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Title: War and Misrule - 1307-1399
Author: Locke, A. Audrey
Language: English
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_Volumes now Ready. 2s. net each._

 449-1066. THE WELDING OF THE RACE. Edited by the REV. JOHN

 1066-1154. THE NORMANS IN ENGLAND. Second Edition. Edited by

 1154-1216. THE ANGEVINS AND THE CHARTER. Second Edition. Edited
 by S.M. TOYNE, M.A.

 Edited by W.D. ROBIESON, M.A.

 1307-1399. WAR AND MISRULE. Edited by A.A. LOCKE.

 1399-1485. YORK AND LANCASTER. Second Edition. Edited by W.

 Edited by F.W. BEWSHER, B.A.

 1547-1603. THE AGE OF ELIZABETH. Third Edition. Edited by

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 EDWARDS, M.A., Christ's Hospital.


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 1876-1887. IMPERIALISM AND MR. GLADSTONE. Edited by R.H.

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        *       *       *       *       *










This series of English History Source Books is intended for use with
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I have to thank Sir E. Maunde Thompson and the Council of the Royal
Society of Literature for permission to quote from Sir E. Maunde
Thompson's translation of Adam of Usk's Chronicle. The sources used in
this book are for the most part contemporary.




    INTRODUCTION                                                        V


    1310. BILL OF ARTICLES PRESENTED TO EDWARD II.                      1

    1311. THE SUCCESSES OF KING ROBERT BRUCE                            2

    1312. PETER GAVESTON AND THE FRIARS PREACHERS                       3

    1313. AN UNWORTHY KING                                              4

    1313. CORRUPTION IN THE PAPAL COURT                                 5

    1314. THE BATTLE OF BANNOCKBURN                                     6

    1314. VAGABOND FRIARS                                               7

    1319. CHARGES AGAINST THE DESPENSERS                                9


    1322. THE REVOCATION OF THE ORDINANCES                             11

    1327. THE MURDER OF THE KING                                       12

    1327. CHARACTER OF EDWARD II.                                      14

    1327. ACCESSION OF EDWARD III.                                     15

    1327. THE MANNER OF THE SCOTS                                      15

    1328. THE RULE OF ISABELLA                                         16

    1330. WHY MORTIMER WAS CONDEMNED UNHEARD                           18

    1332. THE WAR OF THE DISINHERITED                                  19

    1334. FOR THE SAFE-KEEPING OF THE CITY OF LONDON                   20

    1339. FIRST INVASION OF FRANCE: THE CAMPAIGN OF 1339               21

    1340. BEFORE SLUYS                                                 24

    1340. THE BATTLE OF SLUYS                                          25

    CHALLENGE                                                          26


    1340-1341. THE "LIBELLUS FAMOSUS"                                  30

    1341. TRIAL BY PEERS                                               33

    1346. THE BATTLE OF CRECY                                          34

    1346. DAVID BRUCE INVADES ENGLAND                                  36

    1346. A FIGHTING PRIOR                                             38

    1347. THE SURRENDER OF CALAIS                                      40

    1349. PENITENTS AND JEWS                                           42

    1350. A STATUTE OF LABOURERS                                       43

    1350. PROSPERITY OF THE LANDLESS LABOURER                          46

    1350. FIRST STATUTE OF PROVISORS                                   47

    CHALLENGE                                                          48

    1355-1356. THE BALLIOLS RESIGN TO THE KING OF ENGLAND              48

    1356. THE BATTLE OF POITIERS                                       50

    1359. THE TREATY OF LONDON                                         52

    1360. THE SIEGE OF PARIS AND THE TREATY OF CALAIS                  53

    1361. THE FATEFUL FOOTPRINTS OF THE ENGLISH                        55


    1363. REGULATION OF WEARING APPAREL BY STATUTE                     56

    1367. THE HAUGHTINESS OF THE ENGLISH                               59

    1376. "TIME-HONOURED LANCASTER"                                    60

    1376. LAMENT FOR THE BLACK PRINCE                                  63

    1376-1377. RENEWAL OF THE WAR                                      64

    1377. JOHN OF GAUNT ATTACKS WILLIAM OF WYKEHAM                     66

    1377. MASTER JOHN WICLIF                                           67

    1377. A TORCHLIGHT PROCESSION                                      68

    1377. THE KING OF FRANCE EQUIPS A FLEET                            69

    1377. CHARACTER OF EDWARD III.                                     70

    1381. THE PEASANTS' REVOLT                                         71

    1381. WONDROUS AND UNHEARD-OF PRODIGIES                            73


    1382. THE FOLLOWERS OF THIS MASTER JOHN                            77

    1384. THE PARLIAMENT OF 1384                                       78

    1385. THE PLOT AGAINST LANCASTER                                   81

    1385. THE FRENCH IN SCOTLAND                                       84

    1385. THE DEATH OF WICLIF                                          85


    1386. THE STATE OF ENGLAND                                         91

    1386. THE WONDERFUL PARLIAMENT                                     92

    1387. RICHARD APPEALS TO THE JUDGES                                93

    1387. DEFEAT OF THE KING'S FRIENDS                                 94

    1388. THE MERCILESS PARLIAMENT                                     95

    1394. ON THE TRUCE BETWEEN ENGLAND AND FRANCE                      95

    1397. SUPPOSED PLOTS                                               98

    1397. RICHARD'S REVENGE                                            99

    1397. THE "APPEAL" OF THE APPELLANTS                              101

    1399. THE STATE OF IRELAND                                        103

    1399. THE BETRAYAL OF THE KING                                    104

    1399. ABDICATION AND DEATH                                        108

    1399. CHARACTER OF RICHARD II.                                    110

    1399. RICHARD THE REDELESS                                        111



    A NORMAL SCHOOLBOY                                                117

    BEGGAR'S BRATS ARE BOOK-LEARNED                                   119

    CAUSES OF THE IMPAIRING OF OUR LANGUAGE                           120




 SOURCE.--_Annales Londonienses in Chronicles of the Reigns of
 Edward I. and Edward II._ (Rolls Series), ed. Stubbs, i. 169.

To our lord the King showing the great perils and damages which from
day to day will appear, unless there is some hasty redress, both
destruction of the freedom of holy Church and the disinheritance and
dishonour of yourself and your royal power, and the disinheritance
of your crown and the damage of all the people of your kingdom both
rich and poor: from which perils neither you nor the good men of your
kingdom may escape unless some immediate remedy be ordained by the
advice of the prelates, earls and barons and the most wise of your

To begin with, while you are ruler of this land and sworn to maintain
peace in your land, you are led by unworthy and bad council and are
held in great slander in all lands; and so poor are you and so devoid
of all manner of treasure that you have nothing wherewith either to
defend your land or keep up your household, except by extortions, which
your officers make from the goods of holy Church and your poor people,
without paying anything, against the form of the great charter; which
charter they pray may be held and maintained in all its force.

Further, Sire, whereas our lord the King your father, whom God assoil,
left you all your lands entire, England, Ireland and all Scotland, in
good peace, you have lost Scotland and grievously dismembered your
crown in England and Ireland etc. without the assent of your baronage
and without pretext.

Again, Sire, showing you that whereas the commonalty of your realm give
you the 20th penny from their goods in aid of your Scotch war and the
24th penny, in order to be freed of prises and other grievances; the
which pennies are all levied and foolishly spent and wasted by unworthy
counsel, and your wars do not advance, nor are your poor people freed
from prises and other grievances, but they are more oppressed from day
to day, than before. For which cause, Sire, your said good people pray
you humbly, for the salvation of yourself and of them and of the crown,
which they are bound to maintain, by virtue of their allegiance, that
you will consent to this, that these and other perils may be wiped out
and redressed by ordinances of your baronage.

[This bill was followed by the appointment of the Lords Ordainers.]


 SOURCE.--_The Book of Pluscarden in Historians of Scotland_, x.

In the year 1311, after having routed and vanquished all his foes
everywhere he went, and, for the most part, taken and levelled to the
ground the castles and forts which offered him resistance, King Robert
Bruce twice invaded and ravaged England, making great havoc with fire
and sword, and bringing untold plunder back to Scotland. And thus, by
the power of God, that faithless English nation, which had again and
again unjustly tortured many a man, was now by God's righteous judgment
made to undergo scourgings; and whereas it had once been victorious
over other kingdoms, it now sank vanquished and groaning and became
a gazing stock to others. The following year, in 1312, the then very
strong walled town of Perth was taken, and all in it were put to the
sword, some drawn, some beheaded, some slain in the fight, and the
rest hanged on the gallows. But the King was moved to compassion for
the guiltless rabble, and forgave them and received their submission.
And thus:

  "Did England drink the gall itself had brewed."

       *      *       *       *       *

And the same year Edward, called of Windsor, the eldest son of the King
of England, was born at Windsor, of the daughter of Philip, King of
France; and he was the source of many wars. Through this Edward, that
most cruel and most heinous war with France broke out.


 SOURCE.--Adam Murimuth, _Continuatio Chronicarum_ (Rolls
 Series), 17-18.

This year, about the feast of St. John the Baptist [June 24], the King
desired Peter Gaveston for his safety's sake to be brought to him
by Adomar de Valence, Earl of Pembroke. When they were at Danyntone
(Deddington), near Banbury, the said Earl left him in the night and
went on to another place, for no apparent reason. And on the morrow
at dawn came Guy, Earl of Warwick, with a small, noisy following, and
surprised the said Peter, and carried him off with him to his Castle of
Warwick. There, having held counsel with the chief men of the kingdom,
especially with Thomas, Earl of Lancaster, he finally dismissed him
from prison to go where he would. And when he had gone out of the town
of Warwick and had come to a place called, as though prophetically,
Gaveressich (Gaversike), he found there many men raising hue and cry
after him with voices and horns, as they would after one of the enemies
of the King and kingdom lawfully outlawed or exiled; and finally they
beheaded him, as though he were one of these, on the 19th day of June.
And one of the Friars Preachers carried away Gaveston's head in his
hood (and brought it to the King). Afterwards the friars of the same
order found the body[1] and kept it at Oxford with solemn vigils for
a year and more. But finally it was buried at Langley, where the King
founded a religious house of Friars Preachers for the salvation of his
own soul; and there establishing a large number of student friars, he
provided for their sufficient sustenance from his treasury in London.


[1] According to the _Annales Londonienses_ in _Chronicles of the
Reigns of Edward I. and Edward II._ (Rolls Series), i. 207, the body
was carried to Warwick by four shoemakers, but the Earl of Warwick sent
it back to the place where the beheading had taken place, outside his
fief, and "the Jacobin Friars carried the body to Oxford, and guarded
it with much honour; wherefore they were held in great odium by the
aforesaid earl."


 SOURCE.--_Vita Edwardi II._ [possibly by a monk of Malmesbury]
 in _Chronicles of the Reigns of Edward II. and Edward III._ (Rolls
 Series), ii. 191-192.

Behold now our King Edward had reigned six whole years, nor had he
accomplished anything praiseworthy or fit to be remembered; except
that he married royally and raised for himself a fine heir to his
kingdom.... Oh! would that our King Edward had borne himself well
at the beginning of his reign, and had not followed the counsel of
pernicious men, he should in truth have been more renowned than any of
his ancestors. Then God had enriched him with the gifts of all virtues
and had made him equal to, nay, more excellent than, other Kings. For
if anyone had wished to describe those things which ennobled our King,
they could not have found his peer in the land. His ancestral fathers
handed him down his generosity; those fathers whose successions now
extend themselves to the tenth degree. He had riches, the most in his
kingdom; an opulent country, and the favour of the people.

He was kinsman to the King of France; near relative to the King of
Spain. If he had adhered to the counsel of his barons he would have
humiliated the Scots with no loss. Oh! if he had employed himself in
the pursuit of arms, and excelled the valour of King Richard [I.].
Indeed, his make-up was fitted to this; he was tall of stature and a
finely formed man of great strength, with a handsome face. But why
delay to describe him? If he had given as much energy to the pursuit
of arms as he spent in rustic pursuits, England would have prospered
well; his name would have resounded throughout the land. O what things
were hoped of him as Prince of Wales! All hope vanished when he became
King of England. Peter of Gaveston ruled the King in an unseemly way,
disturbed the land, consumed the treasure, submitted three times to
exile, and, afterwards returning, lost his head. But still some of
Peter's companions and his own family remain in the King's court, and
they disturb the peace of the whole country, and urge on the King to
seek vengeance. Give peace, O Lord, in our days, and make the King of
one mind with his barons.


 SOURCE.--_Vita Edwardi II._ in _Chronicles of the Reigns of
 Edward I. and Edward II._ (Rolls Series), ii. 197-199.

Money does everything in the [Papal] Court. If perchance you do not
know this, turn to the custom and ways of the Roman Court. It loves
causes, suits, quarrels, because they cannot be carried on without
money; and a cause, which once enters the court, proves to be almost
unending; ... Anyone ought to be satisfied with one Church, as is
ordained in the Section _De multa_;[2] nevertheless, high persons are
made exceptions, and receive dispensation indiscriminately so long as
they give sufficient money. This marvellous vanity, and the detestable
cupidity of the Court, has aroused scandal against it throughout the
whole world....

This is the eighth year and more that Pope Clement V. has ruled the
whole Church, but whatever he did to benefit mankind escaped the
memory. At Vienna he gathered a council, and settled the Templars;
conceded indulgences for the Holy Land, and collected an immense amount
of money, but in no way benefited the Holy Land. He conceded tithes to
Kings, and despoiled the churches of the poor. Far better were it for
the rectors if there were no Pope, than to be daily subject to such
exactions. But whether or no this is possible is not for me to discuss,
because it is equivalent to sacrilege to question the power of that
Prince. Among all other provinces of the world England feels most the
oppressive Lord Pope; for out of the fulness of power he takes much on
himself, and neither the Prince nor the people gainsay him; he reserves
all rich rents to himself, and immediately excommunicates those who
rebel; the legates come and despoil the land, others come bearing
bulls and sell up the prebends. Every deanery is held by a foreigner,
whereas the law orders natives to be preferred. Residence of deans is
now abolished, and the number of canons is greatly decreased.... Lord
Jesus, either take away the Pope from our midst, or lessen the power
which he assumes over the people.


[2] Decr. Greg. IX., lib. iii., p. 5, c. 28.


 SOURCE.--Fabyan's _Chronicle_ (ed. Ellis, 1811), 420.

In this vii year, for to oppress the malice of the Scots, the King
assembled a great power, and by water entered the realm of Scotland
and destroyed such villages and towns as lay or stood in his way.
Whereof hearing, Robert le Bruce, with the power of Scotland, coasted
towards the Englishmen, and upon the day of the Nativity of Saint
John the Baptist, met with King Edward and his host at a place called
Estryvelyn, near unto a fresh river, that then was called Bannockburn,
where between the English and the Scotch that day was fought a cruel
battle; but in the end the Englishmen were constrained to forsake the
field. Then the Scots chased so eagerly that many of them were drowned
in the fore-named river, and many a nobleman of England that day was
slain in that battle, as Sir Gilbert de Clare, Earl of Gloucester,
Sir Robert Clifford, Sir Edmund of Morley, the King's steward, with
other lords and barons to the number as witnesseth Guy de Columpna of
xlii, and of knights and baronets to the number of lxvii, over xxii
men of name, which that day by the Scots were taken prisoners, and the
King himself from that battle escaped with great danger, and so, with
a few of his host that with him escaped, came unto Berwick, and there
rested him a season. Then the Scots inflamed with pride, in derision of
Englishmen, made this rhyme as followeth:

  "Maidens of England, sore may you mourn
  For your lemans you have lost at Bannockbourn,
        With a heave and a ho!
  What weeneth the King of England
  So soon to have won Scotland,
        With a rumbelow!"[3]

This song was after many days sung in dances, in carols of the maidens
and minstrels of Scotland, to the reproof and disdain of Englishmen,
with divers others which I pass over.


[3] Christopher Marlowe introduced this ballad into his drama of
_Edward the Second_ (written about 1590), in Act II., Scene 2:

_Lancaster._ And thereof came it, that the fleering Scots, To England's
high disgrace, have made this jig:

_Maids of England, etc._


 SOURCE.--H.T. Riley, _Memorials of London_ (London, 1868),

Edward by the grace of God, King of England, etc., to the Mayor and
Sheriffs of London greeting. Whereas from trustworthy relation we have
heard that certain Friars of the Order of Preachers, who have made
profession in that Order, despising such their profession and throwing
away the religious garb, are wandering and running to and fro, arrayed
in secular habit, in the city aforesaid; and that certain others, still
wearing the garb aforesaid, but deserting their due obedience, are
dwelling in the same city without the close of the same Friars, and
do not fear to take part in various matters that are not beseeming to
them to the peril of their souls, the scandal of the said Order, and
the injury of ecclesiastical propriety--we, for the especial affection
which for the same Order we do entertain, and have long entertained,
wishing to restrain the malevolence of such insolent persons, and to
provide for the repose and honour of the Friars of the said Order, so
far as in good manner we may, do command you, that all vagabond Friars
of the said Order found within the city aforesaid, so often as and when
in future you shall be requested by the Prior of the same Order in the
city aforesaid, or other the Friars by him thereunto deputed, you will
cause to be arrested without delay, and to the house of the same Friars
securely to be conducted, unto the brethren of the same house there to
be delivered, by them, according to the discipline of their Order, to
be chastised. And forasmuch as we have understood that the apostates
aforesaid, contriving to the utmost of their power how to palliate the
heinousness of their errors, and by false suggestions to vilify the
Order aforesaid, have published defamatory writings, and have caused
the same in public places within the city aforesaid to be read and
recited, and have left copies of the same in those places fixed upon
the walls, that so they might the more widely defame the same Order,
and withhold the devotion of the faithful from the same; and still from
day to day do not desist to do the like, and even worse, against the
same Order; as, also, that many men are assisting the same apostates
in the premises giving them aid and favour therein--we do command you,
strongly enjoining, that on our behalf you will cause in the city
aforesaid strict prohibition to be made that any person shall, on pain
of heavy forfeiture to us, write any such manner of writings containing
defamation of the said Order, or publish the same, or give aid to those
writing or publishing the same, either secretly or openly; or shall
presume to inflict loss, injury, or grievance upon the Friars of the
said Order whom we have taken under our own especial protection and
defence. And if you shall find any persons transgressors of such our
prohibition, you are to cause them in such manner to be punished, that
through their example others may be duly restrained from the commission
of such offences. Witness myself at York this 18th day of September in
the 8th year of our reign.


 SOURCE.--_Holinshed's Chronicle_, iii. 327.

Articles wherewith the barons charged the Despensers:

1. Amongst other things it was alleged; first that Hugh Spenser the
son, being on a time angry and displeased with the King, sought to ally
and confederate himself with the lord Gifford of Brimsfield, and the
lord Richard Gray, to have constrained and forced the King by strong
hand to have followed his will and pleasure.

2. Secondly, it was alleged, that the said Spensers as well the father
as the son, had caused the King to ride into Gloucestershire, to
oppress and destroy the good people of his land, contrary to the form
of the great charter.

3. Thirdly, that where the Earl of Hereford and the lord Mortimer of
Wigmore, had gone against one Llewelyn Bren, who had raised a rebellion
against the King in Glamorganshire, while the lands of the Earl of
Gloucester were in the King's hands, the same Llewelyn yielded himselfe
to the said earl, and to the Lord Mortimer, who brought him to the
King, upon promise that he should have the King's pardon, and so the
King received him. But after that the said Earl and lord Mortimer were
out of the land, the Spensers taking to them royal power, took the
said Llewelyn and led him into Cardiff, where after that the said Hugh
Spenser the son had his purparty[4] of the said Earl of Gloucester's
lands, he caused the said Llewelyn to be drawn, headed and quartered,
to the discredit of the King, and of the said Earl of Hereford and Lord
Mortimer, yea and contrary to the laws and dignity of the imperial

4. Fourthly, the said Spensers counselled the King to forejudge Sir
Hugh Audley, son to the lord Hugh Audley, and to take into his hands
his castles and possessions. They compassed also to have attainted the
lord Roger D'Amorie, that thereby they might have enjoyed the whole
earldom of Gloucester.


[4] = Share, part.


 SOURCE.--Henry Knighton's _Chronicle_ (Rolls Series), 426-427.

The Earl therefore having died for the sake of Justice, Church, and
State, as it seemed to the people, crowds hurried from all parts with
gifts of offerings in order to show honour and reverence to the body of
the Earl according to his desert, and they ceased not until the King,
aroused by the Despensers, sent armed men to prevent them from entering
into the church, and ordered, under pain of imprisonment, that no one
should go into the church to offer honour or reverence to the body. And
when the people saw that they were prevented from entering the church
by the royal power, they turned the seat of their devotion to the place
where the Earl had died, and were rushing thither in greater numbers
(for which cause the more intense severity of the King was directed
against the pilgrims), until the soil of all the field was moved away,
and a church was built there with chaplains serving God and by no means
poorly endowed.... It is to be remarked that all those who consented to
the death of the Earl afterwards finished by a shameful death. First of
all the King himself; his two brothers, namely Thomas Earl Marshall and
Edmund Earl of Kent, both of whom had been raised and promoted at the
instance of the said Earl of Lancaster; the Earl Warrenne; the Earl of
Arundell; Lord Hugh Despenser the father, and Lord Hugh the son; the
Earl of Richmond; the Earl of Pembroke; Lord Aylmer de Valence; but
among them there was not one who ended life honourably, neither them
nor any of their adherents.


 SOURCE.--_Statutes at Large_ (ed. 1762), i. 372.

Since our lord the King Edward, son of King Edward, the 16th day of
March in the third year of his reign, to the honour of God and for
the good of himself and his realm granted to the prelates, earls and
barons of his realm that they should choose certain persons from among
the prelates, earls and barons and other loyal men whom it should seem
meet to call to them, in order to ordain and establish the estate of
the household of our lord the King and of his realm according to right
and reason and in such manner that their ordinances should be made to
the honour of God and to the honour and benefit of holy church and
to the honour of the said King and his benefit and to the benefit of
his people according to right and reason and the oath which our said
lord the King made at his Coronation, and the Archbishop of Canterbury
Primate of all England and the prelates, earls and barons chosen for
that purpose made such ordinances which began: "Edward by the grace
of God, etc." ... which ordinances our said lord the King caused to
be rehearsed and examined at his Parliament at York, three weeks from
Easter in the 15th year of his reign, by the prelates, earls and barons
among whom were most of the said ordainers who were then alive, and by
the commons of the realm summoned thither by his command. And because
it was found by this examination in the said Parliament, that by those
things which had been ordained, the true power of our said lord the
King was restrained in many ways contrary to the due embellishment
of his true lordship and injurious to the estate of the crown; and
moreover that in times past by such ordinances and purveyances made by
subjects over the true power of the ancestors of our lord the King,
troubles and wars had arisen in the realm by which the land had been
emperilled; it was agreed and established in the said Parliament by our
lord the King and by the said prelates, earls and barons and all the
commonalty of the realm, in this Parliament assembled, that everything
ordained by the said ordainers and contained in the said Ordinances for
future should cease and lose for ever all force, virtue and effect,
the statutes and establishments duly made by our lord the King and his
ancestors before the said ordinances obtaining in their force, and that
henceforth, at all time, any manner of ordinances or purveyances made
by the subjects of our lord the King or his heirs, by whatever power or
commission this may be done, over the true power of our lord the King
or his heirs or against the estate of our lord the King or of his heirs
or contrary to the estate of the Crown, shall be null and of no manner
of value or force. But the matters which are to be established for the
estate of our lord the King and his heirs and for the estate of the
realm and of the people shall be treated, accorded and established in
Parliaments by our lord the King, and by the consent of the prelates,
earls and barons and the commonalty of the realm, according as it hath
been heretofore accustomed.


 SOURCE.--Christopher Marlowe's _Edward the Second_ (1592).


SCENE: _In Berkeley Castle_.

 (MATREVIS and GURNEY having received the BISHOP OF HEREFORD'S
 well-known cryptic message, through the hands of LIGHTBORN, a creation
 of MARLOWE'S own mind, the KING is called up from the dungeon.)

  KING EDWARD. And there in mire and puddle, have I stood
  This ten days' space; and lest that I should sleep,
  One plays continually upon a drum;
  They give me bread and water, being a King;
  So that for want of sleep and sustenance
  My mind's distempered and my body's numbed,
  And whether I have limbs or no I know not.
  O, would my blood dropp'd out from every vein,
  As doth this water from my tattered robes!
  Tell Isabel, the Queen, I look'd not thus,
  When for her sake I ran at tilt in France,
  And there unhors'd the Duke of Cleremont.

  LIGHTBORN. O, speak no more, my lord! this breaks my heart.
  Lie on this bed, and rest yourself awhile.

  K. EDW. These looks of thine can harbour nought but death;
  I see my tragedy written in thy brows.
  Yet stay a while; forbear thy bloody hand,
  And let me see the stroke before it comes,
  That even then when I shall lose my life
  My mind may be more steadfast on my God.

  LIGHT. What means your highness to mistrust me thus?

  K. EDW. What mean'st thou to dissemble with me thus?

  LIGHT. These hands were never stained with innocent blood,
  Nor shall they now be tainted with a King's.

