Billeder på siden
PDF
ePub

.

enne,

a

Electoral Rhine, Burgundy, Westphalia, and Up- raise forces for a Turkish war. But a mightier per and Lower Saxony. Bohemia, Silesia, Mora- contest was at hand. “We must fight,” wrote via, Lusatia, and Prussia, were not included in this Ulrich von Hutten, "not against the Turks, but division.

against the pope." Many years were employed in struggles between In the year 1513, the emperor renounced his althe French and Germans for the possession of Up- liance with the king of France, and joining Henry per Italy. Venice surrendered to the emperor, but, VIII. of England defeated the French near Térouhaving again revolted, was attacked by George of

This engagement has been called the Battle Frundsberg, with a chosen body of German soldiers of the Spurs, from the haste with which the French (Landsknechten, Lansquenets, a sort of mercena- knights fled from the field. ries, who served on foot and were at that time in The Tribunal of the Imperial Chamber or Reichsmuch repute). The Venetian commander had in- kammergericht was established by Maximilian I., vited a great number of ladies to witness what he in the year 1495, for the purpose of settling disputes supposed would be the certain defeat of the Ger- among the nobles, and administering justice genermans; but to his unspeakable mortification, not ally throughout the empire. The chamber cononly was his large army beaten by an insignificant sisted of a president appointed by the emperor and force, but the fair Venetians themselves taken sixteen judges, half of whom were nobles and the prisoners. In 1516, Maximilian endeavored to other half lawyers.

[ocr errors]
[graphic][subsumed]

ENRY IV. ascended the throne on which the statute-book of England was sullied by

the deposition of Richard II., 1399, an act for the burning of heretics.
and had immediately to combat a Henry died at Westminster on March 20, 1413,
rebellion, raised by the Earl of in the forty-sixth year of his age and the fourteenth
Northumberland, for placing Mor- of his reign.

timer, earl of March, the heir of the Henry V., 1413–1422, of Monmouth, was born house of York, on the throne. The Scotch and on the 9th of August, 1388. His early exploits in Welsh took part with the rebels. Hotspur (young the wars against the Percies and Glendower had Percy), marching at the head of twelve thousand been succeeded by an inactivity forced upon him by men to effect a junction with Owen Glendower, had the jealous state of mind into which his father fell advanced as far as Shrewsbury, when he was en- towards the end of his reign. How the prince's countered by the king, July 23, 1403. A most restless spirit is said to have found vent in disorders obstinate and bloody battle ensued, in which the with debauched companions; how he atoned for Prince of Wales, afterward Henry V., proved him- these excesses by his graceful submission to the self the heir to the fame of Edward, the Black judge whom he had insulted on the bench; and Prince. The fortune of the day was decided by the how he was at last reconciled to his father; all these death of Hotspur. A second rebellion, headed by are traditions better known through the fancy of the archbishop of York, was quelled by the capital Shakespeare than in the actual facts of history. punishment of its author. Scotland might have But these faults were all thrown aside when he played an important part in the troubles of Henry's mounted the throne, and he retained about him his reign; but the dissensions in her own royal family father's wisest councillors. not only crippled wher, but resulted in an accident The beginning of his reign was disgraced by a which placed her in Henry's power. The Duke of new persecution of the Lollards. The diffusion Albany, not content with ruling his weak brother, of doctrines such as Wickliffe's through Europe Robert III., contrived the murder of his eldest son alarmed the church, and led to the assembling of David, duke of Rothesay, as a step toward the the council of Constance, where John Huss was throne. To save his younger son James, Robert burnt, 1414. caused him to sail for France; but the ship was But Henry's whole energies were soon thrown taken by the English, 1405, and Henry detained into a new effort to subdue France. During the the young prince long after his father's death had last reign the war had languished, but the French made him King James I. of Scotland. James be- had more than once attacked the southern coasts guiled his imprisonment at Windsor with some of of England. Now, however, the internal state of those poems which have secured for him an honor- France offered an opportunity which Henry was not able place in Anglo-Scottish literature. One great the man to lose. blot on Henry's .administration was his persecution Charles VI., the grandson of John II., had lost of the Lollards The year 1401 was the first in his reason; and the regency, was disputed between his brother the Duke of Orleans, and his cousin defeated Henry's brother, the Duke of Clarence, at John (Jean sans Peur) the second duke of Bur- Baugé Henry now obtained from the captive Scotgundy, son of the younger son of John II. The tish king, James I., his consent to the engagedispute had broken out into open war, and Bur- ment of the Earl of Douglas and other Scottish gundy had secretly solicited aid from the king of

nobles in the English army.

