« ZurückWeiter »
expense. On his arrival at the Porte Barbette, the eighteen men, all well and secretly armed, were waiting for him, and were lying in ambush, under shelter of a pent-house. The night was pretty dark; and as they sallied out against him, one cried out, “Put him to death !” and gave him such a blow on the wrist with his battle-axe as severed it from his arm. The duke, astonished at this attack, cried out, “I am the duke of Orleans !” when the assassins, continuing their blows, answered, “You are the person we were looking for.” So many rushed on him that he was struck off his mule, and his skull was split that his brains were dashed on the pavement. They turned him over and over, and massacred him that he was very soon completely dead. A young esquire, a German by birth, who had been his page, was murdered with him : seeing his master struck to the ground, he threw himself on his body to protect him, but in vain, and he suffered for his generous courage. The horse which carried the two esquires that preceded the duke, seeing so many armed men advance, began to snort, and when he had passed them set out on a gallop, so that it was some time before he could be checked. When the esquires had stopped their horse, they saw their lord's mule following them full gallop; having caught him, they fancied the duke must have fallen, and were bringing it back by the bridle; but on their arrival where their lord lay, they were menaced by the assassins, that if they did not instantly depart they should share his fate. Seeing their lord had been thus basely murdered, they hastened to the hotel of the queen, crying out, “Murder!" Those who had killed the duke, in their turn bawled out, “Fire!” and they had arranged their plan, that while some were assassinating the duke, others were to set fire to their lodgings. Some mounted on horseback, and the rest on foot, made off as fast as they could, throwing behind them broken glass and sharp points of iron to prevent their being pursued. Report said, that many of them went the back way to the hotel d'Artois to their master the duke of Burgundy, who had commanded them to do this deed, as he afterward publicly confessed, to inform him of the success of their murder, when instantly afterward they withdrew to places of safety. The chief of these assassins, and the conductor of the business, was one called Rollet d'Auctonville *, a Norman, whom the duke of Orleans had, a little before, deprived of his office of commissioner of taxes, which the king had given to him, at the request of the late duke of Burgundy. From that time the said Rollet had been considering how he could revenge himself on the duke of Orleans. His other accomplices were William Courteheuze and Scas Courteheuze, before mentioned, from the county of Guines, John de la Motte and others, to the amount of eighteen. Within half an hour, the household of the duke of Orleans, hearing of this horrid murder, made loud complaints; and, with great crowds of nobles and others, hastened to the fatal spot, where they found him lying dead in the street. His knights and esquires, and in general all his dependants, made grievous lamentations, seeing him thus wounded and disfigured. With many groans, they raised the body and carried it to the hotel of the lord de Rieux, marshal of France, which was hard by ; and shortly afterward the body was covered with a white pall, and conveyed most honourably to the church of the Guilleminst, where it lay, as being the nearest church to where the murder had been committed. Soon afterward, the king of Sicily, and many other princes, knights, and esquires, having heard of this foul murder of the only brother of the king of France, came with many tears to visit the body. It was put into a leaden coffin, and the monks of the church, with all the late duke's household, watched it all night, saying prayers, and singing psalms over it. On the morrow, his servants found the hand which had been cut off, and collected much of the brains that had been scattered over the street, all of which were inclosed in a leaden case and placed by the coffin. The whole of the princes who were in Paris, except the king and his children, namely, the king of Sicily, the dukes of Berry, Burgundy, and Bourbon, the marquis du Pont, the counts de Nevers, de Clermont, de Vendôme, de St. Pol, de Dammartin, the constable of * Raoul d’Oquetonville, a knight of Normandy. succeeded to the church-convent of the Blanc-Manteaus, France, and several others, having assembled, with a large