  K. EDW. Forgive my thought for having such a thought.
  One jewel have I left; receive thou this:      (_Giving jewel._)
  Still fear I, and I know not what's the cause,
  But every joint shakes as I give it thee.
  O, if thou harbour'st murder in thy heart,
  Let this gift change thy mind, and save thy soul!
  Know that I am a King: O, at that name
  I feel a hell of grief! Where is my crown?
  Gone, gone! and do I remain alive?

  LIGHT. You're overwatch'd, my lord; lie down and rest.

  K. EDW. But that grief keeps one waking, I should sleep;
  For not ten days have these eye-lids clos'd.
  Now, as I speak, they fall; and yet with fear
  Open again. O wherefore sitt'st thou here?

  LIGHT. If thou mistrust me, I'll be gone, my lord.

  K. EDW. No, no; for if thou mean'st to murder me,
  Thou wilt return again; and therefore stay.      (_Sleeps._)

  LIGHT. He sleeps.

  K. EDW. (_waking_) O!
  Let me die; yet stay, O stay a while!

  LIGHT. How now, my lord?

  K. EDW. Something still buzzeth in mine ears,
  And tells me, if I sleep, I never wake;
  This fear is that which makes me tremble thus;
  And therefore tell me, wherefore art thou come?

  LIGHT. To rid thee of thy life.--Matrevis, come.

  _Enter_ MATREVIS _and_ GURNEY.

  K. EDW. I am too weak and feeble to resist.--
  Assist me, sweet God, and receive my soul!

  LIGHT. Run for the table.

  K. EDW. O, spare me, or despatch me in a trice.

  (MATREVIS _brings in a table_. KING EDWARD _is
  murdered by holding him down on the bed with the

  LIGHT. So, lay the table down, and stamp on it,
  But not too hard, lest that you bruise his body.

  MAT. I fear that this cry will raise the town,
  And therefore let us take horse and away.

  LIGHT. Tell me, sirs, was it not bravely done?

  GUR. Excellent well; take this for thy reward.

  (_Stabs_ LIGHTBORN, _who dies_.)

  Come, let us cast the body in the moat,
  And bear the King's away to Mortimer, our lord:
  Away.      [_Exeunt with bodies._


 SOURCE.--_Gesta Edwardi de Carnarvon in Chronicles of the
 Reigns of Edward II. and Edward III._ (Rolls Series), ii. 91.

King Edward ... was indeed fine in body and distinguished among men,
but, as it is commonly said, very different in his manners. For, caring
little for the company of princes, he made friends with singers,
actors, grooms, sailors, and with others of this kind, artists and
mechanics, believing more in the counsel of others than in his own;
prodigal in giving, bounteous and splendid in entertainments, quick
to anger, unreliable as to his word, dilatory against foreign enemies,
easily enraged against his servants, and ardently attached to some
one familiar friend whom he would cherish, enrich, and promote, not
enduring to be absent from his presence, and honouring him before all
others; whence came hatred of the lover, and abuse and ruin of the
one loved, injury to the people, and loss to the kingdom. Moreover he
promoted unworthy and unfit men to be ecclesiastics; these afterwards
in his time of trouble deserted him.


 SOURCE.--Harleian MS. (British Museum), 2261, fols. 388-388_b_.

Edward, son of King Edward, after the conquest the third, of xv. years
in age, was crowned into King in the feast of the Purification of
our blessed Lady at Westminster, his father being in life and under
keeping. In the beginning of whom the earth began to give much fruit,
the air temperance, the sea tranquillity, the Church liberty. Edward
sometime King was brought from Kenilworth to the castle of Berkeley,
where he was slain.... Wherefore many people say that he died a martyr
and did many miracles; nevertheless keeping in prison, vileness, and
opprobrious death cause not a martyr, but if the holiness of life afore
be correspondent; for it is well and if that[5] vile death do away sin
in him and diminish his pains. But women loving to go in pilgrimage
increase much the rumour of such veneration, until that a feeble
edifying fall down.


[5] = If.


 SOURCE.--Froissart's _Chronicle_ (Hafod Press, 1803), i. 31.

The Scots are bold, hardy, and much inured to war. When they make their
invasions into England, they march from twenty to four-and-twenty
leagues without halting, as well by night as day, for they are all
on horseback, except the camp-followers, who are on foot. The knights
and esquires are well mounted on large bay horses, the common people
on little galloways. They bring no carriages with them, on account of
the mountains they have to pass in Northumberland; neither do they
carry with them any provisions of bread or wine, for their custom and
sobriety is such, in time of war, that they will live for a long time
on flesh half sodden without bread, and drink the river water without
wine. They have therefore no occasion for pots or pans, for they dress
the flesh of their cattle in the skins, after they have taken them
off; and being sure to find plenty of them in the country which they
invade, they carry none with them. Under the flaps of his saddle each
man carries a broad plate of metal, behind the saddle a little bag of
oatmeal; when they have eaten too much of this sodden flesh, and their
stomach appears weak and empty, they place this plate over the fire,
mix with water their oatmeal, and, when the plate is heated, they put
a little of the paste upon it, and make a thin cake, like a cracknell
or biscuit, which they eat to warm their stomachs; it is therefore no
wonder that they perform a longer day's march than other soldiers.


 SOURCE.--Sismondi, _Histoire des Français_ (Paris, 1828), x.

Edward III., King of England, was only aged sixteen years; the
administration of affairs was absolutely in the hands of his mother,
Isabella of France, who was beginning to realise how hateful she was
to the nation which she governed. A foreigner, and surrounded by
foreigners, she was polluted in the eyes of the English by the blood of
her husband, shed by her, and by her licentious conduct with Roger de
Mortimer, her favourite. Fearing at any time a rebellion, she sought
above all to diminish the number of her enemies, and to escape the
possibility of a foreign war. With this end in view, she first made
treaty[6] with Robert Bruce, King of Scotland, fully recognising the
independence of his kingdom, surrendering to him all the titles and
all the crown jewels, which Edward I. had taken from the Scots, and
marrying her daughter Joan to David Bruce, son of Robert, and his
heir-apparent, only seven years old.

This transaction, of the 1st of March, 1328, still more augmented
the resentment of the English: they passionately desired to conquer
Scotland, and they believed the moment to be very favourable since
Robert Bruce was ill; in fact it was not long before he died, leaving
his crown to a child. The agitation against the Queen increased; one of
the adversaries whom she most feared was her brother-in-law, Edmund,
Earl of Kent; all her skill was directed towards drawing him into a
trap: she succeeded, in fact, in less than a month, in implicating him
in a conspiracy, for which he suffered the extreme penalty.

But so long as Isabella felt herself to be so unsafe on the throne
of England, she could hardly think to dispute that of France; she
contented herself with protesting for the preservation of what she
called the rights of her son. She wrote on the 28th of March in the
name of Edward III. to the chief princes of Gascony, Navarre, and
Languedoc, that the King intended to recover _his heritage and his
rights in every good way that he knew and could_, that he prayed them
then and charged them on their faith to work secretly to gain for him
the heart of the nobles and the commons who were not under obedience
to him that they might aid him when the time should come. On the
16th of May she gave power to the bishops of Winchester and Chester
to demand and recover all the rights which belonged to him [Edward
III.] as legitimate heir to the kingdom of France; on the 28th of June
she caused letters of reprisals to be given to stop the goods and
merchandise of all the French, as pledges for the reparation of certain
hostilities which they had committed. The 28th of October, however,
the effects thus seized were released under caution, and the violences
committed between the two kingdoms were referred to tribunals.

Philip VI. was little concerned about these pretensions of his cousin,
since she appeared to be too badly circumstanced to be able to take
action; he judged with reason that, after he had been King for some
time, the nation would feel itself bound in honour to defend his
title. He appeared only to occupy himself with gaining the favour of
certain princes, who were rather the friends than the feudatories
of France. In the month of June he put forth an ordinance in favour
of the Duke of Brittany, by which he recognised that the courts of
this Duchy were in no way dependent upon the Parliament of Paris; he
reconciled the Dauphin, Guigues VIII., with the Count of Savoy, and
by this negotiation obtained the recognition of these two princes.
Both were dependent on the Empire, but they spoke the French language,
and they looked on the French Court as the most notable for fêtes and
magnificence, where princes might acquire a reputation for chivalry,
and where they might, at the same time, enjoy the greatest pleasures.
This superior elegance, this attraction which Paris had for foreign
princes, had a signal effect on politics during the whole of the


[6] The "Foul Peace" of Northampton.


 SOURCE.--Adam Murimuth, _Continuatio Chronicarum_ (Rolls
 Series), 62.

And immediately the same earl [Roger Mortimer] was sent to the Tower
until the meeting of Parliament, which was a little before the Feast
of St. Andrew [November 30]. At this Parliament at Westminster, on
the vigil of St. Andrew, the same earl was condemned to death by his
peers. Nevertheless, he did not come before them, nor was he allowed to
answer; nor was it to be wondered at, since, from the time of the death
of the Earl of Lancaster until the death of this earl, all nobles had
been handed over to death without being heard, and had perished without
lawful conviction, as appears by precedents, as it is wisely written,
anyone who places himself as judge of another stands to be judged by
him, _etc._, and in the same measure that they meet out to others it
shall be meeted to them. And that same vigil of St. Andrew was the said
Earl of March hung at Elmis upon a common thieves' gallows, where he
hung for two days, and afterwards was buried in London at the Friars
Minors, but, a long time afterwards, was translated to Wigmore.


 SOURCE.--Robert of Avesbury's _De Gestis Edwardi Tertii_ (Rolls
 Series), 296.

Lord Edward Balliol, son and heir of the said Lord John Balliol, living
in England in the year of our Lord, 1332, the 6th year of Edward,
the Third after the Conquest, was, about the Feast of St. Lawrence,
preparing to set out for Scotland, which belonged to him by hereditary
right. Since the King of England was unwilling for him to enter the
country from the realm of England, since David, son of the said Robert
[Bruce], had married the sister of the King of England, coming by ship
he entered Scotland without the consent of the King of England, taking
with him the lords Henry de Beaumont and Ralph de Stafford, barons, and
also Sir Walter Manny and other vigorous soldiers and armed men and
archers to the number of 1,500, both footmen and horsemen together. And
then, indeed, he was engaged in a fierce conflict, lasting from sunrise
to the ninth hour of the day, against the Scots who came in great
numbers to resist him at Kynghorn. But Christ, ever favouring justice,
preserved the English unhurt, and threw to the ground before them more
than 20,000 of the Scots. Indeed many of the Scots, because of their
impetuosity and haste, falling over their own companions, rushed into
battle, fell without a blow, and were crushed by their own companions
rushing on over them, so that the mountainous heap of Scots there
killed and crushed reached one stadium, [60 feet 9 inches, English], in
length, and 6 cubits and more in height.

  (DECEMBER 13, 1334).

 SOURCE.--H.T. Riley, _Memorials of London_ (London, 1868),


Forasmuch as our Lord the King, whom may God save and preserve, is
now engaged in his war against his enemies in Scotland, and every man
ought to be most tender of keeping and maintaining his peace;----it is
ordained and granted by the Mayor, Aldermen, and Commonalty of the City
of London, for maintaining the peace between all manner of folks in the
said city, that no person, denizen or stranger, other than officers
of the City, and those who have to keep the peace, shall go armed, or
shall carry arms, by night or by day, within the franchise of the said
city on pain of imprisonment, and of losing the arms.

Also, it is agreed that whosoever shall draw sword, or knife, or other
arm, in affray of the people, shall be forthwith attached and shall
have imprisonment, without being left to find surety, according to the
discretion of the Mayor and of the Aldermen of the City.

Also we do forbid, on behalf of our Lord the King, and on behalf of
the Mayor, the Aldermen, and the Commonalty of the City of London,
that for any offence that shall or may be committed in time to come,
as between any and singular persons, the people of the trades to which
such offenders belong, shall make alliance or understanding as among
them, to support or embolden such offenders; or that any man of the
said trades shall seek vengeance against another, under colour of
such offence. But if they shall be able to make good accord between
the parties, let them make it; and if not, let them bring the parties
before the officers of the City; and before them let them have their
recovery, according as law and right demand.

Also it is ordained and assented to, that no person shall be so
daring, on pain of imprisonment, as to go wandering about the City,
after the hour of curfew rung out at St. Martin's le Grand; unless it
be some man of the City of good repute, or his servant; and that, for
reasonable cause, and with light.

And whereas misdoers, going about by night, commonly have their resort
more in taverns than elsewhere, and there seek refuge and watch their
time for evil-doing; it is forbidden that any taverner or brewer shall
keep the door of his tavern open after the hour of curfew aforesaid, on
the pain as to the same ordained; that is to say, the first time, on
pain of being amerced in 40 pence; the second time, half a mark; the
third time, 10 shillings; the fourth time, 20 shillings; and the fifth
time he is to forswear the trade.

Also we do forbid, on the same pain of imprisonment, that any man shall
go about at this Feast of Christmas with companions disguised with
false faces,[7] or in any other manner, to the houses of the good folks
of the City, for playing at dice there; but let each one keep himself
quiet and at his ease within his own house.


[7] Visors, or masks.


 SOURCE.--Robert of Avesbury's _De Gestis Edwardi Tertii_ (Rolls
 Series), 306-308.

[Edward III.'s letter to his son and his Council giving an account of
his campaign.]

Edward, etc., to our dear son and to the honourable fathers in God,
John [Stratford] by the same grace Archbishop of Canterbury etc....
greeting. The cause of our long sojourn in Brabant we have ofttimes
made known to you before now, and well known it is to each one of you;
but, for that of late scarce any aid hath come to us out of our realm,
and that the delay was to us so grievous, and our people in such great
straight and our allies too slow in business, our messengers also,
who had so long tarried over against the cardinals and the Council of
France to treat for peace, did bring us never other offers save that
we shall not have one handbreadth of land in the realm of France, and
again our cousin Philip of Valois had ever sworn, as we do have report,
that we should never make a sojourn for a single day with our host in
France, but that he would give us battle.--We, ever trusting in God
and our right, did make to come before us our allies, and did surely
make shown to them that for nought would we longer wait, but would go
forward in pursuit of our right, taking the grace that God should give
us; and they, seeing the dishonour which should have come to them if
they should have tarried behind us, agreed to follow us. A day was
taken for all to be on the march within France on a certain day, at
which day and place we were all ready and our allies came after, as
well as they could. The Monday, on the eve of St. Matthew [September
20], we passed out of Valenciennes, and on the same day they did begin
to burn in Cambresis, and they burnt there all the week following, so
that that country is clean laid waste, as of corn and cattle and other
goods. The Saturday following we came to Marcoing, which is between
Cambray and France, and they began to burn within France the same day;
and we did hear that the said lord Philip was drawing nigh towards us
at Peronne on his march to Noyon. So we held ever our road forward,
our people burning and destroying commonly to the breadth of twelve or
fourteen leagues of country. The Saturday next before the Feast of St.
Luke [October 18] we passed the water of Oise, and lodged and sojourned
there the Sunday; on which day we had our allies before us, who showed
unto us their victuals were near spent and that the winter was nigh at
hand, that they could not tarry, but that they must needs withdraw on
the march back, when their victuals should be spent. In truth, they
were the more shortly victualled by reason that they thought that our
said cousin should have given us speedy battle. On the Monday morning
there came letters unto my lord Hugh of Geneva from the master of the
crossbowmen of France, making mention that he wished to say to the King
of England, as from the King of France, that he would give him battle
within the Thursday next following. On the morrow, to do always what
destruction we could, we marched on. On the Wednesday after came a
messenger to the said Sir Hugh, and brought him letters of the King of
Bohemia and of the Duke of Lorraine, with their seals hanging, making
mention that whatever the said master of the crossbowmen had said, on
the part of the King of France, touching the battle, he would keep
covenant. We, regarding the said letters, immediately on the morrow
withdrew towards Flamengerie, where we stayed the Friday, all the day.
At vespers three spies were taken and were examined, each by himself,
and they agreed in saying that the said Philip would give battle on
Saturday, and that he was a league and a half from us. On the Saturday
we stood in the field full a quarter before dawn, and took our ground
in a fitting place for us, and for him, to fight. In early morning some
of his scouts were taken, and they told us that his advance guard was
in front of the field in battle array, and coming out toward us. The
news coming to our host, although our allies before bore themselves
sluggishly towards us, they were surely of such loyal intent that
never were folk of such good will to fight. In the meantime was one
of our scouts, a German knight, taken, who had seen all our array and
showed it in his plight to our enemy; so that now he made withdraw his
vanguard, and gave orders to encamp, and they made trenches around
them, and cut down the large trees, in order to prevent the approach to
them. We tarried all day in battle array, until, towards vespers, it
seemed we had tarried enough; and, at vespers, we mounted our horses
and went near unto Avesnes, a league and a half from our said cousin,
and made him to know that we would await him there all the Sunday;
and so we did. And other news of him we send not, save that on the
Saturday when we mounted our horses at the departing from our ground,
he thought that we should come towards them; and, such haste had he
to take stronger ground, that a thousand horsemen all at once were
foundered in the marsh at his passage, so came each one upon the other.
On the Sunday was the lord of Fagnolle taken by our people. On the
Monday morning had we news that the said Lord Philip and all his allies
were scattered and withdrawn in great haste. And so would our allies
no longer afterwards abide. And touching what is further to be done we
shall take counsel with them at Antwerp on the morrow of St. Martin
[November 11]. And from thence afterwards [we will send news] speedily
of what may be meanwhile done.

Given under our privy seal, at Brussels, the 1st day of November.


 SOURCE.--Robert of Avesbury's _De Gestis Edwardi Tertii_ (Rolls
 Series), 311.

[Before the Battle of Sluys, Edward III., unheeding the news that
Philip of France had collected a large navy, to bar his passage,
prepared to cross into Flanders with a small force, early in June,

But the Lord Archbishop of Canterbury advised the King that the lord
Philip de Valois, his French adversary, cautiously forseeing his [the
King of England's] crossing, had secretly sent over a large navy with
a large fleet of armed ships to confront him in the port of Swyna
[Sluys], and advised him to wait and provide himself with a larger
force, lest he and his should perish in the crossing. To whom the King,
having no faith in the warning, replied that he was going to cross
anyhow. The Archbishop immediately placed himself outside the King's
council, and, retiring, gave up the Chancellor's seal. But the King,
calling to him Sir Robert de Morley, his Admiral, and a certain sailor
called Crabbe, who were searching out the truth, asked them if there
was danger in crossing; they answered him as the said Lord Archbishop
of Canterbury had told him. To whom the King replied, "You and the
Archbishop are confederating together to hinder my passage." And being
offended he said to them: "Though you are unwilling, I will cross,
and you who fear, where there is no fear, shall remain at home." Then
the said Admiral and the sailor swore, under pain of death, that, if
the King then crossed, he himself, and all who went with him, would
inevitably be subject to peril. Nevertheless, they said, that, if he
wished to sail then, they would precede him, even though it should mean
death. Hearing this, the King sent immediately for the lord Archbishop
of Canterbury, his Chancellor, and, speaking gracious words to him,
restored the Chancellor's seal to him. And he hastily made demands on
all ports, both north and south, and also on London, for a larger navy,
so that within ten days from thence he had sufficient ships, and an
unexpected number of armed men and bowmen, greater even than he had
wished for, so that he sent many back, and, setting sail, he came to
the said port of Sluys on the Feast of St. John the Baptist.


 SOURCE.--Froissart's _Chronicle_ (Hafod Press, 1803), i. 141,

Sir Hugh Quiriel, Sir Peter Bahucet, and Barbenoir were at that time
lying between Blanckenburg and Sluys, with upwards of one hundred and
twenty large vessels, without counting others: these were manned with
about forty thousand men, Genoese and Picards, including mariners. By
the orders of the King of France, they were there at anchor, waiting
the return of the King of England, to dispute his passage.

When the King's fleet was almost got to Sluys, they saw so many masts
standing before it, that they looked like a wood. The King asked the
commander of his ship what they could be, who answered that he imagined
they must be that armament of Normans, which the King of France kept at
sea, and which had so frequently done him much damage, had burnt his
good town of Southampton, and taken his large ship the _Christopher_.

The King replied, "I have for a long time wished to meet with them, and
now, please God and St. George, we will fight with them; for, in truth,
they have done me so much mischief, that I will be revenged on them, if
it be possible."

The King then drew up all his vessels, placing the strongest in front,
and, on the wings, his archers. Between every two vessels with archers,
there was one of men-at-arms. He stationed some detached vessels as a
reserve, full of archers, to assist and help such as might be damaged.

There were in this fleet a great many ladies from England, countesses,
baronesses, and knights' and gentlemen's wives, who were going to
attend on the Queen at Ghent; these the King had guarded most carefully
by three hundred men-at-arms and five hundred archers....

The Normans filled the _Christopher_, the large ship which they had
taken the year before from the English, with trumpeters and other
warlike instruments, and ordered her to fall upon the English.

The battle then began very fiercely: archers and crossbowmen shot with
all their might at each other, and the men-at-arms engaged hand to
hand: in order to be more successful they had large grapnels and iron
hooks with chains, which they flung from ship to ship, to moor them to
each other. There were many valiant deeds performed, many prisoners
made, and many rescues.

The _Christopher_, which led the van, was recaptured by the English,
and all in her taken or killed. There were then great shouts and cries,
and the English manned her again with archers, and sent her to fight
against the Genoese.

This battle was very murderous and horrible. Combats at sea are more
destructive and obstinate than upon land, for it is not possible to
retreat or flee--every one must abide his fortune, and exert his
prowess and valour.


 SOURCE.--Adam Murimuth, _Continuatio Chronicarum_ (Rolls
 Series), 110-112.

[Edward III.'s personal challenge to Philip of Valois after the victory
at Sluys and immediately before the Siege of Tournay, and the answer of
the King of France.]

"Philip of Valois, for long have we made suit before you by embassies
and all other ways which we knew to be reasonable, to the end that you
should be willing to have restored unto us our right, our heritage of
France, which you have long kept back and most wrongfully occupied.
And, for that we see that you are minded to continue in your wrongful
withholding, without doing us right in our demand, we have entered
into the land of Flanders, as sovereign lord thereof, and have passed
through the country. And we make known to you that, by the help of our
Lord Jesus Christ and our right, together with the power of the said
land and with our people and allies ... we are drawing near to you
to make an end of our rightful challenge, if you will come near....
We greatly desire that despatch be made, and for the avoiding of the
death of Christians, seeing that the quarrel is manifestly ours and
yours, that the trial of our challenge be made between our two bodies;
whereunto we offer ourself for the reason aforesaid, albeit that we
consider well the great nobility of your person, your prudence also and
discretion. And, in case you would not choose this way, then should our
challenge be laid to make an end thereof by battle between yourself,
with one hundred of the fittest men of your side, and ourself, with so
many others of our liegemen. And, if you will neither the one nor the
other way, that you assign unto us a certain day before the city of
Tournay to fight, power against power, within ten days next after the
date of this letter....

"Given under our Great Seal at Chin, in the fields near Tournay, the
27th day of the month of July, the year of our Lord 1340."

To which letter, Philip of Valois, King of France, answered as follows:

"Philip, by the grace of God, King of France, to Edward, King of
England. We have seen your letters, which were brought unto our Court,
sent from you to Philip of Valois, wherein are contained certain
demands which you make of the said Philip of Valois. And, for that the
said letters came not unto us, and that the demands were not made of
us, as clearly appeareth by the tenour of your letters, we make unto
you no answer.

"Nevertheless, inasmuch as we have heard, by means of the said letters,
and otherwise, that you have entered into our realm of France, bringing
great harm to us and to our realm and to our people, led on by
wilfulness, and without reason, and without regard to the faith that a
liege man oweth to his lord, for you did enter into our liege homage,
recognising us, as is right, to be King of France, and did promise
obedience, such as one is bound to promise to his liege lord, as more
clearly appeareth by your letters patent, sealed with your great seal,
the which we have in our hands, and which you ought equally to have
with you. Therefore, our intent is, when unto us it shall seem good,
to cast you forth from our realm, to the honour of us and of our realm
and to the profit of our people; and to do this we have steadfast hope
in Jesus Christ, from whom all power cometh unto us. For, by your
undertaking, which is of wilfulness and not reasonable, hath been
hindered the holy passage beyond sea, and great numbers of Christian
people have been slain, the service of God minished, and holy Church
had in less reverence.

"And as to what you have written that you think to have the help of the
Flemings, we take it, for certain, that the good people and commons of
the land will bear themselves in such manner towards our cousin the
Count of Flanders, their immediate lord, and us, their sovereign lord,
that they will keep their honour and their loyalty. And that they have
hitherto erred hath been from evil counsel of people who regarded not
the commonweal nor the honour of the country, but their own profit
only. Given in the fields near the priory of St. Andrew, under our
Privy Seal in default of our great seal, the 30th day of July, the year
of grace, 1340."


 SOURCE.--Robert of Avesbury's _De Gestis Edwardi Tertii_ (Rolls
 Series), 324-329.