James himself even England. Having strengthened himself by alliances served as a volunteer, and, under the color of his with the Emperor Sigismund and with Ferdinand, support, Henry treated the Scots whom he took king of Aragon, Henry openly laid claim to the prisoners as rebels and traitors. No wonder that crown of France, and assembled his forces at Ports- the feud between Scotland and England grew bitmouth in the spring of 1415. He was detained a

terer in each age. short time by a conspiracy formed in favor of the Returning to England to recruit his forces, Henry Earl of March by the Earl of Cambridge, younger landed again with an army of 25,000, and fought son of Edmund, duke of York, Lord Scrope, and Sir his way to Paris. The insane monarch, with his Thomas Grey, who were hastily tried and executed. court, fled to Troyes; and Henry pursuing, termi

On the 11th of August, 1415, Henry sailed from nated the war by a treaty with the queen-motherSouthampton, with 1,500 ships, conveying 6,000 who had taken the part of the English monarch men-at-arms and 24,000 infantry, chiefly archers. against her own son, and the Duke of Burgundy, by Landing on the 13th, he formed the siege of Har- which it was agreed that he should marry Catheflenr, which capitulated on the 22d of September. rine, the daughter of Charles VI., and receive the But the delay and the heat of the season had been kingdom of France as her dowry, which, till the so fatal to Henry's little army that he could proceed death of her father, he should govern as regent. no further. Resisting, however, all entreaties to Meantime the return of Henry to England gave return to England, he resolved to retreat to Calais. the Dauphin hopes of the recovery of his kingdom. By slow stages he reached the Somme, on the banks He was victorious in an engagement with the Engof which the French army, four times as numerous lish under the Duke of Clarence; but his success as his own, were now assembled under the dukes of was of no longer duration than the absence of the Orleans and Bourbon. Both armies crossed the English sovereign, who was himself hastening to the river; Henry by an adroit surprise, and the French period of his triumphs. Seized with a mortal diswith a view of barring his progress. Their man- temper, Henry died in the thirty-fourth year of his @uvre succeeded, though to their ultimate ruin, age, 1422, one of the most heroic princes that ever and Henry found them posted in front of him on swayed the sceptre of England. His brother, the the plains of Azincour, or Agincourt, October 24, Duke of Bedford, was declared Regent of France, 1415. On the following day the scenes of Crécy and, on the death of Charles VI., who survived and Poitiers were repeated, but with a result even Henry V. but a few months, Henry VI., an infant more decisive. Standing on the defensive, with nine months old, was proclaimed king at Paris and their front secured by palisades against the enemy's at London, 1422. cavalry, the English archers poured their deadly Henry left but the one infant son, with whose unvolleys upon the dense masses of the French, and happy reign the dynasty of Lancaster ended. His then charged their disordered ranks. Ten thousand widow, Catherine, by her second narriage with a of the French were slain, and 14,000 were made Welsh gentleman, Sir Owen Tudor, became the prisoners, amongst whom were the dukes of Orleans ancestress of a new dynasty, in the person of her and'Bourbon, and many of the highest of the French grandson, Henry VII. nobility. The loss of the English was so small that Henry V. left his splendid and hard-won init is stated at only forty!

heritance to his only son, Henry VI., of Windsor, The intimate relations long since established be- 1422-1461. This reign of confusion and disaster tween France and Scotland had led a large body of divides itself into two parts, marked by the loss the flower of the Scottish nation to enter the ser- of the English dominions in France and by the vice of the French king. These Scots, to the num- terrible civil conflict known as the “Wars of the ber of 7,000, had adhered to the Dauphin, and had Roses."

[ocr errors]

The king's infancy gave a new opportunity for the Earl of Suffolk to raise the siege on the 8th of parliament to exercise the large powers which it had May. for some time been steadily acquiring. The admin

SYNOPSIS OF EVENTS BETWEEN THE BATTLE istration was intrusted to the elder of the king's two

OF HASTINGS, A.D. 1066, AND JOAN OF ARC'S uncles, John, duke of Bedford, with the title, not of

VICTORY AT ORLEANS, 1429. regent, but Protector of the Realm and Church of England; the care of the king's person was com

A.D. 1066—1087. Reign of William the Conqueror. Fre

quent risings of the English against him, wbich are quelled mitted to Henry Beaufort, bishop of Winchester.

with merciless rigor. New life was infused into the French party by the

1096. The first Crusade. death of the poor old imbecile king Charles VI., 1422, 1112. Commencement of the disputes about investitures bewhen the Dauphin was crowned as Charles VII. tween the emperors and the popes.

