• TABLE OF CONTENTS
HIDE
 Front Cover
 Front Matter
 Half Title
 Frontispiece
 Title Page
 Preface
 Table of Contents
 Childhood of the black prince
 Origin of the wars in France
 Passage of the Somme
 The battle of Crecy
 The siege of Calais
 Treachery at Calais
 The prince's expedition from...
 The battle of Poitiers
 The English again invade Franc...
 The prince's court in Aquitain...
 The prince's Spanish campaign
 Troubles in Aquitaine
 Treaty of peace broken by...
 Incidents of the war
 The sack of limoges
 The death of the prince
 Advertising
 Back Cover
 Spine














Group Title: Black Prince : a book for boys
Title: The Black Prince
CITATION THUMBNAILS PAGE TURNER PAGE IMAGE ZOOMABLE
Full Citation
STANDARD VIEW MARC VIEW
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00028277/00001
 Material Information
Title: The Black Prince a book for boys
Physical Description: 295, 8 p., 6 leaves of plates : ill. (some col.) ; 17 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Jones, M ( Meredith )
M'Enery, Robert ( Illustrator )
Thomas Nelson & Sons ( Publisher )
Publisher: T. Nelson and Sons,
T. Nelson and Sons
Place of Publication: London ;
Edinburgh ;
New York
Publication Date: 1863
Copyright Date: 1863
 Subjects
Subject: History -- Juvenile literature -- Great Britain -- Edward III, 1327-1377   ( lcsh )
Pictorial cloth bindings (Binding) -- 1863   ( rbbin )
Biographies -- 1863   ( rbgenr )
Publishers' catalogues -- 1863   ( rbgenr )
Bldn -- 1863
Genre: Pictorial cloth bindings (Binding)   ( rbbin )
Biographies   ( rbgenr )
Publishers' catalogues   ( rbgenr )
individual biography   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage: England -- London
Scotland -- Edinburgh
United States -- New York -- New York
 Notes
Statement of Responsibility: by M. Jones ; with illustrations from designs by Robert M'Enery.
General Note: Added title page and plates printed in colors.
General Note: Preface dated 1863.
General Note: Publisher's catalogue follows text.
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00028277
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: notis - ALG2513
oclc - 48395288
alephbibnum - 002222276

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front Cover 1
        Front Cover 2
    Front Matter
        Front Matter
    Half Title
        Half Title
    Frontispiece
        Page i
    Title Page
        Page ii
    Preface
        Page iii
        Page iv
        Page v
        Page vi
    Table of Contents
        Page vii
        Page viii
    Childhood of the black prince
        Page 9
        Page 10
        Page 11
        Page 12
        Page 13
        Page 14
        Page 15
        Page 16
    Origin of the wars in France
        Page 17
        Page 18
        Page 19
        Page 20
        Page 21
        Page 22
        Page 23
        Page 24
        Page 25
        Page 26
        Page 27
        Page 28
        Page 29
        Page 30
    Passage of the Somme
        Page 31
        Page 32
        Page 33
        Page 34
        Page 35
        Page 36
        Page 37
        Page 38
        Page 39
        Page 40
        Page 40a
        Page 41
        Page 42
        Page 43
        Page 44
        Page 45
        Page 46
        Page 47
        Page 48
        Page 48a
        Page 49
        Page 50
        Page 51
        Page 52
    The battle of Crecy
        Page 53
        Page 54
        Page 55
        Page 56
        Page 56a
        Page 57
        Page 58
        Page 59
        Page 60
        Page 61
        Page 62
        Page 63
        Page 64
        Page 65
        Page 66
        Page 67
        Page 68
        Page 69
        Page 70
    The siege of Calais
        Page 71
        Page 72
        Page 73
        Page 74
        Page 75
        Page 76
        Page 77
        Page 78
        Page 79
        Page 80
        Page 81
        Page 82
        Page 83
        Page 84
        Page 85
        Page 86
        Page 87
        Page 88
    Treachery at Calais
        Page 89
        Page 90
        Page 91
        Page 92
        Page 93
        Page 94
        Page 95
        Page 96
        Page 97
        Page 98
        Page 99
        Page 100
        Page 101
        Page 102
        Page 103
        Page 104
        Page 105
        Page 106
        Page 107
        Page 108
    The prince's expedition from Bordeaux
        Page 109
        Page 110
        Page 111
        Page 112
        Page 113
        Page 114
        Page 115
        Page 116
        Page 117
        Page 118
        Page 119
        Page 120
        Page 121
        Page 122
        Page 123
        Page 124
        Page 125
        Page 126
        Page 127
        Page 128
    The battle of Poitiers
        Page 129
        Page 130
        Page 131
        Page 132
        Page 133
        Page 134
        Page 135
        Page 136
        Page 137
        Page 138
        Page 139
        Page 140
        Page 141
        Page 142
        Page 143
        Page 144
        Page 145
        Page 146
        Page 147
        Page 148
    The English again invade France
        Page 149
        Page 150
        Page 151
        Page 152
        Page 153
        Page 154
        Page 155
        Page 156
        Page 157
        Page 158
        Page 159
        Page 160
        Page 161
        Page 162
        Page 163
        Page 164
        Page 165
        Page 166
        Page 167
        Page 168
    The prince's court in Aquitaine
        Page 169
        Page 170
        Page 171
        Page 172
        Page 173
        Page 174
        Page 175
        Page 176
        Page 177
        Page 178
        Page 179
        Page 180
        Page 181
        Page 182
        Page 183
        Page 184
        Page 185
        Page 186
    The prince's Spanish campaign
        Page 187
        Page 188
        Page 189
        Page 190
        Page 191
        Page 192
        Page 193
        Page 194
        Page 195
        Page 196
        Page 197
        Page 198
        Page 199
        Page 200
        Page 201
        Page 202
        Page 203
        Page 204
        Page 205
        Page 206
    Troubles in Aquitaine
        Page 207
        Page 208
        Page 209
        Page 210
        Page 211
        Page 212
        Page 213
        Page 214
        Page 215
        Page 216
        Page 217
        Page 218
        Page 219
        Page 220
        Page 221
        Page 222
        Page 223
        Page 224
        Page 225
        Page 226
    Treaty of peace broken by the French
        Page 227
        Page 228
        Page 229
        Page 230
        Page 231
        Page 232
        Page 233
        Page 234
        Page 235
        Page 236
        Page 237
        Page 238
        Page 239
        Page 240
        Page 241
        Page 242
        Page 243
        Page 244
    Incidents of the war
        Page 245
        Page 246
        Page 247
        Page 248
        Page 249
        Page 250
        Page 251
        Page 252
        Page 253
        Page 254
        Page 255
        Page 256
        Page 257
        Page 258
    The sack of limoges
        Page 259
        Page 260
        Page 261
        Page 262
        Page 263
        Page 264
        Page 265
        Page 266
        Page 267
        Page 268
        Page 269
        Page 270
        Page 271
        Page 272
        Page 273
        Page 274
        Page 275
        Page 276
        Page 277
        Page 278
    The death of the prince
        Page 279
        Page 280
        Page 281
        Page 282
        Page 283
        Page 284
        Page 285
        Page 286
        Page 287
        Page 288
        Page 289
        Page 290
        Page 290a
        Page 291
        Page 292
        Page 293
        Page 294
        Page 295
        Page 296
    Advertising
        Page 297
        Page 298
        Page 299
        Page 300
        Page 301
        Page 302
        Page 303
        Page 304
    Back Cover
        Page 305
        Page 306
    Spine
        Page 307
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HE wars of Edward III. in France are
sometimes spoken of as though they
were mere wars of aggression. To
this view of them I cannot give an unqualified
assent. The law of succession, though pretty
well ascertained, was not so strictly observed in
those days as to prevent all controversy upon
the subject. And seeing that, in his peculiar
case, others, beside Edward himself, thought that
he had a claim to the crown of France, I am
disposed to look upon his French wars as spring-
ing from an honest determination on his own
part, and that of his people, to rectify, by force
the wrong which, as he conceived, had been
done him by the French nobles, in assigning the
throne to Philip of Valois.
I do not affirm that he was in the right; but







iv PREFACE.

I do think he had sufficient grounds for sup-
posing himself to be so. The circumstances of
the case were undoubtedly such as to leave room
for honest difference of opinion about it. Nor
do I think that any one of us, who had as
colourable a claim to a great estate as had
Edward III. to the French crown, would leave
any stone unturned in our efforts to get pos-
session of it. Of course we should not fight;
that is the ultimate process of nations. But
not a single law court should we leave unvisited,
carrying up our appeal step by step, until we
gained our cause, or were barred by the final
adverse decision of the highest court of all: as
Edward was ultimately barred by the final
adverse decision, unmistakably expressed by
successes in arms, of the French nation.
Much, however, as men may differ as to the
merits of his claim, all must unite in unbounded
admiration of the courage, fortitude, judgment,
and generosity, displayed by our great monarch,
and his greater son, in those marvellous en-
counters between the few and the many, which
have, for five long centuries, made Cregy and
Poitiers names of pride throughout England.
And the present seems a peculiarly suitable






PREFACE. V
time for recalling in detail the far-off glories
of the two Edwards; seeing that "wars and
rumours of wars" have, since 1854, been almost
incessantly around us; and we, the few, as we
were on those old battle-fields, are sometimes
disposed to look anxiously upon the many that,
as we apprehend, may be against us. But
Norman fire, grafted upon Anglo-Saxon endur-
ance, is still our inheritance; and should war,
either at home or abroad, be thrust upon us,-
with a just cause, and, above all, with "God"
for our Hope and Strength," we may with con-
fidence look to come out of it as triumphantly
as did the little imperiled band that followed
Edward into France, and with more permanence
of success than was awarded to them.
Englishmen still pray, as well as fight!

M. J.

LONDON, September 11, 1863.























Cjrntants.




I. The Childhood of the Black Prince, ... ... ... 9
II. Origin of the Wars in France, ... ... ... 17
III. Passage of the Somme, .. ... ... ... 31
IV. The Battle of Cre9y, ... ... ... ... 53
V. The Siege of Calais, ... ... ... .. ... 71
VI. Treachery at Calais, ... ... ... ... 89
VII. The Prince's Expedition from Bordeaux, ... ... 109
VIII. The Battle of Poitiers, ... ... ... .. 129
IX. The English again invade France, ... ... .. 149
X. The Prince's Court in Aquitaine, ... ... .., 169
XI. The Prince's Spanish Campaign, ... ... ... 187
XII. Troubles in Aquitaine, ... .. ... ... 207
XIII. Treaty of Peace broken by the French, ... ...... 227
XIV. Incidents of the War-Death of Chandos, ... ... 245
XV. The Sack of Limoges-The Prince returns to England, ... 259
XVI. The Death of the Prince, ... ......... 279







































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CHILDHOODOF THE BLACKPRINCE,


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Cje 4itb0o0 off t4J 3glarh Vrxe.

