The War in the Low Countries

Medieval Low CountriesThe War in the Low Countries

Jan van Herwaarden

Froissart: Historian (1981)

As a native of Hainault, Froissart naturally enough showed a keen interest in the history of the Low Countries, an interest stimulated (we may well imagine) by the fact that his major patrons – Robert of Namur, Wenceslas of Brabant, and the house of Blois – either ruled in that area or had major territorial or dynastic concerns there. It is therefore scarcely surprising that events in the Low Countries, and in particular in Flanders, Brabant and Hainault, are a recurring theme running through the whole of the Chronicles from the very earliest chapters of Book I to the final page of Book IV.

But though Froissart had compelling reasons for wishing to include much of the history of the Low Countries, he rarely allowed his personal predilections or the interests of his patrons to dictate the overall shape of his work. He had one great theme to which all else was subordinated: the colossal struggle between Plantagenet and Valois for hegemony in western Europe which so overwhelmingly dominated the international scene throughout his lifetime. To this theme Froissart adhered with remarkable fidelity from beginning to end of his vast work. Anything which did not directly relate to this epic struggle, he ruthlessly discarded. Despite his slavish dependence upon the narrative of Jean le Bel for the period prior to 1362, for instance, Froissart jettisoned whale blocks of Le Bel’s chapters devoted to the internal history of the Low Countries (Le Bel I, 220-44). No matter how important in their own right, the domestic events of the Low Countries were of no interest to Froissart unless they were relevant to the greater events of the war between England and France.

As a consequence, his attention to the affairs of the Low Countries is intermittent, episodic. The rulers of Brabant, Flanders, Hainault, Namur, Liege etc. make fleeting appearances throughout the narrative but are rarely on .stage for any length of time. Only when the Low Countries itself became the focus of Anglo-French concern did Froissart fix his attention on the area for sufficiently long to make his narrative of first importance for historians of the Low Countries. He, did so on three main occasions: between 1326-8, 1337-40 and 1379-85. Of these three, the last is by far the most sustained, complex and interesting piece of historical analysis.

The reasons are not far to seek. The two previous episodes; both recounted in Book I, are both derived from the Chronicle of Jean le Bel; and although Froissart made significant alterations and additions to the narrative of his predecessor – particularly in his account of the van Artevelde era – ,  the basic structure and much of the detail of his version is taken from Le Bel. His account of the events of the years 1379-85 in Book II, however, is the work of a mature and independent historian. When he came to write this part of his Chronicles, Froissart had left his model behind him. He had reached a mature middle age, had had long experience of courts and politics, had written tens of thousands of words of history, and was writing about the events of his own adult lifetime which had taken place in an area with which he was personally familiar and had many possible sources of information. Any analysis of Froissart’s presentation of the social, economic and political history of the Low Countries must therefore concentrate very heavily on this particular section of the Chronicles.

Despite its feudal dependence upon France, the county of Flanders had much closer economic ties with England,2 a fact which was to colour its relationship to the two great powers throughout the course of their struggle. Froissart was well aware of this. Commenting upon the events of c.1370, he remarked (I, 547; Johnes I, 409): `the commonalties of Flanders maintained the quarrel between the two kings to be more just on the part of England than of France’, so it is understandable that the representatives of the three towns Bruges, Ghent and Ypres `resolved that it was not for their advantage to be at war or to have any ill-will with the English, who were their neighbours and connected with them by commerce, on account of any quarrel of their count, nor would it be expedient for them to aid and support him.’

Thus attitude was formed slowly during, the van Artevelde era (1338-45), when Flanders developed into one of the sheetanchors of Edward III’s system of continental. alliances during the early years of the Hundred Years War. Van Artevelde (Lucas 1933) and the Flemish towns felt justified in this attitude by the pro-French stance taken by their count, Louis of Nevers (1322-46). Originally intent only upon neutrality to protect their commerce, the Flemings were gradually driven into an alliance with Edward III by the combined effects of economic and political pressure exerted by the English king and the intransigence of Louis of Nevers.3 Yet feudal loyalties were still strongly felt even by townsmen, and it was only after Edward III had received homage at Ghent as king of France in January 1340 – three years after the beginning of the war – that the Flemings lent him active support against the French.4

Successive versions of Book I of Froissart’s Chronicles reveal an increasing appreciation of the importance of van Artevelde. His first edition does no more than copy the narrative of Jean le Bel, whereas the second and third editions focus much more sharply on van Artevelde and deal with his circumstances at greater length.5 It may be doubted whether this is a reflection of Froissart’s growing sympathy, since all versions recount the tale of van Artevelde’s domestic tyranny which the chronicler had borrowed from Le Bel (I, 59-60; III, 454-8; Diller, 261-2, 270); but it undoubtedly reflects Froissart’s growing awareness of the importance of van Artevelde’s leadership in shaping events between 1338 and 1345, and in influencing the future role of Flanders in the. Hundred Years War. The services of van Artevelde were remembered and applauded in the. 1380s, asFroissart records in Book II (II, 144-6; Cronyke, 125-9).

Froissart also showed an appreciation of the stresses and strains which van Artevelde’s policy produced within the urban communities of Flanders.  According to one of the versions of Book I, James van Artevelde was supported by the whole communalty of Ghent and a considerable part of the wealthier burghers, the poorterie (III, 454). In this way, Froissart suggests divisions within the poorterie, to which van Artevelde as a broker just failed to belong.6 These disagreements probably concerned the extent to which the count’s policy should be accepted or rejected. Van Artevelde and his supporters felt that the pro-French policy of the count was detrimental to the interests of Ghent and her trades, which required good relations with England.

Another aspect of the van Artevelde period with which Froissart deals, is the highly important question of the relationship between the towns of Flanders. He shows how van Artevelde co-operated with the towns of Bruges and.Ypres in matters of general Flemish concern and even suggests that representatives of the (agrarian) Franc de Bruges were involved in these decisions (III, 471), though this seems to be a confusion with the situation under Louis of Male (1346-84).7 However, the degree of harmony between the towns should not be exaggerated as Ghent dominated internal policies and people from Ghent were nominated as the real governors of the smaller towns in the Quarter of Ghent and even in Ypres.8 The count had held such imperialist tendencies in check. In his absence, they could flourish.9

Froissart was aware, however, that van Artevelde did not have matters all his own way and that his situation was highly insecure. Opposition to the legitimate ruler was a risky course in the fourteenth century, and, according to Froissart, it was van Artevelde’s appreciation of this fact and his efforts to compensate for it, which led to his death. The wish to recognise Edward as suzerain and the prince of Wales (the Black Prince) as duke of Flanders (I, 204; Diller, 633), in order to exclude completely both Louis of Nevers and his son Louis of Male, was suggested by him as `he always mistrusted the Flemings because he thought them fickle’ (Diller, 633). However, this plan challenged the powerful loyalties towards the lawful and natural ruler.

Moreover, according to Froissart, van Artevelde’s policies aroused the distrust of the duke of Brabant, John III(1312-55), who had meanwhile been reconciled with Louis of Nevers (the count was even living in Brussels) and who feared that Ghent’s example would inspire opposition from his own towns. John III considered the pro-English policies of the Flemings unfavourable for his territories, and he was considering a marriage between one of his daughters and the heir of Flanders, Louis of Male, which made those policies even less acceptable.

The duke of Brabant, according to Froissart’s final version, was cause de ceste aventure with regard to Artevelde’s death. He is said to have enabled the dean of the weavers to strike him down as a traitor, despite the fact that this dean had van Artevelde to thank for his post. Van Artevelde had been forced to support him in a power struggle between weavers and fullers; but is supposed to have tried to break this newly acquired power by means of the treaty with England – which meanwhile had probably been accepted by Bruges and Ypres.10

This story in the final version of Book I puts the murder of James van Artevelde in an entirely different light from that of the first version where, it is true, the English plan was also involved, but where van Artevelde’s unpopularity is said to have been caused by his sending illegally acquired money over to England (I, 205) – a rumour that did not prevent Froissart, even in. this version, from regarding van Artevelde’s murder as evidence of ingratitude on the part of the Flemings. The tale about money does not disappear in the final version, but here Froissart makes it clear that Edward had entered into financial obligations towards van Artevelde and Flanders (Diller, 449-51), in connection with which van Artevelde had sent three embassies to England:” This English debt to the Flemings would still play a part in the 1380s when Flemish ambassadors reminded Richard 11 of this outstanding Flemish claim. Had the Flemingg, Froissart suggests, at that moment not acted in this way, Richard and the English would have come to their aid against the French (II, 219, 221; Cronyke, 225, 230).

