Clement caused him to lose his head in the city of Macon, and another squire of Bretayne with him called William Boilewe, for they were had in suspect of treason, because they were issued out of the Romans' prison and could not be known by what treaty or means, and so they came to Avignon and there were taken. Of their taking was culpable the cardinal of Amiens, for he hated them sith they made war in Rome for the pope, because in the fields on a day they and their companies took the said cardinal's somers, wherein they had a great quantity of vessel and plate of gold and silver, and departed it among their companies, who could not be paid of their wages. Wherefore the same cardinal took the same deed in great displeasure, and so covertly accused them of treason; so that when they were come to Avignon, treason was laid to them, how they bad falsely betrayed the pope, and thereupon sent to Macon and there beheaded both. Thus the matters went at that time in those countries ; and sir Bertram of Guesclin was sore displeased for the death of Silvester Bude his cousin with pope Clement and with the cardinals, so that if he had lived long after, they should well have known that his death had been right sore displeasant to him. Now let us leave to speak of these matters, and let us enter to speak of the wars of Flanders, the which began in the same season, which were hard and cruel, whereby much people were slain and exiled and the country turned into such a case, that it was said that in a hundred year after it should not be recovered again: and I shall shew you by what mean and occasions the unhappy wars began. When the tribulations began first in Flanders, the country was so wealthy and so rich that it was marvel to hear ; and the men of the good towns kept such estate that it was wonder to hear tell thereof. But these wars began first by pride and envy that the good towns in Flanders had one against another, as they of Gaunt against them of Bruges, and they of Bruges against them of Gaunt, and other towns one against another. But there was such resort, that no war could rise among them, without the earl of Flanders their lord did consent thereto, for he was so feared and beloved that none durst displease him. Also the earl, who was right sage and subtle, kept under the war and evil will of his people ; for he would in no wise suffer no war to rise among them and him, for well he thought in his imaginations that when any difference should rise between him and his people, he should be the feebler and the less set by of his neighbours. Also he kept under the war for another cause, howbeit at the end he was driven to use it, and that was, he considered the great destruction that should fall thereby both of bodies and goods: for always he had lived in great prosperity and peace and had as much his pleasure as any other Christian prince had; but this war began for so light a cause and incident, that justly to consider and speak, if good wit and sage advice had been in the lord, he needed not to have had any manner of war. What shall they say that readeth this or heareth it read, but that it was the work of the devil: for ye know, or else ye have heard say of the wise sages, how the devil subtly ticeth r night and day to make war, whereas he seeth peace, and seeketh little and little how he may come to his ungracious intent : and so it fortuned in those days in Flanders, as ye may clearly know and see by the treaty of the order of the matter that followeth.
Of the principal root and cause of the war between the earl of Flanders and the Flemings, and how the white hats were set up by John Lyon.
THE same season, while the duke 2 Louis of Flanders was in his greatest prosperity, there was in Gaunt a burgess called John Lyon,3 a sage man, cruel, hardy, subtle and a great enterpriser, and cold and patient enough in all his works. This John Lyon was great with the earl, as it appeared, for the earl enticed him to slay a man in Gaunt with whom he was displeased ; and at the earl's commandment covertly this