Изображения страниц
[ocr errors]

challenge, (in regard of whom we are moved with compassion, and do, for their sakes, heartily condole their mishaps,) you are, our entire friend, of a certainty to understand, that after we shall be by your letters advertised of the number, state, and condition of the said parties drowned, we will cause suffrages of prayers, and divers other wholesome remedies, profitable for the souls of the deceased, and acceptable to God and men, religiously to be ordained and provided; upon condition, that for the souls of our drowned countrymen there be the like remedy provided by you. The Almighty grant unto yourself, and unto your whole order, that you may prosperously triumph over the enemies of Christ his cross!"*

A. D. The dispute with the Hanse towns was not so soon 1400. adjusted, nor by such amicable means. They had com

[ocr errors]

mitted great outrages upon the English ships and residents at Bergen in Norway, in consequence of which certain of their merchants, residing at Boston, were arrested by the king's orders, and compelled to give security for reparation. This only irritated the towns, who were insolent in their strength, and seem to have presumed upon the disturbed state of England. About the time that the negotiations with Prussia were concluded to the satisfaction of both parties, some fishers from Norfolk, pursuing their calling off the coast of Norway, ran into a port, which, in the English statement, is called Wyndford, for shelter, being in fear of the king's enemies, who were then at sea in great force. Instead of finding there the safety which they expected, they were attacked by land and sea by the Hanse-men from Bergen, and about 100 of them were seized by these ruffians, tied hand and foot, and thrown into the sea. The Hansemen set England at defiance, and said, that as to the security which had been given they cared nothing, for, if it were paid, the whole amount upon their society would not be sixpence a head. They seem, however, to

* Hakluyt, i. 154-177.; Rymer (second edit.), viii. 112. 203. 334. 395. 466, 467. 601.



have been brought to terms when their shops and other property at Boston were sequestered.*


No difficulty had been found in satisfying the people A.D. of Ostergo and Westergo, in Friseland, against whom the same kind of private and piratical hostilities † had been carried on, as with the states on the Baltic. They particularly requested that the captain of Calais might no longer send armed vessels to sail from that port against them, in aid of the count of Holland or his allies; and they complained that he openly entertained in his pay those pirates, public enemies of God and of all good merchants, who were known by the name of Likedelers.

These affairs, which during their continuance must have seriously interrupted the commerce of the country, would have been much sooner terminated, had they not occurred in what the chronicler of our civil wars truly calls "the unquiet time of king Henry IV." His usurpation excited in the French court a strong feeling of abhorrence at "the injury done to an anointed king, to a crowned prince, and to the head of a realm." § 1400. The frontiers of Picardy and of the Boulognois were immediately provided, and the navigation of the Somme closed, no exports for England being permitted to pass Abbeville, nor any imports from that country admitted. This alone, without any actual hostilities, reduced the marches of Calais and Guisnes to a state of ruin.|| The count of St. Pol, who had married Richard's half sister, urged the king of France to declare war, and he himself sent letters of defiance to Henry, -considering, he said, the affinity in which he stood, and the love and esteem which he bore to king Richard, and the reproach it would be to him and his descendants, and the indignation of God which they should have cause to Rymer, viii. 722. 736.:

+ Though these piracies were carried on from English ports, foreigners seem to have been engaged in them. Two of the captains, of whom the Hanse towns complain, are called by the strange names of Marcus Mexto de Vowyck, and Wilkok de Meer de Trirouwe.- Rymer, viii. 269.

Rymer, viii. 193. The peace was again renewed with these "most
ancient confederates," after some like interruption, in 1478.-Rymer, 12. 51.
Holinshed, iii, 15.
Froissart, t. 4. c. 118.

apprehend, if he did not attempt to take vengeance for his death; "wherefore," he continued, “I make known to you by these presents, that I will annoy you by every possible means in my power, personally, and by my friends, relations, and subjects, and will do you all the hurt I can by sea and by land."* So sensible was Henry of his danger at this time, that he called upon the primate to make "all abbots, priors, religioners, and other ecclesiastical persons whatsoever, take arms, and array themselves in thousands, hundreds, and twenties, seeing that the whole clergy were bound, equally with other faithful subjects, to put their helping hands to the defence of the holy church and of the kingdom; and that the enemy, with a great fleet of ships, and a mighty multitude of armed men, collected upon the sea, threatened to destroy the king, and his kingdom, and his people, and to subvert the English church."+

