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chiAPTER xxxvii.--THE DUCHESS OF ORLEANs, witH HER. YoUNGEST SON, WAIT ON THE KING IN PARIs, to MAKE complaiNT of THE CRUEL MURDER OF THE LATE DUKE HER HUSBAND.
The late duke of Orleans had married the daughter of Galeazzo, duke of Milan, his cousin-german, by whom he left three sons and one daughter, namely—Charles, the eldest, who succeeded his father in the dukedom of Orleans; Philip, count de Vertus; John, count of Angoulême. The daughter was married to Richard of Brittany. We shall say more hereafter respecting these princes, and of the fortunes that befel them.
On the 10th day of December the duchess of Orleans, widow to the late duke, with her youngest son John, and accompanied by the late queen of England", now wife to her eldest
Duchess of Orleans, with her Youngrst Son, before the King, complains of the Murder of
son, set out for Paris. The king of Sicily, the dukes of Berry and Bourbon, the counts of Clermont and Vendôme, the lord Charles d'Albreth, constable of France, and many other great lords, went out of the town to meet her, attended by a number of people and horses, and thus escorted her to the hotel de St. Pol, where the king of France resided. Being instantly admitted to an audience, she fell on her knees to the king, and made a pitiful complaint to him of the very inhuman murder of her lord and husband. The king, who at that time was in his sound senses, having lately recovered from his illness, raised her up with tears, and assured her he would comply with all her request, according to the opinion of his council. Having received this answer, she returned to the hotel of Orleans, accompanied by the before-mentioned lords. On the following Monday the king of France, by the advice of his parliament, resumed in court the county of Dreux, Chastel-Thierry, and Mont d’Arcuelles, and all the lands which the king had given to his brother for his life. On the Wednesday after St. Thomas's-day, the duchess of Orleans, accompanied by her youngest son, the queen dowager of England, her daughter-in-law, the chancellor of Orleans, and others of her council, with many knights and esquires, who had been of the household of the late duke, all clothed in black, came to the hotel of St. Pol to have an audience of the king. She found there the king of Sicily, the dukes of Berry and Bourbon, the chancellor of France, and several others, who, having demanded an audience for her of the king, instantly obtained it. She was led into the presence by the count d'Alençon, and with many tears, and before all the princes, again supplicated the king that he would do her justice on those who had traitorously murdered her lord and husband, the late duke of Orleans. The whole manner of this deed she caused to be declared to the king by her advocate in the parliament; and the chancellor of Orleans was by her side, who repeated to the advocate word for word what she wished to have divulged. She had explained at length the whole history of the murder; how he had been watched. and the hour and place where the assassins had fallen on him; and how he had been betrayed by a false message from his lord and brother the king, giving him to understand that the king had sent for him; and ending by declaring that this murder more nearly touched the king than any other person. The advocate of the duchess concluded by saying, the king was bound to avenge the death of his brother, as well in regard to the duchess and her children, from their proximity of blood, as in respect to the offence which had been committed against justice and his royal majesty. The chancellor of France, who was seated at the king's feet, replied, with the advice of the dukes and lords present, that the king, having heard the detail of the murder of his brother, would, as speedily as possible, do strict and equal justice against the offenders. When the chancellor had said this, the king himself spoke and said, Be it known to all, that the facts thus exposed, relative to the death of our only brother, affect us most sensibly, and we hold the offence as committed against our own proper erson. p Upon this the duchess, her son John, and the queen dowager of England, her daughterin-law, cast themselves on their knees before the king, and, with abundance of tears, supplicated him to remember to do good justice on the perpetrators of the murder of his brother. The king raised them up, and, kissing them, again promised strict justice, and named a day for the enforcement of it. After these words they took their leave and returned to the hotel of Orleans. On the second day ensuing, the king of France came from his palace to the chamber of parliament, which had been greatly adorned, and seated himself on the royal throne. He then published an act, in the presence of the dukes, princes, nobility, clergy, and commonalty of his realm, by which he ordained, that should he die before the duke of Aquitaine was of lawful age, notwithstanding this he should govern the kingdom; and that all things should be conducted in his name by the three estates of the realm, until he should be arrived at the proper age to take the government into his own hands. Should it happen that his eldest son should die before he came of age, he ordained that his second son, the duke of Touraine, should succeed him; and in like manner that his third son should succeed the duke of Touraine on his death; but that until these princes should be of the proper age, the three estates should govern in their name. These ordinances were very agreeable to the princes of the blood and council, and were confirmed by them. On the third day of January, the duchess of Orleans, for herself and children, did homage for the county of Vertus, and all the other lordships that had been held by her late husband. She took her oaths of fealty to the king himself, and, having taken her leave of him, quitted Paris a few days after, and returned with her state to Blois.
CHAPTER xxxvii.I.—THE DUKE OF BURGUNDY Assembles A NUMBER of HIs DEPENDANTs, AT LILLE IN FLANDERs, To A councIL, RESPECTING THE DEATH of THE DUKE of oRLEANS.–HE GOES To AMIENs, AND THENCE To PARIs.
