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CHAPTER CLV. —A quaRREL BETWEEN THE ROMANS AND POPE EUGENIUS, WHOM THEY WANTED TO DETAIN AT ROME AGAINST HIS WILL.
At this period, pope Eugenius, who resided at Rome, had an inclination to fix his abode at Florence, which, when known to the Romans, troubled them much. They assembled in great multitudes, and went to the pope to say that he should not depart thence, for that he could be nowhere better than in Rome, the fountain of Christianity.
The pope and cardinals, perceiving the madness and obstinacy of the people, pretended to give up their intentions of removing : nevertheless, the Romans established sufficient guards at all the gates, that they might not depart without their knowledge. However, by means of the beautiful queen of Sicily, who sent the pope some galleys and other vessels, he secretly quitted Rome, and went to Florence, to the great vexation of the Romans, who instantly arrested all whom the pope had left behind; and in the number was his nephew, the cardinal of Venice. He afterwards escaped, disguised like a monk, and thus equipped travelled alone.
CHAPTER CLVI.--THE ABBEY of St. VINCENT, NEAR LAoN, Is DEMOLISHED.—MANY CASTLES ARE CONQUERED BY THE BURGUNDIANS.
THE duke of Burgundy now departed from Picardy, on his return to Burgundy, attended by about two thousand fighting men, and sir Simon de Lalain and Robert de Saveuses. He took his march through the Cambresis, and thence to Cressy-sur-Serre, and to Provins.
The French were, at this time, assembled in great force at Laon, with the intent to besiege the abbey of St. Vincent, which was garrisoned, as has been before said, by sir John de Luxembourg. Sir John sent messengers to the duke at Vervins to inform him of his situation, and to request that he would march back to Cressy-sur-Serre, and remain there for three or four days, in order that the French in Laon, hearing of his being so near, might give up their intentions of besieging him. The duke complied with the request, and returned to Cressy; and in the meantime a treaty was commenced between the Count de Ligny and the French in Laon, when it was agreed that the garrison should march from St. Vincent with their baggage and other effects, but that the place should be demolished.
This being done, the duke continued his march through Champagne to Burgundy; and while there he greatly reinforced himself with troops from Burgundy and Picardy. He thence detached a party to besiege the town and castle of Chaumont in the Charolois, held by the French; the garrison was soon so hardly pressed that it surrendered at discretion to the duke of Burgundy, who had upwards of one hundred of them hanged. Sir John bastard de St. Pol commanded the Picards in the duke's absence. Among those who were hanged was the son of Rodrigue de Vilandras. Those in the castle surrendered themselves to the duke, and were treated in like manner as the townsmen. This detachment after. ward besieged Beuam, which also surrendered, but on condition that the garrison should have free liberty to depart with staves in their hands. Thus by laying siege to several castles and smaller forts, they reduced a great many to the obedience of the duke of Burgundy.
CHAPTER CLv11.--THE LORD TALBOT RETURNs to FRANCE, AND CONQUERS MANY TOWNs AND CASTLES.
IN this same year, the lord Talbot returned from England to France, bringing with him
eight hundred combatants, whom he landed at Rouen. Marching thence toward Paris, he
reconquered the fort of Jouy, situated between Beauvais and Gisors, and hanged all the
French found within it. He continued his march to Paris, where it was determined, by
king Henry's council, that he should, in company with the lord de l'Isle-Adam, marshal of
France, sir Galois d'Aunay lord of Arville, and the bishop of Therouenne, chancellor of France for king Henry, march with all their troops to lay siege to the castle of Beaumontsur-Oise, which had been much strengthened by Amadour de Vignolles, brother to La Hire. These three knights marched from Paris with full sixteen hundred well-tried combatants, but when they came before the castle of Beaumont they found it deserted ; for Amadour de Vignolles, having heard of their intentions, had abandoned it, and retreated with his men and baggage to the town of Creil.
The English, having destroyed the fortifications of Beaumont, hastened to follow them, and having surrounded Creil on all sides, many severe skirmishes took place, in which the besieged made a gallant defence; but in one of them, Amadour was mortally wounded by an arrow, which greatly disheartened his men, for they held him to be a courageous and expert man-at-arms.
