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CHAPTER CLXX. — THE DUKE AND DUCHESS OF BURGUNDY RETURN FROM THAT COUNTRY
TO FLANDERS AND ARTOIS.
[A. d. 1435.] At the beginning of this year, when the duke of Burgundy had with much labour freed his country from enemies, and concluded a peace between himself and the duke of Bourbon, he made preparations for his and the duchess's return from Burgundy to his territories of Flanders and Artois, that he might be ready to meet the ambassadors from the king of France at the convention at Arras. This convention was appointed to assemble on the second day of July, in the city of Arras.
The duke left Dijon with his whole army, having appointed sir John de Vergy governor of Burgundy, and advanced toward Euchoire * where he was met by a thousand Picards, whom he had ordered thither to accompany him on his return. They were under the command of sir John de Croy, bailiff of Hainault, the lord de Saveuses, sir James de Brimeu, John de Brimeu, and other lords. Thence the duke marched towards Paris, crossing the river Seine at Montereau-faut-Yonne: he was joyfully received by the Parisians, who made very rich presents to him and to his duchess. Having staid there some days, he continued his march slowly to Arras, and dismissed all his men-at-arms so soon as he had crossed the Somme. He went soon after to visit his countries of Flanders and Brabant, where he consulted with his ministers on convoking all the nobles and gentlemen of those districts to the convention at Arras. He then sent an embassy to England, to inform the king and his council of this convention, and that it was purposely to treat of a general peace between France and England. The principal persons of this embassy were sir Hugh de Launoy, the lord de Crevecæur, and master Quentin Mainart, provost of St. Omer.
The king of England and his ministers gave them a bandsome reception; and they were told that the king would send ambassadors to the convention. On receiving this answer, they returned to their lord the duke of Burgundy.
CHAPTER CLXXI. ---THE FRENCH GAIN THE TOWN OF RUE FROM THE ENGLISH. In the beginning of the month of May, sir John de Bressay, lieutenant to the marshal Je Rieux, Bertrand Martel, William Braquemont, the lord de Longueval, Charles de Marets, and others of king Charles's party, assembled a body of well-tried men-at-arms, amounting to about three hundred. They crossed the Somme during the night at Blanchetaque, and advanced to the town of Rue, which they entered by scalado, and gained complete possession without meeting with much resistance. The noise they made awakened the garrison; and seven or eight Englishmen retreated to a bulwark which they defended for some time; but in the end it was taken by storm, and part of the defenders were put to death; the rest saved their lives on paying a large ransom. Many of the inhabitants were made prisoners, and others escaped over the walls.
The town was completely plundered ; and the countries of Ponthieu, Artois, Boulogne, and others in that neighbourhood, were in great alarms, when they learnt that the enemy was so near them, and so well supplied with all sorts of stores and provision. These alarms were well founded, for shortly after having increased their numbers, they overran all those parts, committing infinite mischiefs by fire and sword. They even one day made an excursion towards Boulogne, so far as Samer-au-bois, when they took many prisoners and great numbers of horses and cattle.
On their return they burnt the town of Estaples, wherein were many handsome houses ; and continued these excursions from Rue, doing every sort of mischief to the farmers of those countries. However, in one of the expeditions near to Montreuil, sir John de Bressay, Harpin, and de Richammes, were made prisoners; and at another time were taken the little Blanchefort, and one of the bastards de Reully ; and on these accounts the country suffered the more.
* Euchoire. Q.-Not in Martiniere.
