The Royal Navy, a History from the Earliest Times to the Present/Volume 1/Chapter 11

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search



Unofficial war with France—Fears of invasion—The Scots in the Narrow Seas—Henry IV. illegally attempts to raise shipping—Operations against the Welsh—Piracy in the Channel—Naval discontent—English pirates defeated—French descents upon the coast—The English retaliate—The French in the Isle of Wight—The English in Brittany and Picardy—The French at Portland—And at Dartmouth—Attack on Falmouth—Prince James of Scots captured by Prendergast—Difficulties of a royal admiral-in-chief—Attempt upon Sluis—The English on the Norman Coast—French invasion of Wales—Exploits of Harry Pay—Spain assists France—Exploits of Don Pedro Niño—The merchants undertake the guard of the sea—Jersey attacked—Sea fight with the French—Death of the Earl of Kent—Truce with Burgundy—Truce with Spain—Successes of Umfravill—Excesses of Prendergast and Long—Henry V. and the Navy—Costliness of Henry's naval glory—A question of international law—Insecurity of the Channel—Attempts to put down piracy—Henry asserts his claim to France—Naval preparations—Alarm of France—Capture of Harfleur—Wrongful prizes—Merchantmen in consort—The Emperor Sigismund in England—Harfleur invested—Renewed attempts on the English coast—British victory off Harfleur—Death of Lord West—Temporary truce with France—Preparations for a renewal of war—The Earl of Huntingdon's victory—Henry invades France—The treaty of Troyes—Henry enters Paris—Provisioning the army in France—Relief of Calais—Collapse of the English power there—Reduction of Harfleur—Truce with France—A disastrous French alliance—Protectorate of the Duke of York—Treason of Queen Magaret—Sandwich pillaged—Warwick the king-maker—His naval prowess and popularity—Cleverness of Sir John Dinham.—Warwick invades England and surprises Sir Simon Montfort—Victory of the Yorkist cause—Successes of the Earl of Kent—Warwick's intrigues—Prompt action of the king—Death of Warwick—Piracies of the Bastard of Fauconberg—War with France—The peace of Amiens in 1475—The fleet employed against Scotland—Accession of Richard III.—Richmond intrigues in Brittany—England invaded—Death of Richard.

HENRY IV., at his accession, found England officially at peace with France; and at peace she officially remained until the day of his death. The long truce continued, and, in theory at least, it stood unbroken during the whole thirteen years of the reign. Yet most of the period was characterised by great naval activity. In the first place, war with France was yearly, and often daily, expected: in the second place, unofficial hostilities, sometimes on a large and serious scale, were of very frequent occurrence. Charles of France never ceased to resent the fate of his son-in-law, Richard of England; Henry of England never shut his eyes to the fact that Charles of France steadily encouraged domestic attempts to dethrone him. An atmosphere thus over-charged could not fail to produce sparks and even lurid flashes, truce or no truce.

On November 15th, 1399, Thomas, Earl of Worcester,[1] was appointed sole admiral, with jurisdiction over the Irish as well as over the northern and western fleets; and early in the following year measures were debated for the defence of the kingdom, of Calais, and of the sea. As taxation was unpopular, and Henry's position was not very secure, the spiritual lords agreed to submit to the levy of a tenth upon their property, and numerous temporal peers undertook to raise and support soldiers and seamen. Lords Lovell, Berkeley, Calnoys, Powys, St. John, Burnell, Willoughby, and further consented each to find a ship with twenty men-at-arms and forty archers,[2] besides a crew, and Lords Fitzwalter, St. Iaur, and D'Arcy each to defray the expense of hag a ship, and of ten men-at-arms and twenty archers. Such navy as there was was ordered to assemble at Sandwich, and a small craft, the Katherine, of Guernsey, was sent to bring in the king's ships and the other vessels.[3]

The activity of the French gave rise to alarms of invasion, and in consequence soldiers were collected at various points;[4] but Henry, anxious not to provoke any breach of the truce, directed his vessels to commit no acts of war against any people save the Scots, who had begun to make aggressions,[5] and who were rendering the Narrow Seas so unsafe that a Venetian galley, which had been detained at Plymouth pending the settlement of a commercial dispute, dared not come on to London until ships were dispatched thence for her convoy.[6] In the meantime, Henry proceeded against the Scots, and charged Richard Clyderow[7] with the organisation and conduct of a squadron of armed storeships destined to co-operate with him.[8]

In 1401, to counterst the fear of invasion, Hen W ordered certain ports and towns each to build him a barge or ballinger.[9] Parliament, which had not been consulted, demanded the cancelling of the order, and the king was obliged to submit.[10] In April, Richard, Lord Grey of Codnor, was made Admiral of the Northern, and Sir Thomas Rempston, Admiral of the Western fleet, and they appear to have gone to sea in June;[11] but naval forces other than theirs were simultaneously employed in the Bristol Channel against the Welsh, who were led by Owen Glendower. Hotspur was in command against him. At Bardsey Island Hotspur took a Scots ship which had probably been sent with supplies to the Welsh, and near Milford he captured another Scots vessel full of men.[12] Few details, however, of the naval campaign in that quarter have been preserved. In the same year a remission of service, to the extent of five ships, one hundred men, and five boys, for the five next occasions of the calling out of the fleet of the Cinque Ports, was granted to the town of Hythe, in consideration of damage caused there by a fire and a pestilence, and of five Hythe ships and a hundred men having been lost at sea.[13]

The year 140 witnessed several acts of piracy by both English and French. According to the chronicler of St. Denis,[14] the initial fault lay with the English. Three thousand of the most skilful sailors of England and Bayonne, it was supposed with the approbation of Henry, were banded together for piratical ends, and they incessantly harrassed the French coasts. Among other acts of theirs, if the chronicler may be trusted, were the ravaging of the Isle of Rhé, and the kidnapping of a hundred poor fishermen of Picardy. Obtaining permission to make reprisals, the French made incursions on the coasts of England, and fought two or three small actions at sea, sometimes being successful, and sometimes being beaten.

The disorganisation of the navy at the time is well shown by the complaints of some peers and others who were sent, at the end of 1402, to bring to England Joan of Navarre, the affianced wife of King Henry. After saying that they had been eleven days at sea, and were in sight of Brittany, when contrary winds obliged them either to enter the Spanish Sea (the Bay of Biscay) or to return to England, they declared that no arrangements had been made for paying the wages of the crews of their ships, and that, had not most of the lords paid, or undertaken to pay, the men for fifteen days, the vessels could not have quitted port. They were then at Plymouth, and would sail again as soon as the wind permitted; but if the queen should not be ready to embark upon their arrival, or if bad weather should protract the voyage, the lack of money might imperil the issue of the expedition. Joan embarked at Camaret on January 13th, 1403, intending to make Southampton, but after a rough passage of five days, she was glad to land at Falmouth.[15]

In the interval the piratical warfare went on. In the course of the winter, several persons of Plymouth or Cornwall, including the celebrated freebooter Harry Pay,[16] were summoned before the Council for having captured a ship of Castille, and a few weeks later some men of Dover, Portsmouth, Fowey, Hull, and Rye had to explain their conduct to certain aggrieved Flamands.[17]

In July, 1403, similar proceedings brought about a regular sea fight, ending in an English defeat. An English force was cruising off the coast of Brittany, and committing varions enormities, when, by the advice of Olivier de Clisson, the Bretons determined to intercept the passage home of the marauders. With the Sire de Penhert, Admiral of Brittany,[18] and Guilleaume du Châtel as their commanders, they embarked twelve hundred men-at-arms and a large body of light troops in thirty vessels at St. Pol de Léon, near Morlaix, and put to sea, having previously sent scouts ahead of them. Next day the scouts returned and reported the English off St. Mathieu, on the coast near Finistère, and the Bretons, proceeding, sighted their enemy at about sunset. In the night, the English got under way, as if steering for home, and at dawn each fleet was formed into two divisions, and the Bretons attacked. After six hours of hot fighting, the English, finding their formation disadvantageous, re-formed their fleet into one body. The Bretons did the same, and the action was renewed until the English had exhausted all their missiles, and had five hundred men killed or drowned. Then forty of their ships and one carrack surrendered. Those Englishmen who had flung their weapons overboard were thrown after them by the Breton commanders. The rest, a thousand in number, were carried into Breton ports.[19]

Another notable French exploit of the year was a descent upon Haverfordwest by a hundred and twenty ships, with twelve hundred soldiers, under De Tries,[20] Admiral of France, who subsequently joined the Welsh under Owen Glendower; but after the Battle of Shrewsbury, the contingent went back to St. Pol de Léon.[21] In August a force under Du Châtel — perhaps the same squadron which had defeated the English at sea — threw a body of men ashore near Plymouth and pillaged and burnt the town, subsequently departing unhindered.[22]

In retaliation for the affair at Plymouth, a squadron, with six thousand men on board, sailed across to Brittany in November, burnt St. Mathieu, and massacred a great number of the inhabitants. A French force which assembled by the following day was defeated in a bloody battle, and most of the Breton vessels on the coast were taken, and their crews murdered. From St. Mathieu the English went to Guienne, and captured in the Gironde a number of French vessels laden with wine.[23] This English squadron seems to have been commanded by a gentleman named William Wilford; but its success did not free the coasts of England from the attacks of French pirates, and in September, when Winchester appeared to be threatened, special means were adopted to provide for its defence.[24] On November 5th, Thomas, fifth Lord Berkeley,[25] was appointed Admiral of the Western, and Sir Thomas Beaufort,[26] Admiral of the Northern fleet, and at about the same time, an embargo was laid upon shipping in all the ports,[27] and troops were levied to resist an apprehended attack by the Count de la Marche upon Southampton.[28] That winter, when the usual convoy went to Bordeaux for wine, it was directed to return to England at the earliest possible moment, and the best ships and barges were not permitted to form part of it.[29]

Soon after Christmas, the French landed in the Isle of Wight; but while carrying off booty, they were attacked by a superior force, and driven back, with the loss of some of their spoil.[30]

In view of all this, it is astonishing that Parliament, in 1404, instead of taking notice of the illegalities of the French, turned its attention rather to English breaches of the law, and complained of unjust prosecutions in the Admiralty and other courts.[31]

The French renewed their attempt upon the Isle of Wight in February, and lying off with a large fleet, sent ashore to demand tribute in the names of King Richard and Queen Isabella. The inhabitants replied that Richard was dead, that Isabella had been sent home in peace without stipulations for the payment of any tribute, and that they would pay nothing, but that if the French cared to fight the matter out, they might land and first refresh themselves for six hours without molestation. This curious offer, similar to one which, it may be remembered, had been made on a previous occasion, was not accepted; and the enemy, probably because he had news of an English fleet in his neighbourhood, departed without doing anything further.[32]