During this siege, the bishop of Therouenne joined the besiegers, and at the end of six weeks the garrison surrendered, on condition of being allowed to depart with their baggage and effects. After the English had regarrisoned the town and castle of Creil, they advanced to lay siege to the Pont de St. Maixence, held by Guillon de Ferrieres, nephew to St. Trailles, who surrendered it on conditions similar to those granted at Creil. The English thence marched to Neufville en Esmoy, and to La Rouge Maison, and then to Crespy in Valois, which was taken by storm. There were full thirty French within it, under the command of Pothon le Bourguignon. They then returned to Clermont in the Beauvoisis, held by the bourg de Vignolles, who submitted to them, and thence to Beauvais; but perceiving they could not gain anything further, they retreated to Paris and to the other garrisons whence they had come.
CHAPTER CLVIII.--THE count D'EstaMPEs RECONQUERS THE TOWN OF ST. VALERY.
At the same time with the foregoing expedition, the count d'Estampes, accompanied by the lord d'Antoing, sir John de Croy, the vidame of Amiens, and most of the lords who had been with him at Moreuil, marched to lay siege to St. Valery, where they remained about one month. At length, Charles du Marests and Philip de la Tour, who had gained the town by surprise, entered into a capitulation to evacuate it within eight days, should they not before then be relieved, on receiving a certain sum of money, and on being allowed to depart in safety with their baggage and effects.
On the appointed day, no French forces appeared to offer combat to the count d'Estampes; but on the contrary, Louis de Luxembourg, chancellor of France, came thither to the support of the count with five hundred English, commanded by the lord Willoughby, sir Guy le Bouteiller, and Brunclay governor of Eu. The chancellor and his companions were joyfully received by the count d'Estampes and the other lords. The French marched away, according to the terms of their treaty, from St. Valery to Rambures, whither they were led by Charles du Marests. On their departure, a barge arrived at the port from St. Malo, laden with wines for the French, which was instantly seized by the sailors attached to the English party.
The chancellor and the English returned to their former quarters at Eu, and the count d'Estampes was lodged that night in St. Valery. On the morrow, he began his retreat to Artois, having appointed John de Brimeu governor of the town and castle, where he disbanded his forces. From the town of Eu, the chancellor marched the English to lay siege to the castle of Monchas, which in a few days surrendered by means of a sum of money given to sir Regnault de Fontaines, the governor. The whole of this castle was destroyed, although it was the finest castle in the county of Eu. During this time, the earl of Arundel resided mostly at Mantes, and in the district of Chartres, and reconquered many forts from the French in those parts, as well as in Perche. The duke of Bedford was now returned from England to Rouen, and thence went to Paris, where he resided a considerable time.
CHAPTER CLIx.—THE FRENCH GAIN THE Town of HAMME on THE somME, IN THE Verm ANDois.
In the month of August of this year, a party of French won the town of Hamme, which had been held by the count de Ligny's men. The townsmen instantly surrendered on the French appearing before it, for the garrison had abandoned the place. The count de Richemont, constable of France, the bastard of Orleans, La Hire, and many other captains, came thither with a large body of combatants.
The countries of the Vermandois, Artois, and Cambresis, were greatly alarmed at the conquest of Hamme, which was a strong situation, and gave them the passage of the river Somme, and also because their prince was absent in Burgundy. However, the counts de St. Pol, d'Estampes, and de Ligny, used all diligence to collect a sufficiency of troops to oppose any further incursions of the French. A treaty was at the same time set on foot, and the French agreed to restore the town of Hamme to its owner, sir John de Luxembourg, on receiving the sum of forty thousand crowns. The reason of this treaty being made on such easy terms was the expectation of a speedy peace being concluded between king Charles and the duke of Burgundy, for negotiations on this subject had already commenced. With the town of Hamme the fort of Breteuil was also given up to the count d'Estampes, which Blanchefort had held for a considerable time.
At this period, the duke of Burgundy caused Coulogne-les-Vigneuses to be besieged by sir William de Rochefort and Philibert de Vaudrey, with eight hundred combatants. They posted themselves in a block-house—and at the end of three months, the garrison surrendered, on having their lives and baggage spared.
Chi APTER CLX. —The TOWN AND CASTLE OF CHASTEAU-WJLAIN SUBMITS TO THE OBEDIENCE OF THE DUKE OF BURGUNDY.
