Abbildungen der Seite
PDF

CHAPTER CII.—THE KING's MINISTERS ARE GREATLY ALARMED AT THE ARREST of sIR PETER DES ESSARS AND OF THE DUKE OF BAR.—OTHER PROCEEDINGS OF The

PARISIANs.
[A. D. 1413.]

At the beginning of this year, the king's ministers, that is to say, those who had had the management of the finances under their care for twenty years past, were much pressed to give in their accounts. Several public and private accusations were made against them, which caused the greater part to fear that they should not escape with honour. Many had been arrested, and others had fled, whose fortunes had been sequestrated by the king. They sought, therefore, by divers means, to obtain the protection of those princes who governed the king; and sir Peter des Essars, who had fled to Cherbourg, through the interest of the duke of Aquitaine was remanded to Paris. He secretly entered the Bastile with his brother sir Anthony, but not so privately as to prevent its being known to some of the Parisians, who disliked him, and who instantly acquainted the duke of Burgundy and his people with it, by whom he was equally hated. A party of the commonalty was soon collected; and headed by sir Elion de Jacqueville, then governor of Paris, and some others of the duke of Burgundy's friends, they marched to the Bastile, and made prisoners of sir Peter des Essars and his brother, whom they first led to the castle of the Louvre and then to the prison of the palace. When this was done, they again assembled, to the amount of six thousand, under the standard of the aforesaid Jacqueville, who was joined by sir Robert de Mailly, sir Charles de Lens, and several other men-at-arms of the household of the duke of Burgundy, and about ten o'clock in the morning they drew up before the hôtel of the duke of Aquitaine. The principal instigators of this insurrection of the commonalty were, Jeannot Caboche, a skinner of the slaughter-house of Saint James, master John de Troyes, a surgeon at Paris, and Denisot de Chaumont, who, having forcibly entered the apartment of the duke, addressed him as follows: “Our most redoubted lord, here are the Parisians, but not all in arms, who on behalf of your good town of Paris, and for the welfare of your father and yourself, require that you cause to be delivered up to them certain traitors who are now in your hôtel.”

