M. (Paul) Rapin de Thoyras.

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gorous Defence, but however, in a fhort time were forced fletir > ***
to capitulate, and prornife to furrender the Place, unlefs^'. ,.{/,' ' E 'n„_
relieved within three days. The Term being expired, and lifh.
no Relief come, Henry took pofleffion of the Town (6),
and expelling the Inhabitants, planted an Englijh Colony
in their room, as Edward III had formerly done at Ca-
lais (7).

This Place being of the utmoft Importance, Henry
would not depart, till it was entirely repaired, and put in Aft. Pub.
a good ftate of Defence. In the mean while, he fent Bf.p.jij.
a written Challenge to the Dauphin, offering to decide
all their Differences by a tingle Combat between their
two Perfons. Thefe differences, according to the King's
Notion,- concerned no lefs than the whole Kingdom of
France. If he directed himfelf to the Dauphin, it was
becaufe of his Father's Diftemper, which rendered him
uncapable of accepting fuch a Challenge. But as it was
not in the Dauphin's Power, to hazard, in a fingle Com-
bat, the Crown of France, which did not belong to him.
Henry offered, in cafe he was Conqueror, to let King-
Charles enjoy it during his Life. Moreover, he proteft-
ed, this Propofal came wholly from himfelf, without any
Suggeftion from his Council, or Family ; and therefore,
he pretended, it could not be prejudicial to his Rights,
or thofe of his Succeffors. This Challenge was dated at
his Town of Harfleur, September 16. 1415. It does not

(1) On April 16. Rymir's Feed. Tom. IX. p. 222.

(2) Betides the Ships which be built in his own Ports, he hired of the Hollanders and Zealandets many Tranfport-VclTels. Ryti/er's Feed. T?m. IX. p- 2 re.
2 1 6. And, on May 2S, he iflued rut Orders to the Bdhops, to put all the Clergy within their Dioceies, in a Condition of array, fuitable to their Eitetcs
and Incomes. Ibid. p. 2 c 3 - John, Duke of Bedford, was left Regent, and Lord Lieutenant of England. Ibid. p. 227, 305.

(3) Though Thomas Grey is called here, and by fome of our Hiftorians, Earl of Ndrthumberlar.d, yet Ire could not be fo, feeing Henry Percy, Son of Ht-
(pur, was reltored to that Honour in the 2d of Henry V, as appears by the Parliament Rolls, zHin.V. M. 17. See above, p. 510. Note (3). Dugdale fiys,
this Griy was ot the Familv of Lord Grey of Wirk in Northumberland. Vol. II. p. 449. Goodivm calls him St. Tb:r:js Gny, a Knight of NortpstmterUnd,
p. 64 ; and Walfingham itiies him a Northern Knight, p. 389 . He was one of thofe that attended the King in his Expedition into Frar.ce y with twenty fou j
Men at Arms, and forty eight Archers. Rymsr\ Feed. Tom IX. p. 259. He is called there only 'Thomas Grey, Chevalier.

(4) Twenty-four thoufand, fays Monjirelet, r. 142.

(0 According to IValJingharr, he landed in Normandy, Augujl 14. p. 390. But according to T. Li'vius, he embarked Augujl II. p S. The 13th, faya
Elmham, p. 36.

(6) The Siege laired five Weeks. Waif. p. 320.

(7) He put forth a l'ri-clam.ition throughout England, that all Perfons who would come over and iettle at Harjltur. mould have Houfes feaired to them and
their Heir,, up^n which great Number^ tranlplanted themfelvcs and Families thither. The King made his Untie, Thomas Seatifirt Earl ot Dorjit, Governor;
with whom he joined Sir John Fajhijf. Hall, fj. 45.




J" State of

th I ':. . h
T I ivius.


*Tht French

thcr an Ar-
J. Livius.

Hemy re-
fi/'va to re-
tin to Calais
T. Livius.


of the
Man ■'■.
T Livius.

If' /': lot
mhle to pafs
the Somme.
T. Livius.

1U revives to

f ' d ■

Fount ;.■:-



Tie .-In.:-,
fuffii 1 " . . b
1 1 theMsti b
T. Livios.