On the duke of Burgundy's return to that country, he advanced to Grantsy, which had for some time been besieged by sir John de Vergy and his allies. The inhabitants, seeing no hope of being succoured, concluded a treaty to surrender it to the duke, when the castle was not destroyed, but given to the lord de Thil, brother to the lord de Château-vilain. When this had been done, the duke ordered sir John de Vergy, and the other captains, as well from Burgundy as from Picardy, to advance before the city of Langres, and summon the garrison to submit to his obedience. This they not only refused to do, but detained the herald, called Germole, who had brought the message. The Burgundians, finding themselves unable to take the place, returned with the army to the duke.
cHAPTER CLXI.-HEAvy TAxEs LAID on the countries of ARtois AND THose ADJOINING, ON ACCOUNT OF THIS WAR.
IN these days, very heavy taxes were laid on the countries of Artois, Vermandois, Ponthieu, Amiennois, and others adjoining, to pay the composition-money to the constable of France, which had been agreed to for the surrender of Hamme. The poorer ranks were sorely oppressed by them, and began to murmur and be very much discontented with the rulers and ministers to whom the duke of Burgundy had intrusted the government of these countries in his absence, but it availed them nothing: for those who refused to pay were arrested, and their effects seized without regard to justice, until their quotas were duly paid.
During this time, the lord de Saveuses had been ordered by the count d'Estampes to demolish the town and castle of Breteuil in Beauvoisis, which, as has been said, was given up to him by Blanchefort, the late governor thereof. The lord de Saveuses had brought a number of workmen and labourers from Amiens, Corbie, and other places, who soon destroyed the whole, excepting a strong gate of the castle that had been well fortified, and which the lord de Saveuses filled with provisions and artillery, leaving within it from twenty to thirty of his men, to guard it. In like manner were demolished the tower of Vendueil, and some other smaller forts in the country round about.
chapTER clxII.—THE DUKE of BURGUNDY's captAINS APPEAR BEFoRE villeFRANCHE, whereIN was THE Duke of Bourbon.—THEY AFTERWARD BESIEGE BELLEville, Which SURRENDERS TO THEM.
About this time the duke of Burgundy sent the greater part of his captains, with a large body of men-at-arms, to overrun the country as far as Villefranche, wherein was Charles duke of Bourbon. This detachment was commanded by the lord de Chargny, sir Simon de Lalain, sir Baudo de Noyelle, the lord d'Auxi, Robert de Saveuses, Lancelot de Dours, Harpin de Richammes, and consisted of about sixteen hundred combatants, who marched in handsome array toward the parts whither they had been ordered. Toward evening, on one of their marches, they fell in with about six hundred of the enemy, who instantly fled to their lord the duke of Bourbon; some of the worst mounted were made prisoners by the Burgundians and Picards.
On their arrival before Villefranche, they drew up in battle array, and sent a pursuivant to inform the duke of Bourbon of their coming, and to offer him battle. The duke, ignorant of their force, was not inclined to accept their challenge, but made answer, that since the duke of Burgundy was not present on the field, he would not fight them. He despatched, however, many on horseback and on foot, from his town, to skirmish with them. The duke himself even made a sally, mounted on his excellent war-horse, but without arms, and dressed in a long robe, with a wand in his hand, to make his men keep up a steady countenance at the barriers; during which a considerable skirmish took place, but without any great losses on either side.
After the Burgundians and Picards had remained four hours in battle array, seeing that no advantages were to be gained, they retreated in good order, posting their most expert men in their rear by way of guard, and thus returned to their lord the duke of Burgundy. The duke ordered them afterward to lay siege to Belleville, in which place the duke of Bourbon had put sir James de Chabannes and the bailiff of Beauvais, with three hundred men, who made instant preparations for defence. Nevertheless, the besiegers so pressed them with their engines and continued attacks that, at the end of a month, they surrendered, on having their lives spared, and marched off without arms and baggage, on foot and with staves in their hands, to their lord the duke of Bourbon. He was much mortified to receive them in that condition, but he could not amend it.