body of the clergy and nobles, and a multitude of the citizens of Paris, went in a body to the church of the Guillemins. Then the principal officers of the late duke's household took the body and bore it out of the church, with a great number of lighted torches carried by the esquires of the defunct. On each side of the body were, in due order, uttering groans and shedding tears, the king of Sicily, the dukes of Berry, Burgundy, and Bourbon, each holding a corner of the pall. After the body followed the other princes, the clergy and barons, according to their rank, recommending his soul to his Creator, and thus they proceeded with it to the church of the Celestins. When a most solemn service had been performed, the body was interred in a beautiful chapel he himself had founded and built. After the service, all the princes, and others who had attended it, returned to their homes. Many suspicions were formed as to the authors of this assassination of the duke of Orleans; and at first it was thought to have been perpetrated by sir Aubert de Canny, from the great hatred he bore the duke, for having carried off his wife”, by whom he had a son, of whom, and his education, I shall say more hereafter. The truth was soon known who were the guilty persons, and that sir Aubert was perfectly innocent of the crime. The queen Isabella was so much alarmed the day she heard of this murder being committed thus near her hotel, that, although she was not recovered from her lying-in, she had herself carried, by her brother Louis of Bavaria, and others, to a litter, and thence conveyed to the hotel de St. Pol, where she was lodged in the adjoining chamber to that of the king for her greater security. The night this murder was committed the count de St. Pol and many others of the nobility armed themselves, and went to the hotel de St. Pol, where the king resided, not knowing how far these matters might be carried. When the body of the duke of Orleans had been interred, as has been related, the princes of the blood assembled at the hotel of the king of Sicily, with the council of state, whither the provost of Paris and others of the king's lawyers were summoned, and ordered by the princes to make the most diligent inquiries, by every possible means, after the perpetrators and accomplices of this base act. All the gates of Paris were commanded to be closed, except two, and those to be well guarded, that all who might pass them should be known. Having given these orders, the lords and the council retired to their hotels in much sorrow and grief. On the morrow the council was again assembled at the king's palace of St. Pol, in the presence of the king of Sicily, the dukes of Berry, Burgundy, and Bourbon, and other great lords. On the entrance of the provost of Paris, he was asked by the duke of Berry what measures he had taken to discover the murderers of so great a prince as the king's brother. The provost replied, that he had used all diligence in his researches, but in vain; adding, that if the king and the great lords present would permit him to search their hotels, and those of other great lords in Paris, he made no doubt but that he should discover the murderers and their accomplices. The king of Sicily, and the dukes of Berry and Bourbon, gave him instant orders to search wherever he pleased. The duke of Burgundy, hearing such positive orders given, began to be alarmed, and, drawing king Louis and his uncle, the duke of Berry, aside, brieflyt confessed to them what he had done, saying, that by the temptation of the devil he had committed the murder by means of Auctonville and his accomplicest. The two princes were so much astonished and grieved at this confession that they were scarcely enabled to make him any reply, but what they did say was reproving him bitterly for having committed so base an act against his cousin-germany. After this confession of the duke of Burgundy, they returned to the council chamber, but did not immediately declare what had passed between them, when the council broke up, and all retired to their hotels.
t The Guillemins were an order of hermits, instituted instituted by St. Louis. by Guillaume, duke of Guienne, and count of Poitou. They
* The name of the adulteress was Marietta d'Enguien, and the son he had by her the famous John, count of Dunois and of Longueville. Sir Aubert de Canny was a knight of Picardy.
† Praesenti animo, says Heuterus.
: Consult Bayle and Brantome for a singular anecdote respecting the private reasons which urged the duke to commit this murder.
