« ZurückWeiter »
army, sir Hugh de Launoy, the lord de Saveuses and some others, who were to co-operate with the earl of Huntingdon and his Englishmen. He likewise sent messengers with letters to recal sir John de Luxembourg from the Soissonois, and to entreat that he would, without delay, return to Compiègne to take the chief command of the army; relating to him at the same time the event that had happened, and the necessity there was for him to set out instantly for Brabant. When these matters were done, the duke of Burgundy having provided everything for the continuance of the siege, and well garrisoned the great fort opposite to the gate of the town, of which he made sir Baudo de Noyelle captain, he first took leave of the earl of Huntingdon and set out for Noyon. He thence, after some days, went to Lille, and having held a council of his most confidential advisers, resolved to take possession of the duchy of Brabant and its dependencies.
The duchess of Burgundy, when the duke left her, returned to the country of Artois. The duke was received in all the towns of Brabant as their lord, although the countess-dowager of Hainault, as I have said before, laid claim to the succession of duke Philip; but when she considered the great power of the duke of Burgundy, and that the nobility and principal towns had acknowledged him for their lord, she desisted from further pursuing it. At the same time, the lady of Luxembourg, sister to count Waleran, now advanced in years, and who was at the castle of Beaurevoir, under the wardship of sir John de Luxembourg, her nephew, seized and took possession, in his name, of all the lordships that had formerly belonged to the said count Waleran, her brother, and which were now again escheated to her, as the heiress, by her father's side, to her fair nephew the duke of Brabant, lately deceased. All the oaths of the officers were renewed to her, and from that time she was called the countess of Ligny, and of St. Pol. From her great affection to her nephew, sir John de Luxembourg, she bequeathed to him the greater part of these estates after her decease, which was very displeasing to the count de Conversan lord d'Enghien, elder brother to sir John, and they had many quarrels concerning it, however, in the end, they made up their differences, and were good friends.
CHAPTER xCIW.—SIR JOHN DE LUXEMBOURG TAKES THE COMMAND OF THE SIEGE OF compIEGNE.—THE ORDERs HE GIVES,-AND OTHER Events.
Soon after the departure of the duke of Burgundy from the siege of Compiègne, sir John de Luxembourg and his men arrived, and he took the chief command of the siege, according to the commands of the duke. He lost no time in strengthening the fort in front of the bridge, and erected two smaller ones on the river toward Noyon; the command of one he gave to Guy de Roye and Aubert de Folleville,_and that of the other to a common man from the Boulonois, named Branart, who had under him some Genoese and Portuguese cross-bows, and other foreigners. Having done this, sir John crossed the river by the bridge at La Venette, and went to lodge at the abbey of Royaulieu. He was followed by sir James de Brimeu marshal of the army, sir Hugh de Launoy, the lord de Crequi, the lords de Saveuses, de Humieres, sir Daviod de Poix, Ferry de Mailly, sir Florimont de Brimeu, and several other noble men, who were lodged as well in the abbey as in the village, which was much deserted, and among the vineyards and gardens in that neighbourhood.
The earl of Huntingdon remained in his quarters at La Venette. During this time the besieged made many sallies on foot and on horseback, when some were killed and wounded on both sides, but in no great number. This caused the besiegers to erect another great fort bow-shot and a half distant from the town, near to the gate of Pierrefons, the guard of whic. was given to the marshal, the lord de Crequi, sir Florimont de Brimeu, having under them three hundred combatants; they lodged themselves within it before it was quite finished, and remained there a long time. The besieged now suffered severely from famine, and no provisions were to be had in the town for money, since for the space of four months none had been publicly sold in the markets. Several messengers were in consequence sent to the marshal de Bousac, to the count de Vendôme, and to other captains of king Charles, to inform them of their distress, and to require instant aid if they wished to save the town and its inhabitants.
