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CHAPTER CLIx.—The FRENCH GAIN THE Town of HAMME on THE somME, IN THE Verm ANDOIs.
IN the month of August of this year, a party of French won the town of Hamme, which had been held by the count de Ligny's men. The townsmen instantly surrendered on the French appearing before it, for the garrison had abandoned the place. The count de Richemont, constable of France, the bastard of Orleans, La Hire, and many other captains, came thither with a large body of combatants.
The countries of the Vermandois, Artois, and Cambresis, were greatly alarmed at the conquest of Hamme, which was a strong situation, and gave them the passage of the river Somme, and also because their prince was absent in Burgundy. However, the counts de St. Pol, d'Estampes, and de Ligny, used all diligence to collect a sufficiency of troops to oppose any further incursions of the French. A treaty was at the same time set on foot, and the French agreed to restore the town of Hamme to its owner, sir John de Luxembourg, on receiving the sum of forty thousand crowns. The reason of this treaty being made on such easy terms was the expectation of a speedy peace being concluded between king Charles and the duke of Burgundy, for negotiations on this subject had already commenced. With the town of Hamme the fort of Breteuil was also given up to the count d'Estampes, which Blanchefort had held for a considerable time.
At this period, the duke of Burgundy caused Coulogne-les-Vigneuses to be besieged by sir William de Rochefort and Philibert de Vaudrey, with eight hundred combatants. They posted themselves in a block-house—and at the end of three months, the garrison surrendered, on having their lives and baggage spared.
CHAPTER CLX. —Tii E TOWN AND CASTLE OF CHASTEAU-VILAIN SUBMITS TO THE OBEDIENCE OF THE DURE OF BURGUNDY.
On the duke of Burgundy's return to that country, he advanced to Grantsy, which had for some time been besieged by sir John de Vergy and his allies. The inhabitants, seeing no hope of being succoured, concluded a treaty to surrender it to the duke, when the castle was not destroyed, but given to the lord de Thil, brother to the lord de Château-vilain. When this had been done, the duke ordered sir John de Vergy, and the other captains, as well from Burgundy as from Picardy, to advance before the city of Langres, and summon the garrison to submit to his obedience. This they not only refused to do, but detained the herald, called Germole, who had brought the message. The Burgundians, finding themselves unable to take the place, returned with the army to the duke.
chapTER CLXI.-HEAVY TAXES LAID on the countries of ARTois AND Those ADJoining, ON ACCOUNT OF THIS WAR.
IN these days, very heavy taxes were laid on the countries of Artois, Vermandois, Ponthieu, Amiennois, and others adjoining, to pay the composition-money to the constable of France, which had been agreed to for the surrender of Hamme. The poorer ranks were sorely oppressed by them, and began to murmur and be very much discontented with the rulers and ministers to whom the duke of Burgundy had intrusted the government of these countries in his absence, but it availed them nothing: for those who refused to pay were arrested, and their effects seized without regard to justice, until their quotas were duly paid.
During this time, the lord de Saveuses had been ordered by the count d'Estampes to demolish the town and castle of Breteuil in Beauvoisis, which, as has been said, was given up to him by Blanchefort, the late governor thereof. The lord de Saveuses had brought a number of workmen and labourers from Amiens, Corbie, and other places, who soon destroyed the whole, excepting a strong gate of the castle that had been well fortified, and which the lord de Saveuses filled with provisions and artillery, leaving within it from twenty to thirty of his men, to guard it. In like manner were demolished the tower of Vendueil, and some other smaller forts in the country round about.
chapTER CLXII.--THE DUKE of BURGUNDY's CAPTAINS APPEAR BEFoRE VILLEFRANCHE, whereIN was THE DUKE of Bourbo N.—THEY AFTERWARD BESIEGE BELLEvil LE, ... WHICH SURRENDERS TO THEM.
ABOUT this time the duke of Burgundy sent the greater part of his captains, with a large body of men-at-arms, to overrun the country as far as Villefranche, wherein was Charles duke of Bourbon. This detachment was commanded by the lord de Chargny, sir Simon de Lalain, sir Baudo de Noyelle, the lord d'Auxi, Robert de Saveuses, Lancelot de Dours, Harpin de Richammes, and consisted of about sixteen hundred combatants, who marched in handsome array toward the parts whither they had been ordered. Toward evening, on one of their marches, they fell in with about six hundred of the enemy, who instantly fled to their lord the duke of Bourbon ; some of the worst mounted were made prisoners by the Burgundians and Picards.
On their arrival before Willefranche, they drew up in battle array, and sent a pursuivant to inform the duke of Bourbon of their coming, and to offer him battle. The duke, ignorant of their force, was not inclined to accept their challenge, but made answer, that since the duke of Burgundy was not present on the field, he would not fight them. He despatched, however, many on horseback and on foot, from his town, to skirmish with them. The duke himself even made a sally, mounted on his excellent war-horse, but without arms, and dressed in a long robe, with a wand in his hand, to make his men keep up a steady countenance at the barriers; during which a considerable skirmish took place, but without any great losses on either side.
