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CHAPTER LVI.--THE ENGLISH, MARCHING To REINFORCE THE SIEGE of onleANs, ARE MET AND ATTACKED BY THE FRENCH.
THE regent duke of Bedford, while at Paris, had collected about five hundred carts and cars from the borders of Normandy and from the Isle de France, which different merchants were ordered to load with provision, stores and other things, and to have conveyed to the English army before Orleans. When all was ready, the command of this convoy was given to sir John Fascot * grand-master of the duke's household, and with him were, the provost of Paris, named Simon Morbier, the bastard de Thiam knight, bailiff of Senlis, the provost of Melun, and several other officers from the Isle de France and that neighbourhood, accompanied by sixteen hundred combatants and a thousand common men. This armament left Paris on Ash-Wednesday, under the command of sir John Fastolfe, who conducted the convoy and his forces in good order by short marches, until he came near the village of Rouvroy in Beauce, situated between Genville and Orleans. Many French captains, having long before heard of his coming, were there assembled to wait his arrival, namely, Charles duke of Bourbon, the two marshals of France, the constable of Scotland and his son, the lords de la Tourt, de Chauvigny, de Graville, sir William d'Albreth, the viscount de Thouars, the bastard d'Orleans, sir James de Chabannes;, the lord de la Fayette, Poton de Saintrailles, Estienne de Vignolles, surnamed La Hire, sir Theolde de Valperghe, and others of the nobility, having with them from three to four thousand men. The English had been informed of this force being assembled from different garrisons which they had in those parts, and lost no time in forming a square with their carts and carriages, leaving but two openings, in which square they enclosed themselves, posting their archers as guards to these entrances, and the men at arms hard by to support them. On the strongest side of this enclosure were the merchants, pages, carters, and those incapable of defending themselves, with all their horses. The English thus situated, waited two hours for the coming of the enemy, who at length arrived with much noise, and drew up out of bowshot in front of the enclosure. It seemed to them, that considering their superior numbers, the state of the convoy, and that there were not more than six hundred real Englishmen, the rest being composed of all nations, they could not escape falling into their hands, and must be speedily conquered. Others, however, had their fears of the contrary happening, for the French captains did not well agree together as to their mode of fighting, for the Scots would combat on foot, and the others on horseback. The lord Charles de Bourbon was there knighted by the lord de la Fayette, with some others. In the mean time, the constable of Scotland, his son and all their men, dismounted and advanced to attack their adversaries, by whom they were received with great courage. The English archers, under shelter of the carriages, shot so well and stiffly that all on horseback within their reach were glad to retreat with their men-at-arms. The constable of Scotland and his men attacked one of the entrances of the enclosure, but they were soon slain on the spot. Among the killed were, sir John Stuart, his son, sir William d'Albreth lord d'Orval, the lord de Châteaubrun, the lord de Mont Pipelš, sir John Larigot, the lord de Verduisant, the lord de Divray, the lord de la Greve]], sir Anthony de Puilly and others, to the amount of six score gentlemen and five hundred common men, the greater part of whom were Scotsmen. The other French captains retreated with their men to the places whence they had come. The English, on their departure, refreshed themselves, and then marched away in haste for their town of Rouvroy, where they halted for the night. On the morrow they departed in handsome array, with their convoy and artillery, armed with every accoutrement becoming warriors, and in a few days arrived before Orleans, very much rejoiced at their good fortune in the late attack from the French, and at having so successfully brought provision to their countrymen. This battle was ever afterward called the Battle of Herrings, because great part of the convoy consisted of herrings and other articles of food suitable to Lent. King Charles, on hearing the event, was sick at heart, seeing that the state of his affairs was becoming worse and worse. This battle of Rouvroy was fought on the night of the first Sunday in Lent, about three hours after midnight. The English lost only one man of note, called Bresanteau, nephew to sir Simon Morbier, provost of Paris. On the part of the English were that day made knights, Galloy d'Aunoy, lord d'Orville, the great Raoulin, and Louis de Luxu, a Savoyard. The army of the English might have consisted of about seventeen hundred combatants of tried courage, without including common men ; and the French, as I have said, were from three to four thousand at least. The lord de Chateaubrun and some others were knighted at the same time with Charles de Bourbon. Only one prisoner was made that day, and he was a Scotsman.