TE French wars of our great Edward III., and
his greater son, Edward the Black Prince,
afford a wonderful example of what stout
English hearts and hands can achieve, even in the
face of overwhelming numbers. Those wars have
made Cregy and Poitiers household words in England,
and we now propose to tell, in detail, their story; to-
gether with that of the gallant leader under whom the
English name became terrible in France. We shall
find the narrative present us with admirable pictures
of fortitude, humanity, and generosity, as well as of
warlike skill and daring.
Edward, the Black Prince, the heroic son of Edward
III. of England, was born at the old royal palace of
Woodstock, on the 15th of June, 1330. His mother
was Philippa, daughter of William, Count of Hainault.
In 1327, when she was a mere girl of fourteen, the
princess, attended by a brilliant train of knights







12 THE CHILDHOOD OF THE BLACK PRINCE.

and gentlemen, came over to England to marry its
young monarch, who was only two or three months
older than herself. The marriage proved a happy one;
more so than usually falls to the lot of royal person-
ages: for Philippa was gentle and good, and sincerely
attached to her husband; and he, in return, gave her,
throughout their long life, the affection she so well
deserved. The birth of their boy was a great delight
both to them and the whole nation; and in the glad-
ness of his heart the king munificently rewarded the
bearer of such welcome tidings, assigning him a liberal
yearly pension in money, till he could settle lands
upon him to the same value.
We do not know much about the royal nursery in
those days. One thing, however, we do know, that the
first year or two in that apartment are spent very
much alike, whatever may be the centuries compared.
Whether the date be 1800 or 1300,-kicking, crawling,
squalling, and eating porridge, equally engrosses the
young occupant, be he prince or be he peasant. This
may not be very dignified, but we cannot help that.
The further process of shortening those interminable
long tails to their petticoats, with which it is the cus-
tom to endow very young babies, also passes upon a
Prince of Wales, irrespective of the date of his birth.
While in his first attempts to walk, the tumbles and
knocks upon the head, encountered by the heir-apparent
of our day, have certainly been shared by that stalwart





THE CHILDHOOD OF THE BLACK PRINCE. 13

child whom we see so dimly through the mist of five
receding centuries. For both, the same mother's heart
has beaten; and, tender as was that of Philippa for her
first-born, we may not believe that it was more tender
than that of her whom we English of this day love to
call our sovereign.
One would certainly have liked to know something
of the childhood of one who was destined to fill so im-
portant a part in our own history, and in that of our
neighbours across the channel, as does the Black
Prince. But though we have gossip five centuries old,
it is not gossip about babies. For grave historians to
record that Joan of Oxford was his nurse; that Mistress
Matilda Frampton had the honour of rocking the royal
cradle; and that, in his third year, he was created
Earl of Chester; is not telling us much : it is the boy
himself we want to hear about. But the nursery door
is close shut upon its little princely inmate, and how-
ever precocious or stupid he may have been, to us it is
all a blank.
At the age of six, however, we get a glimpse of our
Edward of the olden time; for his father then created
him Duke of Cornwall, a title that is still borne by the
Prince of Wales. In those days, the creation of a peer
was a ceremony; not as now, when a slip of paper con-
verts a banker into a lord; and the ceremony, in this
case, must have been a sight worth seeing. A title
meant something then. It carried with it power and






14 THE CHILDHOOD OF THE BLACK PRINCE.

authority, and the symbols of these were formally de-
livered to him who received it. Perhaps it was because
the prince was such a very little fellow that all the
usual formalities were not gone through on this occa-
sion. His rights over the duchy of Cornwall were,
ceremoniously, conveyed to him simply by girding his
tiny waist with a sword; the other usual ensigns of
authority-the ring and the staff-were not transferred
to him. The new-made duke, the first that England
had ever known, immediately proceeded to show that
the distinction conferred upon him was no empty one.
Bestowing knighthood was one of the powers attached
to it, and twenty gallant youths that day received it
from his hand. By this time, too, we find that the
small man was minding his book, with grave Dr.
Burley for his tutor, and a group of youngsters to
learn lessons with him, instead of being left in
stately solitude to con them over by himself. Among
these associates, Simon Burley afterwards became
one of the prince's favoured and most distinguished
knights.
King Edward's French wars, of which we shall speak
presently, carried him much abroad; and his Highness
of Cornwall (he was not Prince of Wales yet), was,
in his father's absence, appointed Lieutenant of the
kingdom. His lieutenancy was no mere pretence,
not a name only; for this child of eight years old
actually held a parliament for his father at Northamp-





THE CHILDHOOD OF THE BLACK PRINCE. 15

ton, in 1338. A most obliging parliament it was too;
for, under the young duke's presidency, it voted large
supplies for carrying on the popular war with Philip
of Valois and his friends.
Here, again, those tiresome old chroniclers do not
tell us how the prince got through his important busi-
ness, nor even how much of it fell to his share. But
at the mature age of eight, he would certainly get on
better than did James VI. of Scotland, who, (at three
or four years old), having to perform a regal duty of
the same kind, wound up his address to Lords and
Commons, by remarking, in the same breath, that
there was a hole in the roof of the parliament-
house. We cannot for one moment suppose that
our Edward made such "a hole" in his manners as
this!
The promise of the young prince's babyhood-for he
really was a fine child-was now being fulfilled. He
grew up a handsome, strong-limbed, intelligent lad;
and at the age of nine, when his father, who was busy
preparing for his contest with the French, sent for him
to the castle of Louvain to keep Christmas with him-
self and his queen, one of the Christmas amusements
of that "noble and royal assembly was to propose a
marriage between the boy and the little daughter of
the Duke of Brabant, the young lady being then four
years old. The match went no further than those
Christmas conversations by a blazing log-fire; one of







16 THE CHILDHOOD OF THE BLACK PRINCE.

the prince's own countrywomen, celebrated for her
beauty as the "Fair Maid of Kent," being destined
for the wife, not of a hopeful boy, but of a man re-
nowned throughout Christendom as the hero of Crecy.
Poitiers, and Najarn.


























ORIGIN OF THE WARS IN FRANCE,





















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iQLri in of ilje ars in mrana.

5 T the time that King Edward III. came to the
throne, the English had considerable pos-
sessions in the south of France, which had
been brought by Queen Eleanor, wife of Henry II., as
her marriage portion. For these possessions the kings
of England had been accustomed to do homage to the
kings of France, as (what was called) their feudal su-
periors. This ceremony did not at all affect their in-
dependence as sovereigns of England. It only related
to their lordship over those French duchies, in relation
to which they were not quite so supreme as was the
monarch of France, and as they themselves were at
home: they owed to the French king, so far as these
French dominions were concerned, a limited sort of
obedience, in compliance with what was called the
feudal law.
The feudal system, of which this law was a part,
was a relic of the old conquering times when he who
had won lands by his sword--as William the Norman






20 ORIGIN OF THE WARS IN FRANCE.

did in England-portioned them out among his fol-
lowers, on condition that their swords should help him
in case of need: the amount of military service, thus
rendered, being in proportion to the extent of lands
bestowed. Other independent sovereigns, besides
those of England, though none of such importance and
grandeur as they, were in the same position as Edward:
owning feudal obedience to some one who, in that par-
ticular, was greater than they. But, saving this mere
feudal obedience, it would not have been wise for any
feudal lord, however high and mighty, to require more
from them. In such a case, they would have flown in
the face even of his Highness of France as readily as
in that of a meaner potentate.
This sort of feudal obedience, then, had been rendered
by our monarchs, on account of their portion of the
kingdom of France. But on the death of Charles the
Fair, King of France, in 1328, our Edward III., as his
nephew, considered that he was the next heir to the
throne, and therefore, as supreme lord, had a right to
the whole kingdom. The great lords and peers of
France thought otherwise, and gave the crown to Philip
of Valois, cousin to the late king. Their reason for
preferring a more distant relation than Edward, was
that as (according to the custom of France, which does
not suffer a woman to reign), Queen Isabella of Eng-
land could not succeed to the crown herself, neither
could her son inherit through her. Edward and his





ORIGIN OF THE WARS IN FRANCE. 21

friends were, however, confident in their view of the
case. Indeed, there was room for dispute in the
matter; and most probably the real reason why Philip
was chosen instead of Edward, was, not so much out of
regard to the Salic law, as to the circumstance of
Philip's being a Frenchman, one of themselves, while
Edward was an English king.
There was only one way of deciding such a quarrel,
that is, by fighting; and to this the English king, with
the hearty concurrence of his people, and the pur-
chased help of his allies, speedily resorted.
Believing himself to be the rightful heir to the
French throne, it was not particularly agreeable to
Edward, in the first flush of youth and sovereignty, to
be called upon to go over to France, and perform that
customary homage of which we have been speaking,
for a mere corner of the kingdom. The whole belonged
to him, as he thought; why then should he go down
upon his knees to return thanks for the limited owner-
ship of a part of it? King Philip had already been
crowned a twelvemonth, and all his other feudatories-
as those who acknowledged him for feudal superior,
were called-had done homage to their lord in the
manner prescribed. The mode of doing this was for
the feudatory or vassal, to kneel bareheaded, un-
belted, and unarmed before his lord, between whose
hands he placed his own, vowing the customary
obedience, or, in other and old words, promising






22 ORIGIN OF THE WARS IN FRANCE.

to become his man." The lord then bestowed a
kiss upon the kneeling knight, and the ceremony was
at an end.
It was, as has been said, excessively disagreeable to
Edward, as King of England, thus to humble himself
to his neighbour. Young as he was (he was only seven-
teen), he was already distinguished, not only as sove-
reign of a realm that might vie in importance with
that of France, but for the energy and valour which he
had displayed in his contests with the fierce, rude
warriors of Scotland. And his high spirit, high both
from his position, and from his personal merit, re-
volted from the ceremonial submissiveness required
from him. According to the custom of that age, how-
ever, he could not absolutely refuse it when summoned,
unless he had been prepared at once to go to war
about the matter.
Accordingly, when Philip's messengers requiring the
accustomed duty from the English king, presented
themselves at Windsor,-which had, even then, for
more than two centuries been a royal palace,-they
were received with all the courtesy due to their own
rank, and that of their master. But, with the same
punctilious politeness, they were informed that the
king must consult with his council, before he could
engage to perform the homage demanded from him.
Edward forthwith came up to town, and assembled
his trusty councillors at Westminster. Before them






ORIGIN OF THE WARS IN FRANCE. 23

the messengers laid their credentials, and then with-
drew, while the knotty question, to pay homage or
refuse it-in other words, peace or war-was discussed.
Discretion is said to be the better part of valour, and
the council possessed this valuable quality; for, seeing
that the nation was not, just then, in a condition to back
their king, with "bills and bows," if he declined com-
pliance with the French king's demands, they decided
that he should obey Philip's bidding. The messengers
were then again summoned before that stately assem-
blage; and by the mouth of the Bishop of London (in
those days bishops were often leading statesmen), were
duly informed that the king, their master, would forth-
with pass over into France to render the homage re-
quired by his cousin Philip.
So far all seemed smooth. Edward kept his word,
and on the 26th of May 1329, set out on this unplea-
sant errand, attended by a fitting train of nobles,
bishops, and knights. His suite comprised a thousand
horse, and he was received by Philip, with correspond-
ing magnificence, at Amiens; where the homage was
paid in presence of three kings-those of Bohemia,
Navarre, and Majorca, and a crowd of nobles, drawn
together to do honour to the new liegeman. Never
was bitter pill more brightly gilded. But it was a
bitter pill, that Edward at first made some difficulty
about swallowing in the prescribed fashion. He made
his appearance in the Cathedral of Amiens (where his






24 ORIGIN OF THE WARS IN FRANCE.

"lord" sat in a chair of state), armed and royally
robed; nor was he disposed either to strip himself of his
regal and knightly insignia, or to do the kneeling part
of the business. Both, however, were relentlessly ex-
acted of him; and, in a terrible temper, Edward of
England, avowed himself vassal-for Guienne-to
Philip of France; whom, in his secret soul, he wished
at Jericho.* Fifteen days were afterwards passed in
feasting, tournaments, and grave conferences, between
the politicians of that brilliant congress; and then
Edward returned to his young wife at Windsor, well
pleased with his reception at the French court, however
much he might dislike that part of the performance
in which he had been the leading actor.
Among the nobles of France who had assisted in
placing the crown upon the head of Philip of Valois,
was his brother-in-law, Count Robert of Artois. He was
a particularly great man, and stood so high in Philip's
good graces, that almost everything in the kingdom
was guided and ordered by my Lord Robert. Ere long,
however, Philip's violent liking for his brother-in-law
turned, as is not uncommon, to an equally violent
hatred of him. The count's moral character was cer-
tainly nothing to boast of. Indeed, it is said that he
was guilty of the shabby vice of forging title deeds, in
order to mend his claim on certain lands in France.