After the Burgundians and Picards had remained four hours in battle array, seeing that no advantages were to be gained, they retreated in good order, posting their most expert men in their rear by way of guard, and thus returned to their lord the duke of Burgundy. The duke ordered them afterward to lay siege to Belleville, in which place the duke of Bourbon had put sir James de Chabannes and the bailiff of Beauvais, with three hundred men, who made instant preparations for defence. Nevertheless, the besiegers so pressed them with their engines and continued attacks that, at the end of a month, they surrendered, on having their lives spared, and marched off without arms and baggage, on foot and with staves in their hands, to their lord the duke of Bourbon. He was much mortified to receive them in that condition, but he could not amend it.
The duke of Burgundy placed several of his Picardy captains as a garrison in that town, whence they committed innumerable mischiefs all over that part of the Bourbonnois. On the other hand, the duke of Burgundy sent a detachment from his army in Burgundy to Dombes, and to the neighbourhood of Lyon on the Rhone, who took many castles, and wasted the country with fire and sword, carrying back with them a very large booty in plunder. The leaders of this last expedition were, the count de Fribourg, the bastard de St. Pol, the lord de Vaurin, and some others.
CIIAPTER CLXIII.--THE LORD willough BY AND MATHAGoN LAY siege To st. SEVERIN,
other captains, and from eight hundred to a thousand combatants, laid siege to a very strong
place in the country of Maine called St. Severin, about two leagues distant from Alençon,
. . This can be no other than Matthew Gough, an English captain of those days, and one of the commanders in the town of St. Denis, when it was won by the French.
which was held by the French. The governor was a gallant knight, named sir Anthony de Loreuil, who, on the arrival of the enemy, made a vigorous defence: nevertheless, the English surrounded the place on all sides, and remained there about six weeks. While this was going forward, the lord de Bueil, sir William Blesset, the lord de la Varenne, and other French captains, assembled about fourteen hundred fighting men, with the intent to force the enemy to raise their siege. They remained for some days at Beaumont le Wicomte, where part of them were quartered, and the remainder at Vivien, four leagues distant from St. Severin. While at Beaumont they called a council of all the chief captains, to consider how they should act; when, after much noise and debating, they considered themselves not strong enough to fight the English in their present situation, and determined to attempt withdrawing the besieged the back way out of the town. The captains now returned to their different quarters, and established good guards around them during the night, both of horse and foot. The lord de Beuil was, on this expedition, lieutenant for the lord Charles d'Anjou, and had the charge of his banner. This same night a detachment of the English, having had intelligence of the advance of the French, took the field, and marched in silence until they came near to the town of Vivien, whither they sent scouts to reconnoitre the state of the French, who, having twice entered Vivien, brought word they were in tolerable good order. The English then made an attack on their quarters about day-break, and easily defeated them without much loss. Many were taken and killed: among the last was a valiant man from Amiens, but originally from Auvergne, called John de Belley. When the business was over, the English took the field with their prisoners; but the lords de Bueil and de la Varenne, who were in Beaumont, hearing of this discomfiture from the runaways, made instant preparations to pursue the English, who no sooner saw them than they rejoiced, thinking to defeat them as they had done the others, and each party met gallantly. Many valorous acts were done on both sides; but, in the end, the English lost the day, partly from the prisoners whom they had taken at Vivien joining the French. A valiant knight named Arthur was slain, and Mathagon made prisoner, but the bastard of Salisbury" fled. Four hundred, or more, of the English were killed or taken, and the French left masters of the field, very joyful for their vietory. When the English who had remained at the siege of St. Severin heard of the ill success of their companions, they raised the siege, and retreated to the garrisons whence they had come. .
cHAPTER CLXIv.—LA HIRE TREACHERously MAKES THE LORD D'AUFFEMONT A PRISONER.
DURING these tribulations, La Hire, accompanied by Anthony de Chabannes, the bourg de Vignolles his brother, and about two hundred combatants, passed one day near to the castle of Clermont in the Beauvoisis, of which the lord d'Auffemont was governor. He was no way alarmed at their appearance; and, as a mark of his good will, ordered wine to be drawn, and carried without the postern of the great tower, for them to drink. The lord d'Auffemont came also out of the castle, with only three or four of his attendants, to converse with them, and showed great courtesy to La Hire and his companions, not having the smallest distrust of their treacherous intentions, which they very soon made apparent; for during the conversation, La Hire laid hands on him, and forced him to surrender the castle, putting him withal in irons and in confinement. In this state he kept him upwards of a month, insomuch that his limbs were greatly bruised and benumbed, and he was covered with lice and all sorts of vermin.
At length he obtained his liberty, and paid for his ransom fourteen thousand saluts d'or, and a horse of the value of twenty tons of wine, notwithstanding king Charles wrote several times to La Hire to set him at liberty without ransom, for that he was well satisfied with his services, but it was all in vain.
