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Ercevesqe Deverwyke, Primat Dengleterre, salutz. Pur ceo qe nous savoms bien qe vous orretz volunters bones novelles de nous, vous fesons assavoir qe nous arrivams a la Hoge prest Barfluz le xij. iour de Juyll’ darreyn passe ovesqe toutz noz gentz seyns et saufs, loetz en soit Dieux: et illeoqes demurasmes sur le descippere de nos gentz et chivaux, et le vitaler de noz gentz tank’ le Marsdi procheyn ensuant, qen iour nous movasmes od n're host devers Valonges, et preims le chastel et la ville ; et puys sur n're chymyn fesoms faire le pount de Ove qestoit debruse par noz enemys; et le passams, et preyms le Chastell et la ville de Carentene. Et de illeokes nous tenysmes le droit chymyn devers la vile de Seynt Leo et trovasmes le pount Herbert prest cele vile rumpu pur aver desturbe n’re passage ; et nous le feismes maintenaunt refaire: et lendemayn preismes la vile; et nous adresceasmes droitment a Caen, sanz nulle iour soiournir del houre qe nous departismes del Hoge tank' a n're venu illeoqes, et mayntenaunt sur nostre herbergere a Caen nos gentz comencerent de doner assaunt a la vile gestoit mout afforce et estuffe de gentz darmes environ Mill' et sis centz, et comunes armes et defensables et eismes de xxx Mill, qe se defenderent moult bien et apertement si qe le melle fuyit trefort et longe durant, mes loietz ensoit Dieux la vile estoit pris par force au derreine, saunz perde de noz gentz. Y furent pris le Count de Eu, Conestable de Fraunce ; le Chamberleyne Tankervill', gestoit a la iourne escriez Mareschal' de Fraunce, et des autres Banerettes et Chivalers enveron cent et qaraunt, et des Esquiers de riches Burges grant foison : et sont mors tou pleyn de nobles Chivalers et gentils hommes, et de communes grant noumbre. Et n're navye qest demurre devers nous ad ars et destrutz tout la couste de la miere de Barfluz iesqes a la fosse de Collevill' prest Caen ; et si ount y ars la ville de Chirbrut' et les neefs de la havene; et sount ars de grant neefs, et autres vesseals des enemys, qe par nous qe par noz gentz, C. ou plus. Par qay nous prioms qe vous regraciez Dieu devotement del exploit qe il nous ad issint done, et luy priez assiduelment qe il nous voille doner bone continuauncz; et qe vous escrives a les prelatz et clergee de v’re province qils le facent en mesme le maner, et qe vous notyfiez cest chose a n’re poeple en voz partiez en confort de eux ; et qe vous mettes peiniblement v’re diligence de resistere a noz ennemys Descoce en sauete de n're people devers voz parties par totes les voies qe vous purretz, sicome nous asseurons enterement de vous, qare nous avoms ia parmy lassent de totes noz grantez qe se monstrount de boen entre et de une volunte pris certeyn purpose de nous hastier devers n’re adversarie en qen part qil soit de iour en autre tank' come purromes et esperoms ferment en Dieu qil nous durra bone et honurable de n’re enprise ; et qe vous deynz bref orretz bone novelles et plesauntz de nous. Done south n’re prive seal a Caen le xxx. iour de Juyl’lan de n're Reigne Dengleterre vyntysme.
