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God, and secure peace on earth. From our love of peace, we were inclined to refuse fifty thousand golden crowns lately offered us; for, being more desirous of peace than riches, we have preferred enjoying the patrimony left us by our venerable ancestors, with our very dear cousin Catherine, your noble daughter, to iniquitously multiplying our treasures, and thus disgracing the honour of our crown, which God forbid!
“Given under our privy seal, in our castle of Southampton, the 5th day of the month of August.”
#. above letter having been presented by the herald to the king of France, he was told that the king and council would examine it, and consider more at length its contents, and that the king would provide accordingly, in such time and place as should seem good to him,-and that he might return to his lord the king of England when he pleased.
cHAPTER CXLI.—THE KING of ENGLAND, while AT SouTHAMPTON, DISCOVERS A CONSPIRACY of HIs NoHLES AGAINST HIM.–HE LAYS SIEGE TO HARFLEUR, AND WINS THAT TOWN.
While the king of England remained at Southampton, to embark his army which was now ready to sail for France, he was informed that many lords of his household had entered into a conspiracy against him, with the intent to place the earl of March, the rightful successor and heir to Richard the Second, on the throne of England. True it is, that the earl of Cambridge, with others, had plotted to seize the persons of the king and his brothers, to accomplish the above purpose, and had revealed their plan to the earl of March, who had discovered it to the king, advising him, at the same time, to be on his guard, or he would be betrayed, and named to him the conspirators. King Henry was not long in having them arrested, when the three principal were beheaded, namely, the earl of Cambridge, the lord Scrope of Masham, who every night slept with the king, and sir Thomas Grey. Some others were afterwards executed.
This matter being ended, the king hastened the embarkation of his army, and put to sea. On the vigil of the Assumption of Our Lady, they made in the night-time a harbour” which lies between Harfleur and Honfleur, where the river Seine enters the sea, and landed without any effusion of blood. Their fleet might consist of about sixteen hundred vessels of all sorts, full of soldiers, and every sort of warlike stores. When the whole of the army was landed, the king fixed his quarters at a priory in Gravillet; and his brothers, the dukes of Clarences and Gloucesters, near to him. His uncles, the dukes of York| and Dorset's, the bishop of Norwich, the earls of Windsor **, Suffolk++, earl marshal, Warwickff and Kent $$, the lords de Camber, Beaumont, Willoughby of Trompington, sir John de Cornewall, Molliflac ||, with many more, lodged themselves as well as they could. They marched the army to besiege with vigour the town of Harfleur, the commanding sea-port of all that coast of Normandy.
The king's army was composed of about six thousand helmets and twenty-three thousand archers, exclusive of cannoneers, and others employed with the engines of war, of which he had great abundance. About four hundred picked men-at-arms had been sent by the French government to defend Harfleur, under the command of the lords d'Estouteville, governor of the town, de Blainville, de Bacqueville, de Hermanville, de Gaillart, de Bos, de Clerè, de Bectou, de Adsanches, de Briauté", de Gaucourt, de l'Isle-Adami, and several other valiant knights and esquires, to the amount aforesaid, who gallantly opposed the English. But their attempts were vain against so superior a force; and in their sallies, they had great difficulty
* Probably Quilleboeuf.
treason in 1 H. 4.—Secondly, in fixing the date of creation
|| Molliflac. Q. Molins.