Van Artevelde’s death in 1345 did not bring an end to the Anglo-Flemish understanding,12  nor did the death of the Flemish count, Louis of Nevers, at Crecy in 1346 (I, 240; Diller, 734) mean the end of his dynasty. Loyalty to the lawful and natural ruler was too strong; and by clever manoeuvring Louis of Male. was able to make himself effective ruler of Flanders. In doing so, he rejected the idea of an English marriage, desired by the weavers’ government of Ghent, thus making it easier for himself to remain neutral in the future.13

But of this, and of subsequent internal conflicts in Flanders, Froissart has almost nothing to say.14  With the end of the dramatic phase of Anglo-French involvement in Flanders (1337-45), Froissart loses interest in Flanders until the eve of their equally dramatic involvement in the 1380s. Even the crucial marriage of Philip of Burgundy and Margaret of Male in 1369 receives only summary treatment (I, 573). His treatment of the affairs of Brabant and Hainault is equally sketchy. Something is said of the ambiguous attitude of Duke John III of Brabant 15 and of the vacillating policy of Count William II of Hainault, as William IV count of Holland and Zeeland (1337-45), who hesitated and only decided to. sever his fealty to Philip VI after a French. invasion of Hainault.16. But thereafter Froissart has little to say about the Netherlands until he reaches the events of 1379. Until that date, his Chronicles are not an important source for events in the Low Countries and there is no need to concern ourselves with their scattered remarks.

A considerable part of the second book of Froissart’s Chronicles is devoted to the upheavals in Flanders between 1379 and 1385.17  His narrative is vivid and dramatic and although modem research has uncovered much more about the causes and consequences of these events,18 Froissart himself has some shrewd insights to offer. For although he recorded his opinion that the persistent state of war in these years was the work of the devil, he did not allow this pious conclusion to prevent him from observing the faults and responsibilities- of the parties involved.

Like others, Froissart extolled Flanders’ prosperity (II, 65-6; Cronyke, 1, 2). The great towns, however, had financial problems; there was rivalry between these great towns, between them and the smaller towns, and between town and countryside (Nicholas 1971a). The policies of Louis of Male favoured the country–side to some extent, making it, for example, judicially more independent of the town courts by setting up a comital Audientie (Buntinx 1949). Froissart rightly points out that the count found his most loyal supporters in the Franc de Bruges (II, 133; Cronyke, 87). Louis wished to establish this as the fourth member of the estates of Flanders, alongside of Bruges, Ghent and Ypres, a policy later pushed through by Philip of Burgundy (Prevenier 1959, 1961b). Louis’ currency manipulations had improved his income but disturbed the economy of the towns and social relations within them: the decline of the draperies was somewhat slowed down through a rise in exports due to the debasement, but the cost of living rose while wages – rigorously fixed – failed to keep pace.19 Prosperity `was unevenly spread; and compared with the rich poorterie and prosperous guilds such as the brokers, glasiers, butchers and fishmongers of Bruges (II, 208; Cronyke, 186), the other craft guilds and lesser trades were having a thin time.20  These contrasts produced what was in fact a continuously revolutionary situation, in which a relatively unimportant matter might lead to the mobilisation of the many discontented.

Froissart begins his narrative with one such apparently trivial matter, the feud in Ghent between Jan Hyoens and Gijsbrecht Mayhuus, arising from a feud between two families from Damme to which both were related. Such. private feuds could escalate considerably and become of much greater significance thdn a simple conflict between two families. For a number of years at the turn of the thirteenth century, Ghent was dominated by such a feud and the disturbances in Louvain around 1380 can also be traced back to a similar feud between two families. It was the chief function of the urban political system to keep such feuds in check and prevent them breaking out into open hostilities, but town governments were as yet not well enough equipped to do this successfully. Moreover, the basis of the urban. community was the coniuratio of free men, and the droit de vengeance was precisely one of the prime elements of this freedom. Just how such a private feud could develop into a great conflict, whose origins can hardly be traced is, shown clearly in Froissart’s narrative of this period. He repeatedly touches on this feud and in recounting the reconciliation between Ghent and the count in 1385 he again refers back:to this origin

Such conflicts are indicative of a transitional phase in social developments: the break-up of the (agrarian) familial clan-solidarity through the growth of new forms ofassociations more marked by group solidarity. Firstly, these was the urban coniuratio, but this was sub-divided, into smaller units: the craft-guilds or trades, and eithin these again, the solidarity of various categories (masters, journeymen). To family ties were added amicitia ties with members of the group. Both these elements played a part in the formation of political factions; and neither family relationships nor group solidarity can be seen as the decisive criterion of party choice.  Nor did economic criteria play a decisive role: the poor developed a dislike of the rich rather than any consciousness of their mutual solidarity.21

The feud in Ghent originated among the leaders of the shippers (Corryn 1944), . but. soon developed into a much broader conflict. Power in the town was completely taken over by one of the parties; the other was driven out or silenced (cf. Heers 1977:41-2). The leaders were supported by armed fellow-citizens, the White Hoods (Whte Kaproenen), who, as in the time of Jarnes van Artevelde, formed a separate category, called a secte by Froissart, to distinguish them From the ordi–nary troops raised through parishes and trades.22  The extent to which the White Hoods were a symbol of urban rebelliousness, and the far-reaching influence of events in Ghent, is shown by the fact that the Cabochiens in 1413 and the Norman rebels of the 1430s wore white hoods in memory of the Ghent rising.23

The count’s permission to Bruges to dig a canal to the Lys (in Ghent’s territory); Ghent’s reaction to this by unleashing the White Hoods under Jan Hyoens; her refusal to accept a new comital tax (which had been accepted by Bruges); the arrest of a burgher of Ghent (a shipper) by a bailiff of the count in violation of the ius de non evocando; the killing of this bailiff by the people of Ghent; and finally the destruction of the count’s castle of Wondelgem near Ghent by the White Hoods during negotiations for a settlement (II, 68-75; Cronyke3-36) – all this threatened an explosion of no mean proportions. The final outbreak could still be postponed by a reconciliation between ruler and subjects, arranged by Philip of Burgundy, but this was really more to save the hard-pressed knights besieged by Ghent at Oudenaarde than to bring peace with Ghent, as Froissart rightly observed.24 The conflict broke out in all its severity once again after the relatives of the murdered bailiff, with the consent of the count, took a gruesome revenge on forty Ghent shippers, whose guild under the leadership of Jan Hyoens had been held chiefly responsible for the bailiff’s murder (II, 88; Cronyke, 70).

When the conflict resumed in 1380, Louis of Male looked to other princes of the Netherlands for support, particularly to Albert of Bavaria, ruwaard of Holland, Zeeland and Hainault, and to the duke of Brabant, Wenceslas of Luxemburg: ` . . it is natural that great lords should support each other.’25  Albert delivered up a number of Ghent leaders who had fled to Hainault to Louis of Male in 1380; and signed a treaty With him for the joint preservation of peace and order in both lands.26 The three Flemish towns turned to the French king in that year to assure him. that their actions were not directed against him as suzerain (II, 93; Cronyke85). The death of Charles V in 1380 was a disappointment for Ghent: `The men of Ghent were much grieved at the death of the king of France…. for he had been very friendly to them during the war, loving but little the count of Flanders’ (Johnes I, 618; II, 113-14).