WOL. I. P P
While this misery was suffered, the marshal de Bousac, Poton de Saintrailles, Theolde de Valperghue, and other French leaders, laid siege to Proissy-sur-Oise, in which was the bastard de Chevereuse, with about forty combatants. They were soon forced to submit, and the most part were put to death by the guisarmes of the marshal, and the castle totally demolished. In like manner were subjected the strong monastery of Cathu le Chastel, and some other places, and those found within them were generally put to death. The marshal and his companions, however, did not make any attempt on the besieging army of Compiègne as is usual in similar cases, until the last, when the siege was raised, as shall be hereafter told.
At this period, the duke of Norfolk commanded a powerful army in the countries bordering on Paris, and subjected many towns to the obedience of king Henry, such as Dammartin and others. On the other hand, the earl of Stafford took by storm the town of Bray-Comte-Robert: the castle, which was exceedingly strong, immediately surrendered. The earl then crossed the Seine, and foraged the whole country so far as Sens in Burgundy, and returned with a great booty to the place whence he had set out, without meeting with the least opposition, or even seeing the enemy. He took, soon after, Le Quene en Brie, Grand Puys and Rappelton : he had four score hanged of those whom he found in Le Quene. He also took the strong tower of Bus, which with the other places were dismantled. Sir James de Milly and sir John dela Haye were in Bray-Comte-Robert, when it was taken, and made prisoners, but afterwards obtained their liberty by paying a large ransom.
CHAPTER XCV.--THE PRINCE OF ORANGE IS CONQUERED BY THE FIRENCH.
ON Trinity-day in this year the prince of Orange, having assembled about twelve hundred fighting men, marched them into Languedoc, where he gained many castles from the partisans of king Charles. He did the same in Dauphiny, which displeased the king and his council so much that they resolved to oppose him, and that the lord de Gaucour governor of Dauphiny, Sir Ymbert de Grolée seneschal of Lyons, and Roderick de Villandres, should collect their forces, and, with the loyal nobles and gentlemen, defend the country against these Burgundians. On mustering their forces they amounted to about sixteen hundred combatants, whom they marched to lay siege to a castle called Colomier, which in a short time submitted to them. In the mean time, the prince of Orange had retreated, knowing that his enemies, with a superior force, had taken the field, and, moreover, had won a castle garrisoned by his men. He lost no time in sending messengers with letters to the nobles and gentry in Burgundy, and to his friends and allies, to request aid. He was so diligent that, within a few days, he collected very many of the nobles, whom he led to those parts where he knew the enemy was, in hopes of regaining the castle of Colomier.
The French having been apprised by their spies of the coming of the Burgundians, had made preparations for receiving them, and in handsome array advanced to meet them, which they did between Colomier and Autane. The Burgundians, having a wood to pass through, could not immediately form in battle-array, nor instantly resist the vigorous charge of the French. The combat was, however, severe, and the victory long disputed. Among those who were dismounted on the part of the Burgundians was a valiant knight called sir Louis de la Chapelle; he was soon slain, and the French remained masters of the field by the defeat of the enemy. Two or three hundred were left dead of the Burgundians, and six score or more made prisoners. The principal among the last were, the lord de Bussy, son to the lord de St. Georges, the lord de Varembon, whose nose was cut off by a stroke of a sword, sir John Louis son to the lord de Conches, the lord de la Fretë, Thibault de Rougemont, the lord de Ruppes, the lord d'Escabonne, sir John de Vienne, the lord de Raix, John de Baudě, sir Duc de Sicon, Gerard de Beauvoir, and others, to the number before stated.
