During the time the king of Navarre was at Bordeaux, and since his return to his own country, John of Castille, son of the king of Spain, with the constable of Castille, who was the chief of this war, and whose name was don Pedro de Manriquez, had besieged the good city of Pampeluna with a large force.
With them were the count don Alphonso, he count de Medina, the count de Manons, the count de Ribede, Peter Ferrand de Falesque, Peter Goussart de Modesque, and several other barons and knights from Spain, with their troops1.
These Spaniards, on their march towards Pampeluna, had taken and burnt the town of Lorwich and the city of Viana, on this side Logrono; and there was not a lord in Navarre who dared to show himself before them, but each remained shut up in his castle. The king of Navarre knew well all this, for he had continually messengers coming and going, but he could not do anything without the assistance of the English.
Lord Neville2, who resided at Bordeaux, whither he had been sent by the king of England and his council, was informed of all the treaties between the two kings, and that it was incumbent on him to fulfil them. Having considered the matter, he called to him sir Thomas Trivet, a very valiant knight, and said to him, “Sir Thomas, you know that we have been ordered hither to guard the frontiers of this country, to drive out our enemies, and to assist the king of Navarre, who has been lately here, and told us how much he was in want of our help. You were present when I promised his assistance. This must be done, or we shall be blamed. Therefore, my dear friend and companion, I appoint you leader of the troops I shall send to this war, and now order you to march thither with five hundred lances and a thousand archers. I shall remain where I am, being séneschal of Bordeaux, under the orders of the king of England; for I must pay attention to what passes here, as this whole country is not very secure against our enemies.” “My lord,” replied sir Thomas, “you do me more honour than I deserve: I will obey your orders, as in justice I ought to do, and will acquit myself in this business to they utmost of my power.” “Of that, sir Thomas,” answered lord Neville, “I am perfectly assured.”
Sir Thomas Trivet made no long delay, but, having completed his preparations, set out from Bordeaux with his complement of men at arms and archers, taking the road towards Dax in Gascony. There were with him William Condone, sir Thomas Berton, sir John Affulée, sir Henry Paule, sir William Croquet, sir Louis Malin, sir Thomas Fourque, and sir Robert Haston, all Gascons. When this army was arrived at the city of Dax, they received intelligence that the king of Navarre was at St. Jean du Pied des Ports, there assembling his men at arms. This news was very pleasing to them. Sir Matthew Gournay3, uncle to sir Thomas Trivet, was governor of Dax, who received his nephew and his companions very agreeably, and helped them to find out lodgings. Sir Thomas’s intentions were to have continued his march without halting: but sir Matthew Gournay said to him, “Fair nephew, since you have with you so large a force, let us free this country from the Bretons and French, who hold at least a dozen fortresses between this place and Bayonne; otherwise, you leave them in your rear, and they may do us much mischief the ensuing winter. If you consent, the country will thank you, and I entreat it of you.” “By my faith,” replied sir Thomas, “I am very willing.” Soon after this conversation, he set about the business, and, drawing out his forces in the plain, marched towards a fort called Montpin, which was in the possession of the Bretons. A squires from the county of Foix, whose name was Taillardon, was governor of it.
On their arrival, the English began a very severe attack. The fort was stormed, and all in it put to the sword except Taillardon, who was made prisoner. After having placed in the castle a new garrison, they marched away, and came before another, called Carcilhat, which the Gascons held. They immediately commenced an assault, but not gaining it directly, they encamped. On the morrow, they renewed the attack with so much vigour that it was taken, and all within slain except the governor, who was from Lower Brittany, and called Yvonnet Aprisidly: he was given to the English as prisoner, and the castle burnt. They then marched towards another fort, called Besenghen, of which a Gascon squire was governor, whose name was Roger de Morelac. The English were two days before they could win it, which was at last done by capitulation: the garrison marched out in surety, and each man returned to his home.
From this castle they came before Tassegnon, which is situated three leagues from Bayonne, and laid siege to it. The Bayonnois were much rejoiced when they heard of this; and they were joined from that town by full five hundred men with lances and shields, bringing with them the larges of their warlike engines. The garrison of Tassegnon having done so much harm to those of Bayonne made them thus desirous of their destruction; but they would never have succeeded had it not been for the judgment and advice of the English: yet with all their united force they were fifteen days before they gained it, which was done by capitulation, on the garrison marching out in safety under passports from sir Thomas Trivet, who had them escorted as far as Bregent, which belonged to the French. The Bayonnois bought the castle for three thousand francs, and then razed it, carrying the stones to Bayonne; wehre the English were received with great joy, and had all things according to their wish by paying for them.