Certain of the King's secretaries envying the Reverend Father in the
Lord John de Stratford, Archbishop of Canterbury ... roused the King to
anger against him, imputing to him crimes and defects.... And the said
Lord Archbishop, fearing the anger of the King, and the jealousy of his
rivals, fled to safety to the priory church of Canterbury, and there
remained for some time. Meanwhile he wrote to the King:

"Most gentle lord, please you to know that the most sovereign thing,
that holdeth kings and princes in due and fitting estate, is good and
wise counsel.... Sire, in your own time, you had certain counsellors
by whom you did near lose the hearts of your people; from whom God
delivered you as it pleased Him. And then, even till now, by good
avisement of the prelates, peers, the great men and wise of the Council
of the land, your affairs have been brought into such a state that
you entirely have the hearts of your people, who, as well clerks as
others, have given you aid, even as you shall have henceforth, or more,
as never had King of England; so that by means of your good Council,
the help of your people, and the grace which God hath given you, you
have had the victory in presence of your enemies of Scotland, and of
France, and of all parts; so that this day, honour be to God, you are
held the most noble prince of Christendom. And now, by evil counsel,
abetted by certain people of this land, which are not so wise as were
needful, and by counsel of others, which seek rather their own profit
than your honour or the safety of the land, you begin to seize divers
clerks, peers and other folk of the land and to make suit, nothing
fitting, against the law of the land ... the which things are done at
the great peril of your soul and the minishing of your honour.... And
forasmuch as certain, who are near to you, do falsely charge us with
treason and falsehood, therefore they are excommunicate ... and also
they say of some others that they have evilly and falsely served you,
whereby you have lost the toun of Tournay and many other honours that
you might have had there; be willing, Sire, if it please you, to make
come the prelates, great men, and peers of the land, in fitting place,
where we and others may securely come, and cause, if it please you, to
see and enquire in whose hands, since the beginning of your war, wools
moneys, and other things whatsoever, which have been granted to you in
aid of your war even to this day, have come and have been expended, and
by whose default you thus departed from Tournay; and those which shall
be found guilty in any whit before you, as a good lord, make them to be
chastised well according to law. And in whatsoever concerneth us, we
will stand in all points at the judgment of our peers, saving always
the estate of holy Church, of us, and of our order....

"Written at Canterbury the first day of January, by your chaplain, the
Archbishop of Canterbury."


 SOURCE.--Wharton's _Anglia Sacra_, i. 23-27.

[The following is a passage from the _libellus famosus_ put forth by
Edward III. against Archbishop Stratford, and directed to the Dean and
Chapter of St. Paul's.]

... Because we believed John, then Bishop of Winchester, now Archbishop
of Canterbury, to be preeminent before all others, because of his
faithfulness and discreetness, we followed his counsel in things
spiritual and things temporal, above those which were advantageous to
us for the safety of our own soul and for the increase and preservation
of our kingdom. In such friendship was he held by us ... that he was
named our father and was venerated by all as next after the King. And
when the kingdom of France had devolved on us by right of succession,
and was, according to report, occupied by Philip of Valois, the
same Archbishop violently and earnestly persuaded us to enter into
alliance with the German Princes and others against the said Philip of
Valois, and to expose us and ours to the losses of wars, promising and
affirming that it would be possible to meet abundantly the expenses
attaching to such, from the fruits of our land and from some special
subsidies, adding, moreover, that we should only make demands from
persons experienced and active in wars, as he himself would procure
sufficient for our necessities and their expenses. Whence we, having
crossed the sea, put our hand to the task and made a great outlay, as
was fitting, in warlike preparations, and bound our allies to us by
large sums, trusting in the promised help. But, alas! we placed our
faith, as it were, in the staff of a reed, on which, as the prophecy
is [Isaiah xxxvi. 6], whosoever leans it shall enter into his hand and
pierce it, and, driven by necessity, since the hoped-for subsidy had
been withdrawn (would it had not been fraudulently), we contracted,
under heavy usury, an almost insupportable burden of debts, and thus,
any further expedition being prevented, we were forced magnanimously
to desist for the time from our incomplete attacks on the enemy and
to return to England. There, having laid our many calamities and
never-to-be-forgotten misfortunes before our aforesaid Archbishop,
and, a Parliament having been called, the prelates, nobles, and other
faithful of our kingdom granted us such a subsidy (the ninth part
of the tithes of sheep and wool, besides the tenth conceded by the
clergy), that if it had been faithfully collected and acquired at a
fitting time it would have provided payment for the debts accrued in
the said expedition, and would have been of no small assistance towards
the confusion of the enemy, nay, even, according to some, it might have
sufficed altogether. The same Archbishop meanwhile promised faithfully
to mediate with his parts [of the country] for the collection of the
said subsidy and the administration of our necessities. Wherefore,
trusting in his promises, men having been again collected, and a fleet
having been gathered, we sailed towards Flanders, and engaged in a
hard naval battle with the enemy, who had sworn our destruction and
that of all the English people. By the compassion and mercy of Him
who rules the wind and the sea, not by our own merit, we obtained
a victory and triumph over the whole multitude of so many enemies.
This being accomplished we set out thence with a powerful army for
the recovery of our rights, and marked out a fort near the strong
city of Tournay, in the siege of which we were perpetually occupied
for some time, and, wearied out by continual expenses and labours,
awaiting in silence, we were hoping day by day for the promised help;
to be relieved, by the service of our Archbishop, from so many and so
great necessities. At length, the conceived hope being frustrated,
although by many messengers and many letters we fully signified to
the aforesaid Archbishop, and to others of our Council who adhered to
him, not only our poverty and the many perils to which we were exposed
on account of the failure of the said subsidy, but also the advantage
and the honour which, by the help of the money, we saw we could easily
secure. Nevertheless we could not obtain emolument from them, because,
caring for their own affairs rather than ours, and procuring their own
welfare, they excused their sluggishness, (not to say their fraud, or
their malice), by frivolous excuses and ornate rhetoric, like those
mockers who, as says Isaiah, delight in deriding, saying: "Precept upon
precept, precept upon precept, line upon line, line upon line, here a
little, there a little." [Isaiah xxviii. 13.]

Whence alas, it came about that even when the near hope of triumphing
over our enemies gracefully smiled upon us, poverty prevailing,
we were obliged, unwilling though we were, to make truce, to the
shameful retarding of our expedition, and the no little exultation of
our rivals.... Wherefore we, directing the force of our mind to the
discipline and correction of such of our officials, caused certain of
them whom we held suspect, for probable causes, of bad administration,
of the subversion of justice, of the oppression of our subjects,
of corruption by acceptance of gifts and other grave offences, to
be removed from their offices as it seems well to us; while others
of inferior rank were placed in custody.... We ordered him [the
Archbishop], through our faithful servant Nicholas de Cantilupe,
specially chosen for this purpose, to hasten and come to London early
to our presence, since we desired to have a personal interview with
him. But he, always haughty in prosperity and cowardly in adversity,
fearing where no fear was, alleged untruly that the peril of death,
threatened and directed against him by our partisans, hung over him if
he should leave the Church of Canterbury, although this, by witness
of God and a pure conscience, never had come into our mind, or, we
believe, into that of any of our partisans, in spite of the fact that
by his demerits he had made himself hated by the clergy and people of
the kingdom. But we, desiring all to come to our presence, and that
all summoned to us by our letters should enjoy full security, sent our
faithful Ralph de Stafford, seneschal of our guest chamber, to him [the
Archbishop] to offer and make him a safe conduct; and we gave him our
letters patent, signed under our seal, to present, demanding, a second
time, that he should come to us personally, and should, first of all,
have a private interview with us concerning the affairs of the kingdom,
over which he had so long laboured, as aforesaid. But he, treating
the lenity of our prayers and our mandates with contempt, answered
indignantly that he would in nowise confer with us, save in a full
Parliament, which at this time, for reasonable causes, it would not be
expedient to summon....


 SOURCE.--Statute, 15 Edward III., cap. ii. (1341).

Item. _Whereas, before this time, the peers of the land have been
arrested and imprisoned, and their temporalties, lands and tenements,
goods and cattels asseised in the King's hands, and some put to death
without judgment of their peers_: It is accorded and assented, that
no peer of the land, officer, nor other, because of his office, nor
of things touching his office, nor by other cause shall be brought
in judgment to lose his temporalties, lands, tenements, goods, and
cattels, nor to be arrested, nor imprisoned, outlawed, exiled, nor
forejudged, nor put to answer, nor to be judged but by award of the
said peers in the Parliament, saving always to our Sovereign Lord the
King and his heirs, the laws rightfully used, and by due process, and
saving also the suit of the party....


 SOURCE.--Froissart's _Chronicle_ (Hafod Press, 1803), i. 325.

The English, who were drawn up in three divisions, and seated on the
ground, on seeing their enemies advance, rose undauntedly up, and fell
into their ranks. That of the Prince was the first to do so, whose
archers were formed in the manner of a portcullis, or harrow, and the
men-at-arms in the rear. The Earls of Northampton and Arundel, who
commanded the second division, had posted themselves in good order on
his wing, to assist and succour the Prince if necessary.

You must know that these kings, dukes, earls, barons, and lords of
France, did not advance in any regular order, but one after the other,
but any way most pleasing to themselves. As soon as the King of France
came in sight of the English, his blood began to boil, and he cried out
to his marshals, "Order the Genoese forward, and begin the battle, in
the name of God and St. Denis."

There were about fifteen thousand Genoese cross-bowmen; but they were
quite fatigued, having marched on foot that day six leagues, completely
armed, and with their cross-bows. They told the Constable they were not
in a fit condition to do any great things that day in battle. The Earl
of Alençon, hearing this, said: "This is what one gets by employing
such scoundrels, who fall off when there is any need for them."

During this time a heavy rain fell, accompanied by thunder, and a
very terrible eclipse of the sun: and before this rain a great flight
of crows hovered in the air over all these battalions, making a loud
noise. Shortly afterwards it cleared up, and the sun shone very bright;
but the Frenchmen had it in their faces, and the English in their

When the Genoese were somewhat in order, and approached the English,
they set up a loud shout, in order to frighten them; but they remained
quite still, and did not seem to attend to it. They then set up a
second shout, and advanced a little forward, but the English never
moved. They hooted a third time, advancing with their cross-bows
presented, and began to shoot. The English archers then advanced one
step forward, and shot their arrows with such force and quickness that
it seemed as if it snowed.

When the Genoese felt these arrows, which pierced their arms, heads,
and through their armour, some of them cut the strings of their
cross-bows, others flung them on the ground, and all turned about
and retreated, quite discomfited. The French had a large body of
men-at-arms on horseback, richly dressed, to support the Genoese.

The King of France, seeing them thus fall back, cried out, "Kill me
those scoundrels, for they stop up our road, without any reason." You
would then have seen the above-mentioned men-at-arms lay about them,
killing all they could of these runaways.

The English continued shooting as vigorously and quickly as before:
some of their arrows fell among the horsemen, who were sumptuously
equipped, and, killing and wounding many, made them caper and fall
among the Genoese, so that they were in such confusion they could never
rally again. In the English army there were some Cornish and Welshmen
on foot, who had armed themselves with large knives: these, advancing
through the ranks of the men-at-arms and archers, who made way for
them, came upon the French when they were in this danger, and, falling
upon earls, barons, knights, and squires, slew many, at which the King
of England was afterwards much exasperated....

Early in the day, some French, Germans, and Savoyards had broken
through the archers of the [Black] Prince's battalion, and had engaged
with the men-at-arms; upon which the second battalion came to his aid,
and it was time, for otherwise he would have been hard pressed. The
first division, seeing the danger they were in, sent a knight (Sir
Thomas Norwich) in great haste to the King of England, who was posted
upon an eminence, near a windmill. On the knight's arrival, he said:
"Sir, the Earl of Warwick, the Lord Stafford, the Lord Reginald Cobham,
and the others who are about your son, are vigorously attacked by the
French; and they intreat that you would come to their assistance with
your battalion, for, if their numbers should increase, they fear he
will have too much to do."

The King replied: "Is my son dead, unhorsed, or so badly wounded that
he cannot support himself?" "Nothing of the sort, thank God!" rejoined
the knight; "but he is in so hot an engagement, that he has great need
of your help." The King answered: "Now, Sir Thomas, return back to
those that sent you, and tell them from me not to send again for me
this day, or expect that I shall come, let what will happen, as long
as my son has life; and say that I command them to let the boy win his
spurs, for I am determined, if it please God, that all the glory and
honour of this day shall be given to him and to those into whose care I
have entrusted him."


 SOURCE.--_The Cronykil of Scotland_ in _The Historians of
 Scotland_, iii. 470 _et seq._

_Qwhen Kyng David passyt fra hame till[8] the Batell off Durame._

  A thowsand and thre hundyr yhere
  And sex and fourty to tha clere,
  The Kyng off Frawns set hym to ras
  And set a sege befor Calays,
  And wrate in Scotland till oure Kyng
  Specyally be thra[9] praying
  To pas on were[10] in till Inglond;
                    ... Oure Kyng Dawy
  That wes yhowng, stowt, and rycht joly,
  And yharnyd[11] for to see fychtyng,
  Grawntyt the Kyng off Frawncys yharnyng
  And gaddryd his folk haly bedene.[12]

         *       *       *       *       *

  Qwhat was thare mare? The Kyng Dawy
  Gaddryd his ost in full gret hy;[13]
  And with thame off the north cuntré
  Till Saynt-Jhonystown than come he.

         *       *       *       *       *

  He passyd swne the Scottis Se,
  And to the Marchis hym sped he,
  Qwhare-in the Pele[14] wes off Lyddale,
  His ost till hym assemblyd hale:
  Thare-in wes Watter off Selby
  On the Inglis mennys party.
  That Pele assaylyd thei sa fast,
  Qwhill it wes wonnyn at the last;
  And all thai slwe, that thai fand then,
  To sawff yhowng childyr and women.
    Than consalyd Williame off Dowglas,
  That off weris mast wys than was,
  To turne agayne in thaire cuntré:

         *       *       *       *       *

  The Dowglas thare mycht noucht be herd.
  Bot on thaire way all furth thai ferd;
  And in the Abbay off Hexhame
  All thare folk thai gert[15] aname,
  And in till all thare ost thai fand
  Off men armyd bot twa thowsande[16]
  That wes to fewe a folk to fycht
  Agayne off Ingland the mekill mycht.
  Efftyr[17] swne thai passyd syne,
  And held to Durame, or thai wald fyne;
  And in a park well nere thare-by
  Thai lugyd[18] thame, and tuk herbry.[19]
    Thai had bene in till Ingland
  Welle fourteyne dayis traveland,
  That thei couth get na wyttyng
    Off Inglis mennys gadryng:
  The gwethir[20] thai assemblid were
  In till a park besyd thame nere,
  Fra Trent northwartis all the floure
  Off folk, that owcht war off waloure.

         *       *       *       *       *

  Off archeris thare assemblíd wire
  Twenty thousand, that rollyd[21] war,
  But men off armys, that war thar,
  Qwhare-off in abundance had they.
    The Scottis men, that in the park than lay,
  Wyst rycht nouht off that gadryng,
  Made thame gret myrth and solasyng.

       *       *       *       *       *

[_Here[22] follows an account of the battle._]

  Jhon of Copeland there took the King
  Of force, noucht yholdyne in that takyng;
  The King twa teth owt off his hevyd,
  Wyth a dynt off a knyff hym revyd.[23]


[8] To.

[9] Eager.

[10] War.

[11] Yearned.

[12] Quickly.

[13] Haste.

[14] Fortification.

[15] Made to be.

[16] The English writers compute the Scottish numbers at threescore
thousand, and state that fifteen thousand were left slain (_cf._
Baker's _Chronicle_).

[17] After.

[18] Lodged.

[19] Their station.

[20] Nevertheless.

[21] Enrolled.

[22] pp. 475, 476.

[23] p. 476.


 SOURCE.--Thomas Walsingham, _Gesta Abbatum_ (Rolls Series), ii.

When he had a small breathing space from his domestic rivalries, a
greater trouble came upon Prior Thomas [of Tynmouth]. For the King of
Scots, "David le Brus" by name, taking courage during the absence of
King Edward (who at that time was fighting Philip, King of France, at
Creçy), and being encouraged also by letters from the said Philip,
gathered an army and entered the country, slaying many, taking others
prisoner, burning the country, destroying the crops, extorting money
for the safety of goods, and doing incalculable damage. But Thomas,
unmoved by these things, stood firm, and so fortified his place with
men and arms, and provisions, and weapons of war, that it would have
been impossible for the enemy to injure his priory without great
difficulty and danger.

At that time, William Douglas, leader of the army, in whom the whole
hope of the Scots was set, being an arrogant man and a mocker, sent,
according to his manner, a messenger to Prior Thomas to tell him to
prepare a meal for him, since after two days he proposed to breakfast
with him; this order he sent hoping to shake his determination.
Nevertheless, he did not break his word, but in truth prophesied,
as once did Caiaphas. For, after two days, he was taken and sent
to Tynmouth for safe custody. The Prior then hastened to meet him,
laughingly saying he had come well to the breakfast he had prepared for
him. And William said, "Indeed this coming is painful to me." "Not at
all," answered the Prior, "you come most opportunely."

At that time, the Scots being overwhelmed, David, the King, was taken
prisoner, by which event the Prior was so much comforted that he
recovered from a heavy infirmity, which his eyes had lately contracted.
In fact, whereas he had not been able to see the light, suddenly, on
hearing the news, he removed the plasters, threw off the bandages, and
was never afterwards troubled by this kind of infirmity.


 SOURCE.--Froissart's _Chronicle_ (Hafod Press, 1803), i.

"Sir Walter [Manny], you will inform the Governor of Calais, that the
only grace he must expect from me is that six of the principal citizens
of Calais march out of the town, with bare heads and feet, with ropes
round their necks and the keys of the town and castle in their hands.
These six persons shall be at my absolute disposal, and the remainder
of the inhabitants pardoned."

Sir Walter returned to the Lord de Vienne, who was waiting for him on
the battlements, and told him all that he had been able to gain from
the King. "I beg of you," replied the Governor, "that you would be so
good as to remain here a little, whilst I go and relate all that has
passed to the townsmen; for, as they have desired me to undertake this,
it is but proper they should know the result of it."

He went to the market-place, and caused the bell to be rung, upon which
all the inhabitants, men and women, assembled in the town-hall. He then
related to them what he had said, and the answers he had received; and
that he could not obtain any conditions more favourable, to which they
must give a short and immediate answer. This information caused the
greatest lamentations and despair, so that the hardest heart would have
had compassion on them; even the Lord de Vienne wept bitterly.

After a short time the most wealthy citizen of the town, by name
Eustace de St. Pierre, rose up and said: "Gentlemen, both high and low,
it would be a very great pity to suffer so many people to die through
famine if any means could be found to prevent it; and it would be
highly meritorious in the eyes of our Saviour if such misery could be
averted. I have such faith and trust in finding grace before God, if I
die to save my townsmen, that I name myself as first of the six."

When Eustace had done speaking, they all rose up and almost worshipped
him: many cast themselves at his feet, with tears and groans. Another
citizen, very rich and respected, rose up and said he would be the
second to his companion, Eustace: his name was John D'Aire. After him
James Wisant, who was very rich in merchandise and lands, offered
himself as companion to his two cousins, as did Peter Wisant, his
brother. Two others then named themselves, which completed the number
demanded by the King of England.

The Lord John de Vienne then mounted a small hackney, for it was with
difficulty that he could walk, and conducted them to the gate. There
was the greatest sorrow and lamentation all over the town; and in such
manner were they attended to the gate, which the Governor ordered to be
opened, and then shut upon him and the six citizens, whom he led to the
barriers, and said to Sir Walter Manny, who was there waiting for him:
"I deliver up to you, as Governor of Calais, with the consent of the
inhabitants, these six citizens: and I swear to you that they were, and
are at this day the most wealthy and respectable inhabitants of Calais.
I beg of you, gentle sir, that you would have the goodness to beseech
the King, that they may not be put to death." "I cannot answer for what
the King will do with them," replied Sir Walter; "but you may depend
that I will do all in my power to save them."

The barriers were opened, when these six citizens advanced towards the
pavilion of the King, and the Lord de Vienne re-entered the town.

When Sir Walter Manny had presented these six citizens to the King,
they fell upon their knees, and, with uplifted hands, said: "Most
gallant King, see before you six citizens of Calais, who have been
capital merchants, and who bring before you the keys of the castle
and of the town. We surrender ourselves to your absolute will and
pleasure, in order to save the remainder of the inhabitants of Calais,
who have suffered much distress and misery. Condescend, therefore, out
of your nobleness of mind, to have mercy and compassion upon us." All
the barons, knights, and squires, that were assembled there in great
numbers, wept at this sight.

The King eyed them with angry looks (for he hated much the people of
Calais, for the great losses he had formerly suffered from them at
sea), and ordered their heads to be stricken off. All present entreated
the King that he would be more merciful to them, but he would not
listen to them. Then Sir Walter Manny said: "Ah, gentle King, let me
beseech you to restrain your anger; you have the reputation of great
nobleness of soul, do not therefore tarnish it by such an act as this,
nor allow anyone to speak in a disgraceful manner of you. In this
instance, all the world will say you have acted cruelly if you put
to death six such respectable persons, who, of their own free will,
have surrendered themselves to your mercy, in order to save their
fellow-citizens." Upon this, the King gave a wink, saying: "Be it so,"
and ordered the headsman to be sent for, for that the Calesians had
done him so much damage, it was proper they should suffer for it.

The Queen of England fell on her knees, and, with tears said: "Ah,
gentle sir, since I have crossed the sea with great danger to see you,
I have never asked of you one favour: now, I most humbly ask as a gift,
for the sake of the Son of the blessed Mary, and for your love to me,
that you will be merciful to these six men." The King looked at her
for some time in silence, and then said: "Ah, lady, I wish you had
been anywhere else than here: you have entreated in such a manner that
I cannot refuse you; I therefore give them to you to do as you please
with them." The Queen conducted the six citizens to her apartments, and
had the halters taken from round their necks, new clothed, and served
them with a plentiful dinner: she then presented each with six nobles,
and had them escorted out of the camp in safety.


 SOURCE.--Froissart's _Chronicle_ (Hafod Press, 1803), i. 391,

[Addition from two manuscripts in the Hafod Library.]

This year of our Lord 1349 there came from Germany persons who
performed public penitencies by whipping themselves with scourges
having iron hooks, so that their backs and shoulders were torn: they
chaunted also, in a piteous manner, canticles of the nativity and
sufferings of our Saviour, and could not, by their rules, remain
in any town more than one night; they travelled in companies of
more or less in number, and thus journeyed through the country,
performing their penitence for thirty-three days, being the number
of years Jesus Christ remained on earth, and then returned to their
own homes. These penitencies were thus performed, to entreat the
Lord to restrain his anger and withhold his vengeance; for, at this
period, an epidemic malady ravaged the earth, and destroyed a third
part of its inhabitants. They were chiefly done in those countries
the most afflicted, whither scarcely any could travel, but were not
long continued, as the Church set itself against them. None of these
companies entered France, for the King had strictly forbidden them,
by desire of the Pope, who disapproved of such measures, by sound and
sensible reasons, but which I shall pass over. All clerks, or persons
holding livings, that countenanced them were excommunicated, and
several were forced to go to Rome to purge themselves.

About this time the Jews throughout the world were arrested and burnt,
and their fortunes seized by those lords under whose jurisdiction
they had lived, except at Avignon, and the territories of the Church
dependent on the Pope. Each poor Jew, when he was able to hide himself,
and arrived in that country, esteemed himself safe. It was prophesied,
that for one hundred years, people were to come, with iron scourges,
to destroy them; and this would now have been the case had not these
penitents been checked in their mad career, as has been related.


 SOURCE.--Statute, 25 Edward III., Statute I.

_Whereas_ late against the malice of servants which were idle, and
not willing to serve after the pestilence, without taking excessive
wages, it was ordained by our Lord the King, and by assent of the
prelates, earls, barons, and other of his council, (1) That such manner
of servants, as well men as women, should be bound to serve, receiving
salary and wages, accustomed in places where they ought to serve in
the twentieth year of the reign of the King that now is, or five or
six years before; and that the same servants refusing to serve in such
manner should be punished by imprisonment of their bodies, as in the
said statute is more plainly contained; (2) whereupon commissions were
made to divers people in every county to enquire and punish all them
which offend against the same. (3) And now, forasmuch as it is given
the King to understand in this present parliament, by the petition
of the commonalty, that the said servants having no regard to the
said ordinance, but to their ease and singular covetise, do withdraw
themselves to serve great men and other, unless they have livery and
wages to the double or treble of that they were wont to take the said
twentieth year, and before, to the great damage of the great men, and
impoverishing of all the said commonalty, whereof the said commonalty
prayeth remedy: (4) wherefore in the same parliament by the assent
of the said prelates, earls, barons, and other great men of the said
commonalty there assembled, to refrain the malice of the said servants,
ordained and established the things underwritten:

CAP. I.--_The year and day's wages of servants and labourers in

First. That carters, ploughmen ... and all other servants shall take
liveries and wages, accustomed the said twentieth year, or four years
before, so that in the country, where wheat was wont to be given, they
shall take for the bushel ten pence, or wheat at the will of the giver,
till it be otherwise ordained. And that they be allowed to serve by a
whole year, or by other usual terms, and not by the day. And that none
pay in the time of farcling[24] or hay-making but a penny a day. And
a mower of meadows for the acre five pence, or by the day five pence.
And reapers of corn in the first week of August two pence, and the
second three pence, and so till the end of August, and less in the
country where less was wont to be given, without meat or drink or other
courtesy to be demanded, given, or taken. And that all workmen bring
openly in their hands to the merchant towns their instruments, and
there shall be hired in a common place and not privy.

