|Hundred Years' War|
|Part of the Anglo-French Wars|
Clockwise, from top left: The Battle of La Rochelle,
The Battle of Agincourt,
The Battle of Patay,
Joan of Arc at the Siege of Orléans
|Commanders and leaders|
The Hundred Years' War was a series of conflicts waged from 1337 to 1453 by the House of Plantagenet, rulers of the Kingdom of England, against the French House of Valois, over the right to rule the Kingdom of France. Each side drew many allies into the war. It was one of the most notable conflicts of the Middle Ages, in which five generations of kings from two rival dynasties fought for the throne of the largest kingdom in Western Europe. The war marked both the height of chivalry and its subsequent decline, and the development of strong national identities in both countries.
The House of Plantagenet was a royal house which originated from the lands of Anjou in France. The name Plantagenet is used by modern historians to identify four distinct royal houses: the Angevins, who were also counts of Anjou; the main body of the Plantagenets following the loss of Anjou; and the Plantagenets' two cadet branches, the houses of Lancaster and York. The family held the English throne from 1154, with the accession of Henry II, until 1485, when Richard III died in battle.
The Kingdom of England was a sovereign state on the island of Great Britain from 927, when it emerged from various Anglo-Saxon kingdoms until 1707, when it united with Scotland to form the Kingdom of Great Britain.
The House of Valois was a cadet branch of the Capetian dynasty. They succeeded the House of Capet to the French throne, and were the royal house of France from 1328 to 1589. Junior members of the family founded cadet branches in Orléans, Anjou, Burgundy, and Alençon.
Tensions between the crowns of France and England can be traced back to the origins of the English royal family itself, which was French (Norman, and later, Angevin) in origin. For this reason, English monarchs had historically held not only the English crown, but also titles and lands within France, the possession of which made them vassals to the kings of France. The status of the English king's French fiefs was a major source of conflict between the two monarchies throughout the Middle Ages. French monarchs systematically sought to check the growth of English power, stripping away lands as the opportunity arose, particularly whenever England was at war with Scotland, an ally of France. Over the centuries, English holdings in France had varied in size, at some points dwarfing even the French royal domain; by 1337, however, only Gascony was left to the English.
The Normans are an ethnic group that arose in Normandy, a northern region of France, from contact between Viking settlers and indigenous Franks and Gallo-Romans. The settlements followed a series of raids on the French coast from Denmark, Norway, and Iceland, and they gained political legitimacy when the Viking leader Rollo agreed to swear fealty to King Charles III of West Francia. The distinct cultural and ethnic identity of the Normans emerged initially in the first half of the 10th century, and it continued to evolve over the succeeding centuries.
The Angevins were a royal house of French origin that ruled England in the 12th and early 13th centuries; its monarchs were Henry II, Richard I and John. In the 10 years from 1144, two successive counts of Anjou in France, Geoffrey and his son, the future Henry II, won control of a vast assemblage of lands in western Europe that would last for 80 years and would retrospectively be referred to as the Angevin Empire. As a political entity this was structurally different from the preceding Norman and subsequent Plantagenet realms. Geoffrey became Duke of Normandy in 1144 and died in 1151. In 1152 his heir, Henry, added Aquitaine by virtue of his marriage to Eleanor of Aquitaine. Henry also inherited the claim of his mother, Empress Matilda, the daughter of King Henry I, to the English throne, to which he succeeded in 1154 following the death of King Stephen.
The Angevin Empire describes the possessions of the Angevin kings of England who held lands in England and France during the 12th and 13th centuries. Its rulers were Henry II, Richard I, and John. The Angevin Empire is an early example of a composite state.
In 1316, a principle was established denying women succession to the French throne (later retroactively attributed to the ancient Salic law). In 1328, Charles IV of France died without sons or brothers. His closest male relative was his nephew Edward III of England, whose mother, Isabella of France, was sister of the deceased king. Isabella claimed the throne of France for her son, but the French rejected it, maintaining that Isabella could not transmit a right she did not possess. Furthermore, political sentiment favoured a Frenchman for the crown rather than a foreign prince. The throne passed instead to Philip, Count of Valois, a patrilineal cousin of Charles IV, who would become Philip VI of France, the first king of the House of Valois. The English had not expected their claim to meet with success, and did not press the matter when it was denied. However, disagreements between Philip and Edward induced the former to confiscate the latter's lands in France, and in turn prompted Edward III to reassert his claim to the French throne.
The Salic law, or the Salian law, was the ancient Salian Frankish civil law code compiled around AD 500 by the first Frankish King, Clovis. The written text is in Latin, or in "semi-French Latin" according to some linguists; it also contains what Dutch linguists describe as one of the earliest known records of Old Dutch, perhaps second only to the Bergakker inscription. It remained the basis of Frankish law throughout the early Medieval period, and influenced future European legal systems. The best-known tenet of the old law is the principle of exclusion of women from inheritance of thrones, fiefs and other property. The Salic laws were arbitrated by a committee appointed and empowered by the King of the Franks. Dozens of manuscripts dating from the sixth to eighth centuries and three emendations as late as the ninth century have survived.
Charles IV, called the Fair in France and the Bald in Navarre, was last king of the direct line of the House of Capet, King of France and King of Navarre from 1322 to 1328. Charles was the third son of Philip IV; like his father, he was known as "the fair" or "the handsome".
Proximity of blood, or proximity by degree of kinship, is one of the ways to determine hereditary succession based on genealogy. In effect, the application of this rule is a refusal to recognize the right of representation, a component of primogeniture.
Several overwhelming English victories in the war—especially at Crécy, Poitiers, Agincourt and Verneuil—raised the prospects of an ultimate English triumph, and persuaded the English to continue pouring money and manpower into the war over many decades. However, the death of Henry V and succession of his infant son, with the dysfunctional government that ruled and the loss of Burgundy as an ally, prevented the English kings from ever completing the conquest of France. Starting in 1429, decisive French victories at Orléans, Patay, Formigny, and later Castillon concluded the war in favour of the House of Valois, with England permanently losing most of its possessions on the continent.
The Battle of Crécy took place on 26 August 1346 in north-east France between a French army commanded by King Philip VI and an English army led by King Edward III. The French attacked the English while they were traversing northern France during the Hundred Years' War resulting in an English victory and heavy loss of life among the French.