The duke, in a fury, replied, that such affairs did not belong to them, and that there were no traitors in his hôtel. They answered, that if he were willing to give them up, well and good, otherwise they would take them before his face, and punish them according to their deserts. During this conversation, the dukes of Burgundy and of Lorrain arrived; and several of the Parisians at the same time entered the hôtel, and instantly seized master Jean de Vailly, the duke's new chancellor, Edward duke of Bar, cousin-german to the king, sir James de la Riviere, the two sons of the lord de Boissay, Michel de Vitry and his brother, the two sons of sir Reginald de Guiennes, the two brothers de Maisnel, the two de Geremmes, and Peter de Naisson. The duke of Aquitaine, witnessing this outrage committed before his eyes, turned to the duke of Burgundy, and angrily said, “Father-in-law, this insurrection has been caused by your advice: you cannot deny it, for those of your household are the leaders of it. Know, therefore, that you shall one day repent of this; and the state shall not always be governed according to your will and pleasure.” The duke of Burgundy replied, by way of excusing himself, “My lord, you will inform yourself better, when your passion shall be somewhat cooled.” But, notwithstanding this, those who had been seized were carried off, and confined in different prisons. They afterwards made search for master Raoul Bridoul, the king's secretary, who, as they were carrying him away, was struck by one that hated him with a battle-axe on the head, and thrown dead into the Seine. They also murdered a very rich upholsterer, who was an eloquent man, called Martin d'Aue, and a cannon-founder, an excellent workman, but who had been of the Orleans party, whose bodies they left naked two whole days in the square of St. Catherine. They compelled the duke of Aquitaine to reside with the king his father in the hotel de St. Pol, and carefully guarded the gates that he might not quit Paris. Some said this was done for his amendment, as he was very young, and impatient of contradiction, but others assigned different reasons: among them was one, that he had intended to have tilted on May-day in the forest of Vincennes, and that he had ordered sir Peter des Essars to meet him there with six hundred helmets, and to pay them for one month, and that this order had been executed. It was added, that the duke of Orleans and those of his party were collecting large bodies of men-at-arms to join the duke of Aquitaine in the forest of Vincennes, which had greatly displeased the duke of Burgundy and the Parisians. It was melancholy to behold this reign of the mob, and the manner in which they conducted themselves in Paris, as well towards the king as towards the other lords. They also wrote letters to the different towns to inform them that what they had done was for the welfare of the king and kingdom, and required of them to give them all aid and advice should there be any necessity for it, and to remain obedient in their fidelity to the king and his eldest son. Afterwards, that no assembly of men-at-arms might be made by any lord, the king, at the request of these same Parisians, published an edict, addressed to all the seneschals and bailiffs in the realm, of the following tenour. “Charles, by the grace of God, king of France, to the bailiff of Amiens, or to his lieutenant, greeting. “Whereas, in the divisions and disputes that so lately harassed our kingdom, we, and our very dear eldest son the duke of Aquitaine, dauphin of Viennois, have so successfully laboured, that, through God's grace, we have established a solid peace in our realm, for the observance of which the greaterpart of our liege subjects have given security, and have promised, on their oaths, to keep and preserve it, and not to issue any summons, or to raise any men, without our express permission. Notwithstanding this, we have heard that some of our blood, and others, are making preparations to raise men, by way of companies, in different parts of our kingdom, which may not only be very expensive to the country, but cause other great inconveniences, unless an immediate remedy be provided. “These, therefore, are to enjoin you to cause this our prohibition to be most publicly proclaimed in the usual places within your bailiwick, and to forbid any person, under penalty of death and confiscation of goods, whether baron, knight or others, to obey any summons from their superior lord, unless so ordered by us, our son, or our well-beloved cousin the count de St. Pol, constable of France, or others so commissioned by us. That no doubts may arise in regard to these our intentions, we send you this sealed with our great seal. You will likewise inform all our vassals, that whenever, and wherever we, or our son, may send for them, they must obey. And because our very dear uncle and cousin the dukes of Berry and of Lorrain are continually in our service, our intention is not that their vassals or subjects should be prevented going to them whenever they are sent for, or whenever they may employ them in our service; and should any in your bailiwick act contrary to the premises, we will and order that you constrain them to do their duty, by arrest and seizure of goods. “Given at Paris the 9th day of May, in the year 1413, and of our reign the 33d.” It was thus signed by the king, on the report made to him of the council held by the dukes of Aquitaine, Berry, and Lorrain, and others, by J. Millet. It was then sent off, and proclaimed throughout the kingdom in the usual places. The Parisians in those days wore an uniform dress with white hoods, to distinguish all who were of their party. They even made many of the nobles and prelates wear it; and what was more, the king himself afterwards put it on, which seemed to many discreet persons very ridiculous, considering the abominable and detestable manner of the Parisians, and their cruelties, which were almost beyond bearing; but they were so powerful, and obstinate in their wickedness, that the princes knew not well how to provide a remedy. They were all strengthened in it from the belief that they should be supported by the duke of Burgundy and his party, should there be occasion for it.

cHAPTER CIII.--THE PARISIANs PROPose what EveR MEASURES THEY PLEASE, IN THE PRESENCE OF THE DUKE OF AQUITAINE AND THE OTHER PRINCES.–CRUELTIES COMMITTED BY THEM.

ON Thursday the 11th of May, the Parisians held a great assembly, and made various propositions, in the presence of the dukes of Aquitaine, Berry, Burgundy, and Lorrain, the counts of Nevers, Charolois, and many nobles and prelates, with others, wearing white hoods by way of uniform, who were said to exceed twelve thousand in number. Towards the conclusion, they presented a roll to the duke of Aquitaine, which he would have refused to accept; but they constrained him not only to take it, but to read its contents publicly. Sixty persons, as well absent as present, were charged in this roll as traitors: twenty of whom were instantly arrested and confined in prison. In this number were the lord de Boissay, master of the household to the king, Michel Lallier, and others to the number above mentioned. The absent that had been thus accused were summoned, by sound of trumpet, in all the squares of Paris, to appear within a few days, under penalty, in case of disobedience, of having their properties confiscated to the king's use.

