The Chronicles of Froissart Chapters 31-40

1337 Battle of Cadzand

1338 French Raid on Southampton

1339 Attack on Honnecourt

The Chronicles of Froissart Chapters 31-40 is in The Chronicles of Froissart.


1337 Battle of Cadzand

1337When the English saw the town of Cadsant, whither they were bending their course to attack those that were within it, they considered, that, as the wind and tide were in their favour, in the name of God and St. George they would run close up to it. They ordered the trumpets to sound, and each made himself quickly ready; they ranged their vessels, and placing the archers on the prows, made full sail for the town. The sentinels and guards at Cadsant had plainly perceived the approach of this large fleet, and taking it for granted that it must be English, had already armed and placed themselves upon the dykes and the sands, with their banners in their proper position before them. They had also created a number of knights upon the occasion, as many as sixteen: their numbers might be about five thousand, taking all together, very valiant knights and bachelors, as they proved by their deeds. Among them were sir Guy of Flanders, a good knight, but a bastard*, who was very anxious that all in his train should do their duty; sir Dutres de Halluyn, sir John de Rhodes, sir Giles de l'Estrief, sir Simon and sir John de Bouquedent, who were then knighted, and Peter d'Aglemoustier, with many other bachelors and esquires, valiant men at arms. There was no parley between them, for the English were as eager to attack as the Flemings were to defend themselves. The archers were ordered to draw their bows stiff and strong, and to set up their shouts; upon which those that guarded the haven were forced to retire, whether they would or not, for this first discharge did much mischief, and many were maimed and hurt. The English barons and knights then landed, and with battle-axes, swords, and lances, combated their enemies. Many gallant deeds of prowess and courage were done that day:— the Flemings fought valiantly, and the English attacked them in all the spirit of chivalry. The gallant earl of Derby (27) proved himself a good knight, and advanced so forward at the first assault, that he was struck down: and then the lord of Manny (27) was of essential service to him; for, by his feats of arms, he covered him and raised him up, and placed him out of danger, crying, " Lancaster for the earl of Derby !" They then closed with each other; — many were wounded, but more of the Flemings than of the English; for the English archers made such continual discharges, from the time they landed, that they did them much damage.
The battle was very severe and fierce before the town of Cadsant, for the Flemings were good men, and expert in arms; the earl had selected and placed them there to defend the passage against the English, and they were desirous of performing their duty in every respect» which they did. Of the barons and knights of England, there were, first, the earl of Derby, son of Henry of Lancaster, surnamed Wryneck; the earl of Suffolk, lord Reginald Cobham (42), lord Lewis Beauchamp, lord William, son of the earl of Warwick, the lord William Beauclerk, sir Walter Manny, and many others, who most vigorously assaulted the Flemings. The combat was very sharp and well fought, for they were engaged hand to fist; but at length the Flemings were put to the rout, and more than three thousand killed, as well at the haven as in the streets and houses. Sir Guy, the Bastard, of Flanders, was taken prisoner. Of the killed, were sir Dutres de Halluyn, sir John of Rhodes, the two brothers Bonquedent, sir Giles de 1'Estrief, and more than twunty-six other knights and esquires. The town was taken and pillaged: and when every thing was put on board the vessels with the prisoners, it was burnt. The English returned without accident to England. The king made the Jord Guy of Flanders pledge his troth, that he would remain a prisoner; hot in the course of the year he turned to the English, and did his homage and fealty to the king.


