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"I trust in God soon to gain them; meantime, yield you this town of yours.' Upon which they said they would repeat his demands to their fellow-townsmen, and bring him back the reply.
The deputies soon returned, and said, "Sir, the people of the town commend themselves to your mercy, and bid me say, that this town and yon castle are all they have: these they have always had for their own, and never French or English have entered them, this being their law and their privilege for the security of them and theirs their wives and children and goods are there, and they will rather all perish than ever allow the place to be entered. Ask of them gold, silver, cloth, or other things, and they will give you what they are able. And may it please you not to approach the town; peradventure you might well take it; but, be assured, that it would first cost you some of those whom you hold dear, and occasion would thereby be given for killing men, women, and children, as many as are there, for which God would never hold you discharged." Pero Niño then asked his companions what should be done ? They replied that the islanders had spoken very reasonably, and asked what was just: it was best, therefore, to agree with what they proposed, and to lose no time. Indeed, they were desirous of profiting by their success without delay, lest the English fleet, of which they had heard, should heave in sight. A contribution of 10,000 crowns of gold was therefore demanded, under the name of a ransom; of which as much as could be immediately raised was given, and four hostages delivered as security for the rest. The Spaniard likewise insisted that for the next ten years they should render him, yearly, twelve spears, twelve battle-axes, twelve bows, with the proper complement of arrows, and twelve trumpets; and this, though most reluctantly, they promised.
Meantime, the men belonging to the salt-fleet drove down to the coast all the cattle upon which they could lay hand, with which, and with much plunder from the houses, they embarked, and went their way. Horses,
THOMAS OF LANCASTER, ADMIRAL.
says Gutierre Diez, were cheap * that day at the embarkation. Pero Niño, with his Norman and Breton associates, sailed for Brest, where some Breton merchants advanced the remainder of the contribution, and the hostages were delivered over to them; the money was then divided among the adventurers, according to their rank. The Castillian fleet was now ordered home. Pero Niño sent a messenger to Paris to dispeed himself of the king and the royal dukes, and then departed for his own country. But his galleys had nearly been lost on the coast of Bretagne; and it was not till he and his people had called, with many prayers and vows, upon St. Mary of Guadaloupe, and St. Mary of Finisterra, and Santiago of Galicia, and St. Vicente of the Cape, and Fr. Padre Gonzalez de Tuy, that the wind fell and the storm was allayed.†
The seas were not so well defended as the coast, dur- a. D. ing the time that this Castillian fleet infested them. 1405. Yet the king had made his son, Thomas of Lancaster, admiral, and assigned to him a force of 1400 archers, and 700 men-at-arms, including 2 earls, 12 bannerets, 80 knights, and 605 esquires. But in the ensuing 1406. year it was agreed that the merchants should take upon themselves the keeping of the seas, from the 1st of May till Michaelmas, and from thence to the Michaelmas following for this they were to receive certain of the king's duties, among other, 3s. upon every pipe of wine. The appointment of two admirals, one for the south, and another for the east coast, was vested in them. Accordingly they named Nicholas Blackbourne for one, and the king constituted him admiral of the
They were sold for five or six blancs each, which is the value of twelve maravides, says the Spaniard. The blanc was half a sol.
+ Cronica del Conde D. Pero Niño, part ii. c. 39, 40.
For the (eskippeson) shipment of this force he was to have twenty granz niefs de toure, twenty barges and twenty ballingers, and to each of these double eskippeson (?). The king and his council were to assign such provisions for these as they thought good. Their wages, for the fifteen bannerets, four shillings a day, amounted by the quarter to 2741. (It appears, therefore, that the admiral and the two counts received pay as bannerets.) Eighty bachelors (here used as synonymous with chevaliers), 2s. per day, per quarter, 7287.; men-at-arms, 1s. per day, per quarter, 27521. 15s. Od.; archers, 6d. a day, 13097. 2s. 4d. Sum total for the quarter, 82437. 17s. 4d. -Rymer, viii. 389.
fleet from the mouth of the Thames northward, with full powers of collecting and manning such ships of war as might be required, and with all other powers which former admirals had possessed. By the end of October, however, complaints poured in both from the king's liege subjects and his allies, that, owing to the neglect of those who ought to guard the seas, great depredations were committed, and great losses had been sustained: upon this, orders were issued for sequestering the duties which had been assigned to the merchants, till reparation should have been made to the parties aggrieved.
A naval action took place this year, while the duke of Orleans was laying unsuccessful siege to Le Bourg. The French admiral, Le Clugnet, put to sea with two-andtwenty ships, manned expressly for this service, in quest of an English fleet, of what force has not been stated, nor by whom commanded. He fell in with it; an action ensued, with considerable loss of killed and wounded on both sides; and Le Clugnet, having lost one of his ships, which was carried into Bourdeaux, returned to Le Bourg.t
During the summer of 1407, London, with the 1407. country round about, was so infected by the plague, that the king was afraid to approach it; and being at Leeds Castle, in Kent, he determined to take ship at Queensborough, sail over to Leigh in Essex, and take up his abode at Plashey till the pestilence should be stayed; and, because some French privateers, or pirates as they are called, were hovering about the mouth of the Thames, Thomas lord Camois was appointed to convoy him across with certain ships of war. It was supposed that the pirates had some intelligence of this; and when he was in the midst of the passage, "whether the wind turned, or that the lord Camois kept not a direct course, or that his ship was but a slug," the French entered among his fleet, and took four ships close to the king's,
Rymer, viii. 489. 449. 455. It is pleasant to find that security was granted at this time to the French, Breton, and Flemish fishermen.-Ib. 451. + Monstrelet, c. 28.
EARL OF KENT.
in one of which was his vice-chamberlain, sir Thomas
The truce between France and England having been A. D. ill observed by sea, the French admiral Jacques de 1410. Chastillon was appointed on the one part, and Thomas Beaufort on the other," the king's dear brother, admiral of England, and conservator of the said truce upon the seas," to meet, and adjust all differences which had arisen on that account. In the spring of the same year the king sent the earl of Kent with an armament to clear the seas, because the coasts were infested by rovers who had done much hurt, and upon whom Henry was no doubt desirous that vengeance should be taken for the jeopardy in which he himself had been placed by them. Hearing of the earl's coming, they made for Bretagne with all speed, whither, upon the information of his espials, he followed them, "and finding that they had laid up their ships in the havens, so as he could not fight with them by sea, he launched out his boats, and with his fierce soldiers took land, and manfully assaulted
* I know not whether this was the same sir Thomas Rampstone, constable of the Tower, who in the same year "was drowned in coming from the court, as he would have shot the bridge, the stream being so big that it overturned his barge."-Holinshed.
Hall, 36. Holinshed, iii. 43, 44. 密
the town of Briake *, standing by the sea-side.
Two bold mariners, about this time, by name sir John 1411. Prendergest and William Long, scoured the seas, so that no pirate durst appear, and merchants and passengers might pass to and fro in safety: yet they were accused, through the malice, it is said, of some who envied
*St. Brieux ? † Hall, 40. Holinshed, iii, 45, 46.
+ Hall, 40.