« ZurückWeiter »
over the low countries, which were very much oppressed by them on their going and returning. The duke of Bedford received intelligence on the march, that his brother the king was so ill that his life was despaired of: on which the duke, and some of the most faithful of the king's household, quitted the army, and hastened to the castle of Vincennes, where they found him worse than had been told them. The duke of Burgundy hearing this, despatched sir Hugh de Lannoy to visit him, and inquire into the state of his health. King Henry finding himself mortally ill, called to him his brother the duke of Bedford, his uncle of Exeter, the earl of Warwick, sir Louis de Robesart, and others, to the number of six or eight of those in whom he had the greatest confidence, and said, that he saw with grief it was the pleasure of his Creator that he should quit this world. He then addressed the duke of Bedford.—“John, my good brother, I beseech you, on the loyalty and love you have ever expressed for me, that you show the same loyalty and affection to my son Henry, your nephew; and that, so long as you shall live, you do not suffer him to conclude any treaty with our adversary Charles, and that on no account whatever the duchy of Normandy be wholly restored to him. Should our good brother of Burgundy be desirous of the regency of the kingdom of France, I would advise that you let him have it; but should he refuse, then take it yourself. My good uncle of Exeter, I nominate you sole regent of the kingdom of England, for that you well know how to govern it; and I entreat that you do not, on any pretence whatever, return to France; and I likewise nominate you as guardian to my son; and I insist, on your love to me, that you do very often personally visit and see him. My dear cousin of Warwick, I will that you be his governor, and that you teach him all things becoming his rank, for I cannot provide a fitter person for the purpose. “I entreat you as earnestly as I can, that you avoid all quarrels and dissentions with our fair brother of Burgundy; and this I particularly recommend to the consideration of my fair brother Humphrey, for should any coolness subsist between you, which God forbid, the affairs of this realm, which are now in a very promising state, would soon be ruined. You will be careful not to set at liberty our cousin of Orleans, the count d'Eu, the lord de Gaucourt and sir Guichart de Sisay, until our dear son shall be of a proper age; and in all other things you will act as you shall judge for the best.” The king having said these words and some others, the lords replied, with grief and respect, that all he had ordered, and whatever they should think would be agreeable to him, they would execute to the utmost of their power, without altering any one thing. They were greatly affected at seeing the melancholy state he was in ; and some of them left the apartment. Sir Hugh de Lannoy having accomplished the business he had been sent on by the duke of Burgundy, and having had some conversation with the king, returned to the duke. The king then sent for his physicians, and earnestly demanded of them how long they thought he had to live. They delayed answering the question directly; but, not to discourage hope, they said that it depended solely on the will of God whether he would be restored to health. He was dissatisfied with this answer, and repeated his request, begging of them to tell him the truth. Upon this they consulted together, and one of them, as spokesman, falling on his knees, said, “Sire, you must think on your soul; for, unless it be the will of God to decree otherwise, it is impossible that you should live more than two hours.” The king, hearing this, sent for his confessor, some of his household, and his chaplains, whom he ordered to chant the seven penitential psalms. When they came to “Benigne fac, Domine,” where mention is made “muri Hierusalem,” he stopped them, and said aloud, that he had fully intended, after he had wholly subdued the realm of France to his obedience, and restored it to peace, to have gone to conquer the kingdom of Jerusalem, if it had pleased his Creator to have granted him longer life. Having said this, he allowed the priests to proceed, and, shortly after, according to the prediction of his physicians, gave up the ghost the last day of August. The duke of Bedford, the other princes, and in general all the English, made loud lamentations for his death, and were truly sorry for it. Shortly after, his bowels were buried in the church of the monastery of Saint Maur des Fosses, and his body embalmed and put into a leaden coffin. During this time, the duke of Burgundy came from BrayeComte-Robert to Vincennes, to visit the duke of Bedford and the other princes; and having had a short conference with them went to Paris, where he was lodged in his hotel of Artois. The body of king Henry was carried in great funeral pomp, attended by the English princes, his household, and a multitude of other people, to the church of Notre-Dame, in Paris, where a solemn service was performed; after which it was conveyed to Rouen in the same state, where it remained a considerable time. In the mean time the princes, namely, the duke of Bedford, the duke of Burgundy, and the duke of Exeter, with other great lords, assembled in council at Paris, to deliberate on the future government of France, when it was resolved, that what had been formerly agreed to and settled between the two kings at Troyes in Champagne, for the establishment of peace, should be the ground-work of the future government. It was now publicly known, that the disorder king Henry died of was a heat in his