Nov 1337The news of the discomfiture at Cadsant was soon spread abroad; — the Flemings said, that they were not sorry for it, as the earl had placed that garrison there without their consent or advice; nor was Jacob von Artaveld displeased at the event. He instantly sent over ambassadors to king Edward recommending himself to his grace with his whole heart and faith. He signified to the king, that it was his opinion he should immediately cross the sea, and come to Antwerp, by which means he would acquit himself towards the Flemings, who were very anxious to see him; and he imagined, if he were on that side of the water, his affair would go on more prosperously, and to his greater advantage. The king of England (24), upon this, made very great preparations; and when the winter was over, he embarked, accompanied by many earls, barons, and knights, and came to the city of Antwerp, which at that time was held for the duke of Brabant (37): multitudes came thither to see him, and witness the great state and pomp in which he lived. He sent to the duke of Brabant (37), his cousin, to his brother-in-law, the duke of Gueldres (42), to the marquis of Juliers, the lord John of Hainault, and to all those from whom he expected support and assistance, that he should be happy to have some conversation with them. They all therefore came to Antwerp between Whitsuntide and St. Johns day; and when the king had sufficiently entertained them, he was eager to know from them when they could enter upon what they had promised, and entreated them to make dispatch: for this was his reason of coming to Antwerp; ud as he had all his preparations ready, it would be a great loss to him if they were tardy. These lords of Germany had a long consultation together, and finally made this their answer:—
"Dear sir, when we came hither, it was more for the pleasure of seeing you, than for any thing else; we are not yet in a situation to give a positive answer to your demand; but we will return home, and come again to you whenever you please, and give you so full an answer, that the matter shall not remain with us."
They fixed upon that day three weeks after St. John's day. The king of England remonstrated with them upon the great expenses and loss he should be at by their delays, for he thought they would all have been ready with their answers by the time he had come thither; and added, that he would never return to England, until he knew what their intentions were. Upon this the lords departed, and the king remained quietly in the monastery of St. Bernard: some of his lords staid at Antwerp, to keep him company; the rest went about the country amusing themselves in a magnificent style, and were well received and feasted wherever they came. The duke of Brabant went to Louvain, and made a long stay there; thence he sent (as he had done before) frequently to the king of France (43), to entreat that he would not pay attention to any reports that were injurious to him, for he should be very sorry to form any connexion or alliance contrary to his interests; but the king of England being his cousin-german, he could not forbid his passing through his country. The day came when the king expected the answers from the above-mentioned lords: they sent excuses, saying, they were not quite ready, neither themselves nor their men; that he must exert himself to make the duke of Brabant prepare to act with them, as he was much nearer to France, and seemed to them very indifferent in the matter; and that an soon as they should for a certainty he informed that the duke was ready, they would pat themselves in motion, and he as soon in action as he should he.
Upon this the king of England had a conference with the duke of Brabant, and showed him the answers he had received, and begged of him, hy his friendship and his kindred, that no delay might come from him, for he suspected that he was not warmly inclined to the cause, and added, that, if he were so cool and indifferent, he much feared he should lose the aid of these German lords. The duke replied, that he would summon his council. After long deliberations, he told the king, that he would he ready the moment the business required it — but that he must first see these lords; to whom he wrote, to desire they would meet him at whatever place was the most agreeable to them. The day for this conference was fixed for the middle of August, and it was unanimously agreed to be held at Halle, on account of the young earl of Hainault, who was to be there, as well as the lord John, his uncle.
When all these lords of the empire were assembled in the city of Halle, they had long deliberations together, and said to the king of England, "Dear sir, we do not see any cause for us to challenge the king of France, all things considered, unless you can procure the consent of the emperor, and that he will command us so to do on his account, which may easily be done; for there is an ordinance of a very old date, sealed, that no king of France should take and keep possession of any thing that belongs to tho empire. Now king Philip has gotten possession of the castles of Crevecoaur, in Cambresis, and of Arleux, in Artois, as well as the city of Cambray, for which the emperor has good grounds to challenge him through us, if you will have the goodness to obtain it from him, in order to save our honour." The king of England replied, that he would very cheerfully conform himself to their advice.
It was then determined, that the marquis of Juliers should go to the emperor, and with him knights and counsellors from the king, and some from the duke of Gueldres: but the duke of Brabant would not send any; he lent, however, his castle of Louvain to the king for his residence. The marquis of Juliers and his company found the emperor at Nuremberg: they obtained by their solicitations the object of their mission; for the lady Margaret of Hainault (25), whom the lord Lewis of Bavaria (55), then emperor, had married, took great pains and trouble to bring it about. The marquis was then created an earl, and the duke of Gueldres (42), who was but an earl, was raised to the dignity of a duke. The emperor gave a commission to four knights and two counsellors in the law, who were members of his council, investing them with powers to make king Edward his vicar over all parts of the empire; and these lords took out sufficient instruments, publicly sealed and confirmed by the emperor.

