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Sir John, on hearing this, immediately set clerks to write letters to all his friends and relations, to press them most earnestly, from the affection they bore him, now to hasten to the succour of his town of Ligny. Many of the nobles and gentlemen to whom he had applied, made instant preparations to attend him, and would have joined him in great numbers, but, in the mean time, the young lord of Commercy perceiving he could not win the castle, and fearing the great force sir John de Luxembourg would march against him, whose power and inclinations he well knew, concluded with those in whom he had the greatest confidence to return whence they had come. Having thus determined, they packed up all the moveables they found in the town that were portable : they set the houses on fire, to the grief and dismay of the inhabitants, and then marched away with their prisoners to Commercy. Intelligence of this was instantly sent to sir John de Luxembourg, who was grieved at heart on hearing it; and as his plans were now at an end, he sent letters to countermand the coming of his friends, and gave up his intended expedition.
CHAPTER CXXVI.--THE BURGUNDIANs, UNDER PRETENCE OF BEING ENGLISH,
At this same period, the men of the lord de Ternant, who resided in Rethel, dressed themselves with the red cross to counterfeit being English, and on a certain day won by stratagem the castle of la Boue, within two leagues of Laon. They were under the command of a man-at-arms called Nicholas Chevalier; and, by means of this capture, those of Laon, and other places under the obedience of king Charles, suffered much. The reason why they put on the red cross was on account of the truce between king Charles and the duke of Burgundy, which was not then expired. They had always been of the duke's party; and very many mischiefs were done to the poor countrymen by English, French, and Burgundians.
The count de Vaudemont, at this time also, assembled three or four hundred combatants in Picardy, whom he conducted to his town of Wezelize : one of his captains was the bastard de Humieres: and on their arrival, they commenced a severe warfare on the Barrois and Lorrainers, to whom they did much mischief by fire, sword, and plunder.
In the month of October, the duke and duchess of Burgundy went to Holland, escorted by about six hundred combatants from Picardy. The duke staid there about a month, to examine the country; and during that time, a treaty was concluded between his counsellors and those of the duchess of Bavaria, by which it was settled that the duke of Burgundy should, from the present, enjoy all the honours, profits, and emoluments of the countries of Hainault, Holland, Zealand, and Frizeland, with their dependencies, as his own hereditary right; but that, should the duke die before the said duchess, all these territories were to return to her as the legal heiress of them. Many noble lordships and rich estates were at the same time allotted her, together with the county of Ostrevant, of which county alone she was now to style herself countess, laying aside all the titles of the above-named places. When these matters had been finally concluded, the duke consented that his cousin, the duchess, should marry sir François de Borselle, which had been secretly treated of between the parties. The duke of Burgundy henceforward styled himself, in addition to his former titles, count of Hainault, Holland and Zealand, and lord of Frizeland. On the conclusion of this treaty, he returned to Flanders”. o
GAIN THE CHAPTER CxxVII.-FRIAR THOMAS GOES TO ROME.-HE IS BURNT THERE.
* Monstrelet appears to have been informed but imperfectly of these transactions. In the year 1428, the countess being besieged in Gouda by the Burgundian forces, submitted to a peace, by which she acknowledged Philip as heir to Hainault, Holland, Zealand, and Friezland, appointing him protector of the said states during her lifetime. It was also stipulated that she should not marry without the consent of Philip and her states. Upon the conclusion of this treaty the duke departed, leaving Francis de Borselle, a nobleman of high rank attached to the Burgundian party, lieutenant of the provinces. In July 1433, says the historian of Holland, the countess married this gentleman in violation of her engagement, upon which the duke
entered the country, caused him to be apprehended and confined him in the tower of Rupelmonde. It was rumoured that he would be beheaded, and Jacqueline, alarmed for his safety, conveyed absolutely the whole of her estates to Philip for his liberation, in consideration of which the generous robber assigned to his late prisoner, the county of Ostrevant, the lordships of Brill and South Beveland, with the collection of certain tolls and imposts, on which they lived together but a short time before death put a period to her eventful history, in the month of October, 1436. –Barlandi Hollandia comitum Historia et Icones.
