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which was held by the French. The governor was a gallant knight, named sir Anthony de Loreuil, who, on the arrival of the enemy, made a vigorous defence: nevertheless, the English surrounded the place on all sides, and remained there about six weeks.
While this was going forward, the lord de Bueil, sir William Blesset, the lord de la Varenne, and other French captains, assembled about fourteen hundred fighting men, with the intent to force the enemy to raise their siege. They remained for some days at Beaumont le Vicomte, where part of them were quartered, and the remainder at Vivien, four leagues distant from St. Severin. While at Beaumont they called a council of all the chief captains, to consider how they should act; when, after much noise and debating, they considered themselves not strong enough to fight the English in their present situation, and determined to attempt withdrawing the besieged the back way out of the town. The captains now returned to their different quarters, and established good guards around them during the night, both of horse and foot. The lord de Beuil was, on this expedition, lieutenant for the lord Charles d'Anjou, and had the charge of his banner.
This same night a detachment of the English, having had intelligence of the advance of the French, took the field, and marched in silence until they came near to the town of Vivien, whither they sent scouts to reconnoitre the state of the French, who, having twice entered Vivien, brought word they were in tolerable good order. The English then made an attack on their quarters about day-break, and easily defeated them without much loss. Many were taken and killed: among the last was a valiant man from Amiens, but originally from Auvergne, called John de Belley. When the business was over, the English took the field with their prisoners; but the lords de Bueil and de la Varenne, who were in Beaumont, hearing of this discomfiture from the runaways, made instant preparations to pursue the English, who no sooner saw them than they rejoiced, thinking to defeat them as they had done the others, and each party met gallantly. Many valorous acts were done on both sides; but, in the end, the English lost the day, partly from the prisoners whom they had taken at Vivien joining the French. A valiant knight named Arthur was slain, and Mathagon made prisoner,-but the bastard of Salisbury" fled. Four hundred, or more, of the English were killed or taken, and the French left masters of the field, very joyful for their victory. When the English who had remained at the siege of St. Severin heard of the ill success of their companions, they raised the siege, and retreated to the garrisons whence they had come.
CHAPTER CLXIv.—LA HIRE TREACHERously MAKES THE LORD D'AUFFEMONT A PRISONER.
DURING these tribulations, La Hire, accompanied by Anthony de Chabannes, the bourg de Vignolles his brother, and about two hundred combatants, passed one day near to the castle of Clermont in the Beauvoisis, of which the lord d'Auffemont was governor. He was no way alarmed at their appearance; and, as a mark of his good will, ordered wine to be drawn, and carried without the postern of the great tower, for them to drink. The lord d'Auffemont came also out of the castle, with only three or four of his attendants, to converse with them, and showed great courtesy to La Hire and his companions, not having the smallest distrust of their treacherous intentions, which they very soon made apparent; for during the conversation, La Hire laid hands on him, and forced him to surrender the castle, putting him withal in irons and in confinement. In this state he kept him upwards of a month, insomuch that his limbs were greatly bruised and benumbed, and he was covered with lice and all sorts of vermin.
At length he obtained his liberty, and paid for his ransom fourteen thousand saluts d'or, and a horse of the value of twenty tons of wine, notwithstanding king Charles wrote several times to La Hire to set him at liberty without ransom, for that he was well satisfied with his services, but it was all in vain. * John, bastard son of the great earl of Salisbury, to whom in his will he bequeathed fifty marks. See Dugdale.
CHAPTER CLXV. — THE COMMON PEOPLE OF NORMANDY RISE AGAINST THE ENGLISH GARRISONS.
In this year the common people in Normandy, especially those in the country of Caux, rebelled against the English. There were upward of two thousand in one company, who had risen in their own defence, because, contrary to the royal edicts, the English had plundered the poorer ranks. The bailiff and other officers in that country had before advised them (each according to his state) to provide themselves with arms and staves, to enable them to oppose all who should attempt to pillage or oppress them by seizing their effects by force.
In obedience to these commands, the peasants had risen and driven back many parties of marauders to their garrisons, having killed and taken captive several, to the great displeasure of their captains. They, however, did not let this appear, but concluded a treaty with the peasants, who foolishly began their retreat in a very disorderly manner, not suspecting the malice of the English, who secretly followed them to St. Pierre sur Dive, near to Tancarville, when they attacked them, and slew from a thousand to twelve hundred: the rest saved themselves as well as they could in the woods, and by flight.
Great complaints were made of this conduct at Rouen, and many were banished that had been of this enterprise; but shortly after, it was hushed up, on account of more serious matters that fell out in that country.
CHAPTER CLXVI.-LA HIRE GAINS THE CASTLE OF BRETEUIL, IN beAuvoisis, BY stor M.
WHEN La Hire had conquered the castle of Clermont, as has been related, he assembled about five hundred combatants from the garrisons in the Beauvoisis, and marched them to the castle of Breteuil, which was in the possession of Saveuses men. He made a sharp attack on it, but it was well defended, and several of the assailants were killed. The garrison, however, from the repeated attacks, finding they had lost many men in killed and wounded, and that the fortifications were much damaged, surrendered to La Hire at discretion. He had some of them hanged, and sent the rest prisoners to Clermont, and, having regarrisoned the place, committed numberless mischiefs throughout the adjacent parts in Santerre, and toward Amiens, Corbie, Mondidier, and elsewhere.