In 1381 Louis of We was almost able to force Ghent to surrender by means of a blockade on English wool and the help of Albert of Bavaria and Wenceslas of Brabant (II, 172-3; Cronyke, 149-50), but the towns of the latter two rulers opposed their policies and supported Ghent, which also received support. and sympathy from the townspeople ofLiege.27  These princes together with the bishop of Liege were thus forced into a mediator role.28

Froissart gives extensive treatment to the military expeditions sent by Ghent to extend or maintain its sphere of influence. At critical. times Ghent was compelled to use large armed forces to forage for food to maintain the town’s supplies. Here the unofficial support.’ of Orabant, Liege; Holland and Zeeland becomes clear.  A comparison with thetown accounts of Ghent in this period shows how well Froissart portrayed these matters, not so much in his factual and chronological accuracy, as in their general tendencies.29Froissart’s comments on steep price rises because of the shortages in Ghent (II, 1964,.212; Cronyke, 149ff, 199), and on the low prices for forage and other goods in the Ghent army before Oudenaarde or the French army at Ypres in 1382 (II, 213, 243; Cronyke, 204, 304), similarly appear to be very accurate. The situation and the faits et gestes of Philip van Artevelde, who came to power in Ghent in January 1382, is extensively treated, and Froissart. does not forget to mention that the memory of the earlier rule of James van Artevelde was so powerful that twelve of the conspirators against him who were still alive were executed. 30 He thus shows the extent to which grudges could survive over generations (cf. Mollat and Wolff 1973: 175).

In Froissart’s view, urban society was not homogeneous. While, he saw the disagreement between Bruges and Ghent as one of the causes of the rebellion of Ghent against the count (II, 68ff, III, 517; Cronyke, 1, 11ff), he also saw many divisions within Ghent itself and within other towns. It is notable here, that he blames the poorterie in Ghent, the most prominent burghers, for not taking sides as this was largely responsible for the catastrophic developments (II, 144, 339-40; Cronyke, 122-4, 515). They refused to accept the responsibility attached to their position and allowed demagogues to control policy. To Froissart this was an abdication of responsibility for he saw co-operation between ruler and the poorterie of .his towns as the guarantee of prosperity, calm and peace. To him, the poorterie was `the good people of Ghent who were the rich and industrious, and had wives, families and fortunes in the town and their goods and rents in the neighbourhood, and wished to live in an honourable way without danger’.31  They were the pillars of the community. Or rather, they should have been.

But there was not only a division between the poorterie, mostly on the side of the count (cf. Pirenne 1908: 200), and the rest of the town, population. The latter was by no means at one in its opposition to the social and economic elite of the towns. There were unexpected alliances between the poorterie. and the lesser trades (due to patronage and financial interests) for example in Bruges, and not only were there conflicts between trades, but also within them as. journeymen opposed masters – and this brought in an element of social conflict.32

Thus any idea that we are here confronted with proletarian rule is completely untenable. The lists of schepenen throughout the period of the revolt show the normal representation of the poorterie (three delegates), the weavers and the lesser trades (five delegates each). Although in December 1379 .after: the first rising and the reconciliation negotiated by Philip of Burgundy, the magistracy was replaced,33 the categories remained the same and only the personnel were changed. A comital electoral college was involved in this intervention, which was bypassed in the following years but came into operation again after the settlement of 1385 (Vuylsteke 1893: 519-34).

Leaders such as Jan Hyoens and Philip van Artevelde did not ignore the poorterie, nor were the wealthier trades excluded, although the dean of the Ghent butchers, suspected of treason, was killed in 1382.34 As night be expected, when in power each side confiscated its opponents’ property and revenues, and it is notable. that the lord of Herzele whose income had been taken away by the count, received a share of the confiscated comital revenues in Ghent `to enable him the better to support his rank’.35  This same lord of Herzele was later killed after he had accused one of the leaders of Ghent of too lax a defence of Oudenaarde in 1384.36  Most of the initiatives towards a settlement with the count came from the higher social levels, and this cost the lives of two representatives of the poorterie; when they regarded the count’s terms as reasonable, they were accused of treason and killed.37

In such a situation divisions proliferate and reactions become more extreme.  Moves towards a compromise were always doomed to failure.  Within the towns, fear of the enemy led to internal terror, and dissidents feared to express their opinions (II, 143, 340, Cronyke, 121, 515). But the count too hardened his position as the struggle continued and was not inclined to leniency unless the town’s leaders were first sacrificed.38  This attitude helped the latter to keep the ranks closed: urban solidarity could not countenance the sacrifice of fellow-citizens for the sake of a settlement, although there were occasional grumbles that the sacrifice of a few could save the lives of many.39

In such circumstances, only a military victory seemed capable of bringing a decision. In Ghent, while many were close to despair, a final effort was decided on. At Philip van Artevelde’s instigation all available resources were mobilised for an offensive to break out of their isolation. Ghent’s forces advanced on Bruges where the count was staying and managed to defeat the troops of Bruges in a remarkable manner at Beverhoutsveld on 3 May 1382 and take the town; Louis of Male only just escaped (II, 201-8; Cronyke, 162-85). This victory for Ghent meant a fundamental change in both the domestic and foreign situation.

Domestically, it increased considerably the power of Ghent. The Flemish towns had traditionally sought to control large areas of the countryside outside their walls. After her victory, there was nothing left to oppose the ambitions of Ghent. The result was that Ghent; even more than in the 1340s, gained influence over the whole of Flanders. Everywhere men from Ghent or loyal to Ghent were placed in key positions, and Ghent, commanders were the real rulers in the great towns, Bruges and Ypres, as well as in the castellanies. Philip van Artevelde regarded himself as ruwaaird of all. Flanders, took over comical, prerogatives, and imposed taxes on the whole county (II, 211-12, 213.;Cronyke, 194-200, 203-4).

However, this power, established by Beverhoutsveld, was destroyed after the defeat of the Flemings near West-Roosebeke on 27 November. 1382 When the invading French army crossed the Lys and removed the castellanies from Ghent’s sphere of influence, all the officials appointed there by Ghent suffered the fate of traitors: they were surrendered to the French, by the local inhabitants according to Froissart, and beheaded near Ypres.  At, that time there were suggestions of surrender in Bruges, but apprehension about the fate of the citizens of the town who were in the army of Philip van Artevelde; and especially of the five hundred prominent hostages, held the town back; moreover, a victory such as that at Courtrai in 1302 was not yet impossible. After Roosebeke the count’s bailiffs acted harshly in the areas in which they had regained control towards the men from Ghent and their supporters. Froissart says little about this, but in the bailiffs’ accounts numerous executions are recorded.40

The repercussions of these two battles were also felt; perhaps even more markedly, on the international scene. Until May 1382 both sides in Flanders had remained neutral with regard to France and England.  After Beverhoutsveld this changed. Louis of Male had to flee his lands in shame and turn to France. Philip of Burgundy now took action. The aid sought from France was given, but not so much to the count as to protect the inheritance of Philip. The count of Flanders was only grudgingly accepted in the French army, as Froissart makes clear, although he fails to mention the count’s Urbanist sympathies as one of the reasons for this (II, 243, 246; Cronyke, 303, 317). Philip Van Artevelde had also first turned to the king of France, according to Froissart, in the hope that he would bring an end to the conflict, but his ambassador, sent without a safe-conduct, was arrested.  Immediately, according to Froissart, Ghent turned to England.41

It is possible, however, that Froissart was exaggerating and that Ghent had tried to keep all her options open at this time. Precise information about Anglo-Flemish contacts in the spring of 1382 is lacking.42  To assume that the elevation of Philip van Artevelde to the leadership of Ghent was a pro-English move would, in my opinion, be going too far. Ghent was in a difficult position at this point, even though the count’s blockade on trade with England was not particularly effective.43  The charisma of James van Artevelde reflected on his son and gave the inhabitants of Ghent a new clan. Peace proposals made through the mediation of Albert of Bavaria, Joan of Brabant and the bishop of Laege were rejected because they involved delivering their leaders into Louis’ mercy (II, 199-202; Cronyke, 140-6, 159-61).

It is, certainly not unlikely that contacts were made with England at the same time. They were, in fact, continuous, even if only through the Flemish colony in London or the English in, for example, Bruges; Froissart hints very clearly at such contacts via Bruges (II, 265-6; Cronyke, 355-6). It is understandable that these contacts reflected in content those of the period of James van Artevelde. Thus there may very well have been hints as to the recognition of Richard II as king of France, and even as count of Flanders, as spies informed Louis of Male on 22 April 1382. One of the informants of these spies was arrested and brought by the bailiff of Aalst, on or shortly before 5 May 1382, to Hesdin where Louis was encamped.44            .