In the spring, the English again laid waste part of the coasts of Brittany and Picardy, behaving, according to the French account, with detestable cruelty. As a counterstroke, the French resolved upon a regular siege of Calais, by sea as well as by land; and not having sufficient ships for that purpose and for other necessary objects, they obtained a promise of a contingent of vessels and crossbow-men from Spain.[33]

Yet although the French did not consider themselves to be strong enough, unaided, to make the attempt on Calais, their activity elsewhere did not cease. In April, 1404, a French knight, with a small squadron, was reported to be besieging Caernarvon and Harlech, and five ships were ordered from Bristol to endeavour to raise the siege;[34] and a little later a party of young Norman nobles, who were weary of peace, and among whom were representatives of the families of De la Roche-Guyon, De Bacqueville and Martel, made a descent upon the Isle of Portland, which they ravaged. They were, however, encountered by a thousand hastily armed peasants, forced to surrender, and all thrown into prison.[35]

A further expedition of Bretons, in three hundred vessels under the Sires De Châteaubriand, De la Jaille, and Du Châtel, set out with the intention of landing at Dartmouth; but the force was ill-disciplined and ill-organised, and on its way across the Channel, it could not resist the temptation of plundering some Spanish vessels laden with wine, in spite of the fact that France and Spain were at the time in close alliance. The resultant drunkenness and quarrels caused the ships to separate, instead of proceeding together. In the meanwhile, six thousand men assembled to prevent the Bretons from disembarking, and a ditch was constructed along the seashore. When part of the Breton force under Du Châtel and De la Jaille arrived off the coast, a premature landing was effected, and after a sharp fight, all the invaders were either killed or taken, Du Châtel himself being mortally wounded.[36]

The expedition returned, but Tannegui, a brother of Guillaume du Châtel, at once collected another force, and surprising Dartmouth, took and pillaged it, subsequently ravaging the neighbouring coast for eight weeks.[37]

In August, a descent upon Wales was threatened by the Count de la Marche, who had collected sixty ships at Harfleur, and measures were adopted to oppose this expedition.[38] But great difficulties appear to have stood in the way of any effective defence, for the wages of the seamen were in arrears, and the shipowners who had temporarily transferred vessels for service with the admirals seem to have been unable to obtain their tonnage dues.[39] The count, however, did not proceed to Wales. He contented himself with an attempt upon Falmouth in November, but though he burnt the town, he was ultimately repulsed by the country people.[40] Other events which probably belong to the same year were the capture by Bretons and Flamands of numerous English merchantmen,[41] an abortive English attempt upon La Rochelle,[42] and the taking by the Captain of Calais of seventeen ships laden with wine;[43] but all of them are involved in much obscurity.

On February 20th, 1405, Prince Thomas of Lancaster, second son of the king, though less than eighteen years of age, was appointed sole Admiral of England, and sent to cruise against the French. This prince was afterwards created Duke of Clarence. At about the same time, Henry granted licences to two privateers of Bristol, the Trinity and the James, to cruise against the enemy at their own expense, and to keep as their own whatsoever they might take.[44]

The year was remarkable for the capture of Prince James, the heir to the throne of Scotland, then only fourteen years old. He was on his way from Leith, attended by the Earl of Orkney and a bishop, to be educated in France, when, on March 30th, he was taken off Flamborough Head by an "outlaw" named Prendergast, in a ship fitted out at Cley, in Norfolk. Prendergast, possibly in order to secure his own pardon, handed over his distinguished prisoner to Henry, and the prince was detained, and liberally educated, in England for about eighteen years, although he succeeded to the Scots throne as early as April 4th, 1406.[45] He has himself, in his poems,[46] made allusion to his capture:

"Upon the wavis weltering to and fro,

So infortunate was we that fremyt day.
That, maugre plainly quether we wold or no,
With strong hand by force, schortly to say,
Of inymyes taken and led away

We weren all, and brought in thair contrie."

Under Prince Thomas, the fleet experienced as many difficulties as under less exalted admirals. A squadron under the Marshal de Rieux, Renaud de Hangest, and others, was reported to be meditating an invasion; but the prince, who seems to have been anxious to proceed against it, had to write from Sandwich to the Council, on May 6th, that from the day of his appointment until then he had been at great and unbearable costs and expenses; that he had personally paid nearly the whole wages of his people; that he had himself received neither wages nor reward, and that he could not believe that the king, his father, intended that he should be thus inconvenienced. Nor could he sail, he added, unless suitable sums were assigned to him.[47] Money must have been sent to him, for he sailed in June, and proceeding to Sluis, burnt four large ships there and landed some troops;[48] but his attack upon the castle was repulsed, and he re-embarked upon learning of the approach of a relieving force under the Duke of Burgundy.[49]

Cruising southward, the fleet fell in with three carracks, one of which endeavoured with much gallantry to run down Prince Thomas's flagship. But the English pilot or master averted the shock, receiving only slight damage. A smart action followed, the carrack was overmatched, and when the Earl of Kent's ship came up she surrendered. Her two consorts were also taken. The vessels seen to have been Genoese. One of them was afterwards burnt by accident off Camber Castle. The fleet subsequently burnt La Hogue, Harfleur, and thirty-eight other towns, and pillaged the coast of Normandy inland for thirty miles.[50]

De Rieux and De Hangest, however, were not intercepted, and they arrived at Milford at the beginning of August with a hundred and forty ships and a large army. This was an invasion which could scarcely have been more serious had a formal state of war prevailed; and it excited great alarm, and led to the levy of troops throughout England.[51] But the voyage of so considerable a fleet was not unattended with disaster. Fifteen of the French ships were cut off and burnt by a division under Lord Berkeley and the renowned Harry Pay; and fourteen more were taken by Lord Berkeley, Sir Thomas Swinburne, and Pay.[52] The situation demanded, however, the presence of the king on the scene of action, and Henry went to Wales with an army.

The Spanish contingent, which had been demanded in 1404 for the siege of Calais does not seem to have been employed on that service. The ships, nevertheless, were supplied, and otherwise utilised. They assembled at Santander, and consisted of forty ships under Don Martin Ruiz de Abendaño, and three galleys under Don Pedro Niño, later Conde de Buelna. The two divisions were directed to act in conjunction; but they separated. The proceedings of the division of Niño have been chronicled by that officer's standard-bearer, Gutierre Diez de Gamez.[53]

Niño went to La Rochelle, where it was determined that, with the co-operation of two French vessels, he should harass the English in the Gironde. Proceeding thither, he burnt a hundred and fifty houses within sight of Bordeaux, and then returned to La Rochelle, where he was joined by Charles de Savoisi,[54] with two galleys of his own. The pair of adventurers then agreed to try their fortunes on the coast of England.

Upon their first attempt at crossing the Channel, they were driven back by bad weather; but, upon their second trial, they made the Cornish coast, captured some fishing boats, and so obtained information, and then attacked an open town called "Chita" by the chronicler. For Chita, we may perhaps read Looe, since there was anciently a small place called Shuta, on the river very close to Looe; or the town may have been Ceton, a few miles farther to the eastward. The enemy landed, slew or captured many of the inhabitants in spite of their gallant resistance, plundered and burnt the place, and sent two prizes which were taken to Harfleur. Thence they went to Falmouth, but, finding the people ready for them, did not go ashore, and returned eastward to Plymouth, where, we are incidentally informed, there was then a bridge of boats across the river. The vessels lying off the town retired as far as this bridge, when they sighted the Spaniards and French, who followed them, but were driven back by a heavy fire from the fortifications. The next attempt was upon Portland, where a landing was effected, and a few houses were burnt. Presently succour arrived from the mainland, and, after a skirmish, the invaders withdrew. Continuing eastward, and occasionally ravaging the country, they reached Poole, which, so Niño had been informed, belonged to Harry Pay, or "Arripay," as the Spaniards called him.

Pay, in the course of his numerous cruises, had done much to earn the special enmity of both French and Spaniards, and Niño determined to pay a return visit to the celebrated privateer. Savoisi[55] deemed a landing unsafe, and refused the co-operation of his people; but Niño sent his kinsman Fernando Niño and a party to the shore, and so gained partial possession of the town. When reinforcements came in from the country, the English occupied the remaining houses, turning each into a fortress, and pressing the foe so severely that, had not Niño himself landed with the rest of his force, there would have been no retreat. With difficulty the English were repulsed, and the Spaniards re-embarked, leaving among the dead one of Harry Pay's brothers. The further record of the expedition is obscure, owing to the chronicler's confusion of the Solent with the Thames, and of London with Southampton. The Spaniards seem, however, to have landed in the Isle of Wight ere they returned to France, and laid up their ships at Rouen for the winter.

Towards the end of the year, the king's intended departure for Guienne having been long postponed, to the great inconvenience of the shipowners whose vessels had been arrested for the voyage, Henry desired his Council to cause the masters and mariners to be "refreshed," or paid money on account. He also wrote to the King of Portugal, begging for a reinforcement of galleys to assist him in Guienne.[56] And at about the same time the Council took measures to send a squadron against the Earl of Mar, who had been committing much damage in the North Sea, and threatening Berwick.[57]

In the year 1405 the naval power of the country had fallen so low, and the royal authority had become so torpid, that the merchants, in self-defence, undertook the guard of the sea, upon certain conditions. They did not purpose to withstand regular fleets of foreign powers, but only the privateers and corsairs, from whose operations the country had so severely suffered; and they stipulated for a considerable share in all prizes, without regard to any privilege or prerogative of the king, his admirals, or others; for a quarter's payment of the usual tonnage allowance after the cessation of hostilities; and for commissions under the great seal empowering them to nominate their admirals, and to exercise admiralty jurisdiction.[58] These and other conditions being assented to, the merchants nominated Richard Clyderow, then a member for Kent, as their admiral in the south and west, and Nicholas Blackburne as their admiral in the north; and commissions were duly issued to these officers on April 28th, 1406.[59]

One of Admiral Blackburne's first duties was to convoy to Denmark the Princess Philippa, who had been contracted to Eric, king of that country. The ship which conveyed her carried two guns, with forty pounds of powder, forty stone shot, forty tampons or wads, twenty-four bows, forty sheaves of arrows, forty pavises, four touches (perhaps firing-irons), and two fire-pans).[60] Later, Blackburne was paid a sum of £166 13s. 4d., most of which appears to have been due to him for this service.[61]