fundament, very similar to what is called the disorder of St. Anthony”. After the princes had agreed on the future government of the kingdom, the duke of Burgundy quitted Paris, and returned with his Picards to Artois and Flanders; and the duke of Bedford, with the English lords, to Rouen, to regulate the affairs of that duchy. The queen of England was conducted to Rouen in great state; for she had been kept in ignorance how dangerously ill the king was, and knew not of his death until some time after it had happened. The royal coffin was placed within a car, drawn by four large horses, having on its top a representation of the deceased monarch, of boiled leather, elegantly painted, with a rich crown of gold on the head: in his right hand a sceptre, in his left a golden ball, with his face looking to the heavens. Over the bed on which this representation lay was a coverlid of vermilion silk interwoven with beaten gold. When it passed through any towns, a canopy of silk (like to what is carried over the host on Corpus Christi day) was borne over it. In this state, and attended by his princes and the knights of his household, did the funeral proceed from Rouen straight to Abbeville, where the body was placed in the church of St. Ulfran, with rows of priests on each side of the coffin, who day and night incessantly chanted requiems. Masses were daily said for his soul in the churches of all the towns through which the funeral passed, from break of day until noon. From Abbeville the procession proceeded to Hesdin, and thence to Montrieul, Boulogne, and Calais. During the whole way there were persons on either side the car, dressed in white, carrying lighted torches: behind it were his household clothed in black, and after them his relatives in tears, and dressed in mourning. At about a league distance followed the queen, with a numerous attendance. From Calais they embarked for Dover, and, passing through Canterbury and Rochester, arrived at London on Martinmas-day. When the funeral approached London, fifteen bishops dressed in pontificalibus, several mitred abbots and churchmen, with a multitude of persons of all ranks, came out to meet it. The churchmen chanted the service for the dead as it passed over London-bridge, through Lombard Street to St. Paul's cathedral. Near the car were the relations of the late king uttering loud lamentations. On the collar of the first horse that drew the car were emblazoned the ancient arms of England: on that of the second, the arms of France and England quartered, the same as he bore during his lifetime: on that of the third, the arms of France simply. On that of the fourth horse were painted the arms of the noble king Arthur, whom no one could conquer: there were three crowns or, on a shield azure. When the funeral service had been royally performed in the cathedral, the body was carried to be interred at Westminster abbey with the kings his ancestors. At this funeral, and in regard to everything concerning it, greater pomp and expense were made than had been done for two hundred years at the interment of any king of England; and even now, as much honour and reverence is daily paid to his tomb, as if it were certain he was a saint in paradise. Thus ended the life of king Henry in the flower of his age, for when he died he was but * The parliamentary history says that he died of a dysentery
forty years old *. He was very wise and able in every business he undertook, and of a determined character. During the seven or eight years he ruled in France, he made greater conquests than any of his predecessors had ever done. It is true, he was so feared by his princes and captains that none dared to disobey his orders, however nearly related to him, more especially his English subjects. In this state of obedience were his subjects of France and England in general; and the principal cause was, that if any person transgressed his ordinances he had him instantly punished without favour or mercy. When this ceremony was over, the three estates of England assembled to consider the present state of the realm, when they unanimously elected the young son of their departed monarch king, although he was but sixteen months old, and submitted themselves to his will notwithstanding his youth. They instantly granted him a royal establishment, and agreed that he should be under the governance of the earl of Warwick. While these things were passing, a noble knight of Picardy used a joking expression to his herald respecting king Henry, which was afterward often repeated. Sir Sarrasin d’Arly, uncle to the vidame of Amiens, who might be about sixty years of age, resided in the castle of Achere, which he had had with his wife, sister to the lord d'Offemont, near to Pas in Artois. He was laid up with the gout, but very eager in his inquiries after news of what was going on. One day his poursuivant, named Haurenas, of the same age as himself, and who had long served him, returned from making the usual inquiries; and on sir Sarrasin questioning him, and asking him if he had heard any particulars of the death of the king of England, be said that he had, and had even seen his corpse at Abbeville, in the church of St. Ulfran, and then related how he was attired, nearly as has been before described. The knight then asked him, on his faith, if he had diligently observed him. On his answering that he had, —“Now, on thy oath, tell me,” added sir Sarrasin, “if he had his boots on.” “No, my lord, by my faith, he had not.” The knight then cried out, “Haurenas, my good friend, never believe me if he has not left them in France " This expression set the company a laughing, and then they talked of other matters.