At this time there was a reasonable chance of an agreement between ,France and England: a high-level conference was arranged for l June 1382.  Events in Flanders thwarted these plans, although the English parliament still refused, in accordance with an earlier decision, on 7 May 1382 (thus after the battle of Beverhoutsveld) to agree to the sending of an English army of invasion to the continent.45  Ghent’s victory near Bruges encouraged England to favour the Flemings Ghent protected foreign merchants and their goods better than Louis of Male; the blockade was lifled.46

English sources make it clear that English ambassadors were sent to, Flanders and that contacts were maintained throughout the summer. Naval preparations might suggest plans for a joint effort. On 13 September 1382 an embassy from Ghent left for England, but only on 17 October 1382 did an official Flemish embassy set out for London. According to their brief, Richard II was to be recognised as king of England and France, and here Philip van Artevelde was following the example of his father.47 French proposals for talks were rejected by the Flemings on 20 October 1382 (11, 224-4; Cronyke, 238-41).

The attitude of the English at this time was ambiguous. Despite the traditional English sympathy for Flanders whenever it turned against the French, there was no official English support before 27 November 1382, the date of the battle of Roosebeke. The handful of English archers in Philip van Artevelde’s ranks had not been provided by Richard II but were mercenaries in search.of gain (II, 218, 246; Cronyke, 223, 315). Vague English promises only arrived just before the battle, but at that point they no longer had any value (II, 240-1, 244; Cronyke, 294, 306).

This English reserve may have been determined by feelings which Froissart indicates in his account of the English response to the defeat of the Flemings: `The nobles of England were not sorry on hearing it, for they said, that if the commonalty of Flanders had been victorious over the king of France, and his nobility had been slain, the pride of the common people would have been so great that all gentlemen would have had cause to lament it, for appearances of insurrections had been shown in England’ (Johnes 1, 749-50; II, 257; Cronyke; 348). Also the Commons were not without their doubts, and not merely on financial grounds. Since the 1340s there had been a structural change in the economic relations of the two countries. The growth of England’s own cloth industry meant that the two countries were increasingly competing with each other .and their economies were no longer as interdependent as they had once been (Miskimin 1975: 92-8).

The battle of Roosebeke was followed by the subjection of practically the whole of Flanders except Ghent to the king of France. The town sent ambassadors to Charles VI with a striking proposal: `They declared . . . that they would willingly put themselves under the obedience of the king and would form part of the domain of France, under the jurisdiction of Paris; but that they would never acknowledge .for their lord Louis, because they would never love him for the great mischiefs he had done them’ (Johnes I, 751; II,258-9; Cronyke, 353). The French king, however, could not accept this offer: it would have meant betraying his vassal. Moreover, if Ghent’s proposal had been accepted, this would have undermined the existing social hierarchy and set a dangerous precedent.  Another source gives a list of Charles VI’s demands on Ghent, which were refused probably chiefly because the concessions required included appeasing the count `with red gold’, i.e. blood (De Pauw 1909: 50-1). Louis of Male was restored as count; but the feud with Ghent was by no means over. French occupation troops were left behind (II, 259; Cronyke, 354).

Repeatedly after the battle of Roosebeke, the Flemish fear of the Bertoenen (Bretons) appears. Many fled from Bruges to Holland and Zeeland with their movable goods (II, 253; Cronyke, 336), while country people fled to Ghent.48 The impression given by Froissart is confirmed by such prosaic sources as the bailiff’s accounts of Bruges; where it is mentioned that a woman drowned herself for fear of the Bertoenen (De Pauw 1902: 67), or of Veurne, Courtrai and Oudenaarde, which . give evidence of their lust for plunder and show that they were not averse to killing non-combattants, and where it is specifically mentioned when the Bretons killed combattants.49 Only once in these bailiff’s accounts is it reported that a Breton was executed at Dendermonde, for the murder of a woman (ibid., 547).

It is hardly surprising that after Roosebeke Louis of Male should have tried to prevent these troops taking Bruges. He succeeded through the good offices of Philip of Burgundy, and Bruges surrendered after having bought off the occupation of the town.50  Another source, however, mentions misdemeanours and the cruelty of the Bretons in Bruges, who in consequence were executed (De Pauw 1909: 50). The Bretons nevertheless were outraged by the terms of Bruges’ surrender `for they thought to have had their share; and some of them said, when they heard peace had been made, that this war in Flanders was not worth anything; that they had gained too little pillage (Johnes I, 743; II, 255; Cronyke, 341-2). They wished to seek compensation in Hainault, as its ruler, Albert of Bavaria, had withdrawn from the war against the Flemings. Froissart’s patron; Guy of Blois, was able to prevent this happening (II, 255-6; Cronyke, 342-4).

The suppression of the Flemish revolt had its effect outside Flanders as well. Froissart saw a clear connection between the events in Flanders and unrest in France at this time.51  A rising in Paris was prevented by Nicholas de Vlaming (!), through insisting in waiting for the outcome of the king’s expedition in Flanders; the citizens agreed, but remained heavily armed and ready for revolt.. Froissart calls the situation in France at this time – when the of vilains at Reims, Chalons, along the Marne, in Orleans, Blois, Rouen and in the Beauvaisis were attacking knights and the estates of th nobility – worse than during the Jacquerie, though the two sides then had fought more fiercely than Christians and Saracens!  Pointedly, and not without justification, Froissart follows the French victory at Roosebeke with an account of the suppression of the risings in France.52

The international repercussions of Roosebeke were no less marked. While. the Flemish embassy was in London in the autumn of 1382, discussions had begun in parliament concerning the crusade against the followers of the French (Avignonese) pope, Clement VII, proposed by the Roman pope, Urban VI. The attraction of such an enterprise was that it could be directed against France, and especially that the consent of Urban VI to the levying of a tithe would reduce its cost, `for it was well known that the nobles of England would not, for all the absolutions in the world, undertake any expedition, unless such were preceded by offers of money. Men at arms cannot live on pardons, nor do they pay much attention to them, except at the point of death’ (Johnes I, 756; II, 266-7; Cronyke, 359-62).

According to Froissart two expeditions were considered, to Spain or to Flanders, the English nobles favouring the former and the townspeople the latter. This yet again reflects the English ambivalence with regard to Flanders. Possibly the suggestion that Flanders had become totally Clementist after Roosebeke (Van Asseldonk 1955: 68-9)played a part in the final decision. of king and parliament to support a crusade for Urban VI to Flanders, led by Henry Despenser, the bishop of Norwich, but undoubtedly the financial spur by the pope’s permission of levying tithes on ecclesiastical properties was one of the reasons why parliament, in February 1383, allowed a subsidy which had already been granted in the autumn of 1382 for a campaign on the continent to be used for this particular expedition.53

The count of Flanders, Louis of Male, as an Urbanist who had had to accept after Roosebeke that his defeated subjects had to become Clementist,54 was placed in a difficult position by this expedition. The count persisted in his adherence to Urban VI and tied to free himself to some extent from French influence. After mediation attempts from the equally Urbanist bishop of Liege, Louis of Male agreed, in order to raise the siege of Ypres, to take part in alliance with Ghent on the Urbanist side in the struggle against the Clementists, and hence against the French Ghent refused to trust the count and the siege continued (II, 276-7; Cronyke,.395-7). French action was necessary to rid Flanders of English troops. This episode was followed at the end of 1383 by Angle-French negotiations, which again isolated Louis of Male; while he refused to include Ghent in the general truce, the others pushed it through (26 January 1384). A few days later the count died, to be succeeded by Philip of Burgundy.55 Despite the support of Ghent, the crusade had achieved nbthing.56 Even the truce was not fully accepted; and Froissart describes at some length the surprise of Oudenaarde by the lord of Schorisse, who refused to recognise. the truce in his anger at the loss of his revenues, for which he blamed Ghent (II, 301-2; Cronyke, 452-7). The capture. of Oudenaarde isolated Ghent; and she was in no way compensated for this loss by help from England. The only English aid to Ghent . after 1383 was the dispatch of Sir John Bourchier, who acted as chief governor of the town from November 1384, and, a little later, of a handful of troops in July l385 (II,302,343-4; Cronyke, 457, 530-2). The Despenser crusade, therefore, was little more than an incident in the great Anglo-French war, a remarkable intermezzo in Anglo-Flemish relations.