The Battle of Poitiers was a major English victory in the Hundred Years' War. It was fought on 19 September 1356 in Nouaillé, near the city of Poitiers in Aquitaine, western France. Edward, the Black Prince, led an army of English, Welsh, Breton and Gascon troops, many of them veterans of the Battle of Crécy. They were attacked by a larger French force led by King John II of France, which included allied Scottish forces. The French were heavily defeated; an English counter-attack captured King John II along with his youngest son and much of the French nobility.
The Battle of Agincourt was one of the greatest English victories in the Hundred Years' War. It took place on 25 October 1415 near Azincourt in northern France. England's unexpected victory against a numerically superior French army boosted English morale and prestige, crippled France, and started a new period of English dominance in the war.
Historians commonly divide the war into three phases separated by truces: the Edwardian War (1337–1360), the Caroline War (1369–1389), and the Lancastrian War (1415–1453). Local conflicts in neighbouring areas, which were contemporarily related to the war, including the War of the Breton Succession (1341–1365), the Castilian Civil War (1366–1369), the War of the Two Peters (1356–1369) in Aragon, and the 1383–85 crisis in Portugal, were availed of by the parties to advance their agendas. Later historians adopted the term "Hundred Years' War" as a historiographical periodisation to encompass all of these events, thus constructing the longest military conflict in European history.
A ceasefire, also spelled cease fire, is a temporary stoppage of a war in which each side agrees with the other to suspend aggressive actions. Ceasefires may be declared as part of a formal treaty, but they have also been called as part of an informal understanding between opposing forces.
The Edwardian War was the first phase of the Hundred Years' War between France and England. It was named after King Edward III of England, who claimed the French throne in defiance of King Philip VI of France. The dynastic conflict was caused by disputes over the French feudal sovereignty over Aquitaine and the English claims over the French royal title. The Kingdom of England and its allies dominated this phase of the war.
The War of the Breton Succession was a conflict between the Counts of Blois and the Montforts of Brittany for control of the Duchy of Brittany, then a fief of the Kingdom of France. It was fought between 1341 and 12 April 1365.
The war owes its historical significance to multiple factors. By its end, feudal armies had been largely replaced by professional troops, and aristocratic dominance had yielded to a democratisation of the manpower and weapons of armies. Although primarily a dynastic conflict, the war gave impetus to ideas of French and English nationalism. The wider introduction of weapons and tactics supplanted the feudal armies where heavy cavalry had dominated, and artillery became important. The war precipitated the creation of the first standing armies in Western Europe since the time of the Western Roman Empire, thus helping to change their role in warfare. With respect to the belligerents, in France, civil wars, deadly epidemics, famines, and bandit free-companies of mercenaries reduced the population drastically. In England, political forces over time came to oppose the costly venture. The dissatisfaction of English nobles, resulting from the loss of their continental landholdings, as well as the general shock at losing a war in which investment had been so great, became factors leading to the Wars of the Roses (1455–1487).
A war of succession or succession war is a war prompted by a succession crisis in which two or more individuals claim the right of successor to a deceased or deposed monarch. The rivals are typically supported by factions within the royal court. Foreign powers sometimes intervene, allying themselves with a faction. This may widen the war into one between those powers.
French nationalism promotes the cultural unity of France.
Nationalism is an ideology and movement that promotes the interests of a particular nation especially with the aim of gaining and maintaining the nation's sovereignty (self-governance) over its homeland. Nationalism holds that each nation should govern itself, free from outside interference (self-determination), that a nation is a natural and ideal basis for a polity, and that the nation is the only rightful source of political power. It further aims to build and maintain a single national identity—based on shared social characteristics such as culture, language, religion, politics, and belief in a shared singular history—and to promote national unity or solidarity. Nationalism, therefore, seeks to preserve and foster a nation's traditional culture, and cultural revivals have been associated with nationalist movements. It also encourages pride in national achievements, and is closely linked to patriotism. Nationalism is often combined with other ideologies, such as conservatism or socialism for example.
The root causes of the conflict can be found in the demographic, economic and political crises of 14th-century Europe. The outbreak of war was motivated by a gradual rise in tension between the kings of France and England about Gascony, Flanders and Scotland. The dynastic question, which arose due to an interruption of the direct male line of the Capetians, was the official pretext.
The question of female succession to the French throne was raised after the death of Louis X in 1316. Louis X left only a daughter, and his posthumous son John I lived only a few days. Furthermore, the paternity of his daughter was in question, as her mother, Margaret of Burgundy, had been exposed as an adulterer in the Tour de Nesle affair. Philip, Count of Poitiers, brother of Louis X, positioned himself to take the crown, advancing the stance that women should be ineligible to succeed to the French throne. Through his political sagacity he won over his adversaries and succeeded to the French throne as Philip V. By the same law that he procured, his daughters were denied the succession, which passed to his younger brother, Charles IV, in 1322.
| Philip III |
| Louis, Count of Évreux |
| Philip IV |
| Charles, Count of Valois |
| Louis X |
| Philip V |
| Charles IV |
|Isabella|| Edward II || Philip VI |
|Philip, Count of Évreux||Joan II of Navarre|| Joan of Burgundy |
| Edward III |
| Charles II |
| Philip of Burgundy |
Charles IV died in 1328, leaving a daughter and a pregnant wife. If the unborn child was male, he would become king; if not, Charles left the choice of his successor to the nobles. A girl ended up being born, therefore rendering the main male line of the House of Capet extinct.
By proximity of blood, the nearest male relative of Charles IV was his nephew, Edward III of England. Edward was the son of Isabella, the sister of the dead Charles IV, but the question arose whether she should be able to transmit a right to inherit that she did not herself possess. The French nobility, moreover, balked at the prospect of being ruled by Isabelle and her lover Roger Mortimer, who were widely suspected of having murdered the previous English king, Edward II. The assemblies of the French barons and prelates and the University of Paris decided that males who derive their right to inheritance through their mother should be excluded. Thus the nearest heir through male ancestry was Charles IV's first cousin, Philip, Count of Valois, and it was decided that he should be crowned Philip VI. In 1340 the Avignon papacy confirmed that under Salic law males should not be able to inherit through their mothers.
Eventually, Edward III reluctantly recognized Philip VI and paid him homage for his French fiefs. He made concessions in Guyenne, but reserved the right to reclaim territories arbitrarily confiscated. After that, he expected to be left undisturbed while he made war on Scotland.
