Page 016

Page 16 (Chronicles of Froissart)



page 15



such strokes that men durst not approach to them. They three beat down that day, with such few company as they had, more than sixty; for they were great and mighty knights. Finally the archers that were at the fray were discomfited and put to chase, and there was dead in the place well to the number of three hundred. And it was said they were all of the bishopric of Lincoln. I trow God did never give more grace and fortune to any people than he did as then to this gentle knight sir John of Hainault and to his company. For these English archers intended to none other thing but to murder and to rob them, for all that they were come to serve the king in his business. These strangers were never in so great peril all the season that they lay, nor they were never after in surety till they were again at Wissant in their own country. For they were fallen in so great hate with all the archers of the host, that some of the barons and knights of England shewed unto the lords of Hainault, giving them warning that the archers and other of the common people were allied together to the number of six thousand to the intent to bren or to kill them in their lodgings either by night or by day. And so they lived at a hard adventure; but each of them promised to help and aid other, and to sell dearly their lives or they were slain. So they made many fair ordinances among themselves by good and great advice, whereby they were fain oftentimes to lie in their harness by night, and in the day to keep their lodgings and to have all their harness ready and their horses saddled. Thus continually they were fain to make watch by their constables in the fields and highways about the court, and to send out scout-watches a mile off to see ever if any such people were coming to themward, as they were informed of, to the intent that if their scoutwatch heard any noise or moving of people drawing to the city-ward, then incontinent they should give them knowledge, whereby they might the sooner gather together, each of them under their own banner in a certain place, the which they had advised for the same intent. And in this tribulation they abode in the said suburbs by the space of four weeks, and in all that season they durst not go far from their harness nor from their lodgings, saving a certain of the chief lords among them, who went to the court to see the king and his council, who made them right good cheer. For if the said evil adventure had not been, they had sojourned there in great ease, for the city and the country about them was right plentiful. For all the time of six weeks that the king and the lords of England and more than sixty thousand men of war lay there, the victuals were never the dearer; for ever they had a pennyworth for a penny, as well as other had before they came there, and there was good wine of Gascoyne and of Alsace, and of the Rhine, and plenty thereof, with right good cheap as well of pullen as of other victuals; and there was daily brought before their lodgings hay, oats and litter, whereof they were well served for their horses and at a meetly price.

CHAPTER XVII

Here the history speaketh of the manner of the Scots and how they can war.

AND when they had sojourned three weeks after this said fray, then they had knowledge from the king by the marshals of the host, that the next week every man should provide for carts and charettes, tents and pavilions, to lie in the field, and for all other necessaries thereto belonging, to the intent to draw toward Scotland. And when every man was ready apparelled, the king and all his barons went out of the city, and the first night they lodged six mile forward. And sir John of Hainault and his company were lodged always as pear the king as might be, to do him the more honour, and also to the intent that the archers should have no advantage of him nor of his company. And there the king abode two days and two nights, tarrying for all them that were behind, and to be well advised that they lacked nothing. And on the third day they dislodged and went forward till they came to the



Page 16 (Chronicles of Froissart)