After this defeat, which happened, as has been related, between Mirebeau and Lusignan, the English and Poitevins, when they made any excursion, acted with greater prudence and kept more together. We will now speak of sir John Chandos, sir Guiscard d’Angle2, and others who were in Montauban, seven leagues distant from Toulouse, and who had made frequent sallies from that place very much to their honour. However, whilst they were there, they thought they could employ their time more profitably than in guarding the frontiers, and in consequence determined to lay siege to Terrières in the Toulousin. They made therefore every necessary preparation, and, marching form Montauban in grand array, came to Terrières. The whole army being arrived, it was surrounded closely; for they depended on gaining it by means of mines, as it could not easily be taken by assault. Their miners were set to work, who laboured so well that at the end of fifteen days the took the town; all who were in it were killed, and the place pillaged and destroyed. In this excursion, they had intended to take another town, three leagues from Toulouse, called Laval, and had placed an ambuscade in a wood near the place. They advanced with about forty men, armed, but dressed in peasants’ clothes. They were, however, disappointed by a country boy, who, following their footsteps, discovered their intentions; by which means they failed, and returned to Montauban.
The earl of Perigord, the earl de Comminges, the earl de l’Isle, the viscount de Carmaing, the viscount de Brunikel, the viscount de Talar, the viscount de Murendon, the viscount de Laustre, sir Bertrand de Tharide, the lord de la Barde, the lord de Pincornet, sir Perducas d’Albret, the little Mechin, the bourg de Breteuil, Aimemon d’Ortige, Jacquet de Bray, Perrot de Savoye, and Arnaudon de Pans, took the field about this period. There were among these free companies full ten thousand fighting men. By orders of the duke of Anjou, who at that time resided in Toulouse, they entered Quercy in great force, where they brought on much tribulation by burning and destroying the whole country. They advanced to Rélville, wherein they besieged the high steward of Quercy, who had before provided it with everything necessary for the defence of a town, and with good English soldiers, who had resolved never to surrender but with their lives: notwithstanding the inhabitants were well inclined to the French.
During the time these knights and barons of France were besieging this town, they sent to Toulouse for four great engines, which were immediately brought thither. They were pointed against the walls of Rélville, into which they flung night and day large stones and pieces of timber that did much mischief and weakened it. They had also miners with them, whom they set to work, and who boasted that in a short time they would take the town. The English, however, behaved like good and brave men, supported each other, and in appearance held these miners very cheap.