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CHAPTER LXII.--THE DUKE OF BURGUNDY, AT THE REQUEST OF THE DUKE of BED FORD comes To PARIS, WHEN THEY RENEW THEIR ALLIANCEs.
WHEN news of this unfortunate defeat was known to the duke of Bedford and the council at Paris, he was very much disturbed,—and several, on hearing of it, wept in the council. They were also informed, that king Charles was assembling his forces to march and conquer all the country before him. In consequence of this, the duke of Bedford and the Parisians appointed a solemn embassy to duke Philip of Burgundy, to make him acquainted with the strange events that had happened, and to request that he would hasten to Paris, to advise with the regent and his ministers how to act in these extraordinary circumstances. The ambassadors on this occasion were, the bishop of Noyon, two celebrated doctors in theology from the university, and some of the principal burgoers of Paris. They found the duke at Hédin, related to him the cause of their coming, and earnestly required of him, on the part of his brother-in-law the regent and the Parisians, that he would be pleased to come to Paris with all diligence, to concert measures with them for the more effectually opposing their adversaries.
The duke complied with their request, and promised to be at Paris within a few days. He instantly assembled from seven to eight hundred combatants from his territories in Artois, by whom he was escorted to Paris. His arrival gave great joy to all ranks, and for many days he and the regent held constant councils on the present state of affairs, at the end of which they entered into the following mutual engagement, namely, that each would exert his whole powers to resist their adversary Charles de Valois, and then solemnly renewed the alliances that existed between them. When these things were done, the duke of Burgundy returned to Artois, and carried his sister the duchess of Bedford with him, whom he established with her household at Lens in Artois. The duke of Bedford despatched messengers to England, with orders to send him, without delay, as large a body of the most expert men-at-arms as could be raised. In like manner he called to him the different garrisons in Normandy, and from other parts under his government, with all nobles and others accustomed to bear arms.
Some little time before, about four thousand combatants had been sent from England to the regent, under the command of the cardinal of Winchester, who crossed the sea with them to Calais, and thence marched to Amiens. The cardinal went from Amiens to Corbie, to meet the duke of Burgundy and his sister-in-law the duchess of Bedford, who were on their return from Paris. After they had conferred together some time, the cardinal went back to Amiens, and conducted his men to the regent, who was much rejoiced at their arrival. In these days, John, bastard of St. Pol, was sent to the duke of Bedford with a certain number of men from Picardy, by orders of the duke of Burgundy. The regent appointed him governor of the town and castle of Meaux in Brie, and gave him the sovereign command of all the adjacent country, to defend it against the power of king Charles, who was daily expected in these parts.
CHAPTER LXIII. —KING CHARLES OF FRANCE TAKES THE FIELD WITH A NUMEROUS BoDY OF CHIVALRY AND MEN-AT-ARMS.–MANY TOWNS AND CASTLES SUBMIT TO HIM ON HIS MARCH.
WHILE these things were passing, Charles king of France assembled at Bourges in Berry a very great force of men-at-arms and archers, among whom were the duke d'Alençon, Charles de Bourbon count of Clermont, Arthur count of Richemont constable of France, Charles of Anjou, brother-in-law to the king, and son to René king of Sicily, the bastard of Orleans, the cadet of Armagnac", Charles lord d'Albreth, and many other nobles and powerful barons from the countries of Aquitaine, Gascony, Poitou, Berry and different parts, whom he marched to Gien on the Loire. He was always accompanied by the Maid and a pleaching friar of the order of St. Augustin, called Richard, who had lately been driven out of Paris, and from other places under subjection to the English, for having in his sermons shown himself too favourable to the French party. From Gien the king marched toward Auxerre; but the constable went with a large detachment to Normandy and Evreux, to prevent the garrisons in that country joining the duke of Bedford. On the other hand, the cadet d'Armagnac was despatched into the Bourdelois to guard Aquitaine and those parts. The king on his march reduced two towns to his obedience, Gergeau and St. Florentin, the inhabitants of which promised henceforward to be faithful to him, and to conduct themselves as loyal subjects should do to their lord: and they obtained the king's promise that he would rule them justly, and according to their ancient customs. He thence marched to Auxerre, and sent to summon the inhabitants to surrender to their natural and legal lord. At first, the townsmen were not inclined to listen to any terms, but commissioners being appointed on each side, a treaty was concluded, in which they engaged to render similar obedience to what the towns of Troyes, Châlons, and Rheims, should assent to. They supplied the king's army with provision for money, and remained peaceable, for the king held them excused this time. The king marched next to Troyes, and encamped his men around it. He was three days there before the inhabitants would admit him as their lord: however, in consideration of certain promises made them, they opened the gates and permitted him and his army to enter their town, where he heard mass. When the usual oaths had been received and given on each side, the king returned to his camp, and caused it to be proclaimed several times throughout the camp and town, that no one, under pain of death, should molest the inhabitants of Troyes, or those of the other towns which had submitted to his obedience. On this expedition, the two marshals, namely, Boussac and the lord de Raix, commanded the van division, and with them were, la Hire, Poton de Saintrailles, and other captains. Very many great towns and castles submitted to king Charles on his march, the particulars of which I shall pass over for the sake of brevity.
