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FTER everybody had heard the rumor that Richard had abdicated his royal estate, all the people began to give Henry their unanimous congratulations on this account. And, lest the public ardor cool off, at the first possible time he convened parliament, in which he was created king, on October 13 of the same year in which Richard died, and was consecrated in the traditional way by Thomas Archbishop of Canterbury, under the name of Henry IV. But meanwhile, so that he could not be said to have seized this honor by violence, he was urged to have it publicly declared that he had rightfully received the kinship because he had inherited it from Earl Edmund of Lancaster, for there was a rumor that he was the eldest son of Henry III. But since this fiction (which I have mentioned elsewhere) was believed only by a few, he decided to confirm his right to the crown in another way. Therefore he had a herald mount a platform, call for silence, and announce that he had obtained this, first, by law of war and right of victory, second, because Richard had designated him his successor and given him the scepter and crown, and finally, because he was born of the royal blood and was the next heir to the throne after Richard. He inherited everything that had belonged to the dead king, although Edmund’s son Earl Roger of March, whom I have said above to have subsequently died in Ireland, was still living at the time, and should rightfully have inherited the kingship for his father’s sake, as I have made clear in the preceding Book. But, as often comes to pass, might made right, and at this time Roger did not dare oppose himself to Henry’s power. Therefore Henry, gaining power, made his oldest son Henry, a boy of thirteen years, Prince of Wales, Duke of Cornwall, and Earl of Chester as a means of enhancing his family. Next, so as to punish evildoers, he thought he should avenge the death of the Duke of Gloucester and similar crimes, so he ordered the murderers who had smothered the duke to be arrested and executed. Likewise he imprisoned John Montague Earl of Salisbury and some others who had enjoyed influence with Richard, although he subsequently pardoned them, moved by the entreaties of many members of the nobility. And he either recalled from banishment or freed from prison his friends, Earl Richard of Warwick and a number of others, who had been sentenced by Richard. He also took back into his good graces Richard’s brother John Holand Duke of Exeter, the governor of Calais, who, very troubled a little earlier that his brother had been violently deposed, had planned an uprising, so that Henry thought it best to make a friend out of the man quickly.
2. When Richard’s fate was reported in France, King Charles and all his nobles shuddered at, cursed, and abominated the cruelty and inhumanity of this crime, committed against (as they said) a most innocent sovereign, and thought that it needed to be avenged forthwith. But while preparations were being made for a great war, such indignation came over Charles’ mind that he had a spell of his habitual insanity. For, as I have already shown, he was now very obviously sailing to Anticyra, as the saying has it, even though his sanity was occasionally regained by the many and various remedies which were applied. This was the sole thing which prevented the French from doing anything more warlike than issuing threats against Henry. When rumor of his overthrow spread through Aquitaine, all men were immediately plunged into fear in gloom. Part of them lamented the misfortune of the people of England, since its glory had suffered enduring harm, thanks to the memory of such a crime committed against its sovereign. Others feared for themselves and their liberty, suspecting that all the strength of the realm would soon come to naught because of factionalism. But the citizens of Bordeaux were especially ill-disposed towards Henry. For they cherished Richard’s memory with extreme affection because he had been born in their city, and so they regarded this crime with extreme distaste, exclaiming that in all human history no more evil, more cruel, more wicked felony had ever been committed. They were so overcome by sorrow and enflamed with anger that they shouted out that a good prince had been betrayed by traitors, all right had been destroyed, and with their prayers they called on God Almighty to avenge this wrong. When the French got a whiff of the grief of the citizens of Aquitaine, they were wonderfully happy that the English had incurred their hatred and displeasure, and so they had an inkling that they could gain power over the entire providence, if they would flex the sinews of their power at the very earliest time possible. So Duke Louis of Bbourbon came to Agen and with frequent messages incited the nearby cities to defect, undertaking to give them many rewards. But he got nowhere, for the people knew for a certainty that the English yoke was very light indeed in comparison with the French one, having had previous experience of the French habit of vexing and harassing their subjects and wretched common folk with onerous taxes and exactions. So they preferred to remain loyal rather than expose themselves to new dangers because of their present indignation. Meanwhile, Henry was informed of this thing and quickly sent Thomas Percy with a great force of soldiers into Aquitaine to join with Robert Knolles, the governor of that region, and strive to keep the citizenry loyal. And when he arrived, by speaking pleasantly to the nobles and exhorting them with many words he so appeased the people that they did not deviate a whit from their duty, and after these things he promptly returned home.
