number of pillers and robbers, what of Englishmen, Gascons and Almains, who said they must needs live; and they held still certain garrisons and fortresses, for all that the king of England's deputies had commanded them to avoid and depart ; howbeit they would not all obey, wherewith the French king was sore displeased, and all his council. But when these companions in divers places heard how these other companions had overthrown the lord of Bourbon and a two thousand knights and squires, and taken many a good prisoner, and also had taken in the town Saint -Esprit so great riches that it was a thing incomparable, and thinking how they were likely to win Avignon or else to put to mercy the pope and cardinals and all the country of Provence, then they thought all to depart and go thither for covetise to win more and to do more evil deeds; so that was the cause that divers of them left up their fortresses and went to their companions, in hope to get more pillage. And when that pope Innocent the sixth and the college of Rome saw how they were vexed by these cursed people, they were greatly abashed and then ordained a croisey against these evil Christian people, who did their pain to destroy Christendom, as other bands had done before,' without title of any reason : for they wasted all the country without any cause, and robbed without sparing all that ever they could get, and violated and defoiled women, old and young, without pity, and slew men, women and children without mercy, doing to them no trespass; 2 and such as did most shamefullest deeds were reputed with them most valiant. So then the pope and the cardinals preached openly this croisey and assoiled a pena et culpa all those that would take on them this croisey and that would abandon their bodies willingly to destroy these evil people and their companions; and there was chosen among the cardinals sir Peter of Moustier, cardinal of Arras, called Ostia,3 to be chief captain of the croisey, and incontinent he departed out of Avignon, and went and tarried at Carpentras, a seven mile from Avignon, and there- be retained all manner of soldiers, such as
1 `Ensi comme les Wandeles fisent jadis.'
2 `Who had done them no ill.' 3 `Dit d'Ostie.'
would save their souls in attaining to these said pardons, but they should have none other wages; wherefore that journey brake, for every man departed, some into Lombardy, some to their own countries, and some went to the said evil company, so that daily they increased. So thus they harried the pope, the cardinals and the merchants about Avignon and did much evil, till it was far into the summer season in the year of our Lord God a thousand three hundred threescore and one. Then the pope and the cardinals advised them of a noble gentle knight and a good warrior, the marquis of Montferrat, who kept war and had done a long space against the lords of Milan. The pope sent for him, and so he came to Avignon and was honourably received of the pope and cardinals, and so a treaty was made with him by reason of a sum of money that he should have, to the intent that he should get out of that country the said evil companions, and to retain them with him in his wars of Lombardy. So then the marquis treated with the captains of the companions, and by reason of threescore thousand florins that they should have among them and great wages that the marquis should give them, they agreed to depart and go with him into Lombardy, so they might be assoiled a pena et culpa. All this was agreed, accomplished, and the florins paid : and then they rendered up the town Saint-Esprit and left the march of Avignon and passed forth with the marquis, whereof king John of France and all the realm were right joyous, when they saw how they were delivered of these evil people. Howbeit there were many that returned to Burgoyne, and sir Seguin of Badefol departed not out of the garrison of Anse, for be would not leave it for no manner of entreaty nor promise ; but the realm of France was in far better rest and peace than it was before. So when the most part of