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Bourbon, and hastened to the countries of the Soissonnois and Valois, to the territory of Coucy, which belonged to his brother, and there placed a good garrison. True it is, that when the duke of Burgundy heard this, he was much troubled, and, as speedily as he could, ordered his men-at-arms to meet him at Château-Cambresis the last day but one of April. But when these transactions came to the knowledge of the king and council, he sent able ambassadors to each of these dukes, to forbid them, under pain of having all their lands confiscated, and being declared enemies to their king and country, to attempt any expeditions against each other; and commanded them instantly to disband their forces. For this time, they very humbly obeyed his orders, and deferred proceeding further for a considerable space.
CHAPTER LXIX. —THE DUKE OF ORLEANS SENDS AMBASSADORS TO THE KING OF FRANCE, WITH LETTERS OF ACCUSATION AGAINST THE DUKE OF BURGUNDY AND THOSE OF HIS pArt Y. [A. D. 1411.] At the commencement of this year, the duke of Orleans was displeased that those ministers who had been nominated by the duke of Burgundy had greater influence than any of the others, and that they daily deprived such as had been attached to the late duke of Orleans, and were now his friends, of their offices. In consequence, he sent ambassadors to the king to complain of this conduct, and to require that the murderers of his father should be punished conformably to the articles of the treaty, but who were now residents within the kingdom. To these ambassadors promises were made, on the part of the king, that proper remedies should be applied to give them satisfaction. On their departure, the king sent to his uncle, the duke of Berry, at Bourges, to require that he would interfere between his two nephews of Orleans and Burgundy, and make peace between them, which he engaged to do; and in consequence he sent his chancellor, the archbishop of Bourges, to Paris, well instructed by the duke how he was to act. Shortly after, this chancellor, the marshal Boucicaut, with others, were despatched to the duke of Burgundy, then at St. Omer, who, having heard all they had to say, replied, that it was no fault of his, nor should it ever be so, that any articles of the late treaties were infringed; for that in this, and in everything else, he was very desirous of obeying the king. And this his answer they laid before the king and council. But as the proceedings against the murderers of the late duke of Orleans did not seem to his son, and his advisers, to be carried on with sufficient vigour, he wrote letters, signed with his own hand, to complain of this and other matters to the king, the contents of which were as follows: “Most redoubted lord, after offering my humble recommendation,-lately, very redoubted lord, two of your counsellors came to me, namely, sir Collart de Charleville, knight, and sir Simon de Nanterre, president of your parliament, whom you had been pleased to send me to signify and explain your good will and pleasure touching certain points, which they have clearly and distinctly declared, according to the terms of their commission.—First, they require and entreat of me, in your name, who may command me as your loyal subject and humble servant, that I should submit the quarrel that subsists between me and the duke of Burgundy, for the inhuman and cruel murder of my very redoubted lord and father, and your own brother, on whose soul may God have mercy! to my lady the queen, and to my lord and uncle the duke of Berry, who has been in like manner solicited by your ambassadors to labour diligently to establish a firm peace, for the general good of the kingdom. They have informed me, that you have also made a similar proposal to the duke of Burgundy, —and that, to effectuate so desirable an object as peace, I should send four of my friends to my said uncle of Berry, who will there meet the same number from the duke of Burgundy. —The second point mentioned by them is, that you entreat I would desist trom assembling men-at-arms.-Thirdly, that I would accept of letters from you similar to those which had been formerly sent me at my request, respecting the murderers, and their accomplices, of my late father and your brother. “Having very maturely weighed and considered the above points, I reply, that I most humbly thank you, very redoubted lord, for your grace and kindness in thus sending to me; and I can assure you, that I have no greater pleasure than in hearing often from you, and of your noble state ; that I was, and am always ready to serve and obey you in body and fortune, to the utmost extent of my own and my subjects' abilities. But as the matters which they have mentioned to me in your name are of very high consideration and importance, concerning yourself and your noble state, and as I shall ever be most anxious to show my ready obedience to your will, I am unable at the moment to make them any reply, excepting that I would send you an answer as speedily as I could. This I have hitherto deferred, for I know you have near your person, and in your council, several of my bitter enemies, whom you ought to regard as yours also, and to whom I am unwilling that my answer, or my future intentions, should be made known : neither is it right they should be made acquainted with what concerns me, or have the opportunity of giving their opinions in council, or elsewhere, relative thereto. “I therefore assure you, most redoubted lord, in the fullest manner, that I am your humble son and nephew, ready