The Chronicles of Froissart Chapter XXXIII How king David of Scotland made alliance with king Philip of France

Nov 1337. In this season the young king David of Scotland (13), who had lost the best part of his land and could not recover it out of the hold of the Englishmen, departed privily with a small company and the queen (16) his wife with him, and took shipping and arrived at Boulogne, and so rode to Paris to king Philip (43), who greatly did feast him, and offered him of his castles to abide in and of his goods to dispend, on the condition that he should make no peace with the king of England without his counsel and agreement; for king Philip knew well how the king of England apparelled greatly to make him war. So thus the king there retained king David and the queen a long season, and they had all that they needed at his cost and charge; for out'of Scotland came but little substance to maintain withal their estates. And the French king sent certain messengers into Scotland to the lords there, such as kept war against the Englishmen, offering them great aid and comfort, so that they would take no peace nor truce with the king of England, without it were by his agreement or by the accord of their own king, who had in like wise promised and sworn.
Then the lords of Scotland counselled together, and joyously they accorded to his request, and so sealed and sware with the king their lord. Thus this alliance was made between Scotland and France, the which endured a long season after and the French king sent men of war into Scotland, to keep war against the Englishmen, as Sir Arnold d'Audrehem, who was after marshal of France, and the Lord of Garencieres, and divers other knights and squires. The French king thought that the Scots should give so much ado to the realm of England, that the Englishmen should not come over the sea to annoy him.

The Chronicles of Froissart Chapter XXXIV How king Edward of England was made vicar-general of the Empire of Almaine

Nov 1337. When the king of England (24) and the other lords to him allied were departed from the parliament of Hal, the king went to Louvain and made ready the castle for his abiding, and sent for the queen (23) to come thither, if it pleased her; for he sent her word he would not come thence of an whole year, and sent home certain of his knights to keep his land from the Scots. And the other lords and knights that were there still with the king rode about the realm of Flanders and Hainault, making great dispense, giving great rewards and jewels to the lords, ladies and damosels of the country, to get their good-wills. They did so much that they were greatly praised, and specially of the common people, because of the port and state that they kept.

And then about the feast of All Saints the marquis of Juliers and his company sent word to the king how they had sped; and the king sent to him that he should be with him about the feast of Saint Martin; and also he sent to the duke of Brabant, to know his mind where he would the parliament should be holden; and he answered at Herck in the county of Loos, near to his country. And then the king sent to all other of his allies that they should be there. And so the hall of the town was apparelled and hanged as though it had been the king's chamber; and there the king sate crowned with gold, five foot higher than any other, and there openly was read the letters of the emperor, by the which the king was made vicar-general and lieutenant for the emperor, and had power given him to make laws and to minister justice to every person in the emperor's name, and to make money of gold and silver. The emperor also there commanded by his letters that all persons of his Empire and all other his subjects should obey to the king of England his vicar, as to himself, and to do him homage. And incontinent there was claim and answer made between parties, as before the emperor, and right and judgment given. Also there was renewed a judgment, and a statute affirmed, that had been made before in the emperor's court; and that was this, that whosoever would any hurt to other should make his defiance three days before his deed, and he that did otherwise should be reputed as an evil-doer and for a villain's deed. And when all this was done, the lords departed and took day that they should all appear before Cambray three weeks after the feast of Saint John; the which town was become French.
Thus they all departed and every man went to his own. And king Edward, as vicar of the Empire, went then to Louvain to the queen, who was newly come thither out of England with great nobleness and well accompanied with ladies and damosels of England. So there the king and the queen kept their house right honourably all that winter, and caused money, gold and silver, to be made at Antwerp, great plenty. Yet for all this the duke of Brabant left not, but with great diligence sent often messengers to king Philip, as the lord Leon of Crainhem, his chief counsellor, with divers other, ever to excuse him for the which cause this knight was oftentimes sent, and at the last abode still in the French court with the king, to the intent always to excuse him against all informations that might be made of him the which knight did all his devoir in that behalf.

The Chronicles of Froissart Chapter XXXV How king Edward and all his allies did defy the French king.

