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order of St. Augustin, called Richard, who had lately been driven out of Paris, and from other places under subjection to the English, for having in his sermons shown himself too favourable to the French party. From Gien the king marched toward Auxerre; but the constable went with a large detachment to Normandy and Evreux, to prevent the garrisons in that country joining the duke of Bedford. On the other hand, the cadet d'Armagnac was despatched into the Bourdelois to guard Aquitaine and those parts. The king on his march reduced two towns to his obedience, Gergeau and St. Florentin, the inhabitants of which promised henceforward to be faithful to him, and to conduct themselves as loyal subjects should do to their lord: and they obtained the king's promise that he would rule them justly, and according to their ancient customs. He thence marched to Auxerre, and sent to summon the inhabitants to surrender to their natural and legal lord. At first, the townsmen were not inclined to listen to any terms, but commissioners being appointed on each side, a treaty was concluded, in which they engaged to render similar obedience to what the towns of Troyes, Châlons, and Rheims, should assent to. They supplied the king's army with provision for money, and remained peaceable, for the king held them excused this time. The king marched next to Troyes, and encamped his men around it. He was three days there before the inhabitants would admit him as their lord: however, in consideration of certain promises made them, they opened the gates and permitted him and his army to enter their town, where he heard mass. When the usual oaths had been received and given on each side, the king returned to his camp, and caused it to be proclaimed several times throughout the camp and town, that no one, under pain of death, should molest the inhabitants of Troyes, or those of the other towns which had submitted to his obedience. On this expedition, the two marshals, namely, Boussac and the lord de Raix, commanded the van division, and with them were, la Hire, Poton de Saintrailles, and other captains. Very many great towns and castles submitted to king Charles on his march, the particulars of which I shall pass over for the sake of brevity.
CHAPTER LXIv.–KING CHARLES OF FRANCE, witH A NOELE CHIVALRY AND A NUMEROUS Body of MEN-AT-ARMs, ARRIVES AT RHEIMs, where HE IS CRowNED BY THE ARCHBishop or RHELMS.
DURING the time king Charles remained at Troyes in Champagne, deputies arrived from Châlons, who brought him the keys of their town, with promises of perfect obedience to his will. The king, upon this, went to Châlons, where he was kindly and with great humility received. In like manner, the keys of the city of Rheims were presented to him, with promises to admit him as their king, and to pay him due obedience. The lord de Saveuses had been lately made governor of Rheims, having a certain number of men-at-arms under him, to keep the town steady to the dukes of Bedford and Burgundy. On the arrival of the lord de Saveuses, the townsmen promised him that they would obey king Henry and the duke of Burgundy until death. Nevertheless, from fear of the Maid, of whose prowess they were told wonders, they resolved to surrender themselves to king Charles, although the lord de Chastillon and the lord de Saveuses wanted to persuade them to the contrary. These lords, noticing their obstinacy, quitted the town of Rheims; for in answer to their entreaties not to change sides, they had used very rough and strange expressions. The two lords then went to Château-Thierry.
The men of Rheims carried their resolution of submitting to king Charles into effect, as you have heard, through the instigation of the archbishop", who was chancellor to king Charles, and some others. The king made his public entry into Rheims on Friday, the 6th day of July, attended by a noble chivalry; and on the following Sunday he was crowned by the archbishop in the cathedral of Rheims, in presence of all his princes, barons, and knights, then with him. In the number were, the duke d'Alençon, the count de Clermont, the lord de la Trimouille, his principal minister, the lord de Beaumanoir, a Breton, the lord de Mailly, in Touraine, who were dressed in coronation-robes, to represent the noble peers of France absent at this ceremony. They had been, however, called over at the great altar by France king-at-arms, in the usual manner. When the coronation was over, the king went to the archiepiscopal palace to dinner, attended by his princes and nobles. The archbishop was seated at the king's table, and the king was served by the duke d'Alençon, the count de Clermont, and other great lords. The king, on his coronation, created, while in the church, three knights, of whom the youth of Commercis was one. On his leaving Rheims, he appointed sir Anthony de Hollande, nephew to the archbishop, governor; and on the morrow of his departure, he went on a pilgrimage to Corbeni, to pay adoration to St. Marcou. Thither came deputies from Laon, to submit themselves to his obedience in the manner other towns had done. From Corbeni, the king went to Provins and Soissons, which places, without hesitation, opened their gates to him. He made La Hire bailiff of the Vermandois, in the room of sir Colart de Mailly, who had been appointed to that office by king Henry. The king and his army next came before Château-Thierry, in which were the lord de Châtillon, John de Croy, John de Brimeu, and other great lords of the Burgundian party, with about four hundred combatants. These gentlemen, perceiving the townsmen inclined to submit to the king, and not expecting any speedy succour, and being withal poorly provided for defence, yielded up the town and castle to king Charles, and marched away with their effects and baggage undisturbed. They went to the duke of Bedford at Paris, who was then collecting a sufficient body of men-at-arms to combat the French.