CAP. II.--_How much shall be given for threshing all sorts of corn by
the quarter. None shall depart from the town in summer where he dwelt
in winter._

Item. That none take for the threshing of a quarter of wheat or rye
over ii. d. ob. and the quarter of barley, beans, pease, and oats i.
d. ob. if so much were wont to be given.... And that the same servants
be sworn two times in the year before lords, stewards, bailiffs and
constables of every town, to hold and do these ordinances. And that
none of them go out of the town, where he dwelleth in the winter, to
serve the summer, if he may serve in the same town, taking as before is
said. [Certain exceptions follow] ... And that those who refuse to make
such oath ... shall be put in the stocks by the said lords, stewards,
etc.... by three days or more, or sent to the next gaol, there to
remain, till they will justify themselves. And that stocks be made in
every town by such occasion betwixt this and the Feast of Pentecost.

CAP. III.--_The wages of several sorts of artificers and labourers._

Item. Carpenters, masons, etc.... A master carpenter, iii. d. [a day],
and an other, ii. d. A mason free mason iiii. d. and other masons iii.
d. and their servants i. d. ob.; tylers iii. d. and their knaves i. d.
ob.; plasterers and other workers of mud walls and their knaves, by
the same manner without meat or drink.s. from Easter to St. Michael.
And from that time less, according to the rate and discretion of the
justices which should be thereto assigned....

CAP. IV.--_Shoes &c. shall be sold as in the 20th year of King
Edward III. Artificers sworn to use their crafts as they did in the
20th year of the King._

CAP. V.--_The several punishments of persons offending against this

Item. [Offenders] to be attached by their body, to be before the
justices to answer of such contempts, so that they make fine and ransom
to the King, in case they be attainted.... And in case that any of
them come against his oath and be thereof attainted, he shall have
imprisonment for forty days. And if he be another time convict, he
shall have imprisonment of a quarter of a year, so that every time he
offendeth and is convict, he shall have double pain....

CAP. VI.--_No sheriff, constable, bailiff, etc., shall exact anything
of the same servants. Their forfeitures shall be employed to the aid of
the dismes and quinzimes granted to the King by the Commons._

CAP. VII.--_The justices shall hold their sessions four times a year,
and at all times needful. Servants which flee from one county to
another shall be committed to prison._


[24] Carrying.


 SOURCE.--William Langland, _Piers the Plowman_, C. Passus ix.,
 ll. 330-337.

  Laboreres that han no londe . to liven on bot here hands[25]
  Deyned noght to dyne a-day . night-old wortes.[26]
  May no peny ale hem paye .[27] ne a pece of bacon,
  Bote hit be freesh fleesch other fysh . fried other ybake;
  And that _chaud_ and _pluschaud_ .[28] for chilling of here mawe.
  Bote he be heylich yhyred .[29] elles wol he chide,
  That he was a werkman ywroght . waryen the tyme.[30]

       *       *       *       *       *

  And thenne he corseth[31] the king . and alle the kynges Justices,
  Suche lawes to lere .[32] laborers to greve.
  Ac while Hunger was here mayster . wolde none chide,
  Ne stryve agens the statute . he lokede so sturne.


[25] Have no land to live on, but (work with) their hands.

[26] "No longer deign to dine on the stale vegetables of yesterday."

[27] Penny-ale will not satisfy them.

[28] Hot-and-hotter.

[29] Highly paid.

[30] Bewail the time.

[31] Curseth.

[32] For making such laws.


 SOURCE.--Statute, 25 Edward III., Statute VI.

CAP. III.-- ... That the free election of archbishops, bishops and
of all other dignitaries and benefices elective in England, shall
hold from henceforth in the manner as they were granted by the King's
progenitors, and the ancestors of other lords founders of the said
dignities and other benefices.

That prelates and other people of holy Church which have advowsons of
any benefices ... shall have their collations and presentments freely
to the same in the manner as they were enfeoffed by their donors. And
in case that reservation, collation or provision be made by the Court
of Rome of any archbishopric, bishopric, dignity, or benefice, in
disturbance of free elections, collations, or presentations aforenamed,
that at the same time of voidance ... our Lord the King and his heirs
shall have and enjoy for the same time the collations, etc., which be
of his advowry, such as his progenitors had before that free election
was granted.

CAP. IV.--And in case that the presentees of the King or the presentees
of other patrons of holy Church ... be disturbed by such provisors,
so that they may not have possession of their benefices by virtue of
the presentments or collations to them made, or that they which be in
possession of such benefices be impeached upon their said possessions
by such provisors, their procurators, executors and notaries, shall
be attached by their body, and brought in to answer. And if they be
convict they shall abide in prison ... till they have made fine and
ransom to the King ... and before that they be delivered they shall
make full renunciation, and find sufficient surety that they shall not
attempt such things in time to come....

CAP. V.--And that meanwhile the King shall have the profits of such
benefices so occupied by such provisors, except abbeys, priories, etc.,
which have colleges or convents and in such houses the college or
convent shall have the profits.


 SOURCE.--A. Paulin Paris, _Les Grandes Chroniques de France_,
 vi. 18.

In this year '55, the King of England came to Calais at the end of the
month of October and rode to Hesdin; and broke the park and burnt the
houses which were in the park; but he did not enter the castle or the
town. And the King of France, who had made the demand at Amiens, as
soon as he heard of the coming of the said King of England when he was
in the said town of Amiens, went thence with the people who were with
him to go against the said English King. But he did not dare wait,
but returned to Calais as soon as he had heard the news that the King
of France was coming towards him, burning and pillaging the country
through which he passed. The said King of France sent after him to
St. Omer, and challenged him, by the Marshal d'Odenham and many other
knights, to fight with him if he would, either in single combat or
power against power. But the said King of England refused battle, and
crossed back over the sea without doing anything more this time, and
the King of France returned to Paris.


 SOURCE.--_The Book of Pluscarden_ in _The Historians of
 Scotland_, x. 227.

In the year 1355, on the 1st of February, Edward of Windsor, chafing
at the capture of Berwick, assembled an army and prepared to besiege
the said town. But, when the garrison of the town saw this, they
feared they could not defend the town for many reasons:--first,
because there were few able-bodied men supplied with arms; secondly,
because they had no provisions; thirdly, because they feared the said
king's ungovernable ferocity; fourthly, because they had no hope of
any succour reaching them from their own chiefs. They therefore took
the wisest course, and treated for an agreement for the surrender of
the town, their lives and property being spared and with a free pass
to return to their own country; and they surrendered the town to the
King of England, and went home again, enriched with the wealth of the
English. After this Edward Balliol broke out in the following words
before the King of England, then at Roxburgh, and said: "Most excellent
prince, and most mighty above all mortals of the present day, I do here
before all your chivalry, entirely, fully, altogether and absolutely
resign, yield, give and relinquish to you all my right which I have,
claim, or may hereafter have to the throne of Scotland, to the end that
you may avenge me of mine enemies, those infamous Scots, who ruthlessly
cast me off that I should not reign over them. In proof whereof I will
here with my own hand, in token of the said resignation and gift, hand
over to you, in the presence of all, the royal crown, the sceptre
together with some earth and a stone of the said land of Scotland, in
token of possession and investiture, that you may acquire in perpetuity
the kingdom formerly my due." Upon this it should be remarked first,
that he had no right to it originally, as was seen above; and, if he
had any right, he there publicly renounced and resigned that right,
which, even though he had been the true king, he could by no means
renounce or resign without the consent of the three estates, and that
into the hands of him who should have the power of instituting another,
which the King of England could not have, as he had formerly entirely,
purely, and simply resigned and quitclaimed all his right, pretended or
true, as was seen above; nor, even if he had been the true king, could
he have resigned without the superior's consent. Also several Kings of
England had resigned into the hands of the King of Scotland following
upon discussion and a bond, all their pretended right, as aforesaid.


 SOURCE.--Froissart's _Chronicle_ (Hafod Press, 1803), i.

[This passage begins with the report of the French spies.]

"Sir, we have observed accurately the English: they may amount,
according to our estimate, to about two thousand men-at-arms, four
thousand archers, and fifteen hundred footmen. They are in a very
strong position; but we do not imagine they can make more than one
battalion: nevertheless, they have posted themselves with great
judgment, have fortified all the roads along the hedge-side, and lined
the hedges with part of their archers; for, as that is the only road
for an attack, one must pass through the midst of them. This lane has
no other entry; and it is so narrow, that scarcely can four men ride
through it abreast. At the end of this lane, amidst vines and thorns,
where it is impossible to ride or march in any regular order, are
posted the men-at-arms on foot; and they have drawn up before them
their archers, in the manner of an harrow, so that it will be no easy
matter to defeat them."

The King asked in what manner they would advise him to attack them:
"Sir," replied Sir Eustace, "on foot; except three hundred of the most
expert and boldest of your army, who must be well armed and excellently
mounted, in order to break, if possible, this body of archers; and then
your battalions must advance quickly on foot, attack [the] men-at-arms
hand to hand, and combat them valiantly. This is the best advice that I
can give you; and if anyone know a better, let him say it."

The King replied, "Thus shall it be then."

       *       *       *       *       *

It often happens, that fortune in war and love turns out more
favourable and wonderful than could have been hoped for or expected.
To say the truth, this battle which was fought near Poitiers, in the
plains of Beauvoir and Maupertius, was very bloody and perilous; many
gallant deeds of arms were performed that were never known, and the
combatants on each side suffered much. King John himself did wonders;
he was armed with a battle-axe, with which he fought and defended

There was much pressing at this time, through eagerness of taking the
King [of France]; and those that were nearest to him, and knew him,
cried out, "Surrender yourself, surrender yourself, or you are a dead
man!" In that part of the field was a young knight from St. Omer, who
was engaged by a salary in the service of the King of England--his name
was Denys de Morbeque--who for five years had attached himself to the
English, on account of having been banished, in his younger days, from
France for a murder committed in an affray at St. Omer. It fortunately
happened for this knight that he was at the time near to the King of
France, when he was so much pulled about; he, by dint of force, for
he was very strong and robust, pushed through the crowd, and said to
the King in good French, "Sire, sire, surrender yourself." The King,
who found himself very disagreeably situated, turning to him, asked,
"To whom shall I surrender myself; to whom? Where is my cousin, the
Prince of Wales? If I could see him, I would speak to him." "Sire,"
replied Sir Denys, "he is not here; but surrender yourself to me, and I
will lead you to him." "Who are you?" said the King. "Sire, I am Denys
de Morbeque, a knight from Artois; but I serve the King of England,
because I cannot belong to France, having forfeited all I possessed
there." The King then gave him his right-hand glove, and said: "I
surrender myself to you." There was much crowding and pushing about,
for everyone was eager to cry out, "I have taken him!" Neither the
King nor his youngest son Philip were able to get forward, and free
themselves from the throng.

The Prince of Wales, who was as courageous as a lion, took great
delight that day to combat his enemies. Sir John Chandos, who was near
his person, and had never quitted it during the whole of the day, nor
stopped to make prisoners, said to him towards the end of the battle:
"Sir, it will be proper for you to halt here, and plant your banner on
the top of this bush, which will serve to rally your forces, that seem
very much scattered; for I do not see any banners or pennons of the
French, nor any considerable bodies able to rally against us; and you
must refresh yourself a little, as I perceive you are much heated."

Upon this, the banner of the Prince was placed on a high bush; the
minstrels began to play, and trumpets and clarions to do their duty.


 SOURCE.--Froissart's _Chronicle_ (Hafod Press, 1803), i. 518,

The truce [of Bordeaux] having expired the first day of May, 1359, from
that period the English and Navarre garrisons made war for him [King
Edward] as King of France, and continued so to do daily....

At that time also, the King of England and the Prince of Wales came
to Westminster, to meet the King of France and Lord James de Bourbon;
when these four assembled together in counsel, and agreed on a peace,
without any arbitrator between them, upon certain conditions which were
written down, and also a letter was indited to be sent to France to the
Duke of Normandy....

It appeared to the King of Navarre, the Duke of Normandy and his
brothers, as well as to the Council of State, that the conditions
of peace were too hard;[33] and they gave a unanimous answer to the
two lords who had brought them, that "they would much rather endure
the great distress they were in at present, than suffer the Kingdom
of France to be diminished, and that King John must remain longer in
England." ...

The King of England, on receiving their answer, said that since it
was so, before the winter was over, he would enter France with a most
powerful army, and remain there until there was an end of the war by an
honourable and satisfactory peace.

He began by making more splendid preparations than he had ever done


[33] King John, for whom a ransom of 4,000,000 golden crowns was to be
paid, promised to yield the sovereignty of the empire of Henry II. in
France to Edward, who promised to help King John against Charles of
Navarre, then England's ally. This treaty was not only received with
the liveliest indignation in France, but it resulted in peace between
the Regent of France (Charles of Normandy) and the King of Navarre,
since Edward had abandoned the latter.

CALAIS (1360).

 SOURCE.--Henry Knighton's _Chronicon_ (Rolls Series), ii. 110,

In the year of grace, 1360, all laymen, of whatever condition, between
the ages of sixteen and sixty, were arrayed. And the best armed bowmen
of these were sent to the admirals at the sea for the defence of the

One admiral was John Wesnam, Prior of the Hospital, and others
appointed by the King. It was said that a very strong navy of the enemy
was at sea.

The archbishops and bishops conceded great indulgences, throughout
their sees, to all those going over the sea against the enemy in
defence of the kingdom, and that each one should be able to choose for
himself a confessor, according to pleasure. The bishops also, abbots
and priors, rectors, vicars, and chaplains, and all ecclesiastical men
were prepared, just as the abbots had been; some to be armed men, some
to be bowmen, and they were chosen by the mandate of the bishops. And
the beneficed who were not able to give personal service, were ready
to furnish through their goods a complement of other persons, if the
French should enter the land, and the occasion should be opened to them.

Then the admiral, with 160 ships from London, reached the sea by the
Thames. And first he ploughed the high sea as far as Boulogne, thence
to Honfleur, to crush the insolence of the enemy, who had proposed to
attack the land of England. And thus our people did much harm to the
French in this peregrination. When, therefore, the King had lain at
Rheims for seven weeks, he crossed to Chalons, and thence went into
Burgundy. And the Duke of Burgundy came and treated with the King,[34]
and the King conceded to him a truce for three years, for him and his,
for 200,000 motons[35] paid to the King. In the following Lent King
Edward entered into a treaty with the French, and one cardinal and one
legate were present, but nothing came of it. Thus the King moved his
army towards Paris, burning, killing, and devastating everywhere. And
there, near the feast of Easter, he pitched his tents two leagues from
the city.

And on Monday after Easter Day, the King placed his army in three
lines of battle before the city, trumpets and clarionets blaring, and
other musical instruments sounding. The King was in the second line
with his men, the Duke of Lancaster, and the Earls of Northampton
and Salisbury with theirs in the first line. In the third line, the
Prince and the barons with the rest of the people awaiting attack
from those who were in the city of Paris, as before they had promised
them. However, no one came out of the city to meet them. Thereat King
Edward, much displeased, ordered a great part of the suburbs to be
set on fire that they might provoke them to battle. Nevertheless none
came out to resist them. At length thirty soldiers in good order with
their lances advanced straight forward to the gate of the Parisians,
seeking from them military operations according to the law of arms. And
sixty came out of the city with spears, and much brave fighting took
place on both sides; but by the grace of God, which was ever present
with the English in all their undertakings, the English conquered the
French, and caused them to flee back into the city, leaving some dead,
some mortally wounded; but our men, thanks be to God, escaped without
any serious injury. Then the King removed to other parts, and handed
over the custody of the castles which are in the vicinity of Orleans
and Catenesia to the Earl of Lancaster. At that time the Count de
Armenak fought in Gascony with the Count de Foy, an ally of the King of
England. And on the side of the said count were killed 15,000 men and
on our part no one of note, thanks be to God. In this campaign many
English nobles died in France; among them the Earl of March, marshall
of the army, Guy of Warwick, firstborn of the earl, a most famous
soldier, and many other renowned soldiers, knights, and squires. For
in their return from the city of Paris towards the district of Orleans
in Beauce, suddenly a terrible storm arose with severe thunder and
lightning, and killed men without number and more than 6,000 horses,
so that the transport of the army almost failed altogether, and made
it necessary to retire at once towards England, but God turned the
misery of necessity to the honour of the King's majesty. For the Pope
sent solemn messengers with letters to the King of England, to treat
concerning peace and concord. And they deliberated at Morancez near
Chartres, and the discussion was continued to the 5th day of May....
About the Translation of St. Thomas [July 3] John de Valois, King of
France, and other prisoners crossed to Calais and deliberated with
the French princes concerning the final peace between the kingdoms of
England and France.[36]


[34] The Treaty of Guillon.

[35] Gold coin, so called from having a figure of a sheep impressed on

[36] This was the Treaty of Calais, more commonly known as the Treaty
of Brétigny. As a matter of fact, only the preliminaries were signed at
Brétigny in May, 1360; the definitive treaty was made at Calais in the
following October.


 SOURCE.--Petrarch, _Epistolæ Familiares_, book xxii., ep. 14.

In short there is an hour in which we see the stability of all things
become unstable: faith fails; restfulness becomes unrest. Nor do I bid
you turn your eyes afar, but look at your own country and your own
time. In my youth, the Britons, whom we called Angles or English, were
held to be the most cowardly of all barbarians: now they are a most
warlike people and have laid low the French, who long flourished in
military glory, by a series of victories so numerous and so unforeseen
that those who even lately were inferior to the wretched Scots have
not only brought about the pitiful and ignominious downfall of a high
King, whom I am not able to call to memory without a sigh, but have
so crushed the whole kingdom by fire and sword that I was hardly able
to persuade myself on a recent journey that it was the same kingdom
that I had before seen. Everywhere a woeful solitude, and lamentation
and desolation: everywhere rough uncultivated fields; and ruined and
deserted houses, except some which had escaped destruction, being
surrounded by the walls of fortifications or cities; indeed in every
place were seen the fateful footprints of the English and the fresh and
hateful scars wrought by their swords.


 SOURCE.--Statute, 36 Edward III., cap. xi.

Item. _The King by the assent aforesaid, having regard to the grant
that the Commons have granted now in this Parliament of wools, leather
and woolfells to be taken for three years_: will and grant that after
the said term passed, nothing be taken nor demanded of the said
Commons, but only the ancient custom of half a mark, nor that this
grant now made, or which hath been made in times past shall not be had
in example nor charge of the said Commons in time to come. And that the
merchants denizens may pass with their wools as well as the foreigns
without being restrained. And that no subsidy, nor other charge, be
set nor granted upon the wools by the merchants nor by none other from
henceforth, without the assent of the Parliament.


 SOURCE.--Statute, 37 Edward III., caps. viii.-xiv.

CAP. VIII.: _The diet and apparel of servants_.

Item. _For the outrageous and excessive apparel of divers people,
against their estate and degree to the great destruction and
impoverishment of the land_: it is ordained, that grooms, as well
servants of lords, as they of mysteries and artificers, shall be
served to eat and drink once a day of flesh or of fish, and the remnant
of other victuals, as of milk, butter, and cheese, and other such
victuals, according to their estate. And that they have cloths for
their vesture, or hosing, whereof the whole cloth shall not exceed
two marks, and that they wear no cloth of higher price, of their
buying, nor otherwise, nor nothing of gold nor of silver embroidered,
aimeled,[37] nor of silk, nor nothing pertaining to the said things.
And their wives, daughters and children of the same condition in their
clothing and apparel, and they shall wear no veils passing xiid a veil.

CAP. IX.: _The apparel of handicraftsmen and yeomen, and of their wives
and children_.

Item. That people of handicraft and yeomen shall take nor wear cloth of
an higher price for their vesture or hosing than within forty shillings
the whole cloth, by way of buying, nor otherwise, nor stone, nor cloth
of silk, nor of silver, nor girdle, knife, button, ring, garter, nor
owche, ribband, chains, nor no such other things of gold, nor of
silver, nor no manner of apparel embroidered, aimeled, nor of silk by
no way. And that their wives, daughters, and children, be of the same
condition in their vesture and apparel. And that they wear no veil of
silk, but only of yarn made within the realm, nor no manner of furr,
nor of budge,[38] but only lamb, cony, cat, and fox.

CAP. X.: _What apparel gentlemen under the estate of knights, and what
esquires of two hundred mark-land &c may wear, and what their wives and

Item. That esquires and all manner of gentlemen under the estate of
a knight, which have no land nor rent to the value of an hundred
pounds by year, shall not take nor wear cloth for their clothing or
hosing of an higher price than within the price of four marks and
an half the whole cloth by way of buying, nor otherwise, and that
they wear no cloth of gold, nor silk, nor silver, nor no manner of
clothing imbroidered, ring, buttons, nor owche of gold nor of silver,
nor nothing of stone, nor no manner of furr, and that their wives,
daughters, and children be of the same condition, as to vesture and
apparel, without any turning up or purfle.[39] And that they wear
no manner of apparel of gold, or silver, nor of stone, but that
esquires, which have lands or rent to the value of ii. C. marks by
year and above, may take and wear cloths of the price of v marks the
whole cloth, and cloth of silk and of silver, ribband, girdle and
other apparel reasonably garnished of silver. And that their wives,
daughters, and children may wear furr turned up of miniver, without
ermines or letuse, or any manner of stone, but for their heads.

CAP. XI.: _The apparel of merchants, citizens, burgesses, and

Item. That merchants citizens and burgesses artificers, people of
handy-craft as well within the city of London, as elsewhere which have
clearly goods and chattels to the value of v. C. pounds and their wives
and children may take and wear in the manner as the esquires and great
men, which have land or rent to the value of C. li. by year. And those
who have goods etc. to value of M. li.... may take and wear in the
manner as esquires and gentlemen which have land and rent to the value
of ii. C. li. by year, and no groom, yeoman, or servant of merchant
artificer or people of handicraft shall wear otherwise in apparel than
is above ordained of yeomen of lords.

CAP. XII.: _The apparel of knights_.

Item. That knights which have land or rent within the value of ii. C.
li. shall take and wear cloth of vi. marks the whole cloth, for their
vesture, and of none higher price. And they that wear not cloth of
gold, nor cloths, mantle nor gold furred with miniver nor of ermins,
nor no apparel broidered of stone, nor otherwise: and that their wives
daughters and children be of the same condition. And that they wear
no turning up of ermine nor of letuses, nor no manner of apparel of
stone, but only for their heads.

_But all knights and ladies which have land or rent over the value of
iv. C. mark by year, to the sum of M. li. shall wear at their pleasure,
except ermins and letuses and apparel of pearl and stone, but only for
their heads._

CAP. XIII.: _The apparel of several sorts of clerks_.

Item. That clerks, which have degree in any church, cathedral,
collegial or schools or clerk of the King, that hath such estate that
requireth furr, shall do and use according to the constitution of the
same. And all other clerks which have ii. C. marks of land by year
shall wear and do as knights of the same rent. And other clerks within
the same rent, shall wear as the esquires of C. li. of rent. And after
all those, as well knights as clerks, which by this ordinance may wear
furr in the winter, in the same manner shall wear linure in the summer.

CAP. XIV.: _The apparel of ploughmen, and others of mean estate; and
the forfeitures of offenders against this ordinance_.

Item. That carters, ploughmen, drivers of the plough, oxherds,
cowherds, etc. and all other people that have not forty shillings of
goods, nor of chattels, shall not take nor wear any manner of cloth,
but blanket, and russett wool of twelve pence, and shall wear the
girdles of linen according to their estate, and that they come to eat
and drink in the manner as pertaineth to them and not excessively. And
it is ordained that if any wear or do contrary to any of the points
aforesaid that he shall forfeit against the King all the apparel that
he hath so worn against the form of this ordinance.


[37] Enamelled.

[38] Lambskin, with the wool dressed outwards, often worn on the edges
of capes as hoods of Bachelors of Arts are still made.

[39] Trimming or edgings.


 SOURCE.--Froissart's _Chronicle_ (Hafod Press, 1803), iii. 209.

I, the author of this history, was at Bordeaux when the Prince of
Wales marched to Spain, and witnessed the great haughtiness of the
English, who are affable to no other nation than their own; nor could
any of the gentlemen of Gascony or Aquitaine, though they had ruined
themselves by their wars, obtain office or appointment in their own
country; for the English said they were neither on a level with them
nor worthy of their society, which made the Gascons very indignant,
as they showed the first opportunity that presented itself. It was
on account of the harshness of the Prince's manners that the Count
d'Armagnac and the Lord d'Albreth, with other knights and squires,
turned to the French interest. King Philip of France, and the good
John his son, had lost Gascony by their overbearing pride; and in like
manner did the Prince. But King Charles, of happy memory, regained them
by good humour, liberality, and humility. In this manner the Gascons
love to be governed....

Such are the Gascons; they are very unsteady, but they love the English
in preference to the French, for the war against France is the most
profitable; and this is the cause of their preference.