3. While these things were being transacted elsewhere, the rage for revenge felt by John Holand Duke of Exeter did not decrease, but day by day he did more to threaten Henry with death, and first he joined to himself John Montague, Earl Thomas of Kent, his nephew by his brother, Earl Hugh Spenser of Gloucester, and a number of other nobles. To them he disclosed his counsel, which was this. A day should be fixed for a tournament at Oxford, and King Henry be invited to watch the spectacle. And while he was intent on the jousting he might suddenly be cut down during the show. Thus Richard (who was still alive) could be restored to liberty and his throne. And if greater strength should be needed afterwards, they could immediately send messengers to King Charles asking for help. They all liked the plan, and, having pledged their mutual loyalty, they formed a conspiracy. When the tournament had been announced, they gathered weapons as secretly as they could, then asked the king to come and see the games. He, suspecting no deceit, promised to come. Therefore the conspirators, moving their plan along speedily, appeared at the tournament at the appointed time, having arranged armed men who would stab the king unawares. Meanwhile Henry was at Windsor Castle, and, ready for his journey, had commanded his horse to be fetched, when behold, some friends told him of the trap that had been set for him. Finding out about this, he was gravely troubled, and thinking he should not depart, but ratherdevote his day to saving his life rather than to the tournament, he waited where he was until he was sure what his enemies were contriving. Some say that the tournament was going to be held at Windsor, but since that band of armed men belonging to the conspiracy could never gather secretly there, I prefer to follow the other historians, who assuredly have recorded something more plausible. Meanwhile, because of the king’s delay the conspirators suspected their scheme had been revealed, and they decided to accomplish in an open fight what they had been attempting furtively. So they dressed up a young man who looked like Richard, and pretended he was the king, saying that he had been secretly released from imprisonment by his guardians. With him leading the way, they followe4d along in a foursquare formation, to destroy Henry as if he were a traitor. With their plot thus made, they marched on Windsor with their full forces. And, entering the village at night, they attacked the castle. Finding it empty, they hastened towards London. But, changing their minds along the way, they went to St. Albans. While they lingered there, either overcome by fear, or repenting their enterprise, or mistrusting their strength (which is the the most plausible reason), in a trice they went their separate ways, and soon thereafter nearly all of them were either cut down or executed. Some right that, after suffering a slaughter of their forces, they were caught and beheaded on the spot. John Holand was arrested in Essex and beheaded at the manor of the Duke of Gloucester, so he would pay the forfeit, as I imagine, to Gloucester’s bones, since the duke had been murdered at his instigation. Would that many men would bear his example in mind, I mean men who in their continual evildoing measure their power by their strength and authority, so that they would stay their hands from giving offence. And that about the same time Hugh Spenser paid with his head at Bristol, and other knights elsewhere. Thus the members of conspiracy, of high, middle, and low degree alike received their punishment. For a long time the heads of the principal conspirators were displayed on spikes at London, so that this spectacle would make their punishment all the more exemplary. And so the time came when the partners in those evil pleasures reaped the fruit of their pleasures. For along with the guilty, at just about the same time the innocent and wretched Richard was put to death at Pontefract by royal command. For Henry was struck by the ruse his enemies had used a little earlier, and desired to free himself from fear and remove this means of evildoing, so that nobody else would impersonate Richard and take up arms against himself. And so Richard’s body was brought to Langley Abbey in an open coffin, and there, as I have said above, it was buried. Report of this came to France and disrupted their plans, turning their minds away from waging a war. For they had already outfitted a great fleet so that they might cross over to England and bring Richard help at the earliest moment possible, while he was still alive.