CHAPTER CLXXII.-LA HIRE, POTON, PHILIP DE LA TOUR, AND THE LORD DE FONTAINES,
DEFEAT THE EARL OF ARUNDEL BEFORE THE CASTLE OF GERBEROY. The duke of Bedford was 'at Rouen when he heard of the capture of Rue. He was remonstrated with on the great prejudice this would be to those of his party, more particularly to the town and castle of Crotoy. To provide a remedy, he wrote to the earl of Arundel, then quartered near to Mantes, ordering him to collect all his men, and to march them to Gournay in Normandy, thence to Neuf-châtel d’Azincourt, to Abbeville, and to Ponthieu, instantly to besiege the town of Rue. The earl partly oboyed the orders of the duke, and marched eight hundred of his men to Gournay, with the intent of continuing the line of march prescribed to him. But from the representations of the inhabitants of Gournay, Gisors, and other places, he changed his mind; for having heard at Gournay that the French were repairing an old fortress called Gerberoy, between Beauvais and Gournay, he judged it would be very prejudicial to the English interests were they suffered to finish the works they had begun. In consequence, therefore, of the representations of the towns of the English party that were near to it, he determined to attack the French at Gerberoy, and take the fort by storm.
He caused a sufficiency of provision and artillery to be collected at Gournay, and marched from thence about midnight, accompanied by some of the garrison. At eight o'clock in the morning his van came in sight of Gerberoy, and the rest followed with the baggage, not aware indeed that the French were so numerous, or under such captains. The earl posted his men in a field inclosed with hedges, and detached a hundred, or six score, toward the barriers of the castle, that the garrison might not sally forth and surprise them.
While this was going forward, Poton, La Hire, sir Regnault de Fontaines, Philip de la Tour, and other valiant captains who had arrived there the preceding night with five or six hundred combatants, held a council how they should act, and whether they should wait or not for the enemy to attack them. This question was long debated by some, who strongly urged their being badly provided with provision and warlike stores, and that if they allowed themselves to be shut up in the castle, they would run great risks; others declared they would not wait a siege, and therefore advised to attack them on their arrival. It was at length unanimously concluded for an immediate attack ; and that the three principal captains, namely, Poton, La Hire, and Regnault de Fontaines, should be on horseback, with sixty of the best mounted and most expert lances, and that all the remainder, men-at arms, archers, and guisarmes, should be on foot, excepting a few that were to remain behind to guard the fort. They likewise ordered that when the enemy should advance, but few should at the first appear, in order that their numbers might not be known. Having thus arranged their plan, they armed themselves, and made preparations for the combat.
When the earl of Arundel had properly posted his six score men by way of advanced guard, the remainder were encamping themselves to wait for the arrival of the main body and rear of their army. During this time, the watch the French had placed on the castle observed a very large and thick body of English advancing, by far more considerable than the first, and followed by a long train of waggons. They instantly informed their captains of what they had seen, who now, thinking it a fit opportunity for them to make their attack before the two bodies joined, ordered their infantry to sally out of the castle as quietly as they could, and fall on the English, whom they half surprised, and shortly defeated, putting the greater part to death. Then those on horseback (who had sallied out to prevent the earl from assisting his men whom he had posted near the barriers,) advanced toward the main body of the English, who were near at hand, and careless of the enemy because their commander was before them, and immediately threw them into confusion, and repeated their charges so vigorously that they could not recover themselves ; great part retreated to Gournay, or fled to other places, while the rest were either slain or taken. La Hire chased the runaways full two leagues, when many were killed and made prisoners. The infantry had approached the earl of Arundel, who, with the remnant of his men, had retired to a corner of the field, having his rear to a thick hedge, and his front guarded by pointed stakes, -so that this fortification could not be forced by the French. Seeing this, they had a culverine brought from their fort,—and, at the second shot, hit the earl near the ancle, so that he was grievously wounded, and could scarcely support himself.
When La Hire was returning from the pursuit, with the many prisoners he had made, he observed this body of English under the earl quite entire : collecting more forces, he began to combat them, -and they were soon reduced to a similar state with their companions, the whole of them being killed or taken. Among the last, those of name were, the earl of Arundel, sir Richard de Dondeville *, Mondot de Montferrant, Restandif + and others, to the amount of six score, that remained prisoners in the hands of the French. Upward of twelve score were slain,--and the remainder saved themselves by flight where they could.
