F. Carruthers (Francis Carruthers) Gould.

F. C. G.'s Froissart's modern chronicles, 1902 online

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they of the commons discourse, speak discourteously
of or revile rudely those who are over against them.
And if one should chance to do so, straightway he is
called to order, and if he be contrarious and refuseth
to take back that he hath said in offence, incontinent
he is put forth and hanged for a certain time in
accord with rules thereto made and provided. I had
great marvel of this when it was shewed me, and
of a surety I doubted if it were truth, for never have
I seen this cruel business done, nor do I know the
place of suspension unless it be done secretly in the
clock tower that adjoineth the parliament chamber,
and is the dungeon thereof.

In like wise no knight or squire may wear his
sword or other weapon when he entereth the council
chamber. Moreover it hath been shewed me that on
either side of the chamber where they sit there is
drawn a line, beyond which no man when he riseth

Affairs of Parliament 19

to speak may adventure, and these two lines are
apart one from the other beyond the length of a
sword stroke, so that no evil may be done.

Now let us speak of one or two of the divers
matters that were debated in this parliament of the
year of our Lord a thousand nine hundred and two.

Firstly was there the cause of certain changes of
procedure in the business of the chamber which were
greatly desired by Sir Arthur de Balfour, the leader
of the Blues in the Chamber of Commons, and who
next to my lord of Salisbury was highest in the
governance. He counselled that such changes should
be made whereby the men of parliament might depart
out of London, if such was their will, of a Friday

Quoth he, "There be many of us who have much
business to attend to in the country of a Saturday,
which heretofore we have been hindered in."

In the end this was done as I have said, howbeit
many there were who contended that it was an evil
adventure, and that Sir Arthur de Balfour was
minded to play and not to occupy himself with any
business on the last day of the week.

And they spake in this wise, " Sir Arthur de
Balfour hath less care for the business of the realm
than for the game of golf in which he taketh great
pleasure. To that end he hath set himself to over-

2O Froissart's Modern Chronicles

turn the ancient customs of Parliament to the great


prejudice of the realm, a thing which should in no



wise be fortuned." But, as I have told you, Sir
Arthur de Balfour prevailed in this business, which
gave great joy to those who loved pastimes.

Affairs of Parliament 21

For it is a marvellous thing what store these
English set on games that are played with ball, and
the man who striketh or kicketh a ball skilfully is
held in regard more than if he excelled all others in

You must know that this game of golf is played
in this wise.



A man goeth forth having with him a boy who
beareth a bag full of clubs of divers and strange
shapes. Then the man putteth down on the grass a
small white ball which he smiteth, or essayeth to
smite, with one of the clubs, to the end that he may
cause it to fall into a hole in the ground.

The fewer strokes that the player hath need to
make the more joy he hath, but if, when he striketh,

22 Froissart's Modern Chronicles

the ball goeth only a little way off, or falleth by hazard
into a thorn bush or a ditch, he muses sorely, and
oftentimes sweareth horribly. And this game of golf,
as I have been informed, taketh a man in like manner
as a fever, which, when once it entereth into the veins,
ever increaseth in violence. If a man play not well
when he essayeth the first time, he hath hope that he
will do better the next time, and so continueth. And
if he play well the first time, then he thinketh himself
to be of great puissance, and so is encouraged. In
England, as you may well believe, this game of golf
is held in great honour, and among those who take
pleasure therein are many nobles of high degree and
puissance in the governance, and this was right well
apparent when the Parliament of England set itself to
change its ancient laws of procedure as I have shewed

How the English, being desirous of buying horses for the army in
Africa, sent certain knights and squires abroad for that business,
and of the animals that they bought.