CHAPTER CCLXV.—THE DUCHESS OF BURGUNDY DIES IN THE TOWN OF GEIENT.-TIIE DUKE OF BEDFORD IS MADE REGENT OF FRANCE.-SEVERAL FORTS ARE DEMOLISHED.
DURING the absence of the duke of Burgundy, and while he was making his preparations for the expected battle of Cône, his duchess, daughter to the king of France and sister to the dauphin, fell ill at Ghent, and died there. All her attendants, and indeed the whole of the inhabitants of Ghent and Flanders, were much grieved at her death, for she was greatly beloved by all who knew her, and adored by the subjects of her lord, duke Philip, and not without reason, for she was of high extraction, and adorned with every good qualification, as it was reported by those who, from their situations, must have been perfectly acquainted with her. Her body was solemnly interred in the church of the monastery of Saint Bavon, near to Ghent.
It was, however, commonly reported and believed in Ghent, that her death had been hastened; and one of her ladies, called Ourse, wife to Coppin de la Viefville, born in Germany, was suspected of having done it. She had been the great confidante of the duchess, who had intrusted her signet to her, but, during her illness, had dismissed her from her service; and she had retired to the town of Aire. The municipality of Ghent sent six score men thither to arrest and bring her back; but, on their arrival at Aire, they were met by sir Gauvain de la Viefville, and some other gentlemen of name, friends to her husband, who promised to deliver her up to the duke of Burgundy, for him to deal with her as he pleased. On receiving a solemn promise to this purpose, the Ghent men returned to their town; but the municipality were very angry that their orders had not been obeyed, and confined several of them prisoners. They were also much displeased with the mayor, sheriffs, and jurats, for not having delivered up the said Ourse, according to their mandate.
* The authors of “L’Art de Verifier les Dates" say, he was but thirty-six years old when he died. According to Hume, he dicd in the thirty-fourth year of his age.
Notwithstanding the lord de Roubaix had never quitted the duke since he first set out for Burgundy, the Ghent men banished him their town and Flanders, believing him to be concerned in the above business. When the duke returned he restored to him his lands, and soon after made his peace with those of Ghent, for he had not the least suspicion of the lord de Roubaix, knowing that he had never left his company. Thus ended this affair, and nothing more was done in it, nor were any further inquiries made.
By authority from the kings of France and of England and their grand council, the duke of Bedford was appointed regent of France, in consequence of the duke of Burgundy not wishing to undertake that office. A little prior to this, the following castles had been razed to the ground by royal command, namely, the castle of Muyn, Cressensac, Mortemer, Tilloy, Araines, Hericourt, Louvroy, and others, to the great vexation of their owners, but they could not any way prevent its being done.
cuAPTER colxvi.-CHARLEs v1. KING OF FRANCE DIES IN HIS Hotel of SAINT Pol, AND IS INTERRED AT SAINT DENIS WITH HIS ANCESTORS.
