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FRANCIS LANCELOTT, ESQ. Queens of England. Vol.1.


Sir John Froissart's Chronicles of England, France, Spain and the Ajoining Countries from the latter part of the reign of Edward II to the coronation of Henry IV in 12 volumes 

Chronicles of Enguerrand De Monstrelet (Sir John Froissart's Chronicles continuation) in 13 volumes 

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Queens of England. Vol.1.
page 164

This rupture between England and France grew out of a private quarrel between two sailors. An English marine and a Norman pilot accidentally met, quarrelled, and fought. The Norman was killed, the Englishman rescued by bis shipmates ; and the Norman sailors, to revenge the death of their countryman, boarded an English vessel, took out the pilot and several of the passengers, and hanged them with dogs at their heels at their mast-head. Retaliation ensued, in which the sailors of France and England heartily joined, and thus a fierce naval warfare was soon raging between the rival nations, without sanction or aid from either sovereign. At length a Norman fleet of two hundred sail swept through the channel, bearing down all before it, and after perpetrating outrages unheard-of in legitimate hostility, pillaged the coast of Gascony, hanged all the seamen they had made prisoners, and with a rich booty returned in triumph to St. Malie, a port in Brittany. Here they were discovered by the brave mariners of Portsmouth and the Cinque Ports, who, with a well-armed fleet of eighty sail, had been cruizing in search of them. Challenges were immediately given and accepted, and a hot stubbornlycontested battle ensued. At length the Ïrowess of England prevailed, every "reuch ship was taken, and no quarter being shown to the vanquished, the slaughter was terrific ; according to "Walsingham, fifteen thousand men were killed or drowned, and two hundred and forty prizes reached the ports of England in safety. This murderous defeat provoked the haughty Philip of France to demand instantredress from the English King; but as Edward neglected the requisition, the seneschal of Perigard was ordered to take possession of all lands belonging to the crown of England within his jurisdiction. This order the seneschal failed to execute, as Edward's garrison drove back the invaders. The court of Paris, therefore, caused a peremptory summons to be issued for Edward to appear twenty days after Christmas, and answer before his feudal superior for the offences charged against him. The receipt of the summons greatly annoyed Edward, and that more on account of private than public matters. He had already negociated a marriage with the most beautiful woman of her times, King Philip's sister, Blanche la Belle. Being himself fully occupied with the affairs of Scotland, he had sent ambassadors to the French court, and from them received a report of the beauty and loveliness of Blanche so favourable, that mature as he was in age, he became violently in love with her. He now, therefore, desired above all things to avoid a quarrel with the French monarch, especially as he had corresponded with the beautiful Blanche, and been admonished by her in a letter, that in arranging the marriage preliminaries, he must how to the will of her brother Philip, who demanded that Edward should settle Gascony on his issue by the Princess. Under these circumstances, the lovesick Edward sent the Bishop of London with a conciliatory reply to the hostile summons, and an offer to recompense the French sufferers if Philip Avould also compensate the English. This offer was rejected, and the bishop succeeded by Edward's brother Edmund, Earl of Lancaster, who, being husband to the mother of the French Queen, relied on his influence at the French court to appease the wrath of Philip in a manner congenial to the wishes of his brother, King Edward. But his simplicity was no match for the craft of Philip, who, whenever he attempted to negociate the matter, flew into a towering rage, and prevented it. Being thus repeatedly rebuffed, he lost hope, and was about returning home without effecting his purpose, when Joanna, the Queen of France, and Mary of Brabant, widow of Philip the Hardy, entreated him to renew the négociation through them, and on his doing so, they assured him that as Philip's honour had been wounded, Edward wa3 bound to make a public reparation, and this would be best effected by the surrender of Gascony, just as a matter of form, for forty days, when it should be returned again to Edward, or, as he was about to wed Blanche la Belle, settled by a new enfeoffment on her and

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