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The duke of Bedford, after a residence of eight months in England with his duchess, returned to Calais, escorted by three thousand combatants, and thence to Paris, where he remained some time, to regulate the affairs of France. He thence went to Lille, where he and his duchess were joyfully received by the duke of Burgundy. They had many conferences together on the subject of the dissentions between the dukes of Burgundy and Gloucester; but as the regent could not any way succeed in bringing about a pacification, he returned to Paris.
In these days, the duke of Gloucester, on the departure of his brother, the duke of Bedford, for France, issued his summonses for the raising a large force to succour the duchess Jacqueline in Holland, whom he called his wife. The earl of Salisbury and many other great lords had connected themselves with him, in opposition to the duke of Burgundy; but the duke of Bedford, hearing of these movements, sent in haste ambassadors to his brother of Gloucester, who prevailed on him to give up his intentions, on the conclusion of a truce for a certain period, in the hope that, in the course of time, peace might be made between them. The abbot of Orcamp and unaster John le Duc were the ambassadors on this occasion.
CHAPTER xxxix.-THE SARACENS RETURN TO CYPRUS.—A BATTLE BETWEEN THEM AND THE CYPRIoTs, IN which THE KING Is MADE PRIsoNER, AND CARRIED To THE SULTAN.
About this period, many knights and esquires arrived at Cyprus, in consequence of the king of Cyprus's solicitations to oppose the Saracens, who were daily expected to return thither. The king collected all the forces within the island, whom he provided with lodging, food, and money, as well as he could, according to their different ranks. While they were thus expecting the Saracens, his army, which was collected from various nations, mutinied, so that the king had much difficulty to keep peace among them, and knew not whom to appoint as commander-in-chief, who would be agreeable to them. During these dissentions, the Saracens came before Cyprus in prodigious numbers, and landed at Lymeson : they besieged the great tower, and, notwithstanding it had been much strengthened, and was full of men-at-arms, they took it by storm, and killed the governor, Estienne de Buyserse, and all his men.
The king, hearing of this, assembled his council, and demanded what measures he should pursue. The greater part proposed that he should remain in the town of Nicosia, saying that a country wasted was better than a country lost; but all the foreigners were of a contrary opinion, and advised him to march his army into the plain, and combat boldly an enemy who was destroying his kingdom, and putting to death his subjects. The king, on this, determined to march his army to meet the Saracens; and on the second day after, when he was mounted, his horse, at the first step, fell on its knees to the ground. The prince of Galilee also, his brother, let his sword fall out of the scabbard on the earth: many persons thought these such omens of ill success, that they had but little hopes of victory.
This day the king advanced three leagues, and fixed his quarters at a very beautiful spot called Beaulieu. On the Saturday following, for on the Thursday he had taken the field, he marched in handsome array to a town called Citolye". On the ensuing Sunday, the 6th day of July, after the king had attended mass, and was seated at table, and while he and his, army were at dinner, a great smoke was seen in different parts not far distant, and intelligence was brought that the Saracens were advancing against him. The commander of Cyprus, with some of the knights of Rhodes, the lord de Varemboulais, and several gentlemen from France, hearing this, requested the king's permission to go and reconnoitre the enemy. It was very unwillingly granted. They advanced so far that they fell in with the Saracens, with whom they skirmished, and killed a few ; but numbers were so much against them that they could not longer resist, and, leaving nearly thirty dead behind them, retreated as well as they could to their army, which they met, with the king, advancing at a quick pace. The king of Cyprus marched his army without much order for some time, and at last came in sight of the Saracens near to a town called Domy. He had near him his brother the prince of Galilee, the constable of Jerusalem, two German counts, and the flower of his own chivalry. The king charged the Saracens very gallantly and rapidly, insomuch that at the onset they suffered much ; but fortune seemed unwilling to continue her favours, for the king's horse fell under him to the ground and burst the girths of the saddle; so that when the king was remounted, and engaged in the combat, the saddle turned, and he fell to the ground : the horse galloped off, and necessity forced him to mount a small horse of one of his esquires, named Anthony Kaire, for the boys had fled for fear with all the war-horses. By reason of this accident, most of the Cypriots believed their king was killed, and were panic-struck. The Saracens were beginning to retreat toward the coast, but, observing some disorder in the enemy's army, recovered their courage, and with their main body charged the Christians with such vigour that the king was obliged to retire to Citolye, whence he had departed; but when almost close to it, he was surrounded by the Saracens, and his entrance cut off. The Christians were now