In these days Charles king of France was confined to his bed by illness, and on the 22d day of October, the feast of the eleven thousand virgins, he departed this life at his hotel of St. Pol. Only his chancellor, his first chamberlain, his confessor, almoner, and a very few of his household, were present at his decease. Shortly after his death was made public, the lords of his council, the members of his parliament, the chamber of accounts, the university of Paris, many of the colleges, the sheriffs, burghers, and multitudes of the common people, went to see him as he lay on his bed. His attendants placed the body in a leaden coffin, when it was very reverently borne by knights and esquires to the chapel within his hotel, where it remained for twenty whole days, until the duke of Bedford were returned to Paris from Normandy in the following month of November. During these twenty days, masses were daily celebrated in the king's chapel in the same manner as in his lifetime, by the priests attached to it, after which the service for the dead was celebrated. The four orders of mendicant friars, and the canons from the different colleges, daily performed alternate services. The university caused one grand one to be celebrated, as did the college of the Quatre Nations, and in general this was done by all the parishes in Paris. - On the 10th of November the king's body was carried from his hotel of St. Pol to the cathedral of Notre Dame, in grand procession, preceded by the members of the different churches dressed in their robes, each according to his rank. The prelates were on the right hand, namely, the bishops of Paris, of Chartres, of Terouenne,—the abbots of St. Magloire, of St. Germain des Prés, of St. Maur, and of St. Genevieve. On the left hand were the heads of the universities and doctors, equally near as the prelates to the body, which was borne by the king's foresters, and by those of his stable. Then followed the maitres d'hôtel and the esquires of the stable. On the left of the body were the provosts of Paris and of the merchants, having sergeants-at-arms between them, and near to the body was the king's first valet de chambre. The members of the court of parliament bore the pall, at the head of which was the king's first chamberlain, and the others in succession. After them came the king's pages, and then at a little distance, the duke of Bedford as regent of the kingdom. None of the princes of the royal blood of France attended the funeral, which was a melancholy consideration, when it was remembered what great power and prosperity the king had enjoyed during the early part of his reign. Then came, after the duke of Bedford, the chancellor of France, the masters of requests, the members of the chamber of accounts, secretaries, notaries, burghers, and a great multitude of the commonalty of Paris. The body was placed on a handsome litter, over which was a canopy of cloth of gold on a ground of vermilion and azure, besprinkled with flowers de luce. Over the coffin was an image of the late king, bearing a rich crown of gold and diamonds, and holding two shields, one of gold, the other of silver; the hands had white gloves on, and the fingers were adorned with very precious rings. This image was dressed with cloth of gold on a vermilion ground, with close sleeves, and a mantle of the same lined with ermine; the stockings were black, and the shoes of blue velvet besprinkled with flowers de luce. In this state was he solemnly carried to the church of Notre Dame, where a mass for the defunct was chanted by the patriarch of Constantinople. When the service was finished the procession moved to St. Denis. The body was borne by the attendants of his stable as far as a cross, half-way etween Paris and St. Denis, when the measurers and carriers of salt in Paris took it from them, having each a flower de luce on his breast. They carried the body to a cross near St. Denis, where the abbot, attended by his monks and all the clergy of the town, with great multitudes of people bearing lighted torches, received it. Thence with chanting and singing, recommending his soul to God, was it carried to the church of St. Denis. During this whole time, neither the duke of Bedford nor any of those before mentioned quitted the body. On the body being placed in the church, another service was celebrated by the patriarch of Constantinople, but a night intervened between the two services. No one but the duke of Bedford went to the offering. There were full twenty thousand pounds of wax expended at these two services, and sixteen thousand persons attended the almsgiving, when three blancs of royal money were given to each. When the last service had been performed in the church of Saint Denis, and the king's body laid in the sepulchre of his forefathers, the patriarch gave his benediction in the usual manner, on which the late king's ushers-at-arms broke their staves and threw them into the grave, and turned their maces downward. Then Berry, king-at-arms, attended by many heralds and poursuivants, cried over the grave, “May God show mercy and pity to the soul of the late most puissant and most excellent Charles VI. king of France, our natural and sovereign lord ' " Immediately after Berry cried, “May God grant long life to Henry by the grace of God king of France and of England, our sovereign lord!" which cry he again repeated. After this, the sergeants-at-arms and ushers returned their maces and shouted together, “Long live the king! long live the king!” When the ceremony was over, the lords returned to Paris, which had been placed under the guard of sir Guy le Bouteiller and the bastard de Thian, with a very large body of menat-arms. They had also under their command different detachments in the environs, with able captains, to prevent any surprise or attempts of the Dauphinois. The duke of Bedford was now regent and sole governor of the realm, in the name of his nephew the young king Henry, in so far as to those parts under his obedience. Thus ended the life of the most noble king Charles, in the 43rd year of his reign, during great part of which the kingdom was sorely troubled and ruined by the continual quarrels of the princes of his blood with each other. May God through his infinite goodness have mercy on and receive his soul!