1338. Thus the winter passed and summer came, and the feast of Saint John Baptist approached; and the lords of England and of Almaine apparelled themselves to accomplish their enterprise and the French king wrought as much as he could to the contrary, for he knew much of their intents. King Edward made all his provision in England, and all his men of war, to be ready to pass the sea incontinent after the feast of Saint John; and so they did. Then the king went to Vilvorde, and there made his company to be lodged, as many as might in the town and the other without along on the river side in tents and pavilions: and there he tarried from Maudlinticfe till our Lady day in September, abiding weekly for the lords of the Empire, and specially for the duke of Brabant, on whose coming all the other abode. And when the king of England saw how they came not, he sent great messengers to each of them, summoning them to come as they had promised, and to meet with him at Mechlin on Saint Giles' day, and then to show him why they had tarried so long.
Thus king Edward lay at Vilvorde and kept daily at his cost and charge well to the number of sixteen hundred men of arms, all come from the other side of the sea, and ten thousand archers, beside all other provisions; the which was a marvellous great charge, beside the great rewards that he had given to the lords, and beside the great armies that he had on the sea. The French king on his part had set Genoways, Normans, Bretons, Picards and Spaniards to be ready on the sea to enter into England as soon as the war were opened.
These lords of Almaine at the king of England's summons came to Mechlin and with much business. Finally they accorded that the king of England might well set forward within fifteen days after; and to the intent that their war should be the more laudable, they agreed to send their defiances to the French king — first the king of England, the duke of Gueldres, the marquis of Juliers, sir Robert d'Artois, sir John of Hainault, the marquis of Meissen, the marquis of Brandebourg, the lord of Fauquemont, sir Arnold of Baquehem, the archbishop of Cologne, sir Waleran his brother, and all other lords of the Empire. These defiances were written and sealed by all the lords except the duke of Brabant, who said he would do his deed by himself at time convenient. To bear these defiances into France was charged the bishop of Lincoln (46), who bare them to Paris and did his message in such manner that he could not be reproached nor blamed: and so he had a safe-conduct to return again to his king, who was as then at Mechlin.


Sir Walter Manny, a week after these challenges had been sent, and when he imagined the king of France had received them, collected about forty lances, on whom he knew he could depend, and rode through Brabant night and day; so that he came into Hainault, and entered the wood of Blaton, before any of his followers knew where and why they were thus hastening: he then told some of his intimates, that he had made a promise in England, before the nobles and ladies, that he would be the first that would enter France, and take some castle or strong town, and perform some gallant deed of arms; and that his intention was to push forward as far as Mortaigne, to surprise the town, which was a part of the kingdom of France. Those to whom he thus opened himself cheerfully consented to follow him. They then regirthed their horses, tightened their armour, and rode in close order: having passed through the wood of Blaton, they came at one stretch, a little before sunrise, to Mortaigne, where luckily they found the wicket open. Sir Walter alighted with some of his companions, and having passed the wicket in silence, and placed there a guard, he then with his pennon marched down the street before the great tower, but the gate and the wicket were close shut. The watch of the castle heard their voice, and seeing them from his post, began to Mow his horn, and to cry out "Treason! treason!" This awakened the soldiers and inhabitants, bnt they did not make any sally from the fort. Sir Walter, upon this, retreated handsomely into the street, and ordered those houses to be set on fire that were near the castle: full fifty houses were burnt that morning, and the inhabitants much frightened, at they concluded they must all have been taken prisoners; but sir Walter and his company marched away, and came straight to Condé, where they passed by the pond and river Haynes, taking the' road to Valenciennes; leaving which on the right hand, they came to Avesnes, and took up their quarters in the abbey. They then pushed forward towards Douchain, and managed matters so well with the governor, that the gates of the castle were opened to them: they crossed a river which empties itself into the Scheld, and which rises near Arleux. Afterward they came to a very strong castle, called Thin l'Evêque, that belonged to the bishop of Cambray, which was so suddenly surprised, the governor and his wife were taken in it. Sir Walter placed a strong garrison there, and made his brother, sir Giles Manny, governor, who gave much disturbance to the Cambresians, as this castle was but a short league from the city of Cambray. When sir Walter had performed these enterprises, he returned into Brabant towards the king, his lord, whom he found at Mechlin, and related to him all that he had done.