Another matter there was that was much debated
in Parliament, and that had caused great murmuring.
This was the business of the buying of horses for the
war in Africa, of which I shall presently speak. You
must know that when they of the governance of the
Blues were informed that their enemies, against whom

Buying Horses for the Army 23

they were fighting, rode on horses, incontinent they
hasted to procure some for their own army, and to
this end they sent certain knights and squires abroad
to buy whatsoever animals they might imagine to be

Now, when these tidings anon spread in Frankfort,


(Remount Records.}

and Buda Pesth, and Judsea, the copers and all those
who made profit by buying and selling accorded
together that they should get great advantage from
this business. And of a truth I believe well that they
did so, for wheresoever the English knights or squires,
who were commissioned in this business, arrived and

24 Froissart's Modern Chronicles

caused to be known the reason of their coming, the
horse-dealers and copers and gipsies came thither to
themward with multitudes of animals, which, so they
said, were horses. Whether this was so or not I


(Remount Records?)

cannot of a surety say, but, as I have been in-
formed, the English knights and squires purchased all ^
the animals that were brought to them that had four
legs. And if it fortuned that they refused any animal
because it bore only three legs, then that same animal

Buying Horses for the Army 25

was brought to them a^ain at night and sold. All

O *~3 <J

these things were alleged by those who found fault
with the governance, and indeed I well believe them,
for it was shewed to me that for the most part the
horses that were obtained in this wise fell in pieces,
or brake in two when the soldiers in Africa would
have ridden on them. This business was a grievous
scandal and a great prejudice to the army and to the
realm, for by it the war endured for a long season,
seeing that the English could not overtake and make
prisoners of their enemies.

Many even of the Blues were sore vexed, saying
that things were not as well done by the governance
as they should be ; and among those who murmured
in this wise was a certain knight, Sir Blundell de
Maple, who had great knowledge of horses. Quoth
he, " Marry, but they had better have sent towel-
horses to Africa than the animals that they have
bought in Frankfort, and Buda Pesth, and Judsea."


Of the orgulous words spoken by a lord of Almaine ; how Sir Joseph
de Birmingham ansivered in like manner, of the repute he gained
thereby, and how he went into the city of London, and was there
received with great favour.

IT might well be imagined, seeing the war in Africa
was not yet made an end of, and that the cost
thereof was a heavy burden on the people, and many
still continued to be killed or sore hurt, that Sir
Joseph de Birmingham would have been held in less
regard than heretofore. Indeed, this for a time was
as I have said, and ill might it have fortuned him but
for an adventure which I will relate to you.

A certain lord of Almaine, called Von Bulow, spake
orgulous words to Sir Joseph de Birmingham, saying
that it behoved him not to be so presumptuous. For
you must know that Sir Joseph had said that the
English were no more cruel in the war they were
making against the Dutch in Africa than the Almains
had been when they fought with and overcame the

Sir Joseph goeth to the City 27

When Sir Joseph de Birmingham heard how the
lord Von Bulow spake, he regarded him right fiercely
and felly, and defied him. Quoth he, " What I have


said I have said, nor will I any wise withdraw back
from nor qualify. I desire not to teach manners to
foreign lords, neither will I suffer any such to teach

28 Froissart's Modern Chronicles

me. I owe no allegiance, but all only to my own
rightful lord King Edward the Seventh, and I am
responsible to none but my own countrymen of Bir-
mingham and England, therefore am I not minded to
suffer oroulous counsel that is made in Almaine."


This defiance of the lord of Almaine by Sir Joseph
de Birmingham gave great joy to the English, par-
ticularly to the Blues within the city of London, and
these said that Sir Joseph had done well in so speak-
ing, and deserved that he should be enrolled as a
citizen, and that a casket of ^old should be given to



And so on the thirteenth day of February, on a
Thursday in the year of our Lord a thousand nine
hundred and two, on the day before the Feast of St.
Valentine, Sir Joseph with his squires and retainers
rode to the cityward and so to the Guildhall, where
was a great assembly of the Lord Mayor and his
Aldermen, and his Sheriffs, and his City Marshal, the
which was apparelled so that it was a marvel to see,
besides a fair rout of citizens. And they all made
obeisance to Sir Joseph de Birmingham, and greatly
recommended him for that he had withstood the lord
of Germany.

