Abbildungen der Seite

sixty were killed or taken: of the latter number were the lord de Plansi and Charles de Rochefort. The lord d'Aumore was also made prisoner, with several of his men, when sallying out of the town to support his friends. His brother was likewise taken, and he was forced to deliver up the castle to the duke of Bar, who completely destroyed it.


DURING the time that the duke of Burgundy was quartered at Coudun, and his men-atarms in the villages between Coudun and Compiègne, it happened, that about five o'clock in the afternoon, on Ascension-eve, the Maid, Poton, and other valiant French captains, having with them from five to six hundred combatants horse and foot, sallied out of Compiègne by the gate of the bridge leading to Mondidier, with the intent to attack the post of sir Baudo de Noielle, at the end of the causeway of Marigny. At this time, sir John de Luxembourg, the lord de Crequi, and eight or ten gentlemen, but with very few attendants, were with sir Baudo. They had rode thither to consult with him on the best mode of directing their attacks on Compiègne.

The French were very near to Marigny, before the greater part of the men who were unarmed could prepare themselves; but they soon collected together, and a severe conflict commenced,—during which the cries of “To arms!" were echoed through all the English and Burgundian quarters. The English, who were encamped on the meads of Venette, formed themselves into battle-array against the French, and were near five hundred men. On the other hand, sir John de Luxembourg's men quartered at Claroi, hastened to the relief of their lord and captain, who was engaged in the heat of the skirmish, and under whom the most part rallied. In this encounter the lord de Crequi was dangerously wounded in the face.

After some time, the French, perceiving their enemies multiply so fast on them, retreated toward Compiègne, leaving the Maid, who had remained to cover the rear, anxious to bring back the men with little loss. But the Burgundians, knowing that reinforcements were coming to them from all quarters, pursued them with redoubled vigour, and charged them on the plain. In the conclusion, as I was told, the Maid was dragged from her horse by an archer, near to whom was the bastard de Vendôme, and to him she surrendered and pledged her faith. He lost no time in carrying her to Marigny, and put her under a secure guard. With her was taken Poton the Burgundian, and some others, but in no great number. The French re-entered Compiègne doleful and vexed at their losses, more especially for the capture of Joan : while, on the contrary, the English were rejoiced, and more pleased than if they had taken five hundred other combatants, for they dreaded no other leader or captain so much as they had hitherto feared the Maid.

The duke of Burgundy came soon after from Coudun to the meadows before Compiègne, where he drew up his army, together with the English and the troops from their different quarters, making a handsome appearance, and with shoutings and huzzas expressed their joy at the capture of the Maid. After this, the duke went to the lodgings where she was confined, and spoke some words to her; but what they were I do not now recollect, although I was present. The duke and the army returned to their quarters, leaving the Maid under the guard of sir John de Luxembourg, who shortly after sent her, under a strong escort, to the castle of Beaulieu, and thence to that of Beaurevoir, where she remained, as you shall hear, a prisoner for a long time.


In this year, king Henry of England, then about eight years of age, disembarked about ten o'clock in the morning of St. George's day, from his vessel at Calais. Having mounted his horse, he went to hear mass at the church of St. Nicholas, attended by the cardinal of Winchester, the duke of York, the earls of Huntingdon, Warwick, Stafford, Arundel, and Suffolk, the counts de Bonneterre, de Hemme, the lords de Roye, de Beaumont, d'Escaillon, de Grez, and many more.

[ocr errors][merged small]

He was likewise accompanied by master Pierre de Cauchon, bishop of Beauvais, who had been sent to meet him. His attendants then followed; and he was escorted from Calais to Rouen by his army, where he remained a long time.


On the morrow of the feast of the Ascension, the duke of Burgundy changed his quarters from Coudun to La Venette, where he was lodged in the abbey, and his men in the town and near to it. Sir John de Luxembourg was quartered at Marigny. They had soon erected an earthen bulwark within a bow-shot from the outworks of Compiègne, and huts of wood and earth were built still nearer to the ramparts, in which men-at-arms kept guard day and night. They had a deep ditch of communication sunk from the bulwark to these huts, so that the guard could safely pass and repass, without fear of the guns from the walls, which were continually firing.