On the day of battle, many of the Burgundians, to the amount of sixteen or eighteen hundred combatants, fled in great disorder. The principal were: the prince of Orange (who was pursued as far as Autane, wherein with difficulty he saved himself), the count de Fribourg, the lord de Montagu, by name sir John de Neuf-Chastel, who bore the order of the Golden Fleece, but of which he was afterward deprived, the lord de Pesmes, and many more notable gentlemen, who fled different ways. This engagement, in which Roderick de Villandras, who commanded the van of the French, behaved most gallantly, took place about eight o'clock in the morning. When the business was over the French assembled together in great joy, and returned thanks and praises to the Creator for the happy issue of the day. In consequence of this victory they won many towns and castles from the Burgundians; one was Aubrune, belonging to the prince of Orange, which after its capture was demolished.
CHAPTER XCVI.--THE FRENCH MARCH TO COMPIEGNE AND RAISE THE SIEGE.
The earl of Huntingdon and sir John de Luxembourg laboured long at the siege of Compiègne, and, by cutting off all provisions from entering the town, and by their continued attacks from the forts, were in daily hopes of forcing the garrison to submit to their will. But on the Tuesday before All-Saints' day the French, to the number of four thousand fighting men, under the command of the marshal de Bousac, the count de Vendôme, sir James de Chabannes, Poton de Saintrailles, sir Regnault de Fontaines, the lord de Longueval, sir Louis de Vaucourt, Alain Giron, and other captains, who had frequently been most earnestly pressed by William de Flavy the governor, and inhabitants of Compiègne, to come to their assistance, at length quartered themselves at La Verberie, attended by a multitude of peasants with spades, mattocks, saws, and other implements, to repair the roads which the Burgundians had destroyed, by felling down trees, digging deep ditches, and various other hindrances to the march of an army. The besiegers were soon made acquainted with their arrival, and a council was holden of the chiefs, to consider whether it would be more advantageous to advance and offer them battle or wait for them in their entrenchments. Many were for fighting them before they proceeded further; but others offered solid reasons why it would be better to strengthen their camp and wait their arrival,—adding, that should they quit the siege, to march to the French, and leave their forts unprotected, the besieged, who were impatient to get out of their distressed situation, would demolish them, or at least they would make their escape from the town to a place of safety. This had such weight, that the majority of the council agreed to it; and they resolved unanimously to wait the event, and exert themselves to the utmost to resist their enemies. The following orders were issued. The earl of Huntingdon was to cross the river very early on the morrow, Wednesday, with his Englishmen, at the new bridge, and march to Royaulieu, where he was to draw up in order of battle, with sir John de Luxembourg, leaving in the abbey of La Venette, which was strong, all useless hands, with the horses and baggage, with a few of his men to guard them, and defend the passage of the bridge.—Item, all carts, cars, merchandise, and stores, were to be secured in the abbey of Royaulieu, and the guard of it was given to sir Philip de Fosseux and the lord de Cohen.—Item, sir James de Brimeu, with three hundred combatants, were to remain in their fort, on promise from the lords that, should they be attacked, they would hasten to their support; having agreed on the signal they were to make, should they require aid.—Item, it was ordered, that the grand fort near the bridge of Marigny should be on a similar footing, as well as the two smaller ones on the river side toward Cleroi. When these orders had been issued, the captains retired to their tents, and exhorted their men to be ready prepared on the morrow to meet the enemy. A strong guard was also ordered, of horse as well as foot, for the night, at all the avenues likely to be attacked. On the morrow, in conformity to these regulations, the earl of Huntingdon marched six hundred English to join sir John de Luxembourg in order of battle between Royaulieu and the adjoining forest, near which they expected the enemy would advance. The remainder of the army posted themselves at the different quarters, ready to defend them should they be attempted. The French in Verberie took the field at break of day; and, by orders from the marshal de Bousac and other captains, a detachment of about one hundred men were sent toward Choisy, with provision to throw into the town, and exhort the garrison to make a strong sally against the enemy's fort. On the other hand, Poton