It has been denied that Edward performed his homage in the humiliat.
ing manner described. But some old authorities take this view of it.





ORIGIN OF THE WARS IN FRANCE. 25

On account of this, Philip was strongly inclined to cut
off the count's head, if he could only catch him! and
after having hunted his intended victim out of several
states, to which, in succession, he had fled from the
axe and block prepared for him, Robert was at last
fairly driven to England, for the shelter denied him
elsewhere.
Philip had much better have let his brother-in-law
stay quietly at home, and keep his cunning head on
his broad shoulders; for, once in the court of England,
he diligently employed all the influence which a man
of his reputation possessed, in urging upon the king the
justice of his claim to the French throne, and in inciting
that young, valorous spirit to plead his cause with the
sword. Such a mode of upholding it could not but be
agreeable to one yet glowing with successful fight
against those, over whom his grandfather had so long
ridden, rough-shod, that he began at last to think he
really had a right to do it. The Frenchman accom-
panied Edward in his expedition against the Scots,
and while in the field plied him well with arguments
for flying at higher game. He further comforted the
soul of the young monarch by assuring him that his
claim was held good by several lawyers.
Count Robert was reckoned a man of great sagacity.
He was also of royal descent. No wonder that the
king began at last to yield to his persuasions, and to
hold many anxious conferences with his council, as to






26 ORIGIN OF THE WARS IN FRANCE.

whether he should, or should not, carry his steel-clad
host from the bare heaths of Scotland, which they had
already trampled down, to try their fortune on the fair
fields of France. The knights of those days, be it said,
rather preferred fighting in France, to fighting in
Scotland; as the former country afforded them more
luxurious quarters.
Edward's council were well enough disposed that
the king should advance his claim to the French
crown, and prosecute it by arms, if need were. The
resources of his own kingdom were not, however, at
the time adequate to do this; and to do it effectually
he must seek aid from his friends and allies on the
continent. They, therefore, advised that he should
send ambassadors to his gallant and gouty father-in-
law, the Earl of Hainault, to ascertain what could be
done in that quarter. To these ambassadors, the earl
and his brother, the Lord John, gave all that was in
their power to give, that is, advice; a very good thing
when nothing better is to be had. And acting upon
their counsel, Edward contracted alliances with the
lords, and small sovereigns of the Low Countries; who,
some for love, more for money, and others, won by the
cheaper means of flattery and promises, agreed to aid
him in his grand enterprise.
One of Edward's allies in this business was, it is
true, neither sovereign nor lord, though he was as
powerful and important as though he were both the





ORIGIN OF THE WARS IN FRANCE. 27

one and the other. This ally was Jacob van Arteveld,
who, having retired from the brewing business, which
he had carried on with great success, next took up
that of governing the Flemings, in a style rather more
imperative than had ever been adopted by their lawful
sovereign, the Earl of Flanders. From the earl they
had thought proper to revolt; but whether they liked
the brewer any better, after they had got him, may be
questioned, for Jacob had an awkward habit of killing
off, without the slightest ceremony, any one to whom
it pleased him to take a dislike. Further, as is fre-
quently the case, when men of low birth are raised to
power and wealth, he was much more extragavant-
with the money of the Flemings-than the earl had ever
been, who was born to these two good things. He
taxed the Flemings heavily in a variety of ways. They
had both indirect, and direct, exceedingly direct, taxation;
for after he had spent the accustomed duties, no one
knew, nor dared to ask, how, he would proceed to
what he called borrowing large sums from the citizens;
his borrowing, being the next best, or worst thing to
demanding, seeing that no one who had any regard for
his own safety, felt at liberty to say-no! Indeed,
whenever he thought fit to tell them he wanted more
money, it was always best to take his word for it, and
let him have it. In short, Jacob played King Stork
among his new subjects with a vengeance !
To this amiable individual King Edward addressed







28 ORIGIN OF THE WARS IN FRANCE.

himself so effectually, that the stout, sturdy Flemings, fat-
tened and strengthened on such beer as Jacob had been
wont to brew, were joined in his cause, with the more
sprightly cavaliers of the empire; that is, of Austria
and Germany. When Edward's own forces were united
to these, there was a gallant army under his direction,
or that of his lieutenants, who, with various fortune,
kept fighting a little here, and a little there, for the next
eight years. Amid their skirmishing we may notice
that Count Robert came to his end; and finally found
a quiet resting-place in the choir of our old St. Paul's.
The din of the city, teeming with mercantile life, per-
chance even now roars around the ashes of that turbu-
lent warrior. His death was lamented in England, for
he had qualities to win admiration in those far off days;
and according to the fashion (more heathen than Chris-
tian), of the times, Edward swore to take a terrible re-
venge for it.
Towards the close of this period of skirmishing, that
is in 1343, when the young Edward was thirteen years
old, his father, with all solemnity, conferred upon him
the title of Prince of Wales. The king also thought
that with the help of Jacob the brewer, the revolted
Flemings might be persuaded to accept the young prince
as their sovereign. But the earldom of Flanders was
not to be added to the rest of his titles and possessions.
Van Arteveld was heartily willing to do all that Edward
wished from him. It was very pleasant to patronize a





ORIGIN OF THE WARS IN FRANCE. 2D

king. But he soon found that he had promised more
than he could perform. He condescended to consult
with his turbulent Flemings, on the question of this con-
templated transfer of their allegiance; but it seems that
by this time they were tired of Jacob and his iron rule.
They murmured loudly at the proposal, declaring that,
with God's help, they would never disgrace themselves
so far as to disinherit their "natural lord, in favour of
a stranger." And they whispered, one to another, that
Jacob was carrying things with rather too high a hand;
and they would not endure it any longer. Nor did
they; for forthwith the mob fell upon the unfortunate
brewer, and killed him.
Edward, who, attended by the prince, and a stately
retinue, had come over to Sluys in Flanders, and was
there anxiously awaiting the result of Jacob's negotia-
tions, was not easily pacified after this destruction of
his hopes. He immediately took his son home again,
vowing vengeance against the Flemings, and all belong-
ing to them. Those discreet people, however, soon
patched up a peace with him; and though they begged
to be excused from any attempt to deprive their young
Earl Lewis of his rights, they adroitly insinuated that,
as the king had a daughter, Flanders might very pos-
sibly be ruled by his family after all, through her mar-
riage with their lord.
And so the poor brewer, whose mangled remains were
scarcely cold in their unhonoured grave, was forgotten







30 ORIGIN OF THE WARS IN FRANCE.

as speedily as possible, and every one was quite com-
fortable.
Jacob's fate was sad; but his violence had merited
it. He had taken "the sword," and he "perished"
by it.






























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PASSAGE OF THE SOMME,

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DWA.I-D'S disappointment at the loss of the
earldom of Flanders, which he had hoped to
secure for his son, was not merely for the
loss of title and territory. We know how he longed to
gain possession of what he considered his rightful in-
heritance; how this longing had led him to court the
brewer of Ghent; and might have induced him to culti-
vate'even more ignoble acquaintance, could they have
served him in the matter. The reason for his wish to
gain the Flemings was his having entertained the hope
of making Flanders his key to unlock that beautiful,
fertile France, out of which (with the exception of his
own hereditary portion) he was kept, as he thought, so
unjustly. And now that roaring raging mob in the
peaked and gabled streets of Ghent, had put an end
to his fine scheme. But for this, it is to be feared that
the slaughter of a dozen brewers, instead of only one,
would not have disturbed his tranquillity.
But there were other roads into France besides those
(3) 3







34 PASSAGE OF THE SOME.

through Flanders, and King Edward was soon to find
them. For two years or more his lieutenants in the
south of France, where he was at home," and no one
denied it, had been as busy as possible in dealing out
hard knocks to their neighbours-the less loved that
they were such near neighbours. His cousin, the Earl
of Derby, (not of the house of Stanley, but a royal
Plantagenet), was driving all before him in Gascony
where he had met with little opposition; for to carry on
war successfully requires plenty of money; and money
was just the thing that Philip of Valois wanted. In
the early part of 1346, however, Philip contrived to
get so far out of his difficulties as to raise an army of
a hundred thousand men, who, with lords and knights
almost innumerable, marched into Gascony, under the
command of the Duke of Normandy, and set them-
selves, so steadily, and successfully, to the retaking of
the Earl of Derby's conquests in that province, that
the thing soon became serious. Sir Walter Manny, who
had, a few years before, come over to England in the
train of the good Queen Philippa, was with the com-
paratively small body of English who were thus fiercely
attacked in southern France and though he was in him-
self a host, his skill and bravery, with that of other
knights, also brave and skilful, did not prevent the
fortune of war from going sadly against them.
In this strait Edward proposed going himself to the
assistance of his faithful, but harassed followers. His





PASSAGE OF THE SOME. 3

people heartily seconded him. Men and arms, and ships
for their transport, were soon collected, and the young
prince, now in his sixteenth year, was to have his first
experience of actual war among them.
Masses of soldiers, armed and accoutred for their
deadly, though necessary function, form a picturesque
spectacle even in our own days. But, in comparison
with the very olden time of which we are writing, war
is now shorn of almost all its strange, outside beauty.
There were the knights glittering in plate armour, hel-
meted, crested, plumed, with each one his bright shield,
throwing off sunbeams as he moved along; while their
satin and embroidered surcoats were fit for the train of
a duchess on drawing-room days. The surcoat was a
flowing sort of robe, thrown over the armour. The
lance, with its little fluttering pennon, was an exceed-
ingly picturesque weapon, as we may see by our modern
lancers. Nor was the huge steel battle axe, or hammer,
cartell, was its old name,) added by some to the ordi-
nary equipment of lance and sword, and which was
slung from their saddle-bow, other than an imposing
looking implement of destruction.
Then the horses were nearly as fine, and well de-
fended by plates of steel, as their masters. How puzzled
the poor animals must have felt, to be stalking about
in iron cases; and further, on high days and holidays,
with what one may call embroidered petticoats down
to their heels!