They had, moreover, been minded, as it hath been
shewed me, to present to him a casket of gold, but
it fortuned that this had not yet been made, and so

30 Froissart's Modern Chronicles

the Lord Mayor excused himself and pledged his faith
that whensoever the casket was delivered from the
hands of the goldsmiths they would send it to him by
a trusty messenger. And when they had all made an
end of speaking, the Lord Mayor and his Aldermen,
and his Sheriffs, and his Counsellors, and the City
Marshal, and divers of the burgesses and commonty
of the city did conduct Sir Joseph de Birmingham to
the Mayor's lodging, where was spread a great feast,
and there they made Sir Joseph good cheer with
many turtles and much white wine and red.

It was a marvel how greatly in this wise was Sir
Joseph de Birmingham honoured in the city of London,
and none durst speak against anything he had done.
Thus Sir Joseph, for all he might have been thought
to be in peril of losing favour with the people, was
of greater puissance than he had ever been hereto-


Of the war in Africa, how the lord de Kitchener caused many castles to be
builded, and how a certain flying Dutchman could not be caught.

LET us now speak of the war in Africa, which
continued after it had been ended. When
the Earl de Bobs departed on his viage back to
England, the lord de Kitchener led the English army,
and daily there were scrimmishes made with the
Dutch, and men slain on both parties and prisoners
taken. The Dutch shewed great hardness and fought

o o

with great honour ; the Englishmen were many more
in numbers, howbeit, I say not but they did nobly
acquit themselves.

But you must know that Africa is a large country,
and it was sore travail to the English to safeguard
their convoys with victuals and purveyances, and to
search out where the Dutchmen were assembled so
that they might force them to fight in the plain field.
For the Dutch were so well horsed that they were
able to escape whensoever they would, and the
English could in no wise overtake them.

When the lord de Kitchener perceived this matter
clearly he caused to be builded a great number of

32 Froissart's Modern Chronicles

little castles, a mile apart each from the other, and
these were joined together by fences of wire in the
which were woven sharpened barbs. These castles
were set all round about the country on all sides, to
the intent to hold the Dutch within in manner as if
besieged, for the English could not overcome them
thereas as they were. And when the English, as they
thought, had encompassed the Dutch wholly in this
wise they drew forward to drive them so that they
might make prisoners of them.

Some prisoners, indeed, were taken, but it was
great marvel how swift the Dutch were on their horses
and how they avoided the English and so escaped.

Thus continually the English were fain to make
watch, and to send out scoutwatches a mile off to
see ever if any such people as they were informed of
were coming to themward, to the intent that if their
scoutwatch heard any noise or moving of people,
then incontinent they should give them knowledge,
whereby they might quickly haste together where
they weened the Dutch might be.

Now there was a certain De Wet, one of the
chief leaders of the Dutch, of great skill in war, of
high pride and bobance, 1 and of marvellous courage,
and oftentimes he did great damage to the English
by sudden excursions.

1 Confidence.

The War in Africa


But the English, for all that he withstood them
so stoutly, held him in high repute, and in England,
as I have been told, it was a common jangle among
the people to enquire of one another, "Is De Wet
yet made a prisoner of? "

I will now speak of a certain notable adventure,


the like of which I ween had not been done sith
the days of Hannibal. It was in this wise.

The Englishmen were chasing De Wet, following
hard upon him, and he was in great peril of being
taken, seeing that the fence of wire was in front,
and the English behind.


34 Froissart's Modern Chronicles

Then he mused sorely how he might escape, and
anon he bethought himself of a way. So he gathered


together a great herd of oxen and, putting himself
and those that were with him in the midst, they

The War in Africa 35

affrayed the beasts so that they ran violently and
brake down the fence, and so for the most part
escaped ; howbeit some of the Dutchmen there were
who were slain in the adventure.

This the Dutch did a two or three times, so that
it was a marvel to the English.

Of the evil fortune that befell the lord Paul de Methuen, how he was sore
hurt and taken prisoner, and how the Dutch showed him marvellous

It irks me to tell of the evil fortune that befell the
lord Paul de Methuen, one of the leaders of the
English in the war in Africa, but, though the adven-
ture was sore displeasant to the good people of
England, I cannot forget or abridge my history in
anything, seeing that I have set myself to the
intent to shew you plainly matters as they were. It
chanced that the lord Paul, being on a viage with his
army, lodged for the night at a place called Twee-
bosch. And the next morning at sunrise the vaward
advanced forward on the way, and after they had
gone a league or more then the lord Paul commanded
that the carts and charettes drawn by oxen should follow.