 SOURCE.--Harleian MSS. (British Museum), 247, fol. 173; and
 6217, fols. 3-4.[40]

... There arose this question amongst them [the Commons] which of the
knights should be their speaker, for they had fully resolved to deny
the King's request until certain abuses were corrected.... Careful they
were, as is said, about their speaker for they doubted certain of the
King's secretarys who they thought would have disclosed their drifts,
for they were captious and in great and especial favour with the King.
In this space God moved the spirit of a knight of their company
called Peter de la Mare, pouring into him wisdom, and boldness to the
conceit of his mind, and with all such constancy that he neither feared
the threats of his enemies nor the subtleties of such as envied his
preferment, &c. Peter, trusting in God, and standing together with his
fellows before the nobles (whereof the chief was John Duke of Lancaster
whose doings were ever contrary, for, as it is thought, he wanted the
grace of God, &c.), he began thus:

"Lords and nobles, by whose faith and diligence the realm is governed,
it is well known to your wisdoms, how with like vexations the Commons
have been often oppressed, now paying fifteenths, otherwhiles ninths
and tenths, to the King's use, which they would take in good part,
if the King or his realm took any commodity, thereby, nor would they
grieve at it if it had been bestowed in the King's wars, although
scarcely prosperous; but it is evident neither the King nor the realm
do have any profit thereby. And because it cannot be known how such
great expences should arise, the commonalty require an account of such
as received the same to the King's use, neither is it credible that the
King should want such an infinity of treasure if they were faithful
that served him."

When he had thus said, they having not wherewith to answer, the judges
held their peace.

The night following the Duke [of Lancaster] consulted with his private
men how he might put off that that redounded to his infamy and manifest
dishonour. After divers men's opinions diversely told, he, liking of
none of their ways, is reported to have said: "What," saith he, "do
these base and ignoble knights attempt? Do they think they be kings or
princes of this land? Or else whence is this haughtiness and pride? I
think they know not what power I am of. I will therefore early in the
morning appear unto them so glorious and will show such power among
them and with such vigour I will terrify them, that neither they nor
their like shall dare henceforth to provoke me to wrath." Boasting in
this sort and vainly assuring himself, one of his gentlemen is said to
have given him this answer: "My lord," saith he, "it is not unknown
to your honour what helps these knights, not of the common sort, as
you affirm, but mighty in arms and valiant, have to undershore them;
for they have the favour and love of the lords, and especially of the
Lord Prince Edward, your brother, who giveth them his council and aid
effectually. The Londoners also, all and everyone, and common people
be so well affected towards them that they will not suffer them to
be overlaid with reproachful language, or to be molested with the
least injury in the world. Yea, and the knights themselves abused in
any reproachful manner, shall be enforced to attempt all extremities
against your person and your friends, which, haply, otherwise they
would never do." With this admonition the duke's guilty conscience was
very much troubled. He was afraid indeed that it would so come to pass,
as the gentleman had said unto him, and that so his honour should ever
more distained.[41] Whereas he knew that if mention were openly made of
his wicked acts he could not satisfy the people by any purgation, nor
for trouble of mind and guiltiness of conscience durst, though he were
willing thereto, wage battle against his enviers....

O unfortunate duke and miserable, O that destroyest with thy treason
and lack of sense and reason, whom thou guidest to battle, and whom in
peace thou shouldst guide through examples of good works, thou leadest
them through bye ways and bringest them to destruction, for thou
whereas either God, or, that I may so say, Nature, the mother of all
things hath given thee a soul and discretion, than the which nothing is
more excellent, so dost abject and abase thyself, that a man may think
you to differ nothing from a brute beast. Behold, O most miserable man,
thinkest thyself to flourish, which accountest thyself happy, in what
sort thy own miseries do overbear thee, thy lusts do torment thee; to
whom that which thou hast is not sufficient, and yet fearest lest it
will not long continue thine.

The sting of conscience for thy lewd acts prick and vex thee but would
God and the fear of laws and judgment terrify thee as it doth others,
truly then thou wouldst even against thy will, amend that is amiss.

The Duke therefore, as afore is touched, punished with the most
sharp pricks of his conscience and terrified with the answers of his
councillors, laid aside all vigour and stoutness of stomach, and the
next day came into the assembly of the knights, and, contrary to all
expectations, showed himself so favourable and so mild that he drew
them all into admiration. They knew how proud Moab was ii or iii days
before, although they regarded not his arrogancy; and they said,
is not this the change of the right hand of the highest? The Duke,
counterfeiting modesty, deceitfully seemed to comfort them, saying he
knew well the desire of the knights to be zealous, and to tender the
state of the realm and therefore, whatsoever they thought good to be
corrected they should speak, and he would put thereto the wished remedy.


[40] The first leaf of this English translation of part of the Harleian
MS. 3634, which is the _Chronicon Angliæ_, 1308-1388, written by a
contemporary monk of St. Albans, possibly Walsingham, has at some time
been separated from the main part of the manuscript, and is now in
Harleian MS. 247, while the rest is in Harleian MS. 6217, fol. 3, of
which begins: "The night following, the Duke consulted," etc.

[41] Soiled, stained.


 SOURCE.--_Chronicon Angliæ_, 1328-1388 (Rolls Series), 91.

Who being dead, the whole hope of the English perished; for while he
lived they feared no inroad of any enemy, even as when he was present,
they feared no warlike encounter. For never when he was present were
any foul deeds done, nor did any soldiers turn renegade; and, as it
was said of the great Alexander, he attacked no people that he did not
conquer, he besieged no city that he did not take. Let these witness
to what I say: the battle of Creçy, the siege of Calais, the battle
of Poitiers where the King of France was taken; the war in Spain
[1367] where Henry the Bastard, the invader of that kingdom, was put
to flight, and the courageous Peter, the lawful King, was restored to
his dominion; and, finally, that greatest siege of the city of Limoges
(September 19, 1370), and the ruin of that city, where, although he was
weighed down by so great infirmity of body that he could scarcely sit
on his horse at the time, he nevertheless so inspired his men that
they believed it impossible for any city to be able to resist their
strength. His body was borne to Canterbury, there, as he, while living,
had commanded, to be buried, bewailed by the whole realm of England.
O thou untimely, too-eager Death, who bearest away that one of the
English who seemed to be of help! Oh, what sorrow dost thou give to
the old King, his father, taking from him not only his own desire, but
that of the whole people, namely that his first born should sit after
him upon his throne and should judge the people in equity! Oh, what
lamentations dost thou give to the country which believes itself shorn
of a protector now he is no longer present! What tears dost thou give
to the citizens deprived of so great a prince; what exultations to the
enemy, the fear of so great a defender being removed! In truth, unless
God, who protected him in battle, and now took him out of the world
(perchance we English should place a greater hope in the Lord God, lest
the poor English-born be set at variance among themselves) shall raise
his hand, our enemies, who surround us on every side, will surely rage
upon us even to our destruction, and will destroy our place and people.
Rise up, O God, help us and protect us for Thy name's sake.


 SOURCE.--Froissart's _Chronicle_ (Hafod Press, 1803), ii. 178.

After the feast of Michaelmas, when the funeral of the [Black] Prince
had been performed, in a manner suitable to his birth and merit, the
King of England caused the young Prince Richard to be acknowledged as
his successor to the Crown after his decease, by all his children, the
Duke of Lancaster, the Earl of Cambridge, the Lord Thomas, his youngest
son, as well as by all the barons, earls, prelates, and knights of
England. He made them solemnly swear to observe this, and on Christmas
Day he had him seated next to himself, above all his children, in
Royal state, that it might be seen and declared he was to be King of
England after his death.

The Lord John Cobham, the Bishop of Hereford, and the Dean of London,
were at this time sent to Bruges on the part of the English. The French
had sent thither the Count de Saltzbourg, the Lord de Châtillon, and
Master Philibert l'Espiote. The prelates, ambassadors from the Pope,
had still remained there, and continued the negotiations for peace.

They treated of a marriage between the young son of the Prince and the
Lady Mary, daughter of the King of France: after which the negotiators
of each party separated, and reported what they had done to the
respective Kings.

About Shrovetide a secret treaty was formed between the two Kings for
their ambassadors to meet at Montreuil-sur-Mer, and the King of England
sent to Calais Sir Guiscard d'Angle, Sir Richard Sturey, and Sir
Geoffry Chaucer. On the part of the French were the Lords de Coucy and
De la Rivieres, Sir Nicholas Bragues, and Nicholas Bracier. They for a
long time discussed the subject of the above marriage; and the French,
as I was informed, made some offers, but the others demanded different
terms, or refused treating. These Lords returned, therefore, with their
treaties to their sovereigns; and the truces were prolonged to the
first of May.

The Earl of Salisbury, the Bishop of St. David's, Chancellor of
England, and the Bishop of Hereford, returned to Calais, and with them,
by orders of the King of France, the Lord De Coucy, and Sir William De
Dormans, Chancellor of France.

Notwithstanding all that the prelates could say or argue, they never
could be brought to fix upon any place to discuss these treaties
between Montreuil and Calais, nor between Montreuil and Boulogne, nor
on any part of the frontiers; these treaties, therefore, remained in an
unfinished state. When the war recommenced, Sir Hugh Calverley was sent
Governor of Calais.


 SOURCE.--_Chronicon Angliæ_, 1328-1388 (Rolls Series), 106, 107.

The Duke [of Lancaster] spewed out the venom of serpents which was
in him and directed the sting of his malice against the Bishop of
Winchester, Lord William Wykeham, seeking a knot in a bulrush and an
occasion for condemning him in every way and manner that he could.
At length, among the many things which, as it is said, he falsely
deposed against him, he declared that he had been false to the lord
King at the time when he was discharging the office of Chancellor. And
although the said Bishop would have been prepared to bring forward
sufficient honest witnesses and accounts to prove his innocence,[42]
nevertheless, William Skipworth unjustly sitting as justiciar, he [the
duke] caused him to be condemned without answer, and the temporalities
of his bishopric to be taken from him by royal authority. And, in order
that he might gain popular favour, he demanded, in the power of the
King, that the same goods should be given to the aid of the son of the
[Black] Prince, Richard de Bordeaux, Earl of Chester, who had lately
received by gift of the King the principality and name of his father.
Moreover, he prohibited the same bishop, in place of the King, from
taking it on himself to come within twenty miles of the royal presence.
Thus was he avenged against the said bishop.

Now the cause of all this malice was, as it is said, that the same
Bishop had said that he [John of Gaunt] was not the son of the King or
Queen; but in the time when the Queen was delivered at Gaunt, she had
given birth not to a boy, but to a girl, whom she had overlaid; and,
fearing the royal indignation, she had ordered the son of a certain
Flemish woman, born at the same time, to be put in its place; thus she
had fostered one to whom she had not given birth, namely, this man, the
notorious Duke of Lancaster. These things the Queen, in her last hours,
had related to the bishop under seal of confession; and had prayed
him steadfastly that, if at any time it should happen that he [John
of Gaunt] should either have designs on the kingdom, or if the said
kingdom should in any way whatever devolve on him, he, the said bishop,
should make known his birth, lest he, a false heir, should inherit the
kingdom of England.


[42] In Harleian MS. 247, fol. 170_b_, we read of the Council of July,
1377, wherein the lords did "greatly debate upon the suppressing of the
Duke of Lancaster and the Lord Latimer by Sir William Wykeham, Bishop
of Winchester, of sundry trespasses and misprisons by him committed,
and charged him with sundry grievous articles and forfeits, which the
King himself had certainly understood and by divers evidences were
known, as also by the common voice of the people; for he had sundry
charges and offices under the King from the xxxv. year of his reign and
had by his writings made sundry defaults to the prejudice, hurt and
reproach of the King and of his realm, and to the oppression of his


 SOURCE.--Harleian MS. 2261, fols. 399, 399_b_.

Master John Wiclif, doctor of divinity in the University of Oxford,
began to sustain openly in the said University erroneous conclusions
contrary to the state of the universal Church and conclusions of
heresy, and especially against canons, monks, and religious men
possessionate, which drew to him in this time divers fellows of the
same sect dwelling in Oxford, going barefoot with long gowns of
russet, that they might publish and fortify their errors against men
contrarious to them, preaching openly the said errors. Among whom
they said that the sacrament in the altar after the sacrament or
consecration is not the very body of Christ. Also he said that temporal
lords and men might take away meritoriously the goods [of] men of the
Church sinning or trespassing. Nevertheless, the Pope with his council
damned xxiii conclusions as vain, erroneous and full of heresy, and
sent bulls direct to the Metropolitan of England and to the Bishop
of London that they should cause the said Master John to be arrested
and to examine him of the said conclusions. That inquisition done,
and a declaration made, the Archbishop of Canterbury commanded and
prohibited the said Master John and his co-disciples to use the said
conclusions, and so they were still for a season. But soon after, by
supportation of lords and other noble men, they took to them more
wicked opinions, and had great continuation in their malice.


 SOURCE.--Harleian MS. (British Museum) 247, fol. 172_b_.

At the same time the commons of London made great sport and solemnity
to the young prince. For upon the Monday next before the Purification
of our Lady at night and in the night, were 130 men disguisedly
apparelled and well mounted on horseback to go on mumming to the said
prince, riding from Newgate through Cheap[side], where many people
see them, with great noise of minstrelsy trumpets,----,[43] cornets
and shaumes and great plenty of wax and torches lighted. And in the
beginning they rid 48, after the manner of esquires, two and two
together, clothed in coats and cloaks of red say or sendall and their
faces covered with vizards well and handsomely made; after these
esquires came 48 like knights well arrayed after the same manner;
after the knights came one excellently arrayed and well mounted as he
had been an Emperor; after him some 100 paces came one nobly arrayed
as a pope; and after him came 24 arrayed like cardinals; and after
the cardinals came 8 or 10 arrayed and with black vizards like devils
nothing amiable, seeming like legates; riding through London and over
London bridge towards Kenyton (Kennington) where the young prince made
his abode with his mother. And the duke of Lancaster, and the earls
of Cambridge, Hertford, Warwick and Suffolk and many other lords were
there with him to behold the solemnity. And when they were come before
the manor, they alighted on foot and entered into the hall; and soon
after the prince with his mother and the other lords came out of the
chambers into the hall and the said mummers saluted them, showing a
pair of dice upon a table to play with the prince, which dice were
subtly made, so that when the prince should cast he should win. And
the said players and mummers set before the prince three jewels each
after other, the first a ball of gold, then a cup of gold, then a gold
ring, the which the said prince won at three casts, as before it was
appointed; and after that they set before the prince's mother, the duke
of Lancaster and the other earls every one a gold ring and the mother
and the lords won them; and then the prince caused to bring the wine
and they drank with great joy, commanding the minstrels to play; and
the trumpets began to sound and other instruments to pipe etc. and the
prince and the lords danced on the one side and the mummers on the
other a great while. And then they drank and took their leave and so
departed towards London.


[43] A blank in the manuscript.


 SOURCE.--Froissart's _Chronicle_ (Hafod Press, 1803), ii. 181.

During the negotiations for peace, the King of France had been very
active in providing ships and galleys; the King of Spain had sent him
his admiral, Sir Fernando Sausse, who, with Sir John de Vienne, Admiral
of France, had sailed for the Port of Rye, which they burnt, five days
after the decease of King Edward, the vigil of St. Peter, in June, and
put to death the inhabitants, without sparing man or woman.

Upon news of this coming to London, the Earls of Cambridge and
Buckingham were ordered to Dover with a large body of men-at-arms. The
Earl of Salisbury and Sir John Montague, on the other hand, were sent
to the country near Southampton.

After this exploit the French landed in the Isle of Wight. They
afterwards burnt the following towns: Portsmouth, Dartmouth, Plymouth,
and several others. When they had pillaged and burnt all in the Isle
of Wight, they embarked and put to sea, coasting the shores until they
came to a port called Poq (? Pool). The Earl of Salisbury and Sir John
Montague defended the passage, but they burnt a part of the town of
Poq. They again embarked and coasted towards Southampton, attempting
every day to land; but the Earl of Salisbury and his forces, who
followed them along the shore, prevented them from so doing.

The fleet then came before Southampton; but Sir John Arundel, with a
large body of men-at-arms and archers, guarded well the town, otherwise
it would have been taken. The French made sail from thence towards
Dover, and landed near to the Abbey of Lewes, where there were great
numbers of the people of the country assembled. They appointed the
Abbot of Lewes, Sir Thomas Cheney, and Sir John Fuselée their leaders,
who drew up in good array to dispute their landing, and to defend the
country. The French had not the advantage, but lost several of their
men, as well might happen. However, the better to maintain the fight,
they made the land, when a great skirmish ensued, and the English,
being forced to retreat, were finally put to flight. Two hundred at
least were slain, and the two knights with the Abbot of Lewes made

The French re-embarked and remained at anchor before the abbey all that
night. They then heard for the first time, from their prisoners, the
death of King Edward [June 20] and the coronation of King Richard, and
also a part of the regulation of the kingdom, and that great numbers of
men-at-arms were under orders to march to the coast.


 SOURCE.--Harleian MS. 2261, fol. 400_a_.

This noble and mighty King Edward, among all other men of nobility
in the world, was a man of great goodness called gracious, excelling
all his predecessors by virtue and grace given to him of God, a bold
man in heart, dreading not sinister fortune in battles, having great
fortune in them both by sea and land. Also he was meek, benign, and
familiar to all manner of people, devout to God, honouring the church
of God, and having his ministers in great reverence. Also he was
moderate in cures temporal, provide in council, affable and eloquent,
meek in behaviour, having compassion on men in tribulation. Also he
was elegant and beauteous of body, having a comfortable and pleasant
countenance, like to the sight of an angel, for God had endued him with
such excellence of grace that a man would have thought as for a surety
that he should have sped well in the day following after that he had
dreamed of the said King. This noble King governed his reign gloriously
unto his later days, large in gifts, excessive in expenses, endued with
all honesty of manners. Whereof his fame was so increased among people
of Barbary, insomuch that they said there was no land in the world that
had so noble a prince, and that England should never have so noble
again after his death. But the inordinate lust of the flesh used in his
old age helped him much unto death. Also it is to be attended, as the
acts afore express, that like as in his beginning all things enjoyed to
him, and in the midst of his age glorious and fortunate, so the said
King drawing to age and towards death, all things were as unfortunate
to him, for his sins and many incommodities began to spring, having
after him long continuation, which thing was to be sorrowed.


 SOURCE.--_Chronicle of Adam of Usk_ (translated and edited by
 Sir E. Maunde Thompson, 1904), 13.

During this King Richard's reign great things were looked for. But he,
being of tender years, others, who had the care of him and his kingdom,
did not cease to inflict on the land acts of wantonness, extortions,
and unbearable wrongs. Whence sprang that unnatural deed, when the
commons of the land and especially those of Kent and Essex, under their
wretched leader Jack Straw, declaring that they could no longer bear
such wrongs, and above all wrongs of taxes and subsidies, rose in
overwhelming numbers against the lords and the King's officers, and,
marching to London on the eve of Corpus Christi [June 12], in the year
of our Lord 1381, struck off the heads of Simon Sudbury, Archbishop of
Canterbury, then the King's Chancellor, Sir Robert Hales the treasurer,
and many others, hard by the Tower of London. And on the places where
these lords were beheaded there are set up to this day two marble
crosses, a lasting memorial of so monstrous a deed.

In this rising of the commons were many great men of the land in many
places beheaded. The Savoy, the palace of the Duke of Lancaster and the
fairest in the kingdom, standing near London, on the bank of Thames,
was, from the commons' hatred of the duke, utterly destroyed by them
with fire; and the duke himself, for fear of them, fled into Scotland.
To appease them and to quiet their fury, the King granted that the
state of villeinage, as well in their persons as in their labour,
should be henceforth done away, freedom fully given, and all prisoners
set at large. And this he commanded and made to be openly proclaimed
throughout the counties of the kingdom. And then what a throe of grief
passed through the desolated land! For they boasted that they would
slay all those of higher birth, would raise up King and lords from
among themselves, would stablish new laws, and, in a word, would make
new, or rather disfigure, the face and estate of the whole island.
Then every man struck off the head of his enemy, and despoiled his
richer neighbour. But, by the mercy of God, when their leader, being
in Smithfield near London, doffed not his hood before the King nor
in anything did reverence to the King's Majesty, his head was deftly
struck off, in the very midst of his flock of kites, by Sir William
Walworth, knight and citizen of London: and straightway, being raised
on the point of a sword, it was shown before them. Then the commons,
in sore dread, sought flight by stealth, and there and then casting
away their rebellious weapons, as though unguilty of such riot and
wickedness, like foxes into their holes, they pitifully crept home. But
the King and the lords pursued them, and some they made to be dragged
behind horses, some they slew with the sword, some they hanged on the
gallows, some they quartered; and they destroyed thousands.


 SOURCE.--H.T. Riley's _Memorials of London_ (London, 1868),

Among the most wondrous and hitherto unheard-of prodigies that have
ever happened in the City of London, that which took place there on the
Feast of Corpus Christi, the 18th day of June, in the 4th year of the
reign of King Richard the Second, seems deserving to be committed to
writing, that it may be not unknown to those to come.

For on that day, while the King was holding his Council in the Tower of
London, countless companies of the commoners and persons of the lowest
grade from Kent and Essex suddenly approached the said City, the one
body coming to the town of Southwark, and the other to the place called
"Mileende," without Algate. By the aid also of perfidious commoners
within the City, of their own condition, who rose in countless numbers
there, they suddenly entered the City together, and, passing straight
through it, went to the mansion of Sir John, Duke of Lancaster, called
"Le Savoye," and completely levelled the same with the ground and
burned it. From thence they turned to the Church of the Hospital of St.
John of Jerusalem, without Smithfield, and burnt and levelled nearly
all the houses there, the church excepted.

On the next morning, all the men from Kent and Essex met at the said
place called "Mileende," together with some of the perfidious persons
of the City aforesaid; whose numbers in all were past reckoning. And
there the King came to them from the Tower, accompanied by many knights
and esquires, and citizens on horseback, the lady his mother following
him also in a chariot. Where, at the prayer of the infuriated rout,
our Lord the King granted that they might take those who were traitors
against him, and slay them, wheresoever they might be found. And
from thence the King rode to his wardrobe, which is situated near to
Castle Baynard; while the whole of the infuriated rout took its way
towards the Tower of London; entering which by force, they dragged
forth from it Sir Simon, Archbishop of Canterbury, Chancellor of our
Lord the King, and Brother Robert Hales, Prior of the said Hospital of
St. John of Jerusalem, the King's Treasurer; and together with them,
Brother William Appeltone, of the Order of Friars Minor, and John Leg,
Serjeant-at-Arms to the King, and also, one Richard Somenour, of the
Parish of Stebenhuthe; all of whom they beheaded in the place called
"Tourhille," without the said Tower; and then carrying their heads
through the City upon lances, they set them up on London Bridge, fixing
them there on stakes.

Upon the same day there was also no little slaughter within the City,
as well of natives as of aliens. Richard Lions, citizen and vintner of
the said City, and many others, were beheaded in Chepe. In the Vintry
also, there was a very great massacre of Flemings, and in one heap
there were lying about forty headless bodies of persons who had been
dragged forth from the churches and their houses; and hardly was there
a street in the City in which there were not bodies lying of those who
had been slain. Some of the houses also in the said City were pulled
down, and others in the suburbs destroyed, and some, too, burnt.

Such tribulation as this, greater and more horrible than could be
believed by those who had not seen it, lasted down to the hour of
Vespers on the following day, which was Saturday, the 15th of June;
on which day God sent remedy for the same, and His own gracious aid,
by the hand of the most renowned man Sir William Walworthe, the then
Mayor; who in Smithfield, in presence of our Lord the King and those
standing by him, lords, knights, esquires, and citizens on horseback,
on the one side, and the whole of this infuriated rout on the other,
most manfully, by himself, rushed upon the captain of the said
multitude, "Walter Tylere" by name, and, as he was altercating with the
King and the nobles, first wounded him in the neck with his sword, and
then hurled him from his horse, mortally pierced in the breast; and
further, by favour of the divine grace, so defended himself from those
who had come with him, both on foot and horseback, that he departed
from thence unhurt, and rode with our Lord the King and his people
towards a field near to the spring that is called "Whittewell-beche";
in which place, while the whole of the infuriated multitude in warlike
manner was making ready against our Lord the King and his people,
refusing to treat of peace except on condition that they should first
have the head of the said Mayor, the Mayor himself, who had gone into
the City at the instance of our Lord the King, in the space of half an
hour, sent and led forth therefrom so great a force of citizen warriors
in aid of his Lord the King, that the whole multitude of madmen was
surrounded and hemmed in, and not one of them would have escaped if our
Lord the King had not commanded them to be gone.

Therefore our Lord the King returned into the City of London with the
greatest of glory and honour, and the whole of this profane multitude
in confusion fled forthwith for concealment in their affright.


 SOURCE.--_Fasciculi Zizaniorum_ (Rolls Series), 277-282.

Heretical conclusions, contrary to the determination of the Church:....

I. That the material substance of bread and wine remains after
consecration in the sacrament of the altar.

II. That accidents do not remain without a subject in the same

III. That Christ is not in the sacrament of the altar inherently,
truly, and really, in His own corporal presence.

IV. That if a bishop or priest be in mortal sin he may neither ordain,
consecrate, nor baptize.

V. That if a man be duly penitent all outward confession is superfluous
or useless to him.

VI. To tenaciously affirm that it is not stated in the Gospels that
Christ ordained the Mass.

VII. That God should obey the Devil.

VIII. That if the Pope be a worthless and evil man and so a member of
the Devil, he has no power over the faithful of Christ granted to him
by any, except perchance by Cæsar.

IX. That after Urban VI. no one is to be received as Pope, but it is
necessary for us to live, like the Greeks, under our own laws.

X. To assert that it is contrary to Scripture that ecclesiastical men
should have temporal possessions.

Erroneous conclusions contrary to the determination of the Church: ...