When the business was over, the French collected their men, and found that they had not lost more than twenty. They were very joyful for this signal victory,—and, having devoutly returned thanks for it to their Creator, they returned to their castle. The earl of Arundel was removed thence to Beauvais, where he died of his wound, and was buried in the church of the cordelier-friars. The other English prisoners redeemed themselves by ransoms; and thus those in Rue remained unmolested. They daily increased their strength, and made excursions over the countries far and near.
CHAPTER CLXXIII. -THE DUKE OF BURGUNDY IS DISPLEASED WITH THE INHABITANTS OP
ANTWERP. In these days, while the duke of Burgundy was in Brabant, he collected a large force of men-at-arms from Picardy, and other countries under his obedience, whom he intended to march into Antwerp, by means of certain connexions which he had established in that town, to punish the magistrates and inhabitants, who had incurred his displeasure. The cause of his anger was, that a long time before they had seized by force a large vessel belonging to the duke, and filled with his men,- which vessel he had stationed at the mouth of their harbour, so that all vessels trafficking to Antwerp must pass close to it, on whom the duke's men laid several taxes that were, as they said, highly prejudicial to their commerce, and contrary to the oaths which the late dukes of Brabant had always made on taking possession of the dukedom, and which the duke of Burgundy himself had also taken.
On this account, the townsmen of Antwerp, without giving any notice to the duke, had seized the vessel, and confined those found within it in prison. The duke was so much displeased with their conduct that he had collected the force before-mentioned to punish them.-In the meantime, his intentions were known to the men of Antwerp, who, though greatly surprised thereat, lost no time in providing men-at-arms to defend their town, should it be attacked. They went in a body to the abbey of St. Michael, where the duke was lodged whenever he visited Antwerp, having suspicions that some of their enemies were in it; but after searching every part both above and below, and finding no one, they broke down the walls, to prevent them becoming places of defence. After this, they retired to continue their warlike preparations.
When the duke of Burgundy found that they had discovered his purposes, and were preparing to resist them, he disbanded his men-at-arms. At the same time, he caused it to be proclaimed through the principal towns in Flanders, Brabant, and his other dependencies, that no one, under pain of being capitally punished, should carry provisions or stores of any kind to Antwerp, nor give to the inhabitants any counsel or aid whatever. The Antwerpers
Richard de Woodville, was seneschal of Normandy 1448, he was created Lord Rivers; and in 6 Edward IV. under Henry V.; constable of the Tower in 1425; lieu- (his daughter being then queen of England) was advanced tenant of Calais in 1427; and in 1429, served the king to the dignity of carl Rivers, constable of England. Three in his wars with one hundred men-at-arms and three years after he was beheaded by the Lancastrian party at hundred archers. In 1437, he married the duchess of Northampton.-Dugdale. Bedford (Jacqueline de Luxembourg) without licence, f Sir Ralph Standish. for which he was condemned to pay a fine of £1000. In
were in great distress and dismay on hearing of these proclamations, but they carefully guarded their town, and remained a considerable time in this situation. However, at length a treaty was entered into between them, by which the duke received a very large sum of money, and the magistrates recovered his good graces.
CHAPTER CLXXIV.—THE FRENCH CONQUER THE TOWN OF ST. DENIS FROM THE ENGLISB.
While these things were passing in Brabant, the French won the town of St. Denis from the English by storm. They were about twelve hundred combatants, under the command of sir John Foulcault, sir Louis de Vaucourt, sir Regnault de St. Jean, and other captains, who put to death some of the English whom they found in the town. The Parisians began to be alarmed by this conquest, as it was so near, and would probably cut off all provision coming to Paris,- for the French made frequent excursions to their walls. To prevent any supplies being delayed from Normandy, they sent deputations to the duke of Bedford at Rouen, and to Louis de Luxembourg, bishop of Therouenne and chancellor of France for king Henry, to request that a sufficiency of men-at-arms might be ordered to Paris, to defend them against the enemy.
By the advice of the chancellor, sir John bastard of St. Pol, Louis his brother, Waleran de Moreul, sir Ferry de Mailly, Robert de Neuf-ville, and some other gentlemen, with five hundred men, were sent to them from the frontiers of Picardy. They took the road from Rouen, and safely arrived in Paris, where they were most joyously received ; and, with the counsels and aid of the lord de l'Isle-Adam, governor of Paris for king Henry, they commenced a sharp warfare with the French in St. Denis.
