Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
[merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][subsumed][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]

76. Bruges. Gate of Ghent. Burgesses
receiving their liege Lord - . 66
77. Harfleur during the Siege - . . 71
78. Conspiracy of the Dauphin and Nobles to
dethrone the King - - . 91
79. Captivity of the Duke of Orleans in the
Tower of London - - . . 99

80. Dieppe.—Relief of the Town . . 128
81. Genoese Ambassadors on their voyage to

Marseilles - - - - . 143
82. Talbot, Earl of Shrewsbury, planting his
banner on the walls of Rouen . . 166

83. Tomb of Agnes Sorel in the Chapel of
the Virgin, Abbey of Jamieges . . 176
84. Castle of Caen.—The Keep . . . 183

85. Defeat of the Ghent men in their attempt
to destroy a Sea-Dyke - - . 205

86. Vow of the Peacock - - . . .252

87. Entry of Philip the Good, Duke of Bur-
gundy, into Ghent - -

256

89. Count Charolois taking leave of his Father,
Philip the Good, Duke of Burgundy .. 315

90. Dinant.—Hanging the Count de Charolois
in effigy - - - - ... 328

Ceremony of fixing a Papal Bull to the
door of a Church - - . . 339

[ocr errors]

88. The Dauphin receiving intelligence of the
death of his Father, Charles VII. . 276

92. Scene in the Streets of Paris - . 360
93. Punishment of the Norman Rioters . . 364
94. Skirmish between the Burgundians and

Liegeois - - - - . 376
95. Duke of Burgundy and Troops battering

the walls of Beauvais - . . 401
96. The Great Bombard of Tours - . 443

97. The Holy Ampulla brought to Louis XI.
at Rheims - - - - . 454

98. Pope Alexander VI. in the presence of
Charles VIII. pronouncing a benedic-
tion - - - - - . 471

, Charles VIII. causing the statues of St.
Denis, St. Rusticus and St. Eleutherus,
to be replaced in their respective niches
in the Cathedral of St. Denis - . 482

100. Funeral Procession of the Duke of

9

9

Nemours to Milan Cathedral . . 506
101. Francis I. and attendant Nobles . 515
102. Battle of Marignano - - . 519

THE LIFE OF MONSTRELET;

with

AN ESSAY ON HIS CHRONICLES,

BY M. DACIER.

