The place named Cressey (Crecy) is a village of Somme in Northern France, noted, but brought from obscurity to fame as the scene of the decisive victory in 1346 of King Edward III of England over King Philip VI of France, and other allies. King Philip marched from Abbeville, forded the Somme river to Cressey, where the battle took place. King Edward used the much boasted windmill for an observatory.
The ``Black Prince'' was the foremost leader of the English army and he so gallantly won his spurs that his father, the King, took the hero in his arms and kissed him.
It was Saturday, the 26th of August, 1346. On that memorable day, that picturesque old figure of the battle of Cressey, the blind and gray-headed King John of Bohemia, son of one monarch and father of another, was slain linked to two of his knights with their horses fastened to each other by the bridles and fighting most valiantly with his sword to his death.
The thought is an inspiring one. The ghastly sight the next day moved King Edward to tears. But that did not prevent him taking the motto (I Serve) and feathers of the dead monarch for his own and the princes of Wales have ever since retained them. The English took 9 princes, over 1,200 knights, 1,500 lords, and over 4,000 men-at-arms. The victory was the pride and boast of the English for centuries. They fought with bows and arrows, swords and small cannon. King John is one of the few characters of history that the despoiling hand of the ``fact-lover'' has not touched, and the story of his gallant bearing remains today in all its simple majesty.
In 1896 he had a monument raised to his memory after more than 500 years of neglect.
This famous village was from that day to be widely known to fame as the place where the great ``Plantagenet,'' or members of the English royal family, a line of Kings which ruled England for nearly 350 years, after being so keenly hunted, turned to bay. It was Cressey.