Meantime an army was assembled in Picardy, which should have landed in England, to have supported those lords who endeavoured to restore the deposed king; but when their defeat was known, and the murder of that unfortunate prince, this force was disbanded.‡ Charles was desirous of having his daughter, the young queen, restored, who was yet a child, and whom there was some intention of detaining as a hostage for that part of king Jean's ransom which had not been paid. § Henry, on the other hand, well knowing that many of those great barons who had proved unfaithful subjects to his predecessor were not likely to be more faithful to him, and that they already repented of their imprudence, if not of their treason, wished by all means to avoid a rupture with France, and would gladly have obtained the young queen in marriage for his eldest son, as one who "in blood and age was in all things to her equal." This proposal, which a sense of feeling and honour might have withheld the French from entertaining, was waved by them, on the plea that

*Monstrelet. Johnes's translation, vol. i. c. 10. Rymer, viii, 123, 138. Holinshed, iii. 15.

P. Daniel, v. 397.



their king was not then in a state of mind to be consulted on such a question, an access having seized him of that madness from which he never recovered. The commissioners by whom the overture was made then treated of peace; and a truce for six-and-twenty years was concluded, which was, in fact, a renewal of that for thirty years that had been made with Richard. The queen was shortly afterwards sent home, with all the jewels, ornaments, and plate that she had brought into England, and a large addition to them given her by the king; and she was married ere long to the son of the duke of Orleans.*

This accommodation with the French government did not secure Henry against hostilities from the French coast. The count of St. Pol bore what an English chronicler has called " a deadly and malicious hatred" towards him: a just and honourable enmity it might rather be deemed, considering the near tie of marriage by which he was connected with the deposed and murdered king, if he had manifested it in some worthier way than by a predatory expedition from Harfleur to the Isle of Wight. The islanders collected soon in such strength to resist him that he was fain to return with little spoil, and some loss of reputation.† A more A.D. successful descent was made the same year, near Ply- 1403. mouth, by the sieur du Chastel, from Bretagne, with a great company of Normans and Bretons: they entered that town, remained there some four-and-twenty hours, plundered it, set it on fire, and carried off their pillage and their prisoners. This provoked a spirit of resentful enterprise. The west countrymen set forth a fleet under William Wilford; and the king appears to have commissioned him, as a likely means for obtaining some relief in his present want of money. Wilford took forty lawful prizes, laden with iron, oil, soap, and Rochelle wine, to the amount of 1000 tuns, upon the coast of Bretagne; forty more vessels he burnt: landing at Pennarch, he laid the country waste for some miles + Ibid. 22. + Fabyan, 571.

* Holinshed, iii. 18.

around, and did the same on a second descent at St. Matthew's, which town he fired, thus retaliating for what had been done at Plymouth.* But vengeance was promptly taken for this, if this were the same fleet which the admiral of Bretagne, with the sieur du Chastel, the sieur du Bois, and some 1200 men of arms, in thirty ships, encountered off St. Matthew's, and defeated, after three hours' action, taking one carrack, forty ships, and 2000 prisoners, the greater part of whom they threw overboard, those only being spared who promised to ransom their lives, and appeared able to make good the engagement. † The French, that they might not seem slow to such mischiefs," made, in the winter, another attempt upon the Isle of Wight they disembarked about 1000 men there, and had " got together a great booty of cattle," when the people came upon them in such strength that they were driven to their ships, leaving behind them their A.D. prey, and no small number of their comrades. A third 1404. attempt was made upon the same place, with more


force, but with no better speed. What is called a great navy appeared off the island, and sent on shore to demand a specific sum, in the name of king Richard, and queen Isabel his wife. The islanders replied, that king Richard was dead, and the queen had been sent home to her own country; on that score, therefore, there was nothing to be demanded from them, and nothing would they pay but if the French desired to fight, they might land without opposition, and have six hours allowed them to refresh and make themselves ready, and at the end of that time they should not fail to have battle: when the French heard this stout answer, they thought it best to decline the invitation, and return without any farther attempt.

*Speed, 618. Holinshed, iii. 27.

+ Monstrelet, c. 12.'

Holinshed, iii. 27, 28. This must be the expedition which Monstrelet speaks of in his 19th chapter. St. Pol commanded, collected about 1600 men at arms, with many nobles, at Abbeville, and embarked at Harfleur, having there commended themselves to the protection of St. Nicholas. While they were setting fire to some miserable villages in the Isle of Wight, a priest, he says, came and deluded the count with proposing to pay a large

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »