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DECLINE OF THE ENGLISH POWER IN FRANCE -- QUARREL BETWEEN THE DUKES OF BEDFORD AND BURGUNDY TREATY OF ARRAS - DEATH OF THE DUKE OF BEDFORD LOSS OF PARIS -- MARRIAGE OF KING HENRY - THE ENGLISH LOSE ALL THEIR FRENCH DOMINIONS WITH THE EXCEPTION OF CALAIS - CONCLUSION.
The English no doubt thought that the death of the Maid would dispirit the French, and that they should now have no difficulty in driving King Charles out of the kingdom, and governing the whole country themselves; but they were greatly mistaken, for within twenty years after the death of Joan of Arc, the English had lost everything they possessed in France, except Calais.
The disposition to return to their obedience to King Charles became stronger
every day with the French; and although the Duke of Bedford brought over the young king and caused him to be crowned in a very magnificent manner at Paris, hoping that his presence, and the performance of this ceremony, would serve to fix the French in their adherence to England, yet it soon became very plain that their dislike to a foreign rule was continually increasing, and that the hearts of the people were fast returning to their allegiance to their own native king. The English, too, met with continual bad success in almost every skirmish. The city of Chartres was taken by the Count Dunois, and some other lords, by a stratagem; a body of English were defeated under Lord Willoughby; a daring French captain, named De Lore, actually plundered the fair which was being held at Caen, in the very centre of the English territo
ries; and even the Duke of Bedford himself, after laying siege to Lagny, was obliged to retire, by the Count of Dunois, with some dishonour. All these things showed a very different spirit in the French than they had exhibited before the Maid appeared; and it was plain that her death, so far from discouraging them, had rather increased their hatred of their enemies.
Still the English, being supported by all the power of the Duke of Burgundy, were far too strong for King Charles's party, who, however, never lost their spirits, or failed to take every opportunity of pushing forward their advanntages. But now, within two years of the death of Joan, an action of the Duke of Bedford's gave such offence to the Duke of Burgundy, that he began to seek for some pretence for break
ing off his alliance with the English, and seeking a reconciliation with King Charles.
The Duke of Bedford had married the sister of the Duke of Burgundy, and this connexion had hitherto much increased the friendship they felt for each other, and had served to keep Burgundy wholly attached to the English cause.
In 1432, the year after Joan's death, the Duchess of Bedford died, and before another twelvemonth had elapsed, the duke married a young and handsome lady, the daughter of the Count de St. Pol. The Duke of Burgundy was very angry at this, and complained that the Duke of Bedford had never had the civility to inform him of his intentions, and that so sudden a marriage was a slight on his sister's memory.
The Cardinal of Winchester did his best to reconcile the two angry princes, and brought them both to St. Omer for that
purpose. But now a new cause of
quarrel arose, which was who should first visit the other. The Duke of Bedford insisting on his dignity, as the son, brother and uncle of a king, * and moreover the Regent of France, insisted that the Duke of Burgundy should come to him. Burgundy, who prided himself on his great power, and on his being an independent prince, refused to wait upon Bedford, but expressed himself willing to meet him at any place agreed on for both to go to. Bedford was obstinate, however, and despite all the exertions of many of the lords present, and of the cardinal, who laboured hard as a peace-maker, running often backwards and forwards between the two proud princes, they both, says Monstrelet, “departed from St. Omer without anything
* He was the son of Henry IV., brother of Henry V., and uncle of Henry VI.