1338 French Raid on Southampton

Around 05 Oct 1338. Upon king Philip's (44) receiving the challenges from king Edward (25) and his allies, he collected men at arms and soldiers from all quarters; he sent the lord Gallois de la Bausme, a good knight from Savoy, to the city of Cambray, and made him governor thereof, in conjunction with sir Thibault de Marneil and the lord of Roye: they might be, including Spaniards and French, full two hundred lances. The king seized the county of Ponthieu, which the king of England had before held by right of his mother (43); and he also sent and entreated some lords of the empire, such as the count of Hainault his nephew (31), the duke of Lorrain (18), the Count of Bar (23), the bishop of Metz, the bishop of Liege, not to commit any hostile acts against him or his kingdom. The greater part of them answered as he could have wished; but the count of Hainault, in a very civil reply, said that although he should be at all times ready to assist him or his realm against any one, yet as the king of England made war in behalf of the empire, as vicar and lieutenant of it, he could not refuse him aid and assistance in his country, as he held lands under the empire. The king of France appeared satisfied with this answer, not however laying much stress on it, as he felt himself in sufficient strength to oppose his enemies.
As soon as sir Hugh Quiriel, sir Peter Bahucet, and Barbenoire, were informed that hostilities had commenced, they landed one Sunday morning in the harbour at Southampton, whilst the inhabitants were at church: Normans, Picards, and Spaniards entered the town, pillaged it, killed many, deflowered maidens and forced wives; and having loaded their vessels with the booty, they fell down with the tide, and made sail for the coast of Normandy. They landed at Dieppe, and there divided the plunder.

The Chronicles of Froissart CHAPTER XXXVIII How king Edward besieged the city of Cambray

1339. The king of England (26) departed from Mechlin and went to Brussels, and all his people passed on by the town. Then came to the king a twenty thousand Almains, and the king sent and demanded of the duke of Brabant what was his intention, to go to Cambray or else to leave it. The duke answered and said that as soon as he knew that he had besieged Cambray, he would come thither with twelve hundred spears, of good men of war. Then the king went to Nivelle and there lay one night, and the next day to Mons in Hainault; and there he found the young earl of Hainault, who received him joyously. And ever sir Robert of Artois was about the king, as one of his privy council, and a sixteen or twenty other great lords and knights of England, the which were ever about the king for his honour and estate, and to counsel him in all his deeds. Also with him was the bishop of Lincoln (47), who was greatly renowned in this journey both in wisdom and in prowess. Thus the Englishmen passed forth and lodged abroad in the country, and found provision enough before them for their money; howbeit some paid truly and some not.