XI. That no prelate should excommunicate anyone unless he first knows
he is excommunicated by God.

XII. That if he excommunicates he is thereby a heretic or excommunicate.

XIII. That a prelate excommunicating a clerk who has appealed to the
King and the Council of the realm is thereby a traitor to God, King,
and realm.

XIV. That those who abstain from preaching or hearing the Word of God
or the Gospel, preached, on account of the excommunication of men, are
themselves excommunicate, and in the day of judgment shall be held to
be traitors to God.

XV. To assert that it is lawful to anyone, either deacon or priest, to
preach the Word of God without the authority of the Apostolic See, or a
Catholic bishop, or some other sufficiently authorized.

XVI. To assert that no one is a civil lord, bishop, or prelate while he
is in mortal sin.

XVII. That temporal lords can at their will take away temporal goods
from ecclesiastics habitually sinful, or that the public may at their
will correct sinful lords.

XVIII. That tithes are pure alms, and that the parishioners may
detain them on account of the sins of their curates and confer them at
pleasure on others.

XIX. That special prayers restricted to one person by prelates or
religious do no more avail the same person, other things being equal,
than general prayers.

XX. That the fact of anyone entering into any private religion makes
him more unfit and unable to perform God's commandment.

XXI. That holy men who endow private religions either of possessioners
or mendicants had sinned in so endowing.

XXII. That the religious living in private religions are not of the
Christian religion.

XXIII. That friars are bound to get their living by the labour of their
hands and not by begging.

XXIV. That anyone conferring alms on friars or preaching friars is
excommunicate; as is the one who receives.


 SOURCE.--_Chronicle of Adam of Usk_ (translated and edited by
 Sir E. Maunde Thompson, 1904), 140, 141.

According to the saying of Solomon, "Woe to thee, O land, when thy
king is a child," in the time of the youth of the same Richard many
misfortunes, both caused thereby and happening therefrom, ceased not
to harass the kingdom of England ... even to the great disorder of
the State, and to the last undoing of King Richard himself and of
those who too fondly clung to him. Amongst all other misfortunes, nay,
amongst the most wicked of all wicked things, even errors and heresies
in the catholic faith, England, and above all, London and Bristol,
stood corrupted, being infected by the seeds which one master John
Wycliffe sowed, polluting, as it were, the faith with the tares of his
baleful teaching. And the followers of this master John, like Mahomet,
by preaching things pleasing to the powerful and rich, namely, that
the withholding of tithes and even of offerings and the reaving[44]
of temporal goods from the clergy were praiseworthy, and, to the
young, that self-indulgence was a virtue, most wickedly did sow the
seed of murder, snares, strife, variance, and discords, which last
unto this day, and which, I fear, will last even to the undoing of the
kingdom.... The people of England, wrangling about the old faith and
the new, are every day, as it were, on the very point of bringing down
upon their own heads rebellion and ruin. And I fear that in the end
it will happen as once it did, when many citizens of London, true to
the faith, rose against the Duke of Lancaster to slay him, because he
favoured the said Master John, so that hurrying from his table into a
boat hastily provided, he fled across the Thames, and hardly escaped
with his life.


[44] Plundering.


 SOURCE.--Higden's _Polychronicon_ (Rolls Series), ix. 32-40.

[This Parliament has been well called the turning-point of Richard's
reign. It marked his first deliberate attempt to enforce his own policy
in Parliament.]

Moreover, on the 29th day of April the King of England held a
Parliament at Salisbury, and it lasted until the 27th day of the
month of May. At the beginning of which several extraordinary things
happened. _Firstly_, because both the lords spiritual and temporal,
quarrelling among themselves, almost frustrated the object of
Parliament. But the Duke of Lancaster intervening pacified them,
mingling threats with much eloquence of words. _Secondly_, because of
the words of the Earl of Arundell; for, in the hearing of all, in full
Parliament, when the King was present, he said these words, or to this

"My Lords, you know that the whole kingdom stands in peril of
destruction through lack of prudent government, and the thing is
now apparent, because, as you know, this kingdom has long begun
to languish, and is now almost decaying. And unless it is quickly
succoured by fitting remedies, and immediately snatched out of the
tempestuous whirlpool in which it is involved, one indeed fears lest
it may shortly suffer even greater misfortunes and heavy damages, and
may be lacking in everything, all power of relief being withdrawn in
the future, which God forbid."

At these words the King leapt up, and turning himself in fury, and
looking angrily at the earl, said to him:

"If you charge it on me and say it is my fault that the kingdom is
badly governed, I say to your face, you lie, go to the devil!"

Hearing these words all kept silence, nor was there one who stood by
who dared to speak. Then the Duke of Lancaster, breaking the silence,
interpreted the speech of the earl in his own words; thus was the fury
of the King mitigated.

_Thirdly_, because a certain Carmelite friar, influenced by a foolish
zeal, came to the King's Court with the intention of accusing the
Duke of Lancaster of craftily and treacherously plotting the King's
death. Therefore, after the said friar on a certain day had celebrated
Mass before the King in the chamber of the Earl of Oxford, and had
obtained to speak with the King ... he immediately accused the Duke of
Lancaster, and so bitterly that the King without trial ordered the duke
to be put to death. But the other nobles present with the King utterly
opposed this, declaring that it was unlawful for anyone to be condemned
without judgment. Hearing this, the King wisely promised he would do
as they said. Then, as Sir J. Clanvowe has said, immediately he had
dissembled his fury burst out, and flinging his cape and boots out of
window, behaved like a madman....[45]

The Duke of Lancaster hearing that he was to be gravely accused before
the King, hastened to him, and so completely cleared himself that the
King afterwards held him excused....

In the meanwhile, those elected to Parliament by the commonalty for
the common weal of the kingdom earnestly complained concerning [the
frustration of justice by] those who were in power in certain parts
of the country ... whence they prayed for a general statute coercing
them so that in future their fraud and cunning might not prevail to the
detriment of the kingdom.

To this the Duke of Lancaster replied that the charge was too general;
saying moreover ... that any lord was powerful enough and had authority
enough to correct and punish such excesses in his parts. For in things
temporal, after the King, he said, he himself was above all other
lords of the kingdom. And he himself, if any of those in his parts
were found guilty, and it should come to his notice, he would subject
them to such punishment that it would inculcate fear in others against
doing likewise.... Truly those elected by the commonalty of the kingdom
hearing these things, since no remedy would be given, remained silent.

The King and his Council were then eagerly seeking to extort money from
both clergy and people. And after much consultation and discussion
of pros and cons, the clergy conceded to him the said moiety of a
tenth which had been before conceded to him, under conditions, in
another Parliament. The laity also granted a fifteenth. But the
King, not content with these concessions, declared he would employ
that most severe inquisition against usurpers of the Crown called
Trailbastoun,[46] unless they made him a more ample grant. Having heard
this and consulted together, the clergy conceded to him another moiety
of one-tenth, and the laity likewise another moiety of a fifteenth;
according to that [saying], as is his darkness so is his light. For
behold in these days almost all the lights of the Church of God are
about to be extinguished; which thing is grievous since great darkness
is obscuring her surface everywhere, nor is there anyone now who will
rise up and defend the Church of God. The prelates are as dumb dogs
that are not strong enough to bark. Wherefore it is to be feared, which
God forbid, lest there shall come upon ecclesiastics in high place, a
sudden calamity, an immeasurable sorrow, an intolerable distress and
lamentable misfortune.


[45] Here follows an account of the torture of the friar by the
Lancastrian party. Evidence seems to prove that he was a tool of the
King, who showed sorrow at the cruel treatment he received, but was
powerless to save him.

[46] The office of the justices of Trail-Baston, so styled for
"trailing or drawing the staff of justice," was to make inquisition
through the kingdom concerning extortion, bribery, etc., of intruders
into other men's lands, robbers, etc. Some offenders were punished
with death, some with ransom; the land was quieted and the King gained
riches for his wars. Edward I. appointed them during his absence in the
Scotch and French wars; Edward III. also granted a commission at least


 SOURCE.--Higden's _Polychronicon_ (Rolls Series), ix. 55-59.

A conspiracy, said to be approved by the King, was set on foot by
certain lords, to put the Duke of Lancaster to death, but he himself,
being warned of this thing, fled secretly with a few of his companions.
Now the cause why they wished to kill him was this, as some claim. A
little while before, the government of the kingdom and the rule of the
King, and what it would be most expedient for the King to do for the
safety of the realm in the coming autumn, was discussed in Council.
Then the Duke of Lancaster declared it seemed to him most necessary for
the good of the kingdom that the King should cross to France with an
army, and should fight his enemies boldly with armed fist, rather than
give them the opportunity of coming into this land, since they would
continually infest us, not without grave danger and loss. Upon this
certain of the Council, thinking differently, proceeded to reject, and
violently attack the advice of the duke, asserting it would be madness
for the King to cross the sea and enter France for many causes; but
rather he should remain safely in his own land to defend it from the
attacks of enemies, and not cross unadvisedly to foreign provinces,
adding nothing to the glory of his fame. This pleased all the Council
except the Duke of Lancaster and his brothers, who, indignant at this,
stalked out of the Council. Further, the Duke of Lancaster declared
neither he nor his vassals would aid the King again unless he should
determine to cross to France. Which saying much displeased both the
King and his Council. Wherefore, on account of this, they declared
he was neither faithful to the King nor to the kingdom. Nevertheless,
these temporal lords were always fearful of the Duke of Lancaster on
account of his great power, his remarkable prudence, and his wonderful

On the 23rd day of February the Duke of Lancaster, having gathered a
company of armed men, came by night to the King at Sheen, and, having
first of all disposed the main body of men on this side the Thames, he
crossed the river, leaving there some of his men to guard the skiff
until his return. Then he hastened to the gate, and left certain of
his men to await there until his return, and deny anyone entrance or
exit. At length, in full armour, he entered with a few of his men
into the King's presence, where, having made due reverence, he at
first addressed him harshly, and sternly, upbraiding him for retaining
such evil councillors with him, and finally counselling him to remove
such men from him, and henceforward to adhere to the wiser men in his
Council. For unworthy is it for a King in his kingdom, when he may be
lord of all, to avenge himself by private homicide when he himself may
be above the law, and is able to concede life and limbs, and what is
more, if he wishes, may deprive men of them at his pleasure. Therefore
is it the more necessary that he should have good and faithful
councillors around him, by whose good advice he should ever withdraw
from illegal actions, and should not fear any jealousy to perform those
things which are right.

The King replied graciously, in suave and gentle words, saying
undoubtedly he would give his attention to reforming those things
which before time had been unjustly done. Then the Duke of Lancaster,
having sought license, excused himself from coming to him in future,
as was hitherto accustomed, since he saw certain men still adhering to
the King who would gladly see him (Lancaster) deprived of life. And
immediately he left the King, and came by night with his men to the
village of Tottenham, where he rested a little while, and then hastened
to his Castle of Hertford, where he decided to abide in safety with his

The King's mother, having news of this, was much disturbed, and
hastened to the King, persuading him to avoid discords with any of his
nobles, more especially with the Duke of Lancaster and his brothers.
Therefore, at her persuasion, he came with a large following of knights
to Westminster on the 6th of March. His mother then hastened to the
Duke of Lancaster, and so persuaded him that she led him to the King,
and by her mediation they were straightway reconciled.... Afterwards,
council having been taken at Westminster, the Archbishop of Canterbury
and other lords, spiritual and temporal, complained sorely of these
councillors abiding round the King, since they had induced the King to
assent to a plot to kill the Duke of Lancaster, both because the thing
was of bad example, and because it followed from this that whenever
the King's heart or mind was raised in hatred against anyone, whether
of small or great estate, he would perchance order him to be killed in
a like manner, which God forbid! That in this way the approved laws
and constitutions will be exposed to serious breach, and perchance,
which God forbid, quarrels, strife, disputes, contentions, discussions,
and other such things will be born in the kingdom. Therefore, such
crimes must be avoided in the future, lest a lawless deterioration
of this kind shall befall the kingdom. These words, or words to
this effect, the Archbishop of Canterbury repeated to the King, on
behalf of the lords then assembled there. Hearing which, the King was
incensed against the archbishop, and, rising up, there and then began
to threaten him. That same day the King was dining with the Mayor of
London: at the end of the meal he went on the Thames, and met the
archbishop between his palace and Lambeth. For the aforesaid archbishop
had come to the King under safe conduct of the Duke of Buckingham.
Then, indeed, when the archbishop repeated what he had said before,
the King drew his sword on the spur of the moment, and would have
transfixed the archbishop had not the Duke of Buckingham, Sir John
Devereux, and Sir Thomas Trivet strongly resisted him. With whom the
King was so enraged that in fear they sprang out of the royal barge
into the archbishop's skiff, and thus retired.


ENGLISH (1385).

 SOURCE.--_The Book of Pluscarden_ in _Historians of Scotland_,
 x. 246, 247.

In the year 1385 the King of France, beyond measure rejoiced at the
success of the Scots, sent a certain knight of Burgundian origin, named
John de Vienne, Count of Valentinois and Admiral of France, with a
considerable train of men-at-arms, belted chivalry, eighty knights with
their followers, admirably equipped as was meet and ready to battle.
They landed at Dunbar and Leith, and presented the King, who was at
Edinburgh with his magnates, with fifty complete suits of armour from
the King of France, with as many lances and targes;[47] and they also
handed over to the King of Scotland from the King of France as a free
gift from him fifty thousand francs in gold in ready money as well as
the said Frenchmen, with their pay fully and entirely paid up for six
months to come and the sailors; and there were royal letters addressed
to the King, telling him to send them on service in his war against
the English. These Frenchmen, together with Archibald Douglas, Lord of
Galloway, and with a very large force of men-at-arms, seeing that he
was guardian of Wester-March, raided into England two or three times
and wrought much mischief. On their return they first proposed to
besiege the Castle of Carlisle; but assembling a larger army they laid
siege to Roxburgh. Here the general and commander was Robert Stewart,
the King's son, Earl of Fife, and afterwards Duke of Albany; and he
had with him the Earls of Douglas and March, Archibald Douglas, Lord
of Galloway, and a great knightly rout of nobles. But there arose a
dispute among them whether, if the castle happened to be taken, it
should remain for ever with the King of France, or be converted to the
uses of the King of Scotland. Some indeed said the French offered
that they themselves should recover the castle entirely, assigning to
them either the honour or the profit. And thus, because they could not
agree, they returned without doing anything; and not many days after
this the Frenchmen embarked about the Feast of All Saints, and returned
safely to France. The following year Richard, King of England, the
second of this name, being nineteen years of age, entered Scotland
about the Feast of Saint Lawrence, and attacked, overthrew and ravaged
everything in his pride, sparing nothing, saving nothing, sparing
neither age, nor order, nor religious community. He pillaged and burnt
down many churches and monasteries and other sacred places, such as
Melrose, Dryburgh, Newbottle; he also destroyed the noble town of
Edinburgh, with the church thereof, erected in honour of St. Giles, and
the whole of Lothian; and he returned home to his own kingdom without
loss, having, however, before his departure in like manner pillaged and
burnt the monastery of Holyrood. Wherefore, and by the vengeance of God
alone, this King Richard wandered about the Scottish isles as a poor
beggar, and was found living most wretchedly for a while in a certain
lord's kitchen; and, being afterwards recognized by someone, he was
brought to the King of Scotland, and there ended his days in idiocy.
And thus, as is presumed, by the hidden judgment of God and in revenge
for the foregoing, his uncle, who had been most shamefully exiled and
cast out from the kingdom by the wickedness and power of the peasants,
put an end to his life in great wretchedness among his enemies,
according to the word of the prophet, saying: "The Lord delivered them
into the hand of the enemy, and they who hated them had dominion over


[47] Small shields.


 SOURCE.--Capgrave's _Chronicle of England_ (Rolls Series), 240.

In the 9th year of this King, John Wiclif, the organ of the devil,
the enemy of the Church, the mirror of hypocrisy, the nourisher of
schism, by the rightful doom[48] of God, was smitten with a horrible
palsy throughout his body. And this vengeance fell upon him on St.
Thomas' Day in Christmas, but he died not till St. Silvester's Day.
And worthily was he smitten on St. Thomas' Day, against whom he had
greatly offended, letting[49] men of that pilgrimage; and conveniently
died he in Silvester's feast, against whom he had venomously barked for
dotation[50] of the Church.


[48] Judgment.

[49] Hindering.

[50] Endowment.


 SOURCE.--Froissart's _Chronicle_ (Hafod Press, 1803), iii.
 285-292, 294, 295, 329, 330.

The young King of France had ever shown great desire to invade England
with a powerful army and navy. In this he was joined by all the
chivalry of the realm, but especially by the Duke of Burgundy, the
Constable of France, and the Count de St. Pol, although he had married
King Richard's sister, and the Lord de Coucy.

These lords said: "Why should not we, for once, make a visit to England
to see the country and its inhabitants, and learn the way thither, as
the English have done in France? This year, therefore, of 1386, we
will go thither, as well to break up the expedition of the Duke of
Lancaster, and force him to return home, as to give the alarm to the
English, and see how they will behave." Greater armaments were made in
France than had hitherto been done. Heavier taxes were imposed on all
the towns and country than for one hundred years, and such sums had
never been raised, nor were ever greater preparations made by sea and
land. The whole summer, until September, was employed in grinding flour
and making biscuit in Arras, Bethune, Lille, Douay, Amiens, St. Omer,
and in all the towns near to Sluys; for it was the plan of the King to
embark at Sluys, sail for England, and destroy the whole country....

All that was going forward in France, Flanders, Bruges, Damme, and
Sluys was known in England, and with many additions to the real truth.
The people in several places were exceedingly alarmed, and generally
the priests made processions in many towns three times a week; where,
with much devotion, they offered up their prayers to God, to avert this
peril from them. There were upwards of one hundred thousand who were
desirous the French should come to England, saying, to comfort the
weak-hearted: "Let them come; by God! not a soul shall return back to
tell their story." Such as were in debt, and had not any intentions nor
wherewithal to pay, were delighted, and said to their creditors: "Hold
your tongues! they are coining florins in France, and we will pay you
with them"; and thus they lived extravagantly, and expended largely,
for credit was not refused them. Whenever they were asked to pay, they
replied: "How can you ask for money? Is it not better that we spend
it than Frenchmen should find it and carry it away?" Thus were many
thousand pounds sterling foolishly spent in England.

... Every port and harbour from the Humber to Cornwall was well
provided with men-at-arms and archers, and watchmen were posted on
all the hills near the sea-coasts opposite to France and Flanders.
The manner of posting these watchers was as follows: they had large
Gascony casks filled with sand, which they placed one on the other,
rising like columns; on these were planks, where the watchmen remained
day and night on the look-out. They were ordered, the moment they
should observe the fleet of France steering towards land, to light
torches and make great fires on the hills to alarm the country, and
the forces within sight of these fires were to hasten thither. It had
been resolved to allow the King of France to land, and even to remain
unmolested for three or four days; they were first to attack the fleet
and destroy it and all their stores, and then to advance on the King of
France, not to combat him immediately, but to harass his army, so that
they might be disabled and afraid to forage, for the corn countries
were all to be burnt, and England, at best, is a difficult foraging
country; by which plan they would be starved and easily destroyed.

Such was the plan laid down by the Council of England. Colchester
Bridge was ordered to be broken down, for a deep river runs under it,
which flows through Essex, and falls into the Thames opposite the
island of Sheppey. The Londoners would pull this bridge down for the
greater security of their town.

If the taxes were burdensome on towns and persons in France, I must say
they were not much lighter in England, and the country suffered from
them a long time afterwards; but they were paid cheerfully, that they
might be more effectually guarded. There were at this time ten thousand
men-at-arms and one hundred thousand archers in England.

... From Senlis the King of France came to Compiègne, Noyon, Peronne,
Bapaume, and Arras; and there were such numbers of men-at-arms pouring
into those countries from all quarters, that everything was destroyed
or devoured without a farthing being paid for anything. The poor
farmers, who had filled their barns with grain, had only the straw, and
if they complained, were beaten or killed. The fish-ponds were drained
of fish, and the houses pulled down for firing, so that if the English
had been there, they could not have committed greater waste than
this French army did. They said: "We have not at present any money,
but shall have enough on our return, when we will pay for all." The
farmers, not daring to speak out, cursed them inwardly, on seeing them
seize what was intended for their families; and said: "Go to England,
and may never a soul of you come back!"

... Sir Simon Burley was Governor of Dover Castle, and, from his
situation, received frequent intelligence from France by the fishermen
of the town, who related to him what they heard from the French
fishermen, as they were often obliged to adventure as far as Wissan
or Boulogne to obtain good fish. When the fishermen from France met
them at sea, they told them enough, and more than they knew; for,
though there were wars between France and England, they were never
interrupted in their pursuits, nor attacked each other, but, on the
contrary, gave mutual assistance, and bought or sold, according as
either had more fish than they were in want of; for, if they were to
meddle in the national quarrels, there would be no fishing, and none
would attempt it, unless supported by men-at-arms. Sir Simon learnt
from the fishermen, that the King of France was absolutely determined
on the invasion; that he intended to land one division at or near Dover
and another at Sandwich, and that his forces were immense. He, as
well as the rest of England, believed all this was true; and one day
he set out for Canterbury to visit the abbey, which is very large and
handsome; near it is Christ-church, which is also rich and powerful.

The Abbot inquired, "What news?" and Sir Simon told him all he knew,
adding: "That the shrine of St. Thomas, so respectable and rich, was
not safe in Canterbury, for the town was not strong; and if the French
should come, some of the pillagers, through avarice, would make for
Canterbury, which they would plunder, as well as your abbey, and make
particular inquiries after the shrine, and will take it away, to
your great loss. I would therefore advise that you have it carried
to Dover Castle, where it will be perfectly safe, though all England
were lost." The abbot, and all the convent, were so much angered at
this speech, though meant well, they replied: "How, Sir Simon, would
you wish to despoil this church of its jewel? If you are afraid
yourself, gain courage, and shut yourself up in your castle of Dover,
for the French will not be bold enough, nor in sufficient force, to
adventure themselves so far." This was the only answer he had; but Sir
Simon persisted so long in his proposition, the common people grew
discontented, and held him for an ill-inclined person, which, as I
shall relate, they afterwards showed more plainly. Sir Simon made but a
short stay, and returned to Dover.

... [Meanwhile mismanagement and bad weather were breaking up the
French armada at Sluys.] ...

Some of the young princes of the blood-royal, with a desire to display
their courage, had indeed made a few cruises near the harbour,
saying that they would be the first to land in England, should none
others venture thither. In this number were Sir Robert and Sir Philip
d'Artois, Sir Henry de Bar, Sir Peter de Navarre, Sir Peter d'Albreth,
Sir Bernard d'Armagnac, with many more. These young lords, having once
begun, were so impatient to sail in earnest, that a council was held,
in the presence of the King, to determine how they should proceed. The
Duke of Berry broke up the whole; and gave such well-grounded reasons,
that the greater part of those who were the most forward to embark were
discouraged; and said it would be folly and madness to advise the King,
who was then but a child, to put to sea in such weather, and to make
war on a people and country whose roads no one was acquainted with,
and which was likewise disadvantageous for warlike exploits. "Now,
suppose," said the Duke of Berry, "we were all landed in England, we
cannot fight the English unless they like it, and we dare not leave our
purveyances behind, for whoever would do so would lose the whole. But
if anyone wished to make this voyage, though of no great length, he
would do it in the middle of summer, and not in the heart of winter.
Summon all the sailors who are here, and they will tell you that what I
say is true; and that, notwithstanding the very numerous fleet we have
collected, should we put to sea, of the fifteen hundred sail, there
would never be three hundred together, or within fight. Now, consider
what risks we may run; but I do not say this out of any desire to be
excused from being of the party myself, but solely as I believe it
sound sense, and that the council, and the majority of France, are of
my way of thinking. I am willing, brothers of Burgundy, that you and I
undertake this expedition, but I will never advise the King to do so;
for, should any accident happen to him, the whole blame would be laid
on us for having consented to it." "In God's name," replied the King
of France, "I am resolved to go, should no one follow me." The lords
laughed, and said the King had a strong inclination to embark.


 SOURCE.--Froissart's _Chronicle_ (Hafod Press, 1803), iii.

England was, at this period, in greater danger than when the peasants,
under Jack Straw, rose in rebellion, and marched to London; and I will
tell you the cause. The nobles and gentlemen were unanimous, at that
time, in their support of the King, but now there were many serious
differences between them. The King quarrelled with his uncles of York
and Gloucester, and they were equally displeased with him, caused,
as it was said, by the intrigues of the Duke of Ireland [Robert de
Vere], the sole confident of the King. The commonalty, in many towns
and cities, had noticed these quarrels, and the wisest dreaded the
consequences that might ensue; but the giddy laughed at them, and said
they were owing to the jealousy of the King's uncles, and because the
crown was not on their heads. But others said: "The King is young, and
puts his confidence in youngsters: it would be to his advantage if he
consulted his uncles more, who can only wish the prosperity of the
country, than that puppy, the Duke of Ireland, who is ignorant of all
things, and who never saw a battle." Thus were the English divided; and
great disasters seemed to be at hand, which was perfectly known all
over France, and caused them to hasten their preparations for invading
the country, and adding to its miseries....

Parliament was harangued on the subject of the finances, and assured
that there was not in the royal treasury more than sufficient to
support, even with economy, the usual expenses of the King. The council
said there was no other means than laying a general tax on all the
country, if they were desirous of paying the great sums the defence of
the kingdom had cost.