* Q. If not sir John Fastolfe. seneschal of Toulouse, and grand-maitre of France. He
+ Bertrand III. lord of la Tour, who, by his marriage was killed at Castillon in 1453. His brother was Anthony with Mary, daughter of Geoffry de Boulogne, lord of de Chabannes, afterwards count of Dammartin. His Montgascon, and heiress of Jane duchess of Berry and father was killed at Azincourt. countess of Boulogne and Auvergne, brought these two § Peter de Beauvan, lord of Mont Pipel and Rochecarldoms into his family. His son Bertrand IV. assumed sur-Yon, seneschal of Anjou and Provence. the title of count of Auvergne and Boulogne. | Thibaut de Chabot, fourth lord of la Greve, Mon
† James de Chabannes, lord de la Palice, Chalus, &c. contour, &c.
CHAPTER Lvil.—A MAIDEN NAMEd JoAN waits on KING CHARLEs AT CHINoN,
In the course of this year, a young girl called Joan, about twenty years old, and dressed like a man, came to Charles king of France at Chinon. She was born in the town of Droimy, on the borders of Burgundy and Lorraine, not far from Vaucouleurs, and had been for some time hostler and chambermaid to an inn, and had shown much courage in riding horses to water, and in other feats unusual for young girls to do. She was instructed how to act, and sent to the king by sir Robert de Baudricourt", knight, governor of Vaucouleurs, who supplied her with horses and from four to six men as an escort. She called herself a maiden inspired by the divine grace, and said that she was sent to restore king Charles to his kingdom, whence he had been unjustly driven, and was now reduced to so deplorable a state. She remained about two months in the king's household, frequently admonishing him to give her men and support, and that she would repulse his enemies, and exalt his name. The king and council in the mean time knew not how to act; for they put no great faith in what she said, considering her as one out of her senses; for to such noble persons the expressions she used are dangerous to be believed, as well for fear of the anger of the Lord, as for the blasphemous discourses which they may occasion in the world. After some time, however, she was promised men-at-arms and support: a standard was also given her, on which she caused to be painted a representation of our Creator. All her conversation was of God, on which account great numbers of those who heard her had great faith in what she said, and believed her inspired, as she declared herself to be. She was many times examined by learned clerks, and other prudent persons of rank, to find out her real intentions; but she kept to her purpose, and always replied, that if the king would believe her, she would restore to him his kingdom. In the mean time, she did several acts which shall be hereafter related, that gained her great renown. When she came first to the king, the duke d'Alençon, the king's marshal, and other captains were with him, for he had held a grand council relative to the siege of Orleans: from Chinon the king went to Poitiers, accompanied by the Maid. Shortly after, the marshal was ordered to convey provisions and stores, under a strong escort, to the army within Orleans. Joan requested to accompany him, and that armour should be given her, which was done. She then displayed her standard and went to Blois
* Robert lord of Baudricourt and Blaise, bailiff of Chaumont, and captain of Waucouleurs. His son John became a marcschal of France.
where the escort was to assemble, and thence to Orleans, always dressed in complete armour. On this expedition many warriors served under her; and when she arrived at Orleans great feasts were made for her, and the garrison and townsmen were delighted at her coming among them.