1140. Foundation of the city of Lübeck, whence originated The year 1429 introduced a new scene, marked by

the Hanseatic League. Commencement of the feuds in Italy one of the most romantic episodes in all history. between the Guelphs and Ghibellines. Bedford had resolved to carry the war to the south 1146. The second Crusade. of the Loire, and had laid siege to Orleans, the fall

1154. Henry 11. becomes King of England. Under him

Thomas à Becket is made Archbishop of Canterbury: the first of which threatened to be fatal to Charles VII.

instance of any man of the Saxon race being raised to high Now there was a country girl, twenty-seven years office in Church or State since the Conquest. old, at the village of Domremy, in Lorraine, named 1170. Strongbow, earl of Pembroke, lands with an English Joan of Arc. She had shown no marks of genius,

army in Ireland.

1189. Richard Cour de Lion becomes King of England. nor eccentricities of character, but, as the sole ser

He and King Philip Augustus of France join in the third vant at a small inn, she had been inured to mascu- Crusade. line occupations, such as tending the horses of the 1199—1204. On the death of King Richard, his brother

John claims and makes himself master of England and Norguests; and she thus acquired great skill in horse

mandy and the other large continental possessions of the early manship. At length the secret springs of enthusi

Plantagenet princes. Philip Augustus asserts the cause of asm, which so easily vibrate in a woman's heart, Prince Arthur, John's nephew, against him. Arthur is murwere touched by the news of the king's extremity, dered, but the French king continues the war against John, and Joan believed herself to be the heaven sent sav

and conquers from him Normandy, Brittany, Anjou, Maine,

Touraine, and Poitiers. iour of her country. Presenting herself to Baudri

1215. The barons, the freeholders, the citizens, and the court, the governor of Vaucouleurs, she related to

•yeomen of England rise against the tyranny of John and his him her visions, and persuaded him to send her to foreign favorites. They compel him to sign Magna Charta. Charles VII. at Chinon. There, as the story goes,

This is the commencement of English nationality; for England's

history from this time forth is the history of a national life, then she at once recognized the king, though disguised

Complete, and still in being. All English history before this among his courtiers; she mentioned a secret known

period is a mere history of elements, of their collisions, and of only to himself; and she gave a minute description the processes of their fusion. For upwards of a century after of a sword which was kept in the church of St. the Conquest, Anglo-Norman and Anglo-Saxon had kept

aloof from each other: the one in haughty scorn, the other in Catherine of Fierbois, and which she claimed as the

sullen abhcrrence. They were two peoples, though living in sign and instrument of her mission. That mission

the same land. It is not until the thirteenth century, the she declared to be to raise the siege of Orleans and period of the reigns of John and his son and grandson, that we

can perceive the existence of any feeling of common patriotto crown the king at Rheims. These and other miracles were eagerly spread

ism among them. But in studying the history of these reigns,

we read of the old dissensions no longer. The Saxon no more abroad by the court and accepted by the people, appears in civil war against the Norman; the Norman no before whom Joan was exhibited in full panoply on longer scorns the language of the Saxon, or refuses to bear to

gether with him the name of Englishman. No part of the a splendid charger. In this array, unfurling a con

community think themselves foreigners to another part. They secrated banner, she marched to the relief of Or

feel that they are all one peop and they have learned to leans. The besiegers, who shared in the first im- unite their efforts for the common purpose of protecting the pression of superstitious awe, permitted her to enter rights and promoting the welfare of all. The fortunate loss

of the Duchy of Normandy in John's reign greatly promoted the city with a convoy of provisions, April 20, 1429.

these new feelings. Thenceforth the barons' only homes She forth with assumed the offensive; attacked and

were in England. One language had, in the reign of Henry carried the works of the enemy, and compelled the i III., become the language of the land; and that, also, had

Joan of Arc's Bictory over the English at

Orleans, A.D. 1429.

then assumed the form in which it is still possessed. One law, in the eye of which all freemen are equal without distinction of race, was modelled, and steadily enforced, and still continues to form the groundwork of the English judicial system. · 1273. Rodolph of Hapsburg chosen Emperor of Germany.

1283. Edward I. conquers Wales.

1346. Edward III. invades France, and gains the battle of Cressy.

1356. Battle of Poitiers.

1360. Treaty of Bretigny between England and France. By it Edward III, renounces his pretensions to the French crown. The treaty is ill kept, and indecisive hostilities continue between the forces of the two countries.

