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CHAPTER CLXV. — THE COMMON PEOPLE OF NORMANDY RISE AGAINST THE ENGLISg GARRISONS.
In this year the common people in Normandy, especially those in the country of Caux, rebelled against the English. There were upward of two thousand in one company, who had risen in their own defence, because, contrary to the royal edicts, the English had plundered the poorer ranks. The bailiff and other officers in that country had before advised them (each according to his state) to provide themselves with arms and staves, to enable them to oppose all who should attempt to pillage or oppress them by seizing their effects by force.
CoMMon People of Non MANdy. Grouped from contemporary authorities.
In obedience to these commands, the peasants had risen and driven back many parties of marauders to their garrisons, having killed and taken captive several, to the great displeasure of their captains. They, however, did not let this appear, but concluded a treaty with the peasants, who foolishly began their retreat in a very disorderly manner, not suspecting the malice of the English, who secretly followed them to St. Pierre sur Dive, near to Tancarville, when they attacked them, and slew from a thousand to twelve hundred: the rest saved themselves as well as they could in the woods, and by flight.
Great complaints were made of this conduct at Rouen, and many were banished that had been of this enterprise; but shortly after, it was hushed up, on account of more serious matters that fell out in that country.
CHAPTER CLXVI.-LA HIRE GAINS THE CASTLE OF BRETEUIL, IN BEAUvoisis, BY story.
WHEN La Hire had conquered the castle of Clermont, as has been related, he assembled about five hundred combatants from the garrisons in the Beauvoisis, and marched them to the castle of Breteuil, which was in the possession of Saveuses men. He made a sharp attack on it, but it was well defended, and several of the assailants were killed. The garrison, however, from the repeated attacks, finding they had lost many men in killed and wounded, and that the fortifications were much damaged, surrendered to La Hire at discretion. He had some of them hanged, and sent the rest prisoners to Clermont, and, having regarrisoned the place, committed numberless mischiefs throughout the adjacent parts in Santerre, and toward Amiens, Corbie, Mondidier, and elsewhere.
CHAPrER CLXVII.--THE DUKES OF BURGUNDY AND OF BOURBON MEET IN THE CITY OF NEVERS, AND AGREE ON TERMS FOR A PEACE.
A MURDERous war having been continued for a long time between the duke of Burgundy and his brother-in-law, the duke of Bourbon, secret negotiations were set on foot, in the hope of pacifying them. They were begun by commissioners from each side meeting in the town of Mâcon, where they remained several days. At the commencement, some difficulties arose respecting the precedency of these two dukes, and which should have the honour of being named first. After some dispute, it was settled that the duke of Burgundy should be first named, and take the precedency of the duke of Bourbon in every instance. When this matter had been determined, they then discussed various proposals for bringing about a peace between them, and appointed another meeting, when the two dukes might have an interview, either at Douzy" or in the city of Nevers, in the ensuing month of January. This being settled, the commissioners separated, and returned to their respective lords. While these negotiations were passing, the duke of Burgundy celebrated the festivals of Christmas and Twelfth-day, in his town of Dijon, in a most magnificent manner; and when the feasts were over, he departed thence grandly attended by the count de Nevers, the marquis de Rothelin, his nephew of Cleves, with many other knights and esquires of note, and a numerous body of men-at-arms. He journeyed to Douzy, and thence to Nevers, where he was lodged at the bishop's palace, and waited some days for the arrival of the duke of Bourbon and his sister the duchess. At length the duchess came, accompanied by her two sons and a brilliant attendance of knights, esquires, ladies, and damsels. The duke of Burgundy went out of the palace to meet her, and received her with much affection and joy, for he had not seen his sister for a long time, and showed the same love to his nephews, although they were very young. The duchess, on quitting her carriage, was handed by the duke as far as her lodgings, where he took his leave, and left her to repose for the night. On the morrow, the duchess waited on her brother at the palace; she was received most kindly, and partook of a variety of amusements. There was much dancing, and a numerous party of masqueraders on the part of the duke of Burgundy: when wines and spices had been brought, the company retired to their lodgings. On the next day a council was held, when it was determined that Arthur of Brittany, constable of France, and the archbishop of Rheims, should be sent for. Within a few days, the duke of Bourbon arrived at Nevers, attended by sir Christopher de Harcourt+, the lord de la Fayette, marshal of France, and many other knights and esquires of renown. The duke of Burgundy sent out the lords of his household to meet him; and when he was approaching the duke of Burgundy, without the town, he pressed forward, and the two dukes, on their meeting, showed the greatest respect and brotherly affection to each other. A knight of Burgundy, observing this, said aloud, “We are very foolish to risk our bodies and souls at the will of princes and great lords, who, when they please, make up their quarrels, while we oftentimes remain poor and in distress.” This speech was noticed by many on each side, for there was much truth in it, and thus it very frequently happens. After this meeting, the duke of Burgundy escorted his brother-in-law to his lodgings, and then went to his own. Shortly after, the duke and duchess of Bourbon visited the duke of Burgundy, when there were again great feastings and pastimes. On the morrow, the two dukes and the duchess heard mass in an oratory; and after dinner a grand council was held at the lodgings of the count de Nevers, when a peace was finally concluded between these two dukes on terms that were mutually agreeable; and the