In this year, friar Thomas Conette *, of the order of Carmelites, whom we have before noticed in this history, made many preachings in divers parts of Champagne, the which had induced numbers of ladies of high rank to lay aside their ridiculous dresses. He thence journeyed to Rome, during the popedom of Eugenius IV., and arrived there with the Venetian ambassadors. He was lodged at Saint Paul's, whence the pope ordered him to come before him, not with any evil intentions toward him, but for him to preach; for he had heard much of his renown. He refused twice to attend the holy father, under pretence of being ill; and the third time, the pope sent his treasurer to bring him.
Friar Thomas, seeing the treasurer enter the house, leaped out of the window to escape; but, being directly pursued, was taken and carried before the pope in his palace. The cardinals of Rouen and of Navarre were charged to examine him and his doctrines, who, finding him guilty of heresy, and worthy of death, he was in consequence sentenced to be publicly burnt in the city of Rome.
CHAPTER Cxxvii.I.—THE DEATH of THE DUCHESS OF BEDFORD.
IN these days, Anne, duchess of Bedford, and sister to the duke of Burgundy, lay ill, at the hôtel of the Tournelles in Paris, of a lingering disorder, which, in spite of all the care of her physicians, of whom she had many, carried her off from this life. She was buried in the same chapel of the Celestins where Louis, late duke of Orleans, had been interred. The duke of Bedford was sorely afflicted at her death, as were many of his party; for they feared that the connexion, which had been continued by her means with her brother, the duke of Burgundy, would thereby be weakened.
When she died, ambassadors from the three parties, namely, king Charles, king Henry, and the duke of Burgundy, were assembled at Auxerre, and at Melun, to treat of a peace; but as they could not agree upon terms, they separated and returned to their lords.
CHAPTER CXXIX. —SoME OF THE FRENCH CAPTAINs CRoss THE RIVER soMME, AND OWERRUN ARTOIS.
In the beginning of December, captain Blanchefort, sir Anthony de Chabannes, the lord de Longueval, sir Carados Desquesnes, and others of king Charles's party, assembled about eight hundred or a thousand combatants near Breteuil, and thence marched to cross the river Somme at Capy. They advanced during the night for Dourlens, whither they had sent spies to learn if they could not win it by scalado: but the lord de Humieres, having had notice of their intentions, sent in all haste to inform the mayor and magistrates that the French were marching to attack their town.
Upon this, they made every preparation for a good defence; and sent a messenger to the castle of Beauval to make the garrison acquainted with the above intelligence. The messenger was met, just before day-break, a quarter of a league from the town, by the French scouts, by whom he was taken and examined, and they soon learned from him his errand. They returned to their main body, which was close in the rear, who, hearing what the messenger had said, found their enterprise had failed, and returned to the town of Beauquesne. When they had fully refreshed themselves, they re-crossed the Somme, and marched back to their garrisons with great numbers of prisoners and a rich pillage.
* This unfortunate heretic was a Breton by birth. Being seized with an inordinate desire of reforming the dress of the ladies, and the manners of the clergy, he left Rennes and travelled into the Low Countries, where he preached with so much success that the towers of gauze and ribbons called hennins, which were then the rage, disappeared wherever he went. Perhaps he was spared the mortification of hearing that they were resumed, several stages higher, immediately after his departure. From Flanders he travelled into Italy, reformed the order of Carmelites at Mantua, and made himself famous for his zeal and eloquence at Venice. The papal ambassadors reported his praises at Rome; but his ardour for reform, which had cap
tivated many others, alarmed pope Eugenius, who justly dreaded the consequences of his strenuous assertions that marriages ought to be allowed to the clergy, and that flesh might be eaten by them without risk of damnation. It was not long after his arrival at the pontifical city, that a process was instituted against him for these and other heretical doctrines, and father Thomas was at last burnt for not knowing how to confine his eloquence to the harmless subject which first called it forth. He suffered with great constancy, and was by some, even among the catholics, reputed a martyr. For further particulars, consult Bayle, art. “Conecte.”
