The Battle of Agincourt


STC 198
Brown and Robbins 969, Ringler 198 and TP 499.3. Ptd. Sir Nicholas Harris Nicolas, History of the Battle of Agincourt_ (2nd ed., 1832), pp. 69-77; W. C. Hazlitt, _Remains_, 2 (1866), pp. 93-108. Read for OED. UMI microfilm reel 906.

The Batayll of Egyngecourte
London: John Skot,1536(?).

Composition Date: c.1443 [Ringler].

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¶Here-after foloweth the batayll of Egyngecourte and the great sege of Rone by kynge Henry of Monmouthe the fyfthe of the name that wan Gascoyne and Gyenne and Normandye.

GOd that all this worlde dyde make
And dyed for vs vpon a tree
Saue england for mary thy mothers sake
As thou art stedfast god in trynyte
5 And saue kynge Henry soule I beseche the
That was full gracyouse and good with-all
A courtyouse knyght and kynge ryall
Of Henry the fyfthe noble man of warre
Thy dedes may neuer forgoten be
10 Of knyghthod thou were the very lodestarre
In thy tyme Englande floured in prosperyte
Thou mortall myrrour of all cheualry
Though thou be not set amonge the worthyes nyne.
Yet wast thou a conqueroure in thy tyme
15 Our kynge se[n]de in-to Fraunce full rathe sende] seade 1536
His harraude that was good and sure
He desyred his hertyage for to haue
That is Gascoyne and Gyen and Normandye
He bad the Dolphyne delyuer / it shulde be his
20 All that belongyd to the fyrst Edwarde
And yf he sayd me nay I_wys
I wyll get it with dent of swerde
But than answered the Dolphyne bolde
By our inbassatours sendynge agayne
25 Me-thynke that your kynge is not so olde
Warres great for to mayntayne
Grete well he sayd your comely kynge
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That is bothe gentyll and small
A tun full of tenysballes I wyll hym send
30 For to play hym therwithall
Than bethought our lordes all
In Fraunce they wolde no lenger abyde
They toke theyr leue bothe greate and small
[A]nd home to Englande gan they ryde And] Tnd 1536
35 To our kynge they tolde theyr tale to the ende
What that the Dolphyne dyde to them saye
I wyll hym thanke than sayd the kynge
By the grace of god yf I may
Yet by his owne mynde this Dolphyne bolde
40 To our kynge he sent agaynne hastely
And prayed hym trewes for to holde
For Iesus loue that dyed on a tree
Nay than sayd our comely kynge
For in-to Fraunce wyll I wynde
45 The Dolphyne angre I trust I shall
And suche a tenys-ball I shall hym sende
That shall bere downe the hye rofe of his hall
The kynge at Westmynster lay that tyme
And all his lordes euerychone
50 As they dyde set them downe to dyne
Lordynges he sayd by saynt Iohnn
To Fraunce I thynke to take my waye
Of good councell I you praye
What is your wyll that I shall done
55 Shewe me shortly without delay
The duke of Clarence answered sone
And sayd my lege I councell you soo
And other lordes sayd we thynke it for the best
With you to be redy for to goo
60 Whyle that our lyues may endure and lest
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Gramercy syrs the kynge gan say
Our ryght I trust than shal be wonne
And I wyll quyte you yf I may
Therfore I warne you bothe olde and yonge
65 To make you redy without delay
To Southampton to take your waye
At saynt Peters tyde at Lammas
For by the grace of god and yf I maye
Ouer the salte see I thynke to passe
70 Great ordynaunce of gunnes the kynge let make
And shypte them at London all at ones
Bowes and arowes in chestes were take
Speres and bylles / with yren gunstones
And armynge-dagars made for the nones
75 With swerdes and bucklers that were full sure
And harneys bryght that strokes wolde endure
The kynge to Southampton than dyde ryde
With his lordes for no lenger wolde he dwell
Fyftene .C. fayre shyppes ther dyde hym abyde
80 With goodly sayles and topcastell
Lordes of Fraunce our kynge they solde
For a myllyant of golde as I harde say
By Englande lytell pryse they tolde
Therfore theyr songe was welawaye