The duke had some large engines pointed against the gates of the town, which, by the huge stones they cast, did great damage to the gates, bridges, and mills: some of the last were rendered quite useless, to the great distress of the inhabitants. Among other mischiefs done by these machines, a young gentleman of twenty-two years old, called Louis de Flavy, son to sir William de Flavy, governor of Compiègne, was struck dead. All present were much grieved at this accident on account of sir William, who, although he was much affected, concealed his feelings, to avoid discouraging his men, and soon after, by way of heartening them, caused his minstrels to sound before him as usual; and ordered the ramparts to be more diligently defended, notwithstanding they had been greatly damaged by these engines. There had been constructed within the ditch small wooden huts, in which the guard were sheltered from danger. Some mines were also begun on by orders of sir John de Luxembourg, which, though very deep and well concealed, were of little service, but had cost much.

While these different measures were pursuing, many shirmishes took place, in which the besiegers had numbers killed and wounded. The principal persons among the dead were sir John de Belles, knight, Alain d'Escaussines, Thibault de Caitigines, and many others, as well Burgundians as English.


At this time, the Liegeois were instigated by some arrogant men attached to the party of king Charles, such as John de Beaurain, John de Saumain, Everard de la Marche, with others, and, by the hatred and malice they had long borne the duke of Burgundy on account of former quarrels, which have been already detailed in the preceding part of this work, to rise in arms, and invade the territories of the duke, more especially the county of Namur, and despoil it. John de Heneberg, their bishop, remonstrated with them strongly on this subject; but his attempts to dissuade them from executing their plans were vain, although he plainly showed that very great misfortunes might befall Liege in consequence. The Liegeois were much displeased with these remonstrances, and being determined to pursue hostile measures against the duke of Burgundy, the bishop considered, that should he not take part and support them, he might be deprived of his bishopric. He, therefore, having advised with his council, resolved to save his-own honour, by sending letters of defiance to the duke before he made war upon him. The tenour of these letters was as follows. “Most high, most noble, and most puissant prince Philip, duke of Burgundy, count of Artois, Flanders and Burgundy, palatine of Namur, &c. “Notwithstanding that I, John de Heneberg, bishop of Liege and count de Loz, in virtue of certain statements that have passed between us, have made frequent applications to you for reparation according to the claims declared in these aforesaid statements, which have been but little attended to, and that divers great and abominable outrages have been committed by your captains and servants on my country and subjects, which, if it may please you to remember, have been fully detailed in the complaints that were made to you thereon. Nevertheless, most high, noble and puissant prince, although your answers have been very gracious, and although you declare your intentions of preserving a good understanding between us, your promises have hitherto been without effect ; and these matters are now so much entangled with others, no wise concerning them, that it is very grievous to us, and most highly displeasing. “Most high, noble and puissant prince, you must, in your wisdom, know, that by reason of my oath to remain faithful to my church and country, it behoves me to support and defend their rights against all who may attempt to infringe them, with the whole force I shall be possessed of. For this reason, most high, noble, and puissant prince, after my humble salutations and excuses, I must again inform you of these things, and, should they be continued, opposition will be made thereto, so that my honour may be preserved. “Given under my seal, appended to these presents, the 10th day of July, in the year 1430." Then signed, by command of my lord, “J. Berrard.” In like manner were challenges sent to the duke from different lords, allies, and friends of the bishop, namely, the count de Beaurienne, Picard de la Grace lord de Quinquempoix, Rasse de Rabel, Gerard d'Edevant, John de Valle, Henry de Gayel, John de Boilleur, John de la Barre. John de Gemblais, Corbeau de Belle-Goule, Thierry Ponthey, and several others.


WHEN the duke of Burgundy learnt that the bishop of Liege and the Liegeois were preparing to invade his county of Namur, he determined with his council to send thither the lord de Croy to guard and defend the town and castle of Namur, and the whole of that country. The lord de Croy, in consequence, departed from before Compiègne, having about eight hundred men under his command, and entered Namur, where the Liegeois had already commenced the war, by taking of Beaufort and setting fire to it. The lord de Croy remained inactive in Namur, for about ten days; after this, he began his operations, by the storming of the town of Fosse, which he burnt, with the exception of the monastery. On the ensuing day, from forty to eighty Liegeois were put to death at Florennes, and forty made prisoners.

With the lord de Croy were his brother sir John de Croy, the lords de Mainsnée, de Rambures, de Fauquemberg and de d'Juselle, le Galois de Roly, the lord de Framesant, Robert de Neufville, and other nobles. The lord de Rambures was ordered to Polvache, where, in a sally, he was mortally wounded and made prisoner. The lord de Senlis was then sent thither, who surrendered the place to the Liegeois, and they set fire to and burnt it. The Liegeois were led by their bishop, and amounted to fifty thousand men. When they had gained Polvache, they laid siege to Bouvines, and took and burnt Golesme. While they were thus engaged, the lord de Croy made frequent attacks on them, and in these different skirmishes slew and took from seven to eight hundred.