Also he ordained that there should be a rearband,
and scurrers I who should ride apart on both wings
to the intent that if they escried the enemy they
should give the lord Paul knowledge of the matter.

1 Scouts.

36 Froissart's Modern Chronicles

This was accomplished as it had been ordained,
but when presently the rearband perceived a host of
the Dutch riding furiously to encounter them they,
for the most part, did not abide puissantly, but re-


culed them aback without good array among the
carts and charettes and the oxen. Thus was there
so great a confusion set up that the lord Paul could in
no wise remedy it, and so the Dutch, whose captain
was one De la Rey, a soldier of great skill and

The War in Africa 37

courage, brake in upon the English and slew and
made prisoners of a great many.

The lord Paul himself, albeit he fought valiantly,
as he was ever wont to do, was grievously hurt and
unhorsed, and fell into the hands of the Dutch.
Howbeit the Dutch treated him and those that they
had taken right courteously, and tended them that
were wounded. And a day or two after they con-
veyed the lord Paul to the English camp and yielded
him up, which, I trow, was a deed of great noblesse
and gentleness.

Pity it was that the lord Paul de Methuen, who
had fought from the beginning of the war, should
meet with this evil fortune. And this was the more
pity because the war was so soon afterwards made
an end of, as I shall shew you presently.

All such as in cruel battles have been seen abiding
to the discomfiture, sufficiently doing their devoir,
may well be reputed for valiant and hardy, whatso-
ever was their adventure.

Of the death of Sir Cecil de Kimberley of Africa, and of the Earl of
Kimberley of Norfolk in England.

In the mean season between the adventures in
Africa, of which I have herebefore told you, and the
ending of the war, it fell about that there departed
out of this world two notable Englishmen, howbeit

38 Froissart's Modern Chronicles

of different conditions. The one was Sir Cecil de
Kimberley, who was of great puissance in Africa,
and who had been the chief of the Free Company of
Charterland, until the evil adventure of the upsetting


of his apple cart, of which I have already spoken in
the first book of my chronicles.

Many there were in England who were sore
abashed by the adventure and greatly blamed Sir
Cecil for it.

The Death of Sir Cecil de Kimberley 39

But when he fell sick and the sickness continued
so long that it was plainly seen there was no remedy,
all men accorded that it was great pity this was so,
for though he had not always been wise in his enter-
prises, yet he loved England greatly and desired her

He died in Africa in the year of our Lord a
thousand nine hundred and two, on the twenty-sixth
day in the month of March, and his body was carried
into Charterland, and there was he buried in the
Mountains of Matoppo.

And there were present at the burying many of
the natives of the land who grieved sorely that Sir
Cecil de Kimberley, whom they called the Great
White Chief, had departed from them.

And in the same year of our Lord on the eighth
day of the month of April, there passed out of this
mortal life the Earl of Kimberley of Norfolk in
England, one of the leaders of the party of the
Buffs, of great virtuousness and high repute.

He bare for arms, sable : a chevron or, gutte de
sang, between three cinquefoils ermine, and for crest a
dexter arm couped below the elbow, vested argent,
and grasping a club or. And he bare for motto
" Frappe Fort."


How the war in Africa was made an end of to the great joy of the
English and the Dutch.

T ET us now speak of the manner that the war in
-* ' Africa that continued after it had been ended
was at last made an end of. You may well believe
that the English, howbeit they were in no wise minded
to withdraw aback from the enterprise, but had set
themselves other by fairness or by vigour to bring
the Dutch to accord or to overcome them, were sore
vexed at their fumishness, 1 and that they would still
continue to fight felly and would not yield them.

Now, though I cannot of a surety vouch for the truth
of all the things that I have set down in this high
and excellent history, yet have I recorded nothing
that has not been plainly shewed me by those right
well able to speak by the true report.