de Saintrailles, with two or three hundred combatants, advanced by the ligh road toward Pierrefons, to attack that fort; while the marshal, the count de Vendôme, and the other leaders, marched across the Oise, when, having passed the forest, they drew up in array about a bow-shot and a half distant from the Burgundians: they were all on horseback, with the reserve of some isarmes and inferior people. The English and Burgundians were on foot, excepting a few that had been ordered to remain on horseback. Sir John de Luxembourg then created some new knights, such as Andrew lord de Humieres, Ferry de Mailly, L’Aigle de Sains, Gilles de Saucourt, and others. With sir John de Luxembourg were Hugh de Launoy lord de Xaintes, the lord de Saveuses, sir Daviod de Poix, sir John de Fosseux, and many nobles impatient for the combat, which could not well take place, for the French were on horseback and themselves on foot; and besides, it was necessary that they should be in readiness to succour their forts if attacked. There were, nevertheless, many skirmishes in the course of the day; in one of them, the count de Vendôme was repulsed, but no great damage was done on either side. However, a valiant man-at-arms attached to the marshal de Bousac, having charged the Picard archers, thinking that he was followed by his men, was instantly pulled off his horse by these archers, and cruelly put to death. In the mean time, the detachment that had been sent to Choisy announced the arrival and plans of their friends to the besieged, who, rejoiced at the news, and with a fervour of courage arising therefrom, as well as from hatred to those who had caused them such distress, made a numerous sally from the town, with scaling-ladders and other warlike instruments, to attack the grand fort, in which were the marshal, sir James de Brimeu, and the lord de Crequi. They made a gallant defence and repulsed them into the town, but, fresh men rushing out, recommenced the assault, which lasted a long time, but, as in the former one, they were again driven out of the ditches, which were not deep nor wide, for, as I have said, the works had not been completed. At this moment, Poton de Saintrailles advanced with his men from the forest, and near the high road leading to Pierrefons joined those from the town, and, thus united, made a fresh attack on this fort. William de Flavy was very active himself, and encouraged his men to do their duty; and even the women assisted greatly, no way sparing themselves to annoy their adversaries. Notwithstanding the courage of the Burgundians, the fort was stormed in spite of their defence, and upward of eight score warriors were slain; the principal of whom were, the lord de Ligniers knight, Archambault de Brimeu, Guillaume de Poilly, Druot de Sonis, Lyonnel de Touleville, and many other gentlemen. Those made prisoners were instantly carried into Compiègne ; namely, sir James de Brimeu marshal of the duke's household, the lord de Crequi, sir Florimont de Brimeu, sir Valerian de Beauval, Arnoul de Crequi, Colart de Bertanecourt, lord de Rolepot, Regnault de Saincts, Thierry de Mazingien de Reteslay, the bastard de Remy, and other noblemen, who after some time obtained their liberties by paying great ransoms. Sir John de Luxembourg having promised his friends succour if they were attacked, hearing what was passing, was desirous of fulfilling his engagement, and going thither with his whole power, but he was advised to remain where he was, lest the enemy should take advantage of his absence, and worse happen. This induced him to remain, and the day passed away. The marshal de Bousac, the count de Vendôme, and the other captains, now entered the town of Compiègne with their men, where they were joyously received,—but from the great scarcity of provision suffered much that night from want of food. They, however, consoled themselves with their good success, and heartily congratulated each other thereon, expecting on the morrow to drive away the enemy from before the town. They constructed in haste a bridge of boats, by which they crossed the river to attack a fort on its banks, guarded by forty or fifty combatants, Genoese, Portuguese, and other foreigners, which was quickly won, and all within put to death, except a common man from the Boulonois, very expert in arms, named Branart, who was carried prisoner into the town of Compiègne. Aubert de Folleville, who commanded in another fort hard by, observing what was passing, and fearing to be stormed, set fire to his works, and retreated to the quarters of the English. The French made a grand attack on the fourth fort, at the end of the bridge, which was of some continuance. Sir Baudo de Noyelle guarded it so well, and had such a force of men
at-arms and artillery, that the enemy was obliged to withdraw into the town, seeing they