After having wintered at Rouen, the galleys of Niño went to Harfleur, where they were joined by the galleys of Savoisi, and whence they sailed with the intention of surprising some place on the Orwell: but they were driven to sea by a gale, and obliged to take shelter off Sluis. The French would have seized four Portuguese ships which arrived there, on the plea that Portugal was assisting England; but the Portuguese appealed to Niño on the strength of a truce which subsisted between Portugal and Castille, and the Spanish commander intervened for their protection. When the squadron sailed again, it proceeded off Calais. Niño desired to cut out some vessels there, but was deterred by the guns of the garrison. While he was still in the neighbourhood, an English fleet of superior force appeared in the offing. After a desultory action, the allies took refuge in Gravelines, and, when the English had gone elsewhere, obtained Breton assistance, attacked Jersey, and exacted 10,000 crowns from the islanders. This was the last exploit of the combined expedition, for immediately afterwards the Spaniards were ordered home.[62]

In the autumn, some efforts were made to arrange a definite peace with France, and a marriage between the Prince of Wales and a French princess was thought of;[63] yet, at the same time, troops were being levied in all the counties of England to accompany Henry to Calais,[64] the siege of which was threatened by the French; and thirty-eight French ships, eight of which fell into the hands of English cruisers, were actively assisting Owen Glendower in Wales. Fifteen other French vessels, laden with wine and wax, were taken by the ships of the merchants.[65]

The experiment of leaving the guard of the sea to the merchants did not give satisfaction, and in October or November their commissions were withdrawn. On December 23rd, the appointment of Admiral of England was revived and conferred upon John, Earl of Somerset.[66] He may be considered as the first of the Lord High Admirals, seeing that, since his time, save when the office has been in commission, there has always been a single administrative head of the navy, and there have never again been separate admiralties of the north and west. As has been seen, there were sole admirals of England before him; but with him began the regular succession. The title is, however, less ancient than the position. The Earl of Somerset's style was Admiral of the Northern and Western Fleets. He was succeeded on May 8th, 1407, by Edmund, Earl of Kent,[67] whose style was Admiral of England.

The Dukes of Orleans and Burgundy were harrying Guienne, and the latter was besieging Bourg-en-Blaye. Henry, therefore, signified his intention, early in 1407, to proceed in person to oppose his enemies.[68] It was probably with a view to secure him an uninterrupted passage that a large English fleet cruised in the Channel and the Bay of Biscay, and it was no doubt in order to prevent him from crossing that Clugnet de Brabant, Admiral of France, put to sea with twenty-two ships full of men-at-arms. The two fleets met, and a partial action ensued, the French losing one ship.[69] Another success was, according to Walsingham, won the same year by Harry Pay, who, with some vessels of the Cinque Ports, took a hundred and twenty craft laden with salt, iron, and wine, as they lay at anchor "in mari Britannico."[70] But details of both events are lacking.[71]

In March, 1408, the merchants represented to the Council that the sea was very inefficiently guarded, and were informed that the admiral was about to put to sea to protect the trade.[72] Whether he made any cruise before September does not appear; but in that month the Earl of Kent proceeded to the coast of Brittany, and attacked the Castle of Bréhat, before which place he fell mortally wounded by an arrow in the head on the 15th.[73] He was thus the first, but not the last, of the lord high admirals to die for his country. His successor, appointed on September 21st, was Sir Thomas Beaufort,[74] who, later, during his tenure of the office, was also Lord Chancellor — surely a strange collocation of functions — and who subsequently became Earl of Dorset and Duke of Exeter, and, reappointed in 1413, remained high admiral until his death in 1426.

In October, 1 408, it was agreed with the Duke of Burgundy that there should be a three years' truce on the sea between St. Valery and Winchelsea.[75] This was chiefly for the benefit of the fishing populations on both sides of the Channel, and of pilgrims and ecclesiastics travelling between England and Rome; but it also improved the position of the merchants. Another truce, to last until May 1st, 1410, was arranged with France, to apply to the sea generally, the French coast from the Somme to Gravelines, West Flanders, Aquitaine, and the county of Toulouse.[76] The two truces were eventually prolonged. Although they did not put a complete stop to informal hostilities, they materially lessened the number of conflicts between English and French subjects. A truce with Spain was also concluded.[77] In the framing of these truces, provision was made for international action against pirates.

In 1409 or 1410, Sir Robert Umfravill, who had been made Vice-Admiral of England, with ten ships of war, harassed the Scots coasts, burnt a Scots galliot and other craft off Blackness, and took fourteen vessels laden with cloth, pitch, tar, meal, and other merchandise, which, being brought to England at a time of great need, earned for the captor the nickname of Robert Mendmarket.[78]

In 1411, when Henry sent an envoy to Castille to settle certain disputes, he desired him to endeavour to purchase a Castillian ship, the St. Mary, which was then at St. Sebastian.[79] In the same year,[80] and again in 1412,[81] ships and seamen were impressed for the king's service to Guienne; and in the autumn of the latter year, Prince Thomas, Duke of Clarence, went to Guienne with a large army to the assistance of the Dukes of Berry, Orleans, and Bourbon, who had agreed to deliver Guienne to England.[82]

The capture of James of Scotland by an "outlaw" named Prendergast in 1405 has been noted in its place. Prendergast seems to have subsequently entered the king's service and to have been knighted; for, in 1412, Sir John Prendergast and William Long, who had been employed in keeping the seas free from pirates, were accused of robbery and other illegalities. They were fifteenth-century prototypes of the notorious Captain Kidd. Prendergast took asylum under a tent near the vestibule of Westminster Abbey. Later he again served at sea. Long was found at sea by the admiral, who, by a promise that no harm should be done to him, induced him to surrender; but the prisoner was, nevertheless, committed to the Tower.[83] What afterwards happened to this rover does not appear. It is certain, however, that, whether owing to these men's negligence or to their feebleness, the Narrow Seas were inefficiently policed in the last days of Henry IV. In 1412, some vessels and goods belonging to Brittany, improperly captured by seamen of Devonshire and Cornwall, had to be restored,[84] and letters of marque and reprisals were issued to persons who had suffered by the depredations of the Baron de Pons. And in 1413 other letters were granted against citizens of Genoa, and against the inhabitants of Santander.[85] The king died on March 20th, 1413, and was succeeded by his eldest son, Henry V., of Monmouth.

Nicolas says: "No monarch of England ever took greater interest in her navy than Henry the Fifth. He not only commanded large ships to be built, but personally inspected their progress; and though he was not, as has been said, its founder, he gave more powerful vessels to the Royal Navy than it ever before possessed, with the determination to acquire the dominion of the sea. His efforts to restore and improve the English navy were amply rewarded; for while the most celebrated event of his reign rivalled Poitiers and Crécy, the battle of Agincourt was, like those other glorious victories, followed by encounters on the ocean in which British valour was displayed in the usual manner, and was attended by the usual success."[86]

Much of this is true; but it should be recollected that although Henry V. undoubtedly improved the navy, he made few improvements in the manner in which the navy was managed, and that the weapon, which, in his hands produced such brilliant results, was fashioned and wielded at terrible expense to the commerce of the country. The Navy Royal was still small. The bulk of the fighting fleet was composed, as in previous ages, of vessels taken, almost by actual force, from the merchants, and frequently collected long before they could be employed, and retained long after they were needed. In later days, when the Navy Royal had become large enough for the duties of national defence at sea, trade was able to flourish, even at the height of a sanguinary war; but, under the Lancastrians, war and trade could not be adequately carried on together, seeing that the material required for the latter was also required for the former. Henry's naval glories, therefore, were frightfully costly ones.

At about the time of Henry's accession, an interesting international dispute arose. Certain merchants of Dartmouth and other ports, owners of eight ships, represented to Parliament that their vessels had been impressed at Bordeaux by the Duke of Clarence, Lieutenant of Guienne, to bring troops to England, under the command of Sir John Colville, who was "governor and captain" of the squadron. Off Belle Isle, they fell in with two Prussian hulks, laden with wine from La Rochelle. Anxious to discover whether the hulks and their cargoes belonged to the enemy, Colville sent a boat to examine their bills of lading, and to inform the masters that if they had enemy's property on board, they must deliver it to him, and he would pay them for the freight of it. The Prussians refused an answer, and next day attacked the English who were still on board the hulks and killed many of them. Colville thereupon captured the hulks, and carried them into Southampton and Poole; and the merchants prayed that the prizes might not be restored until the case had been adjudicated upon by the Admiralty Court.[87] An inquiry was ordered, but unhappily the result of it is not recorded. Under international law as now accepted, the Prussian ships would be forfeited in a like case in war time, for they violently repelled the searchers, who were acting under a duly commissioned authority; but nominally a truce prevailed with France, to which country the cargo was suspected to belong, so that it is doubly regrettable that the decision has not been preserved.

The truce was re-ratified in May, 1413;[88] yet so perilous were the Channel and the Bay of Biscay, owing to the depredations of French and other corsairs, that in August it was ordered that no vessels should proceed for wine to Guienne, unless in numbers sufficient to defend themselves.[89] By the terms of a new truce with Spain, it was stipulated that no armed ship of either nation should leave port without first giving security not to molest subjects and property of the other.[90]

But Henry, to his honour, did much more than he could have effected by mere international agreement to put down piracy and the infraction of truces. It was enacted in 1414 that all such proceedings should be accounted high treason.[91]

In July of the same year the king formally asserted his right to the crown of France, and, although hostilities did not at once follow, orders were issued in September to the king's master-gunner and engineer to impress workmen; and the export of gunpowder was prohibited.[92] New ships, including the Holy Ghost, the Grace à Dieu, and perhaps the Trinity, were laid down,[93] and the chancellor's speech at the opening of Parliament foreshadowed war. In the autumn, Patrick Coterell and James Cornewalshe were appointed Admirals of Ireland for life.[94]

Early in 1415, when it was known that Henry was about to go abroad, the Council made provision for the custody of the sea during the king's absence, and ordered two ships of 120 tons, two barges of 100 tons, and one ballinger to be stationed between Plymouth and the Isle of Wight; two barges of 100 tons and two ballingers to be stationed between the Isle of Wight and Orfordness, and one barge and two ballingers to be stationed between Orfordness and Berwick, each ship and barge to have forty-eight mariners, twenty-six men-at-arms, and twenty-six archers, and each ballinger, forty mariners, ten men-at-arms, and ten archers.[95]

The imminence of active war, the fact that the enemy had a large fleet at sea, and the absence of the Admiral of England on the king's service abroad, necessitated the appointment of additional flag-officers; and on February 18th, Sir Thomas Carew and Sir Gilbert Talbot of Ircheneld were made captains and leaders of the men-at-arms destined for sea, and were given the usual powers of admirals.[96] A little later, Richard Clydlerow, who had been the merchant's admiral in 1406, was sent to Holland to treat for ships for the king's service,[97] and all vessels of twenty tons or more, foreign as well as English, in English ports were ordered to be arrested and collected at Southampton, London, or Winchelsea, by May 8th.[98] The masters of the royal vessels were empowered to impress men; an army was raised, and every other preparation for an expedition on a grand scale was made.

