These machinations and wicked attempts of the king of Navarre were so numerous that the king of France swore he would not undertake anything before he had driven him out of Normandy, and had gained possession, for his nephew, of every town and castle which the king of Navarre held there. Every day brought fresh information and worse news, respecting the king of Navarre, to the palace of king Charles. It was currently reported that the duke of Lancaster was to give his daughter Catherine to the king of Navarre, who, in return, was to deliver up to him the whole county of Evreux. These reports were readily believe in France, for the king of Navarre had but few friends there. The king of France, at this period, went to reside at Rouen, where he had summoned a large body of men at arms, and had given the command of it to the lords de Coucy and de la Riviere, who advanced to Bayeux, a city in Normandy attached to Navarre. These barons had with them the lord Charles and lord Peter, the two sons of the king of Navarre, to show to the whole country and to the county of Evreux, that the war they were carrying on was in behalf of these children, and for the inheritance which belonged to them in right of their mother, and which the king of Navarre wrongfully withheld. However, the grater part of the men at arms were so much attached to the king of Navarre, that they would not quit his service: the Navarrois who were collected in Bayeux, as well as those whom he had sent thither, maintained the war for him handsomely.
The king of France ordered commissioners to Montpelier, to seize all the lands and lordships which were in the possession of the king of Navarre. When these commissioners, sir William des Dormans and sir John le Mercier, were arrived at Montpellier, they sent for the principal inhabitants, to whom they showed their instructions. Those of Montpellier obeyed. Indeed it was necessary for them to do so; for had they acted otherwise they would have suffered for it, as the duke of Anjou and the constable of France had entered their territories with a considerable force, who wished for nothing better than to carry the war thither. Two knights of Normandy, governors of Montpellier for the king of Navarre, were made prisoners by orders of the king of France, as were also sir Guy de Graville and sir Liger d’Argesi, who remained a long time in confinement. Thus was the town of Montpellier and all the barony seized by the French.
We will now return to the army of Normandy, and relate how the lords de Coucy and de la Riviere went on. They advanced to Bayeux, and laid siege to it. The garrison-towns of Navarre had closed their gates against the French, and showed no intentions of speedily surrendering them. When the king of Navarre heard that the French had seized the town and territory of Montpellier, and that a large army was in the county of Evreux, where they were pillaging and destroying his towns and castles, he held many conferences on these subjects with those in whom he placed the greatest trust. It was determined in these councils, that as he could not receive any assistance but from England, he should sent thither a person in whom he confided, with credential letters, to know if the young king Richard and his council were willing to form an alliance with him, and to assure them, that from henceforward he would swear to be true and loyal to the English, and would place in their hands all the castles which he possessed in Normandy. To execute this embassy to England, he called to him a lawyer in whom he greatly trusted, and said to him: ‘Master Paschal, you will set out for England, and manage so as to return to me with good news, for from this day forward I will be steady in my alliance with the English.”
Master Paschal prepared to do what he had been ordered; and, having made himself ready, he embarked, made sail, and landed in Cornwall, and from thence journeyed on until he arrived at Sheen, near London, where the king resided. He approached his person, and recommended to his majesty his lord the king of Navarre. The king entertained him handsomely. There were present the earl of Salisbury and sir Simon Burley, who entered into the conversation and answered for the king, saying his majesty would shortly come to London, and summon his council on a day fixed on between them.
Master Paschal, at this council, informed the king of all that he had been charged to say: he harangued so ably and eloquently, that he was listened to with pleasure, The council for the king replied, that the offers which the king of Navarre had made were worth attending to; but that, in order to form so extensive an alliance as the king of Navarre was desirous of making, it would be necessary for him to come over himself, that he might more fully explain everything, for the affair seemed well deserving of it. On this, the council broke up, and master Paschal returned to Navarre, when he related to the king that the young king of England and his council were desirous of seeing him. The king replied, he would go thither, and ordered a vessel, called a lin1, to be prepared, which sails with all winds, and without danger. He embarked on board this vessel, with a small attendance: he, however, took with him sir Martin de la Carra and master Paschal. The king of France, some little time before he set out for Rouen, had conceived a great hatred against the king of Navarre: he was informed secretly, by some of his household, of all his negotiations with England: in consequence, he had managed so well with king Henry of Castille, that he had sent the king of Navarre his defiance, and had commenced a severe war against him. The king of Navarre had therefore, before his embarkation, left the viscount de Castillon, the lord de Lestrac, sir Peter de Vienne, and Bascle, with a large body of men at arms, as well from his own country as from the county of Foix, with orders to defend his kingdom and his forts against the Spaniards. He embarked with a very favourable wind, which landed him in Cornwall, from whence he journeyed until he came to Windsor, where king Richard and his council were. He was received with great joy; for they thought they might gain much from him in Normandy, more especially the castle of Cherbourg, which the English were very desirous of possessing.
The king of Navarre explained to the king of England and his council, in a clear manner, with eloquent language, his wants, and his reasons for coming, so that he was willingly attended to, and received such promises of succour that he was well satisfied. I will inform you what treaties were entered into between the two kings.
The king of Navarre engaged to remain for ever true and loyal to the English, and never to make any peace with the kings of France or Castille without the consent of the king of England. He engaged to put the castle of Cherbourg into the hands of he king of England, who was to guard it for three years at his own costs and charges, but the lordship and sovereignty of it were to remain in the king of Navarre. If the English should be able, by force of arms, to gain any of the towns or castles which the king of Navarre then had in Normandy, from the French, they were to remain with the English; the lordship, however, resting in the king of Navarre2. The English were much pleased with these terms, because they gained a good entrance to France through Normandy, which was very convenient for them.
The king of England promised to send, at this season, a thousand spears and two thousand archers, by the river Gironde, from Bordeaux to Bayonne; and these men at arms were to enter Navarre, and make war on the king of Castille. They were not to quit the king of nor the kingdom of Navarre so long as there should be war between the kings of Navarre and Castille. But these men at arms and archers, on entering the territories of Navarre, were to be paid and clothed by the king of Navarre as was becoming them, and on the same footing as the king of England was accustomed to pay his soldiers.
Different treaties, alliances, and regulations were drawn up, signed, sealed, and sworn to, between the kings of England and Navarre, which were tolerably well observed. In this council, the king named such members as were ordered to Normandy, and those who were to go to Navarre: because neither the duke of Lancaster, the earl of Cambridge, nor the duke of Brittany, were present at these treaties, it was resolved to send copies sealed to them, in order that they might hasten to invade Normandy.