The French, notwithstanding the resistance they experienced, frequently advanced near to Paris ; and many severe conflicts took place between that town and Saint Denis. They also gained the castle of Escouen, near Montmorency, from the English, and put to death about thirty whom they found in it. They then marched to the castle of Orville, near to Louvres, belonging to Anglois d'Aunay, knight, attached to the party of Henry of Lancaster. When they had been before it two days, a treaty was concluded for its surrender on a certain day, unless the English should appear there in force to offer the French battle. Before the term expired, the lords Talbot, Scales, and Warwick, with George de Richammes, the bastard de Thian, sir François l'Arragonois, and others, to the amount of three thousand combatants, assembled, and marched to join the lord de l'Isle-Adam in Paris; and, when united, they all came to the castle of Orville to keep the appointment made with the French for its surrender; but the French neither appeared nor sent any message, so that this castle remained in the peaceful possession of its lord. Henceforward, the English were superior in the field to their enemies in the Isle de France, and subjected the whole of the open country to their obedience, reconquering several castles held by the French.
CHAPTER CLXXV.—THE FRENCH, AFTER HAVING AGREED TO A TRUCE WITH THE BURGUN
DIANS ON THE FRONTIERS OF THE BEAUVOISIS, OVERRUN THE BOULONOIS AND OTHER
PARTS. At this time, a truce was concluded by the partisans of the duke of Burgundy on the frontiers of Santerre and Mondidier, with La Hire and his men. The last engaged, for a large sum of money paid down, to demolish the strong castle of Bretueil, in the Beauvoisis, which was done. On the conclusion of this truce, the great and little Blanchefort *, Poton the Burgundian, and about six hundred combatants, marched away from the country of Beauvais to the town of Rue. They had not been long there, when they made an excursion, together with the garrison, into the country of the Boulonnois. They marched silently by the town of Estaples, not to alarm it, and advanced to Deure, and thence to Sameraux-bois.
* Little Blanchefort is said to have been made prisoner, in the 171st chapter.
The inhabitants of this part of the country were totally unsuspecting of any attack likely to be made on them, and were therefore a defenceless prey to the enemy, who made prisoners of the greater part, bound them, and carried them away, with all their most valuable furniture and stock. They ransomed the town of Samer for a considerable sum of money; and on their return, spread themselves over the country, destroying everything with fire and sword without meeting any opposition. Having burnt many houses in the town of Fresnes, and done unnumbered mischiefs to the Boulonnois, they returned with a multitude of prisoners to Estaples, where they halted and refreshed themselves for some time ; and because the inhabitants had retreated within the castle, and would not ransom their town, they set it on fire, and committed every damage on their departure, which was a grievous loss, for it was well built and very populous. They made their retreat good to the town of Rue, notwithstanding that sir John de Croy, the lord de Crequi, the lord de Humieres, and others of the country, had assembled, to the amount of three hundred combatants, in the hopes of cutting off their retreat: it was in vain, for the French rode in such compact order that no advantage could be taken of them; and they arrived safely at the places whence they had come.
When the French had remained some days at Rue, and divided their plunder, they made another excursion toward Dourlens and Hedin, burning and destroying the countries they traversed, and bringing home many prisoners and great pillage of everything that was portable. They returned by La Broi, and made an attack on the castle ; but it was so well defended by those whom the vidame of Amiens had placed therein, that several of the assailants were wounded. Perceiving that they were losing time, they retreated to Rue with their plunder. They continued these inroads on the territories of the duke of Burgundy ; but, in one of them, Harpin de Richammes made prisoner sir Johu de Bressay near Montreuil. At another time, the little Blanchefort was taken by one of the bastards of Renty. In this manner did the French destroy those parts that were near to Rue : they even burnt the town of Cressi on the Authie, which was part of the proper domain of the
END OF VOL. I.