Tensions between the French and English monarchies can be traced back to the 1066 Norman conquest of England, in which the English throne was seized by the Duke of Normandy, a vassal of the King of France. As a result, the crown of England was held by a succession of nobles who already owned lands in France, which put them among the most powerful subjects of the French King, as they could now draw upon the economic power of England to enforce their interests in the mainland. To the kings of France, this dangerously threatened their royal authority, and so they would constantly try to undermine English rule in France, while the English monarchs would struggle to protect and expand their lands. This clash of interests was the root cause of much of the conflict between the French and English monarchies throughout the medieval era.
The Anglo-Norman dynasty that had ruled England since the Norman conquest of 1066 was brought to an end when Henry, the son of Geoffrey of Anjou and Empress Matilda and great-grandson of William the Conqueror, became the first of the Angevin kings of England in 1154 as Henry II.The Angevin kings directly ruled over more French territory than the kings of France. However, they still owed homage for these territories to the French king. From the 11th century onward, the Angevins had autonomy within their French domains, effectively neutralising the issue.
King John of England inherited the Angevin domains from his brother Richard I. However, Philip II of France acted decisively to exploit the weaknesses of John, both legally and militarily, and by 1204 had succeeded in taking control of much of the Angevin continental possessions. Following John's reign, the Battle of Bouvines (1214), the Saintonge War (1242), and finally the War of Saint-Sardos (1324), the English king's holdings on the continent, as Duke of Aquitaine (Guyenne), were limited roughly to provinces in Gascony.
The dispute over Guyenne is even more important than the dynastic question in explaining the outbreak of the war. Guyenne posed a significant problem to the kings of France and England: Edward III was a vassal of Philip VI of France because of his French possessions and was required to recognise the suzerainty of the King of France over them. In practical terms, a judgment in Guyenne might be subject to an appeal to the French royal court. The King of France had the power to revoke all legal decisions made by the King of England in Aquitaine, which was unacceptable to the English. Therefore, sovereignty over Guyenne was a latent conflict between the two monarchies for several generations.
During the War of Saint-Sardos, Charles of Valois, father of Philip VI, invaded Aquitaine on behalf of Charles IV and conquered the duchy after a local insurrection, which the French believed had been incited by Edward II of England. Charles IV grudgingly agreed to return this territory in 1325. To recover his duchy, Edward II had to compromise: he sent his son, the future Edward III, to pay homage.
The King of France agreed to restore Guyenne, minus Agen. But the French delayed the return of the lands, which helped Philip VI. On 6 June 1329, Edward III finally paid homage to the King of France. However, at the ceremony, Philip VI had it recorded that the homage was not due to the fiefs detached from the duchy of Guyenne by Charles IV (especially Agen). For Edward, the homage did not imply the renunciation of his claim to the extorted lands.
In the 11th century, Gascony in southwest France had been incorporated into Aquitaine (also known as Guyenne or Guienne) and formed with it the province of Guyenne and Gascony (French: Guyenne-et-Gascogne). The Angevin kings of England became Dukes of Aquitaine after Henry II married the former Queen of France, Eleanor of Aquitaine, in 1152, from which point the lands were held in vassalage to the French Crown. By the 13th century the terms Aquitaine, Guyenne and Gascony were virtually synonymous.At the beginning of Edward III's reign on 1 February 1327, the only part of Aquitaine that remained in his hands was the Duchy of Gascony. The term Gascony came to be used for the territory held by the Angevin (Plantagenet) Kings of England in south-west France, although they still used the title Duke of Aquitaine.
For the first 10 years of Edward III's reign, Gascony had been a major point of friction. The English argued that, as Charles IV had not acted in a proper way towards his tenant, Edward should be able to hold the duchy free of any French suzerainty. This argument was rejected by the French, so in 1329, the 17-year-old Edward III paid homage to Philip VI. Tradition demanded that vassals approach their liege unarmed with heads bare. Edward protested by attending the ceremony wearing his crown and sword.Even after this pledge of homage, the French continued to pressure the English administration.
Gascony was not the only sore point. One of Edward's influential advisers was Robert III of Artois. Robert was an exile from the French court, having fallen out with Philip VI over an inheritance claim. He urged Edward to start a war to reclaim France, and was able to provide extensive intelligence on the French court.
France was an ally of the Kingdom of Scotland as English kings had for some time tried to subjugate the area. In 1295, a treaty was signed between France and Scotland during the reign of Philip the Fair. Charles IV formally renewed the treaty in 1326, promising Scotland that France would support the Scots if England invaded their country. Similarly, France would have Scotland's support if its own kingdom were attacked. Edward could not succeed in his plans for Scotland if the Scots could count on French support.
Philip VI had assembled a large naval fleet off Marseilles as part of an ambitious plan for a crusade to the Holy Land. However, the plan was abandoned and the fleet, including elements of the Scottish navy, moved to the English Channel off Normandy in 1336, threatening England.To deal with this crisis, Edward proposed that the English raise two armies, one to deal with the Scots "at a suitable time", the other to proceed at once to Gascony. At the same time, ambassadors were to be sent to France with a proposed treaty for the French king.
At the end of April 1337, Philip of France was invited to meet the delegation from England but refused. The arrière-ban , literally a call to arms, was proclaimed throughout France starting on 30 April 1337. Then, in May 1337, Philip met with his Great Council in Paris. It was agreed that the Duchy of Aquitaine, effectively Gascony, should be taken back into the king's hands on the grounds that Edward III was in breach of his obligations as vassal and had sheltered the king's 'mortal enemy' Robert d'Artois.Edward responded to the confiscation of Aquitaine by challenging Philip's right to the French throne. When Charles IV died, Edward had made a claim for the succession of the French throne, through the right of his mother Isabella (Charles IV's sister), daughter of Philip IV. Any claim was considered invalidated by Edward's homage to Philip VI in 1329. Edward revived his claim and in 1340 formally assumed the title 'King of France and the French Royal Arms'.
On 26 January 1340, Edward III formally received homage from Guy, half-brother of the Count of Flanders. The civic authorities of Ghent, Ypres and Bruges proclaimed Edward King of France. Edward's purpose was to strengthen his alliances with the Low Countries. His supporters would be able to claim that they were loyal to the "true" King of France and were not rebels against Philip. In February 1340, Edward returned to England to try to raise more funds and also deal with political difficulties.
Relations with Flanders were also tied to the English wool trade, since Flanders' principal cities relied heavily on textile production and England supplied much of the raw material they needed. Edward III had commanded that his chancellor sit on the woolsack in council as a symbol of the pre-eminence of the wool trade.At the time there were about 110,000 sheep in Sussex alone. The great medieval English monasteries produced large surpluses of wool that were sold to mainland Europe. Successive governments were able to make large amounts of money by taxing it. France's sea power led to economic disruptions for England, shrinking the wool trade to Flanders and the wine trade from Gascony.