§ The monk of St. Denis, author of the History of Charles VI. adds the following damning clause to his account of this foul transaction :-" But what raised to
the highest pitch the horror of the princes at the blackness of soul displayed by the duke was, that very shortly before, he not only was reconciled but entered into an alliance of brotherly love with the duke of Orleans. They had yet more recently confirmed it, both by letters and oaths, insomuch that they called God to witness it, and received the communion together. They had every appearance of an entire union in the conduct of the war which was committed to their charge : they had defended one another's honour from the bad success which attended them : it seemed as if they had only one interest; and, for a yet greater token of union and love, the duke of Burgundy, hearing that the duke of Orleans was indisposed, visited him with all the marks, I do not say of civility, but of tender affection, and even accepted an invitation to dine with him the next day, being Sunday. The other princes of the blood, knowing all this, could not but conceive the most
On the ensuing day, which was Saturday, the lords before-mentioned again assembled at ten o'clock in the morning, at the hotel de Nesle, where the duke of Berry resided, to hold another council. The duke of Burgundy came thither as usual, attended by the count Waleran de St. Pol; but when he was about to enter the council-chamber, the duke of Berry said to him, “Fair nephew, do not now enter the council-chamber, for it is displeasing to all the members that you should come among them.” On saying this, the duke of Berry re-entered the council-chamber, ordering the door to be closed, according to the resolutions of the council. The duke of Burgundy was greatly confused at this; and, being unresolved how to proceed, said to the count de St. Pol, “Good cousin, what should I do?” The count replied, “My lord, you have only to return to your hotel, since it is not agreeable to the lords of the council that you should sit among them.” The duke said, “Good cousin, return with me, to bear me company;” but the count answered, “My lord, you must excuse me; for I shall go to the council, since I have been summoned to attend it." After these words the duke of Burgundy, in great fear, returned to his hotel of Artois; and to avoid being arrested, on his arrival there, he mounted a fresh horse, and, attended by six men, hastily quitted Paris by the gate of St. Denis; and only changing horses, but not stopping at any place, he travelled onwards until he reached his castle of Bapaume. When he had slept some little, he again continued his route with all speed to Lille in Flanders. Those whom he had left in his hotel at Paris followed him as speedily as they could, to avoid being imprisoned, of which they were greatly afraid. In like manner, Rollet d’Auctonville and his accomplices changed their clothes, and disguised themselves, and escaped from Paris by different ways, and went to quarter themselves in the castle of Lens in Artois, by orders of their lord and master John duke of Burgundy. With so mean an attendance did this duke quit Paris after the death of the duke of Orleans, leaving the great lords of France in the utmost tribulation and distress. When those of the household of the late duke of Orleans heard of the secret departure of the duke of Burgundy they armed themselves, to the amount of six score, having at their head sir Clugnet de Brabant, and, mounting their horses, sallied out of Paris in pursuit of the duke of Burgundy, with the intent of putting him to death, could they overtake him. The king of Sicily, learning their intentions, sent after to forbid them executing their plan, on which they returned, very indignant, to their hotels. It was now publicly known throughout Paris that the duke of Burgundy had committed this murder; but the Parisians were not well pleased with the duke of Orleans, for they had learnt that he was the author of all the heavy taxes that oppressed them, and began to say among themselves in secret, “The knotty stick is smoothed.”
This melancholy event took place in the great winter of the year 1407, when the frost lasted for sixty-six days with the greatest severity. On the thaw, the new bridge at Paris was destroyed, and fell into the Seine; and the floods did very great mischief to many parts of the kingdom of France. I have no need, in this chapter, to speak of the great hatred and jealousy that had taken place between the dukes of Orleans and Burgundy, prior to the death of the former, as it would occupy too much room ; and besides, they will be fully spoken of in the proceedings which were shortly afterward instituted, namely, in the justification which the duke of Burgundy proposed offering publicly, in the presence of the princes of the blood, the nobility, both ecclesiastical and secular, showing the causes why he openly avowed being the author of the death of the duke of Orleans, and likewise from the answers which the dowager-duchess of Orleans and her children made in exculpation of the late duke, which shall all be written in this present chronicle exactly in the manner in which they were proposed in the presence of the whole royal council, and great numbers of others of different ranks.
extreme indignation at so horrible a procedure: they therefore refused to listen to his excuses, – and the next morning, when he came to the parliament-chamber, they forbade him entrance.” See Bayle, Art. “Petit.” The reconciliation here mentioned is also alluded to, ch. xliv.
chapTER xxxvii.--THE DUCHEss of orleANs, witH HER YoUNGEST soN, wait on THE KING IN PARIS, To MAKE complaiNT of THE CRUEL MURDER OF THE LATE DUKE HER HUSBAND.
THE late duke of Orleans had married the daughter of Galeazzo, duke of Milan, his cousin-german, by whom he left three sons and one daughter, namely—Charles, the eldest, who succeeded his father in the dukedom of Orleans; Philip, count de Vertus; John, count of Angoulême. The daughter was married to Richard of Brittany. We shall say more hereafter respecting these princes, and of the fortunes that befel them.