to re-enter the town. They took up the pavement which was between Montivilliers and Harfleur, to make the road as bad as possible, and carried away the stones. Notwithstanding this, the English scoured the country, made many prisoners, and gained much booty; and planted their large engines in the most convenient spots for battering the town, which greatly damaged its walls. The besieged were not slack in their defence, but made such good use of cross-bows and other weapons, that many of the English were slain. The town had but two gates, namely, that of Caltinant and that of Montivilliers, whence they made several vigorous sallies on the enemy; but the English defended themselves well. An unfortunate accident
* Roger, third lord of La Bréaute, &c., chamberlain to Charles VI. and VII. The misfortunes of this family almost equal those of the house of Stuart. Roger, elder brother to this lord of Bréauté, was killed at Gisors in 1404, when on the eve of marriage. The present lord was made prisoner in Normandy, and sold half his estates to ransom himself: of the remainder, he was afterwards deprived by the chance of war. His eldest son, John, was killed at the battle of Werneuil in 1424. His second son, also oalled John, succeeded his father, was three
times taken prisoner, and ruined in the efforts made to ransom him : he was at last killed at the battle of Montlehery, in 1460. James, the third son, was lord of Bellefosse, killed at Pataye in 1429. Roger lord of Crouin, the fourth son, was killed in England in 1460. All the members of this unhappy family were distinguished for valour.
+ Ancel de l'Isle-Adam, lord of Puysieux, Wegnai, &c., and grand-echanson of France, was killed at Azincourt.
befel the besieged; for a supply of gunpowder, sent them by the king of France, was met by the English and taken.
While these things were passing, the king of France sent against the English a considerable body of men-at-arms to Rouen, and other parts on the frontier, under the charge of the constable, the marshal Boucicaut, the seneschal of Hainault, the lords de Ligny, de Hamede, sir Clugnet de Brabant, and several other captains. These commanders so well guarded the country, that the English were unable to gain any town or fortress while part of their army was engaged at the siege, although they took great pains so to do; for they frequently made excursions in large bodies over the low countries in search of provision, and to meet the enemy: they did very great damage wherever they passed, and carried off large booties to their head-quarters. However, by the prudent conduct of the French commanders, the English were very much straitened for provision, for the greater part of the stores they had brought with them had been spoiled at sea. Add to this, that an epidemical bowel-complaint raged in their camp, of which upwards of two thousand died. The principal persons thus carried off were, the earl of Stafford”, the bishop of Norwich, the lords Beaumont, Willoughby of Trompington, Burmel, and many other noblemen.
The king of England nevertheless pushed on the siege with great diligence and labour. He had caused three mines to be carried under the walls, and his engines had nearly demolished the gates, which being made known to the inhabitants, and that they were daily liable to be stormed, they offered to surrender themselves to the king, provided they were not within three days succoured from France: they gave hostages for the due performance of this treaty, and thereby saved their lives by paying ransoms. The lord de Bacqueville was sent by the captains in Harfleur to the king of France and the duke of Aquitaine, who were at Vernonsur-Seine, to make them acquainted with their situation, and to tell them, that unless they were succoured within three days, they would lose their town and all within it. He was in reply told, that the king's forces were not yet assembled, or prepared to give such speedy succour: upon which, the lord de Bacqueville returned to Harfleur, and it was surrendered to the king of England on St. Maurice's day, to the great sorrow and loss of the inhabitants, and displeasure of the French ; for, as I have said, it was the principal sea-port of that part of Normandy.
CHAPTER cxli1.--THE CANoNs of St. GERY, IN CAMBRAY, QUARREL witH THE INHABITANTs. —THE DUKE OF BURGUNDY IN CONSEQUENCE MAKES waR ON CAMBRAY.
At this time, there was a great quarrel between the citizens and inhabitants of Cambray and the canons of the chapter of St. Gery within that town. The inhabitants, foreseeing that the present war between England and France might be carried on near their country, determined, for the greater security of themselves and their town, to repair and enlarge its walls and bulwarks; and consequently they demolished, by force or otherwise, many walls of the gardens of the townsmen which had encroached too near them. They particularly destroyed the gardens belonging to the aforesaid canons, taking a large portion of their land without intending to make them any recompence for what they had done. The inhabitants also wanted to prevent the canons selling wine from their cellars, although they had for a long time done so from their own vintage. For these several offences and grievances the canons, having frequently demanded, but in vain, redress from the townsmen, made heavy complaints of what they had suffered, and were still suffering, to the duke of Burgundy and his council; because, as earl of Flanders, he was the hereditary guardian and defender of all the churches within Cambray. For this guardianship, a certain quantity of corn was annually paid to the duke as protector of the churches within the Cambresis, and this impost was called the Gavennef of Cambresis.