On 22 June 1340, Edward and his fleet sailed from England and arrived off the Zwin estuary the next day. The French fleet assumed a defensive formation off the port of Sluis. The English fleet deceived the French into believing they were withdrawing. When the wind turned in the late afternoon, the English attacked with the wind and sun behind them. The French fleet was almost completely destroyed in what became known as the Battle of Sluys. England dominated the English Channel for the rest of the war, preventing French invasions.At this point, Edward's funds ran out and the war probably would have ended were it not for the death of the Duke of Brittany precipitating a succession dispute between the duke's half-brother John of Montfort and Charles of Blois, nephew of Philip VI.
In 1341, conflict over the succession to the Duchy of Brittany began the War of the Breton Succession, in which Edward backed John of Montfort and Philip backed Charles of Blois. Action for the next few years focused around a back-and-forth struggle in Brittany. The city of Vannes in Brittany changed hands several times, while further campaigns in Gascony met with mixed success for both sides.The English-backed Montfort finally succeeded in taking the duchy but not until 1364.
In July 1346, Edward mounted a major invasion across the channel, landing in Normandy's Cotentin, at St. Vaast. The English army captured the completely unguarded Caen in just one day, surprising the French. Philip mustered a large army to oppose Edward, who chose to march northward toward the Low Countries, pillaging as he went. He reached the river Seine to find most of the crossings destroyed. He moved further and further south, worryingly close to Paris, until he found the crossing at Poissy. This had only been partially destroyed, so the carpenters within his army were able to fix it. He then continued on his way to Flanders until he reached the river Somme. The army crossed at a tidal ford at Blanchetaque, leaving Philip's army stranded. Edward, assisted by this head start, continued on his way to Flanders once more, until, finding himself unable to outmanoeuvre Philip, Edward positioned his forces for battle and Philip's army attacked.
The Battle of Crécy was a complete disaster for the French, largely credited to the longbowmen and the French king, who allowed his army to attack before it was ready.Philip appealed to his Scottish allies to help with a diversionary attack on England. King David II of Scotland responded by invading northern England, but his army was defeated and he was captured at the Battle of Neville's Cross, on 17 October 1346. This greatly reduced the threat from Scotland. In France, Edward proceeded north unopposed and besieged the city of Calais on the English Channel, capturing it in 1347. This became an important strategic asset for the English, allowing them to keep troops safely in northern France. Calais would remain under English control, even after the end of the Hundred Years' War, until the successful French siege in 1558.
In 1348, the Black Death, which had just arrived in Paris, began to ravage Europe. [ citation needed ] King Edward's son and namesake, the Prince of Wales, later known as the Black Prince, led a Chevauchée from Gascony into France, during which he pillaged Avignonet and Castelnaudary, sacked Carcassonne, and plundered Narbonne. The next year during another Chevauchée he ravaged Auvergne, Limousin, and Berry but failed to take Bourges. He offered terms of peace to King John II of France (known as John the Good), who had outflanked him near Poitiers, but refused to surrender himself as the price of their acceptance. This led to the Battle of Poitiers (19 September 1356) where his army routed the French. During the battle, the Gascon noble Jean de Grailly, captal de Buch led a mounted unit that was concealed in a forest. The French advance was contained, at which point de Grailly led a flanking movement with his horsemen cutting off the French retreat and succeeding in capturing King John and many of his nobles. With John held hostage, his son the Dauphin (later to become Charles V) assumed the powers of the king as regent.In 1355, after the plague had passed and England was able to recover financially,
After the Battle of Poitiers, many French nobles and mercenaries rampaged, and chaos ruled. A contemporary report recounted:
... all went ill with the kingdom and the State was undone. Thieves and robbers rose up everywhere in the land. The Nobles despised and hated all others and took no thought for usefulness and profit of lord and men. They subjected and despoiled the peasants and the men of the villages. In no wise did they defend their country from its enemies; rather did they trample it underfoot, robbing and pillaging the peasants' goods ...
From the Chronicles of Jean de Venette
Edward invaded France, for the third and last time, hoping to capitalise on the discontent and seize the throne. The Dauphin's strategy was that of non-engagement with the English army in the field. However, Edward wanted the crown and chose the cathedral city of Reims for his coronation (Reims was the traditional coronation city).However, the citizens of Reims built and reinforced the city's defences before Edward and his army arrived. Edward besieged the city for five weeks, but the defences held and there was no coronation. Edward moved on to Paris, but retreated after a few skirmishes in the suburbs. Next was the town of Chartres. Disaster struck in a freak hailstorm on the encamped army, causing over 1,000 English deaths – the so-called Black Monday on Easter 1360. This devastated Edward's army and forced him to negotiate when approached by the French. A conference was held at Brétigny that resulted in the Treaty of Brétigny (8 May 1360). The treaty was ratified at Calais in October. In return for increased lands in Aquitaine, Edward renounced Normandy, Touraine, Anjou and Maine and consented to reduce King John's ransom by a million crowns. Edward also abandoned his claim to the crown of France.
The French king, John II, had been held captive in England. The Treaty of Brétigny set his ransom at 3 million crowns and allowed for hostages to be held in lieu of John. The hostages included two of his sons, several princes and nobles, four inhabitants of Paris, and two citizens from each of the nineteen principal towns of France. While these hostages were held, John returned to France to try and raise funds to pay the ransom. In 1362 John's son Louis of Anjou, a hostage in English-held Calais, escaped captivity. So, with his stand-in hostage gone, John felt honour-bound to return to captivity in England.
The French crown had been at odds with Navarre (near southern Gascony) since 1354, and in 1363 the Navarrese used the captivity of John II in London and the political weakness of the Dauphin to try to seize power.Although there was no formal treaty, Edward III supported the Navarrese moves, particularly as there was a prospect that he might gain control over the northern and western provinces as a consequence. With this in mind, Edward deliberately slowed the peace negotiations. In 1364, John II died in London, while still in honourable captivity. Charles V succeeded him as king of France. On 7 May 1364, one month after the dauphin's accession and three days before his coronation as Charles V, the Navarrese suffered a crushing defeat at the Battle of Cocherel.