4. During these same times Duke John of Britanny departed this life, who by his second wife Joan fathered three surviving sons, John, Richard, and Arthur (he had no children by his first one, Mary, the daughter of King Edward). And afterwards, as will be shown below, his wife Joan married King Henry. Likewise Duke Edmund of York, a temperate, modest, blameless mann, died, who left two replicas of his body and mind, his sons Edward and Richard, distinguished men. This was the year of human salvation 1399. In this same year King Charles dealt with Henry by letters and messengers for the return of his daughter Isabella, Richard’s wife, together with her dowry. Henry replied he would instantly send ambassadors to France to negotiate all things with him. And so not long thereafter he sent Duke Edward of York (who had succeed his father) and Earl Henry of Northumbria to Calais. Likewise Charles’ embassy, headed by the Duke of Bourbon, came to Boulogne. Above all else, Bourbon asked for the return of Isabella, saying this was the mandate given him by his father Charles. The English for their part asked for Isabella to be given to Henry Prince of Wales, but this could in no wise be arranged since for the future Charles refused to enter into kinship with the King of England, for his previous kinship had come to a bad end. Then they began to negotiate about peace, and when they could come to no agreement, the thirty years’ truce arranged with Richard four years previously was confirmed. Some writers say that a new truce was made, and that only for a few days, and I have no hestitation in adhering to their view. These things done, the ambassadors went home. A while afterwards, Henry sent Isabella back to her father Charles with a great train of noblemen and matrons, having bestowed on her no mean gifts. Afterwards she was married to Charles, the son of duke Louis of Orleans. And so it seemed there would be some peace abroad because of the truce, while everything began to blaze with seditions at home, worse than ever. For there were those who took it amiss that, contrary to all men’s expectation and to the will of a goodly part of them, Henry had gained the kingdom, and, as the common people are wont to do, they began to long for Richard now that he was dead, although they had impiously forsaken him in life. This indignation struck so deep that men were moved by bile and spleen to publish satiric verses and slanders against the king. Wounded by these libels, he sought for their authors, and commanded the punishment of Sir Roger Clarington, eight Franciscan monks, and a number of others, who had been denounced by an informer, tried, and convicted. Likewise Thomas Percy Earl of Worcester was said to have fomented riots at this same time, and to devise many ways of overcoming the king, which he later sought to put into action, as will be told below at the appropriate place. The reason for this loathing of Henry with which he was gripped, as far as I know, is recorded by no trustworthy author. We can guess that the reason was envy that Henry had gained the throne with no effort.
5. Meanwhile, so there would be no hope for quiet, Wales, ever prone to new risings, was troubled by the mutual bickering of its nobles and seemed on the verge of rebellion. When the king found this out, he hastened there with an army, and was scarce two days away when the terrified Welsh swiftly stole away to their forests and marshes, no doubt despairing that they could resist the royal forces. But this flight was not the salvation of them all, since some where captured there and suffered their deserved comeuppance. While these things were being done, George Dunbar Earl of Merch came to England. He had betrothed his daughter Elizabeth to David, the son of Robert King of Scots, and deposited her dowry with her father. Archibald Earl of Douglas took this amiss and dealt with the king that David, renouncing this betrothal, would marry his daughter Mariola, but would not return the money given as a dowry. George, indignant over this thing, fled with his entire clan to Earl Henry of Northumbria, bent on someday avenging this insult with arms. Learning this, King Robert first confiscated the earl’s possessions, and then requested King Henry to expel him from his kingdom. When this did not happen, they resorted to fighting. First Percy and George Dunbar invaded Scotland and, having done much plundering, they fought a bitter battle, but they and their enemy fared equally well. After a few days they both turned back and inflicted a great defeat on their enemies, and returned to Northumbria victoriously. At the same time a comet of great size showed itself for several days, an indubitable sign of great killing, which presently came to pass. For Earl Thomas of Worcester, who was eager for a revolution and hated the present condition of the realm, seeing Henry caught up in his Welsh war, took advantage of that opportunity and by frequent messengers ordered Earl Henry of Staffordshire, his nephew by his brother, a brave young man with whom he previously had secret communications about waging a war, to come to him with an army. Receiving this message, Henry took his army and hastened to Worcester to his uncle, giving out that he was going to the king so as to arouse no suspicion in his adversaries. Here the two of them shared their counsels with their soldiers, exhorting them to shirk no danger and spare no effort for the sake of common safety. For they openly professed they were making war for no other reason than to assert England’s liberty. These things having been said, all the