* John, bastaid son of the great earl of Salisbury, to whom in his will he bequeathed fifty marks. See Dugdale.
Chapter CLXV. — THE COMMON PEOPLE OF NORMANDY RISE AGAINST THE ENGLISH GARRISONS.
IN this year the common people in Normandy, especially those in the country of Caux, rebelled against the English. There were upward of two thousand in, one company, who had risen in their own defence, because, contrary to the royal edicts, the English had plundered the poorer ranks. The bailiff and other officers in that country had before advised them (each according to his state) to provide themselves with arms and staves, to enable them to oppose all who should attempt to pillage or oppress them by seizing their effects by force.
Common People of Noamandy. Grouped from contemporary authoritise.
In obedience to these commands, the peasants had risen and driven back many parties of marauders to their garrisons, having killed and taken captive several, to the great displeasure of their captains. They, however, did not let this appear, but concluded a treaty with the peasants, who foolishly began their retreat in a very disorderly manner, not suspecting the malice of the English, who secretly followed them to St. Pierre sur Dive, near to Tancarville, when they attacked them, and slew from a thousand to twelve hundred: the rest saved themselves as well as they could in the woods, and by flight.
Great complaints were made of this conduct at Rouen, and many were banished that had been of this enterprise; but shortly after, it was hushed up, on account of more serious matters that fell out in that country.
CHAPTER CLXVI.-LA HIRE GAINS THE CASTLE OF BRETEUIL, IN BEAUVOISIS, BY STORM.
WHEN La Hire had conquered the castle of Clermont, as has been related, he assembled about five hundred combatants from the garrisons in the Beauvoisis, and marched them to the castle of Breteuil, which was in the possession of Saveuses' men. He made a sharp attack on it, but it was well defended, and several of the assailants were killed. The garrison, however, from the repeated attacks, finding they had lost many men in killed and wounded, and that the fortifications were much damaged, surrendered to La Hire at discretion. He had some of them hanged, and sent the rest prisoners to Clermont, and, having regarrisoned the place, committed numberless mischiefs throughout the adjacent parts in Santerre, and toward Amiens, Corbie, Mondidier, and elsewhere.
CHAPTER CLXVII.-THE DUKES OF BURGUNDY AND OF BOURBON MEET IN THE CITY OF NEVERS, AND AGREE ON TERMS FOR A PEACE.
A MURDERous war having been continued for a long time between the duke of Burgundy and his brother-in-law, the duke of Bourbon, secret negotiations were set on foot, in the hope of pacifying them. They were begun by commissioners from each side meeting in the town of Mâcon, where they remained several days. At the commencement, some difficulties arose respecting the precedency of these two dukes, and which should have the honour of being named first. After some dispute, it was settled that the duke of Burgundy should be first named, and take the precedency of the duke of Bourbon in every instance. When this matter had been determined, they then discussed various proposals for bringing about a peace between them, and appointed another meeting, when the two dukes might have an interview, either at Douzy” or in the city of Nevers, in the ensuing month of January.
This being settled, the commissioners separated, and returned to their respective lords. While these negotiations were passing, the duke of Burgundy celebrated the festivals of Christmas and Twelfth-day, in his town of Dijon, in a most magnificent manner; and when the feasts were over, he departed thence grandly attended by the count de Nevers, the marquis de Rothelin, his nephew of Cleves, with many other knights and esquires of note, and a numerous body of men-at-arms. He journeyed to Douzy, and thence to Nevers, where he was lodged at the bishop's palace, and waited some days for the arrival of the duke of Bourbon and his sister the duchess. At length the duchess came, accompanied by her two sons and a brilliant attendance of knights, esquires, ladies, and damsels. The duke of Burgundy went out of the palace to meet her, and received her with much affection and joy, for he had not seen his sister for a long time, and showed the same love to his nephews, although they were very young. The duchess, on quitting her carriage, was handed by the duke as far as her lodgings, where he took his leave, and left her to repose for the night. On the morrow, the duchess waited on her brother at the palace; she was received most kindly, and partook of a variety of amusements. There was much dancing, and a numerous party of masqueraders on the part of the duke of Burgundy: when wines and spices had been brought, the company retired to their lodgings.
On the next day a council was held, when it was determined that Arthur of Brittany, constable of France, and the archbishop of Rheims, should be sent for. Within a few days, the duke of Bourbon arrived at Nevers, attended by sir Christopher de Harcourtt, the lord de la Fayette, marshal of France, and many other knights and esquires of renown. The duke of Burgundy sent out the lords of his household to meet him; and when he was approaching the duke of Burgundy, without the town, he pressed forward, and the two dukes, on their meeting, showed the greatest respect and brotherly affection to each other. A knight of Burgundy, observing this, said aloud, “We are very foolish to risk our bodies
* Douzy, a small town in Champagne, on the borders ter of the woods and waters in 1431, was third son of of Luxembourg. James de Harcourt, lord of Montgomery. t Christopher de Harcourt, lord of Avrcch, grand mas