In 1366 there was a civil war of succession in Castile (part of modern Spain). The forces of the ruler Peter of Castile were pitched against those of his half-brother Henry of Trastámara. The English crown supported Peter; the French supported Henry. French forces were led by Bertrand du Guesclin, a Breton, who rose from relatively humble beginnings to prominence as one of France's war leaders. Charles V provided a force of 12,000, with du Guesclin at their head, to support Trastámara in his invasion of Castile.
Peter appealed to England and Aquitaine's Black Prince for help, but none was forthcoming, forcing Peter into exile in Aquitaine. The Black Prince had previously agreed to support Peter's claims but concerns over the terms of the treaty of Brétigny led him to assist Peter as a representative of Aquitaine, rather than England. He then led an Anglo-Gascon army into Castile. Peter was restored to power after Trastámara's army was defeated at the Battle of Nájera.
Although the Castilians had agreed to fund the Black Prince, they failed to do so. The Prince was suffering from ill health and returned with his army to Aquitaine. To pay off debts incurred during the Castile campaign, the prince instituted a hearth tax. Arnaud-Amanieu VIII, Lord of Albret had fought on the Black Prince's side during the war. Albret, who already had become discontented by the influx of English administrators into the enlarged Aquitaine, refused to allow the tax to be collected in his fief. He then joined a group of Gascon lords who appealed to Charles V for support in their refusal to pay the tax. Charles V summoned one Gascon lord and the Black Prince to hear the case in his High Court in Paris. The Black Prince answered that he would go to Paris with sixty thousand men behind him. War broke out again and Edward III resumed the title of King of France.Charles V declared that all the English possessions in France were forfeited, and before the end of 1369 all of Aquitaine was in full revolt.
With the Black Prince gone from Castile, Henry de Trastámara led a second invasion that ended with Peter's death at the Battle of Montiel in March 1369. The new Castilian regime provided naval support to French campaigns against Aquitaine and England.In 1372 the Castilian fleet defeated the English fleet in the Battle of La Rochelle.
In August 1373, John of Gaunt, accompanied by John de Montfort, Duke of Brittany led a force of 9,000 men out from Calais on a major chevauchée. While initially successful as French forces were insufficiently concentrated to oppose them, the English began to meet further resistance as they moved south. French forces began to concentrate around the English force but, under specific orders from King Charles V, the French avoided a set battle. Instead, they fell on forces detached from the main body to raid or forage. The French shadowed the English and in October, the English found themselves being trapped against the River Allier by four separate French forces. With some difficulty, the English crossed at the bridge at Moulins but lost all their baggage and loot. The English carried on south across the Limousin plateau but the weather was turning severe. Men and horses died in great numbers and many soldiers, forced to march on foot, discarded their armour. At the beginning of December, the army finally entered friendly territory in Gascony. By the end of December they were in Bordeaux, starving, ill-equipped and having lost over half of the 30,000 horses with which they had left Calais. Although the march across France had been a remarkable feat, it was a military failure.
With his health continuing to deteriorate, the Black Prince returned to England in January 1371, whereby now his father Edward III was elderly and also in poor health. The prince's illness was debilitating, and he died on 8 June 1376.
Edward III died the following year on 21 June 1377;he was succeeded by the Black Prince's second son Richard II (the first son had died sometime earlier), who was still a child. The treaty at Brétigny left Edward III and England with enlarged holdings in France; however, a small professional French army under the leadership of du Guesclin pushed the English back and, by the time of Charles V's death in 1380, the English only held Calais and a few other coastal cities.
It was usual to appoint a regent in the case of a child monarch, but no regent was appointed for Richard II, who nominally exercised the power of kingship from the date of his accession in 1377.However, between 1377 and 1380, actual power was in the hands of a series of councils. The political community preferred this to a regency led by the king's uncle, John of Gaunt, although Gaunt remained highly influential.
Richard faced many challenges during his reign, including the Peasants' Revolt led by Wat Tyler in 1381 and an Anglo-Scottish war in 1384–1385. His attempts to raise taxes to pay for his Scottish adventure and for the protection of Calais against the French made him increasingly unpopular.
In July 1380, the Earl of Buckingham commanded an expedition to France to aid England's ally, the Duke of Brittany. The French refused battle before the walls of Troyes on 25 August, so Buckingham's forces continued their chevauchée and in November laid siege to Nantes.However, expected support from the Duke of Brittany did not appear and, in the face of heavy losses in both men and horses, was forced to abandon the siege in January 1381. In February 1381, now reconciled to the regime of the new French king Charles VI, Brittany paid 50,000 francs to Buckingham for him to abandon the siege and the campaign.
After the deaths of Charles V and du Guesclin in 1380, France lost its main leadership and overall momentum in the war. Charles VI succeeded his father as king of France at the age of 11, and he was thus put under a regency led by his uncles, who managed to maintain an effective grip on government affairs until about 1388, well after Charles had achieved royal majority.
With France facing widespread destruction, plague, and economic recession, high taxation put a heavy burden on the French peasantry and urban communities. The war effort against England largely depended on royal taxation, but the population was increasingly unwilling to pay for it, as would be demonstrated at the Harelle and Maillotin revolts in 1382. Charles V had abolished many of these taxes on his deathbed, but subsequent attempts to reinstate them stirred up hostility between the French government and populace.
Difficulties in raising taxes and revenue hampered the ability of the French to fight the English. At this point, the war's pace had largely slowed down, and both nations found themselves fighting mainly through proxy wars, such as during the 1383–1385 Portuguese interregnum. The independence party in the Kingdom of Portugal, which was supported by the English, won against the supporters of the King of Castile's claim to the Portuguese throne, who in turn was backed by the French.
The war became increasingly unpopular with the English public largely due to the high taxes needed to sustain it. These taxes were seen as one of the reasons for the Peasants' revolt.Richard's increasing disinterest in the war together with his preferential treatment of a select few close friends and advisors angered an alliance of lords that included one of his uncles. This group, known as Lords Appellant, managed to successfully press charges of treason against five of Richard's advisors and friends in the Merciless Parliament. The Lords Appellant were able to gain control of the council in 1388 and tried, unsuccessfully, to reignite the war in France. Although the will was there, the funds to pay the troops was lacking, so in the autumn of 1388 the Council agreed to resume negotiations with the French crown, beginning on 18 June 1389 with the signing of a three-year truce at Leulinghem.
In 1389, Richard's uncle and supporter, John of Gaunt, returned from Spain and Richard was able to rebuild his power gradually until 1397, when he reasserted his authority and destroyed the principal three among the Lords Appellant. In 1399, after John of Gaunt died, Richard II disinherited Gaunt's son, the exiled Henry of Bolingbroke. Bolingbroke returned to England with his supporters and deposed Richard and had himself crowned Henry IV.
