I have abstained a long time from speaking of the lord Charles of Bois, at that time duke of Brittany, and of the countess of Montfort; but it has been occasioned by the truce agreed to before Vannes, which was strictly observed: each party, during that time, kept peaceably all they had gained. As soon as the truce was expired, the war was renewed with vigour. The king of England had sent into Brittany sir Thomas Daggeworth2 and sir John Hartwell; and they had quitted the siege of Calais with two hundred men at arms and four hundred archers. The countess of Montfort remained in the town of Hennebon; and she had with her sir Taneguy du Châtel, a knight from lower Brittany. The English and Bretons made frequent attacks upon the lord Charles’s party, and with various success; but the country was completely ruined and destroyed by these men at arms, and the poor people paid dearly for it.
Three knights one day set out to besiege a town called la Roche-d’errien: they had collected a number of men at arms on horseback, and foot soldiers, and made some violent attacks upon the town; but it was so well defended, that the English could not gain any advantage. The captain of the garrison for lord Charles was Tassart de Guines3, but three parts of the inhabitants were more attached to the English than to the French; so they arrested sir Tassart, and declared they would murder him, if he would not join them in surrendering the place to the English. Upon this, he said he would comply with whatever they wished: they then let him go, and advanced towards the English army, whom they admitted into their town. Sir Tassart was continued as before, governor of it. When the English returned to Hennebon, they left with him a sufficiency of men at arms and archers, to defend the town and castle. Lord Charles when he heard this, swore things should not go on thus. He summoned all his partisans in Brittany and Normandy, and assembled in the city of Nantes sixteen hundred men in armour, and twelve thousand foot soldiers. There might be four hundred knights and twenty-three bannerets, who all came to lay siege to la Roche-d’errien. They brought with them large engines, which threw stones into the town day and night, and much annoyed the inhabitants. The townsmen sent off messengers, to inform the countess what was going forwards; as she had promised them assistance, if they should be besieged. Upon this, the countess sent everywhere that she could think likely to procure men, and in a short time collected a thousand men in armour, and eight thousand foot soldiers, which she put under the command of the three4 knights before mentioned. These knights declared that they would either raise the siege of la Roche-d’errien, or perish in the attempt; and, taking the field, they advanced very near to the army of lord Charles: they took up their quarters on the banks of a river, with the intention of fighting the next day. About midnight sir Thomas Dagworth and sir John Hartwell armed one half of their people, and, setting off in silence, fell upon one of the wings of lord Charles’s army, and slew a great number of his men. They remained in this action so long that the whole army was roused and armed; they could not therefore retreat, without encountering the whole of the lord Charles’s force. They were surrounded, and so sharply dealt with that they could not withstand the powers of the French. Sir Thomas Dagworth was taken prisoner, after having been severely wounded. Sir John Hartwell escaped as well as he was able, with all that he could bring off with him, by making for the river. He related to sir Taneguy du Châtel the ill success of their attack; and they held a council, whether they ought not to return to Hennebon5.