at all times to obey you as my sovereign lord, and most heartily anxious to honour and exalt to the utmost of my power your crown and dignity, as well as that of the queen, the duke of Aquitaine, and all your other children and kingdom, and to advise you most loyally and faithfully, without ever concealing anything from you that may tend to the glory of your crown, or to the welfare of your realm. I have some time hesitated to denounce to you such of my enemies, and yours also, as are in your council and service, namely, the bishop of Tournay, the vidame d'Amiens, John de Neelles", the lord de Heilly, Charles de Savoisy, Anthony des Essars, John de Courcelles, Peter de Fontenay and Maurice de Railly, who, by force or underhand means, are capable of doing me great mischief, insomuch that they have dismissed certain very able men from their offices, who were your trusty servants, and have done them very great and irreparable damages: they are guilty also of insinuating very many falsehoods, to keep myself and others, your relations and faithful servants, at a distance from you, by which, and other means equally dishonourable and iniquitous, long followed by them and their adherents, have they troubled the peace of the kingdom: nor is it very probable that so long as such persons shall remain in power, and in your service, any firm or lasting peace can be established ; for they will always prevent you from doing justice to myself or to others, which ought indifferently to be done to all,—to the poor as well as to the rich. This conduct they pursue, because they know themselves guilty of many crimes, and especially John de Neelles and the lord de Heilly, who were accomplices in the murder of my late honoured father, and your only brother, under the protection of the duke of Burgundy, the principal in this crime. They are his sworn servants and pensioners, or allies to the said duke, whence they may be reputed actors and accomplices in this base and cowardly assassination. These accomplices, most redoubted lord, appear daily in your presence, and you ought to consider their crimes in the same light as if done personally against you, for indeed your authority was set at nought. “That I may now say all that I know, I am satisfied, that had not the course of your justice been checked by the aforesaid persons and their accomplices, ample justice would have been done for the death of my lord and father, and your brother, with the aid of your officers and loyal subjects, as I know for certain that they were well inclined to it. For this I am very thankful ; and I most earnestly pray you, for your own honour, for that of the queen and of the duke of Aquitaine, as well as for the honour of your kingdom, that you would do good and fair justice, by causing these guilty persons to be arrested and punished, since they are equally your enemies as mine,—and that you would not longer admit to your presence and councils the partisans of the duke of Burgundy, but select in their places good, loyal, and able men, such as may be found in abundance in your kingdom. “When these things shall be done, I will then, under God's pleasure, send you such answer, that you may clearly know my inmost thoughts, and which shall prove satisfactory to God, to yourself, and to the world. For the love of God. I pray you, my most redoubted * Q. De Nesle? killed at Azincourt. His two sons, John III. and Guy
Guy III. de Nesle, lord of Offemont and Mello, was IV., followed him in succession. He had a third son, who grand-master of the household to queen Isabella, and was died with him at Azincourt.
lord, do not neglect doing this; otherwise I see plainly, that whatever supplications or requests I make to you will never be attended to, although they be conformable to reason and justice, and that you will be prevented from acting in the manner you have proposed, through your ambassadors to me, nor shall I be able to do what they have required from me on your part. Therefore, my most redoubted lord, I beg you will not disappoint me; for what I have required is but just and reasonable, as will be apparent to any one. My very dear lord, may it please you to order me according to your good pleasure, and, with the will of God, I will obey you faithfully in all things.” When the duke of Orleans had sent this letter to the king, he wrote others of the like tenor to the chancellor of France, and to such of the ministers as he knew were favourable to him, to entreat that they would earnestly exert themselves in pressing the king, queen, and duke of Aquitaine, to dismiss those of the council who governed under the name of the duke of Burgundy, and whose names have been already noticed,—and that he might obtain justice on the murderers of his late father. Notwithstanding the many attempts he made by repeated letters to the king and to others, he could not at that time, through the interposition before mentioned, obtain any answer which was satisfactory.
CHAPTER Lxx.—THE DEATH OF THE DUKE OF BAR.—THE KING OF FRANCE SENDS AN EMBAssy to THE DUKE of BURGUNDY,-AND OTHER MAtters.
In this year died that valiant and wise man Henry duke of Bar, and was succeeded by his eldest son Edward, marquis du Pont, in the duchy of Bar and castlewick of Cassel, excepting a part which he had bequeathed as an inheritance, after his decease, to Robert de Bar, son to the deceased Henry de Bar, his eldest son, and to the lady de Coucy, namely, Warneston, Bourbourg, Dunkirk, and Rhodes". In consequence of his death, Edward was styled duke of Bar, and began his reign prosperously.