In Scotland, the problems brought in by the English regime change prompted border raids that were countered by an invasion in 1402 and the defeat of a Scottish army at the Battle of Homildon Hill.A dispute over the spoils between Henry and Henry Percy, 1st Earl of Northumberland, resulted in a long and bloody struggle between the two for control of northern England, resolved only with the almost complete destruction of the Percy family by 1408.
In Wales, Owain Glyndŵr was declared Prince of Wales on 16 September 1400. He was the leader of the most serious and widespread rebellion against English authority in Wales since the conquest of 1282–1283. In 1405, the French allied with Glyndŵr and the Castilians in Spain and a Franco-Welsh army advanced as far as Worcester, while the Spaniards used galleys to raid and burn all the way from Cornwall to Southampton, before taking refuge in Harfleur for the winter.The rebellion was finally put down only in 1415 and resulted in Welsh semi-independence for a number of years.
In 1392, Charles VI suddenly descended into madness, forcing France into a regency dominated by his uncles and his brother. An open conflict for control over the Regency began between his uncle Philip the Bold, Duke of Burgundy, and his brother, Louis of Valois, Duke of Orléans. After Philip's death, his son and heir John the Fearless continued the struggle against Louis, but with the disadvantage of having no close personal relation to the king. Finding himself outmanoeuvred politically, John ordered the assassination of Louis in retaliation. His involvement in the murder was quickly revealed, and the Armagnac family took political power in opposition to John. By 1410, both sides were bidding for the help of English forces in a civil war.In 1418 Paris was taken by the Burgundians, who were unable to stop the massacre of Count of Armagnac and about 2,500 of his followers by a Parisian mob.
Throughout this period, England confronted repeated raids by pirates that heavily damaged trade and the navy. There is some evidence that Henry IV used state-legalised piracy as a form of warfare in the English Channel. He used such privateering campaigns to pressure enemies without risking open war.The French responded in kind and French pirates, under Scottish protection, raided many English coastal towns.
The domestic and dynastic difficulties faced by England and France in this period quieted the war for a decade.
Henry IV of England died in 1413 and was replaced by his eldest son Henry V. The mental illness of Charles VI of France allowed his power to be exercised by royal princes whose rivalries caused deep divisions in France. Henry V was well aware of these divisions and hoped to exploit them. In 1414 while he held court at Leicester, he received ambassadors from Burgundy.Henry accredited envoys to the French king to make clear his territorial claims in France; he also demanded the hand of Charles VI's youngest daughter Catherine of Valois. The French rejected his demands, leading Henry to prepare for war.
In August 1415, Henry V sailed from England with a force of about 10,500 and laid siege to Harfleur. The city resisted for longer than expected, but finally surrendered on 22 September 1415. Because of the unexpected delay, most of the campaign season was gone. Rather than march on Paris directly, Henry elected to make a raiding expedition across France toward English-occupied Calais. In a campaign reminiscent of Crécy, he found himself outmanoeuvred and low on supplies and had to fight a much larger French army at the Battle of Agincourt, north of the Somme. Despite the problems and having a smaller force, his victory was near-total; the French defeat was catastrophic, costing the lives of many of the Armagnac leaders. About 40% of the French nobility was killed.Henry was apparently concerned that the large number of prisoners taken were a security risk (there were more French prisoners than there were soldiers in the entire English army) and he ordered their deaths.
Henry retook much of Normandy, including Caen in 1417, and Rouen on 19 January 1419, turning Normandy English for the first time in two centuries. A formal alliance was made with the Duchy of Burgundy, which had taken Paris after the assassination of Duke John the Fearless in 1419. In 1420, Henry met with King Charles VI. They signed the Treaty of Troyes, by which Henry finally married Charles' daughter Catherine of Valois and Henry's heirs would inherit the throne of France. The Dauphin, Charles VII, was declared illegitimate. Henry formally entered Paris later that year and the agreement was ratified by the Estates-General.
On 22 March 1421 Henry V's progress in his French campaign experienced an unexpected reverse. Henry had left his brother and presumptive heir Thomas, Duke of Clarence in charge while he returned to England. Clarence engaged a Franco-Scottish force of 5000 men, led by Gilbert Motier de La Fayette and John Stewart, Earl of Buchan at the Battle of Baugé. Clarence, against the advice of his lieutenants, before his army had been fully assembled, attacked with a force of no more than 1500 men-at-arms. He then, during the course of the battle, led a charge of a few hundred men into the main body of the Franco-Scottish army, who quickly enveloped the English. In the ensuing melée, the Scot, John Carmichael of Douglasdale, broke his lance unhorsing the Duke of Clarence. Once on the ground, the duke was slain by Alexander Buchanan.The body of the Duke of Clarence was recovered from the field by Thomas Montacute, 4th Earl of Salisbury, who conducted the English retreat.
Henry V returned to France and went to Paris, then visiting Chartres and Gâtinais before returning to Paris. From there, he decided to attack the Dauphin-held town of Meaux. It turned out to be more difficult to overcome than first thought. The siege began about 6 October 1421, and the town held for seven months before finally falling on 11 May 1422.
At the end of May, Henry was joined by his queen and together with the French court, they went to rest at Senlis. While there, it became apparent that he was ill (possibly dysentery), and when he set out to the Upper Loire, he diverted to the royal castle at Vincennes, near Paris, where he died on 31 August 1422.The elderly and insane Charles VI of France died two months later on 21 October 1422. Henry left an only child, his nine-month-old son, Henry, later to become Henry VI.
On his deathbed, Henry V had given the Duke of Bedford responsibility for English France (as Henry VI was only an infant). The war in France continued under Bedford's generalship and several battles were won. The English won an emphatic victory at the Battle of Verneuil (17 August 1424). At the Battle of Baugé, Clarence had rushed into battle without the support of his archers. At Verneuil, the archers fought to devastating effect against the Franco-Scottish army. The effect of the battle was to virtually destroy the Dauphin's field army and to eliminate the Scots as a significant military force for the rest of the war.
The appearance of Joan of Arc at the siege of Orléans sparked a revival of French spirit, and the tide began to turn against the English.The English laid siege to Orléans in 1428, but their force was insufficient to fully invest the city. In 1429 Joan persuaded the Dauphin to send her to the siege, saying she had received visions from God telling her to drive out the English. She raised the morale of the troops, and they attacked the English redoubts, forcing the English to lift the siege. Inspired by Joan, the French took several English strongholds on the Loire.