French At
1 . rein-

; '.iJ.

appear, that the Dauphin fent any Anfwer. The truth
is, the offer was too difadvantagious to him» fince he
would have ventured a Crown, of which his Father was
in actual pofleiJion, and which he was of courfe to
inherit ; whereas Henry would have hazarded only bare

The Conqueft of Harfleur might have rendered Henry
fatisfied with the Succefs of his firft Campaign, begun
a little too late, if, on the other hand, the ill State of
his Army had not exceedingly troubled him. The Flux,
which was got amongft his Troops, had made, and ftill
did make, fuch Ravage, that not above the fourth Part
of his Army were able to bear Arms. This Diftemper
had not fcized the common Soldiers only, but even the
moll confiderable Perfons were not free from it. The
Biihop of Norwich, and the Earl of Suffolk (1), were
already dead of it. The Duke of Clarence the King's
Brother, the Earl of Arundel (2), and feveral other
Officers of DifTinclion, were fo dangeroufly ill, that
they were obliged to return to England, in hopes of a

At the fame time, Henry learned from all Parts, that
the French weie aflembling their Forces with great di-
ligence, to give him Battle., Till the taking of Har-
f.eur, the King of France feems not to have believed,
the King of England ferioufly intended to wage War,
fince they had made no Preparations for their Defence.
But after the lofs of fo important a Place, King Charles's
Council eafily perceived, it was neceflary to affembleall
the Forces of the Kingdom, to flop the Progrefs of an
Enemy, who began to be very formidable. The great
Armament France was preparing, the ill State of the
Englifi Armv, and the Approach of Winter, obliged
Henry to think of retreating. He might, it feems, have
re-imburked at Harfleur ; but, whether he thought it
would look too much like a Flight, or forefaw not all
the Obftacles he afterwards encountered, or for fome
other unknown Reafon, he refolved to retire by Land to

The March he undertook was difficult, at a Seafon
when the Rains began to fpoil the Roads. But it became
much more fo by unexpected Accidents. The French
having forcfeen, or heard of his Dcfign, fpeedily broke
down the Bridges, and Caufeways in his Rout, and de-
ftroyed, or removed into the fortified Towns, the Provi-
fions and Forage that he might have found in the Coun-
try. On the other hand, the Conftable d'Albret, with a
Body of Troops drawn together, whilft the reft were pre-
paring, continually harrafTed the Englijh, and conftrained
them to march very clofe, and to be always upon their
Guard. All thefe Difficulties hindered their advancing fo
fpeedily as was neceflary, to free themfelves from their ill

Amidft all thefe obftacles to his March, Henry proceed-
ed along the Somme, in expectation of paffing that River
at tne Ford of Blanchctaque, as Edward III had done the
day before the Battle of CreJJy. But when he came there,
he' found that Pafs rendered impracticable by fharp Stakes
fixed in the River, and defended moreover by a Body of
Troops (?), ported on the oppofitc Bank. He was ex-
tremely concerned to find his Project could not be executed.
It was neceflary however, either to pafs the Somme, or
refolve to return to Harflewr, through the fame Difficulties
he had already been expofed to, and even without know-
ing, when he came there, how to fubfift his Army. In
this Extremity, he determined to march higher up the
River, even to its Source, though it was much out of his
wav. As he advanced, he every where found the Bridges
broken down, and the Fords guarded by Troops, intrench-
ed on the other Side.

As in fo ill a Situation, there was no other Remedy
but Patience, Henry took all pofiible Care to inftil it
into his Troops, by taking his ihare of the Wants and
Hardfhips they laboured under. It is eafy to perceive,
thefe Hudfhips were not proper to ftop the Courfe of
their Diftemper, and. that on the contrary, great numbers
fell fick in their March. At laft, to compleat his Mis-
fortune, Henry heard, that the King of France was come
to Roan, and had fent to the Conftable fourteen thou-
fand Men at Arms, with all the Princes and great Lords

Vol. I.