The French became alarmed, and dispatched ambassadors, who met Henry at Winchester in June, and offered large concessions of territory and the hand of the Princess Katherine, with an immense marriage portion; but the overtures were rejected, and the king proceeded to Titchfield Abbey, near Southampton, where the fleet was assembled. He embarked on Saturday, August 10th, in the Trinity Royal,[99] and at once ordered her yard to be hoisted to the middle of her mast as a signal that he was ready for sea, and that all the vessels in the neighbouring ports were to join the fleet.[100] Saint Remy says that during this period a large ship took fire, and that the flames extended to two others, all being consumed;[101] but the circumstance is not mentioned by English writers of the time.

The fleet of fourteen hundred vessels,[102] with six thousand men-at-arms, and twenty-four thousand archers, sailed on Sunday, August 11th, and entered the Seine on the following Tuesday afternoon. It met with no resistance on the passage. Indeed, it does not appear that any considerable French force was then at sea.

Henry anchored about three miles above Harfleur, and signalled[103] to his captains to attend him at a council of war. At daybreak on Wednesday, the 14th, the landing began, most of the army reaching the shore between six and seven. Still there was no opposition. By Saturday, the 17th, siege was laid to Harfleur. The mouth of the harbour was closed by a chain drawn between two fortified towers that flanked the entrance, and by a boom of stakes and trunks of trees; and behind the obstacles lay a small French squadron, upon which many vain attempts were made by the English fleet. The navy, however, co-operated mainly by enforcing a strict blockade, and by keeping up communications across the waterways. When the town had fallen, on September 22nd, some of the prisoners, with the sick, were sent to England with the fleet, sailing on October 8th; and the army marched inland on its way to Calais. The victory of Agincourt was won on October 25th, and on Saturday, November 16th, Henry embarked at Calais, and reached Dover late on the same day.

The passage was very boisterous, and though the king did not suffer in the least, most of the French noblemen who were his prisoners were so sea-sick that they would have preferred to face again the dangers of the battle. The fleet was in part dispersed, several ships being driven into Zierikzee at the mouth of the Ooster Schelde. Two, according to one writer, went down with all hands.

While these great events were passing in France; Scots vessels were harassing the northern coasts, and two citizens of Newcastle, named Hornsey and Strother, fitted out two ballingers to cope with the foe. What success the ballingers had against the Scots we know not, but they took two Flamand vessels, laden, as was alleged, with the enemy's property, and carried them into Shields, whence a king's officer removed them to Newcastle. The captors complained of this, and obtained an order to the officer to deliver to them the cargoes, or to state to the Council his reasons for not doing so. The officer chose the latter course, and so completely justified himself that the vessels were returned to their Flamand owners in January, 1416.[104]

The Parliament which met on March 16th of that year complained of the seizure of private craft by king's officers, who paid nothing for their use; of the discontinuance of the payment of tonnage allowance for ships regularly taken up by the government, and of the consequent ruin of shipowners; and it made use of the remarkable expression to which attention has been called in the previous chapter: "pur taunt qe la dit navye est la greinde substance du bien, profit, et prosperitée du vostre dit roialme." The king promised to do what justice seemed to require.[105]

It is clear, from a petition presented during the same session, that it was customary in the fifteenth century for merchantmen sailing in consort to elect the master of one of their number as their "admiral" for the voyage, and for the other masters to swear obedience and loyalty to him. This had been done in the case of a home-coming flotilla of wine ships from Bordeaux, the master of a ship called the Christopher, of Hull, being the "admiral" for the occasion. On the voyage, the Christopher had been attacked by some carracks, and taken in consequence of the cowardly desertion of her by all her friends. The owners prayed that, in view of what had occurred, the owners of all the other ships should be made responsible for the value of the lost vessel. The matter was referred to the chancellor, and it would seem not only that the owners were held liable for the value of the Christopher, but also that the cowardly masters were imprisoned.[106]

The Emperor Sigismund came to England in May, chiefly to endeavour to arrange peace between England and France. Vessels were impressed to convey him from Calais, and he spent some months in England; but the action of the French prevented any thought of peace. Their army, under the Count d'Armagnac, invested Harfleur on the land side, and their fleet,[107] reinforced by eight carracks hired from the Genoese, and commanded by the Bastard of Bourbon and Robinet de Braquemont, Admiral of France, blockaded the port, while another French squadron ranged the Channel, did much injury to shipping, endeavoured to destroy the English vessels at Southampton, and ravaged Portland and other points on the coast, being, however, resisted everywhere, and receiving as much harm as it occasioned.[108]

Men were raised, and ships were ordered to assemble at Orwell.[109] The Admiral of England was engaged at Harfleur, and to take his place at sea, John, Earl of Huntingdon, John, Lord Clifford, and Sir Edward Courtenay were appointed,[110] though without the nominal rank of admiral. The general rendezvous, previous to the departure of the expedition, was Southampton,[111] and King Henry went thither with the intention of leading the fleet in person, though at the request of the Council and on the advice of his guest, the emperor, he finally abandoned the idea of doing so.[112] Thomas, Lord Morley, a grandson of the hero of Sluis and L'Espagnols sur Mer, was given command, with admiral's rank, of the contingent of ships sent to Southampton from London; Sir Walter Hungerford[113] was made admiral of the entire fleet destined for the relief of Harfleur, and Prince John, Duke of Bedford, received the general military command of the expeditionary forces.

The fleet is said by Monstrelet to have consisted of three hundred,[114] and by Hardyng, of four hundred vessels, with twenty thousand men on board.[115] Nicolas[116] considers that both these estimates were exaggerated. It sailed at the beginning of August, but was dispersed by a storm, and part of it driven into Camber. It re-assembled off Beachy Head,[117] and, the wind becoming favourable, weighed and crossed the Channel, entering the mouth of the Seine on the evening of August 14th.[118] The prince anchored for the night, and hoisted lights to indicate his position to the fleet, while he sent out pulling boats to reconnoitre the situation of the enemy, with a view to making an attack on the following morning. All the captains were ordered to make sail simultaneously with the prince's ship, and to go down with her towards the foe.

At dawn, on Saturday, the 15th, the French were in sight. The English crews went to prayers, prepared for action, and then weighed. Both sides were equally eager to get to close quarters, and the French advanced handsomely; but very little wind was stirring, and it was nine o'clock[119] ere the battle opened. The ships grappled one another as they came violently into collision, and, as usual, the people in the lofty Genoese carracks enjoyed great

The Royal Navy, a History from the Earliest Times to Present Volume 1 - From the MS. Life of Richard Beauchamp, Earl of Warwick (p 376).jpg


(Cotton MSS. Julius E. iv. 6.)

advantage over those in the comparatively low-built English ships, the latter being hardly able with their pikes to reach the soldiers on the decks of the larger vessels; but the English were not to be denied, and after between five and six hours of hot conflict,[120] victory began to declare itself. Several French ships were carried, whereupon many other vessels endeavoured to disengage themselves and to make sail.[121] Some took refuge in Honfleur, but at least two of the carracks ran ashore and foundered in their efforts to escape. Three carracks,[122] with one hulk and four ballingers,[123] seem to have been taken; fifteen hundred Frenchmen were killed,[124] and about four hundred were made prisoners. The total loss of the victors did not exceed one hundred men,[125] and among them there was apparently no person of note; but of the French, Jean de Braquemout, son of the Admiral of France, was killed, and the Bastard of Bourbon was taken.[126]

This battle of Harfleur seems to have been fought in the narrow channel immediately opposite the town and north of the Amfar bank. Such wind as there was probably blew from the north, thus enabling both fleets to manœuvre, and favouring the escape of the remnant of the enemy into Honfleur. The employment of lances, arrows, darts, stones, and masses of iron and lead is mentioned; but there is no allusion to the use of guns, which were nevertheless then quite common. There is little doubt that the French were outnumbered, and that the English were, as Des Ursins says, in fine order and condition.[127]

After the action it fell calm, and the galleys which had escaped ventured out of port, and harassed the fleet as it was in the act of landing provisions and stores; but the English manned their boats and drove the enemy back to Honfleur. Attacks of this sort were made on several days, the French employing "wildfire" (Greek fire) in their efforts to burn the English ships, but no harm was done. After relieving the town, the Duke of Bedford re-embarked, and returned to England with his prizes.[128]

King Henry received the news of the victory as he was returning from a visit to some ships that were building, probably at Rye; and he conveyed it to his guest, the emperor, at Canterbury, where a Te Deum was consequently sung. The emperor then crossed from Dover to Calais,[129] and Henry prepared to follow him thither. A squadron for the purpose was quickly collected at Sandwich, apparently from the Cinque Ports, and on September 4th, the King sailed thence with forty ships, and landed at Calais on the same day, being received by the Emperor.[130]

In the interim, a large carrack belonging to the enemy seems to have foundered off Southampton, with eight hundred troops on board,[131] and another carrack, a Genoese, laden with merchandise, had been taken by the merchants of Dartmouth, having been driven into that port by a gale of wind.

Lord Morley, after having survived the battle of Harfleur, where he had greatly distinguished himself, died of dysentery at Calais. His funeral mass, he having been a K.G., was attended by the king and the emperor, with their suites.

Soon after mid-day on September 24th, a large carrack of the enemy was sighted from Calais, running before the wind, with all sail set, between that place and Dover, and evidently bound for Sluis. Six ballingers were hastily armed by the Earl of Warwick, Captain of Calais, Lord Talbot, Thomas, Lord West,[132] Sir Gilborn Umfravill, and some soldiers, and although the foe was out of sight ere they could put to sea, they started in chase.[133] One returned on the 26th, reporting that she had been separated from her consorts. Another returned on Sunday, the 27th, and reported that at dawn on the 25th, Warwick, with five of the ballingers, had come up with the carrack, which was loftier by the length of a lance than any of them, and had grappled her and fought her until both parties were at a standstill. Both had, as by common consent, rested, and then renewed the combat until night, when the people of the carrack seemed to be nearly exhausted. But the English missiles were by that time all expended, and there were no scaling ladders in the ballingers, so that the carrack eventually got away. A storm obliged the English to make for Orwell, where one of them grounded, but was re-floated and later proceeded to Calais. Another ballinger reached the town on the 29th, after her crew had nearly perished for lack of food; and on the same day Warwick himself returned, with the news of the death of young Lord West, who, while putting on his armour for the attack, had been crushed by a stone accidentally dropped as it was being hauled up into the top of his own vessel. In the action Sir Baldwin le Strange also fell.[134]

The account of this little affair is of interest as affording an early illustration of the superiority of one large vessel over a number of smaller ones of, probably, greater aggregate force.