CHAPTER LVIII.-AMBASSADORS ARE SENT BY KING CHARLES, AND THE BURGHERs of oRLEANs, to PARIs, to NEGoTIATE A TREATY witH THE REGENT, THAT THE Town of ORLEANs MAY REMAIN IN PEACE. [A. D. 1429.] At the beginning of this year, the duke of Burgundy arrived at Paris with about six hundred horse, and was most joyfully received by the duke of Bedford and the duchess his sister. Soon after came thither Poton de Saintrailles, Pierre d'Orgin, and other noble ambassadors from king Charles, with envoys from the town of Orleans, to negotiate with the duke-regent and king Henry's council for that town to remain in peace, and that it should be placed in the hands of the duke of Burgundy, for him to govern it at his pleasure, and to maintain its neutrality. It was also pleaded, that the duke of Orleans and his brother the count d'Angoulême, who had for a long time past been the right owners of the town, were now prisoners in England, and had been no way concerned in this war. The duke of Bedford assembled his council many times on this matter, but they could not agree respecting it. Several urged the great expenses king Henry had been put to for this siege, and the great losses he had sustained of his principal captains—adding, that the town could not hold out much longer, for it was hard pressed for provision, and that it was a place more advantageous for them to possess than any other, supporting what they said by several weighty reasons. Others were not pleased that it should be put into the hands of the duke of Burgundy, saying that it was unreasonable, when king Henry and his vassals had supported all the risks and danger, that the duke of Burgundy should reap the
profit and honour, without striking a blow. One among them, called master Raoul le Saige, said, that he would never be present when they should chew, for the duke of Burgundy to swallow. In short, after much debating of the business, it was finally concluded that the request of the ambassadors should not be granted, and that the town should no otherwise be received in favour than by its surrender to the English. The ambassadors, hearing this, made a reply, which they had not, however, been charged with, that they knew well the townsmen of Orleans would suffer the utmost extremities rather than submit to such conditions. The ambassadors then returned to Orleans, to report the answer they had received. The duke of Burgundy was very well pleased with their conduct in this matter, and would not have disliked, had it been agreeable to the regent and council, to have had the government of Orleans, as much from his affection to his cousin of Orleans as to prevent it suffering the perils likely to befall it; but the English, at that time, in full tide of prosperity, never considered that the wheel of fortune might turn against them. The duke of Burgundy, while at Paris, had made many requests to his brother-in-law the regent, for himself and his adherents, which, however, were but little attended to. Having staid at Paris about three weeks, he returned to Flanders, where he was attacked by a severe illness, but by the attentions of able physicians he recovered his health.
CHAPTER LIX. —THE MAID WITH MANY NOBLE FRENCEI CAPTAINS OF GREAT RENOWN REINFORCE AND REvictUAL THE Town of orleans, AND AFTERwards RAISE THE SIEGE.
THE English captains had continued their siege of Orleans about seven months, and had much straitened it by their batteries and towers, of which they had erected not less than sixty. The besieged, sensible of the peril they were in of being conquered, resolved to defend themselves to the last, and sent to king Charles for reinforcements of men, and a supply of stores and provision. From four to five hundred combatants were first sent; but they were followed by seven thousand more, who escorted a convoy of provision up the river Loire. With these last came Joan, the Maid, who had already done some acts that had increased her reputation. The English attempted to cut off this convoy; but it was well defended by the Maid and those with her, and brought with safety to Orleans, to the great joy of the inhabitants, who made good cheer, and were rejoiced at its safe arrival and the coming of the Maid.
On the morrow, which was a Thursday, Joan rose early, and addressing herself to some of the principal captains, prevailed on them to arm, and follow her, for she wished, as she said, to attack the enemy, being fully assured they would be vanquished. These captains and other warriors, surprised at her words, were induced to arm and make an assault on the tower of St. Loup, which was very strong, and garrisoned with from three to four hundred English. They were, notwithstanding the strength of the blockhouse, soon defeated, and all killed or made prisoners, and the fortification was set on fire and demolished. The Maid, having accomplished her purpose, returned with the nobles and knights who had followed her to the town of Orleans, where she was greatly feasted and honoured by all ranks. The ensuing day she again made a sally, with a certain number of combatants, to attack another of the English forts, which was as well garrisoned as the former one, but which was in like manner destroyed by fire, and those within put to the sword. On her return to the town after this second exploit, she was more honoured and respected than ever.