Edward, by the grace of God, King of England and of France, and Lord of Ireland, to the Honourable Father in God, W. by the same grace Archbishop of York, Primate of England, health. As we know well that you are desirous to hear good news of us, we inform you, that we arrived at the Hogue, near Barfleur, the 12th day of July last past, with all our forces well and safe, praise be to God; and remained there to disembark our forces and horses, and the provisions of our forces until the Tuesday next following, on which day we removed with our host towards Valonges, and took the castle and town; and then on our route we rebuilt the bridge of Ove, which was broken by our enemies, and passed it, and took the castle and town of Carentene: and from thence we kept the direct route towards the town of Saint Lo, and found the bridge Herbert, near that town, broken, to prevent our passage, and we caused it to be rebuilt, and the next morning took the town; and we proceeded direct to Caen without stopping one day from the time of our departure from the Hogue until our arrival there; and then on our taking up our quarters at Caen our people began to besiege the town, which was strongly garrisoned, and filled with about one thousand six hundred men at arms, and more than thirty thousand armed commoners, who defended it very well and ably; so that the fight was very severe, and continued long, but, thanks be to God, the town was at last taken by assault, without loss of our people. There were taken, the Count of Eu, Constable of France, the Chamberlain Tankerville, who was for the time styled Marshal of France, and about one hundred and forty other bannerets and knights, and a great number of esquires and rich burgesses; and several nobles, knights, and gentlemen, and a great number of the commons, were slain. And our fleet, which remained near us, to burn and destroy all the sea coast from Barfleur to the “foss" of Coleville', near Caen, and have burnt the town of Chirbourgh and the ships in the harbour, and of the enemy's large ships and other vessels above one hundred or more have been burnt either by us or by our people. Therefore, we pray you devoutly to render thanks to God, for the success which he has thus granted us, and earnestly entreat him to give us a good continuance of it; and that you write to the prelates and clergy of your province, that they do the same, and that you signify this circumstance to our people in your neighbourhood to their comfort ; and that you laboriously exert yourself to oppose our enemies, the Scots, for the security of our people in your vicinity, by all the means in your power, so that we rely entirely on you: “for, with the consent of all our nobles who evinced a great and unanimous desire that we should do so, we have already resolved?” to hasten towards our adversary, wherever he may be, from one day to another as well as we can; and we trust firmly in God that he will protect us well and honourably in our undertaking, and that in a short time you will hear good and agreeable news of us. Given under our Privy Seal, at Caen, the xxxth day of July, in the twentieth year of our reign in England [Anno 1346].
Colevile is a small port near the entrance of the river Orne. 2 The translation of this passage is submitud with much diffidence.
TRANSLATION OF THE LETTER IN ROBERT DE AVESBURY'S “ HISTORIA DE
. MIRABILIBUS GESTIS EDWARDI TERTII.” Be it remembered, that our Lord the King and his Host landed at Hogue de St. Vaal the xiïth day of July', and remained there until the Tuesday next following?, to disembark his horses, to rest himself and his men, and to provide provisionss. He found at the Hogue eleven ships, of which eight had castles before and behind, the which were burnt. And on the Friday“, whilst the King remained there, some troops went to Barfleur and expected to have found many peoples, but they saw none; and they found there nine ships with castles before and behind", ij good craiers?, and other smaller vessels; the which were also burnt : and the town was as good and as large a town as the town of Sandwich; and after the said troops were gone, the sailors burnt the town, and many good towns and houses in the neighbourhood were burnt. And the Tuesday that the King left: he went to Valoignes 10, and remained there the whole night, and found
1 Wednesday.-“When the fleet of England were all safely arrived at la Hogue the king leaped on shore first; but, by accident, he fell, and with such violence that the blood gushed out at his nose. The knights that were near him said, “Dear Sir, let us entreat you to return to your ship, and not think of landing to-day, for this is an unfortunate omen. The king instantly replied, ' For why? I look upon it as very favourable, and a sign that the land is desirous of me.'”— Johnes's Froissart, chap. cxx.
July 18th. s Et fourner payn.
4 July 14th.—This account differs much from Froissart's narrative. After describing how Edward had divided his army, he says, “ Both the armies of sea and land went forward until they came to a strong town called Barfleur ;” and adds, “which they soon gained, the inhabitants having surrendered immediately for fear of losing their lives; but that did not prevent the town from being pillaged and robbed of gold, silver, and every thing precious that could be found therein. There was so much wealth that the boys of the army set no value on gowns trimmed with fur. They made all the townsmen quit the place, and embarked them on board the fleet.”—Johnes's Froissart, chap. cxx.
O Ove chastiels devant et derere. It is scarcely necessary to state, that the ships of war in the fourteenth century had elevated places in the bow and stern, called castles, which contained the fighting men. « Fore-castle” is still used to describe the fore part of a ship.
7 A craier, or crayer, was a sort of small ship, but whether for war or merchandize does not exactly appear, but most probably the latter. See Ducange. “Volumus quod centum naves vocatæ Pessoneræ et Creycris et aliæ minutiæ naves,” &c.