* Renaud de Chartres, archbishop of Rheims, made chancellor in 1424, and again in 1428–cardinal in 1439 —died October 4, 1445.
CHAPTER LXV.- THE DUKE OF BEBFORD ASSEMBLES A LARGE ARMY TO COMBAT KING CHARLES.-HE SENDS A LETTER TO THE KING.
At this period, the regent duke of Bedford, having collected about ten thousand cornbatants from England, Normandy, and other parts, marched them from Rouen toward Paris, with the intent to meet king Charles and offer him battle. He advanced, through the country of Brie, to Montereau-faut-Yonne, whence he sent ambassadors to the said king, with a sealed letter of the following tenor.
“We John of Lancaster, regent of France and duke of Bedford, make known to you Charles de Valois, who were wont to style yourself Dauphin of Vienne, but at present without cause call yourself king, for wrongfully do you make attempts against the crown and dominion of the very high, most excellent and renowned prince Henry, by the grace of God true and natural lord of the kingdoms of France and England,-deceiving the simple people by your telling them you come to give peace and security, which is not the fact, nor can it be done by the means you have pursued and are now following to seduce and abuse ignorant people, with the aid of superstitious and damnable persons, such as a woman of a disorderly and infamous life, and dissolute manners, dressed in the clothes of a man, together with an apostate and seditious mendicant friar, as we have been informed, both of whom are, according to holy Scripture, abominable in the sight of God. You have also gained possession, by force of arms, of the country of Champagne, and of several towns and castles appertaining to my said lord the king, the inhabitants of which you have induced to perjure themselves by breaking the peace which had been most solemnly sworn to by the then kings of France and England, the great barons, peers, prelates, and three estates of the realm.
“We, to defend and guard the right of our said lord the king, and to repulse you from his territories, by the aid of the All-Powerful, have taken the field in person, and with the means God has given us, as you may have heard, shall pursue you from place to place in the hope of meeting you, which we have never yet done. As we most earnestly and heartily desire a final end to the Y or, we summon and require of you, if you be a prince desirous of gaining honour, to take compassion on the poor people, who have, on your account, been so long and so grievously harassed, that an end may be put to their afflictions, by terminating this war. Choose, therefore, in this country of Brie, where we both are, and not very distant from each other, any competent place for us to meet, and having fixed on a day, appear there with the abandoned woman, the apostate monk, and all your perjured allies, and such force as you may please to bring, when we will, with God's pleasure, personally meet you in the name and as the representative of my lord the king. “Should it then please you to make any proposals respecting peace, we will do every thing that may be expected from a catholic prince, for we are always inclined to conclude a solid peace, not such a false and treacherous one as that of Montereau-faut-Yonne, when, through your connivance, that most horrid and disgraceful murder was committed contrary to every law of chivalry and honour, on the person of our late very dear and well-beloved father duke John of Burgundy, whose soul may God receive | By means of this peace so wickedly violated by you, upwards of one hundred nobles have deserted your realm, as may be clearly shown by the letters patent under your hand and seal, by which you have absolutely and unreservedly acquitted them of every oath of loyalty, fealty and subjection. However, if from the iniquity and malice of mankind peace cannot be obtained, we may each of us then with our swords defend the cause of our quarrel before God, as our judge, and to whom and none other will my said lord refer it. We therefore most humbly supplicate the Almighty, as knowing the right of my lord in this matter, that he would dispose the hearts of this people so that they may remain in peace without further oppressions; and such ought to be the object of all Christian kings and princes in regard to their subjects. “We, therefore, without using more arguments or longer delay, make known our proposals to you, which should you refuse, and should further murders and mischiefs be, through your fault, committed by a continuation of the war, we call God to witness, and protest before him and the world, that we are no way the cause, and that we have done and do our duty. We therefore profess our willingness to consent to a solid and reasonable peace, and, should that be rejected, then to resort to open combat becoming princes, when no other means can accommodate their differences. In testimony whereof, we have had these presents sealed with our seal. “Given at Montereau-faut-Yonne the 7th day of August, in the year of Grace 1429" Signed by my lord the regent of France and duke of Bedford.