Those from the Archbishopric of Canterbury, the Bishoprics of Norwich
and Warwick, the counties of Devonshire, Hampshire, and Wiltshire,
readily assented, because they knew better what had been done, and
were more alarmed than those at a greater distance, in Wales, Bristol,
and Cornwall, who were rebellious, and said: "We have never seen any
enemies come into this country, why therefore should we be thus
heavily taxed and nothing done?" "Yes, yes," replied others, "let them
call on the King's Council, the Archbishop of York, and the Duke of
Ireland, who received sixty thousand francs, for the ransom of John of
Brittany, from the Constable of France, which ought to have gone to the
general profit of the Kingdom. Let them call on Sir Simon Burley, Sir
William Elmham, Sir Thomas Brand, Sir Robert Tresilian, and Sir John
Beauchamp, who have governed the King. If they gave a true account of
the sums raised in England, or were forced so to do, there would be
more than money enough to pay all expenses, and poor people remain in

The King's uncles were much pleased when these speeches were told
them, for those they had named were unfriendly to their interests, and
opposed their obtaining any favours from the Court. They encouraged
such discourses, and, to gain popularity, said: "The good people who
hold such language are well advised in wishing to have an account of
the management of the finances, and to refuse to pay their taxes, for,
in good truth, there is cash enough in the purses of the King or of
those who govern him."

By degrees, this discontent was much increased among the people, who
declared against any tax being laid on, and who grew bolder in their
language when they saw that the King's uncles, the Archbishop of
Canterbury, the Earls of Salisbury and Northumberland, with many other
great barons, supported them. The ministers, therefore, withdrew the
tax, and said nothing should be done in the matter until Michaelmas,
when the Parliament would again meet.


 SOURCE.--_Chronicle of Adam of Usk_ (translated and edited by
 Sir E. Maunde Thompson, 1904), 142, 143.

Owing to the many ill-starred crises of King Richard's reign which were
caused by his youth, a solemn Parliament was holden at Westminster,
wherein twelve[51] of the chief men of the land were advanced by full
provision of Parliament to the government of the King and the kingdom,
in order to bridle the wantonness and extravagance of his servants and
flatterers, and, in short, to reform the business of the realm; but,
alas! only to lead to the weary deeds which are hereinafter written.

The King, bearing it ill that by this appointment the due freedom of
His Majesty should be bridled by his own lieges, and urged by his
servants, who were thus set in authority, till the end came in the
destruction of the King himself, his abettors, and many of these same


[51] The actual number appointed was eleven--namely, the Archbishops of
Canterbury and York, the Dukes of York and Gloucester, the Bishops of
Winchester and Exeter, the Abbot of Waltham, the Earl of Arundel, John
de Cobham, Richard le Scrope, and John Devereux.


 SOURCE.--Henry Knighton's _Chronicle_ (Rolls Series), ii. 236.

At the same time the King came to Shrewsbury, where, by the Royal
command, certain of the justices of the kingdom had gathered. Then
the aforesaid seducers of the King, Alexander, Archbishop of York,
Robert Vere, Duke of Ireland, Michael de la Pole, Robert Tresilian, and
others, asked them [the justices] whether it would be lawful for the
King to oppose and resist the ordinances made in the last Parliament
concerning the King and kingdom by the princes and commons of the
realm with the consent of the King, which consent, they said, had been
obtained by force. They answered that the King was able to annul and
alter such ordinances at pleasure for the bettering of affairs since he
was above law.


 SOURCE.--_Chronicle of Adam of Usk_ (translated and edited by
 Sir E. Maunde Thompson, 1904), 143-145.

Then the King passed with his mother[52] to Westminster Hall, and
there, seated on his throne of state, by her mediation, made his peace
with his twelve guardians;[53] yet he did it falsely and with deceit.

Soon afterwards the Earl of Oxford[54] went with royal letters into
the county of Chester, and led back with him a great armed power of
the men of those parts for the destruction of the twelve. But the Duke
of Gloucester and the Earls of Derby, Arundel, Nottingham, and Warwick
were forewarned thereof, and arrayed in a glorious host before the
men of Chester could reach the King, they routed the earl's army on
the eve of St. Thomas the Apostle [December 20] at Radcot Bridge in
Oxfordshire. And the earl himself they drove in flight beyond hope of
return; for he died beyond seas....

At that time, I, the writer of this chronicle, was at Oxford an
"extraordinary" in canon law, and I saw the host of the five lords
march through the city on their way to London from the battlefield;
whereof the Earls of Warwick and Derby led the van, the Duke of
Gloucester the main body, and the Earls of Arundel and Nottingham the

The Mayor of London, hearing of their coming, sent forth to them the
keys of the city, and thereafter those same five lords did, on the
feast of St. John the Evangelist [December 27], blockade the Tower of
London till it yielded: then straightway they placed the King, who was
therein, under new governance, and delivered his fawning councillors
into divers prisons until the next following Parliament.


[52] She died in 1385: hence the chronicler must be in error.

[53] Namely, the eleven.

[54] Robert de Vere.


 SOURCE.--William Caxton, _The Polychronicon_ (published 1482),
 ii., fols. 396_b_, 397.

In the eleventh year of his reign was the arising of certain lords
in England in destruction of rebels, etc., that is to say Sir Thomas
Woodstock, Duke of Gloucester, Sir Richard, Earl of Arundell, Sir
Richard, Earl of Warwick, Sir Harry of Bolingbroke, Earl of Derby, and
Sir Thomas Mowbray, Earl Marshall. These five lords understood the
mischief and government of the King's Council, wherefore they, that
were that time of the King's Council, fled out of the land, that is to
say, Master Alexander Nevill, Archbishop of York, Sir Michael de la
Pole, Earl of Suffolk and Chancellor of England, and the Marquis of
Dublin, Sir Robert de Vere. These three lords came never again into
England, for they died beyond the sea. These five lords abovesaid made
a Parliament at Westminster and there they took Sir Robert Tresilian,
justice, Sir Nicholas Brember, knight and citizen of London, Sir John
Salisbury, knight, and Uske Serjeant, with other more which were judged
to death and were drawn to Tyburn and there hanged. Also in the same
Parliament, Sir Simon Burley, Knight of the Garter, Sir John Beauchamp,
knight, steward of the King's house, and Sir John Berneis were beheaded
at Tower Hill. Also Richard Belknap, John Holt, John Cary, William
Burgh, Robert Frilthorp, and John Lockton, justices, were exiled into
Ireland, there for to dwell all their lifetime.



 SOURCE.--_Political Poems and Songs_ (Rolls Series), i. 300.

  Antre[55] Beauraym et le parc de Hedin,
    On moys[56] d'Aoust, qu'on soye les fromens,[57]
  M'en aloye jouer[58] par un matin;
    Si vi bergiers et bergieres[59] aux champs,
    Qui tenoient là leurs parliers moult grans,[60]
  Tant que Bochiers dist à Margot la broingne,[61]
  Que l'en aloit[62] au traitté à Bouloigne,
    Et que François et Anglois feront paix.
  Elle respont: "Foy que doy Magueloigne,
    Paix n'avez jà s'ilz ne rendent Calays."[63]

  Lors vint avant Berthelot du Jardin,
    Qui respondit: "La paix suis desirans;
  Car je n'ose descouchier[64] le matin.
    Pour les Anglois que nous sont destruisans;
    Mais dire oy, il a passé dix ans.[65]
  Qu'à leur dessoulz quierent tondis aloingne[66]
  Pour mettre sus[67] leur fait et leur besoigne,
    Et puis courent[68] le regne à grans eslays;[69]
  Maint l'out veu,[70] et pour ce je tesmoigne,
    Paix n'avez jà s'ilz ne rendent Calays."

  Après parla, par grant courroux,[71] Robin
    A Berthelot, et lui dist: "Tu te mens,
  Car les François et les Anglois enfin
    Veulent la paix, il en est dès or temps;[72]
    Trop a duré la guerre et li contens,[73]
  Ne je ne voy nul qui ne la ressoingne.[74]
  Certes, tout ce ne vault une escaloigne."[75]
    Ce lui respont Henris li contrefais:[76]
  "Encor faulra chascun (prengne) sa broingne;[77]
    Paix n'avez jà s'ilz ne rendent Calays.

  Car l'autre jour oy maistre Martin,[78]
    Qui racontoit le roy est mendre d'ans,[79]
  Et qu'il estoit une loy[80] en Latin
    Qui deffendoit[81] rien vendre des enfans.[82]
    En Guyenne sont deux mille et cinq cens
  Villes, chasteauls,[83] qu'Angleis veulent qu'on doingne.[84]
  Et grant tas[85] d'or, et que le roy esloigne[86]
    De roy en duc l'ommaige[87] qui est fais."
  "Qui fera ce?" respon sote Caroingne;[88]
    "Paix n'avez jà s'ilz ne rendent Calays."

  Guichars si bruns, qui fu nez à Seclin,[89]
    Dist que cilz faiz est doubreux et pesans:[90]
  Voire, et qu'Englès y pensent mal engin[91]
    De retenir ce port, qui est constans.
    "Se ce ne fust bien se fussent rendans:[92]
  Mais ils pensent barat,[93] guerre, et alloingne[94]
  Faire au derrain.[95] Ne le duc de Bourgoingne
    Et de Berry ne feroient jamais
  Tel paix à eux. Qui voulra si me perdoingne,[96]
    Paix n'avez jà s'ilz ne rendent Calays."


  Princes, là fu Bertrisons, et Hersans,
  Et Alizons, qui moult orent de sens;[97]
    Et jugierent, quand li parlers fu fait,
  Que telle paix seroit orde et meschans;[98]
  Et concluirent aux bergiers eulx disans:[99]
    "Paix n'avez jà s'ilz ne rendent Calays."


[55] Between.

[56] Month.

[57] When they reap the wheat.

[58] I went to enjoy myself.

[59] I saw shepherds and shepherdesses.

[60] Very great talk.

[61] Stout.

[62] People were going.

[63] By the faith I owe the Magdalene, you will never have peace unless
they restore Calais.

[64] For I do not dare rise from bed.

[65] But I have heard say this ten years gone.

[66] That underneath they seek always delay.

[67] In order to cover.

[68] Overrun.

[69] Rapidity.

[70] Many have seen it.

[71] In great rage.

[72] It is high time for it.

[73] Contention.

[74] Who does not fear it.

[75] Is not worth an onion.

[76] Deformed.

[77] Everyone will still have to take his cuirass.

[78] I heard Master Martin.

[79] A minor.

[80] Law.

[81] Prohibited.

[82] Children's property.

[83] Castles.

[84] Will give.

[85] Heap.

[86] Alienate.

[87] Homage.

[88] Caroingue the fool.

[89] Guichard the brown, who was born at Seclin.

[90] Grave.

[91] It is true that the English have an ill design in their thoughts.

[92] They would restore it.

[93] Strife.

[94] Delay.

[95] To make it last.

[96] Who will, let him pardon me.

[97] Who had much sense.

[98] Disgraceful and injurious.

[99] Saying to them.


 SOURCE.--Froissart's _Chronicle_ (Hafod Press, 1803), iv. 546,
 552, 553.

[This story, given by Froissart and the Monk of St. Denis, both
admirers of Richard, seems to be absolutely unfounded.]

The Duke of Gloucester would gladly have seen this nephew, called John,
Earl of March, on the throne of England, and King Richard deposed from
it, saying he was neither worthy nor capable to hold the government of
England; and this opinion he made no secret of to those who were in his

He invited this Earl of March to come and see him; and, when at Pleshy,
he unbosomed himself to him of all the secrets of his heart, telling
him that he had been selected for King of England; that King Richard
and his Queen were to be confined, but with ample provision for their
maintenance, as long as they lived; and he earnestly besought his
nephew to believe all he said, for he should make it a point to put
his plans into execution, and that he was already joined by the Earl
of Arundel, Sir John Arundel, the Earl of Warwick, and many prelates
and barons of England.... The King of England had received positive
information that the Duke of Gloucester and Earl of Arundel had
plotted to seize his person, and that of the Queen, and carry them to
a strong castle, where they should be confined under proper guards,
but allowed sufficiently for their table and other necessary expenses.
That four regents should be appointed over the kingdom, of whom the
Dukes of Lancaster and York were to be the chief, and have under them
the government of all the northern parts, from the Thames to the Tyne,
and as far as the Tweed, that runs by Berwick, and comprehend all
Northumberland, and the borders of Scotland. The Duke of Gloucester was
to have for his government London, Essex, and that part of the country
to the mouth of the Humber, and likewise all the coast from the Thames
to the water of Southampton, and westward comprehending Cornwall. The
Earl of Arundel was to have Sussex, Kent, Surrey, Berkshire, and all
the country from the Thames to Bristol, and the river Severn that
divides England from Wales, where there are very extensive lordships,
with power of punishing by death all offenders. But their chief design
was to find out some means of re-kindling the war with France; and, if
the King of France wished to have his daughter again, it might be done,
for she was still very young, not more than eight years and a half
old, and, perchance, when she was marriageable, she might repent of
this connection, for she was innocently, and without her being able to
judge for herself, married, and, beside, it was unjust to break off her
match with the heir of Brittany; but should she wish to abide by her
marriage, she would in justice remain Queen of England, and enjoy her
dower, but she should never be the companion of the King of England.
Should the King die before she was of a proper age, she was to be sent
back to France.

These were the plans that had been concerted by many of the English,
particularly the Londoners, for they hated the King, and several now
repented they had checked the mobs that attacked London from the
different counties of England; for they had determined, according to
their confessions when put to death, to murder the King, the Earl of
Salisbury, the Earl of Oxford, and the whole of the King's Council.

Had this been done the kingdom would soon have found another head; and
the citizens, with the consent of the country, and the aid of the Duke
of Gloucester (who took great pains to excite trouble and confusion),
have selected a fit person to wear the crown, and place the government
and kingdom in a different state to what it then was.


 SOURCE.--Froissart's _Chronicle_ (Hafod Press, 1803), 558-559,

The King under pretence of deer-hunting, went to a palace he had at
Havering-at-the-bower, in Essex: it is about twenty miles from London,
and as many from Pleshy, where the Duke of Gloucester generally
resided. The King set out, one afternoon, from Havering, without many
attendants, for he had left them behind with the Queen at Eltham, and
arrived at Pleshy at about five o'clock; the weather was very hot: and
he came so suddenly to the castle, no one knew of it, until the porter
cried out, "Here is the King!" The Duke of Gloucester had already
supped, for he was very temperate in his diet, and never sat long at
dinner or supper. He immediately went out to meet the King in the court
of the castle, and paid him all the respect due to his sovereign, as
did the duchess and her children.

The King entered the hall and the apartment, where the table was again
laid out for the King, who ate some little; but he had before told
the duke, "Fair uncle, have your horses saddled, not all, but five or
six, for you must accompany me to London, as I am to have a meeting
to-morrow with the citizens; and we shall surely meet my uncles of
Lancaster and York, but I shall advise with you what answer to make to
the Londoners' demands. Tell your house-steward to follow us with your
servants to London, where they will find you." The duke, suspecting
nothing evil intended against him, too easily consented; and the King,
having soon supped, rose from table. Everything being ready, the King
took leave of the duchess and her children, mounted his horse, and the
duke did the same, attended only by three squires and four varlets.
They took their way to Bondelay, to avoid the high road to London, and
Brentwood, with the other towns through which it passes. They rode
hard, for the King pretended impatience to get to London, and conversed
all the way with the Duke of Gloucester. On their arrival at Stratford,
near the Thames, where an ambuscade had been laid, the King galloped
forwards, leaving his uncle behind, on which the earl-marshal advanced
to the rear of the duke, with a large body of men, and said: "I arrest
you in the King's name." The duke was panic-struck, for he saw he had
been betrayed, and cried aloud after the King. I know not if the King
heard him, but he did not turn back, galloping on faster than before,
and followed by his attendants.... The King of England left the Tower
of London at a very early hour, and rode to Eltham, where he remained.
This same day, towards evening, the Earls of Arundel and Warwick were
brought to the Tower by the King's officers, and there confined, to
the great surprise of the citizens. Their imprisonment caused many to
murmur, but they were afraid to act, or do anything against the King's
pleasure, lest they might suffer for it. It was the common conversation
of the knights, squires, and citizens of London and in other towns: "It
is useless or us to say more on this matter, for the Dukes of Lancaster
and of York, brothers to the Duke of Gloucester, can provide a remedy
for all this whenever they please: they assuredly would have prevented
it from happening, if they had suspected the King had so much courage,
or that he would have arrested their brother; but they will repent of
their indolence; and, if they are not instantly active, it will end


 SOURCE.--_Chronicle of Adam of Usk_ (edited and translated by
 Sir E. Maunde Thompson, 1904), 152 _et seq._

[This Parliament was packed by the sheriffs in the King's interest;
his constitutional rule for the past nine years had been a determined
preparation for this moment of revenge.]

A Parliament was holden in London, at Westminster, on St. Lambert's
Day [September 17], a Monday, in the year of our Lord 1397; in which
Parliament I, the writer of this chronicle, was present every day.

In the first place, a speech in the form of a sermon was made by
Edmund Stafford, Bishop of Exeter, then Chancellor, wherein he kept
his discourse to the one point: that the power of the King lay singly
and wholly in the King, and that they who usurped or plotted against
it were worthy of the penalties of the law. Wherefore to the end was
it ordained in Parliament: first, to enquire after those who molest
the power of the King and his royalty; secondly, what penalties such
molesters should receive; thirdly, that things be so ordered that
henceforth such molesting do not ensue....

On the Tuesday [September 18] Sir John Bushy[100] was presented by
the Commons to the King their speaker.... Then straightway spake he
thus before the King: "In that, my lord the King, we are bound by
your dread command to make known to your Royal Highness who they be
who transgressed against your royalty, we say that Thomas Duke of
Gloucester, and Richard Earl of Arundel, did in the tenth year of your
reign traitorously force you, by means of him who is now Archbishop of
Canterbury, and who was then Chancellor, thereby doing you grievous
wrongs, to grant to them a commission to govern your kingdom and to
order its estate, to the prejudice of your majesty and royalty."

And the same day that same commission was made of none effect, with all
and every the acts thereon depending or caused thereby.

Also a general pardon, granted after the great Parliament by their
means, and a special pardon granted to the Earl of Arundel, were
recalled. It was also prayed by the Commons, still by the mouth of
their speaker, that whereas that special pardon had been gotten for a
traitor by Thomas Arundel, Archbishop of Canterbury, then Chancellor
of England, he, the procurer of the same, who should rather by virtue
of his office have been against it, should be declared a traitor. And
the Archbishop rose up, wishing to make answer; but the King said:
"To-morrow." But thenceforth he appeared not there again. The King also
said, as to this petition, that he would take counsel.

Also it was decreed that any man henceforth convicted of acting against
the Government of our lord the King should be declared a false traitor,
and the fitting punishment of treason be awarded to him. Also it was
decreed, with assent of the prelates, that criminal charges henceforth
be determined without their agreement, in every Parliament. And then,
having leave, they withdrew.

Then there was, as is wont to be, some bustle. And thereupon the
King's archers, who, to the number of four thousand, surrounded the
Parliament-house, which was set up to this end in the middle of the
palace-yard, thought that some quarrel or strife had arisen in the
house; and, bending their bows, they drew their arrows to the ear, to
the great consternation of all who were there: but the King quieted

       *       *       *       *       *

On Friday [September 21], which fell on St. Matthew's Day, the Earls
of Rutland, Kent, Huntingdon, Nottingham, Somerset, Salisbury, the
Lord Despenser and Sir William Scrope, in a suit of red robes of silk
banded with white silk and powdered with letters of gold, set forth the
appeal which they had already proclaimed before the King at Nottingham;
wherein they accused Thomas Duke of Gloucester, Richard Earl of
Arundel, Thomas Earl of Warwick, and Sir Thomas Mortimer, knight of
the aforesaid treasons, and also of armed revolt at Haringhay-park
traitorously raised against the King.


[100] Walshingham, in his account of this Parliament, adds: "A knight
of the county of Lincoln, a man of great discretion and very eloquent."


 SOURCE.--_Roll of Proceedings of the King's Council in Ireland_
 (Rolls Series), Appendix, 264.

Item. As regards other matters touching the state of the said land, be
it known that the Irish enemies are strong and arrogant and of great
power, and there is neither rule nor power to resist them, for the
English archers are not able, nor are they willing, to ride against
them, without stronger paramount power.

Item. The English families in all parts of the land which are rebels,
as the Butyllers, Powers, Gerardynes, Bermynghames, Daltons, Barrettes,
Dillons, and the others, who will not obey the law nor submit to
justice, but destroy the poor, liege people of the land, and take their
living from them and rob them, will needs be called gentlemen of blood
and idlemen, whereas they are sturdy robbers and are not amenable
to the law, and will make prisoners of the English and put them to
greater duress than do the Irish enemies, and this from default of the
execution of justice.

Item. In addition to this the said English rebels are accomplices of
the Irish enemies and will not displease them, and thus between the one
and the other the loyal English are destroyed and injured.

Item. By the rebellion and falseness of the English rebels on the one
side, and by the war of the Irish enemies on the other, the King has no
profit of the revenues of the land, because the law cannot be executed,
nor any officer dare put it, nor go to put it, in execution.


 SOURCE.--_Traison et Mort du Roy Richart_ (English Historical
 Society), 195 _et seq._

[Translated from manuscript (Bibliothèque du Roi) No. 904, Fonds St.

Item. The same day that the Earl of Huntingdon, Duke of Exeter, went
to seek the Duke [Henry of Lancaster], he found him lodging in his own
city of Chester, with his army. And that same day, which was Sunday,
the twentieth day of August, the year aforesaid, the duke sent to King
Richard the Earl of Northumberland, who was aged, that the King might
the rather believe his words and not be so overbearing with him as
with a younger person; and the said earl had with him a company of one
hundred lancers and two hundred archers. And know that, as soon as the
Duke of Lancaster and the Earl of Huntingdon had spoken together, the
Earl of Huntingdon sent one of his people, by the command of the duke,
to the Earl of Northumberland, and gave him two letters, one of which
he was to take to the King from his brother, requesting him to believe
the message he should deliver to him, and the other to the Earl of

It is a truth that the Earl of Northumberland went to King Richard with
(only) seven attendants, for he had left his people in ambush between
two mountains, and had commanded them that they should not stir till
they had tidings from him, or of the King, whom they much longed to
hold. And when the said earl went towards the King, he found him in
an exceedingly strong castle, surrounded on all sides by the sea,
which is called Conway; and thither he went, with all submission, he
and his seven attendants and saluted the King very humbly, as did his
attendants. The King had with him not more than five or six notable

When the King perceived the said earl, he caused him to rise, and
asked him, "What news?" Then said the earl, "My dear sire, I am sent
to you by your cousin Henry of Lancaster." The King asked him if he
had not met his brother, whom he had sent there. "Yes, dear sire; and
here is a letter he gave me [for you]." The King took the letter and
looked at the seal, and saw that it was the seal of his brother; then
he opened the letter and read it. All that it contained was this:
"My very dear lord; I commend me to you. I hope you will believe the
earl in everything that he shall say to you. For I found the Duke of
Lancaster at my city of Chester, who has a great desire to have a good
peace and agreement with you; and has kept me to attend upon him till
he shall know your pleasure." When the King had read the letter, he
said to the Earl of Northumberland: "Now then, Northumberland, what is
your message?" "My dear sire," said the earl, "my lord of Lancaster has
sent me to you to tell you what he most wishes for in this world is
to have peace and a good understanding with you, and greatly repents,
with all his heart, of the displeasure he hath caused you now and at
other times, and asks nothing of you in this living world, save that
you would consider him as your cousin and friend, and that you would
please only to let him have his land, and that he may be Seneschal of
England as his father and his predecessors have been, and that all
other things of bygone time may be put in oblivion between you two: for
which purpose he hath chosen umpires for yourself and for him; that is
to say, your brother, the Bishop of Carlisle, the Earl of Salisbury,
Maudelyn, and the Earl of Westmorland; and charges these five with [the
arrangement of] the differences that are between you and him. Give me,
if you please, an answer."

