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FRANCE REJECTS THE OVERTURES FOR PEACE. 101
knighted on the field; the same honour was conferred on Thibault de Termes, bailey of Chartres, Jean Charbonnet, sieur de Chevreuses, and others, to the number of thirty in all. The French archers, however, found more agreeable employment within the walls than in front of them: there was a great quantity of good wine in the town, and the weather, their exertions, and the exultation of success, made them enjoy it so well, and drink so deep, that the seneschal saw it would be impossible for him to maintain his ground there through the night. Very wisely, therefore, about four in the afternoon, while the men were not too far gone for obeying orders, and taking care of themselves, he ordered a retreat, and effected it with no other loss than that of a boat which sunk, and in which nine men-at-arms were drowned. "It was a pity," says Monstrelet, "for they had that day well done their duty may God grant them his pardon, and show mercy to all the others who fell!" They had had many killed and wounded during the day. According to their own historians, they carried off much wealth, with many prisoners, and many vessels of different sizes: they remained at anchor in the road till the Thursday following, waiting, no doubt, for a wind; the English continuing all the time in readiness to oppose them, had they attempted a second landing; but as soon as the wind served, the seneschal returned to Honfleur, where the prisoners were ransomed, and the plunder divided.*
The English are said to have been at this juncture desirous of making peace with France; but, according to Monstrelet †, the French king would neither hear nor see the ambassadors, who not only were unable to effect any part of their object, but could induce neither lord nor lady 66 to accept the palfreys, many of which
*Monstrelet, 398. 401. Hall (235.) is very angry at the French account, in which, however, there seems to be nothing exaggerated. It was an affair wherein both parties behaved well, and each might have learnt to respect the other.
+ Vol. x. p. 41,
they had brought with them to gain the friendship of the persons about the court."
The time was at hand when the English, by sea as well as on shore, were to be divided against themselves. A solemn award had been made at Westminster, between the two great factions, that "all variances, discords, debates, controversies, and appeals" between them should for ever be determined and ended; and, for the open publication of this joyful agreement, a solemn procession was A. D. celebrated in St. Paul's; the king being present, "in habit 1459. royal, with his crown on his head," behind him queen Margaret and the duke of York, holding each other by the hand, and after them two chiefs of either party, paired in like manner, and parading hand in hand; the simple king being, perhaps, the only person concerned in whose heart the deadliest hatred was not rankling, even while God and man were called upon thus solemnly to witness the reconciliation! "What shall be said ?" says Holinshed;
as goodly apples corrupted at core, how fair coated soever they seem, can never be made sound again; nor rotten walls, new plastered without, can ever the more stay their mouldering inward, till the putrified matter fret through the crust, and lay all in the mire; so fared it on all parts in this dissembled and counterfeit concord: for, after this apparent peace, divers of the nobles, smally regarding their honours, forgot their oath, and brake their promise boldly."*
The most powerful of those nobles, Richard Nevil, earl of Warwick, was at that time deputy of Calais and high admiral; and, lest he should be dispossessed of his government, which was a post of great importance always, and of the greatest when a struggle for the crown was about to ensue, he left England for the purpose of seizing and securing both Calais and the fleet for the house of York. Fortune favoured him on this occasion; for, having fourteen well-appointed ships in his company, he fell in with a fleet of Spaniards and Genoese, among which were three large carracks of *Holinshed, 248.
Genoa, and two Spanish ships that exceeded them both in height and length. "There was a very sore and long-continued battle fought betwixt them," for it lasted almost the space of two days. The English lost an hundred slain, and many more who were sorely hurt ; the Spaniards and Genoese suffered far more: one account speaks of 1000 men killed, another of six and twenty vessels sunk or put to flight: the only certain statement is, that three of the largest prizes were carried into Calais, laden with oil, wine, wax, iron, cloth of gold, and other riches, to the estimated value of more than 10,000l. "The earl's fame, it is added, hereby increased not a little, and many a blessing he had for this piece of service."* Warwick was not very scru
pulous concerning the lawfulness of the captures which he could make upon the high seas. Recent disputes with A. D. the Hanse Towns had led to a truce of eight years, with 1456. the expressed hope that, during that interval, the complaints and claims on both sides might be adjusted†: that truce, however, had not long been agreed on, before the earl fell in with some Lubeck ships, and gave them battle: a new complaint arose out of this affair; and commissioners were appointed to meet with others from Lubeck at Rochester, and there enquire into it. He had now matter of greater moment to engage his restless spirit.