85 Bytwene hampton and the yle_of_wyght
These goodly shyppes lay there at rode
With mastyardes a_crosse full semely of syght
Ouer all the hauen sprede a_brode
On euery paues a crosse rede
90 The wastes decked with serpentynes stronge
Saynt Georges stremers spred ouer-hede
With the armes of Englande hangynge all alonge
Our kynge full hastely to his shyppe yede
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And all other lordes of euery degree
95 Euery shyp wayed his anker in-dede
With the tyde to hast them to the see
They hoysed theyr sayles a_lofte sayles] sayles sayled 1536
A goodly syght it was to see
The wynde was good and blew but softe
100 And fourth they wente in the name of the trynyte
Theyr course they toke towarde Normandy
And passed ouer in a daye and a nyght
So in the seconde morn[i]nge yerly morninge] mornonge 1536
Of that contrye they had a syght
105 And euer they drew nere the coste
Of the day glad were they all
And whan they were at the shore almost
Euery shyp his anker let fall
With theyr takyls they launched many a longe-bote
110 And ouer hache threw them in-to the streame
A thousande shortly they sawe a_flote
With men-of-armes that lyth dyde seme
Our kynge landed at Cottaunses without delay
On our lady euen th'assumpcyon
115 And to Hartflete they toke the way
And mustered fayre before the towne
Our kynge his banner there dyde splay
With standerdes bryght and many penowne
And there he pyght his tent adowne
120 Full well broydered with armory gaye
Fyrst our comely kynges tente with the crowne
And all other lordes in good aray
My brother Clarence the kynge dyde say
The toures of the towne wyll I kepe
125 With her doughters and her maydens gay
To wake the frenchemen of theyr slepe
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London he sayd shall with hym mete
And my gunnes that lyeth fayre vpon the grene
For they shall playe with Harfflete
130 A game at tennys as I wene
Goo we to game for goddes grace
My chyldren be redy euerychone
For euery great gunne that there was
In his mouthe he had a stone
135 The Capytayne of Herfflet soone anone
U[n]to our kynge he sent hastely
To knowe what his wyll was to done
For to cume thyther with suche a meny
Delyuer me the towne the kynge sayd
140 Nay sayd the Capytayne by god and by saynt Denys
Than shall I wynne it sayd our kynge
By the grace of god and of his goodnes
Some hard tennys-balles I haue hyther brought
Of marble and yren made full rounde
145 I swere by Iesu that me dere bought
They shall bete the walles to the grounde
Than sayd the greate gunne
Holde felowes we go to game
Thanked be Mary and Iesu her sone
150 They dyde the frenchemen moche shame
Fyftene afore sayd London tho
Her balles full fayre she gan out throwe
Thyrty sayd the seconde gun I wyll wyn and I may
There as the wall was moost sure
155 They bare it downe without nay
The kynges doughter sayd herken this playe
Harken maydens nowe this tyde
Fyue and forty we haue / it is no nay
They bete downe the walles on euery syde
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160 The Normandes sayde let vs not abyde
But go we in haste by one assent
Where-so-euer the gunstones do glyde
Our houses in Herfflete is all to_rent
The englysshemen our balwarkes haue brent
165 And women cryed alas that euer they were borne
The frenchemen sayd now be we shent
By vs now the towne is forlorne
It is best now theyrfore
That we beseche this englysshe kynge of grace
170 For to assayle vs no more
Leste he dystroye vs in this place
Than wyll we byd the Dolphyne make hym redy
Or elles this towne delyuered must be
Messengers went fourth by and by
175 And to our kynge come they
The lorde Corgraunte certaynly
For he was Capytayne of the place
And Gelam_Bowser with hym dyde hye
With other lordes more and lasse
180 And whan they to our kynge come were
Full lowly set them on theyr kne
Hayle comely kynge gan they saye