of the Kingdom, except the Dukes of Berry and Bur-
gundy. The Dauphin was defirous of commanding the Ar-
my, but the King would not give him leave. The Con-
ftable, who had alfo drawn together many other Troops,
receiving fo ftrong a Reinforcement, called a Council of
War, where it was iinanimoufly refolved to give the Eng-
lijli Battle. But as the French Generals thought them-
felves fure of Victor)', confidering die Supenoiuy of
their Forces, they judged it proper, inftead of continuing
to guard the .Somme, to let the Engl/fi Army pals, and
to poft themfelves on the Road to Calais. ThisRefolution
being taken, they went and expected their Enemies in
the Earldom of St. Pol, in order to draw them over the
Somme, into a Place where they fhould not be able to turn

It is certain, that by paffing the River, Henry ran into
manifeft Danger, fince there was no Mean between con-
quering ajid perifhing. It is true, he might have returned
to Harfcur, but I cannot tell whether that was left ha-
zardous, confidering the Difficulties he mult have encoun-
tered, and which lie had not, without infinite Trouble,
furmounted. Wherefore it is a queftion, in my opinion,
hard to be decided, whether a Battle was more dange-
rous than a Retreat. Be this as it will, it is to be pre-
fumed, he chofe what to him feemed leaft difadvantagious,
in continuing his March. along the Somme (4), with a
Refolution to face the danger that waited on the other
Side. As the Palfages were no longer defended, he found
one between St. Shtintin and Peronn \ where he caufed
his Army to pafs (5). But though this Obftacle, which
had hitherto feemed the greateft, was removed, the Eng-
lijh Army found themfelves in no better Condition. That
of their Enemies, fix times more numerous, expected
them upon their Pafiage ; whom there was a neceffity of
vanquishing, in order to open a way to Calais. The
French Hiftorians affirm, that Henry feeing himfelf in
this fad fituation, offered to reftore Harjieur, and repair
all the Damages he had caufed in France fince his Land-
ing, if he might be fuffered to proceed unmolefted ; but
that his offer was rejected. On the contrary, the Con-
ftable and Princes that were in the French Army, fent
three Heralds to offer him Battle, leaving him to chufe
the Time and Place. Henry replied, " As he had long
" been upon his March to Calais, they might have
" fought him when they pleafed, and if they intended
" it, there was no occafion to appoint the Time, or
" Place ; for he was refolved to purfue his Alarch,
" and they fhould always find him ready to receive
« them."'

The French Army being ported on his Rout, it was
not poffible to pafs without fighting. He refolved there-
fore to prepare for a Battle. On the zzd of OSiober,
the French Generals fent him word by a Herald, that on
Friday following (6), they would give him Battle. Hen-
ry, who had already taken his Refolution, accepted the
Challenge, and prefented the Herald with a Robe worth
two hundred Crowns (7). During the three days before
the Battle, Henry never ceafed to infpirc his Troops
with Courage, by the promife of Rewards and Honours,
and by all other means moft conducive to that end. He
reprefented to them the Glory of their Ancertors, who
obtained the famous Victories of Crejjy and Pcicliers, and
demonfl rated to them the Neceffity ot conquering, in or-
der to free themfelves from their prefent, and avoid ftill
greater, Miferies. His Exhortations wrought fo wonder-
ful an Effect, that the Officers and Soldiers, far from
dreading the great Number of their Enemies, were ex-
tremely eager to engage. The day before the Battle,
Henry having fent David Gam, a Jl'cljh Captain, to view
the ftrength ot the Enemy, this brave Officer gallantly
reported, there are enough to he killed, enough to be token
Prifoners, and enough to run away. This AfTurance
pleafed the King, a:, being a Sign, that his Troops were
firmly refolved to do their Duty. Mean while, the
French prefuming on their Numbers, and confident of
Victory, were making rejoicings in their Camp. Meze-
rai owns, that they were four times Superior to the
Englijh (8). Monfr'elet fays, fix times (9). This Di-
verfity may partly proceed from MezeraFs reckoning all
the Soldiers, fick and well, of the Englijh Army, and


They ?o and
cxpeR the
Engliih in
the R'jJ to

Henry cos*
tinuei bis


Hepaffes tb$

T. Livius*

Offers fi
reft rt Har-
P. Daniel.

His Offer rt-

Des Uiuiis.
The French



His Anfcveot


He meets tit
Enemy ,«m
offers him

•which hs
T- Livitif*

W Ailing.

