Of the conqueste and [Cambridge, No. 174 179a] wynnge of Caleys, and of grete pestelence & raynes þat fillen sone aftir; and of þe tresoun ordeyned aȝens Caleys. Capitulo CCmo. xxviijo.
IN þe xxij ȝere of King Edwardys regne, he wente ouere in þe wynter time, & lay al þe wynter in þe seege of Caleys. Þe whiche year, while þe sege lasted, Philip of Valeys, Kyng of Fraunce, cast & purposed, trecherously & wiþ fraude, to put awey þe sege, & come þe xxvij day of Iuyll in þe same ȝere wiþ a grete oste & a strong poer, & neigrhed vnto þe sege of Caleys. ¶ þe wiche Philip, þe last day of Iuyll, sent to King Edward word þat he wold ȝeue him playn bataill þe .iij. day next after þat, about euesong tyme, if þat he durst come fro þe sege & abyde hit. And whan Kynge Edward herd þat, wiþout eny long taryng or grete avisement, he accepted gladly þe day & hour of bataill þt Philip had assigned. And whan the Kyng of Fraunce herd þat, wiþout eny long taryng or rete auysement, þe next nyght after he set hys tentys afyre, and vanysshed & went awey þens cowardly. ¶ Than þey þat were in þe toun and in þe castell byseged, seyng al þis, how þat þei hade non oþer helpe ne socour of þe Kinge of Fraunce ne of his men, & also þat her vitailles wiþin hym were spended and wasted, & for defaute of vitailles & of refresshyng þey eten hors, houndes, cattes & mys, for to kepe her trouþe as long as þey myȝte. ¶ And whan they sawe, & was found amongeȝ hem at þe last þat þey had no þing amonge hem forto ete ne lyve by, ne no socour ne rescuyng of þe Frensshemen; on þe toþer sydePage 301 þey weste wel þat [Cambridge, No. 174 179b] þey must deie for defaute, eyþer ȝelde vp þe toun; and anon wenten & tokin done þe banerys & þe armes of Fraunce on euery side þat were hanged out, & wenten on þe walles of þe toun, and in oþer diuers placys, as naked as þey were bore, saf hire chirtys and brechys, & heldyn hire swerdus naked, & þe poynt downward, in hire handeȝ, & puttyn ropys & halterys abowte hire neckys, and ȝolden vp þe keyes of þe toun and of þe Castell to Kyng Edward, wiþ grete fere and drede of hert. ¶ And when the King sav þis, as a mercyable king and lord, resceyued hym al to his grace; & a feue of þe grettste persones of stat and of gouernaunce of þe toun he sent into Engelond, þer for to abyde hire raunsome & þe kinges grace; & al þe communialte of þe toun þe king lete go wher þey wolde in pees, & wiþoute ony harme, & lete ham bere with ham al hire þingeȝ þat þey myȝte bere & cary away, keping þe toun and the castell to hymself. ¶ Þan, þoruȝ mediacioun of cardenalles þat were sent fro þe pope, trewes was take þer bituene Fraunce & Engelond for ix moneþes þan next folwyng; & aboute mychelmasse King Edwarde come aȝen vnto Engelond wiþ a glorious victorye.
[The Plague of 1348.]
¶ And in þe xxiij. ȝere of his regne, in þe Este parteys of þe worlde þer aros & bygan a pestilence, & deþ of Sarasineȝ and Payngneins, þat so grete a deþ was neuer herde of afore, and þat wasted awey so þe peple þat vnneþes þe xthe persone was left a-lyue. & in þe same ȝere, aboute þe Sowthcuntreys and also in þe west cuntres, þere fell so much [Cambridge, No. 174 180a] reyne and so grete waters þat, from Cristemasse vnto Midsomer, þer was vnneþes day ne nyght but þat it rayned sumwhat; þoruȝ whiche watres, þe pestilence was sone fectid & so habundant in all cuntres, & namely aboute þe court of Rome & oþer places & sore costes, þat vnneþes þere were left alyve folk to bery ham þat were ded, honestly, but maden grete diches and puttes þat were wonder brood and depe, & þerin beried, & made a renge of þe dede bodyes, & anoþer renge of erþe aboue ham; & þus were þey buried, & non oþer wise, but yf it were þe fewer þat were grete men of state.
