – THE ENGLISH INVADE BRITTANY, WHERE THEY DO GREAT DAMAGES.
OTHER MATTERS. This year, the earl of Suffolk and sir Thomas Rampstone, on account of the duke of Brittany having joined king Charles, made an inroad on his duchy with about twelve hundred combatants, and advanced even to Rennes, where the duke resided. They committed great waste, and made a very considerable booty in prisoners and effects, with which they returned to a large village in that country, called Tintenarch *. On the morrow, they marched back to lower Normandy with all they had gained, without any opposition. Soon afterward, sir Thomas fixed his quarters in a small town, called St. James de Beuvron, which had been destroyed; but he had it repaired and re-fortified to serve him as a post to carry on the war against the Bretons, for it was but half a league from their country. Sir Thomas was deputy to the earl of Suffolk, the governor of lower Normandy, and thence he led the English on different excursions through Brittany, carrying on a severe warfare.
The duke, to oppose them, assembled a large force of his nobles, whom he gave in charge to his brother the count de Richemont, lately made constable of France. The count led them straight to St. James de Beuvron, which he instantly besieged, and commenced his operations with a grand skirmish. Having surrounded it on all sides, he established his quarters, and had his engines pointed against the walls, which greatly damaged them. He attacked the place by storm, which lasted for a considerable time very sharply.
A party of Bretons from the lower parts of the duchy had been posted below the town, near to a pond; and to get near the walls, it was necessary to cross the head of this pond, which was very narrow. There was beside it a small bulwark under the command of an English knight, sir Nicholas Bourdett, having with him from sixty to eighty combatants, and near to it was one of the town-gates well guarded by the English. When these Bretons were descending the ditch in great numbers to attack the walls, they heard on each side of them the English shouting, “ Salisbury! Suffolk !” which threw the Bretons into great confusion. Sir Nicholas, seizing the opportunity of their dismay, vigorously fell on them, and, meeting scarcely any defence, put to death or drowned in the pond from seven to eight hundred, and made about fifty prisoners. The English won eighteen standards, and one banner. News of this defeat was speedily carried to the count, who was storming the town on the opposite side. He was much hurt at the intelligence, and ordered the retreat to be sounded, for the siege had been raised on the other side of the place.
When the count had collected his men together, he held a council on what should now be done, and it was resolved, that considering the great loss they had sustained, it would be prudent to march away, which was carried into effect; but he waited until midnight, when he returned to the town of Fougeres in a disorderly manner, leaving behind great quantities of provision, stores, bombards, and other artillery. Sir Thomas, with his six hundred men, for he had no more, and the greater part of them were wounded, remained in the town very much rejoiced at his good fortune ; and he caused all the things the enemy had left behind them to be brought thither.
* Tintenarch,--probably Tinteniac, a village near St. Malo. Q. Burdett.