At this period, the king of France sent ambassadors to the duke of Burgundy, who, beside what they delivered to him in speech, gave him the letters which the duke of Orleans had written to the king, containing his charges against him and his accomplices. He was much displeased at this conduct, and made reply by these ambassadors, that the charges brought against him by the duke of Orleans were untrue. When he had received the ambassadors with every honour, he took leave of them, and went to his county of Flanders; and they returned to Paris without any satisfactory answer to the matters concerning which they had been sent. It was not long before the duke of Burgundy raised a large body of men-at-arms, whom he sent into the Cambresis, and toward St. Quentin; but immediately after, by orders from the king and council, he dismissed them to the places whence they had come.
On the 15th day of July, master John Petit, doctor of divinity, whom the duke of Orleans had intended to prosecute, before the university of Paris, for heresy, died in the town of Hesdin, in the hôtel of the hospital which the duke of Burgundy had given him, beside large pensions, and was buried in the church of the Friars Minors in the town of Hesdin. At this time, a tax was laid on the clergy of France and of Dauphiny, of half a tenth, by the pope, with the consent of the king, the princes, and the university of Paris, and the greater part of the prelates and cities, to be paid by two instalments; the first on Magdalen day, and the second at Whitsuntide following. It was so rigorously collected that the poorer clergy complained bitterly.
* Monstrelet apparently mistakes. According to Moreri, Robert duke of Bar died this year, leaving issue by his wife Mary (daughter to John king of France),
1. Henry lord d'Ossy, who died in Hungary, 1396, leaving by his wife Mary de Coucy, countess of Soissons, one son, Robert count of Marle and Soissons, killed at Azincourt.
2. Philip, died in Hungary, 1396.
3. Edward III. marquis du Pont, and duke of Bar after his father's death.
4. Louis cardinal of Bar.
5. Charles lord of Nogent.
6. John lord of Puisaye. (Both Edward and John were killed at Azincourt.)
7. Yoland, queen of Arragon. 8. Mary, countess of Namur. 9. Bona, countess of St. Pol. One striking peculiarity is discernible in this table, vii. the preference shown in the succession to Edward the third son, over Robert, son of the eldest son of the deceased duke : but this was according to the law of many feu tenures, which took no notice of our universally-established doctrine of representation in descents. The same law prevailed in Artois, and was the ground of that fam” decision by which Robert d’Artois was ejected in the mid. dle of the fourteenth century, and in consequence of whic he retired in disgust to the court of our Edward III., who asserted the justice of his pretensions.
During this transaction, and while the duke of Burgundy was resident in his town of Bruges, on Saturday the 10th of July, sir Amé de Sarrebrusse, sir Clugnet de Brabant, and other captains of the duke of Orleans, came, with a numerous body of men-at-arms, before Coucy, in the Vermandois, and Ham-sur-Somme. News of this was soon carried to the duke of Burgundy, who, suspecting they intended to invade and make war on his territories, gave commissions to several of his captains, namely, the lord de Heilly, Enguerrand de Bournouville, the lord de Ront, and some others, to march a body of men-at-arms towards Bapaume and Ham, to oppose the Armagnacs, should they attempt to penetrate further into the country.
During this time, the duke of Orleans and his brothers continued their solicitations for justice, and again sent letters to the king, princes, cities, and prelates, to engage them to unite with them in obtaining the object of their petitions. The tenor of the letter they wrote to the king is as follows:
CHAPTER LXXI.--THE DUKE OF ORLEANS AND HIS BROTHERS SEND LETTERS TO THE KING OF FRANCE, TO OTHER LORDS, AND To sever AL of the PRINCIPAL towns IN FRANCE, To complaiN of THE DUKE of BURGUNDY.