On the 18th day of this same month, the king recovered his health, and went from his hôtel of St. Pol to the church of Nôtre Dame, wearing a white hood like the other princes.

When he had finished his prayers, he returned home accompanied by a vast multitude of people. On the Monday following, the Parisians had their city surrounded by numbers of men-at-arms, so that no person might leave it without permission: the gates were closely shut, and the bridges drawn up and watched by a numerous guard at each, armed with all sorts of weapons. They also appointed armed divisions of tens in all the streets; and when this was done, the provost of the merchants, the sheriffs, and other leaders, marched a large body of armed men to the hôtel of St. Pol, which they surrounded with a line three deep; and having given their orders how they were to act, they waited on the king, the queen, and the dauphin, who were perfectly ignorant of their proceedings. There was at this time a grand assembly of nobles in Paris, namely, the dukes of Berry, Burgundy, Lorrain, and duke Louis of Bavaria, brother to the queen, who was on the morrow to marry, at the hôtel de St. Pol, the sister of the count d'Alençon, the widow of the lord Peter de Navarre, count de Mortain. The counts de Nevers, de Charolois, de St. Pol, constable of France, and many more great barons and prelates, were likewise present. They there ordered a carmelite friar, call friar Eustache, to harangue the king, who, having taken for his text “Nisi Dominus custoderit civitatem suam, frustra vigilat qui custodit eam,” discoursed well and long upon it, and made some mention of the prisoners, of the bad state of the government of the kingdom, and of the crimes that were committed. When he had ended his speech, the chancellor of France bade him say who were his protectors, when instantly the provost of the merchants and the sheriffs acknowledged him. But as there were but few people present, and as they did not speak loud enough, according to the will of the chancellor, some of them descended to the court to call those of the greatest birth and weight that had remained armed below. The principal leaders returned with them to the king's apartment, and with bended knees avowed that what father Eustache had said was conformable to their sentiments; that they had the sincerest love for him and for his family, and that their sole wish was to serve his royal majesty with clean and pure hearts; that everything they had done had been for the welfare of himself and his kingdom, as well as for the preservation of his person and family. While this was passing, the duke of Burgundy, noticing the line of armed men that were drawn up three deep, and surrounding the king's hotel, went down and earnestly entreated of them to retire, demanding of them what they wanted, and why they were thus come armed; for that it was neither decent nor expedient that the king, who was so lately recovered from his illness, should thus see them drawn up, as it were, in battle array. They replied, they were not assembled with an ill intent, but for the good of the king and his kingdom: they concluded by giving him a roll, and said, they were on no account to depart thence until those whose names were therein inscribed should be delivered up to them, namely, Louis of Bavaria, brother to the queen, and the following knights: Charles de Villers, Courard Bayer, Jean de Neelle lord d'Ollehaing, the archbishop of Bourges, master William Boisratier, confessor to the queen, Jean Vincent, Colin de Pieul, Jeannet de Cousteville, Mainfroy, treasurer to the duke of Aquitaine, and a courier of the duke of Orleans, who happened accidentally to be in Paris, having brought letters from his master to the king; the lady Bona d'Armagnac, lady of Montauban", la dame du Quesnoy, la dame d'Avelays, la dame de Noyon, la dame du Chastel, and four other damsels. When the duke of Burgundy found that everything he could say was in vain, he went to the queen, and showed her the list they had given to him, telling her what they required. She was much troubled thereat, and, calling her son the dauphin, bade him return with the duke of Burgundy, and entreat them most affectionately in her name to desist for only eight days from their present demands, and that on the eighth day she would without fail deliver up her brother, or suffer them to arrest him. and carry him a prisoner to the Louvre, to the Palace, or whithersoever they should please. The duke of Aquitaine, hearing these words from his mother, retired to a private chamber and wept bitterly,–but was followed by the duke of Burgundy, who exhorted him not to weep,which he complied with, and wiped away his tears. They descended to the Parisians, and the duke of Burgundy explained in a few words the request of the queen; but they positively refused to grant it, and declared they would go up to the queen's apartment, and should those contained in the list be refused to be given up, they would take them by force, even in the king's presence, and carry them away prisoners. The two dukes, hearing this answer, went back to the queen, whom they found in conversation with her brother and the king. They reported their reception from the Parisians, when the duke of Bavaria, seeing he could not escape, full of bitterness and distress, descended down to them, and desired that he alone might be taken into custody; that if he were found