Cryste saue the from aduersyte
Of truse we wyll beseche the
185 Untyll that it be sunday noone
And yf we may not recouered be
We wyll delyuer the towne
Than sayd our kynge full soone
I graunte you grace in this tyde
190 One of you shall fourthe anone
And the remnaunt shall with me abyde
Theyr Capytayne toke his nexte waye
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And to Rone faste gan he ryde
The Dolphyne he had thought there to founde
195 But he was gone he durste not abyde
For helpe the Capytayne besought that t[i]de tide] tede 1536
Herfflete is lost for euer and aye
The walles ben beten downe on euery syde
That we no lenger kepe it may
200 Of counseyll all he dyde them pray
What is your wyll that I may done
We must ordeyne the kynge batayll by sonday
Or elles delyuer hym the towne
The lordes of Rone to_gyther dyde rowne
205 And bad the towne shulde openly yelde
The kyng of englande fareth as a lyon
We wyll not mete with hym in the felde
The Capytayne wolde than no lenger abyde
And towarde Harfflete came he ryght
210 For so faste he dyde ryde
That he was there the same nyght
And whan he to oure kynge dyde come
Lowly he set hym on his kne
Hayle comely prynce than dyde he say
215 The grace of god is with the
Here haue I brought the keys all
Of Harfflete that is so royall a cytye
All is yours bothe chambre and hall
And at your wyll for to be
220 Thanked be Iesu sayd our kynge
And Mary his mother truely
Myne vncle Dorset without lettynge
Capytayne of Herfflete shall he be
And all that is within the cytye
225 A whyle yet they shall abyde
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To amende the Walles in euery degre
That is beten downe on euery syde
And after that they shall out_ryde
To other townes ouer-all
230 Wyfe nor chylde shall not there abyde
But haue them forthe bothe great and small
One and twenty .M. men myght se
Whan they went out full sore dyde wepe
The great gunnes and ordynaunce truely
235 Was brought in-to Herfflete
Great sykenes amonge our hoste was in good fay
Whiche kylled many of our englysshemen
There dyed by_yonde .vii. score vpon a day
Alyue there was lefte but thousandes .x.
240 Our kynge hym-selfe into the castell yede
And rested hym there as longe as his wyll was
At the laste he sayd lordes so god me spede
Towarde Calayes I thynke to passe
After that Herfflete was gotten that royall cytye
245 Through the grace of god omnypotente
Our comely kynge made hym redy soone
And towarde Calayes fourthe he wente
My brother Glocestre veramente
Here wyll we no lenger abyde
250 And Cosyn of yorke this is oure entent
With vs fourth ye shall this tyde
My Cosyn Huntyngdon with vs shall ryde
And the Erle of Oxenforde with you thre
The duke of Southfolke by our syde
255 He shall come fourthe with his meny
And the Erle of Deuounshyre sykerly
Syr thomas_harpynge that neuer dyde fayle
The lorde Broke that come hartely
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And syr Iohnn of cornewall
260 Syr Gylberde_Umfrey that wolde vs auayle
And the lorde clyfforde so god me spede
Syr wyllyam_Bouser that wyll not fayle
For all thy wyll helpe yf it be nede
Our kynge rode fourth blessyd mought he be
265 He spared neyther dale ne downe
By waters greate fast rode he
Tyll he cam to the water of sene
The frenchemen threwe the brydge adowne
That ouer the water they myght not passe
270 O[u]r kynge made hym redy than
And to the towre of Turreyn wente more and lasse
The frenchemen our kynge abought becast
With batayles stronge on euery syde
The duke of Orlyaunce sayd in haste
275 The kynge of Englande shall abyde
Who gaue hym leue this waye to passe
I trust that I shall hym begyle
Full longe or he come to Calays
The duke of Burbone answeryd sone
280 And swere by god and by saynt Denys
We wyll play them euerychone
These lordes of Englande at the tenys
Theyr Gentylmen I swere by saynt Ihonn