You must know that King Edward the Seventh of
England had caused a proclamation to be made
throughout the land that on the Thursday in the

1 Obstinacy.

4 o

The Ending of the War 41

month of June, on the twenty-sixth day of the month,
in the year of our Lord a thousand nine hundred and
two, he would go in state with the Queen to the
Abbey Church of Westminster to the intent that they


might there be crowned by the Archbishop of Canter-
bury and the Archbishop of York.

Also he caused to be sent messages to the noble
and great lords and ladies, and divers others, com-

42 Froissart's Modern Chronicles

manding them to attend on the day appointed, and
bidding them to come beseen in such manner as by
right pertained to them.

The King, of a truth, was minded that there should
be nothing lacking to the end that this coronation
should be a right noble and glorious pageant.


It irked him that England might still be at war
when the day came, and he sorely mused how peace
might be attained.

So he desired that Sir Joseph de Birmingham
might be sent for, and when he had come and had
made obeisance the King demanded of him what

The Ending of the War 43

might be done to this end, saying, " Now is the time
come to have an end of this war." I cannot tell you
what was the answer that Sir Joseph de Birmingham
made, or indeed if this was in any wise as I have
related, but I will continue to believe it until better
reason to the contrary hath been shewed me.

Certain it is that a little time after news came
from Africa that there were truchemen going to and
fro between the English and the Dutch.

The Dutchmen at the first were contrarious,
demanding conditions to which the lord de Kitchener
would not accord, but in a two or three weeks it fell
about that De Botha, De Wet, De la Rey, and
others of the chief men of the Dutch came together
to a place called Vereeniging, and there they con-
ferred with the lord de Kitchener and the lord de

Now the Dutch greatly liked the lord de Kitchener,
for all that he had fought against them with great
hardness and valiance, and had much discomforted

But the lord de Milner they misliked somewhat,
for they deemed him to be orgulous.

The lord de Kitchener conversed right pleasantly
with the Dutch captains, so that they inclined to make
peace and to swear fealty to King Edward. And
whensoever he saw that De Wet or any other of the

44 Froissart's Modern Chronicles

Dutchmen was cast down, and not at his ease, he
would smite him merrily on the shoulder, saying,
" Have good cheer, sir, be not so melancholious."


This gave great offence to the lord de Milner,
and he counselled the lord de Kitchener to be not

The Ending of the War 45

so familious with the Dutchmen, but to bear himself
with more dignity as beseemed him.

But the lord de Kitchener made merry at this.

Quoth he, " This is my business. I have done
the fighting heretofore, therefore let me now make an
end of it, for such is my right."


This was sore displeasant to the lord de Milner,
as I have been informed. Also it hath been shewed
me that he sent letters to the governance in England
making great murmuration that the lord de Kitchener
should deal in this wise with the Dutch.

But the governance answered that they had great

46 Froissart's Modern Chronicles

affiance in the lord de Kitchener, and that it was
behoveful to let him do as he would.

And so after many conferences at Vereeniging the
Dutch captains bethought them that they would go
back to their companies to give them knowledge of
the conditions they might obtain from the English, if
they yielded themselves up and made an end of resist-

This was done as I have said, and when De
Botha, De Wet, De la Rey, and the others of the
Dutch leaders had shewed the whole matter plainly
to the companies, these agreed that they would accept
the conditions that the lord de Kitchener and the
lord de Milner had made, and that they would swear
fealty to King Edward the Seventh, holding them-
selves from thenceforth to be subject to him, and to
be no longer subject to Oom Paul and Steyn as

And so at midnight on a Saturday, the seventh
day of June, in the year of our Lord a thousand nine
hundred and two, the lord de Kitchener and the
lord de Milner for the English, and the others of
whom I have spoken, for the Dutch, set their seals
to a covenant that the Dutch should surrender their
arms, and that the English should not confisc nor put
any to death, but should reedify the dwellings that
had been brent or destroyed during the war.

The Ending of the War 47

And in this wise there was made an end of the
war in Africa that had been begun on the eleventh
day of October, in the year of our Lord a thousand

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Online LibraryF. Carruthers (Francis Carruthers) GouldF. C. G.'s Froissart's modern chronicles, 1902 → online text (page 2 of 5)