* Bertrand count of Pardiac, second son to the constable. became in her right count of la Marche, and afterwards He married Eleanor de Bourbon, heiress of la Marche, and duke of Nemours.
CIIAPTER LXIv.–KING CHARLES OF FRANCE, WITH A NOBLE CHIVALRY AND A NUMEROUS BoDY OF MEN-At-ARMs, ARRIVES AT RHEIMs, where HE is CRowNED BY THE Archbishop of RHEIMs.
DURING the time king Charles remained at Troyes in Champagne, deputies arrived from Châlons, who brought him the keys of their town, with promises of perfect obedience to his will. The king, upon this, went to Châlons, where he was kindly and with great humility received. In like manner, the keys of the city of Rheims were presented to him, with promises to admit him as their king, and to pay him due obedience. The lord de Saveuses had been lately made governor of Rheims, having a certain number of men-at-arms under him, to keep the town steady to the dukes of Bedford and Burgundy. On the arrival of the lord de Saveuses, the townsmen promised him that they would obey king Henry and the duke of Burgundy until death. Nevertheless, from fear of the Maid, of whose prowess they were told wonders, they resolved to surrender themselves to king Charles, although the lord de Chastillon and the lord de Saveuses wanted to persuade them to the contrary. These lords, noticing their obstinacy, quitted the town of Rheims; for in answer to their entreaties not to change sides, they had used very rough and strange expressions. The two lords then went to Château-Thierry.
The men of Rheims carried their resolution of submitting to king Charles into effect, as you have heard, through the instigation of the archbishop", who was chancellor to king Charles, and some others. The king made his public entry into Rheims on Friday, the 6th day of July, attended by a noble chivalry; and on the following Sunday he was crowned by the archbishop in the cathedral of Rheims, in presence of all his princes, barons, and knights, then with him. In the number were, the duke d'Alençon, the count de Clermont, the lord de la Trimouille, his principal minister, the lord de Beaumanoir, a Breton, the lord de Mailly, in Touraine, who were dressed in coronation-robes, to represent the noble peers of France absent at this ceremony. They had been, however, called over at the great altar by France king-at-arms, in the usual manner. When the coronation was over, the king went to the archiepiscopal palace to dinner, attended by his princes and nobles. The archbishop was seated at the king's table, and the king was served by the duke d'Alençon, the count de Clermont, and other great lords. The king, on his coronation, created, while in the church, three knights, of whom the youth of Commercis was one. On his leaving Rheims, he appointed sir Anthony de Hollande, nephew to the archbishop, governor; and on the morrow of his departure, he went on a pilgrimage to Corbeni, to pay adoration to St. Marcou. Thither came deputies from Laon, to submit themselves to his obedience in the manner other towns had done. From Corbeni, the king went to Provins and Soissons, which places, without hesitation, opened their gates to him. He made La Hire bailiff of the Vermandois, in the room of sir Colart de Mailly, who had been appointed to that office by king Henry. The king and his army next came before Château-Thierry, in which were the lord de Châtillon, John de Croy, John de Brimeu, and other great lords of the Burgundian party, with about four hundred combatants. These gentlemen, perceiving the townsmen inclined to submit to the king, and not expecting any speedy succour, and being withal poorly provided for defence, yielded up the town and castle to king Charles, and marched away with their effects and baggage undisturbed. They went to the duke of Bedford at Paris, who was then collecting a sufficient body of men-at-arms to combat the French.
* Renaud de Chartres, archbishop of Rheims, made chancellor in 1424, and again in 1428–cardinal in 1439 —died October 4, 1445.
Ch.APTER LXW. — the DUKE OF BEDFORD ASSEMBLES A LARGE ARMY TC COMBAT KING CHARLES.-HE SENIOS A LETTER TO THE KING.