On the next day, Saturday, she ordered the tower at the end of the bridge to be attacked. This was strongly fortified, and had within it the flower of the English chivalry and men-atarms, who defended themselves for a long time with the utmost courage; but it availed them nothing, for by dint of prowess they were overcome, and the greater part put to the sword. On this occasion were slain, a valiant English captain named Classendach, the lord Molins, the bailiff of Evreux, and many more warriors of great and noble estate.
The Maid, after this victory, returned to Orleans with the nobles who had accompanied her, and with but little loss of men. Notwithstanding that at these three attacks Joan was, according to common fame, supposed to have been the leader, she had with her all the most expert and gallant captains who for the most part had daily served at this siege of Orleans, mention of whom has been before made. Each of these three captains exerted himself manfully at these attacks, so that from six to eight thousand combatants were killed or taken, while the French did not lose more than one hundred men of all ranks.
The ensuing Sunday, the English captains, namely, the earl of Suffolk, lord Talbot, lord Scales and others, seeing the destruction of their forts, and the defeat of their men, resolved, after some deliberation, to form the remains of their army into one body, march out of their camp, and wait prepared for any engagement, should the enemy be willing to offer them battle, otherwise they would march away in good order for such towns as were under their obedience. This resolution they instantly executed on Sunday morning, when they abandoned their forts, setting fire to several, and drew up in battle-array, expecting the French would come to fight with them; but they had no such intentions, having been exhorted to the contrary by Joan the Maid. The English, having waited a considerable time for them, in vain, marched away, lest their forces might be further diminished, without prospect of Success.
The townsmen of Orleans were greatly rejoiced on seeing themselves, by their dishonourable retreat, delivered from such false and traitorous enemies, who had for so long a time kept them in the utmost danger. Many men at arms were despatched to examine the remaining forts, in which they found some provision, and great quantities of other things, all of which were carried safely to the town, and made good cheer of, for they had cost them nothing. The whole of these castles were soon burnt, and razed to the ground, so that no men at arms, from whatever country they might come, should ever lodge in them again.
CHAPTER Lx.--THE KING OF FRANCE, AT THE REQUESTS OF THE MAID JOAN AND THE Noble CAPTAINS IN ORLEANs, SENDS THEM A LARGE REINForceMENT of MEN-AT-ARMs TO PURSUE HIS ENEMIES.
THE French within Orleans, and the captains who accompanied the Maid, with one common accord, sent messengers to the king of France, to inform him of their vigorous exploits, and that the English had retreated to their own garrisons,—requesting him, at the same time, to send them as many men-at-arms as he could procure, with some of the great lords, that they might be enabled to pursue his enemies, now quite dismayed at their reverse of fortune, and praying that he himself would advance towards the country where they were. This intelligence was very agreeable to the king and his council, and the advice readily, as may be supposed, attended to. He instantly summoned to his presence the constable, the duke d'Alençon, Charles lord d'Albreth, and many other lords of renown, the greater part of whom were sent to the town of Orleans. After some time, the king advanced, with a considerable force, to Gien, where many councils were held with the captains from Orleans and the nobles lately arrived, whether or not they should pursue the English. To these councils the first person summoned was the Maid, for she was now in high reputation. At length, on the 4th day of May, the siege of Orleans having been raised, the French took the field with about five or six thousand combatants, and marched straight for Gergeau, where the earl of Suffolk and his brothers were quartered. The earl had sent frequent messages to the regent at Paris, to acquaint him with the misfortunes that had happened at Orleans, and to request speedy succours, or he would be in danger of losing several towns and castles which he held in Beauce and on the river Loire. The duke of Bedford was much angered and cast down at this intelligence; but seeing the necessity of immediately attending to what was most urgent, sent in haste for four or five thousand men from all the parts under his dominion, whom he ordered toward the country of Orleans, under the command of sir Thomas Rampstone, the bastard de Thian and others, promising very soon to join them with the large reinforcements which he was daily expecting from England.