And when the king had tarried two days at Mons in Hainault, then he went to Valenciennes; and he and twelve with him entered into the town, and no more persons. And thither was come the earl of Hainault and sir John his uncle, and the lord of Fagnolle, the lord of Werchin, the lord of Havreth and divers other, who were about the earl their lord. And the king and the earl went hand in hand to the great hall, which was ready apparelled to receive them; and as they went up the stairs of the hall, the bishop of Lincoln, who was there present, spake out aloud and said: "William bishop of Cambray, I admonish you as procurer to the king of England, vicar of the Empire of Rome, that ye open the gates of the city of Cambray; and if ye do not, ye shall forfeit your lands and we will enter by force." There was none that answered to that matter, for the bishop was not there present. Then the bishop of Lincoln said again: "Earl of Hainault, we admonish you in the name of the emperor, that ye come and serve the king of England his vicar before the city of Cambray with such number as ye ought to do." The earl, who was there present, said, 'With a right good will I am ready.' So thus they entered into the hall, and the earl led the king into his chamber, and anon the supper was ready.
And the next day the king departed and went to Haspres, and there tarried two days and suffered all his men to pass forth; and so then went to Cambray and lodged at Iwuy, and besieged the city of Cambray round about, and daily his power increased. Thither came the young earl of Hainault in great array, and sir John his uncle, and they lodged near to the king, and the duke of Gueldres and his company, the marquis of Meissen, the earl of Mons, the earl of Salm, the lord of Fauquemont, sir Arnold of Bakehem, with all the other lords of the Empire, such as were allied with the king of England.
And the sixth day after the siege laid thither came the duke of Brabant with a nine hundred spears, beside other, and he lodged toward Ostrevant on the river of I'Escault, and made a bridge over the water to the intent to go from the one host to the other. And as soon as he was come, he sent to defy the French king, who was at Compiegne, whereof Leon of Crainhem, who had always before excused the duke, was so confused, that he would no more return again into Brabant, but died for sorrow in France.
This siege during there were many skirmishes; and sir John of Hainault and the lord of Fauquemont rode ever lightly together, and brent and wasted sore the country of Cambresis. And on a day these lords, with the number of five hundred spears and a thousand of other men of war, came to the castle of Oisy in Cambresis, pertaining to the lord of Coucy, and made there a great assault: but they within did defend them so valiantly, that they had no damage; and so the said lords returned to their lodgings.
The earl of Hainault and his company on a Saturday came to the gate toward Saint-Quentin's, and made there a great assault. There was John Chandos, who was then but a squire, of whose prowess this book speaketh much, he cast himself between the barriers and the gate, and fought valiantly with a squire of Vermandois called John of Saint-Disier: there was goodly feats of arms done between them. And so the Hainowes conquered by force the bails, and there was entered the earl of Hainault and his marshals, sir Gerard of Werchin, sir Henry d'Antoing and other, who adventured them valiantly to advance their honour. And at another gate, called the gate Robert, was the lord Beaumont and the lord of Fauquemont, the lord d'Enghien, sir Walter of Manny, and their companies, made there a sore and a hard assault. But they of Cambray and the soldiers set there by the French king defended themselves and the city so valiantly, that the assaulters won nothing, but so returned right weary and well beaten to their lodgings. The young earl of Namur came thither to serve the young earl of Hainault by desire, and he said he would be on their part as long as they were in the Empire, but as soon as they entered into the realm of France, he said, he would forsake them and go and serve the French king, who had retained him. And in likewise so was the intent of the earl of Hainault, for he had commanded all his men on pain of death, that none of them should do anything within the realm of France.
In this season, while the king of England lay at siege before Cambray with forty thousand men of arms, and greatly constrained them by assaults, king Philip made his summons at Peronne in Verman-dois. And the king of England counselled with sir Robert d'Artois, in whom he had great affiance, demanding of him whether it were better for him to enter into the realm of France and to encounter his adversary, or else to abide still before Cambray, till he had won it by force. The lords of England and such other of his council saw well how the city was strong and well furnished of men of war and victuals and artillery, and that it should be long to abide there till they had won the city, whereof they were in no certainty; and also they saw well how that winter approached near, and as yet had done no manner of enterprise, but lay at great expense. Theri they counselled the king to set forward into the realm, whereas they might find more plenty of forage. This counsel was taken, and all the lords ordained to dislodge, and trussed tents and pavilions and all manner of harness, and so departed and rode toward Mount Saint-Martin, the which was at the entry of France. Thus they rode in good order, every lord among his own men; marshals of the English host were the earl of Northampton and Gloucester and the earl of Suffolk, and constable of England was the earl of Warwick. And so they passed there the river of I'Escault at their ease.
And when the earl of Hainault had accompanied the king unto the departing out of the Empire, and that he should pass the river and enter into the realm of France, then he took leave of the king and said how he would ride no further with him at that time, for king Philip his uncle had sent for him, and he would not have his evil will, but that he would go and serve him in France, as he had served the king of England in the Empire. So thus the earl of Hainault and the earl of Namur and their companies rode back to Quesnoy. And the earl of Hainault gave the most part of his company leave to depart, desiring them to be ready when he [should] send for them, for he said that shortly after he would go to king Philip his uncle.

The Chronicles of Froissart CHAPTER XXXIX How king Edward made sir Henry of Flanders knight