WHEN the duke of Burgundy was at Lille, he called to him the nobles, clerks, and others of his council, to have their opinion respecting the death of the late duke of Orleans, and he was greatly comforted by the advice they gave him. He went thence to Ghent to his duchess, and there summoned the three estates of Flanders, to whom he caused the counsellor, John de la Sancson, to explain publicly the reasons, article by article, why he had caused the duke of Orleans to be put to death at Paris; and as he was desirous that the whole should be made as public as possible, he ordered copies to be given of his explanation to all who might be desirous of having them. He then demanded, that they would afford him their aid, in case anything disagreeable should happen to him in consequence of what he had done; and the Flemings promised they would assist him willingly. In like manner did those of Lille, Douay, and the inhabitants of Artois, after they had heard the reasons for this death, and the duke's request of assistance against all the world, except the king of France and his children. The reasons he assigned for causing the duke of Orleans to be put to death were the same, or nearly the same, as those of master John Petit, when, by command of the duke of Burgundy, he publicly harangued at Paris, before the royal council, and which shall hereafter be very minutely given. During this time, the king of Sicily and the duke of Berry sent messengers with letters to the duke of Burgundy at Lille, whither he was returned, to require that he would meet them without fail at Amiens, on an appointed day, which they made known to him, in order to confer and consult together on what was to be done respecting the death of the duke of Orleans. The duke of Burgundy returned for answer, by the messengers, that he would not fail to meet them; and, in consequence, he requested of the states of Flanders and Artois to lend him a sum of money, which was granted to him. He made grand preparations for his journey, and assembled a very considerable force. When the day appointed approached, in company with his two brothers, the duke of Brabant and count of Nevers, with many other noblemen and gentry, to the amount of three thousand, excellently armed, and attended by several of his council, he went from Arras to Corbie, and, on the appointed day, entered Amiens, and lodged at the house of a citizen called James de Hanghart. He caused to be painted over the door of this house two lances, the one with a sharp pointed head, and the other with a blunt one,—which many of the nobles of his company said was meant to signify, that he was prepared for war or peace, accordingly as it might be determined on. The weather was exceedingly severe at this season, and the country was covered with snow, insomuch that the king of Sicily and the duke of Berry, accompanied by about two hundred horse, on leaving Paris, were forced to employ great numbers of peasants with shovels to clear the road for them. They arrived at Amiens on the day fixed upon; and the duke of Burgundy, with his two brothers, magnificently attended, went out of the town to meet them, and mutual respects were paid on each side. The king of Sicily was lodged at the hotel of the bishop, and the duke of Berry at St. Martin-les-jumeaux. At the time that these two princes left Paris, the duke of Bourbon", and his son the count de Clermont, much grieved and melancholy at the death of the duke of Orleans, did the same, and returned to the duchy of Bourbon. The king of Sicily and the duke of Berry had brought with them to Amiens some of the members of the royal council, to attempt, if possible, a reconciliation between the two parties of Orleans and Burgundy, for the advantage of the king and realm; but their attempts were vain, for duke John's obstinacy was so great that he would no way consent to ask the king's pardon, nor require any remission for what had passed. On the contrary, he maintained that the king and his council should feel themselves much obliged to him for what he had done. In support of this conduct, he had brought with him three doctors in theology, of high fame and reputation in the university of Paris, namely, master John Petit, who afterwards argued it publicly at Paris, and two others. They declared, in the presence of these two princes and the royal council at Amiens, that it was lawful for the duke of Burgundy to act as he had done, in regard to the duke of Orleans,—adding, that if he had not done it, he would have been greatly to blame; and they were ready to maintain these two propositions against all who should say to the contrary. When the two parties had discussed this matter for some days, and when those sent by the king perceived they could not bring it to the conclusion wished for by them, namely peace, they broke up the conference, and took their departure to Paris, having first signified to the duke of Burgundy, in the king's name, that he must not return to Paris until he was so ordered. Duke John, however, plainly told them, he should pay no attention to this order; for that it was his intention to go to Paris as speedily as possible, to lay his charges and defence publicly before the king and the Parisians. On the morrow of the departure of the two princes, the duke of Burgundy, with his two brothers and those who had accompanied them, returned to the town of Arras, with the exception of Waleran count de St. Pol, who remained for six days after them in Amiens. When the king of Sicily and the duke of Berry, with the lords of the council, were returned to Paris, and had made their report to the king and princes, relating at length the answers which the duke of Burgundy had made, and that he had asserted the king ought to requite him in various ways for having caused the death and murder of the duke of Orleans, they were much disgusted and astonished at the great presumption and audacity of the duke of Burgundy. It was talked of differently according to the bias of each party. Those of Orleans were much angered, and declared, that the king ought to assemble all his forces to subdue the duke of Burgundy, and punish him as his conduct deserved. While others, attached to the Burgundy party, held a contrary opinion, thinking the duke had