And archers we wyll sell them greate plentye
285 And so wyll we ryd them sone
Six for a peny of our monye
Than answered the duke of Bare
Wordes that were of greate pryde
By god he sayd I wyll not spare
290 Ouer all the englysshemen for to ryde
If that they dare vs abyde
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We wyll ouerthrowe them in fere
And take them prysoners in this tyde
Than come home agayne to our dynere
295 Henry our kynge that was so good
He prepared there full ryally
Stakes he let hewe in a wood
And set them before his archers verely
The frenchemen our ordynaunce gan espye
300 They that we ordeyned for to ryde
Lyghted adowne with sorowe truely
So on theyr fote fast gan abyde
Our kynge wente vp vpon an hyll hye
And loked downe to the valyes lowe
305 He sawe where the frenchemen came hastely
As thycke as euer dyde hayle or snowe
Than kneled our kynge downe in that stounde
And all his men on euery syde
Euery man made a crosse and kyssed the grounde
310 And on theyr fete fast ganne abyde
Our kynge sayd syrs what tyme of the day
My lege they sayd it is nye pryme
Than go we to our iourney
By the grace of Iesu it is good tyme
315 For sayntes that lye in theyr shryne
To god for vs they be prayenge
All the relygyouse of Englande in this tyme
Ora pro nobis for vs they synge
Saynt George was sene ouer our hoste
320 Of very trouthe this syght men dyde se
Downe was he sente by the holygoste
To gyue our kynge the vyctory
Than blewe the trompetes merely
These two batayles to_gyther yede
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325 Our archers stode vp full hartely
And made the frenchemen fast to blede
Theyr arowes went fast without ony let
And many shot they through-out
Thorugh habergyne brestplate and bassenet
330 A .xi.M. were slayne in that route
Our gracyouse kynge as I well knowe
That day he fough[t] with his owne hande fought] fough 1536
He spared neyther hye ne lowe
There was neuer kynge in no lande
335 That euer dyd better on a daye
Wherfore Englande may synge a songe
Laus deo may we say
And other prayers euer amonge
The duke of Orlyaunce without nay
340 That day was taken prysonere
The duke of Burbone also in fere
And also the duke of Bare truely
Syr Bergygaunte he gan hym yelde
And other lordes of Fraunce many
345 Lo thus our comely kynge conquered the fyld
Be the grace of god omnypotent
He toke his presoners bothe olde and yonge
And towarde Calayes fourth he went
He shypped there with good entent
350 To Cauntorbury full fayre he passed
And offered to saynt Thomas shryne
And through Kent he rode in haste
To Eltam he cam all in good tyme
And ouer blackeheth as he was rydynge
355 Of the Cytye of London he was ware
Hayle ryall Cytye sayd our kynge
Cryste kepe the euer from sorowe and care
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And than he gaue the noble Cyte his blessyng
He prayed Iesu it myght well fare
360 To westmynster dyde he ryde
And the frenche prysoners with hym also
He raunsommed them in that tyde
And agayne to theyr contrye he let them goo
Thus of this matter I make an ende
365 To th'effecte of the batayll haue I gone
For in this boke I cannot comprehende
The greatest batayll of all called the sege of Ro[n]e Rone] Rome 1536
For that sege lasted .iii. yere and more
And there a rat was at .xl. pens.
370 For in the Cytye the people hongered sore
Women and chyldren for faute of mete were lore
And some for payne bare bones were gnawynge
That at her brestes had .ii. chyldren soukynge
Of the sege of Rone it to wryte were pytye
375 It is a thynge so lamentable
Yet euery hye feest / our kynge of his charytye
Gaue them meate to theyr bodyes comfortable
And at the laste / the towne wanne without fable
Thus of all as now I make an ende
380 To the blysse of heuen god our soules sende.

¶Thus endeth the batayll of Egyngcourt
Inpryntyd at London in Foster_lane insaynt_Leonardes parysshe by me Iohnn_Skot.