The year 1385 saw the establishment of the house of Burgundy in the Low Countries, a development described at some length by Froissart. He notes the frustration of the duke of Lancaster’s efforts to combat Burgundian influence by the marriage of his daughter Philippa to William of Ostrevant and the subsequent double marriage between John of Nevers and Margaret of Bavaria and Margaret of Burgundy and William of Ostreyant. (12 April 1385), marriages which laid the bases for the later expansion of Burgundian power in the Netherlands.57

He also relates at some length the way in which Ghent was reduced to obedience. Despite her military activities in the summer of 1385 -which saved England from a double invasion from Scotland and Flanders (II, 321; Cronyke, 492) - Ghent was unable to resist the weight of French resources thrown behind Philip of Burgundy. Charles VI himself was present at the final onslaught, signifying the importance that the Valois dynasty attached to the acquisition of Flanders by one of its scions (II, 316-17, 321-2, 325-7;Cronyke, 474-9, 492-6, 498-513). Ghent was forced to come to terms, and about the only advantage she was able to obtain was on the matter of religious obedience. In this, Philip was prepared to allow time to work in his favour.58

The submission of Ghent did not, however, put an end to the troubles in Flanders. Her problems had involved her neighbours, and England and France in particular were not prepared to cease fighting as soon as Ghent laid down its arms. The French were determined to use the military, strategic and naval resources of Flanders to deal England a crippling blow; and 1386 saw the concentration of a huge armada at Sluys, at immense cost to the French treasury and to the great loss of the Flemings who had the misfortune to live within twenty miles of this concentration and who suffered the depredations of the licentious French soldiers.59 The only ones to gain were the shipowners of Holland and Zeeland, who hired out their craft at high rates without having in the end to put them in any danger (II, 498, 534).

The fiasco of 1386 was followed by another in 1387, when the Flemish fleet under its admiral Jan Bock was finally defeated by the English, an event greeted with unalloyed joy in Holland and Zeeland. The English, however, failed to capitalise on their victory by taking Sluys, as recommended by the Flemish exile Pieter van den Bossche; the capture of Sluys would possibly have paved the way for an English domination of Flanders, while there existed still a widespread discontent against the new ruler, Philip of Burgundy (II, 549-52).            .

Domestically the submission of Ghent failed to bring immediate peace.   Although the settlement of.1385 had not involved any revenge on the leaders of Ghent, one of them, Pieter van den B6ssche, had thought it advisable to take refuge in England, not from fear of his new ruler, but because he feared the vengeance of his opponents in Ghent. The fate of the other great leader of Ghent shows how right he was: Francis Ackenrian was killed in 1386-by a relative of one of the victims of the disputes within Ghent.60

The revolt of Flanders was, then, an event of international significance, as Froissart was well aware: `This war, which Ghent had carried on against its lord the count Lewis of Flanders and the duke of Burgundy, had lasted near seven years; and it would be melancholy to relate all, the various unfortunate events which it had caused. Turks, Saracens and Pagans would have been sorrowful on hearing them, for all commerce by sea was-mined. The sea-coasts from east to west, and all the north, suffered from it; for in truth the riches and merchandise of seventeen kingdoms were sent to Sluys, and the whole was unshipped at Damme or Bruges. Now consider, that if these distant countries suffered, still more bitterly must those nearer have felt it’ (Johnes II, 58; II, 340; Cronyke, 516). As far as Holland and Zeeland are concerned, this period saw a boom in their trade, partly through greater familiarity with their English connections.61

After his extended treatment of events in Flanders between 1379 and 1385, Froissart deals only intermittently with the affairs of the Low Countries in Books III and IV, narrating only three episodes in any detail: the conflict between Guelders and Brabant (particularly in 1388) and its consequences (11, 648-745); the first expedition against the Frisians in 1396 (III, 231-55); and the debacle of Nicopolis in 1396 (111, 226-306) and its financial repercussions. While only the first of these events was at all directly related to the major theme of the Chronicles - the Anglo-French war – all three had a bearing upon the rise of Burgundian power in the Low Countries, a development of momentous importance for the future relations of England and France, as Froissart shrewdly observed.

As an ally of England, the duke of Guelders was a threat to Brabant, forcing the duchess Joan of Brabant to seek French support through the mediation of Philip of Burgundy. A large-scale French invasion, led by Charles VI in person, produced a settlement in. 1388, implemented two years later.62  It was a settlement entirely favourable to Philip of Burgundy, whose co-operation with the duchess of Brabant was bought by the promise of the succession to the duchy of one of his younger sons after Joan’s death, thus confirming Philip’s rights of inheritance through his mother-in-law, a younger sister of. Joan of Brabant. On this, Froissart commented with considerable insight: `He (Philip) was a great power by his marriage with the heiress of Flanders, and daily expecting to inherit Brabant also’, adding `if, therefore, in times to come, these countries should quarrel with France, and unite themselves, as they had formerly done, with England, they would be an overmatch for her’ (III, 185; Johnes.II, 558). These words look back to the alliance of 1338 but also forward to the treaty of Troyes of 1420.

It is noticeable- that while Froissart does treat the expedition against the Frisians in 1396 – by which Albert of Bavaria tried to secure his title as lord of Friesland – in some detail, he totally ignores the domestic politics of Holland and Zeeland. which, among other things, led to a temporary rupture between Albeit of Bavaria and his son, William of Ostrevant,63 although Froissart does mention the differences of opinion between father and son (III, 93, 231). Froissart’s remarks about William of Ostrevant show that he had a sympathy for this chivalrous prince. Perhaps he did not want to believe the rumours about William’s activities against his father; particularly as he admired Albert of Bavaria too. The indifference of his patron, Guy of Blois, to the party struggles in Holland (despite his interests there) may also help to account for Froissart’s lack of-interest in the subject. Finally, these conflicts were against the Burgundian interest (with which Froissart sympathised at this time), since they threatened the inheritance of William of Ostrevant, son-in-law of the duke of Burgundy.

The reconciliation between father and son was sealed by William’s participation in the expedition against the Frisians, though he had at first intended to join the Nicopolis expedition instead (III, 231): Both Richard II and (on the insistence of Philip of Burgundy) Charles VI sent troops to aid the expedition, despite some earlier disagreements between them over Hainault when William of Ostrevant had been awarded the Order of the Garter (III, 97-8). The expedition resulted in a victory, and another, two years later, in the conquest of Friesland (III, 253-5), though even this proved ephemeral.64

The report of the catastrophe of Nicopolis led to feverish activity, particularly by Philip of Burgundy whose son, John of Nevers, was led into captivity by the victorious sultan, Bayazid. Raising the ransom for John of Nevers forced Philip not only to pawn his valuables (III, 279) but also to appeal to his subjects in Burgundy, Artois and `more especially those of Flanders, for they abounded in wealth, from their commerce and therefore the greater load ,was laid on them’ (III, 303-4; Johnes II, 652); indeed, they agreed to an aide.65  Nor was this the extent of their generosity. For when John of Nevers returned, he was feted in Flanders according to Froissart, whose account is here confirmed by the town accounts of Bruges.66  Having shown how Philip of Burgundy mastered his inheritance in the 1380s, Froissart thus concludes his account with a demon–stration of the general, even enthusiastic acceptance of Burgundian rule towards the end of the century. The foundations of Burgundian influence in the Low Countries had been securely established by the time Froissart had completed the final book of his Chronicles.