36 PASSAGE OF THE SOME.
The man-at-arms-what we should now call the
cavalry soldier-though less brilliantly mailed than the
knight or noble, was not the less encased in good ser-
viceable metal, that would withstand sword stroke, or
spear-thrust. Indeed, we are told that prostrate knights
and men-at-arms, defying all penetrating weapons, have
had to be cracked like lobsters, by blows of the ham-
mer, before the death-dealing dagger could find its way
through their iron shells.
This man-at-arms with his little retinue of attendants
(for he was a great man in his way), formed a striking
group; while the mounted and mail-clad host were
varied by bodies of archers, in their loose, easy-fitting
dress: for we did not, in those days, strap and buckle up
our soldiers as we do now. These stout fellows were
armed with the formidable bow and arrow of our old
English yeomen: bows as tall as themselves, wherein
the yard-long shaft was drawn by main strength of
body, not of arms merely, right up to the ear, before it
was discharged on its twanging, death-carrying errand.
Those yard-long arrows would pierce the stoutest
armour impervious to all ordinary weapons. As for
our Irish and Welsh fellow subjects, who now hold their
own in our armies as well as the best of us, making
men proud to enter their distinctive regiments; they
did not come out at all well in the days of Edward III.
and our wars in France. In fact they were a long way
behind the English in civilization; so a big knife, or any





PASSAGE OF THE SOME. 37
other awkward tool that was capable of doing mischief,
was thought quite good enough for them.
Tell that" not to the marines," but to the Welsh
Fusiliers, and Connaught Rangers.
Of such was the small though effective army now
destined for the shores of France. We may imagine
how enthusiastically the fine, handsome lad, heir, not
only to the crown of England, but to that of the rich
country they were bound to win, would be received by
his noble, knightly, and yeomanly companions in arms.
Nor can we doubt that the wild Irish and Welsh infan-
try would brandish their knives, and shout him a wel-
come. In number this force did not exceed thirty
thousand. But we shall see what these could do against
the chivalry and countless hosts of Philip of Valois.
Southampton was the place appointed for the em-
barkation of the English army, and thence the fleet
sailed on the 24th of June, 1346. Edward left young
Lionel, his third son, to take care of things at home,
while he was away. This, of course, was a mere thing
of state, Master Lionel being only eight years old;
grave, bearded men, such as the lords Nevil and Percy,
and several bishops, were in reality entrusted with
the weighty cares of government. Nor did the war-
loving king forget the prudent defence of his realm, by
arms, as well as by wise heads; a sufficient military
force being appointed for its protection during his ab-
sence.






38 PASSAGE OF THE SOME.

The army which the king, his son, and some of the
greatest nobles and warriors of the time now commanded
for the conquest of France, was designed, as has been
said, to make its first attempt in the southern provinces.
Contrary winds, however, baffled that design, and on
the third day after their sailing from Southampton,
which they did merrily enough, drove them on their
own coast of Cornwall, instead of that of Gascony.
And here, after beating about for a while-nobody en-
joys coming back again, like a boomerang from its
mark--they were compelled to anchor, and suffer nearly
a weeks' detention.
On board the king's ship there was a French noble-
man, named Sir Godfrey de Harcourt, who, having
given offence at his own court, had run away to that of
England, where he was received with great favour.
During the time they were detained by foul winds on
the Cornish coast, this Sir Godfrey set himself to alter
Edward's plan as to the place of landing. He advised
that the descent should be made upon Normandy; that
northern province being very rich and fertile, and
having the further advantage of being quite out of the
way of the rough skirmishers who had turned the
south upside down. It was, therefore, quite unpre-
pared for defence, its knighthood, with their retainers,
being drawn off to the field of action. Its population,
too, were quiet and peaceable, occupied with the care of
their fields and flocks, and knowing nothing of sword,





PASSAGE OF THE SOME. 39

lance, and cross-bow,-the cross-bow was that form of
the weapon chiefly used on the Continent, and it was
not considered so manly a one as the old English long-
bow.
The advice was sound, and Edward had sense enough
to take it. After having threatened the south, it was
good policy on his part to swoop down upon the com-
paratively defenceless north. Winds and waves fav-
oured him now, and speedily brought him and his
fleet to La Hogue, in Normandy, on the 10th of July.
If you look at the map you will see the little point
jutting out, almost opposite to the Isle of Wight.
The king was the first to leap ashore. But "most
haste is not always best speed." Not looking before
heleaped, or making some other such simple blunder,
down came his Highness (for it was not Majesty" in
those days) full length on the strand, with such force
as to set the royal nose a-bleeding. That looked bad;
and his superstitious nobles entreated him to return to
his ship, and not think of effecting a landing after so
unfortunate a beginning. Edward, however, was as
superior to those about him in good sense as he was
in military prowess, and he passed off his tumble with
a jest, observing that the very ground itself was obvi-
ously longing for him.
The joke told; a good joke always will tell; and the
disembarkation at once took place. The prince, who
was aboard his father's ship, set foot, for the first time,






40 PASSAGE OF THE SOME.

on the territory that he hoped would one day be his.
Nobles, knights, men-at-arms, and everybody else, in-
cluding the wild Irish and Welsh, were duly got out
of the ships; and horses, armour, warlike stores, with
endless baggage, were all safely landed at last upon the
sandy beach, where they camped for that summer's
night. Rich tents were pitched for royalty and my
lords; while his cloak, and the glittering star-lit sky
overhead, were shelter enough for the humbler warrior
of that resolute little band.
A few days rest was allowed upon this spot; while,
to qualify them duly for the coming struggle, the
prince, and some other young nobles, had the honour of
knighthood conferred upon them by the king. Then
a council of war was held to decide on the course to
be pursued; and at this it was determined that the
Earl of Huntingdon, with about a hundred and twenty
men-at-arms, and four hundred archers, should remain
with the fleet, while the rest of the army moved on in
three divisions. One of these was under the command
of the king, with whom was his son, the new-made
knight, panting to do honour to his knighthood by
some signal feat of arms. Sir Godfrey de Harcourt
led the second; the Earl of Warwick the third. The
order of march was, for the king's division, or main
body, to move on in the centre; the Earl of Warwick's
division extended itself on the right; and that of Sir
Godfrey, which was a little in advance, acted upon the












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PASSAGE OF THE SOME. 41

left. The fleet followed their course along the coast,
all uniting in one object,-that of plundering, burning,
and destroying everything that came in their way.
They met with little opposition, for the simple
country folks, who, as has been said, knew nothing
of soldiers and battles, took to their heels and fled be-
fore the English; the knights and men-at-arms who
should have protected them from these cruel invaders
being far away, fighting under the Duke of Nor-
mandy. So, between the fleet and the army,-spreading
itself like a pestilence-the English took many rich
towns, and acquired plunder to an enormous extent;
gold, silver, and valuable merchandise, which they care-
fully packed up, sent on board their attendant ships,
and rejoicingly conveyed to England. Spoil was so
abundant that the very camp followers "turned up
their noses at rich furred gowns, which, in those days,
were worn; and there was no lack of provision for this
locust-like swarm either, seeing that those who fled
could not take their well-stored houses and barns with
them.
King Philip meanwhile was not idle. When news
was brought him that the English had landed in Nor-
mandy, and were destroying that province at their
pleasure, he summoned every earl, baron, and knight,
who owed him service, to march with him against
them. The lords eagerly obeyed his command, but
some were so distant from the scene of action that they






42 PASSAGE OF THE SOME.

could not attend the king in time to check the advance
of the enemy, who soon made their way to within a
few miles of Paris. The citizens were terribly frightened
when they found the English at their very gates; the
more so that Philip was just setting out to St. Denis,
about four miles off, to join the lords who were
assembled there. Expecting to be swallowed at a
mouthful by those terrible islanders,-upon their knees
the poor citizens besought the king to stay and take
care of them, for if he did not, the English would cer-
tainly come upon them, and make themselves masters
of his fine city of Paris.
King Philip thought he should best protect his fine
city of Paris and its trembling inhabitants by joining
his army at St. Denis, and fighting the invaders. He
told the suppliants so; and to cheer their hearts, de-
clared that the English would never touch them, nor
their city either. This turned out quite true, as Ed-
ward, having burned some villages near its walls, passed
on northwards, by Beauvais, where he hung twenty of
his own people for having set fire to the abbey of St.
Messien, contrary- to his express commands that no
church or monastery should be injured. Beauvais was
attacked, but its inhabitants, with a good military
bishop at their head, showed fight so gallantly that the
English were beaten back. The people of Poix, a little
further on, either not being in a mood for fighting, or
not prepared for it, thought best to buy off the enemy






PASSAGE OF THE SOME. 43

A certain sum was agreed upon, on the faith of which the
town and its two fortresses were to be left untouched.
The king and the young prince slept there quietly that
night, and next morning withdrew the army to pursue
its march. No sooner, however, were they out of
the way than those excellent people of Poix recovered
from their fright, and plainly told the few English who
had been left behind to receive the ransom, that they
would not pay one penny of what they had promised;
and so saying, they fell fiercely upon the little troop.
This was shabby. Fortunately for the English, who
defended themselves gallantly, their rear-guard was not
far off, and they hastily sent to it for succour. Lord
Reginald Cobham, and Sir Thomas Holland who com-
manded, hastened to the help of their comrades, with
loud shouts of "Treason, treason !" and speedily pun.
ished the townsmen's bad faith by slaying great
numbers of them, burning their town, and pulling
down their castles to the very ground.
This was severe; but faith ought to be kept, even
with an enemy. Those who break their word must
not complain if they suffer for it.
One of these castles, when the army first took pos-
session, was found to be garrisoned by two young
ladies, the beautiful daughters of its absent lord. They
were chivalrously protected from the rude soldiery by
that glorious John Chandos, of whom we shall hear
again; and the Lord Basset, who brought them to the






44 PASSAGE OF THE SOME.

king's presence. Edward received the ladies with all
courtesy, asking them whither they would go, and
commanded that they should be safely conducted to
their chosen place of refuge.
Edward's career, in the north-west of France, had so
far been highly successful. Still, in the neighbourhood
of Paris, it was materially checked by the French
having broken down the bridges over the numerous
rivers that intersect that part of the country, and from
which the district received its former name, of the Isle
of France. At Poissy, about twenty miles from the
capital, the English almost stuck fast; but the army
was extricated by a feint on the part of its leader.
Edward made as though he were going off in the op-
posite direction, then returned hastily, patched up the
bridge, and got, for that time, out of the way of Philip
and his avenging host. But though he escaped here,
he soon found that the net was being drawn closer
around him. Broken bridges stopped him on every
hand, while those hundred-thousand angry Frenchmen
were almost upon his heels. It seemed the turn of the
English to be swallowed up now, for they were finally
placed between the bridgeless Somme and the French
army, eager to avenge, upon the king of England and
the beardless boy his son, the injuries inflicted by
them upon the French nation.
MIany English heads had been laid low, spite of the
triumphant character of their inroad, so that the origi-






PASSAGE OF THE SOME. 45

nal odds of thirty thousand against one hundred
thousand, were fearfully increased at this juncture.
Fighting or starving seemed the only alternatives
offered to the English, and they were not inclined to ac-
cept either. In this dilemma Sir Godfrey de Harcourt
and the Earl of Warwick, with a couple of thousand
men-at-arms and archers, were sent down stream to see
whether bridge or ford, of some kind or other, could
not be discovered. The search was fruitless; and when,
on their return to the army, they had communicated
the result of it, the king, who was full of thought and
care, ordered immediate preparations to be made for
decamping, as King Philip was already within six
miles of them. There really seemed to be nothing now
but a run for it.
Those iron-clad and iron-hearted men of the four-
teenth century prayed as well as fought. Before the
sun had risen upon the dispirited little army, there was
heard not only the trumpet-sound for breaking up the
camp, but the quiet voice of the priest imploring mercy
from the God of heaven, and blessing the kneeling wor-
shippers. What a heart-felt Good Lord, deliver us !"
would ascend from that imperilled band! and who shall
say that those prayers were not heard ?
In stern military order the march commenced: men-
at-arms, archers, and their shaggy comrades with the
big knives, streamed out of Airaines; and even the
hindermost files, those whom loitering or business had