MATERIALs for the biography of Monstrelet are still more scanty than for that of Froissart. The most satisfactory account both of his life and of the continuators of his history is contained in the “Mémoires de l'Académie de Belles-Lettres," vol. xliii. p. 535, by M. Dacier:— “We are ignorant of the birthplace of Enguerrand de Monstrelet, and of the period when he was born, as well as of the names of his parents. All we know is, that he sprang from a noble family, which he takes care to tell us himself, in his introduction to the first volume of the Chronicles; and his testimony is confirmed by a variety of original deeds, in which his name is always accompanied with the distinction of ‘noble man,’ or ‘esquire".' “According to the historian of the Cambresis, Monstrelet was descended from a noble family settled in Ponthieu from the beginning of the twelfth century, where one of his ancestors, named Enguerrand, possessed the estate of Monstrelet in the year 1125,-but Carpentier does not name his authority for this. A contemporary historian (Matthieu de Couci, of whom I shall have occasion to speak in the course of this essay), who lived at Peronne, and who seems to have been personally acquainted with Monstrelet, positively asserts that this historian was a native of the county of the Boulonnois, without precisely mentioning the place of his birth. This authority ought to weigh much : besides, Ponthieu and the Boulonnois are so near to each other that a mistake on this point might easily have happened. It results from what these two writers say, that we may fix his birthplace in Picardy. “M. l'abbé Carlier, however, in his ‘History of the Duchy of Valois, claims this honour for his province, wherein he has discovered an ancient family of the same name, a branch of which, he pretends, settled in the Cambresis, and he believes that from this branch sprung Enguerrand de Monstrelet. This opinion is advanced without proof, and the work of Monstrelet itself is sufficient to destroy it. He shows so great an affection for Picardy, in divers parts of his Chronicle, that we cannot doubt of his being strongly attached to it: he is better acquainted with it than with any other parts of the realm : he enters into the fullest details concerning it : he frequently gives the names of such Picard gentlemen, whether knights or esquires, as had been engaged in any battle, which he omits to do in regard to the nobility of other countries, in the latter case naming only the chief commanders. It is almost always from the bailiff of Amiens that he reports the royal edicts, letters missive, and ordinances, &c., which abound in the two first volumes. In short, he speaks of the Picards with so much interest, and relates their gallant actions with such pleasure, that it clearly appears that he treats them like countrymen. “Monstrelet was a nobleman then, and a nobleman of Picardy; but we have good reason to suspect that his birth was not spotless. John le Robert, abbot of St. Aubert in Cambray from the year 1432 to that of 1469, and author of an exact journal of everything that passed during his time in the town of Cambray and its environs, under the title of ‘Mémoriaux", says plainly, “qu'il fut de bas,'—which term, according to the glossary of Du Cange, and in the opinion of learned genealogists, constantly means a natural son; for at this period bastards were acknowledged according to the rank of their fathers. Monstrelet, therefore, was not the less noble; and the same John le Robert qualifies him, two lines higher, with the titles of ‘noble man’ and ‘esquire, to which he adds a eulogium, which I shall hereafter mention ;—because, at the same time that it does honour to Monstrelet, it confirms the opinion I had formed of his character when attentively reading his work. “My researches to discover the precise year of his birth have been fruitless. I believe, however, it may be safely placed prior to the close of the fourteenth century; for, besides speaking of events at the beginning of the fifteenth as having happened in his time, he states positively, in his Introduction, that he had been told of the early events in his book (namely, from the year 1400), by persons worthy of credit, who had been eye-witnesses of them. To this proof, or to this deduction, I shall add, that under the year 1415, he says, that he heard (at the time) of the anger of the count de Charolois, afterwards Philippe le bon, duke of Burgundy, because his governors would not permit him to take part in the battle of Azincourt. I shall also add, that under the year 1420, he speaks of the homage which John duke of Burgundy paid the king of the Romans for the counties of Burgundy and of Alost. It cannot be supposed that he would have inquired into such particulars, or that any one would have taken the trouble to inform him of them if he had not been of a certain age, such as twenty or twenty-five years old, which would fix the date of his birth about 1390 or 1395. “No particulars of his early years are known, except that he evinced, when young, a love for application, and a dislike to indolence. The quotations from Sallust, Livy, Vegetius, and other ancient authors, that occur in his Chronicles, show that he must have made some progress in Latin literature. Whether his love for study was superior to his desire of military glory, or whether a weakly constitution, or some other reason, prevented him from following the profession of arms, I do not find that he yielded to the reigning passion of his age, when the names of gentleman and of soldier were almost synonymous. “The wish to avoid indolence by collecting the events of his time, which he testifies in the introduction to his Chronicles, proves, I think, that he was but a tranquil spectator of them. Had he been an Armagnac or a Burgundian, he would not have had occasion to seek for solitary occupations; but what proves more strongly that Monstrelet was not of either faction is the care he takes to inform his readers of the rank, quality, and often of the names of the persons from whose report he writes, without ever boasting of his own testimony. In his whole work he speaks but once from his own knowledge, when he relates the manner in which the Pucelle d'Orléans was made prisoner before Compiègne ; but he does not say, that he was present at the skirmish when this unfortunate heroine was taken: he gives us to understand the contrary, and that he was only present at the conversation of the prisoner with the duke of Burgundy, for he had accompanied Philip on this expedition, perhaps in quality of historian. And why may not we presume that he may have done so on other occasions, to be nearer at hand to collect the real state of facts which he intended to relate 2 “However this may be, it is certain that he was resident in Cambray when he composed his history, and passed there the remainder of his life. He was indeed fixed there, as I shall hereafter state, by different important