Peel Agincourt Diary: 11 November

It is Martinmas.

All across the pas de Calais, those who cannot afford to feed their pigs, bullocks, sheep, goats, and geese have had these animals felled and butchered and their meat salted down for the coming winter. At least some of the people hereabouts have remembered St. Martin’s charity to a beggar and have been generous to us this day as we sit like beggars outside their city walls. For the first time since we arrived here, there is sufficient meat for the day. The archers are once again rowdy, as they were when noted sold their prisoners, for the vintners have tapped the new vintage and they are honoring their patron saint, the most excellent St. Martin. [The diarist’s high opinion of St.Martin may have some bearing on the fact that the handwriting in this entry is notably less refined than usual -Ed.] Soon the Advent season will be upon us and such feasting will be nought but a pleasant memory until we once again celebrate the coming of the Savior, our Lord Jesus Christ.

This was the day set for all of the king’s prisoners to return from parole and present themselves to him here in Calais. I have heard it said that those captured at Harfleur, those captured along the march and released before the battle at Agincourt, and even those set on parole to gather their ransom once we reached the pas de Calais have, to a man, come to here to Calais to submit to King Henry.

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