Firmnefs of"
the King and
bis Troops,
Powel H.ft.

Great dif-
t ropcrtioa
between the
two Armictk

(1) Michael de fa Pole.

(z) Jcbtt Fitz-Jhn ; and alfo Edmund Mortimer Earl of March, John Mowbray, Earl-Ma; tful, &c\ IValj. p. 391.

(3) Six thoufand French.

(4) As they were marching by a Town called Corhie t and were engaged in a narrow Pafs, the Country People, and tome Soldiers, fiercely attacked
them. A Battalion, commanded by Hugh Staffcrd, Lord Bturchier, endeavouring to difperle them, was put to very great Straights, many being killed,
and the Standard loll ; but it was recovered by a Stafford/hire Gentleman, firnamed Bromley. Hdlingjhead, Vol- III. p. 551. X. Livius, p. 13. EJm>
bam, p- S3*

(<;) On the 19th of Oelober. Monflrelet, c. 146. (6) Otlober 25. Rafitn.

(?) A rich Rotv, and two hundred Crowns. Des Urftns, p. 314. X. Li-vius lays, one hundred, p. 14. Elmham, p. 55.

(5) P. Daniel fny% they were three time-3 ftronger. Tom- V. p. ^41.

(9) He and Paradin make the Number of the Horfe in the French Army to be a hundred and fifty thoufand. IVatjingham fays, their whole Army con-
fifted of oik- hundred and forty thoufand Men, p. 391. And, according to Mcierus, of a hundred and fifty thoufand ; the third part whereof was Horfe,
and ten thoufand of them Nobles and Gentlemen. See Goodwins Henry V, p. 82. In a Letter from Sir JV. Bardolf, Deputy Governor of Calais, to John
Duke of Bedford, it is faid, That the Duke of Ltrrain had gathered about fifty thgufand Men together, a,rid that aU the Fwtk Furce^. put together,
would amount to above a hundred thoufand Mail Rjk.t\ Fxd, Tom. IX. p* 31 j.



Book XI. 14. H E N Ii Y V. 51?

from Mmijirdet's meaning cnlv fuch as were able to two hundred Aichcrs in a low Meadow, fenced with 1415.

right. The Englijh Hiftorians make the Difference be- Bufhes on the right. In drawing up his Army, he

tween the two Armies much greater, affirming, the could make but two Lines, by reafoh of the frr.all Nura-

Frencb amounted to oi.c hundred and fifty thoufand, and ber of his Troops. Edward Duke of York commanded t. Livi

the Englijh but to nine thouiand. Be this as it will, it the firft, affifted-by the Lords Beaumont, WiBmighbj', and E' 1 "

certain the Superiority of the French was very great.
But what Inequality foever there was between the two
Armies, as to Number, there was another, which was no
lels considerable, with regard to the different State they
were in. The Englijh, lick, for the moft part, of a
Flux, with which they had been troubled, ever fince
their Departure from Harfcur, were moreover harraffed
with a tedious march of a Month, in very bad Wea-
ther:, and through an Enemy's Country. They had all
along been in want of Provilions, and would doubtlcfs
have been all ftarved, if the exaft Discipline the King
caufed to be obfei ved, had not engaged the Country-Peo-
ple to fupply them with Victuals, for the fake of felling
Confidence of them at an extravagant Rate. The French, on the con-
* Fiicch. trary, were freih and healthy, abounding with Provifions,

T. Livius.
Pul. Virg.

Fanhope ( 1 ). The 'King put himfelf at the head of the
Second (2), with a Gold Crown (3) on his Helmet for a
Creft, and near him was the Standard of England (a,).
In this Pofture he expected the French would advance to
attack him (5). 'Mean time, riding :.Iong the Front 1 it
his Battalions, he exhorted the 'I roops net to fear a
multitude of raw and undilcip.'ined Soldiers. H,e rtpre
fented to them, that Victories depended nor on Numbers
but on bravery, an 1 above all, on the Affiftance of ( Sod,
in whom he admonifhed them to place their •.
Truft. In fine, perceiving the French did not move, he
fent for fome of his principal Officers, and laid to them
with a chearful Countenance, " Since our Enemies haveT.i ■..
" intercepted our way j let us proceed, and break through

them in the Name of the Holy Trinity." Upon 7~' - En,].,!