A four months' truce having been concluded with France in October, 1416,[135] Henry returned with a small squadron to Dover. Early in 1417, preparations were made for an expedition to Normandy; ships were arrested; and fifteen hundred vessels, sixteen thousand four hundred soldiers, and one thousand workmen were assembled at Southampton for the king's passage.[136] The vessels of the western ports were directed to proceed to sea under Sir Thomas Carew, the Sire de Chastillon, and Sir John Mortimer, and to cruise from March 1st to November 1st, against French, Bretons, Castillians, Genoese, and Scots, unless orders were given to the contrary.[137] Carew's squadron consisted of an unnamed ship carrying seventy-five men-at-arms and one hundred and forty-eight archers, the king's great carrack, called the Mary of the Tower, of 500 tons, the "other carrack of Venice," the barge Katherine of Salisbury, the "Bukky's barge," the Ellen of Greenwich, of 180 tons, the Anthony, Captain Robert Carew, the Trinity of the Tower, of 102 tons, two ballingers of Trebost and Plymouth respectively, and Sir Thomas Carew's own barge, the Trinity.[138] The fleet of the Cinque Ports was called out in March;[139] and in April the assemblage of ships at Southampton was hastened, the passage thither being apparently deemed somewhat perilous by the shipmasters owing to the large force of the enemy that was at sea.[140]

Up to the last moment, Henry, as in the previous year, intended to lead the fleet in person ; but he suffered himself to be dissuaded;[141] and in July, he appointed Edmund, Earl of March, to be his lieutenant on the sea, to bring back the fleet from Normandy, and to return thither with reinforcements, and John, Earl of Huntingdon, to cruise with all the usual powers of an admiral.[142]

Huntingdon must have sailed very quickly, for, on St. James's Day, July 25th, 1417,[143] he fell in with the French, and engaged them with great gallantry, and with so much impetuosity that, in the shock of collision, several vessels had their foreparts carried away, and the people on them hurled overboard. The forces engaged, and the scene of the action are alike unknown. All that is certain is that, after grappling and fighting at close quarters for nearly the whole day, the French and Genoese were completely defeated. Four carracks, besides other vessels, seem to have been taken, and carried into Southampton on or about July 29th.[144] The king, who awaited the earl's return, and the assurance that the seas were clear, must have sailed very soon afterwards; for on August 8th,[145] he wrote to the Council from France, and made mention of the victory.[146]

Henry seems, in fact, to have departed on July 29th or 30th, and to have arrived at Touques, a few miles from Harfleur, on August 1st. He had with him two hundred and thirty vessels of various kinds, including one hundred and seventeen which had been obtained from Holland, and a considerable army.[147] Having landed his troops, he sent his transports home, retaining only those vessels on board of which were stores and artillery too heavy for land carriage.[148]

This invasion of France was perhaps the first one that was attempted on scientific principles. The manner in which it was prepared indicates that Henry had a full understanding of the importance of sea power, and of the danger of making any effort of the kind in face of a "potent" fleet. Instead of crossing at once, while the enemy was still undefeated, and so running the risk of having to fight an action with his huge convoy of transports in company, he first sent out a squadron to clear the way, and then, as soon as he had learnt of the success of the preliminary step, passed unmolested over the path freed for him.

While Henry was absent, measures were taken to render Portsmouth a securer haven than it had previously been for the king's ships in war time. A tower was built at the entrance of the harbour, and an office for the Clerk of the King's Ships was erected.[149]

The naval events of 1418 were of no importance. In 1419, to meet an apprehended design of the Spaniards upon Portsmouth and Southampton, troops were repeatedly arrayed for the defence of the coast.[150] In May, the Earl of Suffolk was appointed Admiral of Normandy;[151] and in August a large arrest of shipping was ordered in the western counties, in order to furnish a force to oppose a French squadron which, it was reported, was about to proceed to the assistance of the Scots by way of the Irish Sea. This force appears to have been entrusted to the command of William, Lord Botreaux.[152] A few weeks previously, two merchants of Bristol, and one William Camoys, of Bayonne, had captured some carracks and other vessels belonging to the enemy, laden with merchandise, and had received the thanks of the king.[153]

In February, 1420, shipping was arrested for the passage of the Duke of Bedford to Normandy, and of the Earl of Ormond to Ireland;[154] there was a fresh alarm of a projected Spanish invasion;[155] and the Scots committed some depredations by sea; but, as before, the naval events were not important.

On May 21st, the conclusion of the Treaty of Troyes put an end to the hostilities between England and great part of France; for although the Dauphin[156] and the party of the Armagnacs declined to recognise the arrangement, Henry, Philip of Burgundy, and Katherine, Queen Regent of France, were parties to it, and one of its conditions was the marriage of the Princess Katherine, daughter of the imbecile Charles VI., to the King of England. The king and his new queen landed at Dover on February 1st, 1421, amid great rejoicings.[157]

When, in March, 1421, Sir William Bardolf[158] was appointed admiral and given command of a cruising squadron, it was stipulated in his commission that none of the rights of the Duke of Exeter, as Admiral of England, should be prejudiced. The squadron assembled at Dover,[159] and it seems to have been fitted out with special reference to the continued menaces of the Spaniards against the coast in the neighbourhood of the Isle of Wight,[160] but there is no record that it came into conflict with the enemy.

A little later in the year, the Dauphin and his party having defeated and killed the Duke of Clarence at Beaugé, Henry felt it necessary to go again to France to re-establish his prestige. Ships for the voyage were furnished by the Cinque Ports; and the king embarked at Dover at dawn on June 10th; reached Calais by two in the afternoon;[161] and, after driving back his enemies, entered Paris in triumph.

Just before his departure from England, hostilities with Genoa had been terminated by a treaty which provided that the Genoese were not to furnish any enemies of England with ships or crossbow-men, but that if vessels of Genoa or England were forcibly compelled to serve against the other party, such compulsory service should not be held to constitute a breach of the engagement.[162]

In the spring of 1422, Queen Katherine went to France to join her husband, landing at Harfleur on May 21st.[163] Three months later, while he was following up his successes over the Dauphin and the Scots who were co-operating with him, the king was attacked by fever, which terminated fatally at Vincennes on August 31st.

Henry V. was succeeded by his only son, Henry VI., of Windsor, who was then less than nine months old. Not long afterwards, the imbecile Charles VI. also died; and, under the Treaty of Troyes, the infant English prince became sovereign of both kingdoms. John, Duke of Bedford, in accordance with the late king's will, took the regency of France, and Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester, that of England, with the title of Lord Protector. To Thomas, Duke of Exeter and Admiral of England, was confided the custody of the king's person.[164]

In the earlier part of the reign, France, rather than the sea, was the chief scene of the military activity of England, and no naval events of any importance took place. Indeed, the rôle of the navy was mainly restricted to the transport of reinforcements to the English armies abroad. Ten thousand men were thus sent to the Duke of Bedford in 1423; in the following year five thousand men accompanied the Duke of Gloucester to Calais and the Netherlands, to assist him in prosecuting the claims of his wife, Jacqueline of Hainault, to territory in Brabant; and early in 1427, Bedford, who had come to England late in the previous year, took back with him to France a considerable army. The duke had, in 1426, been appointed Admiral of England in succession to Thomas, Duke of Exeter; and he held the office until his death in 1435. Further troops went to France in 1428, when Richard Neville, Earl of Salisbury, by agreement with the Council, raised five or six thousand men at his own charge for service there. The journey of the young king to be crowned in France in 1430 also necessitated an arrest of shipping, for he went attended by a great number of nobles although he was still less than nine years old.


In these and the immediately succeeding years, the position of the English in France went steadily from bad to worse,[165] in spite of the heroic efforts and great ability of Bedford; and in 1436, the Duke of Burgundy, who had by that time embraced the French cause, and who was exceedingly exasperated by the forays which had been made by the garrison of Calais into the territories of his cousin of Brabant, laid siege with a large force of Flamands and others to almost the last great stronghold that remained to the English on the continent.

On the death of Bedford, John Holland, Earl of Huntingdon and Duke of Exeter,[166] with succession to his son Henry,[167] had been appointed Admiral of England; but the Duke of Gloucester led the expedition for the relief of Calais. A large army, and a fleet of about five hundred vessels, large and small, were collected, and the expeditionary force was landed on the French coast on July 27th, 1436, and advanced at once towards the beleaguered town, which had then been invested for about six weeks. The approach of relief encouraged the garrison to make a responsive effort. The Duke of Burgundy had prepared a number of hulks laden with stones, with which it was his intention to block the mouth of the harbour, and so prevent approach to it from seaward; but before the vessels could be placed in position for scuttling they were attacked and burnt by seamen from the town. This disaster, and the rapid approach of Gloucester, obliged the enemy to abandon the investment and to retire.[168]

Yet, in spite of this local success, the English in France rather lost than gained ground during the next two or three years. John Talbot, who, in 1442, was created Earl of Shrewsbury,[169] was the last remaining effective champion of the English cause on the continent; and in 1439, with the co-operation of a fleet under the Duke of Somerset,[170] he reduced Harfleur after a four months' blockade. In 1442, again he landed with a small expeditionary force in Normandy, and gained some advantages. But his ability and bravery were almost neutralised by the incapacity, or worse, of the Duke of Somerset, who, sent in 1443, with about five thousand men, to assist in the blockade of Dieppe, which appeared to be near the point of surrender, if vigorously invested, postponed his arrival until the English had been obliged to raise the siege.

The weakness of England led, in 1444, to the conclusion of a disadvantageous truce; and in the following year Henry VI. married a French princess, Margaret of Anjou, daughter of René, Count of Guise, and niece of the King of France. The alliance was a very injurious one to England, the queen becoming a violent political partisan, and identifying herself with the cause of the unpopular and corrupt Dukes of Somerset and Suffolk, to the prejudice of the Yorkists. Her intrigues seem to have encouraged an Irish rising, which the Duke of York, with a small force, suppressed in 1449. They also necessitated the dispatch to Normandy in 1450 of reinforcements under Sir Thomas Kyriel. And they brought about the far more serious domestic troubles known as the Wars of the Roses, during which the power of England was almost paralysed. Indeed, even before these wars formally broke out, the jealousy of rival parties had reduced England to comparative impotence. Her successive losses in France were due as much to her neglect of her subjects there as to any desire on their part to become French, or as to the ability of France to compel them against their will to range themselves on her side. This was shown in 1452, when the Gascons betrayed a decided desire to resume their old allegiance, and when, had they been properly supported, they would probably have returned to it. The Earl of Shrewsbury, who was sent thither, took Bordeaux by surprise, and gained some other successes; but the advantage was not followed up, and the Gascons, disgusted, easily resigned themselves a few months later to final severance from England, after three hundred years of union with it.

