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CHAPTER XXI

How Philip of Valois was crowned king of Prance.

KING CHARLES of France, son to the fair king Philip, was three times married, and yet died without issue male. The first of his wives was one of the most fairest ladies in all the world, and she was daughter to the earl of Artois. Howbeit she kept but evil the sacrament of matrimony, but brake her wedlock; wherefore she was kept a long space in prison in the castle Gaillard, before that her husband was made king. And when the realm of France was fallen to him; he was crowned by the assent of the twelve douze-peers' of France, and then because they would not that the realm of France should be long without an heir male, they advised by their counsel that the king should be remarried again ; and so he was, to the daughter of the emperor Henry of Luxembourg, sister to the gentle king of Bohemia; whereby the first marriage of the king was fordone, between him and his wife that was in prison, by the licence and declaration of the pope that was then. And by his second wife, who was right humble, and a noble wise lady, the king had a son, who died in his young age, and the queen also at Issoudun in Berry. And they both died suspiciously, wherefore divers persons were put to blame after privily. And after this, the same king Charles was married again the third time to the daughter of his uncle, the lord Louis earl of Evreux, and she was sister to the king of Navarre, and was named queen Joan. And so in time and space this lady was with child, and in the meantime the king Charles her husband fell sick and lay down on his death-bed. And when he saw there was no way with him but death, he devised that if it fortuned the queen to be delivered of a son, then he would that the lord Philip of Valois should be his governour, and regent of all his realm, till his son come to such age as he might be crowned king; and if it fortuned the queen to have a daughter, then he would that all the twelve peers of France should take advice and counsel for the further ordering of the realm, and that
1 Froissart says simply ' les douze pers.'

they should give the realm and regaly to him that had most right thereto. And so within a while after the king Charles died, about Easter in the year of our Lord MCCCXXVIII., and within a short space after the queen was delivered of a daughter. Then all the peers of France assembled a council together at Paris, as shortly as they might conveniently, and there they gave the realm by common accord to sir Philip of Valois, and put clean out the queen Isabel of England and king Edward her son. For she was sister-german to king Charles last dead, but the opinion of the nobles of France was, and said and maintained that the realm of France was of so great nobless, that it ought not by succession to fall into a woman's hand. And so thus they crowned king of France Philip Valois at Rheims on Trinity Sunday next after. And anon after he summoned all his barons and men of war, and went with all his power to the town of Cassel and laid siege thereto, in making war against the Flemings, who rebelled against their own lord, and namely they of Bruges, of Ypres, and of [the] Franc ; for they would not obey the earl of Flanders, but they had chased him out of his own country, so that he might not abide in no part thereof, but only in Gaunt, and scantly there. These Flemings were a sixteen thousand, and had a captain called Colin Dannequin,I a hardy man and a courageous. And they had made their garrison at Cassel, at the wages of divers towns in Flanders, to the intent to keep the frontiers there about; but ye shall hear how the Flemings were discomfited, and all by their own outrage.

CHAPTER XXII

Of the battle of Cassel in Flanders.

AND on a day they of the garrison of Cassel departed out to the intent to have discomfited the king and all his host. And they came privily without any noise in three battles well ordered, whereof the first battle took the way to the king's tents, and it was a fair grace that the king had no



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