10 Froissart confounds the operations of Edward's fleet with those of the army. It will be seen from the letters in the text, that whilst
sufficient provisions. The next day. he proceeded a long journey as far as the bridge of Ov, which those of the town of Carentane had broken down, and the King caused it to be rebuilt the same night, and passed it the next day”, and proceeded as far as the said town of Carentane, which is not more than about an English league from the said bridge: the which town is as large as Leicester, where he found an abundance of wines and provisions; and much of the town was burnt, notwithstanding all the King could dos. And on Friday' the King came to and slept in a village" on a river, which it was difficult to cross?; and those of the town of St. Lo broke the bridge, and the King rebuilt it and passed the next day8, he and his Host, and took up his quarters adjoining the town, and all belonging to the town began to fortify it, and collected many armed men to defend it, who waited for the arrival of the King; and they found in the said town full one thousand tuns of wine and an abundance of other goods ; and the town is larger than Lincoln 10. The next day' the King pro
the king proceeded by land, the ships plundered the towns on the coast; but that Chronicler says, “ They advanced until they came to Cherbourg, which they burnt and pillaged in part, but they could not conquer the castle, as it was too strong, and well garrisoned with men-at-arms; they therefore passed on and came before Montebourg, near Valongnes, which they pillaged and then set fire to.”—Johnes's Froissart, chap. cxx.
i Wednesday, July 19th.
? Thursday, July 20.-Speaking of Carentane, Froissart says, “ Those lords that were on board the feet then disembarked with their people, and made a vigorous attack upon it,” &c. He then states, that the inhabitants opened their gates and submitted to the English; but that the men-at-arms defended the castle for two days and then surrendered it, “ their lives and fortunes being saved.”
3 Et fust mult de la ville arz p'r rien qe le Roy purroit faire.
O “ He took up his quarters on the banks of this river,” Froissart tells us, “ to wait for the return of that part of his army which had been sent along the sea coast;" but it is clear that Edward did so because the bridge over it had been destroyed.
7 Mal a passer.
19 Froissart does not notice any attempt to defend St. Lo; but describes it as containing “ much drapery and many wealthy inhabitants ; among them you might count eight or nine score that were engaged in commerce.” He then says that Edward would not lodge in it for fear of fire; that it was taken by his advanced guard with a trifling loss, who completely plundered it; and that no one can imagine the quantity of riches they found in it, nor the number of bales of cloth.—Johnes's Froissart, chap. cxx.
"Sunday, July 23rd.
ceeded on his march, and slept at an abbey, and his Host in the villages around him; and the soldiers of the Host” committed inroads all the day, robbing and destroying within about v or vi leagues, and burnt many places. And the Mondays the King removed, and took up his quarters in villages*; and the Tuesdays also: and on Wednesday, at the hour of nones?, he came before the town of Caen, and was informed that a great quantity of armed mens were in the town; and the King arrayed his fine and numerous battles, and sent some persons to the town to examine it 10, and they found the castle fine and strong, in which were the Bishop of Baions, Knights, and troops', who defended it. And towards the river the town is very fine, and very large; and at one end of the town is an Abbey as noble as possible where William the Conqueror lies buried; and it is surrounded by walls and embattled towers?, large and strong, in which Abbey there was no one. And at the other end of the town, another noble Abbey of ladies; and no one remained in the said Abbeys, nor in the part of the town towards the river as far as the castle ; and the inhabitants were in the town on the other side of the river, where the Constable of France and the Chamberlain de Tankerville, who was a very great Lord, and many troops, to the amount of five or six hundred, and the commons of the towni, were's. And our people of the Host, without permission or order, attacked the bridge, which was well fortified with bretages and walls, and they had much to do, as the French defended the said bridge bravely, and behaved
i Villes campestres.
7 A houre de none. Roquefort explains “ none” to be the ninth hour of the day, i. e. three after noon; and which agrees with the meaning of the English word “ nones.”
8 Gentz d'armes.
10 “A la ville des veer,” in Johnes's copy, but “ a la ville de les veer,” in the Harleian MS. 200, f. 99%.
13 Froissart's description of the capture of Caen is too long for insertion ; nor does it contain any thing very remarkable, excepting that Sir Thomas Holland particularly distinguished himself; that the inhabitants who had taken refuge in the garrets Aung upon the English stones, benches, and every missile they could find, by which they killed and wounded, he says, upwards of five hundred of them, which so enraged Edward that he commanded the remainder of the inhabitants to be put to the sword, and the town burnt. At the remonstrance of Sir Godfrey Harcourt, however, he countermanded his orders.