utmost satisfaction was now shown on all sides by the principals and their friends and dependants. The whole of the expense of these feasts, or at least the greater part, was defrayed by the duke of Burgundy, for he would have it so. As soon as this business was concluded, the constable of France (who had married a sister to the duke of Burgundy) and Regnault de Chartres, archbishop and duke of Rheims, chancellor of France, accompanied by some of the principal members of king Charles's council, and numbers of knights and esquires, arrived at Nevers. The two dukes went out to meet them; and the greatest respects having been paid on each side, they all together returned to the town, where they were lodged in the best manner possible, each according to his rank. Within a few days many councils were held respecting a peace between the king of France and the duke of Burgundy; and various proposals were made to the duke concerning the murder of the late duke John that were agreeable to him, insomuch that preliminaries were agreed on, and a day appointed for a convention at Arras to put a final conclusion to it. When this was done, they separated most amicably; and news of this event was published throughout the realm, and other countries: notice of it was sent to the pope and the council at Basil, that all persons who chose might order ambassadors to attend the convention at Arras. The duke of Burgundy now returned to Dijon, and made his preparations for going to Artois, to be ready for the meeting at Arras; and from this day forward, the borders of Burgundy enjoyed more peace than they had done for a long time before. In these times, the young heir of Richmond, with seven or eight hundred English and Picards, whom sir John de Luxembourg had sent him, made an inroad on the country of Ardennes, sacking many towns belonging to Everard de la Marche; and having done great mischiefs there with fire and sword, returned in safety with a very large booty. In this year, René duke of Bar caused the town of Commerci" to be besieged, to reduce it to his obedience, on account of the failure of some dues that he claimed from its lord; but through the interference of the constable of France, who was then in the adjoining country, peace was made between the parties, on the lord de Commerci promising to pay obedience to the duke of Bar. Thus was the siege broken up; and during this time the constable reduced many castles in Champagne by capitulation or by storm.
* Douzy, a small town in Champagne, on the borders ter of the woods and waters in 1431, was third son of of Luxembourg. - James de Harcourt, lord of Montgomery. + Christopher de Harcourt, lord of Avrech, grand mas
CHAPTER CLXVIII.—AMADEUs DUKE OF SAV0Y TURNS HERMIT, AND RESIDEs AT RIPAILLEt.
It was now that Amadeus duke of Savoy, who was about fifty-six years of age, turned hermit, and fixed his residence at Ripaille, about half a league from Thonon, where he had been accustomed to hold his court. This mansion he had greatly improved ; and there was adjoining an abbey and priory of the order of Saint Maurice, which had been founded many years ago by the duke's ancestors. Ten years before, the duke had a desire to become a hermit in the manner he had now done, and had asked two of his most confidential servants
*Commerci, on the Meuse, five leagues to the westward of Toul.
t Ripaille,_a burgh of Savoy, in the Chablais, and
principal commandery of the order of St. Maurice, founded by Amadeus VIII. He built there a mansion for six
This retirement was supposed to arise from ambition, and the hope of being chosen pope. In 1440 he was set up as an anti-pope, unde the name of Felix W.; but he was soon obliged to resign his usurped dignity and retire
knights-hermits, to keep him company in this solitude, whither he retired in 1434, being a widower of Mary of Burgundy, and resigned the government of his duchy, &c. to his son.—La Martiniere.
to his former solitude.
: Thonon, the capital of a small country of the Chablais.
if they were willing to follow his example and accompany him so long as he should please to remain a hermit, when they, having considered that he might change his mind, consented. One was sir Claude de Sexte; the other a valiant esquire named Henry de Colombieres. The duke having, as I said, improved and properly altered the mansion of Ripaille for himself and his companions, left his palace at Thonon during the night with few attendants, and went to Ripaille, where he put on the dress of a hermit, according to the order of St. Maurice. It consisted of a grey robe, a long mantle with a grey hood, and a tippet of about a foot long, a crimson bonnet over the hood, with a golden girdle above the robe, and on the mantle a cross of gold similar to what the emperors of Germany wear. The two noblemen joined him within a few days, and remonstrated with him on his manner of quitting Thonon, as it was not becoming his rank, and might be disagreeable to the three estates of his country, whom he had not summoned, to declare to them his intentions of becoming a hermit. He replied, that as he was not weakened in understanding or power, he would provide sufficient remedies for their dislike, and that their business was to keep the promises they had made to reside with him and keep him company. On this, seeing nothing better could be done, they were contented, and quickly clothed in similar dresses to what he wore. The duke then summoned the three estates, and his son the count of Geneva, whom he created prince of Piedmont, and surrendered up to him, in the presence of the estates, the government of his country, reserving, however, to himself a power of taking it from him, and bestowing it on whomever he pleased, should he behave ill. He created his second son count of Geneva. But although the duke had put on the religious habit, and surrendered up the administration of affairs to his son, nothing of importance was done without his knowledge and approbation. With regard to his personal attendance, he retained about twenty of his servants to wait on him, and his companions selected also a sufficiency to attend them according to their different ranks; but instead of roots and water, they were served with the choicest wines and most delicate food that could be procured".