7l:c two
Armies are

i/r.i-K"( up
in order of
Blunder of
the Conftable.
T- le Fcvre.

and labouring under no Inconveniency. If we maybe- thefe words he gave the Signal of Battle (6). Immedi- £'•'"

lieve the Englijh Hiftorians, fo confident of Succefs were

the French Leaders, that they fent to the King to know

what he would give for his Ranfom. Henry defpifing this

Bravado, replied, according to the fame Authors, that a

few Hours would fhew whole care it would be to provide

a Ranfom.

On the 25th of Ottober, the day appointed for the
Battle, the two Armies were drawn up as foon as it was
Light. The Conftable D' Alhret committed on this
occafion an unpardonable Fault, in chufing for the Field
of Battle a narrow Ground, flanked on one fide by a
Rivulet, and on the other by a large Wood. He thereby
Jolt all the Advantage, which the Superiority of Num-
ber, and efpecially in Horfe, could give him. It is moft
certain, this General ought to have ported himfelf in a
large and open Place, where he might have had it in his
power to furround the Englijh, who were but a handful

ately the Soldiers of the foremoft Ranks, removing the j. j ( . F cv . n
Stakes, which had been fet on the Front, to refift the Elmham.
Fury of the Cavalry (7), the whole Army, with a mighty Hu! "
Shout, moved forward. After advancing a little, they
made a halt, expediting their Enemies, but finding they
did not ftir, continued their March in good Order. When
they came within Bow-Shot, the foremoft Ranks fixed
the Stakes, interweaving, and bending them a little to-
wards their Enemy. At the fame time, a Body ofwalrng.
chofen Archers advancing fome Paces, began, very near,
to let fly upon the Enemy a fhower of Arrows a Yard
long, which being fliot by Men of dexterity and ftrength,
did the greater execution among the French, as they ftood
extremely clofe, and had fcarce room to move. The
French Cavalry advancing at length to repulfe the Archers,
thefe laft nimbly retreated behind the Stakes with a won-
derful Difcipline, in which the King had exercifed them

of Men, in comparifon of his Army. But by drawing up himfelf for fome days. Mean while, the two hundred

on fo narrow a Ground, he was forced to make a Front
no larger than that of the Enemies, and thereby depriv-
ed himfelf of a very manifeft Advantage. Neither can
it be faid, that the Choice of the Field of Battle was
not entirely in his Breaft. As the Englijh were marching
for Calais, it was his Bufinefs to expect them on a fpa-
cious Plain, capable of containing his whole Army, and
where they might have all fought at once. His Blind-
nefs therefore is aftonifhing, and can be afcribed only to

Bow-men, concealed in the Meadow, riling up on a

fudden, plied the Horfe with their Arrows, who weie

put in the greater Diforder, as the Horfes funk up to

their Knees in the Ground foftned with the Rains;

The Englijh feeing this Confufion, threw away their Mor.lialrt,

Bows, and fell upon their Enemies Sword in hand.

The Englijh, it is laid, were, for the moft part, forced to

fight naked from the Wafte downwards, by rcafon of

their Diftemper. However, as the firft Line of the French

his Prefumption. He feems to have intended to ftop up conlifledof all the belt Troops in their Army, this Charge,

T. Livius.

that narrow Paffage, that the Englijh might not. proceed,
without confidering fuch a Precaution can be only advan-
tagious to the Weakeff. I have dwelt a little upon this
Error, as it was, probably, the principal Caufe of the
unfortunate Succefs of the French in this A£tion. The
Conftable, blinded by the Number of his Troops, drew
them up, as I faid, on this narrow Ground, but fo clofe,
that it was eafy to forefee, Confufion would enfue du-
ring the Battle. He divided his Army into three Bodies,
the firft of which he commanded himfelf, with the
Dukes of Orleans and Bourbon, the Earls of Eu, Ven-
dcime, Richemont, the famous Marfhal Boucicaut Grand
Matter of the Crofs-Bow-Men, the Lord Dampier Ad-
miral of France, the Dauphin of Auvcrgne, and feveral
other Officers of the greateft Diftinetion. All thefe
Princes and Lords thought themfelves happy in being in