CHAPTER Cxxx.-A BENEDICTINE MONK ATTEMPTs to GAIN THE CASTLE of ST. ANGELo, AT roME.
WHILE all these things were passing, a Benedictine, surnamed The Little Monk, who had been a great favourite of pope Martin, and had much power during his reign, attached himself, after his decease, to his successor, pope Eugenius, and gained the same power under him as he had enjoyed before.
Notwithstanding the favour he was in with the pope, he conceived the design of betraying him, through the temptations of the devil, as it may be supposed, and had connected himself with the prince of Salerno, promising to put him in possession of the castle of St. Angelo, and even of the city of Rome. To effect this he one day waited on the pope to take his leave, saying that he was going to Avignon to fix his residence there for some time. He then requested of the governor of the castle of St. Angelo to take charge of his coffers, containing his wealth, until his return, which the governor assented to, not suspecting his treachery.
He ordered twelve cases to be made, capable of holding twelve men, which were to be entrusted to the care of two men to each case. When all things were ready, the better to succeed in his enterprise, he sent a page, who was his own nephew, with letters to one of the prisoners confined in the castle of St. Angelo, which fortunately fell into the hands of the governor, and thus made him acquainted with the whole of the plot. He instantly carried them to the pope, who ordered the monk to be delivered to the secular power, by whom he was put to the torture, and confessed his guilt. He was then condemned to death, and hanged on a gibbet, and quartered in the principal market-place of Rome.
The prince of Salerno having failed in his attempt, did not however refrain from making open war on the pope, within a short time after this event.
In these days, an adventurer called Thomelaire, provost of Laon for king Charles, won the castle of Passavant by means of certain intelligence with those within it. This was very displeasing to the duke of Burgundy, for he was afraid that it would lay open his country to the enemy; and he had the place so strongly besieged, that those who had taken it were forced to surrender at discretion. The said Thomelaire and some others were put to death, and the castle razed to the ground.
CHAPTER CXXXI.-A PEACE IS CONCLUDED BETWEEN THE DUKE OF BAR AND THE COUNT DE WAUDEMONT.
In this year a peace was concluded, through the mediation of the duke of Burgundy, between the duke of Bar and the count de Vaudemont. Each promised to restore to the other whatever castles or towns they had won; and it was also agreed that the eldest son of the count should marry the duke's eldest daughter”, who was to give her annually six thousand francs, and a certain sum in ready money on the day of her marriage.
This treaty having been drawn up by their most able counsellors, was signed by them, and then they mutually pardoned each other for whatever they might have done amiss. The young lady was delivered into the hands of the count, and all the articles of the treaty were duly observed, to the great joy of their subjects, who now found themselves free from all the vexations they had suffered in consequence of the late warfare between their lords.
* Frederick and Jolante. The marriage thus agreed county of Vaudemont were afterwards united in their perupon was concluded ; and the duchy of Lorraine and sons.
CHAPTER CXXXII. — THE DUCHESS OF BURGUNDY IS BROUGHT TO BED OF A SON IN THE Town of GHENT.
ON the 14th of April in this year, the duchess of Burgundy was brought to bed of a son in the town of Ghent. His godfathers were the cardinal of Winchester, and the counts de St. Pol and de Ligny, brothers: and the countess de Meaux was the godmother. He was christened Josse, although neither of the godfathers bore that name ; but it had been so ordered by the duke and duchess. They all presented very rich gifts to the child.
This year, the duke, with the consent of the estates, renewed thc coin; and golden money was struck, called Riddes *, of the value of twenty-four sols in silver coin called Wirelans f. All the old money was called in at a fourth or fifth part of its value, and recoined. At this time there were great quarrels between the towns of Brussels and Mechlin, insomuch that a severe war took place between them. In like manner, there was much dissention among the Ghent-men, so that several officers were banished from the town.
