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who, if the enemy had effected their threatened invasion, should have been the king's lieutenant-general to oppose them, died when he was about to cross the Channel, with the hope of meeting the French king in the field, 66 a right hardy gentleman," says Holinshed; "and yet not so hardy as almost of all degrees and estates of men, high and low, rich and poor, heartily beloved, and his death of them greatly lamented." The French king waited only for the construction of the fort before Boulogne to execute his intended movement against the English pale, that M. du Biez might be at liberty to serve with his army wherever it might be needed; and expecting, upon his report, that it would be completed in a few days, the king advanced to the abbey of Forest Montier, between Abbeville and Montreuil. There he received advice from the mareschal that Boulogne was distressed for provisions ; that the enemy were assembling a force at Calais, with the view of relieving it by land; and that he was about to leave some 4000 men in the fort, cross the river with the rest of his army, and encamp upon Mont Lambert, to give them battle, if they persisted in their intent. Accordingly, he repaired to Pont de Brique, and made this movement, at which Francis was so little pleased, that, he said, it seemed as if M. du Biez had no wish that Boulogne should be retaken; because in that event he would lose the command over so many princes and so great an army.*
That army consisted of 12,000 French infantry, 6000 Italians, and 4000 whom Du Bellay calls legionaries; about 1200 men-at-arms, and some 800 light horse. The youth of the court, in hopes of a battle, hastened to join it, some with the king's leave and some without it. Mont Lambert is within gunshot of Boulogne: shots were frequently exchanged between the camp and the town, and daily skirmishes took place. While the army occupied this position, the duc d'Orléans, who was the king's second son, died in the abbey
*Du Bellay, 240-245.
of Forest Montier: his disease was supposed to be the plague; and the king, in consequence, removed to l'Hospital, a village at the other end of the forest of Cressy. That name would have given him no pleasant forebodings, if a battle had indeed appeared inevitable. From thence he deputed persons on whom he could rely to inspect the fort; and upon their report that the winter must be far advanced before it could be in a defensible state, without an army to protect it, he saw that his plans for that year were frustrated, and retired to the abbey of St. Fuscian, two leagues above Amiens, that city being infected with the plague. There he received intelligence that Henry had hired 10,000 lansquenets and 4000 horse in Germany, to reinforce his army in the Terre d'Oye, and raise the siege. Upon this he repaired to Le Fere sur Oise, there to take measures for preventing this junction, and for the defence of his own frontier; and, before he departed, he ordered the mareschal to enter the Terre d'Oye and lay it waste, that, if the Germans should arrive there, they might find no subsistence.
La Terre d'Oye was that part of the English pale which lay to the east of Calais: it extended from that town to the Flemish town of Gravelines; a marshy tract, but rich in herbage, about four leagues in length, and three in breadth. It was well protected, not only by Calais itself, and Guisnes, and the castle of Hammes, but by a wide and deep ditch along the French border, with ramparts and blockhouses, at due distances, to flank them. The enterprise began well, though the bridges which had been prepared for the passage of the artillery were, by some neglect, left at Ardres. Near Gravelines the attack was made: one of the blockhouses was stormed, and the garrison put to the sword. Montluc was in the assault: the men waded through the ditch, and, by filling it, a way was made for the artillery. The mareschal then entered; met and routed with great slaughter, but with the loss also of some 80 or 100 horse, several new companies of "Leicestershire men and others," lately sent over; set fire to some
villages, and foraged the country almost to the little town of Marc, in its centre. But, in the night, there came on a heavy rain; the trenches with which the land is intersected became formidable streams, not to be crossed without a bridge; and, lest it should soon be impossible to withdraw the guns, the mareschal thought it prudent to retreat. Some credit the French gained by this successful inroad: they derived a more important advantage from the retreat of the lansquenets, who, having arrived at Fleurines, in the territory of Liege, were refused a passage by the emperor through his hereditary states: they waited there for three weeks, when their pay-day came; the English agents were not ready with the means of payment, which would have been provided on their arrival within the English pale; the men, therefore, mutinied, and marched back into Germany, carrying with them these agents as hostages for the money which they looked upon as their due. †
The fort at Outreau, though still unfinished, had been, by the great exertions and good management of Montluc, put in a state of defence before the army removed to Mont Lambert. During the expedition to the Terre d'Oye, the garrison of Boulogne were defeated in an attempt to surprise it; and, after the failure, each party seemed to place its chief hope upon the possibility of reducing the other by famine. Here the advantage was on the part of France, both by land and sea; they had a great superiority in horse; and they had constructed boats, purposely for the revictualment of this fortress, drawing but three feet water, though of such great stowage, that they were capable of carrying 140 men. Surrey, who commanded at
Du Bellay, 253-256. Montluc, 323-338. Holinshed, 851. Montluc's is a most lively and characteristic narrative.
