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CHAPTER LXI.--THE MAID JoAN, witH THE CONSTABLE OF FRANCE, THE DUKE D'ALENgoN, AND THEIR MEN, conquER THE Town of GERGEAU.--THE BATTLE of PATAYE, when The FRENCh DEFEAT THE ENGLISH.
The constable of France, the duke d'Alençon, Joan the Maid, and other captains, having, as I said, taken the field, advanced with their army to Gergeau, wherein was the earl of Suffolk, and from three to four hundred of his men, who, with the inhabitants, made all diligence to put themselves in a posture of defence. The place was very soon surrounded by the enemy, who commenced an instant assault on the walls. This lasted a considerable space, and was very bloody; but the French pushed on so boldly that the town was stormed in spite of the courage of the besieged, and about three hundred of the English slain, among whom was a brother to the earl of Suffolk. The earl and another of his brothers, the lord de la Pole, were made prisoners, with sixty or more of their men.
Thus was the town and castle of Gergeau won by the French, who after their victory refreshed themselves at their ease. On departing thence, they went to Mehun, which soon surrendered ; and the English who were in la Ferté-Imbaut fled in a body to Beaugency, whither they were pursued by the French, always having the Maid with her standard in front, and they quartered themselves near to Beaugency. The whole report of the country now resounded with praises of the Maid, and no other warrior was noticed.
The principal English captains in Beaugency, observing that the fame of this Maid had turned their good fortune, that many of their towns and castles were now under the subjection of the enemy, some through force of arms, others by composition,-and that their men were panic-struck by their misfortunes, were very desirous of retiring into Normandy. They were, however, uncertain how to act, or whether they should soon receive succour; and thus situated, they treated with the French for the delivery of the town, on condition that they might depart in safety with their property. On the conclusion of this treaty, the English marched away through Beauce toward Paris; and the French joyfully entered Beaugency, whence they resolved, by the advice of the Maid, to advance to meet a party of the English, who they heard were marching to offer them combat. They again took the field, and were daily reinforced by new-comers.
The constable ordered the marshal de Boussac,” La Hire, Poton, and some other captains, to form the vanguard; and the main body, under the command of the duke d'Alençon, the bastard of Orleans, and the marshal de Raix,t amounting to eight or nine thousand combatants, to follow it close. The Maid was asked by some of the princes, what she would advise to be done, or if she had any orders to give. She said, “that she knew full well their ancient enemies the English were on their march to fight with them,--but in God's name advance boldly against them, and assuredly they shall be conquered.” Some present having asked, “where they should meet them 7” she replied, “Ride boldly forward, and you will be conducted to them.”
The army was then drawn up in battle array, and advanced slowly, for they had despatched sixty or eighty of their most expert men-at-arms, mounted on the fleetest horses, to reconnoitre the country and gain intelligence of the enemy. They thus marched for some time, until they came within half a league of a large village called Pataye. The men-at-arms who had been sent to reconnoitre put up a stag, which ran straight for the army of the English, who were assembling their men together, namely those who had come from Paris, as has been mentioned, and those who had marched from Beaugency, and the English seeing the stag dash through them, set up a loud shout, not knowing the enemy was so near ; but this shout satisfied the scouts where the English were, and a moment afterward they saw them quite plain. They sent back some of their companions with intelligence of what they had seen, and they desired that the army might advance in order of battle, for the hour of business was at hand. They immediately made every preparation with great courage, and were soon in sight of the enemy.
* John de Béosse, lord of St. Sève and Boussac, marshal f Marshal de Raix is Giles de Laval, marshal de Retz, of France in 1424. afterwards burned for sorcery, and other infamous crimes.
The English, observing the French advance, made also their preparations with diligence for the combat. Some of the captains proposed that they should dismount where they then were, and take advantage of the hedge rows to prevent being surprised on their rear; but others were of a contrary opinion, and said they should be better off on the plain. In consequence they retreated about half a quarter of a league from their former position, which was full of hedges and bushes. The French were very eager to come up with them ; and the greater part dismounted, turning their horses loose. The vanguard of the French were impatient for the attack, having lately found the English very slack in their defence, and made so sudden and violent a charge that they were unable to form themselves in proper order. Sir John Fastolfe and the bastard de Thian had not dismounted, and, to save their lives they, with many other knights, set off full gallop. In the mean time those who had dismounted were surrounded by the French before they had time to fortify themselves, as usual, with sharp-pointed stakes in their front; and without doing any great mischief to the French, they were soon completely defeated. About eighteen hundred English were left dead on the field, and from one hundred to six score made prisoners, the principal of whom were the lords Scales, Talbot, Hungerford, sir Thomas Rampstone and several more. Some of the great lords were killed, and the rest were people of low degree, of the same sort as those whom they were accustomed to bring from their own country to die in France. When the business was over, which was about two o'clock in the afternoon, all the French captains assembled together, and devoutly and humbly returned thanks to their Creator for the victory. They were very gay on their good fortune, and lodged that night in the village of Pataye, which is two leagues distant from Anville in Beauce; and this battle will bear the name of that town forever. On the morrow, the French returned to Orleans and the adjacent parts with their prisoners. They were everywhere received with the utmost joy; but the Maid especially seemed to have acquired so great renown, it was believed that the king's enemies could not resist her, and that by her means he would soon be acknowledged throughout his kingdom. She accompanied the other captains to the king, who was much rejoiced at their success, and gave them a gracious reception. Several councils were held in the presence of the king; and it was resolved to collect as many men-at-arms as possible from all parts under his dominion to pursue his enemies. On the day of the battle of Pataye, before the English knew that their enemies were so near, Sir John Fastolfe one of the chief captains, and who fled without striking a blow, assembled a council, when he remonstrated on the losses they had suffered before Orleans, at Gergeau and other places, which had greatly lowered the courage of their men, and on the contrary raised that of the French, and which made him now advise that they should retire to some of their strong towns in the neighbourhood, and not think of combating the enemy until their men were more reconciled to their late defeats, and until the reinforcements should be sent them which the regent was expecting from England. This language was not very agreeable to some of the captains, more especially to lord Talbot, who declared that if the enemy came he would fight them. Sir John Fastolfe was bitterly reproached by the duke of Bedford for having thus fled from the battle, and he was deprived of the order of the Garter : however, in time, the remonstrances he had made in council, previously to the battle, were considered as reasonable; and this, with other circumstances and excuses he made, regained him the order of the Garter. Nevertheless, great quarrels arose between him and lord Talbot on this business, when the latter was returned from his captivity. Prior to the battle of Pataye, Jacques de Milly, Gilles de St. Simon, Louis de Marconnay, Jean de la Haye, and other valiant men, were made knights by the French.
CHAPTER LXII.--THE DUKE of BURGUNDY, AT THE REQUEST of THE DUKE of BEDFord 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 burghers 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 preaching 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.
CHAPTER 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 Rheins, made chancellor in 1424, and again in 1428–cardinal in 1439 — died October 4, 1445.
CIIAPTER LXV.—THE DUKE OF BEDFORD ASSEMBLES A LARGE ARMY TO COMBAT KING CHARLES.-HE SENDS A LETTER TO THE KING.
At this period, the regent duke of Bedford, having collected about ten thousand combatants 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