Page 081

Page 81 (Chronicles of Froissart)

page 81

king, and so also were some other lords of Brittany and Normandy. The lord Clisson had a son called Oliver, who went to the countess of Montfort and her son, who was of his age.


Of the order of Saint George, that king Edward stablished in the castle of Windsor.

IN this season the king of England took pleasure to new re-edify the castle of Windsor, the which was begun by king Arthur, and there first began the Table Round, whereby sprang the fame of so many noble knights throughout all the world. Then king Edward determined to make an order and a brotherhood of a certain number of knights, and to be called knights of the Blue Garter, and a feast to be kept yearly at Wind sor on Saint George's day. And to begin this order the king assembled together earls, lords and knights of his realm, and skewed them his intention : and they all joyously agreed to his pleasure, because they saw it was a thing much honourable and whereby great amity and love should grow and in crease. Then was there chosen out a certain number of the most valiantest men of the realm, and they sware and sealed to maintain the ordinances, such as were devised ; and the king made a chapel in the castle of Windsor, of Saint George, and stablished certain canons there to serve God, and endowed them with fair rent. Then the king sent to publish this feast by his heralds into France, Scotland, Burgoyne, Hainault, Flanders, Brabant, and into the Empire of Almaine, giving to every knight and squire that would come to the said feast fifteen clays of safe-conduct before the feast and after : the which feast to begin at Windsor on Saint George day next after in the year of our Lord MCCCXLIV., and the queen to be there accompanied with three hundred ladies and damosels, all of noble lineage and apparelled accordingly.


How the king of England delivered out of prison sir Hervd of Leon.

While the king made this preparation at Windsor for this said feast, tidings came to him how the lord Clisson and divers other lords had lost their heads in France, wherewith the king was sore displeased, insomuch that he was in purpose to have served sir Hervd of Leon in like case, whom he had in prison; but his cousin the earl of Derby skewed to him before his council such reasons to assuage his ire and to refrain his courage, saying, `Sir, though that king Philip in his baste bath done so foul a deed as to put to death such valiant knights, yet, sir, for all that blemish not your nobleness and, sir, to say the truth, your prisoner ought to bear no blame for this deed ; but, sir, put him to a reasonable ransom.' Then the king sent for the knight prisoner to come to his presence, and then said to him: ` Ah, sir Herve, sir Herve mine adversary Philip of Valois bath skewed his felony right cruel, to put to death such knights, wherewith I am sore displeased and it is thought to us r that he bath done it in despite of us; and if I would regard his malice, I should serve you in like manner, for ye have done me more displeasure, and to [nine in Bretayne, than any other person. But I will suffer it and let him do his worst, for to my power I will keep mine honour; and I am content ye shall come to a light ransom, for the love of my cousin of Derby, who bath desired me for you, so that ye will do that I shall skew you.' The knight answered and said : `Sir, I shall do all that ye shall command me.' Then said the king: ` I know well ye be one of the richest knights in Bretayne, and if I would sore press you, ye should pay me thirty or forty thousand scutes. But ye shall go to mine adversary Philip of Valois, and skew him on my behalf that, sith he bath so shamefully put to death so valiant knights in the despite of me, I say and will make it good be bath broken the truce taken between me and him ; wherefore also I renounce it on my part and defy, him from this day forward. And so that ye will do 'It seems to some of our party.'

Page 81 (Chronicles of Froissart)