soldiers promised to fight excellently for their nation’s freedom. In their army were some very valiant Scottish soldiers of Henry Percy. They undertook to occupy the van, not for the sake of England’s salvation, which was of no concern to them, but either to avenge ancient injuries or for the glory’s sake. Meanwhile the king, having been informed the earls were readying war against himself, gathered his solders as quickly as he could and, thinking the rising at hand needed to be dealt with before the Welsh one, turned back to Shrewsbury, fearing to be cut off in his rear by his enemy. He had scarce arrived there when he discovered the enemies were coming up in battle array, who were approaching the fight with such ferocity that, having encamped near by, they dared attack their enemy. And so the king, seeing a fight was at hand, so that his soldiers’ courage would not be damaged by delay, drew up his battle-line. And his enemy were drawn up against him, equal in their spirits and strength. The signal was given on both sides and with great shouts the battle was joined. At their first clash the king’s first line, which consisted of his infantry, was pushed back a little by the Scots, who had begun the fight. But immediately, thanks to the effort and leadership of his officers, each man returned to the place he had abandoned and resisted with no little fortitude. Meanwhile the Welsh, who had emerged from their forests and marshes and heard of this war, suddenly came to the earls and replaced their weary men with fresh, intact soldiers. When a fearful messenger reported this to the king, he himself, together with the strong band of men which followed him, went to his men’s assistance wherever he saw his men laboring, tirelessly attacking his enemy with superior strength, and thus he defended his men at all points. Henry Prince of Wales industriously imitated his father’s zeal, and with ardent spirits cut his way through the enemy’s thickest throngs. Although he was wounded in the face by an arrow, he did not quit the field. They fought for about three hours, all the time savagely, until Earl Thomas of Worcester fell, run through with a lance, and when his death became known all the enemy were routed in a moment. Now neither nor rivers stood in the way of their panic as, defeated, they escaped through all narrows and steep places. But the victory was not a bloodless one. For it is necessary that a great slaughter was inflicted by both sides, since the battle lasted so long. Henry Percy was taken alive and beheaded immediately, and the other captives were executed. Hearing news of this, Earl Henry of Northumbria, fearing for his life, fled to his friend Earl George of Merch taking all his fortune with him, determined to wait until the time he could protect his interests either by fighting or by making pease. And in this battle King Henry did the duty of a good soldier no less than of a commander. For they say that he killed thirty-six men that day, and for that reason, when he returned and entered London as the victor in so great a war, the citizens deservedly cheered him, loudly congratulating him on his victory. This conspiracy of the earls fell in the year of human salvation 1400, the third of Henry’s reign.
6. After this victory Prince Henry led the army into Wales, and, since it was terrified by his his father’s good fortune in war, he subdued it with next to no effort. Owen, the leader of the Welsh factions, a man seditious and riotous by nature, was forced to go into voluntary exile, where his life had an ending worthy of his deeds. Reduced to extreme poverty, he died a wretched death. These were the things done at home, but a much greater movement towards war threatened abroad. For when King Charles of France learned of the Welsh mutiny (for, as I showed above, the truce between the kings was only for a few days), he immediately commanded Jacques de Bourbon Earl of Marche with 1,200 horsemen and a great number of footmen to cross over to Wales and join themselves with the Welsh as soon as possible, to fight against Henry. Doing as he was bidden, the Earl came to Cornwall. And, progressing a little from there, he occupied the port of Plymouth, he left a few ships of war riding at anchor opposite the port and, making a night-landing, plundered, burned, and leveled a number of villages. But while his soldiers were ravaging the countryside a sudden storm brewed up and twelve of the ships guarding the port were lost. Having suffered this loss, the earl, a victim of camp-fever, suddenly gathered his soldiers and went back to Britanny, having lost a goodly number of his soldiers who had been slain by farmers while harrying the fields. Hearing the news of this, King Henry sent to sea his son Thomas with a fleet of many ships, to avenge this insult with a battle if he could, or, if not, by making depredations. After he had pillaged several ports along the Norman coast, as well as some merchantmen he chanced to catch at sea, he returned home nearly as fast as he had come, laden down with spoils. At the same time, the Count Walleran made a sudden descent on the village of St. Paul, three miles from Calais, which they call Marche, and sacked it. But when he learned that Richard Ashton, the governor of Calais, was approaching with a fast-moving band of men, he abandoned his booty and fled posthaste. After this the French greatly suffered from domestic seditions and were obliged to refrain from external wars. Henry, vexed by his subjects’ frequent risings, was compelled to do the same. For this reason the kings pledged a truce for several months.