Chapter CLXix.—The COMMON PEOPLE OF NORMANDY ASSEMBLE IN LARGE BODIES
The commonalty of Normandy had not forgotten the ungenerous conduct of the English when they had last risen in rebellion. They again assembled by the exhortations of the Iord de Merville and other gentlemen, who offered to lead them to battle, to the amount of about twelve thousand, in the country near to Bayeux,−whence their leaders marched them toward Caen, with the intent of taking that town by surprise, but it was well defended by the garrison and inhabitants. When they found they could not succeed, they departed thence, making great mockeries of their enemies, and marched to Avranches, before which place they remained eight days, in hopes that the duke of Alençon would coine to their support with a strong force of men-at-arms, but in this they were disappointed.
The English, in the mean time, collected numbers of men to offer them battle; but their intention being known to the leaders of this commonalty, they marched away towards Brittany and Fougeres; and soon after they separated without having done anything worthy of notice. For this conduct their captains were banished, and their estates and effects confiscated, together with those of all their accomplices and adherents; but afterward some exceptions were made in regard to several of the commonalty.
About this time William Coraon, the English governor of Meure, made an excursion as far as Yvis, in the country of Ligny, with only three hundred combatants, and was followed by Jean de Beaurain, with a company of six hundred, to give him battle, when he was defeated, and the greater part of his men taken or slain.
La Hire now took by storm the old fort of Amiens, wherein he remained eight or ten days. When he had pillaged it of all it contained, he returned to Breteuil, whence he had come.
* Hence, probably, came the French proverb, faire ripaille, to make good cheer.
* CHAPTER CLXX. — THE DUKE AND DUCHESS OF BURGUNDY RETURN FROM THAT COUNTRY TO FLANDERS AND ARTOIS. [A. D. 1435.]
At the beginning of this year, when the duke of Burgundy had with much labour freed his country from enemies, and concluded a peace between himself and the duke of Bourbon, he made preparations for his and the duchess's return from Burgundy to his territories of Flanders and Artois, that he might be ready to meet the ambassadors from the king of France at the convention at Arras. This convention was appointed to assemble on the second day of July, in the city of Arras.
The duke left Dijon with his whole army, having appointed sir John de Vergy governor of Burgundy, and advanced toward Euchoire” where he was met by a thousand Picards, whom he had ordered thither to accompany him on his return. They were under the command of sir John de Croy, bailiff of Hainault, the lord de Saveuses, sir James de Brimeu, John de Brimeu, and other lords. Thence the duke marched towards Paris, crossing the river Seine at Montereau-faut-Yonne: he was joyfully received by the Parisians, who made very rich presents to him and to his duchess. Having staid there some days, he continued his march slowly to Arras, and dismissed all his men-at-arms so soon as he had crossed the Somme. He went soon after to visit his countries of Flanders and Brabant, where he consulted with his ministers on convoking all the nobles and gentlemen of those districts to the convention at Arras. He then sent an embassy to England, to inform the king and his council of this convention, and that it was purposely to treat of a general peace between France and England. The principal persons of this embassy were sir Hugh de Launoy, the lord de Crevecoeur, and master Quentin Mainart, provost of St. Omer.
The king of England and his ministers gave them a handsome reception; and they were told that the king would send ambassadors to the convention. On receiving this answer, they returned to their lord the duke of Burgundy.
CHAPTER CLXXI.--THE FRENCH. GAIN THE TOWN OF RUE FROM THE ENGLISH.
In the beginning of the month of May, sir John de Bressay, lieutenant to the marshal de Rieux, Bertrand Martel, William Braquemont, the lord de Longueval, Charles de Marèts, and others of king Charles's party, assembled a body of well-tried men-at-arms, amounting to about three hundred. They crossed the Somme during the night at Blanchetaque, and advanced to the town of Rue, which they entered by scalado, and gained complete possession without meeting with much resistance. The noise they made awakened the garrison; and seven or eight Englishmen retreated to a bulwark which they defended for some time; but in the end it was taken by storm, and part of the defenders were put to death; the rest saved their lives on paying a large ransom. Many of the inhabitants were made prisoners, and others escaped over the walls.
The town was completely plundered; and the countries of Ponthieu, Artois, Boulogne, and others in that neighbourhood, were in great alarms, when they learnt that the enemy was so near them, and so well supplied with all sorts of stores and provision. These alarms were well founded, for shortly after having increased their numbers, they overran all those parts, committing infinite mischiefs by fire and sword. They even one day made an excursion towards Boulogne, so far as Samer-au-bois, when they took many prisoners and great numbers of horses and cattle.
On their return they burnt the town of Estaples, wherein were many handsome houses; and continued these excursions from Rue, doing every sort of mischief to the farmers of those countries. However, in one of the expeditions near to Montreuil, sir John de Bressay, Harpin, and de Richammes, were made prisoners; and at another time were taken the little Blanchefort, and one of the bastards de Reully; and on these accounts the country suffered the more.
* Euchoire. Q.-Not in Martiniere.