The misfortunes of England were precipitated by the insanity from which the king began to suffer in 1453. The queen's party could not prevent the appointment of the Duke of York as Protector; but when Henry temporarily recovered his faculties in 1455, the duke found it expedient to retire to the north, and to take up arms. The first battle of St. Albans and the death of Somerset in May, 1455, combined with the renewed insanity of the king, restored York to the Protectorship, and, for a brief space, some sort of quiet to the country; but the intrigues of the queen did not cease; and, Henry once more recovering in February, 1456, the duke was again displaced, and Margaret found better opportunity than ever for the prosecution of her treasonable designs.

One of the results of her machinations was a descent by France upon the coast of Kent. In August, 1457, Pierre de Brézé, Seneschal of Normandy, with a fleet and four thousand soldiers, threw eighteen hundred men ashore near Sandwich, surprised the place, taking some vessels which were there, pillaged and burnt the town, and then retired, though not until the inhabitants had caused them considerable loss. In the fight, three hundred English are said to have fallen.[171] The moral effect of the raid was not great, for the French remained at Sandwich only for one tide;[172] and, on the other hand, the more than suspected complicity of the queen increased the distrust with which she was regarded, and improved the position of the Yorkists in the estimation of the more patriotic of the people. Nevertheless, in March, 1458, a solemn pacification was agreed to in St. Paul's between the rival parties; and, for the moment, the struggles between York and Lancaster seemed to have ended.

There is a strange, though by no means perfect, similarity between the parts played in England by Godwin and his sons in the eleventh century, and by Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick, in the fifteenth. Both Godwin and Warvick were naval heroes; both were able and unscrupulous and yet patriotic; and both succeeded in using the fleet, and the sentiments of the maritime population, as weapons for effecting a revolution.

Warwick had fought on the side of the Duke of York at the first battle of St. Albans, and had been afterwards appointed to the important post of Captain of Calais, with powers as an admiral. In the latter capacity he appears to have sent to sea several squadrons, one of which, on Trinity Sunday,[173] 1458, fell in with a convoy of ships of Genoa and Lübeck. There are no means of knowing why these vessels were treated as enemies; but it seems that five of them, with cargoes worth £10,000, were taken, and twenty-six sunk or driven ashore,[174] and that Warwick was summoned to London to explain his action. While there, some kind of insult was offered to him--it is even said that his life was attempted--and he angrily returned to Calais. Somerset was appointed to supersede him in his captaincy, hut such was the popularity of the earl, that the people refused to admit the duke, who, in consequence, had to retire.

The action of Warwick encouraged the Duke of York to renew the war; but, after having gained a success at Blore Heath, the defection near Ludlow of some of his supporters alarmed him, and he went to Ireland.

In the meantime, Henry was feebly taking measures to oust Warwick from Calais. The earl, when he had last quitted England, had left behind him some ships which were not ready to sail. These and others were collected at Sandwich, and placed under the command of Richard Woodville, Lord Rivers, who was instructed to carry over succours to the Duke of Somerset, who lay at Guines, and to assist him in obtaining possession of his captaincy. Warwick, however, informed of what was in preparation, sent over Sir John Dinham, who, with a small squadron, reached Sandwich at break of day, seized Lord Rivers and his son, Anthony Woodville, in their beds, made himself master of the fleet, and carried both ships and officers into Calais.[175] At about the same time, the vessels which had carried Somerset across the Channel and which were still with him, revolted and joined Warwick, who thus had a very large force at his disposal. One Sir Baldwin Fulford offered to burn the earl's fleet, but proved incapable of effecting the enterprise; and Warwick, having left Calais in good hands, sailed for Ireland to consult with the Duke of York as to future proceedings.

Such fleet as remained faithful to Henry put to sea under the Duke of Exeter, Admiral of England, to intercept the earl; but when the two forces sighted one another in the Channel, the loyalty of the royalists seemed so doubtful, and Warwick was so strong, that the duke shrank from provoking an action; while, on the other hand, Warwick was unwilling to unnecessarily destroy any English ships; so that no collision took place.

When the earl was once more at Calais, a petition reached him from the inhabitants of Kent, who begged him to land on their coasts, and assured him of their support. Warwick, always cautious, dispatched William Neville, Lord Fauconberg, to examine into the disposition of the people and the nature of the opposition likely to be offered. Upon Fauconberg returning with an encouraging report, Warwick sent word of his intention to the Duke of York, and presently sailed with his whole force.

But in the interval, Sir Simon Montfort, Warden of the Cinque Ports, had been entrusted by the king with a squadron, with which he was ordered to prevent a landing. Like Rivers, Montfort was not sufficiently on his guard. Warwick surprised him off Sandwich, took him, captured or destroyed all his squadron, and, being opposed on his landing, sacked the town. According to some accounts, Montfort fell in the action; according to others, he and twelve of his captains were sent to Calais and there executed.[176]

Warwick was joined by Lord Cobham and other Yorkists; the Duke of York himself also invaded the country; the battles of Northampton, Wakefield, Mortimer's Cross, and St. Albans followed; and in spite of the fact that at Wakefield the Duke of York was killed, the crowning battle of Towton, on March 29th, 1461, established the duke's son on the throne as Edward IV.,[177] although it did not end the struggle. Warwick's reward was the Captaincy of Dover, with the Wardenship of the Scots Marches, the offices of Lord Chamberlain, and Lord Steward, and large grants of land; but Edward's marriage, in 1464, with Elizabeth Woodville, displeased the king-maker, who for the sake of peace would have preferred an alliance with France, and who presently, as will be seen, opposed both king and queen.

At his accession, Edward IV. was in his nineteenth year, of handsome appearance, and of equal geniality and vigour; and he at once became popular. The sea had made him king, and he appears to have determined from the first never to neglect his fleet. Nor could he well afford to do so; for scarcely had he assumed the crown when the ex-Queen Margaret went to France with the object of raising a naval armament there, and of so attempting to recover England for her husband, who had taken refuge in Scotland.

For a short time after the triumph of the House of York, Warwick himself was Admiral of England.[178] Later, in 1462, he was superseded by William Neville, Lord Fauconberg,[179] who, in 1461, had been created Earl of Kent. Kent, whose tenure of office was terminated by his death within three months, at once put to sea with a powerful fleet, carrying ten thousand soldiers, and commanded, under him, by Henry Bourchier, Earl of Essex, and Admirals Audley and Clinton; and, after scouring the Channel, attacked and burnt the town of Le Conquêt in Brittany, ravaged the Isle of Rhé, and took many prizes and much booty.[180] The death of Kent[181] may have put an end to the cruise, which does not seem to have been immediately re-commenced after the appointment, on October 12th, of Richard, Duke of Gloucester and brother of the king, to the office of Lord High Admiral.

The temporary withdrawal of the fleet to port seems to have been seized upon by Margaret as a good opportunity for making her contemplated descent. She sailed in 1463 with a squadron, under the command of Pierre de Brézé, with the intention of landing at Tynemouth, but, although she entered the bay, she was driven out again by a gale of wind before she could disembark, and was obliged to proceed to Betwick.[182] With Scots and French help, she maintained for a year a desultory war on the border; but after the battle of Hexham, in May, 1464, she found it expedient to flee to Flanders. In the following year the ex-king, Henry VI., fell into Edward's hands; and from that moment all might have gone well with the new House but for the king's ill-considered marriage with Elizabeth Woodville. Perhaps even the marriage would not have alienated Warwick, had not Edward shown signs of an intention to exalt his wife's relatives at the expense of the Nevilles. A rupture resulted in 1467, Warwick being joined by the king's brother, the Duke of Clarence. Yet, though Edward was for a time a prisoner in the hands of the king-maker, that astute statesman foresaw that the downfall of York would probably lead to he restoration of Lancaster; and, as he was not then prepared to face such a consequence, he released his captive, and a pacification was made. Bu in 1470, Edward discovered that his brother Clarence, who had married Isabel, Warwick's eldest daughter, was once more plotting with his father-in-law. The two conspirators fled to Calais, the navy for the most part adhering to them; and they opened negotiations with Queen Margaret. It was, no doubt, the temporary loss of so much of his fleet that prevented Edward from opposing their passage across the Channel. They landed in September, 1470; and the king, not without difficulty, fled by way of Lynn to Flanders.[183] For a few months Henry VI. was restored; but the fact did not apparently please the Duke of Clarence,[184] who may have anticipated that the king-maker would offer him the crown instead of only a contingent interest in it; and within a very short time Clarence was in treacherous correspondence with Edward.

Edward, for his part, did not sit still amid his misfortunes. Obtaining help from the Duke of Burgundy, he sailed from Flushing with four ships of war, fourteen transports, and about two thousand men;[185] and on March 12th, 1471, was off Cromer. He would have landed there had the weather been favourable; but on the 14th he was able to put into Ravensrode. Clarence, after betraying his father-in-law, joined Edward; and in the result Warwick was defeated and killed at Barnet on April 14th. The ex-king was imprisoned in the Tower; and Margaret, who, almost at the very hour when the battle of Barnet was being fought, had landed at Weymouth, was on May 4th defeated and taken at Tewkesbury, her son, Prince Edward, being afterwards disgracefully murdered in cold blood.[186] Margaret was ransomed by the King of France, but was not suffered to depart until she had formally renounced all her claims to the English throne.

Edward had regained his crown but not his navy, the greater part of which, upon the death of Warwick, had fallen into the hands of the king-maker's lieutenant, Thomas, an illegitimate son of William Neville, Earl of Kent. This adventurer, known as the Bastard of Fauconberg, went to Calais, embarked part of the garrison, and, anticipating that the capital would espouse the cause of Henry VI., who was still in the Tower, sailed to the mouth of the Thames, after having touched at Dover and reinforced himself there, and landed with seventen thousand men. He was deceived. Far from joining him, the citizens opposed him, in spite of the large body of troops at his disposal, and, closely pursued, he retired to Sandwich, where, upon a promise of pardon, he surrendered himself and his ships. He was spared, and even employed, until, being detected in fresh intrigues, he was beheaded.[187] At about the time of the Bastard's descent, in May, 1471, the ex-king, Henry VI., died in the Tower. It is difficult to resist the conclusion that Edward realised that so long as Henry lived, civil strife was almost inevitable; and that, directly or indirectly, he was responsible for his rival's death, although the circumstances of the tragedy have never been explained.