CHAPTER CLXVII.--THE DUKES OF BURGUNDY AND OF BOURBON MEET IN THE CITY OF NEVERS, AND AGREE ON TERMS For A PEACE.
A MURDERous war having been continued for a long time between the duke of Burgundy and his brother-in-law, the duke of Bourbon, secret negotiations were set on foot, in the hope of pacifying them. They were begun by commissioners from each side meeting in the town of Mâcon, where they remained several days. At the commencement, some difficulties arose respecting the precedency of these two dukes, and which should have the honour of being named first. After some dispute, it was settled that the duke of Burgundy should be first named, and take the precedency of the duke of Bourbon in every instance. When this matter had been determined, they then discussed various proposals for bringing about a peace between them, and appointed another meeting, when the two dukes might have an interview, either at Douzy" or in the city of Nevers, in the ensuing month of January.
This being settled, the commissioners separated, and returned to their respective lords. While these negotiations were passing, the duke of Burgundy celebrated the festivals of Christmas and Twelfth-day, in his town of Dijon, in a most magnificent manner; and when the feasts were over, he departed thence grandly attended by the count de Nevers, the marquis de Rothelin, his nephew of Cleves, with many other knights and esquires of note, and a numerous body of men-at-arms. He journeyed to Douzy, and thence to Nevers, where he was lodged at the bishop's palace, and waited some days for the arrival of the duke of Bourbon and his sister the duchess. At length the duchess came, accompanied by her two sons and a brilliant attendance of knights, esquires, ladies, and damsels. The duke of Burgundy went out of the palace to meet her, and received her with much affection and joy, for he had not seen his sister for a long time, and showed the same love to his nephews, although they were very young. The duchess, on quitting her carriage, was handed by the duke as far as her lodgings, where he took his leave, and left her to repose for the night. On the morrow, the duchess waited on her brother at the palace; she was received most kindly, and partook of a variety of amusements. There was much dancing, and a numerous party of masqueraders on the part of the duke of Burgundy: when wines and spices had been brought, the company retired to their lodgings.
On the next day a council was held, when it was determined that Arthur of Brittany, constable of France, and the archbishop of Rheims, should be sent for. Within a few days, the duke of Bourbon arrived at Nevers, attended by sir Christopher de Harcourt+, the lord de la Fayette, marshal of France, and many other knights and esquires of renown. The duke of Burgundy sent out the lords of his household to meet him; and when he was approaching the duke of Burgundy, without the town, he pressed forward, and the two dukes, on their meeting, showed the greatest respect and brotherly affection to each other. A knight of Burgundy, observing this, said aloud, “We are very foolish to risk our bodies
* Douzy, a small town in Champagne, on the borders ter of the woods and waters in 1431, was third son of of Luxembourg. Jamcs de Harcourt, lord of Montgomery. + Christopher de Harcourt, lord of Avrech, grand mas
and souls at the will of princes and great lords, who, when they please, make up their quarrels, while we oftentimes remain poor and in distress.” This speech was noticed by many on each side, for there was much truth in it, and thus it very frequently happens. After this meeting, the duke of Burgundy escorted his brother-in-law to his lodgings, and then went to his own. Shortly after, the duke and duchess of Bourbon visited the duke of Burgundy, when there were again great feastings and pastimes. On the morrow, the two dukes and the duchess heard mass in an oratory; and after dinner a grand council was held at the lodgings of the count de Nevers, when a peace was finally concluded between these two dukes on terms that were mutually agreeable; and the utmost satisfaction was now shown on all sides by the principals and their friends and dependants. The whole of the expense of these feasts, or at least the greater part, was defrayed by the duke of Burgundy, for he would have it so. As soon as this business was concluded, the constable of France (who had married a sister to the duke of Burgundy) and Regnault de Chartres, archbishop and duke of Rheims, chancellor of France, accompanied by some of the principal members of king Charles's council, and numbers of knights and esquires, arrived at Nevers. The two dukes went out to meet them; and the greatest respects having been paid on each side, they all together returned to the town, where they were lodged in the best manner possible, each according to his rank. Within a few days many councils were held respecting a peace between the king of France and the duke of Burgundy; and various proposals were made to the duke concerning the murder of the late duke John that were agreeable to him, insomuch that preliminaries were agreed on, and a day appointed for a convention at Arras to put a final conclusion to it. When this was done, they separated most amicably; and news of this event was published throughout the realm, and other countries: notice of it was sent to the pope and the council at Basil, that all persons who chose might order ambassadors to attend the convention at Arras. The duke of Burgundy now returned to Dijon, and made his preparations for going to Artois, to be ready for the meeting at Arras; and from this day forward, the borders of Burgundy enjoyed more peace than they had done for a long time before. In these times, the young heir of Richmond, with seven or eight hundred English and Picards, whom sir John de Luxembourg had sent him, made an inroad on the country of Ardennes, sacking many towns belonging to Everard de la Marche; and having done great mischiefs there with fire and sword, returned in safety with a very large booty. In this year, René duke of Bar caused the town of Commerci" to be besieged, to reduce it to his obedience, on account of the failure of some dues that he claimed from its lord; but through the interference of the constable of France, who was then in the adjoining country, peace was made between the parties, on the lord de Commerci promising to pay obedience to the duke of Bar. Thus was the siege broken up; and during this time the constable reduced many castles in Champagne by capitulation or by storm.