1414. Henry V. of England claims the crown of France, and resolves to invade and conquer that kingdom. At this time France was in the most deplorable state of weakness and suffering, from the factions that raged among her nobility, and from the cruel oppressions which the rival nobles practiced on the mass of the community. “The people were exhausted by taxes, civil wars, and military executions; and they had fallen into that worst of all states of mind, when the independence of one's country is thought no longer a paramount and sacred object. What can the English do to us worse than the things we suffer at the hands of our own princes ?' was a common exclamation among the poor people of France."

1415. Henry invades France, takes Harfleur, and wins the great battle of Agincourt.

1417–1419. Henry conquers Normandy. The French Dauphin assassinates the Duke of Burgundy, the most powerful of the French nobles, at Montereau. The successor of the murdered duke becomes the active ally of the English.

1420. The Treaty of Troyes is concluded between Honry V. of England and Charles VI. of France, and Philip, duke of Burgundy. By this treaty it was stipulated that Henry should marry the Princess Catherine of France; that King Charles, during his lifetime, should keep the title and dignity of King of France, but that Henry should succeed him, and should at once be entrusted with the administration of the government, and that the French crown should descend to Henry's heirs; that France and England should for ever be united under one king, but should still retain their several usages, customs, and privileges; that all the princes, peers, vassals, and communities of France should swear allegiance to Henry as their future king, and should pay him present obedience as regent; that Henry should unite his arms to those of King Charles and the Duke of Burgundy, in order to subdue the adherents of Charles, the pretended dauphin; and that these three princes should make no truce or peace with the Dauphin, but by the common consent of all three.

1421. Henry V. gains several victories over the French, who refuse to acknowledge the treaty of Troyes. His son, afterwards Henry VI., is born.

1422. Henry V, and Charles VI. of France die. Henry VI. is proclaimed at Paris, King of England and France. The followers of the French Dauphin proclaim him Charles VII., King of France. The Duke of Bedford, the English Regent in France, defeats the army of the Dauphin at Crevant.

1424. The Duke of Bedford gains the great victory of Verneuil, over the French partisans of the Dauphin, and their Scotch auxiliaries.

1428. The English begin the siege of Orleans.

Seldom bas the extinction of a nation's independence appeared more inevitable than was the case in France, when the English invaders completed their lines round Orleans, over four hundred and forty years ago. A series of dreadful defeats had thinned the chivalry of France, and daunted the spirits of her soldiers. A foreign king had been proclaimed in her capital; and foreign armies of the bravest veterans, and led by the ablest captains then known in the world, occupied the fairest portions of her territory. Worse to her even than the fierceness and the strength of her foes were the factions, the vices, and the crimes of her own children. Her native prince was a dissolute trifler, stained with the assassination of the most powerful noble of the land, whose son, in revenge, had leagued himself with the enemy. Many more of her nobility, many of her prelates, her magistrates, and rulers, had sworn fealty to the English king. The condition of the peasantry amid the general prevalence of anarchy and brigandage, which were added to the customary devastations of contending armies, was wretched beyond the power of language to describe. The sense of terror and suffering seemed to have extended itself even to the brute creation.

In the autumn of 1428, the English, who were already masters of all France north of the Loire, prepared their forces for the conquest of the southern provinces, which yet adhered to the cause of the Dauphin. The city of Orleans, on the banks of that river, was looked upon as the last stronghold of the French national party. If the English could once obtain possession of it, their victorious progress through the residue of the kingdom seemed free from any serious obstacle. Accordingly, the Earl of Salisbury, one of the bravest and most experienced of the English ge als, who had been trained under Henry V., marched to the attack of the all-important city; and, after reducing several places of inferior consequence in the neighborhood, appeared with his army before its walls on the 12th of October, 1428.

The city of Orleans itself was on the north side of the Loire, but its suburbs extended far on the southern side, and a strong bridge connected them with the town. A fortification which in modern military phrase would be termed a tête-du-pont, defended the bridge-head on the southern side, and two towers, called the Tourelles, were built on the bridge itself, where it rested on an island at a little distance from the têtedu-pont. Indeed, the solid masonry of the bridge terminated at the Tourelles; and the communication thence with the tète-du-pont on the southern shore was by means of a drawbridge.

The Tourelles and the tête-du-pont formed togther a strong fortified post, capable of containing a garrison of considerable strength; and so long as this was in possession of the Orleannais, they could communicate freely with the southern provinces, the inhabitants of which, like the Orleannais themselves, supported the cause of their Dauphin against the foreigners. Lord Salisbury rightly judged the capture of the Tourelles to be the most material step towards the reduction of the city itself. Accordingly, he directed his principal operations against this post, and after some severe repulses, he carried the Tourelles by storm, on the 23d of October, The French, however, broke down the part of the bridge which

« ForrigeFortsæt »