CHAPTER CXXXIII. - A PEACE CONCLUDED BETWEEN THE DUKE OF BAR AND THE COUNTS De ST. POL AND DE LIGNY. A TREATY of peace now took place between the duke of Bar and the two brothers, the counts de St. Pol and de Ligny, who had for some time been at war, -by which the whole country of Guise, parts of which had been conquered by Sir John de Luxembourg, count de Ligny, and which was the hereditary inheritance of the duke of Bar, was given up to the said sir John de Luxembourg, in perpetuity to him and his heirs. For the greater security of the above, the duke freely gave up the castle of Bohain, in the presence of many of his nobles and officers of the county of Guise, whom he had ordered thither for the purpose of witnessing it, as well as several imperial and apostolical notaries. There were likewise some discussions relative to Joan de Bar, daughter of sir Robert de Bar, count of Marle, and the portion of property she was to have in the duchy of Bar, in right of her said father. There were also some proposals for a marriage between the second son of the count de St. Pol and one of the youngest daughters of the duke of Bar: but these two articles were deferred to the next time of meeting. When this negotiation had lasted some days, and the duke had been most honourably and grandly feasted by the two brothers in the castle of Bohain, he departed thence, according to appearances highly pleased with them, and returned to his duchy.
* Riddes, of the value of five shillings–Cotgrave. + “Wirelans.” Q.
CHAPTER CXXXIV. — A WAR TAKES PLACE BETWEEN Sir JOHN AND SIR ANTHONY DU - VERGY AND THE LORD DE CHASTEAU-viLAIN.
IN this same year a great discord arose between sir John and sir Anthony du Vergy, Burgundian knights, and the lord de Château-Vilain", which ended in an open war. The lord de Château-Vilain, the more to annoy his enemies, turned to the party of the king of France, together with sir Legier d'Estouteville, Jean de Verpelleurs, and some other gentlemen, who had long been his allies and well wishers. By this conduct they broke their oaths to the duke of Burgundy, their natural lord, with whom the lord de Château-Vilain had been on the most intimate terms. This lord also returned the badge of the duke of Bedford, which he had long worn, which made the duke very indignant; and he blamed him greatly in the presence of the person who had brought the badge, saying that he had thus falsified the oath he had made him.
The duke of Burgundy was likewise very much displeased when it came to his knowledge, and he sent pressing orders to all his captains in Burgundy to exert themselves to the utmost in harassing the lord de Château-Vilain. In obeying these orders, the country of Burgundy suffered much ; for the lord de Château-Vilain had many castles in different parts of it, which he garrisoned with his friends. By the forces of the duke, assisted by the lords du Vergy and others of the nobles of Bnrgundy, he was so hardly pushed that the greater part of his castles were conquered and demolished; namely, Graussy, Flongy, Challancy, Williers le Magnet, Nully, the castle of St. Urban, Blaise, St. Vorge, Esclaron, Varville, Cussay, Romay, Vaudemont, and Lasoncourt. The siege of Graussy lasted more than three months under the command of Jean du Vergy, the principal in this quarrel, having with him sir William de Baufremont, William de Vienne, sir Charles du Vergy, and twelve hundred combatants. The lord de ChâteauVilain, with the heir of Commercy and Robert deVaudricourt, and sixteen hundred fighting men, marched to raise the siege, when a grand skirmish took place, but only one man was killed. . The lord de Château-Vilain, however, finding that he could not attempt to raise the siege without very great danger from the strength of his enemies, retreated to the place whence he had come ; and shortly after, sir Denis de Sainct-Flour, who commanded within the castle, capitulated to surrender the place, on the garrison being allowed to march away in safety with their lives and baggage. Having concluded this treaty, sir Denis went to the king of France, who had him beheaded for several charges that had been made against him, and also for having put his wife to death.
At this time, some captains of the duke of Burgundy took by storm and by scalado the town of Epernai, belonging to Charles duke of Orleans, a prisoner in England, in which every disorder was committed as in a conquered town.
* William, lord of Chateauvilain, held the office of Chambrier de France in 1419, and died in 1439.