When this engagement was over and the field cleared, and all those who had been made prisoners placed under a secure guard, they set out on their return to the siege carrying on at Bergerac. The duke of Anjou was mightily rejoiced when he heard of the detachments having had such success, and that all the flower of Gascony, the knights and squires his enemies, were either killed or taken, and among them sir Thomas Felton, who had been very active against him; so that he would rather have lost five hundred thousand francs than that it should have been otherwise. Sir Peter de Bueil, sir William de Lignac, sir Evan of Wales, and others, continued their march until they came to their army before Bergerac, where they were received with much pleasure by the duke of Anjou, the constable, the barons and knights their friends, who considered their success as very honourable and profitable to them.
On the morrow, the sow they had brought was erected bear to the walls of Bergerac, which much alarmed the inhabitants, who held a council to consider their situation, and whether they could maintain it. They addressed themselves to their governor, for they found they could not long hold out, as no succour was to be expected since their séneschal was taken, and with him the chivalry of Gascony, on whose assistance they had depended. Sir Perducas told them, they were in sufficient strength to hold out for some time, being well provided with provisions and artillery, if they made not any foolish agreement.
Things remained in this situation until the next morning, when the trumpets of the army sounded for an assault, and every one repaired to his banner. The constable of France, who was in the field with a grand array, sent to hold a parley with the inhabitants before the assault began, or any of their men were wounded or slain; in which he remonstrated with them, that having had their leaders made prisoners, from whom alone they could hope for assistance, and who were now in treaty to place themselves and their lands under the obedience of the king of France, they could not look for any relief; and, should the town be taken by storm, it would inevitably be destroyed by fire and flame, and none receive quarter. These threats frightened the inhabitants, who demanded time to hold a consultation, which was granted to them. The burghers then assembled, without calling in their governor, and agreed to surrender as good Frenchmen, provided they were peaceably and gently dealt with, without any of the army entering their town, which was directly granted.
When sir Perducas d’Albret, their governor, heard of this, he mounted his horse, ordered his men to march, and, having passed the bridges, made for the fort of Moncin, when Bergerac surrendered to the French. The constable of France took possession of it, placing therein a governor and men at arms to keep and defend it.
After the surrender of Bergerac, the duke of Anjou was advised to advance further into the country, and lay siege to Castillon1 on the Dordogne. News of this was soon spread through the army, when every one began to make his preparations accordingly; that is to say, the duke, the constable, and the other men at arms, except the marshal of France, who remained behind to wait for the lord de Coucy, as he was expected to arrive that evening (which indeed he did), when the marshal advanced to meet him with a very large attendance of his men, and received him most amicably. They remained all that night in the place which the duke had left. The duke and his army advanced to a fine mead, on the banks of the Dordogne, in his march to Castillon.
Under the command of the lord de Coucy were, sir Aymon de Pommiers, sir Tristan de Roye, the lords de Faiguelles, de Jumont, sir John de Rosay, sir Robert de Clermont, and several other knights and squires. They marched from their quarters, and continued advancing in company with the marshal of France and his troops until they arrived at the army of the duke, where they were received with much satisfaction.
In the road to Castillon, there is a town called St. Foy: before the van-guard arrived at Castillon, they marched thither, and having surrounded it, began to attack it briskly. This town had not any men at arms, and but trifling fortifications, so that it did not long defend itself. On its surrender, it was pillaged. The siege was formed before Castillon above river, and continued for fifteen days: of course, there were many skirmishes at the barriers, for some English and Gascons had retreated thither after the battle of Yurac, and defended themselves valiantly. The Gascon barons who had been made prisoners at Yurac, were still in the French camp, and in treaty to turn to the French party. Sir Thomas Felton was not solicited so to do, as he was an Englishman, but had his ransom fixed by his master, sir William de Lignac, to whom he paid thirty thousand francs, and obtained his liberty: but this was not immediately settled. After much negotiating, the four Gascon barons turned to the French: they engaged, on their faith and honour, that themselves and their vassals would ever after remain good Frenchmen; for which reason the duke of Anjou gave them their liberties.
The lords de Duran and de Rosem left the duke with a good understanding, intending to visit their own estates: the lords de Mucident and de Langurant remained with the army, and were graciously treated by the duke of Anjou, with whom they frequently dined and supped. The first-mentioned lords thought the duke very obliging in thus lightly allowing them to depart, which indeed he afterwards repented, as he had good reason. These two lords, when on their road conversing together, said, “How can we serve the duke of Anjou and the French, when we have hitherto been loyal English? It will be much better for us to deceive the duke of Anjou than the king of England, our natural lord, and who has always been so kind to us.” This they adopted, and resolved to go to Bordeaux, to the séneschal des Landes, sir William Helman, and assure him that there hearts would never suffer them to become good Frenchmen. The two barons continued their journey o Bordeaux, where they were joyfully received: for they had not then heard anything of their treaties with the duke of Anjou.
The séneschal des Landes, and the mayor of Bordeaux were inquisitive after news, and what sums they had paid for their ransoms. They said, that through constraint and threats of death, the duke of Anjou had forced them to turn to the French: but added, “Gentleman, we will truly tell you, that before we took the oath, we reserved in our hearts our faith to our natural lord the king of England; and, for anything we have said or done, will we never become Frenchmen>“ The knights from England were much pleased with these words, and declared they had acquitted themselves loyally towards their lord.
Five days afterwards, news was brought to the duke of Anjou and the army before Castillon, that the lords de Duras and de Rosem had turned to the English, which very much astonished the duke, the constable, and the other barons. The duke then sent to the lords de Mucident and de Langurant, told them what he had heard, and asked what they thought of it: these barons, who were exceedingly vexed, replied, “My lord, if they have broken their faith, we will not belie ours; and that which we have said and sworn to you we will loyally keep, nor shall the contrary be ever reproached to us; for by valour and gallant deeds of arms have your party conquered us, and we will therefore remain steady in our obedience to you.” “I believe you firmly,” said the duke of Anjou; “and I swear by God first, and then by my lord and brother, that on leaving this place, we will not undertake any one thing before we have besieged the towns of Duras and Rosem.” Things remained in this state; that is to say, the duke of Anjou much enraged at the conduct of the two Gascon barons, and the siege continuing before Castillon. The town and castle of Castillon, on the Dordogne, was a town and inheritance of the captal de Buch, whom the king of France had detained in prison at Paris.