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of Limoges and Tulle, in addition to the provinces before agreed on, and the addition of 50,000 crowns (above 60,000/. at this day) to the large sum before offered of 800,000 (1,000,000/.). This proposition was rejected. Historians differ as to the precise ground of the refusal, some affirming that the terms were not deemed adequate; others that the French ambassadors declined to specify a day at which their part of the conditions should be performed. All, however, are agreed that the King renewed his general claim to the French crown, and required, as the price of his waiving it, the cession of Aquitaine and the other provinces which had been wrested from the dominion of England. The peremptory refusal to disarm or to suspend his hostile operations is on all hands admitted; the only doubt being as to the grounds on which that refusal was rested, and no one denying that he was resolved to make war unless the dismemberment of France were given as a peaceoffering.
When the ambassadors found that he was bent on the conquest of their country, and prepared to seek that object by letting loose upon her all the horrors of rapine and massacre, they appear to have juiy ^ used language somewhat more violent than 1415might be expected from the ministers of peace, though here again a great discrepancy is found in the accounts of their reply to Henry's answer. Archbishop Chichele, the known advocate of the war, was the channel through which Henry's refusal was conveyed, and we may well believe that he did nothing by his language to soften its harshness. The French prelate indignantly declared that the large concessions which had been offered were not the dictates of fear on his sovereign's part, but of his sincere desire for peace. Some historians pretend that he added an unmannerly attack upon Henry's title to his own crown, and referred to the heir of Richard as the party with whom, but for the wish to avoid a needless ground of quarrel, his royal master ought to have treated. But they who give this representation of the ambassador's reply, also describe the English primate as having used language highly calculated to incense those he addressed. He declared, say they, that the King was driven to make war by the French court withholding from him his undoubted rights, which Heaven bad, by the English triumphs over France, declared to be his; and for this refusal, the prelate said, of what was his own, Henry would, without delay, ravage France with fire and sword, exterminate the people, waste the country, and destroy the towns.1
Whatever doubt may hang over the terms in which those offers of France were made and were rejected, one thing is sufficiently clear—the proposal was a sacrifice, extorted by the cruel necessities of her situation, to propitiate an insulting enemy; and ample as that sacrifice was, it proved inadequate to slake his thirst of dominion. There is another circumstance in which all the accounts are agreed, and it is not immaterial to our estimate of the character which these half-civilized men displayed, and the spirit of their age. When the primate had made an end of his speech, demanding the four great duchies, with all the other territories claimed, and declaring that, if these were refused, the King would lay waste the whole of France, and by his sword wrest the crown from Charles, Henry at once assented to all the prelate had said, and promised, "with God's aid and on the word of a king," to commit those dreadful outrages upon all law and all justice.1
1 Hoi., iii. 69. Hall, 58. Monst., ch. cxl. Good., 60. Stowe, 345. Note XXXIV.
This attempt at effecting an accommodation having thus failed, as it needs must, Henry's preparations were continued and completed. Nor did he, while assembling the army for embarkation, neglect such precautions as might secure the country against any attack during his absence. He sent commissions of array into the different counties bordering upon Scotland, Wales, and the Channel; he concluded a truce with Owen Glendower; and having received intimation that an incursion from the Scottish border was apprehended, he issued proper orders to the wardens of the Marches, one of whom, Sir Robert Umfraville, the governor of Roxburgh Castle, a person in whom he reposed great confidence, met the in- Jul 22 vaders, pursued them into Scotland, and 141ndefeated them, with considerable loss, near Jedburgh.2
1 Monstrel., cb. cxl.
* Hoi., iii. 69. Hard., 373. Gettering is the place named, and some writers correct it into Getterick (Catterick, in Yorkshire). But this is impossible, for the distance of the place from Roxburgh is said to be twelve miles.
Everything seemed now ready for the execution of a design conceived in the mere lust of aggrandizement and plunder, varnished over with no colour of right, and outraging every feeling, as well of ordinary morality as of public justice. A neighbouring people were plunged in extreme distress by the crimes of their chiefs, and reduced to great weakness by their internal dissensions; Henry had an army of 30,000 men, well provided with arms and equipage, the weapons of destruction, and the means of subsisting while he destroyed; he had above 1500 vessels hired or seized, in which to convey these troops and stores across the Channel; therefore he deemed it lawful to employ such resources in attacking his defenceless neighbours, and seizing upon their possessions, before time was given for healing the wounds which civil discord had inflicted, and recruiting the strength which that plague had exhausted.
The forces and the transports were all collected at Southampton early in July; and, before the end of that month, the King arrived with his court. But, while he lay there, a very unexpected incident occurred, which had well nigh put a period to all his schemes, and changed again the dynasty founded by his father's usurpation. On the evening before the July 21, day fixed for the sailing of the expedi
1415- tion, a conspiracy was discovered of formidable aspect; formed, it appears, with very little preparation, and conducted with no circumspection, by the Earl of Cambridge and Sir Thomas Grey, with the privity of the Lord le Scroop. Its object was to dethrone the King, and prevent the succession of his three brothers, which, in such circumstances, could only mean the destruction of all four; and Marche, the undoubted heir of Richard II., was to have been placed on the throne. The hurry with which this great crime was punished, and the aversion of the Lancaster family to all discussions which might draw their title into scrutiny, has occasioned the suppression of the details connected with the event; and its history is, therefore, involved in great obscurity. Scroop was Henry's most intimate and confidential friend, the object of his unremitting kindness, and the person chosen by him as his representative in all his most delicate negotiations. His whole life, indeed, was passed in the King's society. Cambridge was brother to Edward Duke of York, who had married Marche's sister. Grey was a knight of Northumberland, having considerable influence in those parts. As soon as the information was given these individuals were arrested; and Cambridge at once made a full confession, from which it appeared that he was the ringleader of the conspirators. It is difficult to determine how far Scroop was a party in the plot, impossible to ascertain how far Marche was privy to it. Cambridge's confession, a most suspicious kind of historical proof, and no legal proof at all, implicated Grey chiefly, pressing much more