1339 Attack on Honnecourt

Around 10 Oct 1339. As soon as king Edward had passed the river of I'Escault and was entered into the realm of France, he called to him sir Henry of Flanders, who was as then a young squire, and there he made him knight, and gave him yearly two hundred pounds sterling, sufficiently assigned him in England. Then the king went and lodged in the abbey of Mount Saint-Martin, and there tarried two days, and his people abroad in the country; and the duke of Brabant was lodged in the abbey of Vaucelles.
When the French king at Compiegne heard these tidings, then he enforced his summons, and sent the earl of Eu and of Guines his constable to Saint-Quentin's, to keep the town and frontiers there against his enemies, and sent the lord of Coucy into his own country, and the lord of Ham to his, and sent many men of arms to Guise and to Ribemont, to Bohain, and the fortresses joining to the entry of the realm; and so went himself toward Peronne.
In the mean season that king Edward lay at the abbey of Mount Saint-Martin, his men ran abroad in the country to Bapaume and near to Peronne and to Saint-Quentin's. They found the country plentiful, for there had been no war of a long season; and so it fortuned that sir Henry of Flanders, to advance his body and to increase his honour, [went] on a day with other knights, whereof sir John of Hainault was chief, and with him the lord of Fauquemont, the lord of Berg, the lord of Bautersem, the lord of Cuyk and divers other to the number of five hundred: and they avised a town thereby, called Honnecourt, wherein much people were gathered on trust of the fortresses, and therein they had conveyed all their goods; and there had been sir Arnold of Baquehem and sir William of Duvenvoorde and their company, but they attained nothing there.
There was at this Honnecourt an abbot of great wisdom and hardiness; and he caused to be made without the town a barrier overthwart the street, like a grate, not past half a foot wide every grate, and he made great provisions of stones and quicklime, and men ready to defend the place. And these lords, when they came thither, they lighted afoot and entered to the barrier with their glaives in their hands, and there began a sore assault, and they within valiantly defended themselves. There was the abbot himself, who received and gave many great strokes: there was a fierce assault: they within cast down stones, pieces of timber, pots full of chalk1 and did much hurt to the assailers: and sir Henry of Flanders, who held his glaive in his hands, and gave therewith great strokes. At the last the abbot took the glaive in his hands and drew it so to him, that at last he set hands on sir Henry's arm, and drew it so sore that he pulled out his arm at the barrier to the shoulder and held him at a great advantage, for an the barrier had been wide enough, he had drawn him through; but sir Henry would not let his weapon go for saving of his honour. Then the other knights strake at the abbot to rescue their fellow: so this wrastling endured a long space, but finally the knight was rescued, but his glaive abode with the abbot. And on a day, when I wrote this book, as I passed by I was shewed the glaive by the monks there, that kept it for a treasure.2
So this said day Honnecourt was sore assailed, the which endured till it was night, and divers were slain and sore hurt. Sir John of Hainault lost there a knight of Holland called sir Herman. When the Flemings, Hainowes, Englishmen and Almains saw the fierce wills of them within, and saw how they could get nothing there, withdrew themselves against night. And the next day on the morning the king departed from Mount Saint-Martin, commanding that no person should do any hurt to the abbey, the which commandment was kept. And so then they entered into Vermandois, and took that day their lodging betimes on the mount Saint-Quentin in good order of battle: and they of Saint-Quentin's might well see them, howbeit they had no desire to issue out of their town. The foreriders came running to the barriers skirmishing, and the host tarried still on the mount till the next day. Then the lords took counsel what way they should draw, and by the advice of the duke of Brabant they took the way to Thierache, for that way their provision came daily to them, and were determined that if king Philip did follow them, as they supposed he would do, that theii they would abide him in the plain field and give him battle.
Thus they went forth in three great battles: the marshals and the Almains had the first, the king of England in the middleward, and the duke of Brabant in the rearward. Thus they rode forth, brenning and pilling the country, a three or four leagues a day, and ever took their lodging betimes. And a company of Englishmen and Almains passed the river of Somme by the abbey of Vermand, and wasted the country all about: another company, whereof sir John of Hainault, the lord of P'auquemont and sir Arnold of Baquehem were chief, rode to Origny-Saint-Benoiste, a good town, but it was but easily closed: incontinent it was taken by assault and robbed, and an abbey of ladies violated, and the town brent. Then they departed and rode toward Guise and Ribemont, and the king of England lodged at Boheries, and there tarried a day, and his men ran abroad and destroyed the country.
Then the king took the way to the Flamengerie3, to come to Leschelle in Thierache; and the marshals and the bishop of Lincoln (47) with a five hundred spears passed the river of Oise and entered into Laonnois, toward the land of the lord of Coucy, and brent Saint-Gobain and the town of Marie, and on a night lodged in the valley beside Laon: and the next day they drew again to their host, for they knew by some of their prisoners that the French king was come to Saint-Quentin's with a hundred thousand men, and there to pass the river of Somme. So these lords in their returning brent a good town called Crecy and divers other towns and hamlets there-about.
Now let us speak of sir John of Hainault and his company, who were a five hundred spears. He came to Guise and brent all the town and beat down the mills: and within the fortress was the lady Jane (16), his own daughter, wife to the earl of Blois called Louis: she desired her father to spare the heritage of the earl his son-in-law, but for all that sir John of Hainault (51) would not spare his enterprise. And so then he returned again to the king, who was lodged in the abbey of Fervaques, and ever his people ran over the country.
And the lord of Fauquemont with a hundred spears came to Nouvion in Thierache, a great town; and the men of the town were fled into a great wood and had all their goods with them, and had fortified the wood with felling of timber about them. The Almains rode thither, and there met with them sir Arnold of Baquehem and his company, and so there they assailed them in the wood, who defended them as well as they might; but finally they were conquered and put to flight; and there were slain and sore hurt more than forty, and lost all that they had. Thus the country was over-ridden, for they did what they list.
Note 1. 'Chaulx,' i.e. 'quicklime.'
Note 2. The fuller text has it as follows: ' But his glaive abode with the abbot by reason of his great prowess, who kept it many years after; and it is still, as I believe, in the hall of Honnecourt. It was there assuredly at the time when I wrote this book, and it was shewed to me on a day when I passed that way, and I had relation made to me of the truth of the matter and of the manner how the assault was made; and the monks kept it still as a great ornament."
Note 3. La Flamengerie, dep. Aisne.

