Peel Agincourt Diary: 25 October (entry 12)

I began to wonder what would happen to the mortal remains of the countless dead who lay upon the field. There were far too many to see proper Christian burial by our people. I did not even know if all of our own dead will receive proper rites, as they should. I went to the edge of the battlefield to offer prayers for the repose of those souls. Rain was falling and I imagined it as the tears of the our Savior and His saints for all the good Christian souls sent to judgement this day. When I came upon the site of the king’s God-given victory, I saw that there were men and women moving among the dead. From bits of talk that I heard, I knew them to be French. What our people had not taken from the dead, they did. I heard exclamations from one group, then a weak voice calling for succor. That group drew into a tight knot. I thought that I saw a glint of metal and there followed a scream that stopped abruptly. These people were busy for a few moments before the departed, carrying burdens. I knew what I had witnessed was no more or less than our own peopled had done, but the thought that these French men and women were so far into the shadow of the devil’s wings so as to do as they had done to their own countryman made my soul shiver. I fled back to our camp.

Thoughts of the dead still beset me. I take small comfort in knowing that at least our fallen nobles will receive their due, as is right and proper. I have been told that the corpses of the duke of York and the earl of Suffolk, since they can neither be embalmed nor encased in lead to seal in the putrefaction, are being prepared. They have been quartered and are now being boiled in order that the flesh may come away from the bones. When this is accomplished, their bones will be reverently placed in a small coffer that they may be carried back to England for interment with all due ceremony in a final resting place fit for their station.

I will pray for their souls and all the souls of the departed until God, in His mercy, sends me sleep.

Leave a Reply