46 PASSAGE OF THE SOME.

thrown into the veriest rear, had cleared it for a good
two hours, before the French vanguard, in equal mili-
tary order, entered the town. The enemy had escaped
them, that was plain. So, instead of exchanging blows
with the English, their only revenge was to sit down
and eat up the good things that were, of necessity, left
behind. There were barrels of wine; joints on the spit,
just ready for roasting; bread and pastry half-baked
in the ovens; and tables, vainly spread for the nobles
and knights now careering away in the distance; com-
pelled to fly, and yet not so disheartened as to be in-
capable of attacking a little town that stood in their
way, knocking it all to shivers, and then taking up
their lodging in it for the night.
King Philip fixed his quarters at Airaines, and,
doubtless, the excellent cheer thus provided for them
by the retreating foe, was (without any fear of the usual
consequence of things going down the wrong throat ")
heartily enjoyed by his followers. We cannot for a
moment suppose that his Highness of France would
condescend to eat any of these English "leavings !"
At Oisemont, a town between Airaines and Abbeville,
King Edward afresh held a council, and ordered the
prisoners, whom his troops in their skirmishing about
the country had seized, to be brought before him, that
he might question them as to the possibility of getting
over the river. He asked these, very courteously, if
they knew of any ford below Abbeville where he and





PASSAGE OF THE SOME. 47

his army might cross the Somme, adding, that to him
who would conduct him to such a place he would give
his liberty, and that of any twenty, whomsoever he
might choose, of his companions.
Liberty is sweet; and, thereupon, up spoke a common
fellow (named Gobin Agace) to this effect:-
"Sir,-I promise you, under peril of my life, to
guide you to a place where you and your whole army
may pass the river without hurt. There are certain
fords where twelve men a-breast may cross twice in the
day, and not have water above their knees; but when
the tide is in, the river is so full and deep that no one
can cross it. When the tide is out, the river is so low
that it may be passed on horseback, or on foot with-
out danger. The bottom of this ford is very hard, of
gravel and white stones, over which all your carriages
may safely pass, and from thence it is called Blanch-
taque. You must, therefore, set out early, so as to be
at the ford before sunrise."
Overjoyed at such good news, the king readily pro-
rmised the speaker a round sum of money, in addition
to his liberty, provided his statement, as to this ad-
mirable ford, proved correct.
Gobin, as it happened, was a true man-to his own
interest! We must say nothing of his king and coun-
try. Some people would sell the whole world, if they
only saved their own precious necks thereby. This was
precisely Gobin's condition.





48 PASSAGE OF THE SOME.

After two or three hours of anxious, uneasy rest, king,
prince, knights, and meaner men alike, arose. Mid-
night though it was, the trumpets were heard sounding
loudly for the march; and by break of day all were
moving on, under the leadership of the illustrious
Gobin, to the ford of Blanchtaque. The brightening
sunbeams of an early August morning played upon the
broad waters of the river; for, alas! the Somme was a
tidal stream, and, by the time the faithful Gobin had
brought up his royal and military train, the tide was
at its height. To make bad worse, at the other side of
the swelling flood appeared Sir Godemar du Fay, a
great Norman baron, to whose especial care it had
been committed to baffle the King of England at this
point. Sir Godemar was at the head of a large force
of men-at-arms and infantry, backed by the burly,
well-armed townsmen of Abbeville, and a zealous
swarm of country-folks in their smock-frocks. What
sort of weapons was wielded by these good fellows in
the smock-frocks, historians do not tell us. Most
likely they snatched up their pitchforks and goads;
which, rude enough considered as instruments of war,
were yet capable, when poised by such brawny arms,
of inflicting very ugly wounds on any of the enemy
unfortunate enough to come within their range. The
pass leading from the ford was well manned by a posse
of Genoese cross-bowmen.
The brimming river, and the armed host upon its








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PASSAGE OF THE SOME. 49

opposite bank, formed a rather disheartening prospect.
But it was a case of "nothing venture, nothing win;"
though an experienced commander, such as the still
young monarch of England, was not going to do any-
thing rashly. The river had to be crossed, and those
threatening Frenchmen on the other side had-in
school-boy phrase-to be thrashed before his brave
followers were free from peril. The tide at length
turned, as the highest tide will do; and, eagerly watch-
ing its slow retreating course, the keen eye of our
Edward at once marked out the precise time when he
must dash forward and dare everything. A footing in
the stream became possible, and then, in the name of
"God and St. George," the horsemen, king, prince, and
all, leaped into the shallowing water. And on the op-
posite bank, making the air ring with shouts of God
and St. Denis," in sprang the French men-at-arms;
quite as ready (observes an old writer) for a tilting
match in the water, as on dry land. Fierce blows and
thrusts were exchanged, as they plowtered in the stream;
and the sword of the young prince, it is said, was then
first stained with blood.
It must, from that time have assumed a very differ-
ent aspect in his eyes. Before, it was the mere glitter-
ing plaything of a boy; henceforth, it was the terrible
death-dealing weapon of a man !
The forcing of this passage over the Somme was no
easy matter. French, against English valour was, that
(3) 4





60 PASSAGE OF THE SOME.

day, well matched. The English archers, however, at
last turned the day in favour of their countrymen.
Their fearful storm of arrows compelled even the
bravest of the French knights to give way; and the
English fairly won the opposite bank, driving their
opponents before them in all directions. In the hot
pursuit which followed, terrible slaughter was done
upon the flying enemy. Knights, men-at-arms, fat
burghers from Abbeville, and simple peasants fresh
from their flocks and fields, found, that day, one com-
mon doom, from sharp English lances and swift-winged
English arrows.
The river was crossed. But it was only just in time,
seeing that some of the hindmost were set upon, and
slain by, the light cavalry of the advancing French
army.
King Philip was not particularly pleased when he
found that his prey had escaped him. Nor did it add
to his satisfaction, on his own arrival at the river's
bank, to perceive that the tide was already flowing
back again, so as to leave him no chance, save that of
going round to the bridge at Abbeville. In his first
paroxysm of rage he bethought him of hanging Sir
Godemar Fay, for not having better disputed the pas-
sage committed to his keeping; but the intercession of
his brother knights saved that nobleman from so dis-
graceful a fate.
Honest Gobin-well, he was honest to his new






"PASSAGE OF THE SOME. 51

master, though a little treacherous to his old one-
duly received the promised reward, and a good horse
into the bargain. His service was worth paying for
handsomely. Then solemn thanks were returned by
the English to God who had delivered them from so
pressing a danger. With that baffled French host, on
the other side of the now flowing tide, the English
must have felt somewhat as did the Israelites when
the returning waves of the Red Sea, over which they
had passed dry-shod, rolled in again upon Pharaoh and
his horsemen," swallowing them up in its triumphant
waters.
The deliverance of the English however, great and
thankworthy as it was, was yet but a temporary one.
Philip, speeding away over the round-about bridge at
Abbeville, was soon heard of again in their rear; and
then a stand, to meet him, and fight for it, was made,
near Crecy in Ponthieu. For now," said Edward,
" I am on my mother's lawful inheritance, given as her
marriage-portion, and I am resolved to defend it against
Philip of Valois."




























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STH E B A T T L E O F C R E Y .

IS4I
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IV.


Ijw |3attle ~of Cmve.

S"HE celebrated battle-field of Crecy lies about
eight miles north of Abbeville. Edward's
army here drawn up, was much smaller
than that of the enemy. As has been said, it is pro-
bable that it fell considerably short of its original
thirty thousand; while the French-if rumour did not
exaggerate their numbers-amounted to a hundred and
twenty thousand. As things turned out, we might
afford to make them a present of the odd twenty
thousand and believe that it was only one hundred
thousand gallant Frenchmen and their allies that our
mere handful destroyed on that memorable day.
The comparative insignificance of the English, how.
ever, made it all the more important that they should
be posted as advantageously as possible; the Earl of
Warwick and Sir Godfrey de Harcourt, therefore, rode
over the ground, noticing, with keen practised eyes,
how every yard of it might be turned to the best ac-
count. That business settled, they were in prettygood





56 THE BATTLE OF CRECY.

heart about the matter. Provisions were plentiful in
the country; and even had they not been, their own
stores were far from being exhausted. So, having first
ascertained that Philip had no intention of giving battle
immediately, they pitched their tents that night in the
plain.
There, all was soon eager preparation for the antici-
pated struggle of the next day. Arms were examined.
A faulty lance-shaft might have brought destruction
upon the knight who wielded it, a weather-rotted bow-
string would have rendered one arrow useless; and
with their inferior numbers, not one lance, nor one grey-
goose-winged arrow could they afford to throw away.
Then there was a great clattering and overhauling of
armour. Cuirasses, cuisses,-the pieces that protected
the legs-helmets or gauntlets, wanting a strap here, or
a buckle there, had to be made right and tight," and
polished up into the bargain. These were the per-
sonal cares of squires, and men-at-arms; the squires
waiting upon the knights their masters, the men-at-
arms waiting upon themselves. The king and prince
were occupied in giving a great supper to the leaders
of their brave troops, and at that entertainment no
fears of to-morrow's clash of arms spoiled their knightly
appetites. They ate well, they drank well, and then
retired from the royal presence to tent or cloak, as
each one best pleased, with the determination of fight-
ing well next morning.

















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THE BATTLE OF CRECY. 57
The cares and hospitalities of the day ended, the king,
in his solitude, first kneeled down in devout prayer to
God, that He would give him victory in the forthcom-
ing battle, and then, like the rest, threw himself upon
his bed about midnight.
Early next morning, August 26th, he and the prince
joined in prayers, and received the Holy Communion
The greater part of his army did the same; and then
the trumpets sounded to arms, and for each division of
the army to take the ground marked out for it.
There were three of these divisions. The first was
commanded by the Prince of Wales; and under him
were some noble and knightly warriors, whose descend-
ants-if there be any of the old blood still remaining-
may well be proud of their ancestors at Crecy. There
were the Earls of Warwick and Oxford, Sir Godfrey de
Harcourt, the Lords Reginald Cobham, Thomas Holland,
Stafford, Mauley, Delawarre, Bartholomew, Burghersh,
Robert Neville, Thomas Clifton, Bourchier, Latimer,
Sir John Chandos, and other knights notable in their
day, but whose very names are now extinguished.
The brave boy was bravely supported. This division
numbered about eight hundred men-at-arms, two thou-
sand archers, and one thousand Welshmen. All at
once moved on in good order, to their appointed post;
each lord displaying his banner and pennon,-the pen-
non was a forked streamer attached to the upper part
of the lance,-and marching in the centre of his men.






r8 THE BATTLE OF CRECY.