done a praise-worthy act toward the king and his family; and this was the opinion of the greater part of the Parisians, by whom the duke of Burgundy was much beloved. The cause of his popularity in Paris were the hopes they entertained, that through his means the heavy taxes with which they and all France were oppressed would be taken off, which the duke of Orleans, when alive, had been so instrumental in imposing, because he had had a great share in them. The duke of Burgundy went shortly after to Flanders, and summoned a great number of his nobles, gentry and men-at-arms, to prepare themselves to accompany him to Paris, notwithstanding the king of Sicily and the duke of Berry had forbidden him, in the king's name, to come thither until further orders. He did not, however, pay any attention to this command, but advanced by short journeys to St. Denis, whither the king of Sicily, and the dukes of Berry and Brittany, and several of the king's council, came to visit him, and * “The noble duke of Bourbon,” says the monk of St. the state for the murder of his nephew, which made him Denis, “was nominated to this embassy, but he generously exclaim loudly, and many times, as I have been assured, excused himself from it: he would not even remain any that he could never look with a favourable eye upon the longer at court, but demanded leave to retire to his own author of a treason so cowardly and so infamous.”—See again forbade him, in the king's name, to enter Paris, if accompanied by more than two hundred men. The duke of Burgundy, on this, quitted St. Denis, in company with his brother the count de Nevers, his brother-in-law the count de Cleves, and the duke of Lorrain, with a very large body of men well armed, and entered Paris, with the intent of justifying his act and his quarrel with the late duke of Orleans, as well before the king as before all who might think proper to demand it of him. The Parisians showed great joy on his entering the town; and even little children sung carols in all the squares, which much displeased the king, the queen, and the princes then in Paris. He dismounted at his hôtel d'Artois, and was, in truth, greatly beloved by the common people; for they believed he was much attached to the good of the kingdom, and to the general weal. This made him more popular than the other princes of the blood, and the people freshly remembered the heavy taxes that had been laid on them since the death of the late duke Philip of Burgundy, and principally, as they thought, by means of the duke of Orleans, who was exceedingly unpopular with them; and they considered his death, and the being delivered from his government, as a peculiar mark of God's grace, not foreseeing what was afterward to befal them and the whole kingdom of France. When the duke of Burgundy had been some days in Paris, and had learnt from his friends and partisans how he was to conduct himself, he found means to obtain an audience of the king, when the princes, clergy and people should be present, to hear his justification of the murder of the late duke of Orleans. He went to the appointed place of audience well armed, and escorted by the princes and lords whom he had brought with him, and great crowds of Parisians. During his stay at Paris he was always armed, to the surprise of the other princes and members of the royal council, who were afraid to say anything disagreeable to him, from his popularity with the citizens, and because he was ever surrounded by men at arms, and had his hôtel full of them; for he had quartered there the whole, or the greater part, of those whom he had brought with him. He had also a strong tower constructed of masonry," in which he slept at nights, and his chamber was strongly guarded. The justification of the duke now follows, and shall be literally given, as delivered by doctor John Petit.
estates; for he loved better to renounce the share which Bayle, ubi supra. he had in the government than consent to compound with
CHAPTER xxxix. —THE DUKE OF BURGUNDY OFFERS HIS JUSTIFICATION, For HAVING CAUSED THE DEATH of THE DUKE of on LEANs, IN THE PRESENCE of THE KING AND HIS GREAT COUNCIL.
On the 8th day of March, in the year 1407, duke John of Burgundy offered his justification for having caused the death of the late duke of Orleans, at the hôtel de St. Pol at Paris, by the mouth of master John Petit, doctor of theology. There were present, in royal state, the duke of Guienne,t dauphin of the Viennois, eldest son and heir to the king of France, the king of Sicily, the cardinal de Bart, the dukes of Berry, Brittany, and Lorrain, and many counts, barons, knights and esquires, from divers countries, the rector of the university, accompanied by a great many doctors and other clerks, and a numerous body of the citizens of Paris and people of all ranks.
John Petit & opened his speech in the manner following. “In the first place,” said he. “the duke of Burgundy, count of Flanders, of Artois and of Burgundy, doubly a peer of France, and dean of the French peerage, comes hither, with all humility, to pay his reverence to his royal majesty, like an obedient subject, to which he is bounden by four obligations,
* This shows how general wooden buildings were still in the 15th century. f The titles of Guienne and Aquitaine were always used indiscriminately. + Louis, cardinal de Bar, afterwards cardinal of the Twelve Apostles, youngest son of Robert, and brother of Edward, dukes of Bar, and heir to the duchy after the deaths of all his brothers. § John Petit, professor of theology in the iversity of Paris, “ame venale,” says Bayle, “et vendue à l'iniquité.” He was reputed a great orator, and had been employed
twice before to plead on occasions of the first importance. The first was in favour of the university against some accusations of the cardinal-legate, in 1406; the second, at Rome before pope Gregory, on the 20th July, 1407, on the subject of the king's proposal for a termination of the schism. The very curious performance with which we are here presented was publicly condemned by the bishop of Paris and the university as soon as they were out of fear from the immediate presence of the duke of Burgundy, and burnt by the common hangman. See, in Bayle, further particulars of the work and its author.