employments, each of which required the residence of him who enjoyed them. From his living in Cambray, La Croix du Maine has concluded, without further examination, that he was born there; and this mistake has been copied by other writers. “Monstrelet was married to Jeanne de Valbuon, or Walhuon, and had several children by her, although only two of them were known, a daughter called Bona, married to Martin de Beulaincourt, a gentleman of that country, surnamed the Bold, and a son of the name of Pierre. It is probable that Bona was married, or of age, prior to the year 1438; for in the register of the officiality of Cambray, towards the end of that year, is an entry, that Enguerrand de Monstrelet was appointed guardian to his young son Pierre, without any mention of his daughter Bona. It follows, therefore, that Monstrelet was a widower at that period. “In the year 1436, Monstrelet was nominated to the office of Lieutenant du Gavénier of the Cambresis, conjointly with Le Bon de Saveuses, master of the horse to the duke of Burgundy, as appears from the letters patent to this effect, addressed by the duke to his nephew the count d'Estampes, of the date of the 13th May in this year, and which are preserved in the chartulary of the church of Cambray. “It is even supposed that Monstrelet had for some time enjoyed this office; for it is therein declared, that he shall continue in the receipt of the Gavene, as he has heretofore done, until this present time. “Gave, or “Gavene’ (I speak from the papers I have just quoted), signifies in Flemish, a gift or a present. It was an annual due payable to the duke of Burgundy, by the subjects of the churches in the Cambresis, for his protection of them as earl of Flanders. From the name of the tribute was formed that of Gavénier, which was often given to the duke of Burgundy, and the nobleman he appointed his deputy was styled Lieutenant du Gavénier. I have said “the nobleman whom he appointed,’ because in the list of those lieutenants, which the historian of Cambray has published, there is not one who has not shown sufficient proofs of nobility. Such was, therefore, the employment with which Monstrelet was invested; and shortly after, another office was added to it, that of bailiff to the chapter of Cambray, for which he took the oaths on the 20th of June, 1436, and entered that day on its duties. He kept this place until the beginning of January, in the year 1440, when another was appointed. “I have mentioned Pierre de Monstrelet, his son; and it is probable that he is the person who was a made a knight of St. John of Jerusalem in the month of July, in 1444, although the acts of the chapter of Cambray do not confirm this opinion, nor specify the Christian name of the new knight by that of Pierre. It is only declared in the register, that the canons, as an especial favour, on the 6th of July, permitted Enguerrand de Monstrelet, esquire, to have his son invested with the order of St. John of Jerusalem, on Sunday the 19th of the same month, in the choir of their church. “The respect and consideration which he had now acquired, gained him the dignity of governor of Cambray, for which he took the usual oath on the 9th of November; and on the 12th of March, in the following year, he was nominated bailiff of Wallaincourt. He retained both of these places until his death, which happened about the middle of July, in the year 1453. This date cannot be disputed: it was discovered in the seventeenth century by John le Carpentier, who has inserted it in his ‘History of the Cambresis.' But in consequence of little attention being paid to this work, or because the common opinion has been blindly followed, that Monstrelet had continued his history to the death of the duke of Burgundy in 1467, this date was not considered as true until the publication of an extract from the register of the Cordeliers in Cambray, where he was buried *. Although this extract fully establishes the year and month when Monstrelet died, I shall insert here what relates to it from the “Mémoriaux' of John le Robert, before mentioned, because they contain some circumstances that are not to be found in the register of the Cordeliers. When several years of his history are to be retrenched from an historian of such credit, authorities for so doing cannot be too much multiplied. This is the text of the abbot of St. Aubert, and I have put in italics the words that are not in the register:— “‘The 20th day of July, in the year 1453, that honourable and noble man Enguerrand de Monstrelet, esquire, governor of Cambray, and bailiff of Wallaincourt, departed this life, and was buried at the Cordeliers of Cambray, according to his desire. He was carried thither on a bier covered with a mat, clothed in the frock of a Cordelier friar, his face uncovered : six flambeaux and three chirons, each weighing three-quarters of a pound, were around the bier, whereon was a sheet thrown over the Cordelier frock. Il fut mez de bas, and was a very honourable and peaceable man. He chronicled the wars which took place in his time in France, Artois, Picardy, England, Flanders, and those of the Gantois against their lord duke Philip. He died fifteen or sixteen days before peace was concluded, which took place toward the end of July, in the year 1453." “I shall observe, by the way, that the person who drew up this register assigns two different dates for the death of Monstrelet, and in this he has been followed by John le Robert. Both of them say, that Monstrelet died on the 20th of July; and, a few lines farther, add, that he died about sixteen days before peace was concluded between duke Philip and Ghent, which was signed about the end of the month: it was, in fact, concluded on the 31st. Now, from twenty to thirty-one, we can only reckon eleven days; and I therefore think, that one of these dates must mean the day of his death, and the other that of his funeral;—namely, that Monstrelet died on the 15th and was buried on the 20th. The precise date of his death is, however, of little importance: it is enough for us to be assured that it took place in the month of July, in 1453, and consequently that the thirteen last years of his history, printed under his name, cannot have been written by him. I shall examine this first continuation of his history, and endeavour to ascertain the time when Monstrelet ceased to write;—and likewise attempt to discover whether, during the years

* These deeds, and the greater part of others quoted M. Mutte, dean of Cambray, to M. de Foncemagne, who in these memoirs, are preserved in the Chartulary of lent them to M. Dacier. Cambray. Extracts from them were communicated by

* They are preserved in MS. by the regular canons of St. Aubert in Cambray.

immediately preceding his death, some things have not been inserted that do not belong to him.

* “This cztract was published by M. Villaret in the xiith vol. of his ‘Histoire de France, cdition in 12mo, p. 119."

« ZurückWeiter »