The second division was commanded by the Earls of
Southampton, and Arundel; the Lords Roos, Wil-
loughby, Basset, St. Albans, Lascels, Multon, Sir Lewis
Tufton, and many others. It comprised eight hundred
men-at-arms, and twelve hundred archers.
The king himself headed the reserve, or third
division, of about seven hundred men-at-arms, and two
thousand archers. The men-at-arms (as was some-
times the custom, like that of our old-fashioned
dragoons), were dismounted, and prepared to fight on
foot. The baggage of the entire army, with the
waggons and horses, was placed in the rear within an
enclosure, to which there was but one entrance, and
that, we may believe, was well guarded. Trenches
were hastily dug on both sides as an additional protec-
tion to the little army; and in front were placed a few
cannon, then a novel invention, used, perhaps for the
first time, during Edward's previous wars in Scotland.
His forces being thus marshalled in battle-array, the
king, wearing neither helmet nor coat of mail, but
simply his usual hood and dress, mounted his riding-
horse, or hackney as it was called; the. magnificent
charger being reserved for the battle-field; and passing
at a foot's pace through their ranks, with his marshals
on either hand, addressed his men, encouraging them
to guard the honour of their sovereign, and defend his
right to the throne of France. His cheerful looks, and
still more cheering words, went straight to the hearts






THE BATTLE OF CRECY. 59

of his stalwart fellows, who drew fresh courage from
his animating appeals. For, if truth must be told,
some of them were becoming a little down-hearted;
the numbers against them being so terribly overpower-
ing as somewhat to damp the confidence inspired by
previous successes.
As by this time it was near ten o'clock (the usual
dinner-hour of that period), the king ended by bidding
his men eat and drink heartily; and then he retired to
his own post. Advice so agreeable was instantly acted
upon; and after they had eaten and drunken to their
heart's content, they packed up their pots, barrels,
dishes, platters, and such things in the waggons, and
then sat down on the ground with their helmets and
arms beside them, that they might be the fresher when
the enemy came up. And so they prepared to meet
the formidable Philip of Valois.
That same Saturday morning the King of France
also rose betimes; and as soon as he and his army had
had prayers, they moved on towards the English. When
within four miles of Abbeville, they too were formed
in order of battle, and then continued their march; the
infantry in front, to keep out of the way of their own
cavalry. Four knights whom Philip had sent forward
to reconnoitre, now returned, bringing him word that
they had caught sight of the English, drawn up as we
have described them, on the sloping ground near
Crecy; and they advised him to halt his troops for the






60 THE BATTLE OF CRECY.

night, where they were, for if they went on, they would
certainly be too tired to attack the English with any
advantage. Upon this, the order was given to "halt
banner, in the name of God and St. Denis." St.
Denis was the patron saint of the French, as St.
George was of the English. Those in front halted
accordingly. But they who were in the rear, vowed
they would not halt, till they were as forward as the
front. And with that they kept pushing on.
Oh, what mischief came of this piece of stupidity!
By the pressure from behind, spite of the efforts of the
king and his generals to stop them, the front ranks
were driven on until, in utter disorder, they came with-
in sight of the enemy. The appearance of Edward's
well-ordered battalions rather checked their ardour;
and they fell back, in a confused manner, upon the
rear, to whom they communicated their own panic;
panics being eminently catching. Some few did what
all might have done had they chosen, and made their
way to the front; but the greater part hung back.
There was unaccountable confusion and disorder
throughout the whole French army; so that-their vast
numbers did them more harm than good. An attempt
was made to rally them; and at last, on they went,
but in a sad pell-mell sort of fashion, hither and
thither, as each lord, baron, or knight thought fit.
Seeing them advance, the English rose from the
ground where they were sitting, and fell into their






TIE BATTLE OF CRECY. 61

ranks. All was calmness and order here; and the
boy-prince, whose division was to bear the first brunt
of battle, took the post that had been assigned to him.
His archers were in the van, his men-at-arms in the
rear. The Earls of Northampton and Arundel, were
stationed so as to support the prince, in case of need.
The king formed his division on a height at a little
distance, where he could overlook the field, and bring
up his reserve, or not, as the battle might turn. He
himself stood by a windmill, which, not long ago, was
said to be still remaining on this memorable spot.
The attack was made by the French about three
o'clock in the afternoon. Their first line consisted of
fifteen thousand Genoese cross-bowmen; and these the
king bade his marshals order forward, "in the name
of God and St. Denis," to begin the battle. The
Genoese, however, were in no condition for doing so.
They had had a long day's march on foot, heavily
armed; and were so worn out with fatigue, that they
plainly told the constable they were not fit for any-
thing. The Earl of Alengon, who commanded the
second division, hearing this, exclaimed in a pet,-
" This is what one gets by employing such scoundrels,
who fail us when most wanted." And, among them,
they managed to drive the poor, tired, drenched
Genoese (for there was a heavy thunder-storm at the
time) on towards the English. The storm, which added
to their confusion, soon, however, cleared off, and the





62 THE BATTLE OF CRECY.

sun shone out bright, but full in the faces of the French,
so dazzling and blinding them, that it was even worse
than the rain.
At length, spurred on by their commanders, the
Genoese prepared for action, and sprang with a shout
towards the English, who stood firm, never minding
their noise. Again they leaped forward with a great
cry as before; but the English, with that boy at their
head, stirred not a foot. It was plain there was
no frightening them with mere noise. A third time
there was a bound and a cry, and then-not noise
alone-thousands of bolts from their cross-bows, fell
upon the enemy. Now was the time for the boy to
prove himself a man. The word of command was
given; and, advancing one step, the English archers
poured in, among the foe, such a shower of arrows
that, as an old writer says, it was like a snow-storm :
keen, stinging arrows, for soft snow-flakes. The
Genoese could not stand this. Heads, arms, legs,
broad chests, pierced by the long, sharp shafts,-they
fled in dismay; cutting their bow-strings, already
weakened by the rain, and throwing down their useless
weapons, as they turned their ignominious backs
upon the English yeomen.
Philip, in a rage at their flight, called out to his
mounted men-at-arms to "kill those rascals." And, no-
thing loth, the horsemen rode in among their wearied,
discomfited comrades, cutting them down without






THE BATTLE OF CRECY. 63

mercy; while still, amid the mingled mass of men
and horses, hot and thick fell the merciless English
arrows; hottest and thickest wherever the press was
greatest. Into that wounded, writhing heap, too,
plunged sullenly the clumsy stone balls of those new,
and alarming great guns in front; whose noise, to un-
accustomed ears was, we are told, as "though God
thundered!" Down went men and horses among the
baffled Genoese, one overthrowing another; and he
who was once down, had no chance of rising again.
Then, when the rout and disorder was at its height,
was the time for the Irish and Welshmen. Passing
through the ranks of their own men-at-arms and
archers, their great knives, if not very military wea-
pons, proved fatal, to many a gaily accoutred prostrate
horseman. No distinction of rank was there. Noble
and squire alike were remorselessly slain by these
rough soldiers, whose zeal was anything but pleasing
to their own knightly sovereign. King Edward could
not abide such wholesale slaughter. Possibly (for
meaner motives will sometimes mingle with generous
ones), he regretted the loss of the abundant ransom,
which such prisoners as those who had perished under
the cruel knives of his half-savage infantry, would have
furnished. For, according to the custom of the times,
knights and gentlemen, when taken prisoners, were
allowed to purchase their freedom by sums of money
proportioned to their rank and wealth.






64 THE BATTLE OF CRECY.

It was here that the brave, blind old king of Bohemia,
who marched under Philip's banner, met his fate. Un-
able, through blindness, to make his own way into the
fight, he bade two faithful knights lead him on, that he
might strike at least one good sword-stroke at the
enemy. They placed him between them, fastened their
horse bridles to his, that they might not be separated
in the throng, and then, in all three dashed, fought
valiantly, and all fell on the battle-field, where next
morning their bodies were found on one spot; their
three horses still linked together, standing quietly by
them. The Lord Charles of Bohemia, son to the king,
was bringing up a force to aid the French; but per-
ceiving, when at a little distance that the battle was
going against them, he discreetly turned aside and went
his way.
The young prince meanwhile was so hard pressed by
the French second line, under the Earl of Alenqon,
which had advanced to back the flying rabble of
Genoese, that the Earls of Arundel and Northampton
moved up their division to support him. The battle
was terribly hot here, and the king of France himself,
hovering on their skirts, was eagerly looking for an
opening to lead his third division in among them. The
English archers, however, formed an impenetrable wall
against him, that he vainly endeavoured to break
through; and the struggle lay chiefly between the
prince's force and that under Alencon. The young





THE BATTLE OF CRECY. 65

fellow was sorely put to it; and fearing for so precious
a life, the Earl of Warwick sent off a knight, post haste
to the king, entreating him to bring up the reserve, to
rescue his son from so imminent a danger.
"Is my son dead, or wounded, or unhorsed ?" was
the king's answer to this urgent request.
"No," replied the knight, "but he is so hardly
matched that he cannot long hold out without you."
Sir Thomas," was the rejoinder, "go back to your
comrades, and tell them they must not send to me for
help so long as my son is alive. He must this day
win his spurs, and I am determined, if God will, that
the glory of this day shall be his own, and that of those
who are with him."
The knight galloped back again with his message,
which seemed to put fresh life into the princely lad
and his brave companions. Fiercer blows were dealt,
hotter and more strenuous was the attack, till, ere long,
the unruly multitude of French knights, and squires,
and men, began to give way before them. The Earls
of Flanders and Alen on, who had turned the flank of
the prince's archers, were slain, together with many of
their best knights; and the entire first and second
French lines were forced back. Philip made a vigorous
effort to turn the fortunes of the day; but it was of no
use; the whole French army was utterly routed and
driven off the field in confusion. The royal standard
narrowly escaped capture. Its bearer was struck down
(3) 5





66 THE BATTLE OF CRECY.

in the fight, but while French and English eagerly con-
tended for so glorious a prize, the one to seize, the
other to rescue it, a French knight hastily with his
sword, cut the banner from its shaft, wrapped it round
his body, and rode off with it. King Philip himself
was wounded, his horse was killed under him by an
arrow, and as he sprang on another, Sir John de Hain-
ault snatched at the reins, and forced him off, telling
him by way of comfort, that if he had lost one battle,
he might gain another. And away they both swept to
Amiens, with a retinue of only sixty knights and men-
at-arms, in place of the splendid array of the morning.
It was a murderous and cruel battle; for the
desperate English gave no quarter, nor would they
ransom any. At night-fall, as the noise died away,
they looked upon the field as their own, and lighted up
torches and great fires, intending to bivouac where they
stood; for in their circumstances they dared not venture
on immediate pursuit. The king, who had never even
put on his helmet, then descended from his post of
observation, and leading forward his battalion, which
like himself, had looked on only, throughout that hard-
fought day, advanced to meet his son. He folded him
in his arms, and kissed him lovingly, saying, in the
quaint language of those times, Sweet son, God give
you good perseverance! You are indeed my own son,
for very valiantly have you this day acquitted yourself.
You are worthy to be a king!"






THE BATTLE OF CRECY. 67

Such words, from such a father, fell pleasantly upon
the ear of the panting, battle-stained boy. Most
modestly was the loving commendation received, and
then he fell upon his knees, to beg his father's blessing.
That, we may be sure, was heartily given.
The rejoicings of the English on this eventful night
were orderly rejoicings, for the king had utterly for-
bidden all noise or riot. And they were fittingly
mingled with many thanksgivings to God, who had
given them so wonderful a victory. Their losses were
trivial. Those of the French were immense. Clumsy
stone cannon balls, lance, sword, sheaves of unerring
arrows, and even those big knives, had done their work
upon kings, princes, nobles, knights, and common men,
to the number of forty thousand. There, as the old
poet has sung,-

Sceptre and crown
Had tumbled down,
And in the dust were equal laid,
With the poor crooked scythe and spade!

