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Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 29.djvu/436

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John
John
430

Michelle, daughter of Charles VI, by placing in his hands Péronne, Roye, and Montdidier, but was unable to satisfy him with reference to Gloucester's marriage. Nor did a meeting held at Amiens in the following January 1424 produce better results (Moxstrelet, iv. 175).

Bedford did all in his power to restore prosperity to the parts of France under his rule, which had suffered terribly in the war. During the first two years of his regency he did much to reform the debased coinage. He sought to encourage trade by conferring privileges on merchants, and granted charters to the woollen manufacturers of Rouen, Evreux, and Beuvais, and the silk wearers of Paris. In his government of Paris he showed himself just, humane, and anxious to remove abuses, checking bribery, and forbidding the cruel usage to which prisoners were subjected (Ordonnances des Roys, xiii. Pref. xciv, p.52. and passim). In the course of the summer he received another visit from Duke Philip and Richemont, Richemont demanded the command of an army. The regent deeply offended him by refusing his demand, probably through doubt as to his good faith, though he gave the somewhat insulting reason that as Richemont had not fought since Agincourt he must have forgotten the art of war. Attempts to appease Richemont's anger failed; he retired to Brittany, and early the next year accepted the office of constable from Charles VII. As the quarrel between Burgundy and Gloucester was becoming dangerous, the regent, inorder to secure Duke Philip's alliance, made over to him the counties of Macon and Anxerre, and granted him other favours. He then marched against an army consisting of Scots under the Earl of Douglas [see Douglas, Archibald, fourth Earl], French, and Lombards, which had been assembled on the border between Perche and Normandy, look Ivry, and came up with the enemy at Verneuil. Bedford sent a mocking message to Douglas, referring to his retreat from Roxburgh in 1417, and on 17 Aug. 1424 gave battle. Both sides fought on foot, save that two thousand French and Italian men-at-arms were sent to attack the regent's army on the rear. After three hours' indecisive fighting the French gave way. The Scottish contingent was destroyed, while the battle was nearly as disastrous to the French nobility as Poitiers or Agincourt. The Duke of Alençon and many more were made prisoners. Among them were some French and Norman deserters, who were beheaded by Bedford's order. There regent re-entered Paris on 8 Sept., and was received with great rejoicings; for though a conspiracy in favour of Charles had been discovered in his absence, the citizens generally were strongly on the Burgundian and Englieh side (Journal d'un Bourgeois de Paris, p, 243). The victory apparently gave the English rule in France the greatest strength that it attained. But the dissatisfaction of Duke Philip continued, and, though Bedford was constant in his endeavours to conciliate him, all his efforts were thwarted by Gloucester's invasion of Hainault in October. Philip prepared to lead his forces into Hainault. A conference between Bedford and Philip in Paris lasted into November 1424, but Gloucester's obstinacy made any arrangement impossible. Bedford was appointed the arbiter of the challenge which Gloucester sent to Philip, and was thus enabled to do somethmg on the side of peace. After visiting Philip at Hesdin, where he had the mortification of seeing the Burgundian lords wearing a badge indicating their resolve to maintain the cauae of John of Brabant against Gloncecter, he held a great council at Paris, and pronounced his judgment that the challenge should not be prosecuted further.

Bedford was requested to return to England by a letter from the council, dated 31 Oct. 1425, to settle the quarrel between Henry Beaufort [q. v,], bishop of Winchester, and Gloucester, who had returned from Hainault. Oommitting the prosecution of the war to the Earls of Warwick, Salisbury, and Suffolk, he left Paris in December with his duchess and a small company, and marched to Amiens, where an attempt was made to surprise him by a certain Sauvage de Fermainville, at the head of a band of freebooters. He avoided the snare, landed at Sandwich on the 20th, and entered London on 10 Jan. 1430. At Merton he was met by a large number of the citizens, who escorted him to Westminster; he was honourably received, the mayor presenting him with a bowl of silver gilt and one thousand marks, for which he is said to have returned little thanks (Gregory, p. 160). A kind of bond of alliance, in which the queen-mother joined, seems to have been formed between him and Gloucester (Letters of Bishop Beckington, i. 130 sqq.; Stubbs, Constitutional History, iii, 102), After attending a council at St. Albans, where the Archbishop of Canterbury and others were sent to Gloucester to urge him to come to a future meeting and make up his quarrel before the parliament assembled, he attended the parliament held at Leicester, where on 12 March he and other lords acted as arbitrators between Beaufort and Gloucester, and a reconciliation took place. Before the parliament broke up, on 1 June, Bedford knighted the young king. In a council which he held in London on 28 Jan. 1427, an attempt