Froissart’s information about the Netherlands, especially Ghent and Flanders, shows that he was not simply the chronicler of a declining chivalry (Coulton 1930). Possibly the son of a money-broker, Froissart was clear that war and prosperity were incompatible. His conception of proper social order was peace, maintained by a just prince who watched over the general good, in harmony with his subjects (so too the – good – representatives of towns). Precisely that stratum of society from which Froissart himself came identified itself most with princely authority; the status he reached as a cleric changes nothing, for `there cannot be a yolk of an egg without its white, nor a white without the yolk, so neither the clergy nor the lords can exist independently of each other’ (Johnes II, 145;11, 458).

Froissart was not blind to the interest of the towns, but he saw them from a restricted viewpoint. Urban rivalry was a danger to peace in the land; internal disunity in the towns could be the nucleus of. civil war and ruin. The revolt of Ghent and Flanders represented a great danger for traditional society and in one of the versions Froissart remarks that the battle of Roosebeke was won by the pillars of Christendom, knights and nobility, and that nothing more terrible could have happened . in the Christian world than a victory for the rebels, who then could have realised their aims (Cronyke, 332-3). Yet Froissart saw in this antagonism no reason for implacable hostility: he believed that princes had a duty to take into account the interests of their urban subjects, who in their turn had to respect the existing order. In this respect Froissart was a defender of the Society of Orders.(cf. Fourquin 1978: 38ff). The way in which Philip of Burgundy, who pushed through what he had planned (II, 325; Cronyke, 505), came finally to a reconciliation with Ghent received Froissart’s approval: no revenge but an attempt to lay the foundations for a lasting peace.

War above all was Froissart’s subject, but he reserved his highest praise for two princes who were also his patrons, Wenceslas of Brabant and Luxemburg and Guy of Blois, by writing that they lived without waging war or oppressing their subjects, they made no evil laws nor did they uphold evil customs (II, 654). This is the expression of the real antithesis, so brilliantly depicted in the fourteenth-century frescos in the town hall of Siena: that between mal and bon governo.

Froissart’s Chronicles are not amenable to one single interpretation, and his account of events is not supported by a consistent view of society. He is hardly believable as an advocate of peace, given his great attention and respect for knightly prowess which without war could only be displayed in toumaments.67 The peace which Froissart wished see retained was civil peace, whereby the prosperity of his subjects would allow the prince and his knights to carry out their function in just wars.

Froissart hardly took sides in the conflict of the knights. Whether they were French, English or other knights, the results of their actions remained the same, though in the course of the years, there are signs of a shift in sympathy from the English via the French to the Burgundian side: `Froissart, fenfant terrible de la chevalerie, nous raconte trahisons et cruautes sans fin, sans trop s’apercevoir de la contradiction entre ses conceptions generales et le contenu de son recit.68

It is otherwise in his treatment of the conflict in Flanders and Ghent. Here Froissart chose the side neither of the count nor of his subjects: he chose moderation, mesure, personified in the actions of Philip of Burgundy. This made him an enemy of the rebels and a supporter of those who tried to bring an end to the conflict by negotiation. It was the Flemish orgueil which he condemned, which first led to rebelliousness, and then to the destruction of many. This did not blind him to the courage of those of Ghent and Flanders, but it was a courage which led to the unnecessary spilling of blood.

Froissart was influenced by fear of the overthrow of the established order.69 He knew very well that armies of knights did not refrain from taking ecclesiastical as well as lay property; but such actions did not stem from any animosity to the existing social order. It was otherwise, however, with the attitude of the rebels in England, France and Flanders. They turned in the first instance against the nobility and their property, but – although sometimes promises were made to spare the church’s property (I, 408) – in the end nothing will be spared, not the church, not the clergy, not the rich people of all lands; even the towns would have been destroyed (I, 376, cf. II, 252; Cronyke, 332-3).



End Notes

* All references to the Chronicles are to the volume and page of the Buchon edition (1840) unless otherwise stated.

1. I would like to thank Dr J. L. Price, who translated the original Dutch text; Professor H. P. H. Jansen            for his stimulating critical remarks, and Dr J. J. N. Palmer for his friendly support in producing the final draft.

2.Buchon III, 446, 453; Diller, 280: Flemings and Brabantines require English wool. Hugenholtz (1973: 84) calls the first phase of the Hundred Years War `The Wool Phase’. Cf. Kerling 1954: 15-22, 59, 60; Munro 1977: 229-38; and, in general, Nicholas 1976.

3. III, 453, 457-9, 471; Diller, 260-2, 273, 280ff. Cf. Van Vessem 1966: 49-54; Lucas 1929: 240-83, 339-52, 358-67.

4. At the instigation of James van Artevelde, according to Froissart: 1, 85-6; Diller, 341-3. On the Flemings in France: 1, 104; Diller, 401.

5. Froissart on Van Artevelde: De Pauw 1920; cf. Van Werveke 1963: 88, 97-8.

6. Cf. Lucas 1929: 204-33, 265-6. On the poorterie, Nicholas 1976: 15-16 and the literature cited there; Rogghe 1941x: 21-2; Roggh6 1944; Van Werveke 1963: 10. Such divisions were not unusual: Fourquin 1978: 63ff, 73-4 (Van Artevelde no `well-to-do fuller’!); Heers 1977: 241-2. See also chap. 1 above.

7. Cf. Pirenne 1908: 122-3: only three towns involved. On the position of the three towns: Nicholas 1968; 1971x, b; 1976; Van Uytven and Blockmans 1969: 400, 414-15.

8. Rogghe 1941b: 14; recognition of the Quarter of Ghent in 1343: Nicholas 1971b: 103.

9. In general, Rogghe 1968; Nicholas 1971; Godding 1973.

10. Diller, 633-9. Cf. De Pauw 1905; Roggh6 1941x: 45-8; 1941b: 30-5; Van Werveke 1963: 83-94; Lucas 1929: 520-7.

11. De Pauw 1920: 239-40, 243, 621-62: Van Artevelde in correspondence with England. Cf. Rogghe. 1941 b: 25; Van Werveke 1963: 11-12. See also Fryde 1962, 1967.

12. I; 206-7; Diller, 636-41. The Flemings wished to participate actively in the siege of Calais, but were sent elsewhere by Edward III: I; 264; Diller, 827; cf. Lucas 1929: 553-4, 567-8.

13. I, 257-9, 283-4; Diller, 797-809, 822-3, 878-9; here, too, there are differ–ences between the two versions. Cf. Lucas 1929: 559-65, 569, 571-2, 576-8.

14. He mentions the Flemish refusal to accept Louis of Male as their count in 1347: Diller, 822-3.

15. E.g. 1, 58, 61-2, 69, 73-4, 75; Diller, 254-8, 292-3, 297, 308-12, 316-18. See Lucas 1929: 664, index s.v. John III, and chapter 10 below.

16. Diller, 319-20: William IV leaves Edward III; 326-30: William joins Philip VI; 354-5: William against Philip VI (cf. I, 77, 80, 90); Lucas 1929: 334, 384-5. After the truce of Esplechin and the peace negotiations of Arras (1340) from which he was absent, William IV is not mentioned by Froissart before his siege of Utrecht and expedition to Friesland in 1345: I, 124-7, 207-8; Diller 454-7, 460-1, 642-6. Cf. Lucas 1929: 421 (William IV at Esplechin).