* Another mistake. Henry, at this time earl of expedition against the French, but did not die till five years Stafford, was only twenty years old at the accession of after. Henry VI. His father, Edmund Stafford, was killed f Gavenne,—the right of protection due to the counts many years before, at the battle of Shrewsbury. Hugh of Flanders, in quality of guardians, or gaveniers, of Stafford, lord Bourchier, accompanied the king on this Cambresis.— Dict, du vieur Langage.
The duke of Burgundy was very much displeased at this conduct of the Cambresians, and sent solemn messengers to inform them, that if they did not make instant and full satisfaction to the canons who were under his protection, for all the damages they had done them, he should take such measures as would serve for an example to all others. Not receiving an answer which was agreeable to him, and being then in Burgundy, he wrote to his son Philippe, count de Charolois, in Flanders, to order him to secure the canons of St. Gery from all oppression and violence, and to constrain the inhabitants of Cambray to make reparation for the wrongs they had done them. The count of Charolois, knowing the temper of his father, again summoned the townsmen to make satisfaction to the canons; and because they sent evasive answers, he secretly advised the canons to leave Cambray and go to Lille, at which town he would find them a handsome dwelling. The canons, on this, placed the better part of their effects in safety, and then secretly left Cambray and went to Lille, or at least the greater number of them.
Soon after their departure, the count de Charolois sent his defiance to the town of Cambray by Hector de Saveuses, who had assembled full three hundred combatants. On the feast-day of the exaltation of the holy cross, he suddenly entered the Cambresis, and advanced almost to the gates of Cambray, when, it being market-day, he plundered, killed, and wounded very many of the town, and perpetrated other cruel deeds. Hector did not make any long stay, but departed, with an immense booty, to quarter himself near to Braye-surSomme, saying, that what he had done was by orders of the count de Charolois. This attack much astonished those of Cambray, and put them in great fear. They conceived a greater hatred than before against the canons of St. Gery, increased every preparation for the defence of their town, and made daily seizures of the effects of these canons, such as wine, corn, wood, and other necessaries of life.
The citizens, however, having suffered several inroads and great losses, and considering that in the end the war must be the destruction of their town, solicited duke William count of Hainault, guardian of Cambray for the king of France, that he would negotiate a peace for them with his nephew the count de Charolois, and that they were willing to make every reasonable restitution to the canons for the loss they might have suffered. By the interference, therefore, of duke William and others, the dispute was referred to some doctors of civil law, who sentenced the citizens to rebuild all the walls they had destroyed of the canons' gardens, and to bind themselves to pay annually to the said canons one hundred francs of royal money, on condition that the said canons were not to sell any wines from their cellars. The citizens were allowed liberty to buy up this annuity of a hundred francs for a certain sum, whenever they shall have the power and inclination so to do. On these and some other terms was the quarrel appeased, apd the canons returned to their church in Cambray.
CHAPTER CXLIII.-THE KING OF FRANCE COLLECTS A GREAT BODY OF MEN-AT-ARMS FROM ALL PARTS OF HIS KINGDOM TO OPPOSE THE ENGLISH.—THE SUMMONS HE ISSUES ON THE OCCASION.