Then the King, with the Bishop of Carlisle, the Earl of Salisbury, Sir
Stephen Scrop, Fereiby, and the Gascon squire, withdrew into the chapel
of the castle; and the King said to them: "My lords, you have heard
what the earl says; what think you of it?" To which they replied: "My
lord, do you speak first." The King answered: "It seems to me that a
good peace would be made between us two, if it be as the earl says;
but, in truth, whatever agreement or peace he may make with me, if I
can ever get him into my power, I will cause him to be foully put to
death, just as he hath deserved." The Bishop of Carlisle said: "My
lord, peace is desirable; but it appears to me that it will be well
that you should make the Earl of Northumberland swear upon the Holy
Gospels, and on the body of our Lord, that what he has said is true."
The Earl of Salisbury and others said: "It is well spoken." The King
then said: "Tell Northumberland to come in." Upon which came in the
said earl, who can only be likened to Judas or to Guenelon,[101] for
he falsely perjured himself on the body of our Lord in everything
which he said. When he was in the presence, the King said to him as
follows: "Northumberland, if you will assure us by your loyal oath,
and swear upon the sacred body of our Lord, that what you have told us
from our cousin of Lancaster is true, we will believe you, and will
go and lodge at Flint; and there our good cousin of Lancaster can
come and speak to us." Then said the earl, who was old and venerable:
"Dear sire, I am quite ready to make what oath you wish." Upon which
the King commanded that they should chant the mass, for it was still
early; which he heard with much devotion as well as all his companions,
for he was a true Catholic. When mass had been chanted, he caused the
Earl of Northumberland to come forward, who placed his hand upon the
body of our Lord which was upon the altar in the presence of the King
and of the lords, and swore that all that he had said to the King from
Henry of Lancaster was true; in which he perjured himself wickedly and
falsely. After the oath had been taken, the King and those present
went to dinner, and the King ordered that everyone should get ready to
set out to go to Flint after dinner. When dinner was over, the King
said to the earl: "Northumberland, for God's sake, be sure you consider
well what you have sworn, for it will be to your damnation if it be
untrue." The earl replied: "Dear sire, if you find it untrue, treat me
as you ought to do a traitor." "Well, then," said the King, "we will
go to Flint trusting in God and in our opinion of your honesty." "Dear
sire," said the earl, "I will go forward to order your supper, and will
tell to my lord the duke what I have done." The King replied: "Go": and
the false earl said, on setting out: "Dear sire, make haste, for it is
already two o'clock or thereabouts." The earl then left, with his seven
attendants, as he had arrived, and rode to the mountain where he had
left his men in ambush, who all made very merry, for he said to them:
"We shall very soon have what we are looking for...."

The King, setting out, saw Northumberland's men in ambush in the
valley, and, when Northumberland came back to meet him, questioned
him as follows: "What people are those who are below in the valley?"
The earl replied: "My lord, I do not know: I have seen none." "Look
before you then," said the Earl of Salisbury; "there they are." "By
St. John!" said the Bishop of Carlisle, "I believe they are your men,
for I distinguish your banner." "Northumberland," said the King, "if
I thought you wished to betray me, I would return to Conway!" "By
St. George! my lord," replied the earl, "you shall not return for
this month to come; for I shall conduct you to my lord, the Duke of
Lancaster, as I have promised him." As he spoke Erpingham came up with
all the people of the earl, his trumpets sounding aloud. The King and
his companions then saw well enough that they had been betrayed; and
said the King to the earl: "The God upon whom you have sworn reward
you and all your accomplices at the day of judgment!" Then turning to
his companions who were weeping, he said with a sigh: "Ah! my good and
faithful friends, we are all betrayed and given without cause into
the hands of our enemies; for God's sake have patience, and call to
mind our Saviour, who was undeservedly sold and given into the hands
of his enemies." "Dear sire," said the good Earl of Salisbury, "we
will patiently submit to our lot with you since it is the will of
God." So discoursing, with tears and lamentations, they came to Flint,
where they lodged the King and his companions in the castle; and the
earl and Erpingham set a strong guard over them: which done, the earl
immediately took five horsemen, and rode to Chester to relate to the
Duke of Lancaster how he had captured the King and conducted him to


[101] A notorious traitor, torn to pieces at Aix-la-Chapelle by order
of Charlemagne.


 SOURCE.--Froissart's _Chronicle_ (Hafod Press, 1803), iv., pp.
 668, 675, 688.

King Richard was released from his prison, and entered the hall that
had been prepared for the occasion, royally dressed, the sceptre in his
hand and the crown on his head, but without supporters on either side.
He addressed the company as follows: "I have reigned King of England,
Duke of Aquitaine, and Lord of Ireland, about twenty-two years, which
royalty, lordship, sceptre and crown, I now freely and willingly resign
to my cousin, Henry of Lancaster, and entreat of him, in the presence
of you all, to accept this sceptre."

He then tendered the sceptre to the Duke of Lancaster, who took it and
gave it to the Archbishop of Canterbury. King Richard next raised the
crown with his two hands from his head, and, placing it before him,
said: "Henry, fair cousin, and Duke of Lancaster, I present and give to
you this crown, with which I was crowned King of England, and all the
rights dependent on it...."

The inhabitants of Bourdeaux, Dax and Bayonne, were lost in
astonishment when they heard that their lord, King Richard, had been
arrested and was confined in the Tower of London, his principal
counsellors executed, and Duke Henry of Lancaster crowned King, and
would not at first believe that such melancholy events had happened in
England; but as the reports were confirmed daily by fresh intelligence
they were constrained to think them true. The gates of the three cities
were closed, and no person whatever suffered to go out, from the sorrow
they were in, more particularly those of Bourdeaux, for King Richard
had been educated among them. They were sincerely attached to him,
and he always received them kindly when they waited on him, inclining
naturally to comply with every request they made him. On first hearing
of his misfortune, they said: "Ah, Richard, gentle king! by God, you
are the most honourable man in your realm. This mischief has been
brewed for you by the Londoners, who never loved you, and their dislike
was still increased by your alliance with France. This misfortune is
too great for us to bear. Ah, King Richard! they have acknowledged
you their Sovereign two and twenty years, and now they imprison you,
and will put you to death; for, since they have crowned the Duke of
Lancaster King, that consequence must follow...."

It was not long after this that a true report was current in London of
the death of Richard of Bourdeaux. I could not learn the particulars
of it, nor how it happened, the day I wrote these chronicles. Richard
of Bourdeaux, when dead, was placed on a litter covered with black,
and a canopy of the same. Four black horses were harnessed to it, and
two varlets in mourning conducted the litter, followed by four knights
dressed also in mourning. Thus they left the Tower of London, where
he had died, and paraded the streets at a foot's pace until they came
to Cheapside, which is the greatest thoroughfare in the city, and
there they halted for upwards of two hours. More than twenty thousand
persons, of both sexes, came to see the King, who lay in the litter,
his head on a black cushion, and his face uncovered.

Some pitied him when they saw him in this state, but others not,
saying he had for a long time deserved death. Now consider, ye kings,
lords, dukes, prelates and earls, how very changeable the fortunes of
this world are. This King Richard reigned twenty-two years in great
prosperity, and with much splendour; for there never was a King of
England who expended such sums, by more than one hundred thousand
florins, as King Richard did in keeping up his state and his household
establishments. I, John Froissart, canon and treasurer of Chimay, know
it well, for I witnessed and examined it, during my residence with him,
for a quarter of a year.


 SOURCE.--_Vita R. Ricardi II._ (ed. Hearne, 1729), 169.

King Richard was of common stature. His hair was yellow, his face
white, round, and effeminate, sometimes flushed; he was abrupt and
stammering in his speech, capricious in his ways, since spurning
the counsels of the elder nobles, he adhered rather to that of the
young. In his gifts he was prodigal, in his banquets and dress
splendid beyond measure, timid and unsuccessful in war against foreign
enemies, ill-tempered with his domestics, arrogant, rapacious, and
too much given over to luxury. He was a great lover of late hours,
so that sometimes till midnight, sometimes till morning, he would
remain drinking and committing other unspeakable excesses. Grievously
extorting tithes and taxes, and other subsidies, from his people,
throughout his reign, scarcely a year passed in which he did not
have a tenth, or a fifteenth, or their halves, from Parliament.
And while these grants came into his treasury, under pretext of
repelling national enemies, everything was foolishly wasted upon his

However, there were two praiseworthy features to be found in him: the
one, that he loved and promoted the Church of God and the persons of
the clergy, especially the Black Monks; the other, that he endowed the
Church of Westminster with rents to the value of 500 marks to pray for
the salvation of his soul on his anniversary, although he is not buried
there. May God have mercy on his soul. Amen.


 SOURCE.--William Langland's _Richard the Redeless_ (about


  And as I passid in my preire[102] . ther prestis[103] were at messe,
  In a blessid borugh[104] . that Bristow[105] is named,
  In a temple of the trinite . the toune even amyddis,[106]
  That Cristis chirche is cleped[107] . amonge the comune peple,
  Sodeynly ther sourdid[108] . selcouthe[109] thingis,
  A grett wondir to wyse men . as it well mygth,[110]
  And dowtes[111] ffor to deme[112] . ffor drede comynge after.
  So sore were the sawis[113] . of bothe two sidis,
  Of Richard that regned . so riche and so noble,
  That whyle he werrid[114] be west . on the wilde Yrisshe,
  Henrri was entrid[115] . on the est half,
  Whom all the londe loued . in lengthe and in brede,
  And ros with him rapely[116] . to rightyn his wronge,
  Ffor he shulde hem serue . of the same after.
  Thus tales me troblid . ffor they trewe were,
  And amarride[117] my minde rith moche[118] . and my wittis eke:[119]
  Ffor it passid[120] my parceit[121] . and my preifis[122] also,
  How so wondirffull werkis . wolde haue an ende.
  But in sothe whan they sembled . some dede repente,
  As knowyn is in cumpas . of Cristen londis,
  That rewthe[123] was, if reson . ne had reffourmed
  The myssecheff and the mysserule . that men tho in endurid.[124]
  I had pete[125] of his passion . that prince was of Walis,
  And eke our crouned kynge . till Crist woll no lenger;
  And as a lord to his liage . though I lite[126] hade,
  All myn hoole herte[127] was his . while he in helthe regnid.
  And ffor I wuste not witterly[128] . what shulde ffall,
  Whedir God wolde geue[129] him grace . sone to amende,
  To be oure gioure[130] ageyn . or graunte it another,
  This made me to muse . many tyme and ofte,
  For to written him a writte[131] . to wissen[132] him better,
  And to meuve him of mysserewle . his mynde to reffresshe,
  Ffor to preise[133] the prynce . that paradise made,
  To fullfill him with ffeith . and ffortune aboue,
  And not to grucchen a grott[134] . ageine godis sonde[135]
  But mekely to suffre . what so him sente were.

       *       *       *       *       *


  Now, Richard the redeless[136] . reweth[137] on you-self
  That lawelesse leddyn youre lyf . and youre peple bothe;[138]
  Ffor thoru the wyles and wronge . and wast in your tyme,
  Ye were lyghtlich y-lyfte . ffrom that you leef thoughte,[139]
  And ffrom youre willffull werkis: youre will was channgid,
  And rafte was youre riott . and rest,[140] ffor youre daiez
  Weren wikkid thoru youre cursid counceill . youre karis[141] weren newed,
  And coueitise hath crasid[142] . youre croune ffor euere!

_Radix omnium malorum cupiditas._[143]

  Of alegeaunce now lerneth . a lesson other tweyne,
  Wher-by it standith . and stablithe moste--
  By drede, or by dyntis[144] . or domes untrewe,[145]
  Or by creaunce of coyne . ffor castes of gile,[146]
  By pillynge[147] of youre peple . youre prynces to plese;
  Or that youre wylle were wroughte . though wisdom it nolde;
  Or be tallage of youre townes . without ony werre,
  By rewthles routus[148] . that ryffled euere,
  By preysinge of polaxis[149] . that no pete hadde,
  Or be dette ffor thi dees . deme as thou ffyndist;
  Or be ledinge of lawe . with loue well ytemprid,[150]

         *       *       *       *       *

  Ffor legiaunce without loue . litill thinge availith.
  But graceles gostis[151] . gylours[152] of hem-self,
  That neuere had harnesse . ne hayle-schouris,[153]
  But walwed in her willis[154] . ffor-weyned[155] in here youthe,
  They sawe no manere sizth . saff solas and ese,[156]
  And cowde no mysse amende . whan mysscheff was vp,
  But sorwed ffor her lustus . of lordschipe they hadde,[157]
  And neuere ffor her trespas[158] . oo tere wolde they lete![159]

       *       *       *       *       *


    But moche now me merueilith[161] . and well may I in sothe,
    Of youre large leuerey[162] . to leodis[163] aboute,
    That ye so goodliche gaf[164] . but if gile letted,[165]
    As hertis y-heedyd[166] . and hornyd of kynde,[167]
    So ryff[168] as they ronne . youre rewme[169] thoru-oute
    That non at youre nede[170] . youre name wolde nempne,[171]
    In ffersnesse ne in ffoltheed,[172] . but ffaste ffle away-ward,
    And some stode astonyed[173] . and stared ffor drede,
    Ffor eye of the egle[174] . that oure helpe broughte.

           *       *       *       *       *

    Now liste[175] me to lerne . ho[176] me lere[177] coude,
    What kynnes conceyll[178] . that the kyng had,
    Or meued him most . to merke his liegis,[179]
    Or serue hem with signes[180] . that swarmed so thikke,
    Thoru-oute his lond . in lengthe and in brede,
    That ho so had hobblid . thoru holtes and tounes,
    Or y-passid the patthis . ther the prynce dwellyd,
    Of hertis or hyndis . on hassellis brestis,
    Or some lordis leveré . that the lawe stried,
    He should have ymette . mo than ynowe,[181]
    Ffor they accombrede[182] the contré . and many curse seruid,[183]
    And carped[184] to the Comounes . with the kyngys mouthe,
    Or with the lordis . ther they belefte[185] were
    That no renke[186] shulde rise . reson to schewe;
    They plucked the plomayle[187] . ffrom the pore skynnes,
    And schewed her signes[188] . ffor men shulde drede,
    To axe ony mendis . ffor her mys-dedis.[189]

          *       *       *       *       *

    So trouthe to telle . as toune-men said,
    Ffor on that ye merkyd[190] . ye myssed ten schore
    Of homeliche hertis[191] . that the harme hente.
    Thane was it ffoly . in ffeith, as me thynketh
    To sette siluer in signes . that of nought serued
    I not what you eylid[192] . but if it ese[193] were;
    Ffor frist at youre anoyntynge . alle were youre owene,
    Both hertis and hyndis . and helde of non other;
    No lede[194] of youre lond . but as a liege aughte,[195]
    Tyl ye, of youre dulnesse . deseuerance made,
    Thoru youre side[196] signes . that shente all the browet,
    And cast adoun the crokk . the colys amyd.[197]


[102] Prayer.

[103] Priests.

[104] Borough.

[105] Bristol.

[106] In the middle of.

[107] Named.

[108] Arose (Lat. _surgere_).

[109] Wonderful.

[110] Might.

[111] Doubts.

[112] Think.

[113] Sayings.

[114] Made war in.

[115] Entered.

[116] Rapidly.

[117] Disturbed.

[118] Very much.

[119] Also.

[120] Surpassed.

[121] Power of perception.

[122] Experience.

[123] Pity.

[124] Continued in.

[125] Pity.

[126] Little.

[127] My whole heart.

[128] Because I did not know for certain.

[129] Give.

[130] Guide.

[131] A writing.

[132] To show.

[133] More probably "preie" = pray.

[134] Not to grumble a groat--namely, not to grumble at all.

[135] God's visitation.

[136] Devoid of counsel (_cf._ Ethelred the _Unready_).

[137] Have pity.

[138] That lawless _led_ your life and _ruled_ your people.

[139] You were lightly lifted from that you thought dear.

[140] Your indulgence and rest were taken away.

[141] Cares.

[142] Covetousness has cracked.

[143] Cupidity is the root of all evils.

[144] Blows.

[145] Unjust judgments.

[146] By borrowing of coin for fraudulent contrivances.

[147] Pillaging.

[148] Ruthless gangs.

[149] Appraising by means of the King's officers. _Polaxis_ (=
pole-axes) here denote the men who used them--_i.e._, the King's

[150] The writer asks the King how is allegiance best promoted among
subjects--by dread, blows, unjust judgments, bad coinage, pillage of
the people, self-will of the King, taxes imposed in time of peace and
exacted by pitiless plunderers, and "by debts thou contractest in
dice-playing, judge as thou findest," or by guidance of the law, well
tempered with love?

[151] Spirits. An allusion to the King's favourites--De Vere, De la
Pole, etc.

[152] Deceivers.

[153] That never wore harness, nor felt showers of hail.

[154] Wallowed in their wills.

[155] Pampered.

[156] They saw no kind of sight, save amusement and ease.

[157] But sorrowed for their pleasures of lordship once enjoyed.

[158] Their trespasses.

[159] One tear would they let fall.

[160] The author is here inveighing against the King's servants,
particularly against their wearing badges.

[161] I marvel.

[162] Livery.

[163] Men.

[164] Liberally gave.

[165] Unless fraud hindered.

[166] Antlered harts. The white hart was the favourite badge of Richard

[167] Horned by nature.

[168] Rife.

[169] Realm.

[170] In the time of your need.

[171] Name. Whoever wore a lord's livery was bound in honour to espouse
the cause of the donor in any quarrel.

[172] Neither in fierceness nor in folly.

[173] Astonished.

[174] For awe of the eagle. The eagle represents Henry, Duke of
Lancaster, afterwards Henry IV.

[175] It would please.

[176] Whoever.

[177] Teach.

[178] What sort of advice.

[179] To mark his servants.

[180] Or serve them with signs--_e.g._, badges.

[181] Whoso had travelled through woods and towns, or passed the roads
where the Prince dwelt, would see more than enough of hearts and hinds
on retainers' breasts, or else the livery of some lord who destroyed
the law.

[182] Cumbered.

[183] Deserved.

[184] Talked.

[185] Left.

[186] Man.

[187] Plumage.

[188] Their badges.

[189] In order that men should be afraid to ask any amendment against
their misdeeds.

[190] _I.e._, gave a badge to.

[191] Homely hearts. There is a play on the words "heart" and "hart":
"For one that you marked with a hart's badge you lost ten score of
homely hearts."

[192] Ailed.

[193] Luxuriousness.

[194] Man.

[195] Ought.

[196] Wide.

[197] That spilt all the broth and upset the pot among the coals.


 SOURCE.--_Archæologia_ (London, 1824), xx. 237-241.

[Translation of a French Metrical History of the Deposition of Richard

The English were disposed to fulfil her restoration to her country,
together with all the jewels which she had, when, after her marriage,
she quitted France. She then passed through France to Paris, where her
coming caused many a tear and smile.[198] Let us now beseech God, who
humbly suffered his naked body to be suspended upon the Cross, for the
redemption and restoration of sinners from the false foes of hell, that
he will speedily avenge the great evils and ingratitude, the outrage
and injustice, which the wicked English have committed against their
King and Queen. For I protest to you of a truth, that I greatly desire
to behold this, on account of the wickedness which I have seen among
them. And if every one knew their disposition and how they hate the
French I firmly believe that before three months were passed we should
see many a vessel filled with men and stores to make war upon them. For
anyone may plainly see that they are a very wicked people and negligent
to do well. And if I have spoken too freely of them in any way which
may displease, I humbly and heartily beg pardon. For I solemnly declare
that, according to my ability, I have uttered no evil or slander of
them whereof they have not been guilty. Because I beheld their actions
for seven whole months, and rode with them in many countries, and
parts of Ireland and England. The good Earl of Salisbury also, when he
was taken with King Richard, was pleased most earnestly to request,
and humbly entreat me, that I would publish the whole of their bad
behaviour and disloyal treason. And, certes, I promised it him with
free will and loyal heart. For which cause, I have taken the trouble to
fulfil the promise that I made him, in the great sorrow and peril in
the which I left him. Besides, I am sure that the truth of the taking
of the King, and how he was falsely drawn out of his strong and fair
castles in Wales, by treaty and parley with the Earl of Northumberland,
could have been little known. So I sincerely beseech all those, who
shall read to the end of this treatise, which I have made concerning
the English and their affairs, that if I have committed any fault in
rhyme or in prose, or in elegance of rhyme, they would have me excused
because I am not skilled therein. Amen.


[198] In Monstrellet's _Chronicle_ it is stated that though Isabella
was "most honourably sent over," yet there was "no rent nor revenue
assigned for her dowry; whereat many of the princes of France were not
well content with the said King of England; and greatly desired that
the King of France would prepare war upon him."




 SOURCE.--Harleian MS. 2255, fols. 60-61_b_.

[From Dan John Lydgate's Testament. Lydgate was born in 1389, and
probably sent at an early age to a monastic school.]

  Duryng the tyme of this sesoun _ver_
  I meene the seson / of my yeerys greene
  Gynning fro childhood / streechithe up so fer
  to the yeerys / accountyd ful Fifteene
  bexperience / as it was wel seene
  The gerisshe seson / straunge of condicions
  Dispoosyd to many / unbridlyd passiouns

  Voyd of reson / yove to wilfulnesse
  Froward to vertu / of thrift gaf litil heede
  loth to lerne / lovid no besynesse
  Sauf pley or merthe / straunge to spelle or reede
  Folwyng al appetites / longng to childheede
  lihtly tournyng wylde / and seelde sad
  Weepyng for nouht / and anoon afftir glad

  For litil wroth / to stryve with my felawe
  As my passiouns / did my bridil leede
  Of the yeerde somtyme / I stood in awe
  to be scooryd / that was al my dreede
  loth toward scole / lost my tyme in deede
  lik a yong colt / that ran with-owte brydil
  Made my freendys / ther good to spend in ydll

  I hadde in custom / to come to scole late
  Nat for to lerne / but for a contenaunce
  With my felawys / reedy to debate
  to jangle and jape / was set al my plesaunce
  wherof rebukyd / this was my chevisaunce
  to forge a lesyng / and thereupon to muse
  Whan I trespasyd / my silven to excuse

  To my bettre / did no reverence
  Of my sovereyns / gaf no fors at al
  Wex obstynat / by inobedience.
  Ran in to gardyns / applys ther I stal
  To gadre frutys / sparyd hegg nor wal
  to plukke grapys / in othir mennys vynes
  Was moor reedy / than for to seyn matynes

  My lust was al / to scorne folk and jape
  Shrewde tornys / evir among to use
  to skoffe and mowe / lyk a wantoun Ape
  Whan I did evil / othre I did accuse.
  My wittys five / in wast I did abuse
  Rediere chirstoonys / for to telle
  Than gon to chirche / or heere the sacry belle.

  Loth to ryse / lother to bedde at eve
  With unwassh handys / reedy to dyneer
  My _pater noster_ /, my _Crede_, or my beleeve
  Cast at the Cok /, loo this was my maneer
  Wavid with eche wynd / as doth a reed speer
  Snybbed of my frendys / such techchys for ta mende
  Made deff ere / lyst nat / to them attende.


During the years of my boyhood, up to fifteen, I was void of reason,
prone to wilfulness, and loved no work but play and mirth. I loved
to fight, but stood in awe of being scored by the rod. Loth towards
school, I lost my time like a young colt without bridle. I came to
school late, and was always ready to talk, and lied to get off blame.
I mocked my masters, and was always disobedient. I stole apples and
grapes. My delight was to mock and play tricks on people. I liked
counting cherry stones better than church. I disliked getting up and
going to bed: came to dinner with unwashed hands, and threw my _Pater
noster_, etc., at the cook. I was deaf to the snubbings of my friends.


 SOURCE.--Langland's _Pierce the Ploughman's Crede_ (ed. Skeat),
 ll. 744-764.

  Now mot ich soutere hys sone . seten to schole,
  And ich a beggares brol . on the book lerne,
  And worth to a writere . and with a lorde dwelle
  Other falsly to a frere . the fend for to serven;
  So of that beggares brol . a bychop shal worthen,
  Among the peres of the lond . prese to sytten,
  And lordes sones lowly . to the losels alowte,
  Knyghtes crouketh hem to . and cruccheth ful lowe;
  And his syre a soutere . y-suled in grees
  His teeth with toylyng of lether . tatered as a sawe
  Alaas! that lordes of the londe . leveth swiche wrecchen,
  And leveth swych lorels . for her lowe wordes.
  They shulden maken bichopes her owen bretheren childre
  Other to som gentil blod. And so yt best semed,
  And fostre none faytoures . ne swich false freres
  To maken fat and fulle . and her flesh combren.
  For her kynde were more . to y-clense diches
  Than ben to sopers y-set first . and served with sylver
  A grete bolle-ful of benen . were better in hys wombe
  And with the bandes of bakun . his baly for to fillen
  Than pertryches or plovers . or pecockes y-rosted.


Now every cobbler's son and beggar's brat becomes book-learned and a
writer and dwells with a lord. The beggar's brat becomes a bishop,
and lords' sons crouch before him, and his father a cobbler, soiled
with grease, and his teeth jagged as a saw with working on leather!
Alas! that the lords of the land love such as these; they should make
gentlemen bishops, not these, who are more fit to clean dishes than sit
in places of honour at supper, and be served with silver; and ought to
eat beans and bacon rind, not partridges, or plovers, or roast peacocks.


 SOURCE.--Malcom's _Manners and Customs of London_ (London,
 1811), 65, [quoting Higden in his _Polychronicon_: translated by

"One is because children that go to school learn to speak first
English, and then are compelled to construe their lessons in French,
and that has been the custom since the Normans came to England. Also
gentlemen's children are learned and taught from their youth to speak
French, and uplandish men will counterfeit and liken themselves to
gentlemen, and are busy to speak French, for to be more set by;
wherefore it is said by the common proverb: 'Jack would be a gentleman
if he could speak French.'"

[Trevisa, the translator, adds: "This manner was much used before the
great death (1349 or 1361), but since it is some deal changed; for Sir
John Cornwall, a master of grammar, changed the teaching in grammar
schools and construction of French; and other schoolmasters use the
same way now in the year of our Lord 1365, the 9th year of King Richard
the Second, and leave all French in schools and use all construction in
English; wherein they have advantage one way, that is, they learn the
sooner their grammar; and in another, disadvantage, for now they learn
no French, nor con none, which is hurt for them that shall pass the
sea; and also gentlemen have much left[199] to teach these children to
speak French."]


[199] Difficulty.


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