Freed at length from domestic troubles, and master of his kingdom, Edward determined on a war with France, which had so often assisted his enemies, and against which he had many old grounds of quarrel. His preparations occupied him for some time, and not until about June, l1475, were they completed. By that time he had collected five hundred craft of various descriptions at Sandwich; and at the end of the month, or the beginning of July, he crossed to Calais with a large army.[188] Louis XI. and Charles, Duke of Burgundy, were at war, and Edward, in pursuance of his old continental policy, allied himself with the latter; and, upon landing, sent a herald to Louis to formally demand the whole of the kingdom. Unfortunately, Charles was an untrustworthy ally. He desired Edward to march to St. Quentin; but, on arriving before that town, the English king was fired at from the walls. Having thus good cause to distrust his professed friend, and learning of the great anxiety of France for peace, he listened to Louis's overtures, and agreed to a truce for seven years. The conditions included the payment by Louis of seventy-five thousand crowns down, and a pension of fifty thousand crowns; and the betrothal of the Dauphin to Edward's daughter, the Princess Elizabeth. This arrangement, known as the Peace of Amiens, was signed on the bridge of Picquigny on August 29th, 1475.[189] The result was not dishonourable, and certainly not disadvantageous, to England. Louis became in some sense the tributary of Edward, and, it is said, paid annually large sums to Englishmen of high position, as well as the pension to the king, as inducements to them to assist in the preservation of peace. But more important was the effect upon trade, which soon began to flourish as it had never flourished before.

The peace, however, did not seem destined to last long; for France played a double game. Louis omitted to carry out the stipulation for the betrothal of the Dauphin; and, in 1480, by the employment of subtle diplomacy, won over to his side the Emperor Maximilian, who had, but a short time previously, promised his son Philip in marriage to Edward's daughter, the Princess Anne, and who, upon the strength of that contract, had obtained from Edward the assistance of a squadron under Sir John Middleton.[190] War with France would perhaps have ensued then, had not Edward's attention been distracted by war with Scotland. Richard, Duke of Gloucester, the Lord High Admiral, was employed there with a large army as well as a powerful fleet; and James III. was soon obliged to concede most of Edward's demands, although no permanent advantages were gained.[191]

As soon, nevertheless, as the Scots war ceased, and when Louis, in defiance of the undertaking arrived at at Picquigny, gave his son, not to Elizabeth of England, but to Margaret of Austria, Edward decided to stay his hand no longer, and, with the general approbation of his subjects, prepared to settle his account, once and for all, with Louis. He was in the midst of his preparations when he died on April 9th, 1483.

The reign of Edward's young son, Edward V., lasted for less than three months, and was, not unnaturally, barren of naval incident. Richard, Duke of Gloucester, the king's uncle, formally accepted the crown on June 26, 1483, and was crowned on July 6th, following,[192] the late king, and his younger brother, the Duke of York, disappearing soon afterwards, having been, as is generally believed, murdered in their prison in the Tower by Richard's orders.

Richard III., who had been Lord High Admiral for many years, surrendered the office immediately after his accession to John Howard, first Duke of Norfolk, the "Jockey of Norfolk" of the ancient couplet.

The naval events of the reign are almost entirely connected with the efforts of Henry, Earl of Richmond, to secure the crown. These may be briefly narrated.

Henry was, at the time of Richard's accession, in Brittany, as guest of the Duke Francis, a weak potentate with a strong minister in the person of Pierre Landais, who, being of low origin, was very unpopular with the Breton nobility. Landais knew of Henry's aspirations, and of the project for marrying him to the Princess Elizabeth, daughter of Edward IV., and for thus uniting the Houses of Lancaster and York; and he seems to have believed that if he aided Henry to win a throne, Henry would help him to crush the nobles who troubled him. He therefore enabled Henry to procure a squadron of forty ships and about five thousand men, with which an abortive attempt at invasion was made in 1483. Sir Thomas Wentworth was at that time in command of a strong force of English ships in the Channel, and vessels from the Cinque Ports were cruising to observe the movements of the Bretons. Moreover, craft to assist in the defence of the country had been specially procured by Richard from Spain; so that the invader had everything against him. To make things worse, his squadron was dispersed by a gale, and as the coast was found to be carefully guarded, Henry was obliged to return.[193] In the meantime, Richard had taken and executed Buckingham, one of Henry's most powerful supporters in England, and had made such good use of his resources as to impress Landais with the conviction that he would not be easily ejected from his position. This caused the Breton minister to change his attitude, and to negotiate with Richard,[194] the result being that Henry narrowly escaped being handed over to his enemy. He fled to France.

It is difficult to understand why Richard, who must have learnt from time to time of Henry's pertinacious efforts to obtain money, ships, and troops, did not keep his fleet at sea until a final settlement had been reached; but he appears to have laid it up in the spring of 1485. This encouraged Henry and his party to renewed exertions. John de Vere, Earl of Oxford,[195] who, after the battle of Barnet, had led a life very similar to that led for a time by Prince Rupert after the fall of Charles I., and who had later surrendered to the Captain of Calais, was able to give valuable advice, and to lend still more valuable help. At length a very inefficient squadron was collected, and two or three thousand indifferent troops were embarked in it;[196] and on August 1st, 1485, Henry and his friends sailed from Harfleur. The Earl of Richmond was, on his father's side, a Welshman, and, confident of a good reception in Wales, he made for Milford Haven, landing there on August 6th. As he marched eastward, he was joined by numerous supporters; and on August 22nd, 1485, at Whitemoors, near Market Bosworth, he decisively defeated Richard, who fell in the action. The Duke of Norfolk, Lord High Admiral, also perished.

