Peel Agincourt Diary: 12 November

There is discontent among the gathered French knights and gentlemen. They claim that they have all come to Calais, as was agreed, and that since there was the great battle at Agincourt, they are only required to pay their ransoms and sould be free to return to their homes. Had there been no battle, they say, the agreement of their paroles was that they would again be subject to imprisonment. King Henry has declared that if they had previously heard that they would be able to leave freely, they were misinformed. He holds that they are once more his prisoners.

The king has been particularly harsh with Raoul de Gaucourt, who held the town of Harfleur in defiance of him. Sir Raoul, as one would expect from a man with his reputation, has done the honorable thing, even rising from his sickbed to fulfill his vow to submit to his captor, Sir John Cornewaille. King Henry has told him that if he wishes to be free again, he must set about ransoming all of the some seven or eight score Englishmen captured during this adventure in France. He must also see to the return of all of those precious items looted from the king’s baggage during the battle at Agincourt. Further, Sir Raoul must provide two hundred casks of Beaune wine, to be shipped to the king in London.

Sir Raoul, following the advice of other French noblemen already imprisoned in Calais, has agreed to King Henry’s demands rather than risk languishing many years in English captivity.  The king has granted his request to leave Calais and arrange for all that was demanded.

[Raoul de Gaucourt  paid the ransoms of all the English prisoners he could find, redeemed all the jewels he could tracer, and sent them as well as the Beaune wine to Henry V in London. The cost to de Gaucourt was in excess of 13, 000 crowns (about £2,167). Even then, Henry did not remit de Gaucourt’s ransom, finding him still to be Cornewaille’s prisoner and thus subject to a ransom of 10,000 crowns and to remain a prisoner until it was paid. -Ed.]


Leave a Reply