The next morning which was Sunday, proved so
foggy that none could see twenty yards before him,
and this circumstance threw another considerable body
of French into the hands of the English. Edward had
ordered out a strong detachment of five hundred lances,
and two thousand archers, under his two marshals, who
were directed to scour the neighbourhood, lest any of
the enemy should be collecting again to make a fresh






68 THE BATTLE OF CRECY.

stand against him. French troops, ignorant of the
total overthrow of their army, had that morning left
Abbeville and St. Riguier to join Philip at Cregy; and
these in the mist, taking the English for their own
friends, were almost among them before they discovered
their fatal mistake. The encounter between the two
was short, but sharp, and ended in the slaughter of
great numbers of the French, not one of whom would
have escaped, had not the fog (which had betrayed
them to their discomfiture) favoured the flight of a few,
who thus saved themselves. A second, well-appointed
party of French, under the Archbishop of Rouen, and
the Grand Prior of France, met with the same fate from
the marshals' detachment, who cut them almost all to
pieces, including their right reverend leader. Others,
found wandering in the fields, where they had lain all
night, were also savagely put to the sword. In short,
it is said that more were slain on that Sunday morn-
ing, than had fallen in the battle itself.
The returning marshals informed the king, who was
just coming from prayers, of their successful and san-
guinary proceedings. And then, as there was no fear of
a second army to be encountered, by his command,
heralds, attended by their secretaries, slowly traversed
the field to take account of the dead. The name and
rank of the slain knights could only be ascertained by
their coats of arms, emblazoned upon the shield, or
surcoat; and when this sad task was ended, by Edward's






THE BATTLE OF CRECY. C9

order, the chiefest of them were reverently laid to rest
in consecrated ground attached to the monastery of
Montenay, close at hand. The king himself, with his
great lords, all clad in black, took part in the solemn
ceremony, by way of doing honour to his brave, though
unfortunate enemies. Three days' truce was granted
for burying the dead. It is said to be from this time
that the Prince of Wales, who, young as he was, had
shown himself so terrible at Creqy, was known among
the French by the title-now so familiar to our ears
-of the Black Prince.
Hot from their fierce, but brilliant encounter at Cregy,
Edward, on the following Monday, August 28th,
marched his brave Britons straight to the siege of
Calais. It was a four days' march, and they did a little
burning and plundering by the way.























THE SIEGE OF CALAIS,


















V.

AjO of ValaT*5

HE governor of Calais was a brave Burgundian
knight, named Sir John de Vienne; and
other valiant knights with squires to match,
but whose names are scarcely worth preserving, served
under him. The town was strongly fortified, and these
grim men in iron cases, were determined to hold it
against the King of England, and his victorious son.
That king, however, and that son had equally deter-
mined to take it; and therefore-in military phrase-
"sat down (which means something like, standing up!)
before Calais, on the 1st of August, 1346. They did
this with all calmness and order, as though they could
afford to take their time about it. The camp was
marked out, tents were pitched; and even a sort of
town composed of huts, thatched with straw, or broom,
soon sprang up under those marvellous English hands,
impertinently close to the walls of the besieged city.
Markets were established here for all comers; and in
them, fish, flesh, fowl, bread, clothing-all sorts of





74 THE SIEGE OF CALAIS.

things, either from the surrounding country, or from
over seas, might be had for money. As for those who
had no money, it is to be presumed that they would
have been as ill off in the king's market before Calais,
as in any other. From this comfortable kind of settle-
ment the English made frequent sorties (that is another
military phrase, and literally means-going out), doing
much mischief in the neighbourhood, and picking up
spoil for themselves; occasionally, it must be owned,
though not often, getting the worst of it. They made
no attempt to storm the town. They had neither men,
nor engines of war enough for that. Their grand object
was to compel the surrender of the garrison by cutting
off their supply of provisions. This is called, blockad-
ing a place. If he failed to starve the defenders of
Calais into submission, Edward hoped that at any rate
their sufferings would draw the King of France thither
to attempt their relief, and that would afford him
another opportunity of beating Philip.
The blockade was strict, and so experienced a com-
mander as John de Vienne, at once saw that he must
make diligent preparation to baffle the well-laid plans of
the two Edwards. If provisions could not be brought
into the town, it was plain that they must make what
they had go as far as possible, by reducing the number
of consumers. The less meat, the fewer mouths; that
was how the difficulty must be met. Of course,
soldiers who could fight, were to be retained at any






THE SIEGE OF CALAIS. 75

cost; and the rich inhabitants whose wealth had
enabled them to lay in store of eatables and drinkables,
or to purchase the good things that were occasionally
at great risk smuggled in, spite of the English, were at
liberty to stay if they liked. As for those who could
neither fight, nor contribute to the general stock, they
must troop, and the sooner they were got rid of, the
better.
Prompt execution followed resolution. It was a
hard thing, but military necessity is harder still; so
one Wednesday morning, seventeen hundred of those
who were of no use in the defence-who had only
craving mouths, instead of the soldiers, trained right
hand, or the merchant's money bags,-were driven out
of the town, weeping and wailing, to await the mercy
of the English camp, through which they must pass.
Poor men, women and children,-it was a strange
sight, that stream of miserable, forlorn, human beings,
from grey-heads to infants, unconscious of their troubles,
in their mother's arms; and the staring English, in
utter astonishment, asked what in the world they meant
by thus coming right into the midst of the enemy;
why had they left the town ?
The answer was simple enough : "Because they had
nothing to eat." The English were enemies, bent,
spite of all the Frenchmen that Philip of Valois could
scrape together, on taking his strong town of Calais.
But they were also men; and their good, honest hearts





76 THE SIEGE OF CALAIS.
were touched by the distress of these unhappy people,
mercilessly turned out by their countrymen to perish.
To permit them to pass on, unharmed, to a place of
refuge, was much; but it was not all. That noble King
Edward, in addition to this, ordered the poor wretches
a hearty dinner; and then, when the hungry enemy"
had been fed," (we know Who has bidden us do that!)
he gave to each of them two pence-worth more than
as many shillings in these days-to carry them on
their doleful journey. That man deserved to take
Calais. No wonder that many fervent prayers were
offered up by these unfortunate French men and
women for their benefactor; English invader and claim-
ant of their Philip's crown though he was. It was
indeed a good work that Edward did that Wednesday.
" Blessed is he that considereth the poor and needy."
To such, a recompense is surely promised.
The character of this great king and that of his
great son, warlike as they both were, was one of general
humanity; and this beneficence to the poor, helpless
wretches driven out of Calais, was an illustrious example
of it. War is a cruel trade; but there are two ways of
carrying it on: Like men and like wild beasts.
The siege of Calais was protracted. Blockading is
slow work; and as more men, more money, more every-
thing was wanted, the young prince was despatched
to England to seek fresh succours. These, thanks to
the liberality of parliament, were abundantly obtained;






TIE SIEGE OF CALAIS. 77

for Englishmen, to their very heart's core, enjoyed the
successful contest with France, and did not much care
what they paid for it.
During the course of this tedious eleven months'
siege, an incident occurred which is worth recording,
as an interesting exhibition of the knightly manners of
the time.
It has been named that the Duke of Normandy,
eldest son of the French king, was engaged at the
other end of the country laying siege to Aiguillon, a
town in Edward's French possessions, where all the
fighting had been going on, until Godfrey de Harcourt
suggested Normandy. From this place the duke was
recalled by Philip, who required all the forces he could
gather to resist that formidable father, and no less
formidable son, who had been carrying everything
before them in the north. The siege was accordingly
raised, as it is termed-that is, given up; and the
celebrated Sir Walter Manny, who commanded in the
town, making a dash after the retreating French, took
a handful of good prisoners, whom his people brought
back with them to the castle. Among these prisoners
was a Norman knight, a very important personage
indeed; and as Sir Walter longed to be with his
countrymen before Calais, he cleverly contrived to join
them by means of this same prisoner, whom he cour-
teously bade fix his own ransom. The sum named by
the knight was a large one. Great men did not like





78 THE SIEGE OF CALAIS.

to be let off too cheaply on these occasions, because
that looked as if they were worth little. And in reply,
Sir Walter told him, that if he would procure per-
mission for his captor and twenty others to ride straight
through France to Calais, without stopping by the
way or conducting themselves otherwise than as ordin-
ary travellers, he would let him go without any ransom
at all, and thank him into the bargain. If the knight
failed to procure this safe-conduct, he was to return to
his prison within one month.
The terms were tempting. Off set the Norman
knight after his duke, got the required passport, and
posted back again with it to Sir Walter, who gave him
his freedom as he had promised.
Sir Walter then with twenty horsemen took the road
to Calais. He went to work frankly; told every one
who he was; and wherever he stopped for the night,
on showing his safe-conduct, was allowed to proceed
next morning. On arriving at Orleans, however, there
was a change. No respect was in that city shown to
the duke's permission for him to pass free; nay, he
was even arrested and sent immediately to Paris, where
he was thrown into prison.
The Duke of Normandy, of course, heard of the con-
tempt with which his safe-conduct had been treated,
and of the usage to which so renowned a knight had
been subjected. He was terribly put out by it. It
was contrary to all the laws of knighthood, and he






THE SIEGE OF CALAIS. 79

hastened to the king his father, urgently pleading for
the liberation of the prisoner, otherwise, as he said,
people would think he had granted the safe- conduct
solely for the purpose of betraying Sir Walter.
The king's answer to his son was not very consola-
tory. He simply replied that he intended putting Sir
Walter Manny to death, as he considered him one of
the most important of his enemies.
The indignant duke's rejoinder was, that if any
harm was done to the knight, neither he nor any of his
people should ever again bear arms against the king
of England. And with that, father and son quarrelled
violently-the duke at last flinging out with a renewed
declaration that he would not serve in the king's armies
so long as Sir Walter Manny was kept in prison.
Things remained in this state for some time; but at
length the king became ashamed of his discourteous
behaviour, allowed Sir Walter to go free, and reim-
bursed him the expenses to which his shameful impri-
sonment had put him. He went further, and, by way
of plastering the wound which he had himself inflicted,
even invited Sir Walter to the royal dinner-table,
pressing upon him rich gifts and jewels, which the
knight accepted, subject to the pleasure of his own
sovereign; for he did not know whether Edward would
like him to keep them. Edward did not choose that
a knight of his should receive presents from the enemy.
So, right royally saying to him, Sir Walter, we have






80 THE SIEGE OF CALAIS.

enough, thank God, both for you and for ourselves,"
he bade him return them to their donor; intimating
to Sir Walter, that the faithful servants of the King of
England must look to their own master, not to the
King of France, for their reward. Sir Walter accord-
ingly sent back the jewels by a cousin of his, who was
only too glad to keep them himself, when Philip bade
him do so.
The siege of Calais still held on its slow course,
according to the manner of sieges; its monotony being
varied, towards the close of the year, by the arrival in
camp of Queen Philippa and her son the prince.
Philippa had had her hands full during the absence of
her lord-the hard battle of Neville's Cross, in Dur-
ham, in which the King of Scotland was taken prisoner,
having been fought under her own eyes. Her recep-
tion in the camp was one befitting both her rank and
the heroic courage she had recently displayed; and as
she brought in her train many great ladies of the
court, there were brave doings, in the way of feast
and tournament, to celebrate so agreeable a visit.
The King of France was not disposed to give up
Calais quietly, but his attempts to relieve it proved
fruitless. He raised an immense army, far outnum-
bering that of the enemy, for this purpose; but the
English were so skilfully intrenched by their great
leader, that Philip could not get near the town. It
was in vain that he invited Edward to come out and