[graphic]

* Bona, eldest daughter of the constable d'Armagnac, afterwards married to Charles duke of Orleans.

guilty, he might be punished without mercy, otherwise that he might instantly have his
liberty, and go to Bavaria, never more to return to France. The others also, with the ladies
and damsels, were forced to surrender themselves, but it was not without great lamentations
and effusion of tears. They were directly put two and two on horseback, each horse escorted
by four men-at-arms, and carried, some prisoners to the Louvre, and others to the Palace,
followed by a large body of the Parisians under arms. When this was done, the king went
to his dinner, and the queen with her son retired in great grief to their apartments.
Within a short time, the courier was set at liberty, and so was the lord d'Ollehaing, who
was reinstated in the office of chancellor of Aquitaine, from which he had been dismissed. The
duke of Burgundy had under his guard his cousin-german the duke of Bar, sir Peter and
sir Anthony des Essars, with other prisoners confined in the Louvre, whom he caused to be
attended by his servants, and for whose security he had pledged himself. But he acted quite
contrary, and returned them to the Parisians, who imprisoned them closely, and caused twelve
knights to be nominated by the king as commissaries, and six examiners, to inquire into their
offences, and to condemn and punish them according to the heinousness of their crimes and the
exigence of the case. In consequence of this, a statement was drawn up by directions of the
duke of Berry, uncle to the duke of Bar, the countess de St. Pol, and others his friends, and
given to the Parisians, who sent it to the university of Paris for their advice and approbation
of what they had done. The university replied, that they would no way intermeddle nor
advise in the business; and they moreover declared, in full council before the king, that so
far from having advised the arrest of the duke of Bar and the other prisoners, they were
much displeased that it had taken place.
The Parisians, therefore, seeing that the university was disunited from them, and fearing
that their conduct would, in after-times, be examined into, obtained from the king and his
council a royal edict, as an indemnity and excuse for their actions, the tenor of which was
as follows.
“Charles, by the grace of God, king of France, to all to whom these presents shall come,
greeting, on the part of our dear and well-beloved the provost, sheriffs, citizens, and inhabit-
ants of this good town of Paris.
“We make known, that for our urgent profit and welfare, also for that of our very dear
son the duke of Aquitaine, dauphin of Viennois, and for the public welfare, for the security
of our good town of Paris, and to obviate inconveniences that might have arisen from the
malversation of some of our ministers, as well those of justice as others, and in order to
prevent such malversations from increasing, certain arrests have lately taken place on divers
men and women, as well of our blood and household as of those of our very well beloved
consort the queen, of our son, and our very dear daughter the duchess of Aquitaine, and
countess of Charolois, for the effecting of which arrests a large assemblage of men-at-arms
was thought expedient, considering the rank and power of those to be arrested, who are now
confined in our prisons of the Louvre, of our Palace, and in different prisons in our good town
of Paris. The crimes alleged against them are for treasonable practices committed against
us, our said son, the welfare of the kingdom and that of our good city of Paris, and also con-
cerning the government of our person, of our son, and of the police of our said town and
kingdom, for all of which sufficient judges have been appointed, who will examine into their
various delinquencies, and punish in such wise as the public good may require, so that our
good city of Paris, which is the head of our realm, may not again suffer any alarms through
o fault, or that of their accomplices, who, fearing the consequences, have escaped out of
the city.
“For these causes, and from the great love and loyalty they bear to us, who are their
sovereign and natural lord, as well as to our said eldest son, the aforesaid provost, sheriffs,
and citizens of Paris, have requested these presents in order that good government may be
restored, the security and welfare of our person and state be provided for, and that such
arrests and imprisonments may be considered as solely done out of the purity of their loyal
intentions towards us, our family, and the public good of the realm. We will, therefore,
that such arrests and imprisonments be so considered, and that they be regarded as done for
the true honour and profit of us and of our crown; and that all who have been abettors or

[ocr errors]
« ZurückWeiter »