king Edward the third, he was as then become very old and ancient, and sick (as it was said) of the great evil and malady.1 When he knew the adventures that was fallen in England, how that the old king Edward the second was taken and deposed down from his regaly and his crown, and certain of his counsellors beheaded and put to destruction, as ye have heard herebefore, then he bethought him that he would defy the young king Edward the third, because he was young and that the barons of the realm were not all of one accord, as it was said : therefore he [thought] the better to speed in his purpose to conquer part of England. And so about Easter in the year of our Lord MCCCXXVII. he sent his defiance to the young king Edward the third and to all the realm, sending them word how that he would enter into the realm of England and bren before him as he had done beforetime at such season as the discomfiture was at the castle of Stirling, whereas the Englishmen received great damage. When the king of England and his council perceived that they were defied, they caused it to be known over all the realm, and commanded that all the nobles and all other should be ready apparelled every man after his estate, and that they should be by Ascension-day next after at the town of York, standing northward. The king sent much people before to keep the frontiers against Scotland, and sent a great ambassade to sir John of Hainault, praying him right affectuously that he would help to succour and to keep company with him in his voyage against the Scots, and that he world be with him at the Ascensionday next after at York, with such company as he might get of men of war in those parts. When sir John of Hainault lord of Beaumont heard the king's desire, he sent straight his letters and his messengers in every place whereas he thought to recover or attain to have any company of men of war, in Flanders, in Hainault, in Brabant, and in other places, desiring them that in their best apparel for the war they would meet him at Wissant, for to go over
1 'La grosse maladie,' which is commonly explained to mean leprosy, but Scheler in the supplement to his Froissart glossary says `epilepsy, referring to `morbus grossus' in Du Cange. Another reading here is ' gouttes.'
the sea with him into England. And all such as he sent unto came to him with a glad cheer, and divers other that heard thereof, in trust to attain to as much honour as they had that were with him in England before at the other voyage. So that by that time the said lord Beaumont was come to Wissant, there was ready ships for him and his company, brought out of England. And so they took shipping and passed over the sea and arrived at Dover, and so then ceased not to ride till: they came within three days of Pentecost to the town of York, whereas the king and the queen his mother and all his lords were with great host tarrying the coming of sir John of Hainault, and had sent many before of their men of arms, archers and common people of the good towns and villages ; and as people resorted, they were caused to be lodged two or three leagues off, all about in the country. And on a day thither came sir John of Hainault and his company, who were right welcome and well received both of the king, of the queen his mother, and of all other barons, and to them was delivered the suburbs of the city to lodge in. And to sir John of Hainault was delivered an abbey of white monks for him and his household. There came with him out of Hainault the lord of Enghien, who was called sir Gaultier, and sir Henry lord d'Antoing, and the lord of Fagnolle, and sir Fastres du Roeulx, sir Robert de Bailleul, and sir Guilliam de Bailleul his brother, and the lord of Havreth, chatelain of Mons, sir Allard de Briffeuil, sir Michael de Ligne, sir John de Montigny the younger and his brother, sir Sanses de Boussoit, the lord of Gommegnies, sir Perceval de Semeries, the lord of Beaurieu and the lord of Floyon. Also of the country of Flanders there was sir Hector of Vilain, sir John de Rhodes, sir Wu