7. At this time the king, who had still been unmarried, wed Joan, the former wife of John Montfort Duke of Britanny, and bestowed his daughter Blanche on Johann, the son of the Duke of Bavaria. While Henry thus attended to his domestic affairs, Sir William Plunton, a brave and daring knight and once a familiar friend of King Richard, joined by some members of the household of Thomas Mowbray the Master of the Horse (who I have shown above to have died in exile at Venice) first incited the people of Yorkshire and County Durham to rebel, and then assembled a large number of armed men. And he did this more hot-headedly than the matter required, for his mind greatly burned for revenge. The Northumbrians allied themselves with him, and then the Scots. But they, as will be told below, did not arrive in time. The king, having meanwhile learned of the conspirators’ plan, resorted to arms for the sake of escaping the present danger, and, making no delay, hastened to Yorkshire with such speed that he arrived before the authors of the conspiracy knew anything definite about his arrival. William Plunton was immediately taken, together with some confederates including William Scrope Archbishop of York. Even if he had a great reputation for piety and virtue, nevertheless accusers were not wanting to fan suspicions that he shared in the guilt, because he had thus wished to avenge the death of his brother William, Richard’s former Treasurer, whom, as I have shown in my previous Book, Henry had executed at Bristol. Then Henry, calling a convocation of the Yorkshire nobility, began to conduct an inquest on the conspiracy. Here all men unanimously pronounced a harsh sentence on Plunton for being the head of that conspiracy, but were milder towards the others. Nevertheless, he was punished in the traditional way and the others were either beheaded or hanged. In this way the conspiracy was put down, and the king sent Prince Henry with an army to attack the Scotson the march as they came to the aid of the conspirators. When the prince encountered nobody on the road, since they had learned by their spies that conspiracy had been revealed and its authors punished, and so had not left their own territory, he entered into Scotland, and burned crops and villages wherever he went. This was such a terror to his enemies that they instantly sent ambassadors for a peace. The prince declined this, granting only a truce for several months, and returned to London with all manner of plunder to join his father, who had enough trouble in healing the wounds daily inflicted by these seditions.
8. These successes were not able to recall men’s mad minds to their sanity. What about the fact that the people hated their sovereign so greatly that they ignored no occasion for rebellion? For the saying of some anonymous fellow (or, as some writers report, a base-born one) spread abroad that King Richard was alive and staying among the Scots. The common folk suddenly began to put so much credit in this that, if they had not immediately been restrained, doubtless sedition would have broken forth anew. This was the year of salvation 1405, the eighth year of Henry’s reign, a year notable for the death of Robert Knolles, This man of great nobility at home, skill in war, possessed of virtue and loyalty, was worn out by old age and had come home from Aquitaine a little earlier, after Thomas Belford was appointed governor of that region by Henry’s command, a man equally brave and prudent. His body was buried at London in the Carmelite monastery. In this same year Henry Bovett was put in the place of Richard Scrope Archbishop of York, the forty-ninth in the series. At the end of the year the king was vexed by the the new or rather the constant seditions of his subjects, for if he would put them down in one place they would crop up in another, all the more vigorously. For Earl Henry of Northumbria, who had retired to Scotland after his brother and son had been killed in the battle at Shrewsbury I have already described, assembled many thousands of men, both English and Scottish, and, bent on revenge, returned to his earldom to attack his enemies, wherever they might be. The earl was made much more powerful by his association with Earl George of Merch, a Scotsman. For he, angry at Robert his king because his son David had refused to marry his daughter, albeit she had been betrothed to him, and yet did not return the dowry deposited with the king, joined himself with Henry, and the two of them had caused much trouble for King Robert and David by fighting and raiding, as has been said above at the appropriate place. The Earl of Northumbria therefore, trusting in his resources and those of his Scottish friends, began to make raids in all directions. When he had come into Yorkshire, Henry learned of this and went to confront him with his army. A confused battle was joined and the king routed his enemies and killed a lot of them in the pursuit. In this retreat the earl himself was captured, together with some of his officers, and they were brought to York and beheaded.
