« AnteriorContinuar »
The earl of Salisbury, a great lord and the most renowned in feats of arms of all the English; and the which for Henry, king of England, to whom he was related, and as his lieutenant and chief of his army in this kingdom, had been present at many battles as well as divers rencounters and conquests against the French, where he had valiantly conducted himself; thinking to take the city of Orleans by force, which maintained the cause of the king, its sovereign lord Charles, seventh of that name, came to besiege it on Tuesday the twelfth day of October, one thousand four hundred and twenty-eight, with great host and army, which he encamped on the side of Sauloïgne, and near one of the suburbs called Portereau. In which host and army and in his company were, Messire William de la Pole, Earl of Suffolk, and Messire John de la Pole, his brother, the lord of Escales (Scales), the lord Faulconberg,
the bailiff of Evreux, the lord d'Egres, the lord de Moulins, the lord de Pomus, Glacidas (William Glasdale or Gladdisdale)* of high renown,
Messire Launcelot de l'Isle, Marshal of the host, and many other lords and men of war as well English as others, false French, maintaining their cause. But the men of war there in garrison, had, on the same day and before the arrival of the English, by the advice and aid of the citizens of Orleans, caused the church to be destroyed, the convent of the Augustins of Orleans, and all the houses which were then standing at the foresaid Portereau, in order that their enemies might not be lodged there, nor construct any fortification against the city.
On the ensuing Sunday the English threw into the city two hundred and four bombarding stones from large cannons, of which there were some stones that weighed one hundred and sixteen pounds. And among others was placed near to the Turcie Sainct Jean le Blanc, between the wine-press of Faviere and Portereau, a great cannon which they named Passe-volant (Beyond-fying); the which threw stones weighing eighty pounds, doing much damage to the houses and edifices of Orleans, not however killing or wounding any one but a woman named Belles, living near the postern Chesneau.
According to one of our Chroniclers.
This same week also did the cannons of the English beat down twelve windmills situated on the banks of the Loire, between the city and the new town. Therefore those of Orleans caused to be built, within the city, eleven mills for horses, which greatly comforted them. Notwithstanding the cannons and engines of the English, the French who were in Orleans made several sallies and skirmishes against them, between the Tournelles of the bridge of Saint Jean le Blanc, from the Sunday until Thursday the twenty-first day of the same month; upon which day the English attacked the boulevard, made of faggots and earth, placed in front of the Tournelles, which assault continued incessantly for four hours: for they began at ten in the morning and did not cease until two hours after mid-day, many valiant feats of arms being performed on either side. Of the principal French who defended the boulevard, were, the lord of Villars, captain of Montargis; Messire Matthïas, an Arragonese; the lord of Guitry; the lord de Couras, of Gascony; the lord of Sainctes Trailles and his brother Poton de Sainctes Trailles, also of Gascony; Peter de la Chapelle, a gentleman of Beausse, and many other knights and esquires, besides the citizens of Orleans, all of whom conducted themselves very valiantly. In like manner the women of Orleans afforded great succour; for they never ceased to furnish with diligence to those who defended the boulevard,
many necessary things; such as water, boiling oil and grease, lime, cinders and chausse-trapes.* At the termination of the assault many were wounded on either side; but mostly of the English, of whom more than two hundred-and-forty died. It so happened that during the assault, the lord of Gaucourt rode by Orleans, for he was the governor; but, when passing before Sainct Père Empont, he accidentally fell from his horse, and broke his arm; and was forthwith carried to the baths to have it set.
On the following Friday, the twenty-second day of the said month of October, the alarm bell was rung; the French believing that the English attacked the boulevards of the Tournelles from the end of the bridge, by the mine which they had dug, but they retired at this period. The same day the inhabitants of Orleans broke down an arch of the bridge, and constructed a boulevard to the right of the beautiful Cross which is upon the bridge.
The ensuing Saturday, the twenty-third day of the month, the citizens of Orleans burned and broke down the boulevard of the Tournelles, and abandoned the same; because it was undermined and no longer tenable by the said men at war.
On the following Sunday, the twenty-fourth day of October, the English attacked and took the Tournelles at the end of the bridge; because they were
* This term is not found in any Dictionary of Old French.
completely demolished and broken down by the cannons and heavy artillery which they had discharged against them: and on this account no defence was attempted, because no one dared stand upright.
On the night of this day (Sunday), the earl of Salisbury, having with him captain Glacidas (Glasdale), and many others, wished to go into the Tournelles, after they had been taken, in order to examine the situation of Orleans. But no sooner had he arrived, and occupied himself with looking at the city through a window of the Tournelles, than he was struck by a ball from a cannon, said to have been fired from a tower, called the Tower of our Lady; but never positively known from whence discharged, so that it is said to have been an act of the Divinity. The blow from the said cannon struck him on the head, in such wise, that it carried away half of the cheek, and burst one of the eyes, which proved a signal benefit for this kingdom, for he was commander of the army, and the most renowned and dreaded of all the English. On this same day, when the Tournelles were lost, the French broke up another strong boulevard in the city; and in another quarter the English destroyed two arches of the bridge in front of the Tournelles, after they had taken them, and there constructed a very large boulevard of earth and faggots.
The Monday following, being the twenty-fifth day of the month of October, arrived in Orleans for