The Chronicles of Froissart CHAPTER XL How the king of England and the French king took day of journey to fight together.

The king of England departed from Fervaques and went to Montreuil, and there lodged a night, and the next day he went to the Flamengerie and made all his men to lodge near about him, whereof he had more than forty thousand: and there he was counselled to abide king Philip and to fight with him.
The French king departed from Saint-Quentin's, and daily men came to him from all parts, and so came to Buironfosse. There the king tarried, and said how he would not go thence till he had fought with the king of England and with his allies, seeing they were within two leagues together. And when the earl of Hainault, who was at Quesnoy ready purveyed of men of war, knew that the French king was at Buironfosse thinking there to give battle to the Englishmen, he rode forth till he came to the French host with five hundred spears, and presented himself to the king his uncle, who made him but small cheer, because he had been with his adversary before Cambray. Howbeit the earl excused himself so sagely, that the king and his council were well content. And it was ordained by the marshals, that is to say by the marshal Bertrand and by the marshal of Trie1, that the earl should be lodged next the English host.
Thus these two kings were lodged between Buironfosse and Flamengerie, in the plain fields without any advantage. I think there was never seen before so goodly an assembly of noblemen together as was there2. When the king of England, being in the Chapel of Thierache2, knew how that king Philip was within two leagues, then he called the lords of his host together and demanded of them what he should do, his honour saved, for he said that his intention was to give battle. Then the lords beheld each other, and they desired the duke of Brabant to shew first his intent. The duke said that he was of the accord that they should give battle, for otherwise, he said, they could not depart, saving their honours: wherefore he counselled that they should send heralds to the French king to demand a day of battle. Then an herald of the duke of Gueldres, who could well the language of French, was informed what he should say, and so he rode till he came into the French host. And then he drew him to king Philip and to his council and said, 'Sir, the king of England is in the field and desireth to have battle, power against power.' The which thing king Philip granted, and took the day, the Friday next after, and as then it was Wednesday. And so the herald returned, well rewarded with good furred gowns given him by the French king and other lords because of the tidings that he brought. So thus the journey was agreed, and knowledge was made thereof to all the lords of both the hosts, and so every man made him ready to the matter.
The Thursday in the morning there were two knights of the earl of Hainault's, the lord Fagnolle and the lord of Tupigny, they mounted on their horses and they two all only departed from the French host and rode to aview the English host. So they rode coasting the host, and it fortuned that the lord of Fagnolle's horse took the bridle in the teeth in such wise, that his master could not rule him; and so, whether he would or not, the horse brought him into the English host, and there he fell into the hands of the Almains, who perceived well that he was none of their company and set on him and took him and his horse. And so he was prisoner to a five or six gentlemen of Almaine, and anon they set him to his ransom. And when they understood that he was a Hainowe, they demanded of him if he knew sir John of Hainault, and he answered, 'Yes,' and desired them for the love of God to bring him to his presence, for he knew well that he would quit him his ransom. Thereof were the Almains joyous, and so brought him to the lord Beaumont, who incontinent did pledge him out from his master's hands; and the lord of Fagnolle returned again to the earl of Hainault, and he had his horse again delivered him at the request of the lord Beaumont. Thus passed that day, and none other thing done that ought to be remembered.
Note 1. The marshals of the French host were Robert Bertrand and Matthieu de Trie.
Note 2. In the fuller text it is observed that there were in the French army four kings, France, Bohemia, Navarre and Scotland.
Note 3. La Capelle-en-Thirache, a village in the department of Aisne.