At this period, the regent duke of Bedford, having collected about ten thousand coinbatants from England, Normandy, and other parts, marched them from Rouen toward Paris, with the intent to meet king Charles and offer him battle. He advanced, through the country of Brie, to Montereau-faut-Yonne, whence he sent ambassadors to the said king, with a sealed letter of the following tenor.
“We John of Lancaster, regent of France and duke of Bedford, make known to you Charles de Valois, who were wont to style yourself Dauphin of Vienne, but at present without cause call yourself king, for wrongfully do you make attempts against the crown and dominion of the very high, most excellent and renowned prince Henry, by the grace of God true and natural lord of the kingdoms of France and England,-deceiving the simple people by your telling them you come to give peace and security, which is not the fact, nor can it be done by the means you have pursued and are now following to seduce and abuse ignorant people, with the aid of superstitious and damnable persons, such as a woman of a disorderly and infamous life, and dissolute manners, dressed in the clothes of a man, together with an apostate and seditious mendicant friar, as we have been informed, both of whom are, according to holy Scripture, abominable in the sight of God. You have also gained possession, by force of arms, of the country of Champagne, and of several towns and castles appertaining to my said lord the king, the inhabitants of which you have induced to perjure themselves by breaking the peace which had been most solemnly sworn to by the then kings of France and England, the great barons, peers, prelates, and three estates of the realm.
“We, to defend and guard the right of our said lord the king, and to repulse you from his territories, by the aid of the All-Powerful, have taken the field in person, and with the means God has given us, as you may have heard, shall pursue you from place to place in the hope of meeting you, which we have never yet done. As we most earnestly and heartily desire a final end to the war, we summon and require of you, if you be a prince desirous of gaining honour, to take compassion on the poor people, who have, on your account, been so long and so grievously harassed, that an end may be put to their afflictions, by terminating this war. Choose, therefore, in this country of Brie, where we both are, and not very distant from each other, any competent place for us to meet, and having fixed on a day, appear there with the abandoned woman, the apostate monk, and all your perjured allies, and such force as you may please to bring, when we will, with God's pleasure, personally meet you in the name and as the representative of my lord the king. “Should it then please you to make any proposals respecting peace, we will do every thing that may be expected from a catholic prince, for we are always inclined to conclude a solid peace, not such a false and treacherous one as that of Montereau-faut-Yonne, when, through your connivance, that most horrid and disgraceful murder was committed contrary to every law of chivalry and honour, on the person of our late very dear and well-beloved father duke John of Burgundy, whose soul may God receive By means of this peace so wickedly violated by you, upwards of one hundred nobles have deserted your realm, as may be clearly shown by the letters patent under your hand and seal, by which you have absolutely and unreservedly acquitted them of every oath of loyalty, fealty and subjection. However, if from the iniquity and malice of mankind peace cannot be obtained, we may each of us then with our swords defend the cause of our quarrel before God, as our judge, and to whom and none other will my said lord refer it. We therefore most humbly supplicate the Almighty, as knowing the right of my lord in this matter, that he would dispose the hearts of this people so that they may remain in peace without further oppressions; and such ought to be the object of all Christian kings and princes in regard to their subjects. “We, therefore, without using more arguments or longer delay, make known our proposals to you, which should you refuse, and should further murders and mischiefs be, through your fault, committed by a continuation of the war, we call God to witness, and protest before him and the world, that we are no way the cause, and that we have done and do our duty. We therefore profess our willingness to consent to a solid and reasonable peace, and, should that be rejected, then to resort to open combat becoming princes, when no other means can accommodate their differences. In testimony whereof, we have had these presents sealed with our seal. “Given at Montereau-faut-Yonne the 7th day of August, in the year of Grace 1429" Signed by my lord the regent of France and duke of Bedford.
CIIAPTER LXVI.-Tlie ARMIES OF CHARLES KING OF FIRANCE AND OF THE REGENT DUKE OF BED FORD MEET NEAR TO MONT EPILOY.