Du Bellay, 258-260. "Par ce moyen le dit Anglois feit une despense excessive, qui revint en fumée; et espensa bien ses tresors, desja fort entamez."
The great difficulty in all your majesty's wars hath ever been of horsemen; the service of whom is either in battle to encounter the like, or to convey the victual."— Surrey to the king.
ROUT BEFORE BOULOGNE,
Boulogne when seven of these were captured by the English cruisers, advised that such vessels should be provided for relieving the town, by stealing along the shore from Calais. Surrey displayed, during his command, the ardour and activity which might be expected from his character; his enterprises were well planned; but, in the most important of them, which was undertaken to prevent Du Biez from introducing a convoy into the fort, the object was effected at a heavy cost: the enemy's horse had been routed, and their harquebusseers broken; the squadron of pike and bill-men, led on by Surrey himself, then attacked the lansquenets. When they came to the push, the second rank took panic and fled; and the first, which was chiefly composed of captains and gentlemen who had volunteered their service there, suffered severely; for being thus abandoned, they did their devoir, and maintained their country's honour and their own to the uttermost. Surrey exerted himself in vain to rally the runaways; "the 1546. fury of their flight," he says, was such, that nothing could avail to stay them." The loss was 205, all in the first rank, brave men, and many of them were of note. The French, in their account, exaggerate it from 700 to 800 slain, and seven or eight score prisoners. But Surrey said, in his letter to the king, that "albeit the success in all things was not as we wished, yet ́ was the enemies' intent disappointed, which could not have been otherwise done; and more of their part slain than of ours, and the fortress in as great misery as before, and a sudden flight the let of a full victory. And if any disorder there were, we assure your majesty there was no default in the rulers, nor lack of courage to be given them, but a humour that sometime reigneth in Englishmen."+
Negotiations for peace were now commenced through the emperor's mediation: they were of no effect; and France, meanwhile, had remitted none of its exertions for the recovery of Boulogne. By the advice of two
*Nott's Surrey, 193. 187, 188
† Ibid. 198-201.
Hungarian engineers, cannon were made of a greater calibre than ever had been seen in those parts. rhinegrave was engaged to bring from Germany 84 ensigns to reinforce the old bands; and, besides other levies, it was said that 4000 gipsies were to serve as pioneers, "whom it was thought the French king minding to avoid out of his realm, determined, before their departure, to employ this year on that kind of service; and that by their help, before their despatch, he hoped with a tumbling trench to fill the dykes of the town.”* Henry was informed that the French meant to erect a fort at St. John's road, between Boulogne and Calais, which would be to the great annoyance of both places; to prevent them, therefore, he sent over Hertford and the lord admiral Dudley, and they arrived in the road two days before the French had appointed to be there. came in too great strength for M. du Biez to attempt any thing against them by land; and they constructed two fortresses, one at Ambleteuse (which the English called Hamble-Thew), and another about two miles off, at Black Ness. The enemy meantime were not inactive by sea: their galleys now and then approached the shore where the English army lay in camp, and shot off their ordnance; they came also before Calais, and fired at the town; and, before Dudley went out to encounter them, they had done much hurt, and captured several vicMay tuallers. One day, when four of the king's ships and 18. as many pinnaces were off Ambleteuse, they were assailed by eighteen galleys, " and so there was great shooting between them :" at length one of the galleys was taken, having 280 soldiers on board and 140 rowers; "the rest of their galleys packed away." A more serious danger threatened the English in their own camp. There were 5000 mercenaries in the army, of whom 3000 were lansquenets, under their colonel, Conrade Phenning, commonly called Court-penny; these latter, upon some dispute with their captain, mutinied, put themselves in order of battle, seized upon the great artillery, and defied the whole camp. Upon this every
* Council of Boulogne to the Privy Council, Nott's Surrey, 208, 209.