discomfited, and began to fly on all sides as fast as they could. The king retired to an eminence, alway attended by his brother the prince of Galilee, who said to him, “My lord, you see clearly that your men are flying, and that all resistance against the enemy is vain: deign, therefore, to save yourself, and take compassion on your kingdom, for should you be made prisoner we shall all be ruined. Take with you therefore some of your most faithful servants, and retire to a place of safety. In the mean time, I will remain here with the banners until I shall be sure that you have escaped, and will then save myself in the manner God shall be pleased to point out to me.” The king, on hearing these words, looked with much tenderness on his brother, and replied, “Fair brother, God forbid that I should separate myself from you : go, and comfort and rally my people, and urge them to the assistance of their natural lord and sovereign in his distress.” The prince of Galilee departed, but was met by a large body of Saracens, by whom, after displaying acts of valour worthy of a prince, he was slain and left dead on the field. On the other hand, the king was so hardly pressed that, finding himself abandoned by his men, he descended the eminence and made for a small valley; but he was pursued, wounded in four places, and at length struck off his horse. The Saracens, ignorant that it was the king, rushed on him from all quarters to put him to death, when a knight from Catalonia, called sir Galeran Savary, throwing himself over the king's body, cried out, in the Syrian language, “It is the king! it is the king !” upon which a Saracen captain made a sign with his hand, when all around dropped their swords to the ground, and the captain thrust his own into the scabbard. He then advanced to the king, took him by the hand, and, addressing him in Greek, said, that it had pleased God to deliver him into the hands and power of the sultan. “You will come before him; but take comfort, for I have the greatest hopes that he will be a good friend to you.” The Catalonian knight was made prisoner with the king; for his life was spared on account of the great courage he had displayed. Thus was the king of Cyprus made captive by the Saracens, who fastened a chain round his neck; and shortly after, a body of Saracen infantry came up, who wanted, by all means, to put the king to death; but God, from his kind mercy, saved him, for he was a man of great charity, and of a pious life toward his God. The army of Cyprus, after its defeat, saved itself as well as it could, and the greater part fled to the mountains: there remained dead on the field from sixteen to seventeen hundred. The Saracens carried the king to the coast, where their shipping lay, and put him under a strong guard. There were in this battle two counts from Germany, namely, the count de Humberche, and the count de Noorch, protector of Cologne, with a certain number of their vassals. There were also from Savoy, the lord de Varembon, and sir John de Champaigns lord de Gruffy, and all these gentlemen escaped death and imprisonment. When the news of this defeat and capture of the king was known throughout Cyprus, sir Gilles de Lusignan, brother to the king and archbishop of Nicosia, sir James de Caffran, marshal of Cyprus, who had remained as guard to the royal children, were much troubled at these melancholy events; and about midnight of this same Sunday they left the city of Nicosia, carrying with them the king's sister and his children to the castle of Cerines, on the sea-coast, about five leagues distant from Nicosia, where they remained until the king's return. On the morrow, Monday, the commonalty of the town hastened to the palace to learn some news of the king; but finding no one to speak with, they returned home, and taking their wives, children, and effects, quitted the town, leaving the whole abandoned to old beggars and blind men. Some of them fled to Famagousta, others to Cerines, to divers towns, or to the mountains, so that it was a piteous spectacle. On the second day after the battle, the chief of the Saracens marched his army to Nicosia, which he found abandoned. He was lodged in the royal palace, and caused a proclamation to be instantly issued for all the inhabitants to return to their houses and occupations, on promise of not being disturbed, or any way molested. In consequence of this proclamation, from ten to twelve thousand persons returned to the city. The king of Cyprus and the grand master of Rhodes had at this time a considerable fleet at sea, on board of which were, the bastard of Burgundy, brother to duke Philip, the lord de Roubaix, and many other great lords from divers countries, very impatient to combat the Saracens; but they never could have a favourable wind to carry them near the infidels. The bastard of Burgundy had arrived at Baffa, in hopes of being present at the battle in which the king was captured; but hearing of the unfortunate issue of that day, he and his men returned, and embarked again on board of the fleet. At length the Christians had a favourable wind, which brought them in a short time within sight of the enemy's fleet. The commander of the Saracens was then on board, and, seeing the Christians so numerous, sent messengers in haste to the governor of Nicosia, ordering him, on pain of being reputed a traitor, to return with his men to his ship without delay. This order he obeyed, but not until he had plundered the city of all that he could, and reduced