9. After these things, at the beginning of springtime, when the king found out that the ocean was infested by pirates, particularly ones from Brittany, he sent to sea a fleet of many ships outfitted with all things needful for war, under the command of Edmund Holand, the son or brother of Earl Thomas of Kent (this is unclear, due to the carelessness of writers), whom I have shown above to have been captured at Chester and beheaded. Setting sail, this Earl of Kent, when he had coasted the French shore for a number of days and found no pirates, and had learned from his scouts that they, terrified by his arrival, had retired to Britanny, steered a course there out of a desire for a fight. And because they had brought their ships into harbor, so he was unable to fight them in a sea-battle, he suddenly set his soldiers ashore and launched an attack on the coastal town of St. Brioch. Its citizens, for their part, put up an impromptu defense with arrows and stones, while industriously preparing the other things what would allow them to withstand a siege. In the course of this first encounter Earl Edmund was wounded in the head by a stone and died five days later. Having lost their captain, the English no less continued the siege and took, sacked, and burned the city, having killed a goodly part of the citizenry. This done, they departed for England. This year there ensued such a hard cold that a goodly part of England’s sheep froze to death.
10. At this time died Duke Philippe of Burgundy, who was succeeded by his son John, a man of keen intellect, greedy for rule, of high spirits, and great authority among the French. Civil discords were particularly dear to his heart. He conceived a hatred against Duke Louis of Orleans, the brother of King Charles VI, because he was governing the kingdom and managing all things according to his whim. For, as I have said above, Charles had long been affected by madness and did not have much to do with public counsels or the handling of things. Orleans too suffered from his vices, being a vehement man who reciprocated Burgundy’s hatred towards himself, because he saw that man striving with might and main to occupy first place in the commonwealth. Within a short time this feud grew to the point that all France became divided into two factions. For some of the nobility supported Orleans, and some Burgundy, and this inflicted a great evil on France for many years. While the dukes blazed with hatred against each other, they were summoned to Paris by Charles, and he sharply castigated them both. But they were so far removed from being moved by this chastisement, that a few days later Burgundy assigned his servant Rudolph Auctoville the task of killing Orleans. Eager to perform his mandate, he surrounded himself with a crew of henchmen and murdered Duke Louis as he was returning home from the palace at night. Charles was deeply grieved by his brother’s death, but, so that the evil would not be revived in worse form, he was obliged to swallow the insult and injury, and dissimulate the business. For he was afraid that Burgundy (whose ferocity he knew full well) would ally himself with the King of England, if because of this he chose to commit some worse crime against himself. And so not much later, by the intervention of the king and the nobility, Burgundy and Duke Charles of Orleans, the son of the recently murdered Louis, were reconciled into each other’s good graces, although this was feigned, and they exchanged oaths that they would no more nurse or ventilate grudges against each other. But reverence for oaths had no weight in minds agitated by dire furies. For Orleans, his oath soon revived all the more vehemently, waged war on Burgundy. And when he was pressed by Orleans, Burgundy immediately sent ambassadors to King Henry requesting help. The king, thinking his enemies’ discords would bring him some advantage, gladly promised his aid, and he immediately sent a great band of armed men to Burgundy in Flanders, under the command of Earl Thomas of Arundel. Increased by these forces, Burgundy hastened to Paris, marching days and nights, and the day after his arrival he took by force the bridge of St. Cloud over the Seine, killing all the soldiers whom Orleans, who had previously occupied the bridge, had left as its garrison. And on the following night Orleans, building a bridge in the district of St. Denys, fled to safety. Then the Burgundy enjoyed sole power. He governed King Charles as he wished, and so, imagining that in such chaos he had untied all the knots of his difficulties, when he saw his affairs beginning to go better than he had expected, he sent home his English auxiliaries, laden down with many gifts. Henry attributed it to his levity that he had dismissed his help before the war had died down, and before he had thoroughly understood the state in which his affairs stood. Meanwhile, while these things were being done elsewhere, King Henry held a parliament of his nobles at London, in which, after matters of benefit to the commonwealth had been handled, this three sons whom he had fathered by his first wife after Henry, were made dukes: Thomas of Clarence, John of Bedford, and Humfrey of Gloucester, and his cousin Edmund was created Duke of York in place of his father. Likewise Thomas Bedford was made Earl of Dorcester. But in some annals I find it written that those dukes were created by Henry VI, this Henry’s son, in the parliament he held at Leicester in the first year of his reign, which I scarcely accept.
