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CHAPTER LXXII

How the earl Montfort was taken at Nantes, and how he died.

As I heard reported, there were certain burgesses of the city saw how their goods went to waste both without and within, and had of their children and friends in prison, and doubted that worse should come to them after ; then they advised and spake together secretly, so that finally they concluded to treat with the lords of France, so that they might come to have peace and to have their children and friends clearly delivered out of prison. They made this treaty so secretly, that at last it was agreed that they should have all the prisoners delivered and they to set open one of the gates, that the French lords might enter to take the earl of Montfort in the castle, without doing of any manner of hurt to the city or to the inhabitants or goods therein. Some said this was purchased by the means and agreement of sir Herve de Leon, who had been before one of the earl's chief counsellors. Thus as it was devised, so it was done: in a morning the French lords entered and went straight to the castle and brake open the gates, and there took the earl of Montfort prisoner and led him clean out of the city into their field, without doing of any more hurt in the city. This was the year of our Lord God MCCCXLI., about the feast of All Saints. Then the lords of France entered into the city with great joy; and all the burgesses and other did fealty and homage to the lord Charles of Blois as to their right sovereign lord; and there they tarried a three days in great feast. Then sir Charles of Blois was counselled to abide there about the city of Nantes till the next summer ; and so he did, and set captains in such garrisons as he had won. Then the other lords went to Paris to the king and delivered him the earl of Montfort as prisoner. The king set him in the castle of Louvre, whereas he was long, and at last, as I heard reported, there he died. Now let us speak of the countess his wife, who had the courage of a man and the heart of a lion. She was in the city of Rennes when her lord was taken, and how beit that she had great sorrow at her heart, yet she valiantly recomforted her friends and soldiers, and shewed them a little son that she had, called John, and said : ` Ah ! sirs, be not too sore abashed of the earl my lord, whom we have lost: he was but a man. See here my little child, who shall be by the grace of God his restorer, and he shall do for you all; and I have riches enough ; ye shall not lack ; and I trust I shall purchase for such a captain, that ye shall be all recomforted.' When she had thus comforted her friends and soldiers in Rennes, then she went to all her other fortresses and good towns, and led ever with her John her young son, and did to them as she did at Rennes, and fortified all her garrisons of everything that they wanted, and paid largely and gave freely, whereas she thought it well employed. Then she went to Hennebont, and there she and her son tarried all that winter. Oftentimes she sent to visit her garrisons, and paid every man full well and truly their wages.

CHAPTER LXXIII

How the king of England the third time made war on the Scots.

SUMMARY.-The Scots had taken again divers fortresses from the En; lish, and had laid siege to Stirling. So soon as Edward returned, he rode towards Scotland and assembled his army at York. The Scots assaulted Stirling with more urgency and compelled the garrison to surrender. Edward moved on to Newcastle-upon-Tyne, where he was much in want of provisions, because his ships were scattered by tempest and now winter was at hand. The Scots, being but few and without a head, sent to make a truce with Edward; and it was agreed that they should send messengers to king David, and if he canoe not to defend his realm within the month of May following, they should yield them to the king of England. The king of England returned and disbanded his host. Meanwhile, without knowing of these messengers, king David set sail front France and landed in Scotland.




Page 71 (Chronicles of Froissart)