the inhabitants to poverty. He also set fire to the royal palace, and to several other parts of the town; and then marched for Salina, where the Saracen fleet lay. On their march, they forcibly took many children from the breasts of their mothers, and flung them on thorns among the hedges, and then stoned them to death. On the other hand, the Saracens, who had the guard of the king of Cyprus, made him write letters to the admiral of the Christian fleet, containing in substance that he must be careful not to do any damage to the Saracen ships, if he valued the life of the king. Sir Galeran Savary was the bearer of these letters, in a small galliot. The admiral obeyed these orders, which, according to the opinions of many, he ought not to have done; but there was a good deal of fighting between the vessels before these orders arrived, particularly by the bowmen, in which there were very many killed and wounded. At this affair, Guy, bastard of Burgundy, brother to duke Philip, Simon de Lan, Robert lord de Rebecque, and others from different countries, were made knights, although no vessel was taken on either side, but one having pilgrims on board, as shall be now mentioned. While the fleets were drawing up against each other, a ship, filled with pilgrims eager to acquire honour, concluding for certain that, as the Christian fleet was in sight of the Saracens, a combat must ensue, advanced so near that of the infidels that they could not put back; and notwithstanding succour was instantly sent them, and that they were in sight of the king of Cyprus, they were all hacked to pieces, as butchers would chop meat in a market, excepting a very few who were detained prisoners. Some days after, the Saracen fleet, having the king of Cyprus on board, sailed for Egypt. On the arrival of the Saracens in Egypt, they conducted the king of Cyprus to Cairo, to the sultan of Babylon *, and the other Christian prisoners chained two-and-two like beasts. They dragged after them the banner of the holy Virgin reversed on the ground, and then followed the king mounted on a small mule without saddle, and bound with chains. In this manner were they led into the presence of the sultan of Babylon, and constrained to bow their heads nine times to the very ground, kissing it each time. When they arrived in front of the sultan, who was seated in great pomp in a high gallery, he kept them a full hour in his presence, and then had them conducted to a tower for their prison so long as he should stay in Cairo, where the sultan was served royally and abundantly with all sorts of provision, excepting wine; but this was secretly supplied to him by Christian merchants. The other Cypriot prisoners were confined in divers places. While the king of Cyprus thus remained prisoner to the sultan of Babylon in Cairo, the archbishop of Nicosia, brother to the king, sent for sir Peter de Lusignan, constable of Jerusalem, and resigned to him the government of the island of Cyprus. He was no sooner in the possession thereof, than he executed rigorous justice by punishing all who, in these times of tribulation, had attempted to revolt. Shortly after, the archbishop returned to Nicosia, which by degrees was repeopled. In the course of time, a Genoese merchant, named Benedict Percussin, moved by compassion, required of the regency at Cyprus that he might be sent to Cairo, for that he had great hopes of obtaining the king's liberty. He was accordingly sent thither, and was so successful with the sultan that he ransomed the king of Cyprus for two hundred thousand ducats, and on condition that he would also pay an annual tribute to the sultans of Babylon of five thousand ducats. Thus was peace made between the sultan and the king of Cyprus; and on the feast of the Assumption of our Lady, the latter was delivered from chains. After this, the sultan frequently sought opportunities of conversing with him, and put different questions by way of tempting him to abandon the Christian faith; but the king made such sagacious and prudent answers, that the sultan, not knowing how to reply, ordered him refreshments of all sorts, and then dismissed him; for, on the ransom being agreed on, the sultan had him taken from his prison, and lodged in the town. The king was often permitted to make excursions into the country for his amusement, well mounted, but always attended by some of the Saracens. When part of his ransom was paid, and security accepted for the remainder, on Palm Sunday he had his full liberty, and embarked on board a galley in the port of Alexandria. In company with the admiral of Rhodes, he disembarked at Cerines, where he was met by his sister, his children, and all the nobles and gentlemen of the island, who most reverently and humbly gave thanks to our Lord Jesus Christ for his safe return. Some days afterward he left Cerines, and went to Nicosia, where he was joyfully received by his subjects, and was lodged at the mansion of the constable of Jerusalem, wherein he ever after remained, because his own palace had been burnt and destroyed by the Saracens. After the death of his queen, Charlotte, he never remarried; nor, as his attendants firmly believed, had he connexion with any other woman: he lived after this for a considerable length of time.
* Citolye. Q Chiti.
* Cairo was by the crusaders termed Babylon, but some have confounded the title Babylon with some other city, confusion of ideas appears here, and Monstrelet seems to since he mentions Cairo in the same sentence.—Ep.