CHAPTER LXVI.-THE ARMIES OF CHARLES KING OF FRANCE AND OF THE REGENT DUKE OF BEDFORD MEET NEAR TO MONT EPILOY.
THE duke of Bedford, finding that he could not meet the army of king Charles to his advantage, and that many towns were surrendering to the king without making any resistance, withdrew his forces toward the Isle of France, to prevent the principal towns in that district following their examples. King Charles, in the meanwhile, advanced to Crespy, where he had been received as king, and, passing through Brie, was making for Senlis, when the two armies of the king and the duke came within sight of each other at Mont Epiloy, near to the town of Baron. Both were diligent in seizing the most advantageous positions for the combat. The duke of Bedford chose a strong post, well strengthened, on the rear and wings, with thick hedgerows. In the front, he drew up his archers in good array on foot, having each a sharppointed stake planted before them. The regent himself was with his lords in one battalion close to the archers, where, among the banners of the different lords, were displayed two having the arms of France and of England: the banner of St. George was likewise there, and borne that day by Jean de Williers, knight, lord of Isle-Adam. The regent had with him from six to eight hundred combatants from the duke of Burgundy, the chief leaders of whom were, the lord de l'Isle-Adam, Jean de Croy, Jean de Crequi, Anthony de Bethune", Jean de Fosseux, the lord de Saveuses, sir Hugh de Launoy, Jean de Brimeu, Jean de * Anthony de Bethune, lord of Mareuil and Hostel, had three brothers, Robert, Guy, and Jacotin, of whom
Killed in 1430 by the commune of Laon. He was eldest the former became lord of Mareuil after his deatn. son of John lord of Mareuil, killed at Azincourt ; and
Launoy, sir Simon de Lalain, Jean bastard de St. Pol, and other warriors, some of whom were then knighted. The bastard de St. Pol received that honour from the hand of the duke of Bedford, and Jean de Crequi, Jean de Croy, Anthony de Bethune, Jean de Fosseux, and le Liegeois de Humieres", by the hands of other knights.
When these matters were ordered, the English were drawn up together on the left wing, and the Picards, with those of the French in king Henry's interest, opposite to them. They thus remained in battle-array for a considerable time, and were so advantageously posted that the enemy could not attack them without very great risk to themselves; add to which, they were plentifully supplied with provision from the good town of Senlis, near to which they were.
King Charles had drawn up his men with his most expert captains in the van division, the others remained with him in the main battalion, excepting a few posted, by way of rearguard, toward Paris. The king had a force of men-at-arms with him much superior in numbers to the English. The Maid was also there, but perpetually changing her resolutions; sometimes she was eager for the combat, at other times not. The two parties, however, remained in this state, ever prepared to engage, for the space of two days and two nights, during which were many skirmishes and attacks. To detail them all would take too much time; but there was one very long and bloody, that took place on the wing where the Picards were posted, and which lasted for an hour and a half. The royal army fought with the utmost courage, and their archers did much mischief with their arrows, insomuch that many persons thought, seeing the numbers engaged, that it would not cease until one or other of the parties were vanquished. They, however, separated, but not without many killed and wounded on each side. The duke of Bedford was very well pleased with the Picards for the gallantry and courage they had displayed; and when they had retreated, he rode down their ranks, addressing them kindly, and saying, “My friends, you are excellent people, and have valiantly sustained for us a severe shock, for which we humbly thank you; and we entreat, that should any more attacks be made on your post, you will persevere in the same valour and courage.”
Both parties were violently enraged against each other, so that no man, whatever his rank, was that day ransomed, but every one put to death without mercy. I was told, that about three hundred men were killed in these different skirmishes; but I know not which side lost the most. At the end of two days, the armies separated without coming to a general engagement.
