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Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 29.djvu/438

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John
John
432

24 July 1429 Bedford re-entered Paris with his army, and on 4 Aug. left the city with a force of ten thousand men to bar the king's approach. The slow movements of the French enabled him to recover some lost ground. Taking up a position at Montereau he sent on the 7th, by Bedford herald, a letter to Charles, reproaching him with deceiving the people with the help of a woman of disorderly life, dressed in man's clothes, and of an apostate friar, and so seducing them from their allegiance, taunting him with the murder of John the Fearless, and, while declaring himself ready to conclude a solid peace, challenging him in default of that to meet him in battle. Neither side would open the attack, and Bedford returned to Paris, for his object was to defend the city. But when the enemy advanced to Dammartin he again sallied out, and again both sides refused to give battle. The march of the French towards Senlis seemed to Bedford to threaten Normandy. Marching from Paris, he took up his position at the abbey of St. Victoire, immediately to the east of Senlis, while the French were encamped close by under Mont Piloy. His position was well chosen, and he drew up his army skilfully. The French also were drawn up for battle, but for two days the armies faced each other without engaging, except for some skirmishes, in which the Picards in Bedford's army distinguished themselves so much that he rode down their ranks thanking them. When the armies separated, Bedford returned to Paris. Chateau Gaillard, Torcy, and other places soon surrendered to Charles, and the Normans proved to be ill affected. Accordingly Bedford hastened to Rouen, met the estates of the province in August, reminded them of the benefits enjoyed by them under English rule, and, after making many promises, persuaded them to give him a large grant. Meanwhile his difficulties were increased by the vacillation of Duke Philip, who concluded a truce with Charles at Compiegne on the 28th, as far as concerned a portion of France, and entered into negotiations for a definite peace. During Bedford's absence Charles and the Maid took possession of St. Denis, and on 8 Sept. the Maid assaulted Paris unsuccessfully. After this failure the king's army withdrew from Paris. A few days later Bedford returned and punished the people of St. Denis. He soon received a visit from Duke Philip, who brought back his sister, Bedford's duchess. The two dukes met with signs of affection. Bedford was ready to make any sacrifice to retain Philip's alliance; he was conscious that all his energies would be required for the defence of Normandy, and that, while the Parisians feared the Armagnacs and were as strongly Burgundian as ever, they were not satisfied with the English rule. Accordingly, at the request of the university, the parlement, and the townspeople, he resigned the regency to the Duke of Burgundy, to whom he also granted investiture of Champagne, and retained for himself the government of Normandy. Philip accepted the regency (Journal d'un Bourgeois, p. 257; Histoire des Ducs de Bourgogne, vi. 54). While the new arrangement, which was mortifying to Bedford, set him at liberty to attend to the affairs of Normandy, it does not seem to have been permanent. In 1430 and later years Bedford was regarded as regent.

A fortnight later Bedford and his English forces left Paris and established themselves at Rouen, where he directed sieges in different directions with decided success. Many towns that the French had won were regained during the next year, generally with little loss. The Normans who had transferred their allegiance to the French king were put to death as traitors. On 23 May 1430 the Maid of Orleans was made prisoner by the followers of John of Luxemburg, a Burgundian, at Compi├Ęgne. Bedford and his council instructed Pierre Cauchon, the ejected bishop of Beauvais, a violent Burgundian, to claim her as a sorceress taken within his diocese, and furnished the ten thousand livres for which John sold his prisoner. Her removal to Rouen followed, and on 3 Jan. 1431 an order was issued in King Henry's name that those who had charge of her should present her before her judges. She was judged by Cauchon, who forced the vicar of the inquisitor-general to sit with him, and certain assessors, and she was burnt as a sorceress and relapsed heretic on 30 May. Cauchon and his assistants were the instruments of the English. Cardinal Beaufort, who was with the king at Rouen at the time, appears to have been far more actively concerned than Bedford in the proceedings. Bedford might doubtless have saved the Maid's life, but no one in that age would, in like circumstances, have done so, and his rigid orthodoxy would in any case have made him unwilling to interfere in her favour.

Meanwhile, the war went on in Normandy, and Bedford, anxious to secure the allegiance of Henry's French subjects, had, as early as April 1429, urged the English council to have him crowned in France. The preliminary step to this was his coronation in England on 6 Nov., which put an end to Gloucester's protectorate, though the lords left it in Bedford's power to retain the office if he