The English retreated from the Loire Valley, pursued by a French army. Near the village of Patay, French cavalry broke through a unit of English longbowmen that had been sent to block the road, then swept through the retreating English army. The English lost 2,200 men, and the commander, John Talbot, 1st Earl of Shrewsbury, was taken prisoner. This victory opened the way for the Dauphin to march to Reims for his coronation as Charles VII, on 16 July 1429.
After the coronation, Charles VII's army fared less well. An attempted French siege of Paris was defeated on 8 September 1429, and Charles VII withdrew to the Loire Valley.
Henry VI was crowned king of England at Westminster Abbey on 5 November 1429 and king of France at Notre-Dame, in Paris, on 16 December 1431.
Joan of Arc was captured by the Burgundians at the siege of Compiègne on 23 May 1430. The Burgundians transferred her to the English, who organised a trial headed by Pierre Cauchon, Bishop of Beauvais and member of the English Council at Rouen. Joan was convicted and burned at the stake on 30 May 1431.(She was rehabilitated 25 years later by Pope Callixtus III.)
After the death of Joan of Arc, the fortunes of war turned dramatically against the English.Most of Henry's royal advisers were against making peace. Among the factions, the Duke of Bedford wanted to defend Normandy, the Duke of Gloucester was committed to just Calais, whereas Cardinal Beaufort was inclined to peace. Negotiations stalled. It seems that at the congress of Arras, in the summer of 1435, where the duke of Beaufort was mediator, the English were unrealistic in their demands. A few days after the congress ended in September, Philip III, duke of Burgundy, deserted to Charles VII, signing the Treaty of Arras that returned Paris to the King of France. This was a major blow to English sovereignty in France. The Duke of Bedford died on 14 September 1435 and was later replaced by Richard Plantagenet, 3rd Duke of York.
The allegiance of Burgundy remained fickle, but the English focus on expanding their domains in the Low Countries left them little energy to intervene in the rest of France.The long truces that marked the war gave Charles time to centralise the French state and reorganise his army and government, replacing his feudal levies with a more modern professional army that could put its superior numbers to good use. A castle that once could only be captured after a prolonged siege would now fall after a few days from cannon bombardment. The French artillery developed a reputation as the best in the world.
By 1449, the French had retaken Rouen. In 1450 the Count of Clermont and Arthur de Richemont, Earl of Richmond, of the Montfort family (the future Arthur III, Duke of Brittany), caught an English army attempting to relieve Caen and defeated it at the Battle of Formigny. Richemont's force attacked the English army from the flank and rear just as they were on the verge of beating Clermont's army.
After Charles VII's successful Normandy campaign in 1450, he concentrated his efforts on Gascony, the last province held by the English. Bordeaux, Gascony's capital, was besieged and surrendered to the French on 30 June 1451. Largely due to the English sympathies of the Gascon people, this was reversed when John Talbot and his army retook the city on 23 October 1452. However, the English were decisively defeated at the Battle of Castillon on 17 July 1453. Talbot had been persuaded to engage the French army at Castillon near Bordeaux. During the battle the French appeared to retreat towards their camp. The French camp at Castillon had been laid out by Charles VII's ordnance officer Jean Bureau and this was instrumental in the French success as when the French cannon opened fire, from their positions in the camp, the English took severe casualties losing both Talbot and his son.
Although the Battle of Castillon is considered the last battle of the Hundred Years' War,England and France remained formally at war for another 20 years, but the English were in no position to carry on the war as they faced unrest at home. Following defeat in the Hundred Years' War, English landowners complained vociferously about the financial losses resulting from the loss of their continental holdings; this is often considered a major cause of the Wars of the Roses, that started in 1455.
The Hundred Years' War almost resumed in 1474, when the duke Charles of Burgundy, counting on English support, took up arms against Louis XI. Louis managed to isolate the Burgundians by buying Edward IV of England off with a large cash sum and an annual pension, in the Treaty of Picquigny (1475). The treaty formally ended the Hundred Years' War with Edward renouncing his claim to the throne of France. However, future Kings of England (and later of Great Britain) continued to claim the title until 1803, when they were dropped in deference to the exiled Count of Provence, titular King Louis XVIII, who was living in England after the French Revolution.
Some historians use the term "The Second Hundred Years' War" as a periodization to describe the series of military conflicts between Great Britain and France that occurred from about 1689 (or some say 1714) to 1815
The French victory marked the end of a long period of instability that had started with the Norman Conquest (1066), when William the Conqueror added "King of England" to his titles, becoming both the vassal to (as Duke of Normandy) and the equal of (as king of England) the king of France.
When the war ended, England was bereft of its Continental possessions, leaving it with only Calais on the continent. The war destroyed the English dream of a joint monarchy and led to the rejection in England of all things French, but the French language in England, which had served as the language of the ruling classes and commerce there from the time of the Norman conquest, left many vestiges in English vocabulary. English became the official language in 1362 and French was no longer used for teaching from 1385.
National feeling that emerged from the war unified both France and England further. Despite the devastation on its soil, the Hundred Years' War accelerated the process of transforming France from a feudal monarchy to a centralised state.In England the political and financial troubles which emerged from the defeat were a major cause of the War of the Roses (1455–1487).
Lowe (1997) argued that opposition to the war helped to shape England's early modern political culture. Although anti-war and pro-peace spokesmen generally failed to influence outcomes at the time, they had a long-term impact. England showed decreasing enthusiasm for conflict deemed not in the national interest, yielding only losses in return for high economic burdens. In comparing this English cost-benefit analysis with French attitudes, given that both countries suffered from weak leaders and undisciplined soldiers, Lowe noted that the French understood that warfare was necessary to expel the foreigners occupying their homeland. Furthermore, French kings found alternative ways to finance the war – sales taxes, debasing the coinage – and were less dependent than the English on tax levies passed by national legislatures. English anti-war critics thus had more to work with than the French.
Bubonic plague and warfare reduced population numbers throughout Europe during this period. France lost half its population during the Hundred Years' War.Normandy lost three-quarters of its population, and Paris two-thirds. The population of England was reduced by 20 to 33 percent due to plague in the same period.
In 1445 the first regular standing army in Western Europe since Roman times was organised in France partly as a solution to marauding free companies. The mercenary companies were given a choice of either joining the Royal army as compagnies d'ordonnance on a permanent basis, or being hunted down and destroyed if they refused. France gained a total standing army of around 6,000 men, which was sent out to gradually eliminate the remaining mercenaries who insisted on operating on their own. The new standing army had a more disciplined and professional approach to warfare than its predecessors.