CHAPTER CLxvii.I.—AMADEUs DUKE of SAvoy TURNS HERMIT, AND RESIDEs AT RIPAILLEf.
It was now that Amadeus duke of Savoy, who was about fifty-six years of age, turned hermit, and fixed his residence at Ripaille, about half a league from Thonon, where he had been accustomed to hold his court. This mansion he had greatly improved; and there was adjoining an abbey and priory of the order of Saint Maurice, which had been founded many years ago by the duke's ancestors. Ten years before, the duke had a desire to become a hermit in the manner he had now done, and had asked two of his most confidential servants if they were willing to follow his example and accompany him so long as he should please to remain a hermit, when they, having considered that he might change his mind, consented. One was sir Claude de Sexte; the other a valiant esquire named Henry de Colombieres. The duke having, as I said, improved and properly altered the mansion of Ripaille for himself and his companions, left his palace at Thonon during the night with few attendants, and went to Ripaille, where he put on the dress of a hermit, according to the order of St. Maurice. It consisted of a grey robe, a long mantle with a grey hood, and a tippet of about a foot long, a crimson bonnet over the hood, with a golden girdle above the robe, and on the mantle a cross of gold similar to what the emperors of Germany wear. The two noblemen joined him within a few days, and remonstrated with him on his manner of quitting Thonon, as it was not becoming his rank, and might be disagreeable to the three estates of his country, whom he had not summoned, to declare to them his intentions of becoming a hermit. He replied, that as he was not weakened in understanding or power, he would provide sufficient remedies for their dislike, and that their business was to keep the promises they had made to reside with him and keep him company. On this, seeing nothing better could be done, they were contented, and quickly clothed in similar dresses to what he wore. The duke then summoned the three estates, and his son the count of Geneva, whom he created prince of Piedmont, and surrendered up to him, in the presence of the estates, the government of his country, reserving, however, to himself a power of taking it from him, and bestowing it on whomever he pleased, should he behave ill. He created his second son count of Geneva. But although the duke had put on the religious habit, and surrendered up the administration of affairs to his son, nothing of importance was done without his knowledge and approbation. With regard to his personal attendance, he retained about twenty of his servants to wait on him, and his companions selected also a sufficiency to attend them according to their different ranks; but instead of roots and water, they were served with the choicest wines and most delicate food that could be procured".
*Commerci, on the Meuse, five leagues to the westward of Toul.
t Ripaille,_a burgh of Savoy, in the Chablais, and principal commandery of the order of St. Maurice, founded by Amadeus VIII. He built there a mansion for six knights-hermits, to keep him company in this solitude, whither he retired in 1434, being a widower of Mary of Burgundy, and resigned the government of his duchy, &c. to his son.—La Martiniere.
This retirement was supposed to arise from ambition, and the hope of being chosen pope. In 1440 he was set up as an anti-pope, unde the name of Felix W.; but he was soon obliged to resign his usurped dignity and retire to his former solitude.
f Thonon-the capital of a small country of the Chablais.
CHAPTER CLXix.—The COMMON PEOPLE OF NORMANDY ASSEMBLE IN LARGE BODIES BeFORE CAEN.
THE commonalty of Normandy had not forgotten the ungenerous conduct of the English when they had last risen in rebellion. They again assembled by the exhortations of the lord de Merville and other gentlemen, who offered to lead them to battle, to the amount of about twelve thousand, in the country near to Bayeux,−whence their leaders marched them toward Caen, with the intent of taking that town by surprise, but it was well defended by the garrison and inhabitants. When they found they could not succeed, they departed thence, making great mockeries of their enemies, and marched to Avranches, before which place they remained eight days, in hopes that the duke of Alençon would come to their support with a strong force of men-at-arms, but in this they were disappointed.
The English, in the mean time, collected numbers of men to offer them battle; but their intention being known to the leaders of this commonalty, they marched away towards Brittany and Fougeres; and soon after they separated without having done anything worthy of notice. For this conduct their captains were banished, and their estates and effects confiscated, together with those of all their accomplices and adherents; but afterward some exceptions were made in regard to several of the commonalty.
About this time William Coraon, the English governor of Meure, made an excursion as far as Yvis, in the country of Ligny, with only three hundred combatants, and was followed by Jean de Beaurain, with a company of six hundred, to give him battle, when he was defeated, and the greater part of his men taken or slain.
La Hire now took by storm the old fort of Amiens, wherein he remained eight or ten days. When he had pillaged it of all it contained, he returned to Breteuil, whence he had come.
* Hence, probably, came the French proverb, faire ripaille, to make good cheer.