WHEN the king of France and his council heard of the surrender of Harfleur to the king of England, they consequently expected that he would attempt greater objects, and instantly issued summonses for raising in every part of the kingdom the greatest possible force of menat-arms. The better to succeed, he ordered his bailiffs and seneschals to exert themselves personally throughout their jurisdictions, and to make known that he had sent ambassadors to England, to offer his daughter in marriage to king Henry, with an immense portion in lands and money, to obtain peace, but that he had failed; and the king of England had invaded his realm, and besieged and taken his town of Harfleur, very much to his displeasure. On this account, therefore, he earnestly solicited the aid of all his vassals and subjects, and required them to join him without delay. He also despatched messengers into Picardy, with sealed letters to the lords de Croy, de Waurin, de Fosseux, de Crequi, de Heuchin, de Brimeu, de Mammez, de la Viefville, de Beaufort, d'Inchy, de Noyelle, de Neufville, and to other noblemen, to order them instantly to raise their powers, under pain of his indignation, and to join the duke of Aquitaine, whom he had appointed captain-general of his kingdom. The lords of Picardy delayed obeying, for the duke of Burgundy had sent them and all his subjects orders to hold themselves in readiness to march with him when he should summon them, and not to attend to the summons of any other lord, whatever might be his rank. This was the cause why the above-mentioned men-at-arms were in no haste to comply with the king's summons: fresh orders were therefore issued, the tenor of which was as follows. “Charles, by the grace of God king of France, to the bailiff of Amiens, or to his lieutenant, greeting.—Whereas by our letters we have commanded you to make proclamation throughout your bailiwick, for all nobles and others accustomed to bear arms and follow the wars, instantly to join our very dear and well-beloved son, the duke of Aquitaine, whom we have nominated our captain-general of the kingdom. It is now some time since we have marched against our adversary of England, who had, with a large army, invaded our province of Normandy, and taken our town of Harfleur, owing to the neglect and delay of you and others, in not punctually obeying our orders; for from want of succours our noble and loyal subjects within Harfleur, after having made a most vigorous defence, were forced to surrender it to the enemy. And as the preservation and defence of our kingdom is the concern of all, we call on our good and faithful subjects for aid, and are determined to regain those parts of which the enemy may be in possession, and to drive them out of our kingdom in disgrace and confusion, by the blessing of God, the holy Virgin Mary, and with the assistance of our kindred and loyal subjects. “You will therefore, by these presents strictly enjoin every one within your jurisdictions, on the duty they owe us, to lose no time in arming themselves, and in hastening to join our said well-beloved the duke of Aquitaine; and you will proclaim these our orders in the most public manner, and in the usual places, that no one may plead ignorance of the same , and that under pain of being reputed disobedient, and having their goods confiscated, they fail not to come to our assistance, sufficiently armed and mounted. Such as, from illness or old age, may be prevented coming shall send, in their stead, persons well armed and accoutred, with their powers to join us, or our said son. Should any difficulties be made in obeying these our commands, you will enforce obedience by seizing on the lands of such as may refuse, placing foragers within their houses, and by every other means employed on such occasions, that they may be induced to join with us in expelling the enemy from our kingdom with disgrace and confusion. “You will likewise enjoin, in addition to the above, that all cannon, engines of war, and other offensive or defensive weapons that can be spared from the principal towns, be sent to our aid without delay, which we promise to restore at the end of the war. You will use every possible diligence in seeing to the execution of these our commands; and should there be any neglect on your part, which God forbid, we will punish you in such wise that you shall serve for an example to all others in like manner offending. We command all our officers of justice, and others our subjects, punctually to obey all your directions respecting the above; and you will send an acknowledgment of the receipt of these presents to our loyal subjects the officers of our chamber of accounts in Paris, to be used as may be thought proper. Given at Meulan, the 20th day of September, in the year of Grace 1415, and of our reign the 36th.” Thus signed by the king and council. When this proclamation had been published at Paris and Amiens, and in other parts of the kingdom, the king sent ambassadors to the dukes of Burgundy and Orleans, to require that they would, without fail, instantly send him five hundred helmets each. The duke of Orleans was at first contented to send his quota, but afterward followed with all his forces. The duke of Burgundy made answer, that he would not send, but come in person with all the chivalry of his country, to serve the king: however, from some delay or dispute that arose between them, he did not attend himself, but the greater part of his subjects armed and joined the French forces.