The duke of Bedford, finding that he could not meet the army of king Charles to his advantage, and that many towns were surrendering to the king without making any resistance, withdrew his forces toward the Isle of France, to prevent the principal towns in that district following their examples. King Charles, in the meanwhile, advanced to Crespy, where he had been received as king, and, passing through Brie, was making for Senlis, when the two armies of the king and the duke came within sight of each other at Mont Epiloy, near to the town of Baron. Both were diligent in seizing the most advantageous positions for the combat. The duke of Bedford chose a strong post, well strengthened, on the rear and wings, with thick hedgerows. In the front, he drew up his archers in good array on foot, having each a sharppointed stake planted before them. The regent himself was with his lords in one battalion close to the archers, where, among the banners of the different lords, were displayed two having the arms of France and of England: the banner of St. George was likewise there, and borne that day by Jean de Villiers, knight, lord of Isle-Adam. The regent had with him from six to eight hundred combatants from the duke of Burgundy, the chief leaders of whom were, the lord de l'Isle-Adam, Jean de Croy, Jean de Crequi, Anthony de Bethune", Jean de Fosseux, the lord de Saveuses, sir Hugh de Launoy, Jean de Brimeu, Jean de * Anthony de Bethune, lord of Mareuil and Hostel, had three brothers, Robert, Guy, and Jacotin. of whom Launoy, sir Simon de Lalain, Jean bastard de St. Pol, and other warriors, some of whom were then knighted. The bastard de St. Pol received that honour from the hand of the duke of Bedford, and Jean de Crequi, Jean de Croy, Anthony de Bethune, Jean de Fosseux, and le Liegeois de Humieres", by the hands of other knights.
killed in 1430 by the commune of Laon. He was eldest the former became lord of Mareuil after his deatn. son of John lord of Mareuil, killed at Azincourt ; and
When these matters were ordered, the English were drawn up together on the left wing, and the Picards, with those of the French in king Henry's interest, opposite to them. They thus remained in battle-array for a considerable time, and were so advantageously posted that the enemy could not attack them without very great risk to themselves; add to which, they were plentifully supplied with provision from the good town of Senlis, near to which they were.
King Charles had drawn up his men with his most expert captains in the van division, the others remained with him in the main battalion, excepting a few posted, by way of rearguard, toward Paris. The king had a force of men-at-arms with him much superior in numbers to the English. The Maid was also there, but perpetually changing her resolutions; sometimes she was eager for the combat, at other times not. The two parties, however, remained in this state, ever prepared to engage, for the space of two days and two nights, during which were many skirmishes and attacks. To detail them all would take too much time; but there was one very long and bloody, that took place on the wing where the Picards were posted, and which lasted for an hour and a half. The royal army fought with the utmost courage, and their archers did much mischief with their arrows, insomuch that many persons thought, seeing the numbers engaged, that it would not cease until one or other of the parties were vanquished. They, however, separated, but not without many killed and wounded on each side. The duke of Bedford was very well pleased with the Picards for the gallantry and courage they had displayed; and when they had retreated, he rode down their ranks, addressing them kindly, and saying, “My friends, you are excellent people, and have valiantly sustained for us a severe shock, for which we humbly thank you; and we entreat, that should any more attacks be made on your post, you will persevere in the same valour and courage.”
Both parties were violently enraged against each other, so that no man, whatever his rank, was that day ransomed, but every one put to death without mercy. I was told, that about three hundred men were killed in these different skirmishes; but I know not which side lost the most. At the end of two days, the armies separated without coming to a general engagement.
CfIAPTER LXVII.-KING CHARLES OF FRANCE SENDS AMBASSADORS TO THE DUkre of BURGUNDY AT ARRAS,
About this time, ambassadors were sent to the duke of Burgundy, at Arras, by king Charles of France, to treat of a peace between them. The principal persons of this embassy were, the archbishop of Rheims, Christopher de Harcourt, the lords de Dammartin, de Gaucourt, and de Fontaines, knights, with some councillors of state. Having demanded an audience, some few days after their arrival, they remonstrated through the mouth of the archbishop with the duke of Burgundy most discreetly and wisely on the cause of their coming, and, among other topics, enlarged on the perfect affection the king bore him, and on his earnest desire to be at peace with him, for which purpose he was willing to make condescensions and reparations even more than were becoming royal majesty. They excused him of the murder committed on the person of the late duke of Burgundy, on the score of his youth, alleging that he was then governed by persons regardless of the welfare of the kingdom, but whose measures at that time he dared not oppose.
These and other remonstrances from the archbishop were kindly listened to by the duke and his council; and when he had finished speaking, one of the duke's ministers replied, “My lord and his council have heard with attention what you have said; he will consider
* Qy. Dreux, lord of Humieres, son of Philip and brother of Matthew, second lord of Humieres, and John of Humieres, who defended Corbie in 1431.