17. The main source for this episode is the Dutch version of Froissart’s Chronicles, translated about 1430 by Gerrit Potter van der LOO; and partly edited by De Pauw 1898: only the account of Flemish affairs has been published. The manuscript of the Dutch version (a copy written about 1470 according to an annotation of the scriptor Jan Heynrich Paedssenz) is preserved in the University Library of Leyden, BPL 31,11;, only two volumes are still available (of probably 5: the scriptor noted at the end of the second volume (f. 263r) that at that moment (26 Jan. 1470) he had finished copying the fourth volume of the Dutch translation by Gerrit Potter van der Loo; another manuscript of this Dutch version (Book III only) is preserved in the Royal Library at the Hague, 130B 21). The first volume contains Book II, the second Book III (of which De Pauw has edited fos. 98v-9v), so the Dutch translation of the first and fourth books of Froissart’s Chronicles has been lost. Comparison of the Dutch text with the French of Buchon shows that the Dutch version is more extensive. Froissart originally wrote till c.1386 a Chronique de Flandre, totally devoted to the events between 1378 and 1385 (with a short addition about the death of Francis Ackerman in 1386 and the arrival of the duke and duchess of Burgundy in Bruges in November of the same year), which as a whole is preserved at Paris (BN Fr. 5004) and of which large fragments are to be found in the town library of Cambrai (MSS 677, 700). Later on, Froissart made corrections in this first draft and inserted it in his second book in an abbreviated form. The Dutch text of Gerrit Potter van der Loo is not just a translation of the final version of Book II; he probably translated a manuscript of Book II including a larger version of the original Chronique de Flandre than that normally inserted in Book II. Comparison of the Leyden MS with the BN 5004 version of theChronique de Flandre as well as one or more of the manuscripts of Froissart’s Book II or of all books of his Chronicles (e.g. BN Fr. 5006; Leyde UB, Vossius fol. gall. 9II) might solve this problem. Compare also Froissart’s story with for example Pirenne 1902 and De Pauw 1909. There exists no modern comprehensive analysis of the events in Flanders between 1379 and 1385; cf. Quicke 1947: 291-411.

18. Mollat and Wolff 1973: 138-210, esp. 162-78; cf. Fourquin 1978: 155-8; Vaughan 1979: 16-38. On’ Ghent: Demuynck 1951; Wynant 1972; Van Oost 1973. Bruges: De Smet 1947, 1958; Van Oost 1978. Cf. also De Cuyper 1961.

19. Van Werveke 1968; Nicholas 1976; Blockmans 1979.

20. II, 83; Cronyke, 59: the small trades had brought Bruges to Ghent’s side in 1379. Cf. II, 92; Cronyke, 84-7: controversies in Ypres and Bruges; Nicholas 1976. Occupation analysis of populations: e.g. Prevenier 1975; Nicholas 1978 (Ghent, Bruges).

21. II, 66-74, 78, 88, 143, 174, 340; Cronyke, 4-6, 8-11, 14-15, 18, 21-7, 32, 42, 68-70, 121, 143-4, 517 (the feud); Van Herwaarden 1978: 7-13, 48-52, 62-3 and literature cited there. Cf. Heers 1977: 205ff; Fourquin 1978: 60-2, 116ff.

22. II, 143, 145, 174; Cronyke, 121, 127, 144. Cf. Diller, 270: in his last version of Book I Froissart denominates the forces of James van Artevelde as `Blans Caperons’; cf. De Pauw and Vuylsteke 1874: 242,350-1 (1338); 1880: 424 (1345).

23. Heers 1977: 286, 1970:-113. It is’ rather ironical to see that the shipmen’s guild in 1385 was considered by the French king, Charles VI, as one of the most conciliatory guilds in Ghent, Vuylsteke 1893: 487, n. l.

24. 11, 81-3; Cronyke, 53-9. Blockmans and Van Uytven (1969: 416-8) considered this reconciliation as `a constitutional text’ which never has been put in action.

25. Johnes I, 695; II, 197; Cronyke, 152. Quicke 1947: 307,311-12, cf. 386-94.

26. II, 91; Cronyke; 79. Devillers 1883: 288-91 (nos. DLXXX, DLXXXI).

27. Holland, Zeeland: II, 91-2; Cronyke, 81-3 (Hainault knights against Ghent); II, 173, 197, 304; Cronyke, 140, 150, 458-9. Liege towns: II, 136, 172, 197; Cronyke, 97, 139, 151; 193. Brabant towns: 11, 136, 197-8; Cronyke, 97, 150-6, 194. Neither Brabant, Hainault, Zeeland nor Holland against Ghent: II, 170; Cronyke, 132-3. Also rejoicings in Louvain and other Brabant towns after the victory of Ghent near Bruges in May 1382; the duchess and duke were’ aware of it `but it behoved them to shut their eyes and ears, for it was not he moment to notice them’ (Johnes I, 707; II, 210; Cronyke, 194):

28. E.g. 11, 199-200, 201-3; Cronyke, 140-1; 145, 154-5, 157; 161, 165 (differences between both versions). Cf. Vuylsteke 1893: 271-3: August 1381, negotiations at Oedelem; October 1381 at Harelbeke; 274-6: messengers to Brabant (end of 1381); 303-7: messengers to Brabant, Hainault, Liege (spring 1382).

29. Vuylsteke 1893: passim. A summary in Quicke 1947: 314; the expedition of Ackerman to Brabant and Liege: ibid. 316-17, cf. 11; 197-8; Cronyke, 151-6`. Reactions of the count: De Pauw 1900: passim.

  1.  Cronyke, 132 ‘(not in Buchon) Froissart deplored in the last version of Book I that Van Artevelde’s murder was not avenged: Diller, 639.

31. Johnes I, 582 (translation adapted); 11, 73; Cronyke, 29. Rural land invest–ment: Nicholas 1971a: 267 ff:

32. II, 143-4; Cronyke, 121-2; cf. II, 339-40; Cronyke, 515. Also for example II, 78; Cronyke, 42: the death of Jan Hyoens pleased the Mayhuus-clan, the deans of the lesser trades and the supporters of the count.

33. II, 81-2, 85-8; Cronyke, 55-70. See also Vuylsteke 1893: 441 (1379), 447 (new magistracy), 167 (1380), 251 (1381), 313 (1382), 467=8 (1383), 473 (1384). Cf. Roggh6 1950.

34. II, 170; Cronyke, 133: there (mistakenly) the dean of the weavers. On 6 July 1381 the dean of the weavers was killed because he had failed to prepare Ghent’s defence, De Pauw 1909: 21. De Pauw 1900: 406: Jacob Soyszone, the dean of the butchers killed (in 1385 the butchers, together with the poorterie, shipmen, old-clothes men and bakers were considered the most conciliatory guilds by Charles VI, Vuylsteke 1893: 487, n. l).

35. Johnes I, 649; II, 146; Cronyke, 131. Confiscations: De Pauw 1900: passim; De Smet 1958; Van Oost 1973; cf. Vuylsteke 1893: 272: Philip van Artevelde with five others and a clerk administered confiscations during twenty-eight days, De Pauw 1920: 346.

36. II, 302, Cronyke, 456-7. Cf. De Pauw 1909: 42: the lord of Herzele wished Artevelde’s surrender (Nov. 1382); ibid. 46: he left the army near Roosebeke.

37. II, 174; Cronyke, 146-7. Cf. Vuylsteke 1893: 272-3: both were involved in the negotiations at Harelbeke (October 1381); De Pauw 1909: 30: Simon Bette killed without any indications of the reasons; 32: Ghisebrecht de Grutere killed for many reasons (among others the deliverance of Jan Perneel, see n.39) and treason. De Pauw 1900: 405: according to the bailiff’s account of Oudenaarde (13 January – 5 May 1382) Ghisebrecht de Grutere, Jan Sleipstaf and two others were killed shortly after Artevelde’s coming to power. De Pauw 1909: 33: after the death of Ghisebrecht de Grutere and Simon Bette three others, among whom- Jan Sleipstaf, were killed.

38. II, 90, 172, 290, 292; Cronyke, 74, 138, 442-3: the count would not make friends with Ghent; 11, 91, 133, 135; Cronyke, 79, 86-7; 95: merciless attitude of the count in Ypres (1380), Bruges (1381) and again in Ypres (1381).

39. II, 90; Cronyke, 77, 79: Jan Perneel sacrificed by the poorterie (cf. n.37); II, 91, 144, 173; Cronyke, 83, 124, 143: a reconciliation would can sacrificing the leaders; 11, 199;Cronyke, 159-61: all men between 15 and 60 (except priests and monks) should be surrendered to the mercy of the count, 11, 143; Cronyke, 120: `It will be better that twenty orthirty should suffer than a whole city’ (Johnes 1, 647).

