Tales from Froissart

edited by Steve Muhlberger, Nipissing University

The Porkers make war on all mankind

Despite recent truces, war has hardly ceased in Flanders.

Book II, ch. 157 (Johnes, v. II, p. 30).  At this period, there were a set of vagabonds who had taken refuge in the wood of la Respaille, and had fortified themselves in a house so strongly that it could not be taken. They had been driven out of Alost,
Grammont and other towns in Flanders: having wasted their all, and not knowing how to live otherwise than by plunder, they robbed and pillaged any one who fell in their way. The subject of universal conversation was these Porkers of la Respaille, which wood is situated between Regnais, Grammont, Anghien, and Lysines. They did much mischief in the castlewick of Ath, and on the lands of Floberge, Lysines and Anghien; and these pillagers were supported by Ghent. Under their countenance they committed many murders and robberies: they entered Hainault, from whence they dragged people out of their beds, and carried them to their fort, when they ransomed them, and thus made war on all mankind.

The lord de Baudrius and de la Morte, castellan of Ath, watched them several times, but he could never catch them, for they were too well acquainted with the means of escaping. They were so much dreaded on the borders of Hainault and Brabant that none dared to travel those roads, nor through that part of the country.

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