THE SIEGE OF CALAIS. 81

fight; ; Edward knew better, and told him so, than
to sacrifice the advantages which had cost him so much
time and treasure. So this vast French army, after the
citizens had admired its numerous banners fluttering
in the moonlight, decamped, leaving the people of
Calais, who sorrowingly watched its departure, to do
the best they could for themselves.
Bad was the best, for the blockade had been so strict
that their provisions were well-nigh expended. Yea,
horses, dogs, cats, and viler creatures, had been already
eaten by the wretched inhabitants, who could no longer
endure starvation. So they entreated John de Vienne,
their governor, to mount the walls and make signs that
he wished a parley with the besiegers. That word
parley is a French word, bodily imported into our
English, with the slight alteration of our spelling it with
a y, instead of a z, and really means, talk! So Sir
John reluctantly did as they would have him; for he
was a brave knight, and would rather have held out
the town to the last.
The governor's summons was answered by Sir Wal-
ter Manny and Lord Basset, to whom he spoke man-
fully, saying that the king his master had entrusted
the defence of Calais to him and his companions,
and they had done their duty till they were now
near famishing with hunger; and he prayed that
the King of England would be content with posses-
sion of the castle and town, in which he would find
3) 6






82 THE SIEGE OF CALAIS.

great store of riches, letting the garrison depart unmo-
lested.
Sir Walter had no very agreeable answer to this
entreaty. He assured John de Vienne that the King
of England his master was so enraged at the loss of
men, time, and money, which this siege of Calais had
cost him, that he would offer the garrison no terms
save those of unconditional surrender; for him to put
to death whom he pleased, and admit to ransom whom
he pleased.
The spirit of the governor was roused by this cruel
declaration, and he told Sir Walter that he and his
companions had only done what English knights and
squires in similar circumstances would have done-
held out as long as there was a stick or stone standing,
and a mouthful of food for any one. But still, famish-
ing as they were, they would endure much more,
rather than that the meanest horse-boy in the place
should fare worse than they. And he besought Sir
Walter to represent their hard case to the King of
England, of whose knighthood he had so high an
opinion, that he could not believe he would deal so
harshly with them as he had threatened.
The king, however, was really as angry as man could
be, and he told Sir Walter that the garrison of Calais
must take his first terms or none. Sir Walter expos-
tulated with him, that if he dealt such hard measures
to his conquered enemies, his own knights would rather






THE SIEGE OF CALAIS. 83

unwillingly go out on dangerous service, expecting, if
taken by the French, to be put to death, just as he, if
he did not relent, put to death the brave fellows who
had so long held Calais against him. It would cer-
tainly be death for death, if the fortunes of war turned
against them.
Edward softened somewhat at this view of the case,
which was strongly urged by others of his nobles. So,
by way of mending matters, he dismissed Sir Walter
with his last requisition, which was, that six of the
principal citizens of Calais, carrying the keys of the
town and castle, should present themselves before him,
bare-headed, bare-foot, and with ropes round their necks,
and that he should do what he pleased with them;
hang them, or not, as the humour took him; the rest
of the inhabitants being permitted to go free.
It was a hard measure, but there was no help for it;
and back went that generous soul de Manny with this
last proposal, of which, no doubt, he was a little
ashamed. On his arrival, the governor caused the
town's bell to be rung, collected all the citizens in the
public hall, and then communicated to them the final
answer of the inplacable monarch. Loud lamentations
and wailings broke forth from the assembled throng when
the king's will was made known to them; and even the
hardy knight de Vienne, wept at the sight of their dis-
tress. For awhile there was a gloomy silence through-
out the multitude: life was sweet, and each one feared






84 THE SIEGE OF CALAIS.

to lose it. At length patriotism, and a sense of duty
prevailed even over the love of life; and one of the richest
merchants of Calais, named Eustace de St. Pierre, rose
up, saying, Sirs, it would be great pity to suffer so
many people to die of famine, if by any means it could
be prevented, and it would be well-pleasing in the eyes
of our Saviour, if such misery could be averted. I
have such faith and trust in finding grace with God if
I die to save my townsmen, that I offer myself as first
of the six."
Bravely spoken Eustace de St. Pierre! That man's
name deserves to come down to posterity.
As for the assembled crowd, they rose up, and as an
old writer tells us, "almost worshipped him;" many
throwing themselves, weeping, at his feet.
Another citizen, also wealthy and in great repute
with his fellow townsmen, then offered himself to be
the second. This was John Daire. Others followed,
till the required number was complete; and Eustace de
St. Pierre, John Daire, James and Peter Wisant, and
two more whose names have perished, though the
memory of their heroic deed endures, agreed to give
themselves up to death to save the lives of the famish-
ing people of Calais. The six were merchants, members
of a class little esteemed by the knighthood of that
day. But, merchants though they were, they were
indeed noble men.
John de Vienne then collecting together his little






THE SIEGE OF CALAIS. 85

sacrificial band, mounted a small pony, (for his wounds
disabled him from walking), and conducted them in the
prescribed humiliating manner-bare-foot, bare-headed,
and with ropes round their necks-to that gate of the
town which opened on the English camp. A crowd
followed them to the gate, weeping and lamenting;
and when it was opened, the seven passed through to
the English barriers, where Sir Walter Manny was
waiting to receive them. The six citizens were
delivered up to him, in due form, with an earnest
request that he would intercede with his sovereign for
their lives; and then de Vienne, with a heavy heart,
turned back again to the miserable town.
When brought into Edward's presence, the prisoners,
upon their knees, gave up the keys of the castle and
town, praying the king to spare their lives. This,
Edward at first did not seem at all disposed to do; the
people of Calais had done him so much mischief by sea
in times past, that he was now quite in a mood to cut
off a few of their heads, by way of punishing them for
it. And, accordingly, spite of the pitying looks and
entreaties of the great lords and knights around him,
he straightway gave command that the heads of the six
should be stricken off. It was in vain his gallant
followers interceded for the voluntary captives; he
would not hear a word on their behalf. De Manny,
and even the prince himself pleaded unavailingly, though
they reminded him that a charge of cruelty, such as no






86 THE SIEGE OF CALAIS.

true knight ought to incur, would certainly rest upon
him, if he carried out his fierce purpose.
What was denied to the entreaties and remonstrances
of his son, and of his nobles, Edward was, however,
forced to grant to the prayers of his queen whom he
tenderly loved, and who, having just crossed the seas
to join him, after her victorious encounter at Neville's
Cross, deserved some boon at his hands. On her knees,
weeping, she prayed him for Christ's sake, as well as
for his love to her, to have pity on these unfortunate
citizens of Calais.
The king for awhile, and in silence, looked at the
weeping, kneeling figure; and then gently telling
Philippa he wished she had been anywhere, rather than
where she was at that moment, for he could not refuse
her request, bade her do with the six as she pleased.
Nothing loth, she carried them off in triumph to her
own tent, had those horrible ropes taken from their
necks, clothed and fed them; and then, with a supply
of money for their journey, commanded them to be
safely conducted out of the camp.
It was in August 1347, after an eleven months' siege,
that the strong town of Calais surrendered to the king
of England. Edward, accompanied by his queen and
son, took possession of it in state, having first ordered
his officers to imprison a portion of the garrison, and
drive all the inhabitants bodily out of the town, which
he was resolved to convert into a thoroughly English






THE SIEGE OF CALAI S. 87

one, by filling it with his own subjects. The king made
Calais his residence for some little time, during which
the prince, at the head of a strong detachment, made a
sort of foray into the neighboring country, which he
burned and ravaged as far as the Somme, and then
returned laden with spoil.
After this, as the one kingdom found fighting ruinous,
and the other found it costly, a truce was agreed upon
between the two; and Edward, having appointed a
favourite Italian knight of his, named Sir Americ de
Pavie, governor of Calais, set sail for England with the
queen, the prince, and his little daughter Margaret, who
had been born in the captured city. After being well
tossed about on his own seas (he complained that winds
and seas always favoured him when he went to France,
but were dead against him on his return), he landed at
Sandwich, then a considerable port, on the 28th of
September.
Sir Americ de Pavie, the newly appointed governor
of Calais, happened to be something of a rascal; and
we shall hear of him again.



h





















^1^ TREACHERY AT CALAIS. ^^

)
I 7 Th


















VL.

(mea JerM ai ala+is,.

HE young Prince of Wales was now a youth
of seventeen; tall. handsome, strong, valiant,
"distinguished for his deeds of arms, as well
as for the other knightly qualities of courtesy, modera-
tion, and gentleness. He, and his illustrious parents,
were received with acclamations by the English people,
whose heads were nearly turned by those wonderful
doings in France. In great state the three entered the
city of London-for at that date, the city was a "gen-
teel" place, and not as now, wholly given up to mer-
chandise. Merchants, tradesmen, and artisans certainly
exercised each one his calling, or craft there. But
there also the great nobles had their dwellings, whose
faded splendours may still be discerned in the ware-
houses and offices of modern times; bales of goods
crowding the halls within which lords and ladies were
wont to show their stately presence, and brisk clerks,
scribbling away as if for their very lives, in the room
of those who wielded the sword-the power of those






92 TREACHERY AT CALAIS.

days-and cased their limbs in steel, instead of broad
cloth.
Royal feastings and tournaments celebrated the
recent prowess of the new-made royal knight. And
that young, muscular form, and stout heart distinguished
itself in this mimicry of war, as it had done in the
grim reality of it in France.
The tournament was the chosen diversion of knights
and ladies of the fourteenth century. In it, companies
of knights, armed as if for battle, save that lance and
sword were pointless, spurred furiously against each other,
squadron against squadron, till broken lances, knights
unhelmed, or some of them lifted bodily out of their
saddles by the shock, terminated the contest, and the
one or the other was proclaimed victor. The ground
enclosed for the purpose was called the lists; and it
was surrounded by galleries for spectators, among whom
ladies were conspicuous; for they as well loved to look
upon these rough trials of skill, as the combatants
themselves loved to enter upon them. Occasionally
the excitement of these warlike games became so great
that battle in play was converted into battle in down-
right earnest; and men were maimed, and lives lost
within the gaily decorated lists, and under the unshrink-
ing eyes of the high born dames surrounding them.
If only two knights engaged, the one against the
other, it was called a joust.
At Canterbury, then a city of more importance than







TREACHERY AT CALAIS. 93

it is now, and Eltham, where at that time stood a royal
palace, whose great hall has long ago been turned into
a barn, these festivities were held in notable style.
People's notions about being handsomely dressed vary
at different times and different places. Here, at
Eltham, the extraordinary equipment of two of the
knights who levelled lance at each other, have been
handed down to us by admiring chroniclers; and
when we read in their dusky pages that over the
armour of these same cavaliers-armour, no doubt, of
most exquisite finish, after the fashion of tilting
armour-they wore hoods of white cloth, buttoned
with large pearls, and embroidered with figures of
dancing-men dressed in blue, we must admit that they
were magnificent according to their notions, and
supremely ridiculous according to ours. We should
dress up a Merry Andrew in such guise. With them
it was the sumptuous apparel of noble and gallant
soldiers; and for this special piece of finery the two
gentlemen, we are told, were indebted to the king's
wardrobe. Five centuries hence, perhaps the people
of England may laugh at our modern notions of how
nobles and warriors should be habited.
Rejoicings and festivities, however, were not to last
long. The stalwart youth upon whom the affection of
all England rested was to have more work-real work,
not pretence-found for him through the medium of
Sir Aymeric de Pavia, who, it has been said, was some-





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