40. II, 242; Cronyke, 298: the Ghentish captain of Ypres and some others were killed; 11, 243-4; Cronyke, 302-3; 305-6. Cf. however, De Pauw 1900: 244ff: where these acts are attributed to the count who ordered the executions at Ypres. Froissart certainly points to the merciless attitude of John of Jumont (a native of Hainault), who as sovereign-bailiff of Flanders executed many supporters of Ghent, 11, 309-10; Cronyke, 473-4 (cf. De Pauw 1900: 267, 439; Van Rompaey 1967: 614: in office 7 Aug. 1382 – 27 Jan. 1386). In the bailiffs’ accounts about 654 or 655 executions in consequence of the war are mentioned, among which about 42 executions of Englishmen; 7 people had their ears cut off, 2 were stretched on ladders, another lost his tongue and yet another his fist; in the same period there were 11 `normal’ executions of criminals. See also De Pauw 1900: passim; De Smet 1947, cf. Mertens 1974.

41. II, 220; Cronyke, 225-7. Froissart mentions as participants for Ghent Francis Ackerman, Rage van der Voorde, Louis de Vos, ser Jan Scotelair,, Martin van den Watere and James die Bruwere; the Urbanistic bishop John of West was also a member of the embassy. Froissart confused the summer embassy with that of October, in which Rase van der Voorde represented Ghent, but de Vos, Scotelair and die Bruwere Bruges (Vuylsteke 1893: 458). It seems unlikely that Ackerman was a member of that embassy. As ruwaard of Sluys (De Pauw 1900: 153) and admiral of the Flemish fleet (ibid. 134) his attendance was more necessary elsewhere. Ackerman’s sojourn at Calais in November 1382 as a member of the embassy (II, 256-7; Cronyke, 294, 346-8) is quite uncertain. After the disaster of Roosebeke Ackerman possibly went by ship to England; when it became clear that Ghent remained inviolate he returned (eventually via Calais) and was chosen as one of the leaders of the town (II, 265; Cronyke, 354).

42. Cf. Vuylsteke 1893: 270: a clerk of the English king arrived at Ghent (17 November 1381).

43. Artevelde as a friend of the English: II, 216, 218, 222; Cronyke, 214, 222, 231 (in each case in the opinion of the French); the blockade: Prevenier 1973.

44. Palmer 1972: 22-3, 227-8, 245-8; De Pauw 1900: 347.

45. Palmer 1972: 23, 44-5, 227.

46. II, 208; Cronyke, 186; Quicke 1947: 331.

47. Quicke 1947: 332-4. Vuylsteke 1893: 328: inspection of the fleet; 329: embassy of Ghent on 13 Sept. 1382 to England; 330: Flemish embassy on 17 Oct. 1382 to England; 457-9. De Pauw 1920: 364-5: credentials of the embassy; 368-70: instruction: among other things confirmation of old privileges (as during James van Artevelde, copied shortly before this embassy, Vuylsteke 1893: 344) and the wool-staple at Ghent’s disposal (= for three years at Bruges).

48. E.g. De Pauw 1900: 225-6, 229, 230-2, 236-8, 318, 322, 367, 449, 452.

49. Ibid. 230-2, 260, 322, 324-6, 420-3, 449, 451, 545.

50. II, 254-5; Cronyke, 340-1. The sums of money required in consequence of this kind of treaty had to be paid directly by the magistracy or other authorities; they borrowed the money from merchants and money lenders who had to be repaid with interest by citizens and inhabitants. This could only be done by forced loans and taxation; sometimes – when the necessity could be shown and the count and/or the Members of Flanders agreed – such a taxation could be imposed on a much larger scale than merely on the persons and goods of the city or area concerned. The taxation in question was called Bertoenengeld (money for the Bretons): De Pauw 1900: 233, 250, which roused armed resistance in Dunkirk (spring 1383) and perhaps, also in St Winoksbergen.

52. He mentions the rejoicing in French communalties such as Paris and Rouen after the victory of Ghent in May 1382 (II, 210; Cronyke, 193; cf. Quicke 1947: 322) and the remark of Philip van Artevelde before Roosebeke that the communalties of France and England would applaud a Flemish victory (II, 245; Cronyke, 311); cf. Petit-Dutaillis 1970: 160-6.

52. I, 376 (Jacquerie); II, 242; Cronyke, 300-1; II, 259-65. Cf. Mollat and Wolff 1973: 169-75. Compare for example the actions of Ghent against the comital stronghold Wondelgem and the knightly goods in the surroundings of the city (II, 75, 91; Cronyke, 31-4, 80).

53. Palmer 1972: 10; cf. 47: mistakenly, May.

54. A laborious process: II, 259; Cronyke, 353-4. Cf. De Pauw 1909: 50; Quicke 1947: 377-9; Van Asseldonk 1955: 68. Louis of Male remained Urbanist until his death: II, 60.

55. II, 292, 294; Cronyke, 442-4. On these negotiations: Palmer 1972: 50-4.

56.On the crusade: Skalweit 1898; Wrong 1892; Quicke 1947: 341-52; criticism: Barnie 1974: 124.

57. II, 303-7; Cronyke, 457-70; cf. Toth-Ubbens 1964/5; Palmer 1972:

58. Van Asseldonk 1955: 69, 72-3, 74ff; cf. Palmer 1972: 192.

59. II, 497-8, 500-1, 504 (pillages), 513, 526-7,.530-4 (531: riots in Bruges); Gilliodts van Severen 1815: 89-95, 97-103; Palmer 1972: 72-81, 84-5.

60. II, 349-50, 499-500; Cronyke, 551-4. Palmer (1972: 91, 95-6, 231-2) maintains that Ackerman was involved in relations between England and Ghent in 1387. In my opinion, however, Ackerman was dead by this date and it- was his son – also named Francis – who was involved. This son is mentioned in 1383, when he assisted his father in the surprise of Oudenaarde and the pillaging of its suburbs (De Pauw 1909: 63; cf. 11, 284-6; Cronyke, 422-7). Palmer cites Hanserecesse 11, 414 in support of his view; but the reference to the events mentioned there – said to have occurred in July 1383 - is itself confused, and the events in question took place either shortly after May 1382, when Ackerman was Artevelde’s ruwaard in Sluys (De Pauw 1900: 153) or, more probably, in July 1385, after Ackerman had conquered Damme (cf. 11, 209, 321-2; Cronyke, 189, 494). But in any case, it is clear that this source does not. refer to 1387, so Palmer’s belief that Ackerman senior was alive in that year must be wrong.

61. Kerling 1954: passim; Alberts and Jansen 1977: 184-5, 248ff.

62. See for a detailed’ account of this question: Laurent and Quicke 1939; a short survey especially about the dynastic aspects: Alberts 1966: 67-84.

63.Jansen 1966; Van Foreest 1963-4: 1965-6.

64. Cf. Verwijs 1869.’A group of Dutch historians led by Dr D. E. H. de Boer, Drs D. Faber and Prof. H.P.H. Jansen (University of Leyden) is preparing an edition of the comital accounts of 1394-6, in which much will be found about the preparations of the expedition of 1396.

65. Froissart mentions several times the Italian banker Dino Rapondi, who was living in Bruges and who had performed services for Philip of Burgundy since 1369 (III, 279, 294-6; cf. Gilliodts van Severen 1875: 277-93). He died at Bruges in 1414; on him: Mirot 1928. On the aide in Flanders: Prevenier 1961a: 75, 197; Vaughan 1979: 72ff; Flemish refusal to pay in 1400: ibid. 75; cf. Gilliodts van Severen 1875: 287-9, 394-5, 397-400: Bruges had to pay 18,232 nobles to Dino Rapondi.

66. III, 306; Gilliodts van Severen 1875: 395-6, 397-400.

67. It has to be mentioned here that in his account of events between 1379-85 in Flanders, Froissart sometimes praises Flemish protagonists but only the knightly Raas van Liedekerke, captain of Ghent in 1381, obtains Froissart’s praise for his prowess, II, 140; Cronyke, 109. See also on him: De Liedekerke 1961.

68. Huizinga 1949: 521.

69. See also on the subject Hugenholtz 1967 who came to different conclusions. The analysis of the work of medieval historians as symbolic of the structure of society and as a reflection on that structure has also been atempted by Van Gerven 1979, in discussion with Van der Eerden 1979 (concerning the works of the Brabant poet Jan van Boendale, written between 1316, and c-1350).

 

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