“Most redoubted and sovereign lord, we, Charles duke of Orleans, Philip count de Vertus, and John count of Angoulême, brothers, your very humble children and nephews, have, with all due humiliation and submission, considered it right to lay before you, jointly and separately, what follows. “Although the barbarous and cruel murder of our redoubted lord and very dear father, your brother, must for certain be most strongly impressed on your royal memory, and engraven on your heart, — nevertheless, most redoubted lord, our grief and the sense of what is due to us from all laws, human and divine, force us to renew in your memory all the minute transactions of that inhuman event. It is a fact, most dear lord, that John, who styles himself duke of Burgundy, through a hatred he had long nourished in his breast, and from an insatiate ambition and a desire of governing your realm, and that he might have the office of regent, as he has clearly shown and daily continues to show, did, on the 14th day of November in the year 1407, most treacherously murder your brother, our most renowned lord and father, in the streets of Paris, and during the night, by causing him to be waylaid by a set of infamous wretches, hired for this purpose, without having previously testified any displeasure towards him. This is well known to all the world; for it has been publicly avowed by the traitorous murderer himself, who is more disloyal, cruel, and inhuman than you can imagine; and we do not believe you can find in any writings one of a more perverse or faithless character. “In the first place, they were so nearly connected by blood, being cousins-german, the children of two brothers, that it adds to his crime of murder that of parricide; and the laws cannot too severely punish so detestable an action. They were also brothers in arms, having twice or thrice renewed this confederation under their own hands and seals, and solemnly sworn on the holy sacrament, in the presence of very many prelates and nobles, that they would be true and loyal friends,--that they would not do anything to the prejudice of each other, either openly or secretly, nor suffer any such like thing to be done by others. They, besides, entered into various protestations of love and friendship, making the most solemn promises to continue true brothers in arms, as is usual in such cases, to demonstrate that they felt a perfect friendship for each other; and as a confirmation of their affection, they mutually wore each other's colours and badges. “Secondly, he proved the perverseness of his heart by the manner in which this murder was committed. Under cover of his pretended affection for your aforesaid brother, he conversed frequently with him ; and once when he was ill, a short time before his death, he visited him at his house of Beauté-sur-Marne, and in Paris, showing him every sign of love and friendship that brother, cousin, or friend could testify, when, at the same time, he had plotted his death, had sent for the murderers to Paris, and had even hired the house to hide them in, which clearly demonstrates the wickedness and disloyalty of his heart. In addition to what I have just stated, and the very day before the murder took place, after the council which you had held at the hôtel de St. Pol was broken up, they both, in your presence and before the other princes of the blood who were there, drank wine and ate together; and your brother invited him to dine with him the Sunday following. The duke of Burgundy accepted the invitation, although he knew what a diabolical attempt he harboured in his heart, and that it would be put into effect the very first favourable opportunity. This is an abomination disgraceful even to relate. On the morrow, therefore, notwithstanding all his fair promises and oaths, being obstinately bent upon his wicked purpose, he caused him to be put to death with more cruelty than ever man of any rank suffered, by those whom he had hired to waylay and murder him, and who had, for a long time, been watching their opportunity. They first cut off his right hand, which was found the next day in the dirt: they then cut his left arm so that it held only by the skin, and, beside, fractured and laid open his skull in several places that his brains were scattered in the street; and they then dragged his body through the mud, until it was quite lifeless. “It would be pitiful to hear of such barbarous conduct towards the meanest subject: how much the more horror must the recital cause, when it was practised on the first prince of the blood of France Never was any branch of your noble race so cruelly and infamously treated,—and you and all of your blood, and such of your subjects as wish you well, ought not to suffer such a lamentable deed to be perpetrated without any punishment or reparation whatever, as is the case till this present time, which is the most shameful thing that ever happened, or ever could happen, to so noble a house; and additional disgrace will fall upon it, if you any longer delay justice. “Thirdly, he shows his perverseness and obstinacy by false and damnable hypocrisy; for after the horrid deed had been done, he came with the other princes dressed in black, to attend the body, pretending the utmost grief at the funeral for the loss of his brother in arms, thinking by this means to cover the wickedness of his sin. It would be tiresome to relate all the damnable and hypocritical arts he employed to hide the treacherous and murderous part he had acted, until he perceived that his crime must be brought to light by the diligence of your officers of justice. He then, and then only, confessed to the king of Sicily, and to the duke of Berry, that he had perpetrated this murder, or at least had caused it to be committed; and that the devil had tempted him to do it, for that in truth he could not assign any other cause for having done so. But he was not contented with murdering his body: he wanted again, so great is his iniquity, to murder his fame and fair reputation by false and wicked accusations, when he was no more able to defend himself against them. The falsehood of these charges, through the grace of God, is notorious to you and to the whole world. My late most redoubted lady-mother, whose soul may God receive suffered the utmost tribulation, not only for the death of her much-beloved lord and husband, but also for the inhuman and cruel manner of it; and like one in despair, attended by me, John of Angoulême, she waited on you, as her king and sovereign lord, and her sole refuge in this her distress, and most humbly supplicated that you would, out of your benign goodness, have compassion on her and her children, and would order such prompt and just judgment to be executed on the perpetrators of this murder as the blackness of the case required; and as you are bound in your quality of king to administer strict justice to all your subjects without delay, as well to the poor as to the rich, so rather the more promptly ought you to exercise it in favour of the poor and deserted than for the rich and powerful; for this upright administration of justice is a great virtue, and on this account were kings chiefly appointed, and power intrusted to their hands. The case that was then and is now again brought before you requires the most speedy justice; for it not only concerns you as a king, but affects you more sensibly and personally,–for her husband, our much-regretted lord, who was so treacherously slain, was your only brother, and, consequently, strict justice ought to have been granted to her, and done on the murderers. You did indeed appoint a day for doing her this justice; on which account, she constantly employed her agents near your person, to remind you thereof: she waited long after the appointed day had elapsed, for the judg