Page 302¶ And after al þis, in þe xxiiij ȝere of his regne, hit was done King Edward to wite and vnderstonde of a tresoun þat was bygun at Caleys, and ordeyned for to selle þat toun for a grete somme of Florens vnto King Philip of Fraunce, þoruȝ þe falsnes & þe ordinance of a knyȝt þat me called Sir Geffrey of Charney, þat was wonder privey wiþ þe King of Fraunce. ¶ And whan þe King herd þis, he toke wiþ hym þe noblys & þe gentils, & oþere worþy & orped men of armes, þat were þere present wiþ hym for þe solempnite of þat hey feest, & wel & wisely, in al þe haste þat he myȝt, & as priuely as he myȝt, he wente hym ouere see, and þat same tyme þe King held hys Cristemas at Haueryng. ¶ And in þe morwe after Newers day, þe King was in þe Castell of Caleys wiþ his men of armes, þat none of þe aliens wist þerof. And thilk fals conspiratour & traytour, Geffrey of Charney, seth he myȝte not opynly haue his purpos of þe castell, pryuely & stelyngly he comen yn, & held þe toun wiþ a grete oste. [Cambridge, No. 174 180b] And when he wiþ his men were comen yn, he payed þe forsaide somme of florens, as couenaunt was bituene him, to a Geneweys in þe toun þat was keper of þe castell, & consentyng to þe same Gefferey in al þis falsnesse & trecherye, & bonde þe Englisshe mynesters and seruauntȝ þat were in þe castel, þat þey myȝt nouȝt helpe hamself, ne lete ham of hire purpos. & þan, wenyng þat þey had be siker ynov, þey spaken hire wickednesse & falones oppynly & an hey, þat al men myȝt here. ¶ And nov shul ȝe here hov þey were desceyued; for þey comme in by a preuy posterne ouer a litel brigge was drawyn opp of tre; & when þey were come yn sotelly and preuely, þe brigge was dravyn op and kepte, þat non of ham þat were come yn myȝte go out, ne no moo come yn to hym. ¶ And anon our Englisshe men wente oute at priuy holes and wendawes, & ouere þe wallys of þe toun & of þe castel, & wenten & fouȝten manly wiþ þe Frenche men þat were wiþoute, & had the better of ham, þe wiche when þey were ocupied by ham self on hire side. þe King, þat was wiþin þe toun, hauyng wiþ him scharstly but xxx. men of armes, dreve out his swerd, & with a lowed voys cried on hey: "A sent Edward! a sent Gorge!" And when folk herde þat, þey come rennyng to him, and ȝeauen þer to hire enemys so strongePage 303 assaute þat þer were mo þen ij C. men of armes, and meny oþer, slayn, & meny fledden; & so, by þe grace of God, þe victorye fel to þe Englisshe men. ¶ Þan þe King toke with him þis Gefferey, þat was fynder of þis trecherye, and also many oþer Frenshe prisoners, & withyn a while [Cambridge, No. 174 181a] after wente aȝen into Engelond.
[The Plague, or Black Death.]
And in þis same ȝere, and in þe ȝere afore, & also in þe ȝere aftir, was so grete a pestilences of men fro þe Est into þe west, & namely þoruȝ bocches, þat he þat siked þis day, deid on þe iij. day after. ¶ To þe wich men þat so deiden in þis pestilens, þat haddyn but litel respyte of lyggyng, þe pope Clement, of his goodnes & grace, ȝaf ham ful remissioun & foryeuyng of all hire synnes þat þey were schryven of. & þis pestilence lasted in London fro Michelmasse into Auguste next folowyng almoste an hool ȝere. & in þes dayes was deþ wiþoute sorwe, weddyng wiþoute frendship, wilfull penaunce, and derþe wiþout scarste, and fleyng wiþoute refute or socour; ¶ ffor meny fledden fro place to place by-cause of þe pestilens; but þey were enfecte, & myȝt not ascape þe deþe, after þe prophete Isaye seith: "ho þat fleeþ fro þe face of drede, he shal fall into þe diche; & he þat wyndeþ hymself out of þe diche, he shal be holde and teyd wiþ a grenne," but whan þis pestilens was cesid & endid, as God wolde, vnneþes þe x. parte of þe peple was left alyve, and in þe same ȝere bygan a wonder þing þat al þat euere were born after þat pestilens hadden ij. chekteth in her heed lasse þan þey had afore.