chapter  6
22 Pages

The fragile peace of 1420–21

One week after its fall, Henry had ridden into Pontoise to establish his headquarters less than twenty miles from Paris. Now, from the mighty bluff upon which his newly acquired fortress soared, his gunners and archers could fi re down upon the barges bringing supplies to the enemy along the river Oise. And now, too, the whole surrounding area could be subjected to the kind of systematic terror that was intended to sap the enemy’s will to fi ght. ‘In those days’, wrote the Bourgeois of Paris, ‘the only news one heard concerned the ravages of the English.’ ‘Pillaging, killing and robbing’ as they went, Henry’s troops were able, it seems, to spread ruin and devastation at will, ‘sending everything, loot and prisoners, back to England’. ‘No Saracen’, the Bourgeois concluded, ‘ever harmed Christians so sorely.’1