On the 10th day of December the duchess of Orleans, widow to the late duke, with her youngest son John, and accompanied by the late queen of England", now wife to her eldest
son, set out for Paris. The king of Sicily, the dukes of Berry and Bourbon, the counts of Clermont and Vendôme, the lord Charles d'Albreth, constable of France, and many other great lords, went out of the town to meet her, attended by a number of people and horses, and thus escorted her to the hotel de St. Pol, where the king of France resided. Being instantly admitted to an audience, she fell on her knees to the king, and made a pitiful complaint to him of the very inhuman murder of her lord and husband. The king, who at that time was in his sound senses, having lately recovered from his illness, raised her up with tears, and assured her he would comply with all her request, according to the opinion of his council. Having received this answer, she returned to the hotel of Orleans, accompanied by the before-mentioned lords. On the following Monday the king of France, by the advice of his parliament, resumed in court the county of Dreux, Chastel-Thierry, and Mont d’Arcuelles, and all the lands which the king had given to his brother for his life. On the Wednesday after St. Thomas's-day, the duchess of Orleans, accompanied by her youngest son, the queen dowager of England, her daughter-in-law, the chancellor of Orleans, and others of her council, with many knights and esquires, who had been of the household of the late duke, all clothed in black, came to the hotel of St. Pol to have an audience of the king. She found there the king of Sicily, the dukes of Berry and Bourbon, the chancellor of France, and several others, who, having demanded an audience for her of the king, instantly obtained it. She was led into the presence by the count d'Alençon, and with many tears, and before all the princes, again supplicated the king that he would do her justice on those who had traitorously murdered her lord and husband, the late duke of Orleans. The whole manner of this deed she caused to be declared to the king by her advocate in the parliament; and the chancellor of Orleans was by her side, who repeated to the advocate word for word what she wished to have divulged.
She had explained at length the whole history of the murder; how he had been watched, and the hour and place where the assassins had fallen on him; and how he had been betrayed by a false message from his lord and brother the king, giving him to understand that the king had sent for him ; and ending by declaring that this murder more nearly touched the king than any other person. The advocate of the duchess concluded by saying, the king was bound to avenge the death of his brother, as well in regard to the duchess and her children, from their proximity of blood, as in respect to the offence which had been committed against justice and his royal majesty. The chancellor of France, who was seated at the king's feet, replied, with the advice of the dukes and lords present, that the king, having heard the detail of the murder of his brother, would, as speedily as possible, do strict and equal justice against the offenders. When the chancellor had said this, the king himself spoke and said, “Be it known to all, that the facts thus exposed, relative to the death of our only brother, affect us most sensibly, and we hold the offence as committed against our own proper person.”
Upon this the duchess, her son John, and the queen dowager of England, her daughterin-law, cast themselves on their knees before the king, and, with abundance of tears, supplicated him to remember to do good justice on the perpetrators of the murder of his brother. The king raised them up, and, kissing them, again promised strict justice, and named a day for the enforcement of it. After these words they took their leave and returned to the hotel of Orleans.
On the second day ensuing, the king of France came from his palace to the chamber of
parliament, which had been greatly adorned, and seated himself on the royal throne. He then published an act, in the presence of the dukes, princes, nobility, clergy, and commonalty of his realm, by which he ordained, that should he die before the duke of Aquitaine was of lawful age, notwithstanding this he should govern the kingdom; and that all things should be conducted in his name by the three estates of the realm, until he should be arrived at the proper age to take the government into his own hands. Should it happen that his eldest son should die before he came of age, he ordained that his second son, the duke of Touraine, should succeed him; and in like manner that his third son should succeed the duke of Touraine on his death; but that until these princes should be of the proper age, the three estates should govern in their name. These ordinances were very agreeable to the princes of the blood and council, and were confirmed by them. On the third day of January, the duchess of Orleans, for herself and children, did homage for the county of Vertus, and all the other lordships that had been held by her late husband. She took her oaths of fealty to the king himself, and, having taken her leave of him, quitted Paris a few days after, and returned with her state to Blois.
chAPTER xxxviii.—THE DUKE of BURGUNDY AsseMBLEs A NUMBER of His DEPENDANTs, AT LILLE IN FLANDERs, To A CouncIL, RESPECTING THE DEATH OF THE DURE OF or LEANs.-HE GOES To AMIENS, AND THENCE to PARIs.
WHEN the duke of Burgundy was at Lille, he called to him the nobles, clerks, and others of his council, to have their opinion respecting the death of the late duke of Orleans, and he was greatly comforted by the advice they gave him. He went thence to Ghent to his duchess, and there summoned the three estates of Flanders, to whom he caused the counsellor, John