CHAPTER LXVII.-KING CHARLES OF FRANCE SENDS AMBASSADORS TO THE DUKE of BURGUNDY AT ARRAS,
About this time, ambassadors were sent to the duke of Burgundy, at Arras, by king Charles of France, to treat of a peace between them. The principal persons of this embassy were, the archbishop of Rheims, Christopher de Harcourt, the lords de Dammartin, de Gaucourt, and de Fontaines, knights, with some councillors of state. Having demanded an audience, some few days after their arrival, they remonstrated through the mouth of the archbishop with the duke of Burgundy most discreetly and wisely on the cause of their coming, and, among other topics, enlarged on the perfect affection the king bore him, and on his earnest desire to be at peace with him, for which purpose he was willing to make condescensions and reparations even more than were becoming royal majesty. They excused him of the murder committed on the person of the late duke of Burgundy, on the score of his youth, alleging that he was then governed by persons regardless of the welfare of the kingdom, but whose measures at that time he dared not oppose.
These and other remonstrances from the archbishop were kindly listened to by the duke and his council; and when he had finished speaking, one of the duke's ministers replied, “My lord and his council have heard with attention what you have said; he will consider on it, and you shall have his answer within a few days.” The archbishop and his companions now returned to their hotel, much respected by all ranks, for the majority of the states were very desirous of a peace between the king and the duke of Burgundy. Even those of the middle ranks, although there was neither truce nor peace, came to the chancellor of France at Arras, to solicit letters of grace and remission, as if the king had been in the full possession of his power, which grants, however, they obtained from the archbishop as chancellor. The duke of Burgundy held many consultations with those of his privy council, which much hastened the conclusion of this business.
* Qy. Dreux, lord of Humieres, son of Philip and brother of Matthew, second lord of Humieres, and John of Humieres, who defended Corbie in 1431.
CHAPTER LXVIII.-THE LORD DE LONGUEVAL CONQUERS THE CASTLE OF AUMALE FROM THE ENGLISH.
The lord de Longueval, having been deprived of his estates, had turned to king Charles, and, by the means of a priest resident in Aumale, had gained the castle of the town, the chief place of that country, and held by the English. Four or five Englishmen were found within it, who were put to death; but the inhabitants were spared, on their making oath to behave in future like good Frenchmen, and paying a heavy ransom for their deliverance. This castle was shortly after repaired, re-victualled, and reinforced with men-at-arms, who carried on a continual warfare against the English and their allies in these parts. The duke of Bedford was much vexed at this; but he could not, by reason of more important matters, at the time go thither, nor provide any remedy. At this time also the castle of Estrepagny was taken by storm from the lord de Rambures and his men; but on the other hand, the fortress of Château-Gaillard was reduced to the obedience of king Charles, which is excellently situated and is very strong. In this castle had been confined for a long time that valiant knight the lord de Barbasan, who had been made prisoner, as has been said, by king Henry's army at Melun. By means of this lord de Barbasan was Château-Gaillard won, and himself freed from prison. He gave the command of it to some of his people, and soon after joined king Charles, by whom he was most joyfully received and honoured.
The castle of Torcy was also put into the hands of the French by some of the country people, who had connexions with the English, and who betrayed it to the enemy. Thus in a short time were four of the strongest castles of the enemy recovered; and in consequence of their capture, those parts were very much harassed, both by the French and English.
CHAPTER LXIx.—THE TOWN OF COMPIEGNE SURRENDERS TO THE FRENCII.--THE RETURN OF THE FRENCH EMBASSY WHICH HAD BEEN SENT TO THE DUKE OF BURGUNDY.
WHEN king Charles was marching from near Senlis, where he and the duke of Bedford had been within sight of each other, he was detained at Crespy in Valois, and there he received intelligence that the town of Compiègne was willing to submit to his obedience. He lost no time in going thither, and was received by the inhabitants with great joy, and lodged in the royal palace. His chancellor and the other ambassadors to the duke of Burgundy, there met him, and informed him, that although they had held many conferences with the ministers of the duke of Burgundy, nothing had been finally concluded, except that the duke had agreed to send ambassadors to king Charles to confer further on the subject. They had learnt that the majority of the duke's council were very desirous that peace should be established between the king and him, but that master John de Tourcy, bishop of Tournay, and sir Hugh de Launoy, had been charged by the duke of Bedford to remind the duke of Burgundy of his oaths to king Henry, and were against a peace with the king of France. This had delayed the matter, and further time had been required by the duke to send his ambassadors. He had, however, nominated sir John de Luxembourg, the bishop of Arras, sir David de Brimeu, with other discreet and noble persons, for the purpose.
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