The duke of Burgundy placed several of his Picardy captains as a garrison in that town, whence they committed innumerable mischiefs all over that part of the Bourbonnois. On the other hand, the duke of Burgundy sent a detachment from his army in Burgundy to Dombes, and to the neighbourhood of Lyon on the Rhone, who took many castles, and wasted the country with fire and sword, carrying back with them a very large booty in plunder. The leaders of this last expedition were, the count de Fribourg, the bastard de St. Pol, the lord de Vaurin, and some others.
chAPTER CLXIII.--THE Lord willough BY AND MATHAGoN LAY siege to St. severin, where THE ENGLISH ARE AT FIRST victorious, BUT ARE Afterwards DEFEATED BY the French.
IN this same year of 1434, the lord Willoughby, accompanied by Mathagon", and some other captains, and from eight hundred to a thousand combatants, laid siege to a very strong place in the country of Maine called St. Severin, about two leagues distant from Alençon, which was held by the French. The governor was a gallant knight, named sir Anthony de Loreuil, who, on the arrival of the enemy, made a vigorous defence: nevertheless, the English surrounded the place on all sides, and remained there about six weeks.
* This can be no other than Matthew Gough, an English captain of these days, and one of the commanders in the town of St. Denis, when it was won by the French.
While this was going forward, the lord de Bueil, sir William Blesset, the lord de la Varenne, and other French captains, assembled about fourteen hundred fighting men, with the intent to force the enemy to raise their siege. They remained for some days at Beaumont le Vicomte, where part of them were quartered, and the remainder at Vivien, four leagues distant from St. Severin. While at Beaumont they called a council of all the chief captains, to consider how they should act; when, after much noise and debating, they considered themselves not strong enough to fight the English in their present situation, and determined to attempt withdrawing the besieged the back way out of the town. The captains now returned to their different quarters, and established good guards around them during the night, both of horse and foot. The lord de Beuil was, on this expedition, lieutenant for the lord Charles d'Anjou, and had the charge of his banner.
This same night a detachment of the English, having had intelligence of the advance of the French, took the field, and marched in silence until they came near to the town of Vivien, whither they sent scouts to reconnoitre the state of the French, who, having twice entered Vivien, brought word they were in tolerable good order. The English then made an attack on their quarters about day-break, and easily defeated them without much loss. Many were taken and killed: among the last was a valiant man from Amiens, but originally from Auvergne, called John de Belley. When the business was over, the English took the field with their prisoners; but the lords de Bueil and de la Varenne, who were in Beaumont, hearing of this discomfiture from the runaways, made instant preparations to pursue the English, who no sooner saw them than they rejoiced, thinking to defeat them as they had done the others, and each party met gallantly. Many valorous acts were done on both sides; but, in the end, the English lost the day, partly from the prisoners whom they had taken at Vivien joining the French. A valiant knight named Arthur was slain, and Mathagon made prisoner,-but the bastard of Salisbury" fled. Four hundred, or more, of the English were killed or taken, and the French left masters of the field, very joyful for their victory. When the English who had remained at the siege of St. Severin heard of the ill success of their companions, they raised the siege, and retreated to the garrisons whence they had come.
cHAPTER CLXIv.—LA HIRE TREACHERously MAKES THE LORD D'AUFFEMONT A PRISONER.
DURING these tribulations, La Hire, accompanied by Anthony de Chabannes, the bourg de Vignolles his brother, and about two hundred combatants, passed one day near to the castle of Clermont in the Beauvoisis, of which the lord d'Auffemont was governor. He was no way alarmed at their appearance; and, as a mark of his good will, ordered wine to be drawn, and carried without the postern of the great tower, for them to drink. The lord d'Auffemont came also out of the castle, with only three or four of his attendants, to converse with them, and showed great courtesy to La Hire and his companions, not having the smallest distrust of their treacherous intentions, which they very soon made apparent; for during the conversation, La Hire laid hands on him, and forced him to surrender the castle, putting him withal in irons and in confinement. In this state he kept him upwards of a month, insomuch that his limbs were greatly bruised and benumbed, and he was covered with lice and all sorts of vermin.
At length he obtained his liberty, and paid for his ransom fourteen thousand saluts d'or, and a horse of the value of twenty tons of wine, notwithstanding king Charles wrote several times to La Hire to set him at liberty without ransom, for that he was well satisfied with his services, but it was all in vain. * John, bastard son of the great earl of Salisbury, to whom in his will he bequeathed fifty marks. See Dugdale.