the firft Line, perfuaded as they were, that the other pair the Diforder

though very vigorous, was repulfed with fome Lofs ort
the fide of the Englijh. But, that was not capable of
difheartening Men, determined to conquer or die. After
breathing a while, they charged again with fuch Refolu-
tion, that it was not poffible for their Enemies to ftand
the Shock. This fecond Attack was the more difficult TbcfrftiSn
to be repulfed, as at the fame time the French felt them- 'ftbcj&txti
felves fet upon in the Flank by the Englijh Horfe, am-
bufhed behind the Wood. Then it Was, that the utmoft
Diforder enfued among the Troops, fo vigoroufly prefled
by their Enemies, who flew without mercy whoever
came in their way. The firft Line of the French at
length taking to Flight, (after feeing the Conftable killed,
with a great number of other Officers, and moft of the
Princes and Generals made Prifoners,) the Eng/i/h found
themfelves ftopped by the fecond Line, which came to rc-

Lc Fevife.
. Liviusa

taken by the
King be, ore
the battle.

two would have nothing to do. The Duke of Alenfon
commanded the fecond Body, with the Duke of Bar,
the Earls of Vaudemont, Nevers, Salines, RoitJJi, and
Grand-Prc'. At the head of the third Line, were the
Earls of Marie, Dampmartin, Fauquenbergh, and the
Lord de Lauroi.

Whilft the French were drawing up, Henry detached
a Body of four hundred Lances, to go and poft them-
felves out of Sight of the Enemy, behind the Wood, on

Mean while, Henry advancing with his fecond Line,
as the firft gained Ground, flood ready to fupport his Men,
who would have been in danger of being routed, if he
had been farther off. Whilft the firft Bodv, after lb
gallant a Fight, were retiring to the Right and Left, to
make way for the King, and to rally iri his Rear,
Henry alighting from his Horfe, prefented himfelf to the Walling,
Enemy with an undaunted Countenance. The Duke of
Alenfon, Prince of the Blood-Royal of France, advanced

the left of the Field of Battle. He lodged, moreover, at the head of his Body with great Ihtrepiditv, hoping

(1) Rapin, by miftake, fays Stanhope ; as does likewife Good-win, in his Life of Henry V, p-84- There was no fuch Title then. The Perf. n here mean;
was, Sir John Cornwall, Knight, who married Elizabeth, Sifter of King Henry IV, and Widow of John Holland Duke of Exeter: And in the J 1th ol"
Henry VI, July ij, was created a Baron, by the Title of Lord Fanb->pe. See Dugdale's Baron. Vol. II. p. 1 12.

(2) Attended by his Brother Humphrey, Duke of Ghucefter ; John Lord Mowbray, Earl-Marfhal ; Richard de Tore, Earl of Oxford; and Itl-.birl dc la
P lc, the young Earl of Suffclk. The Rear confifting of Archers, and fuch as were armed with Spears, Halberds, and Bills, was led by Thoisai Bt

Earl of Dr.ct, created the'next Year Duke of Exeter. Goodwins Henry V , p. 84.

(3) Framed alter the Imper.al Faihion. Lc Fevrc, p. 89.

(4) He had four Standards; one of the Trimly, another of St. George, the third of St. Edward, and in the fourth were difplayed the Arms of England.

[ c) P. Daniel fays, That, before the Battle began, King Henry fent to the French Generals a fecond Offer of an Accommodation. The Terms they infill .
ed upon, were, That Henry nVuld renounce all Pretenfions to the Crown of France, and reftore Harjieur. Henry replied, He would do if, provided Guiemu,
with its Appurtenances, and the Earldom of Ponthieu, were reftored to him j and the Princefs Catherine was given him in Marriage, with a Poiti^r: of ei^ht
hundred thoufand Crewns. Tom.V. p. $42.

(6) He ordered S r Thcmat Erpin^bam to givethe Signal, which he did by throwing up his Truncheon into the Air. Le Fevre, p. 92.

Online LibraryM. (Paul) Rapin de ThoyrasThe history of England : written in French (Volume 1) → online text (page 216 of 360)