About this time, the earl of Huntingdon, de Robersac, and others, with a thousand archers from England, came to the assistance of the duke of Burgundy before Compiègne. They were quarteredin the town of la Venette, where the duke had lodged before he had moved to the fort between Compiègne and Marigny; the duke's men were posted at Marigny, whence the governor, sir John de Luxembourg, and his people, had dislodged and gone to Soissons, which, through some connexions he had in the town, had surrendered to him, with other places in those parts. On the arrival of the earl of Huntingdon, the lord Montgomery marched his English back to Normandy. The duke of Burgundy laboured diligently day and night, to destroy a rampart in front of the town-bridge, which much annoyed his men, and which had held out for upwards of two months. At length by an unexpected attack made at night it was won, and from eight to ten men taken in it, who made no great defence although well supplied with stores.

After its capture, the ditches were filled, and its batteries turned against the town, and manned by a strong force of men-at-arms. During the assault some were drowned in the Oise from being in too great a hurry to escape. The duke had a bridge thrown over the Oise near to la Venette, and well guarded, which the English and Burgundians frequently crossed in their excursions to skirmish with the French near to Pierrefons. The earl of Huntingdon one day passed this bridge with all the English, and advanced to Crespy in the Valois, and thence to Sainctrines, which submitted to his obedience. He then marched to quarter himself for the night at Verberie, and made a sharp attack on the church, whither the peasants had retreated, who in the end were constrained to yield themselves to his mercy. He hanged one of them, called Jean d'Ours, who was their leader, because he had refused to obey his first summons. The rest of the peasants escaped by paying ransoms, and losing all their effects. The earl then returned with what he had gained, to his quarters before Compiègne.

During all this time, the lord de Crevecoeur and Robert de Saveuses remained with their men at Clermont in the Beauvoisis, to guard that frontier against the French in Creil and Beauvais, and to prevent the escorts with wine and other necessaries going to the duke's army, from being cut off. The duchess of Burgundy had fixed her residence with her household at Noyon, whence she from time to time visited her lord the duke. The period for the surrender of Gournay now approached, and the duke marched his army thither to keep the appointment: he was accompanied by the duke of Norfolk and the earl of Huntingdon, with about a thousand combatants, to support him, should there be occasion; but when the day came, no one from the French king appeared : the governor, therefore, seeing no hope of succour, yielded the place into the hands of the duke of Burgundy, who made the lord de Crevecoeur governor of it.

The duke then returned to his siege of Compiègne with the earl of Huntingdon, having left a sufficiency of men-at-arms to keep the garrison in check, and to guard his camp. The duke of Norfolk went to Paris.


In these days, an adventurer called Toumelaire, whom king Charles had appointed provost of Laon, having collected five or six hundred men from the town of Rheims and that neighbourhood, led them to besiege the castle of Champigneux, in which were some English and Burgundians that much harassed the country of Champagne. He instantly laid close siege to it on all sides, expecting to gain possession thereof; but that did not happen, for within a few days, William Corain, an Englishman, and Georges de la Croix, then at Montagu, assembled as many men as they could, and, without delay, gave battle to these peasants, who, unable to make any good defence, were soon conquered, and the greater part killed or taken.

Toumelaire, however, and some others, escaped; but there remained from six to seven score dead on the field, and a party of them were burnt in a house whither they had retreated. They left behind many cannons, cross-bows, and other warlike stores, which they had brought with them. William Corain and Georges de la Croix, having repaired the castle, returned to Montagu much rejoiced at their victory.


At this time, duke Philip of Brabant, who had for a long time before been in a languishing state, died in the town of Louvain. Some of his domestics were suspected of having caused his death, and several of them were severely tortured, in divers manners, to force them to a confession; but the matter was not the more cleared up. Physicians declared, that he died of a natural death, occasioned by excesses in his younger years in tilting and other things. He was buried by the side of his ancestors. His death was soon notified to the duke of Burgundy at the siege of Compiègne, because the nobles of the duchy of Brabant and the greater part of the commonalty considered him as the lawful successor to the late duke Philip, for he had never been married; while others said, that the countess-dowager of Hainault, aunt to these two dukes, was the nearest of kin, and of course that the succession was hers

The duke of Burgundy, on hearing of this event, appointed some of his most confidential captains to carry on the siege of Compiègne, namely, sir James de Brimeu marshal of the

« ZurückWeiter »