11. At this same time Duke Charles of Orleans, appreciating that Burgundy had dismissed the English he had previously summoned with all his promises, decided to acquire them for himself. So he sent Albert, a man of great industry, to Henry to ask him to join with himself in friendship and aid him against their mutual enemies. Henry gave him a friendly hearing and did not refuse his help, since he was annoyed with Burgundy, for he thought he had not done well to neglect his auxiliary forces a little while previously. And he thought that it would come about that not long in the future this French discord would be useful for the kingdom of England, as indeed did come to pass. Therefore as soon as he could he sent to France Thomas, the son of Duke Clarence, and also Edward of York, with 800 horsemen and 9,000 archers, to aid Orleans. Hearing of these things, Charles the Dauphin though that all his countrymen’s controversies needed to be settled before the English joined themselves to the Dukes of Orleans and Bordeaux, who belonged to his faction. And so he energetically contrived for a false rumor of a reconciliation among the nobility be spread abroad. Hearing of this after having crossed the Loire, the English, who had not yet been paid their promised stipend by Orleans, were enraged and sacked Beau Site, the first place they came to, together with its monastery. Then the Duke of Clarence, recalling his soldiers from their plundering, went against the Gascoignes, marching in battle array so he would not be caught unawares on the road. And his soldiers, for the present content with their booty, waited more patiently until Orleans paid their stipend. For from the beginning his brother, the Duke of Angolesmes, had been given as hostage for the sum of 109,000 marks to be paid the soldiers, and had been sent to England, where he remained until the promised money had been paid. But the Duke of Clarence, after he had spent more than three months in Gascony doing Orleans’ bidding, and, having hopes for a resolution, thought Orleans had no use for auxiliaries, went back to England with his army safe and sound. After these things Henry, mindful that a man ought to regard nothing more important that doing the work of justice, which serves mankind’s use, chose to devote all his energy to the good government of the English commonwealth, turning his back on civil war (with which he was ashamed to see Christendom occupied at all times), and to waging war against their common enemy and the eventual regaining of Jerusalem. Now he had outfitted a fleet, when misfortune brought about his death as he was doing and planning such things. For he was attacked by a sudden disease and no remedy could bring him relief. He died at Westminster at the age of forty-six, in the year of salvation 1412. He reigned fourteen years, six months, and two days. His body was taken to Canterbury with funeral pomp and buried in Christ Church. He fathered four sons by his first wife Mary, the second daughter of the Earl of Hereford and Essex, Henry Prince of Wales, Thomas Duke of Clarence, John Duke of Bedford, and Humfrey Duke of Gloucester, as well as two daughters, Blanche, who was married to the son of the Duke of Bavaria, and Philippa, subsequently married to the King of Denmark. As far as I am aware, he fathered no children by his second wife Joan. He was a man of honest and just stature, slender in his limbs, and of a great mind. After civil wars and the various seditions of his subjects had been put down, he treated all men very kindly. At the time of Henry’s death James Stuart, the sole son of Robert King of Scots (for his elder son David had already died) was captured by an English fleet. He was twelve years old, and his father had sent him to France so that, dwelling among the French nobility, he would acquire the manners and language of that nation. Henry not only did not neglect this royal lad, but took great pains that he would be given training in warlike and civil matters. But his father Robert, a man of gentle spirits, was broken by this accident, for he regarded his son as lost and began to fail, so that nothing could restore him to equanimity, and he departed this life soon thereafter. Then the Scots nobility set over their commonwealth, deprived of its king, Robert, the brother of this Robert, who reigned for more than ten years thereafter.
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