Brass Box Compass

  1. Previously Sir Thomas Percy. See note, ante, p. 291
  2. Pro. and Ord. of Privy Council, i. 103, 104.
  3. Her master was paid 60s. for the service. Issue Roll, Michaelmas, 1 Hen. IV.
  4. ’Fœdera,' viii. 123, 138.
  5. Ib., viii. 142, 147.
  6. Pro. and Ord. of Privy Council, i. 120.
  7. Clyderow was made Admiral of the Western fleet in 1406, when the merchants undertook the defence of the Narrow Seas.
  8. Scots Rolls, ii. 153.
  9. 'Fœdera,' viii. 172.
  10. Pro. and Ord. of Privy Council, i. 153.
  11. Parl. Rolls, iii. 458.
  12. Patent Rolls, 2 Hen. IV.
  13. Pro. and Ord. of Privy Council, ii. 56.
  14. Chron. of St. Denis, iii. 52.
  15. Pro. and Ord. of Privy Council, i. 190.
  16. Or Henry Pay: the same who assisted in the taking of twenty-nine French vessels in 1405. He is said to have lived at Poole, but is believed to have been a Sussex man. He is sometimes called a knight. In 1414 he was paid £5 6s. 8d. for going to Calais to ascertain the position of affairs there. Beyond the account given here and elsewhere in the text, little is known of him.
  17. Close Rolls, 4 Hen. IV.
  18. There was then an admiral of each maritime duchy in France. In 1625 the Duke de Guise called himself Admiral of Provence, and only in 1695 was the office of Admiral of Brittany abolished.
  19. Monstrelet; Chron of St. Denis; Des Ursins; Guérin, 'Hist. Marit. de France,' i. 315.
  20. Some authorities say, under Châteaubriand and De la Jaille.
  21. Monstrelet, xv.
  22. Walsingham, 412; Chron. of St. Denis, iii, 113; Fabian (Ellis), 571; Otterbourne, 245. Many French historians appear to confuse the various attempts made at about this time.
  23. Des Ursins, 157; Chron. of St. Denis, iii. 112, 113.
  24. Close Rolls, 4 Hen. IV.
  25. His ancestors had been barons by tenure since the Conquest. He succeeded his father Maurice in 1368, being then fifteen. He subsequently served ashore in France and Wales. This seems to have been his only naval command. He died in 1415. His daughter Elizabeth married Richard, Earl of Warwick.
  26. A natural son of John of Gaunt by Katherine Swinford, and so half-brother to the king. He was Admiral of England from 1408 until his death in 1426. In 1410-1412 he was also Chancellor. Created Earl of Dorset, 1411, and Duke of Exeter, 1416. He died in 1426.
  27. Patent Rolls, 5 Hen. IV.
  28. 'Fœdera,' viii. 342, 343.
  29. Pro. and Ord. of Privy Council, ii. 81.
  30. Walsingham, 412.
  31. Parl. Rolls, iii. 539.
  32. Otterbourne, 247; Walsingham, 412.
  33. Des Ursins, 161; Chron. of St. Denis, iii. 160.
  34. Pro. and Ord. of Privy Council, i. 220.
  35. Chron. of St. Denis, iii. 168, 169.
  36. Ib., iii. 172.
  37. Walsingham, 412; Otterbourne, 247; Chron. of St. Denis, iii. 179. Fabian, 571, varies the story, and makes Tannegui to have been mortally wounded. He lived, however, till 1449, He was a great leader of the Armagnac party.
  38. Pro. and Ord. of Privy Council, i. 234.
  39. Parl. Rolls, iii. 554.
  40. Chron. of St. Denis, iii. 197.
  41. Walsingham, 413.
  42. Chron. of St. Denis, iii. 181.
  43. Otterbourne, 248.
  44. Patent Rolls, 6 Hen. IV.
  45. Otterbourne, 259, and Walsingham, 419, place the capture in 1406. The Scotichronicon ascribes it to March 30th, 1404. Wyntown, ii. 415, gives the date as Palm Sunday, 1405. The best Scots historians adopt the year, 1405.
  46. He wrote 'The King's Quhair,' and is supposed to have written 'Christis Kirk of the Grene' and 'Peebles to the Play.'
  47. Pro. and Ord. of Privy Council, i. 263.
  48. Otterbourue, 253.
  49. Monstrelet, xxiv. 36 (Buchon).
  50. Otterbourne, 253.
  51. 'Fœdera,' viii. 403, 407.
  52. Walsingham, 418; 'Ypodigma Neustriæ,' 169.
  53. 'Cronica de Don Pedro Niño,' printed in Madrid, 1782. Few of De Gamez's statements are fully corroborated by contemporary writers.
  54. He was then under condemnation to exile, and was anxious, by distinguishing himself, to obtain pardon.
  55. Guérin, i. 321, without any justification, gives all the glory of this cruise to his compatriot, Savoisi, and does not even mention the Spaniards.
  56. Pro. and Ord. of Privy Council, i. 280.
  57. Ib. ii. 94.
  58. Parl. Rolls, iii. 569-571.
  59. Ib,. iii. 602; 'Fœdera,' viii. 439.
  60. 'Fœdera,' viii. 447.
  61. Issue Rolls, 9 Hen. IV. 309 (Devon).
  62. 'Cronica de Don Pedro, Niño.' The Chron. of St. Denis gives a different version of these events.
  63. 'Fœdera,' viii. 453.
  64. Ib., viii. 456.
  65. Walsingham, 419.
  66. John Beaufort, Earl of Somerset and Marquis of Dorset, K.G., was a natural son of John of Gaunt. From him was descended Margaret, mother of Henry VII., and the Tudor dynasty. He died in 1410.
  67. Brother and heir of Thomas Holland, third Earl of Kent and Duke of Somerset. He was born around 1383. As has been seen, he distinguished himself in Prince Thomas's action in 1405. He was then made a K.G. At his death, from an arrow wound received in Brittany, in September, 1408, his honours became extinct.
  68. 'Fœdera,' viii. 466.
  69. Monstrelet, xxviii. 45.
  70. Probably off Brittany, but the British seas may be meant.
  71. Walsingham, 418.
  72. Parl. Rolls, iii. 609.
  73. Walsingham, 420; Chron. of Lond. 91; Otterbourne, 264.
  74. See note, ante, p. 360. This appointment was as admiral for life of the North Fleet. A new patent as sole admiral was issued to him on July 27th, 1409.
  75. 'Fœdera,' iii. 537-550.
  76. Ib., iii. 552.
  77. Ib., viii. 625.
  78. Hardyng, 365, 366 (Ellis).
  79. Pro. and Ord. of Privy Council, ii. 25, 118, 119.
  80. 'Fœdera,' viii. 700.
  81. Ib., viii. 730, 733.
  82. 5Ib., viii. 746, 747, 774.
  83. Walsingham, 423; Otterbourue, 271; 'Ypodigma Neustriæ,' 571.
  84. 'Fœdera,' viii. 764.
  85. Ib., viii. 755, 772, 773.
  86. Nicolas, ii. 402.
  87. Parl. Rolls, iv. 12, 13.
  88. 'Fœdera,' ix. 36, 39.
  89. Ib., ix. 47.
  90. Ib., ix. 115.
  91. 2 Hen. V. c. 6.
  92. 'Fœdera,' ix. 159, 160.
  93. In July, 1414, £496 was paid on account of the Holy Ghost, and in March, 1417, £500 on account of the Grace à Dieu, both building at Southampton. The latter had been begun at the end of 1416, and was constructed by Robert Berd, in the Hamble.
  94. Pat. Rolls, 2 Hen. V. m. 22.
  95. Pro. and Ord. of Privy Council, ii. 145, 146.
  96. 'Fœdera,' ix. 202.
  97. Ib., ix. 160.
  98. Ib., ix. 216, 218.
  99. 'Hist. of the Battle of Agincourt,' 25-45. Much of what follows is from this source.
  100. Cott. MS. Julius E. iv. f. 115b.
  101. St. Remy, 82.
  102. A hundred others which had been collected could not be utilised.
  103. By hoisting "a banner of council" in the middle of the mast. 'Black Book of the Admiralty.'
  104. Pro. and Ord. of Privy Council, ii. 187, 188.
  105. Parl. Rolls, iv. 79.
  106. Parl. Rolls, iv. 86.
  107. St. Remy, 103.
  108. Anon. Chron. Add. MSS. 1776, f. 66b.
  109. Parl. Rolls, 4 Hen. V. m. 24 d.
  110. 'Fœdera,' ix. 344, 345.
  111. Ib., ix. 364.
  112. Elmham, 78.
  113. Sir Walter Hungerford, son of Sir Thomas Hungerford, of Farley and Heytesbury, had been attached to the suite of the Emperor Sigismund during that monarch's visit to England, and had served at Agincourt. In 1418 he was made a K.G., and in 1426, Treasurer of England, and a baron. As is noted elsewhere, he revised 'The Libel of English Policie.' He died in 1449.
  114. Monstrelet, xxiii.
  115. Hardyng, 377.
  116. Nicolas, ii. 420.
  117. "Bayanchiefe" is conjectured to mean Beachy Head.
  118. Anon. Chron. in Add. MSS. 1776, f. 67b.
  119. Elmham, 80.
  120. Anon. Chron. in Add. MSS. 1776, f. 67b.
  121. Elmham, 80, 81. The battle is described in 'The Libel of English Policie.'
  122. These were re-named Marie of Hampton, Marie of Sandwich, and George, and were added to the navy.
  123. Of these vessels, taken and added to the navy, were those subsequently called the Katrine Breton, and the Grande Marie.
  124. Otterbourne, by pretty obvious error, says 15,000.
  125. Anon. Chron. in Add. MSS. 1776, f. 67b.
  126. St. Remy, 103.
  127. Des Ursins, 334.
  128. Anon. Chron. in Add. MSS. 1776, f. 68; Elmham, 83.
  129. Anon. Chron. in Add. MSS. 1776, f. 69.
  130. 'Fœdera,' ix. 385.
  131. Walsingham, 441.
  132. He had served at Agincourt.
  133. Anon. Chron. in Add. MSS. 1776, f. 69.
  134. Elmham, 88, 89; Anon. Chron. in Add. MSS. 1776, f. 70b.
  135. 'Fœdera,' ix. 399, 400.
  136. Elmham, 92; Anon. Chron. in Add. MSS., 1776, f. 72.
  137. Pro. and Ord. of Privy Council, ii. 209.
  138. Muster Roll 'E. B. 1626' at Carlton Ride, cited by Nicolas; Issue Rolls, Easter Term, 4 Hen. V.
  139. Close Rolls, 5 Hen. V. m. 17.
  140. Issue Rolls, 4 Hen. V. 351 (Devon).
  141. Elmham, 92.
  142. Patent Rolls, 5 Hen. V. m. 22.
  143. Otterbourne, 278.
  144. Anon. Chron. in Add. MSS. 1776, f. 72; Otterbourne, 278; Elmham, 92. Among the prizes were the vessels which were added to the navy, as the Christopher Spayne, Marie Spayne, Holigost Spayne, Peter, Paul, and Andrew.
  145. Or August 11th.
  146. Add. MS. 4601, f. 95.
  147. Norman Rolls, 5 Hen. V. 320-329 (Hardy). The list gives names of ships, names of masters, etc.
  148. Elmham, 96.
  149. Issue Rolls, 5 Hen. V. 354 (Devon); Pro. and Ord. of Privy Council, ii. 315.
  150. 'Fœdera,' ix. 702, 703, 793.
  151. Ib., ix. 753.
  152. Ib., ix. 791, 792.
  153. Pro. and Ord. of Privy Council, ii. 267.
  154. Patent Rolls, 7 Hen. V. m. 4 d. m. 6 d.
  155. Ib., 8 Hen. V. m. 17 d.
  156. Later, Charles VII.
  157. Elmham, 296; Walsingham, 453; Anon. Chron. in Add. MSS. 1776, f. 79.
  158. 'Fœdera,' x. 68.
  159. 'Fœdera,' x. 68, 69.
  160. Pro. and Ord. of Privy Council, i. 362.
  161. Monstrelet, ccxlii.; Walsingham, 454; Anon. Chron. in Add. MSS. 1776, f. 80.
  162. Goodwin: 'Life of Henry V.,' 305, 306.
  163. 'Fœdera,' x. 175; Walsingham, 456.
  164. Walsingham, 407.
  165. William of Worcester, 455, 457. For this period see 'Wars of the English in France,' in Rolls Series, and Brougham's 'England under the House of Lancaster.'
  166. Son of the degraded first duke.
  167. Attainted in 1461.
  168. Polyd. Vergil, xxiii. 619, 620.
  169. Killed at Castillon in 1453: "the English Achilles."
  170. Edmund Beaufort, a grandson of John of Gaunt; killed at St. Albans in 1455.
  171. Fabian, 462; Grafton, 630; Hall, f. 88a.
  172. Guérin, i. 268; Daniel, vi. 292.
  173. May 29th.
  174. Speed, 668; Fabian, 464. "And, as men sayne, ther was not so gret a batayle upon the sea this XL. wyntyr." 'Paston Letters,' (Gairdner), i. 429.
  175. Grafton, 635; Fabian, 465-467.
  176. Holingshed, ii. 652; Speed, 669.
  177. Polyd. Vergil, xxiii.; Hall, f. 101b; Grafton, 656, 657.
  178. He was so appointed for three years by an agreement of February 1st, 1462. Excheq. Warr. for Issues; but was succeeded by Kent on July 30th following.
  179. Son of Ralph, Earl of Westmoreland, and brother of the Earl of Salisbury.
  180. Grafton, 659; Stowe, 416.
  181. There are some grounds for supposing that both Kent, and John Tiptoft, Earl of Worcester, who, in the summer of 1463, was "captain and keeper of the sea," acted as Warwick's deputies.
  182. Fabian, 473, 493; Speed, 670; Holingshed, ii. 666.
  183. Landing near Alkmaar. Fabian, 500; Hall, f. 17-19; Speed, 681.
  184. Although the crown was entailed upon him in case of failure of the male line of Henry VI. Fabian, 501; Speed 681.
  185. Hall, f. 24b; Stowe, 412.
  186. Holingshed, ii. 688; Habington, 453; Speed, 684.
  187. Hall, f. 33; Speed, 685; Stowe, 424.
  188. Polyd. Vergil, xxiv.; Fabian, 508; Grafton, 719; Cooper's Chron, 267b.
  189. 'Fœdera,' xii, 17; Daniel, vi. 461-463; Phil. de Comines, iv.; Fabian, 509; Hall, f. 46, 47.
  190. Speed, 689; Grafton, 473.
  191. Buchanan, xii, 399, 400; Speed, 689; Leslie, 'De Reb. Gest. Scot.' viii. 321, 322; Stowe, 432.
  192. Fabian, 516.
  193. Hall, f. 16b; Grafton, 824-826; Stowe, 465; Polyd. Vergil, xxv.; Holingshed, ii. 745; Argentré's 'Hist. de Bretagne,' xii.; Daniel, vi. 601.
  194. Hall, f. 21, 22; Grafton, 832.
  195. The second earl. After maintaining himself by piracy, he had held St. Michael's Mount for several months. On the accession of Henry VIII. he was made High Steward and Lord High Admiral. He died in 1513.
  196. Stowe, 467; Speed, 721; Daniel, vi. 602; Hall, f. 27.