CHAPTER XL.-THE CASTLE of MoyenNES, IN CHAMPAGNE, SURPRISED BY THE FRENCH. -THE POPE GIVES SENTENCE IN FAWOUR OF THE DUKE OF BRABANT.--THE FORTRESS of oRIPECTE, IN PRovence, won BY TREACHERY.
In these days, the castle of Moyennes, in Champagne, was surprised by a party from king Charles, through the treachery of an Englishman of the garrison. It was, however, instantly besieged by the earl of Salisbury, who remained so long before it that it was forced to surrender. The French within it were allowed to depart in safety; but those who had been attached to the English and Burgundian party were punished with death; and among them was a gentleman called Gilles de Clary. Sir John de Luxembourg was present at the surrender; and when the walls had been completely demolished, he returned to his castle of Beaurevoir.
The pope this year published his definitive sentence in the suit of the duke of Brabant, by which he declared that the marriage between the duke of Gloucester and Jacqueline duchess of Bavaria was null and void; and that if the duke of Brabant should die, the said duke of Gloucester and the duchess Jacqueline could not be legally married to each other.
The duke of Gloucester, on being informed of this sentence of the pope, took to wife a woman of low degree compared with his rank, named Eleanor Cobham”, of whom mention has been before made. The duke had for some time lived with her as his mistress ; and her character was not spotless in regard to her connexions with others beside the duke. This created much wonder in France and in England, considering that the duke did not act conformably to the blood he sprung from.
At this period sir John Blondel, accompanied by John Blondel, his cousin-german, and eight others his companions in arms, by means of the chaplain, gained the fortress of Oripecte in Provence, of which John Cadart was governor, and made him prisoner, expecting to receive a large sum for his ransom. News of this was soon spread over the country, and the place was so expeditiously and strongly besieged, that those who had won it were glad to be allowed to depart in safety, and without carrying away anything. Notwithstanding this treaty, on their marching out, John Blondel was slain by the peasants, and the chaplain who had done the treason was beheaded.
CHAPTER XLI.--THE DUKE OF BEDFORD LAYS SIEGE TO MONTARGIS.—THE SIEGE IS RAISED BY THE FRENCH.-OTHER EVENTS BRIEFLY TOUCHED ON.
This year, the duke of Bedford, who styled himself regent of France for king Henry, had the town and castle of Montargis besieged by the earls of Warwick and Suffolk. With them were the lord de la Pole, brother to the earl of Suffolk, sir Henry Bisset, and other captains, having under them three thousand combatants. The town was so situated that it required three different sieges, which could with difficulty afford assistance to each other: however, the English formed lodgments all around it and fortified them. The earl of Warwick was quartered in a nunnery on one side of the town. They soon threw bridges over different parts of the river to serve for communications between their quarters. Having done this, they made vigorous approaches toward the town, which they damaged very much by their cannon and engines of war. The besieged made so good a defence, that the business was continued for more than two months, during which time they sent notice to king Charles that, unless speedy succours were afforded them, they must surrender to his enemies. The king, hearing this, assembled his council, when it was resolved to raise the siege, or at least to throw reinforcements of men and provision into the place. This was attempted, but without effect. An assembly of men-at-arms was then ordered by king Charles at Orleans, and the command of them given by the king to the count de Dunois, bastard of Orleans. He had with him sir William d'Albretht lord d'Orval, the lords de Graville, de Villag, de Gaucourt, Estienne Vignolles, surnamed La Hire, sir Gilles de St. Simon, Gaultier Boussart, and many other captains, amounting to sixteen hundred combatants, all men of tried courage. They commenced their march with a large train of forage-carts, intending only to revictual the town, and not to raise the siege. When they were arrived within half a league of the enemy's camp, they held a council as secretly as they could, and determined to attack the nearest quarters of the English. They had some of the garrison of Montargis with them as guides, and in the number was one called le Petit Breton. La Hire was appointed leader of one of the parties, and fell on the English quarters with great courage, shouting, “Montjoye St. Denis " The English were quite unprepared,—and their camp was soon on fire in various parts, and much slaughter was committed near to where the lord de la Pole was lodged: indeed the whole of that part was defeated, and the lord de la Pole escaped with eight others in a small boat. The garrison of the town had dammed up the river so high that the bridges the English had made were overflowed, and most of them who attempted to escape over them fell into the water and were drowned. The bastard of Orleans, while this was going forward, made a vigorous attack on the quarters of sir Henry Bisset: he had dismounted, and began to be hard pressed, when those who had destroyed the lord de la Pole's quarters opportunely came to his support, for the
* She was third daughter to Reginald lord Cobham, † William, second son of the constable d'Albreth, lord who died 24 Hen. WI. of Orval.