**** ROTATE **** **** ROTATE **** **** ROTATE **** **** ROTATE ****

Find this Story

Print, a form you can hold

Wireless download to your Amazon Kindle

Look for a summary or analysis of this Story.

Enjoy this? Share it!


Edward The Black Prince: The Boy Warrior
by [?]

King Philip was so determined to destroy the English army, that he had hoisted the sacred banner of France, the great scarlet flag, embroidered with the gold lily which was the emblem of France, as a sign that no mercy whatever would be shown to the English, under any conditions. When this Oriflamme, as it was called, was raised, and King Edward saw it, he realised how great the chances of his death would be, should he engage in the battle, and that this would expose, not only the army, but the whole kingdom to the gravest danger, so throughout the entire battle he remained in the tower of a wind-mill on the ridge overlooking the battle-field, while the young prince, who had only been knighted a month before, was practically left in command of the entire army, and went forward into the very heat of the combat.

When the army had been suitably arranged and every earl, baron and knight knew what he was to do in the hour of battle, King Edward mounted his small white horse and rode slowly from line to line among his men, talking earnestly to them of their duty as warriors, and urging them to defend his rights with all their strength. His words and smile were so stimulating that the men were filled with courage as they listened to him, and every man promised to do as the king wished. Then he ordered them all to eat and drink heartily, that they might be thoroughly refreshed in body as well as in spirit and after fulfilling his command, his small army, sat down on the ground at nine o’clock in the morning with their helmets and cross-bows beside them, and patiently waited for the attack of an enemy of ten times their number.

Meanwhile, King Philip and his army having crossed the Somme at last, were advancing towards them as fast as possible, and when they were only a short distance from Crecy, King Philip sent four knights ahead of the army, to reconnoitre and bring back news to him of the position and condition of the English forces.

When his knights saw the little army of the English sitting quietly on the ground, calm and courageous, ready to fight when the moment for combat should come–they went back to King Philip and advised him to allow his men who were weary after a long, hard march, to halt and rest over night, so that they might be as well fitted for the battle as the English were. King Philip felt that this was good advice and at once issued the command to halt. The foremost ranks of his horsemen obeyed the order, but the horsemen in the rear pressed forward regardless of the order, determined to have the glory of victory at once, and rode on and on, with fast and furious frenzy until they came in sight of that little army, sitting on the high ridge, waiting for their attack, when they suddenly were filled with apprehension and turned back, throwing all the unmanageable multitude of men behind them into the wildest kind of confusion, but on they charged, their every step watched by the English army, and as the young Prince saw them, in his breast beat the heart of a happy warrior on whose broad young shoulders the burden of his first great responsibility rested lightly. He had been dressed for the battle by the king’s own hand, in glistening black armour, with shield and helmet of burnished iron and the horse he rode was as black as his armour, from which he gained the title of the Black Prince, which he was called ever afterwards.

On came the French, with Philip at their head–and his great reliance at this critical moment of attack was on the skill of fifteen thousand archers from Genoa who were his most valued allies. They were extremely tired after their long march on foot, and wished to rest before the attack was made, but seeing the confusion into which his ranks had been thrown, Philip commanded them to give battle at once. They murmured, but were about to comply, when nature unexpectedly conspired to help the English forces.