When the civil war had broken out, and the duke of York had taken the field, Warwick came from Calais to his aid, bringing with him a body of old soldiers accustomed to the wars of Guienne and Normandy. The two armies approached, and were within half a mile of each other, near Ludlow, when the king pitched his camp, and offered a free pardon to such of the rebels as should give over their lewdly begun enterprise, and repair to him for mercy. The proclamation had the effect which might be expected at the commencement of a rebellion, before the habit of obedience has been broken, and the principle destroyed. Among others, the greater † Rymer, xi. 374.
*Holinshed, 250. Fabyan, 631. Ib. xi. 415.
part of the men of Calais, under sir Andrew Trollope, a most distinguished commander, departed during the night from the Yorkite camp, and went over to the king. Their desertion prevented the duke from attacking the king at daybreak, as had been intended; it defeated his projects, and so far confounded him, that he fled with his younger son to Ireland; and Warwick, with the earl of March (afterwards Edward IV.), and a select company, could find no safer course than to make their way into Devonshire, and from thence embark for Guernsey, in a ship which a certain squire, by name John Dynham, purchased for them at the price of 110 marks; at Guernsey they recruited themselves, and, sailing from thence to Calais, were there joyfully received at a postern by their friends.* The duke of Somerset meantime had been appointed by the king's party to the command of that important fortress: "but the old husbandman," says the chronicler of our civil wars,
sayeth, that, as too hasty sowing oftentimes deceiveth, so too late never well proveth; for if the king at the beginning had dispossessed his adversaries of that refuge and hold, no doubt but he had either tamed or vanquished them with little labour and small danger."+
Somerset, rejoicing much in his new office, sailed with great pomp to take possession of it; but when he would have entered the haven, the artillery shot so fiercely both out of the town and Risebank, that he, suffering there a sore repulse, was fain to land at Whitesand bay. When he required the captains of the town to receive him as the king's deputy, they neither regarded his summons, nor looked at his letters patent; and it was well for him that the castle of Guisnes was in the hands of more loyal men: thither he of necessity resorted, and from thence daily skirmished with the garrison of Calais, more to his loss than gain." The troops whom he took with him were true; not so the seamen, with whom Warwick was a favourite, perhaps for the licence which he allowed them: they carried *Holinshed, 253. Fabyan, 635. + Hall, 242.
DYNHAM SURPRISES SANDWICH.
some of the ships into Calais, and delivered into Warwick's hands several of his enemies; and that earl, though they had been thus betrayed, incontinently caused their heads to be struck off. This was not the only aid which Warwick and the earl of March received; no small number of the commonalty daily resorted to them, the seas being open, by reason whereof, although they daily lost people, and had many slain, yet the number was restored, and the gap ever filled, while Somerset suffered continual detriment." That duke applied for reinforcements, and without delay "Richard lord Rivers and sir Anthony Woodville, his son, accompanied with 400 warlike persons, were ordered to join him and these martial captains endeavouring themselves to the point for the which they were assigned, came to the port of Sandwich, and there abode the wind and the weather, which obeyeth neither king, nor serveth emperor."
March and Warwick were well informed of these movements: they had hands enough, and wanted nothing but money wherewith to keep men contented who served them only for the sake of gain. This they provided, by borrowing 18,000l. from the merchants of the staple; and having thus strengthened the sinews of war, they despatched John Dynham with a strong company to Sandwich, looking upon him as one who might be relied on for any service. He sped so well, that he surprised the town, took lord Rivers and his son in their beds, robbed houses, spoiled ships of great riches and merchandise, took the principal ships of the king's navy (except the Grace de Dieu, which was not in a state to be removed), and carried them off, well furnished as they were with ordinance and artillery, "not without consent and agreement of the mariners, which owed their singular favour to the earl of Warwick." Dynham received a wound in the leg which lamed him for life; but though it disabled him for war, it seems in its consequences to have promoted his fortune: for,
* Hall, 242. Holinshed, 254,