The Hundred Years' War was a time of rapid military evolution. Weapons, tactics, army structure and the social meaning of war all changed, partly in response to the war's costs, partly through advancement in technology and partly through lessons that warfare taught. The feudal system was slowly disintegrating throughout the hundred years war.
By the war's end, although the heavy cavalry was still considered the most powerful unit in an army, the heavily armoured horse had to deal with several tactics developed to deny or mitigate its effective use on a battlefield.The English began using lightly armoured mounted troops, known as hobelars. Hobelars tactics had been developed against the Scots, in the Anglo-Scottish wars of the 14th century. Hobelars rode smaller unarmoured horses, enabling them to move through difficult or boggy terrain where heavier cavalry would struggle. Rather than fight while seated on the horse, they would dismount to engage the enemy.
|King Philip VI||1293–1350, reigned 1328–1350||Charles of Valois' son|
|King John II||1319–1364, reigned 1350–1364||Philip VI's son|
|King Charles V||1338–1380, reigned 1364–1380||John II's son|
|Bertrand du Guesclin||1320–1380||Commander|
|Louis I, Duke of Anjou||1339–1384, regent 1380–1382||John II's son|
|King Charles VI||1368–1422, reigned 1380–1422||Charles V's son|
|King Charles VII||1403–1461, reigned 1422–1461||Charles VI's son|
|Joan of Arc||1412–1431||Religious visionary|
|Jean Poton de Xaintrailles||1390–1461||Commander|
|Jean II, Duke of Alençon||1409–1476||Commander|
|Jean de Dunois||1402–1468||Commander|
|Jean Bureau||1390–1463||Master Gunner|
|Gilles de Rais||1405–1440||Commander|
|Isabella of France||1295–1358||Queen consort of England, wife of Edward II, mother of Edward III, regent of England, sister of Charles IV and daughter of Philip IV of France|
|King Edward III||1312–1377, reigned 1327–1377||Philip IV's grandson|
|Henry of Grosmont, Duke of Lancaster||1310–1361||Commander|
|Edward, the Black Prince||1330–1376||Edward III's son|
|John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster||1340–1399||Edward III's son|
|King Richard II||1367–1400, reigned 1377–1399||Son of the Black Prince, Edward III's grandson|
|King Henry IV||1367–1413, reigned 1399–1413||John of Gaunt's son, Edward III's grandson|
|King Henry V||1387–1422, reigned 1413–1422||Henry IV's son|
|Catherine of Valois||1401–1437||Queen consort of England, daughter of Charles VI of France, mother of Henry VI of England and by her second marriage grandmother of Henry VII|
|John of Lancaster, Duke of Bedford||1389–1435, regent 1422–1435||Henry IV's son|
|Sir John Fastolf||1380–1459||Commander|
|John Talbot, 1st Earl of Shrewsbury||1387–1453||Commander|
|King Henry VI||1421–1471, reigned 1422–1461 (also 1422–1453 as king Henry II of France)||Henry V's son, grandson of Charles VI of France|
|Richard Plantagenet, 3rd Duke of York||1411–1460||Commander|
|Philip the Bold, Duke of Burgundy||1342–1404, duke 1363–1404||Son of John II of France|
|John the Fearless, Duke of Burgundy||1371–1419, duke 1404–1419||Son of Philip the Bold|
|Philip the Good, Duke of Burgundy||1396–1467, duke 1419–1467||Son of John the Fearless|
Gascony is a province of southwestern France that was part of the "Province of Guyenne and Gascony" prior to the French Revolution. The region is vaguely defined, and the distinction between Guyenne and Gascony is unclear; by some they are seen to overlap, while others consider Gascony a part of Guyenne. Most definitions put Gascony east and south of Bordeaux.
Philip VI, called the Fortunate and of Valois, was the first King of France from the House of Valois. He reigned from 1328 until his death.
The Duke of Aquitaine was the ruler of the ancient region of Aquitaine under the supremacy of Frankish, English, and later French kings.
The Battle of Sluys, also called the Battle of l'Ecluse, was a naval battle fought on 24 June 1340 between England and France, in the roadstead of the port of Sluys, on a since silted-up inlet between Zeeland and West Flanders. The English fleet of 120–150 ships was led by Edward III of England and the 230-strong French fleet by the Breton knight Hugues Quiéret, Admiral of France, and Nicolas Béhuchet, Constable of France. It was one of the opening engagements of the Hundred Years' War.
The Battle of Neville's Cross took place during the Second War of Scottish Independence on 17 October 1346, half a mile to the west of Durham, England. An invading Scottish army of 12,000 led by King David II was defeated with heavy loss by an English army of approximately 6,000–7,000 men led by Ralph Neville, Lord Neville. The battle was named after an Anglo-Saxon stone cross that stood on the hill where the Scots made their stand. After the victory, Neville paid to have a new cross erected to commemorate the day.
The Duchy of Aquitaine was a historical fiefdom in western, central and southern areas of present-day France to the south of the Loire River, although its extent, as well as its name, fluctuated greatly over the centuries, at times comprising much of what is now southwestern France (Gascony) and central France.
The Siege of Calais occurred at the conclusion of the Crécy campaign, when an English army under the command of King Edward III of England successfully besieged the French town of Calais during the Edwardian phase of the Hundred Years' War.
The Battle of Winchelsea or the Battle of Les Espagnols sur Mer, was a naval battle that took place on 29 August 1350 and was a victory for an English fleet of 50 ships commanded by King Edward III over a Castilian fleet of 47 larger vessels commanded by Charles de La Cerda. Between 14 and 26 Castilian ships were captured, and several were sunk. Only two English vessels were sunk but there was significant loss of life. The battle was part of the Hundred Years' War between England and France.
The Battle of Blanchetaque was fought on 24 August 1346 between an English army under King Edward III and a French force commanded by Godemar du Fay. The battle was part of the Crécy campaign, which took place during the early stages of the Hundred Years' War. After landing in the Cotentin Peninsula on 12 July, the English army had burnt a path of destruction through some of the richest lands in France to within 20 miles (32 km) of Paris, sacking a number of towns on the way. The English then marched north, hoping to link up with an allied Flemish army which had invaded from Flanders. They were outmanoeuvred by the French king, Philip VI, who garrisoned all of the bridges and fords over the River Somme and followed the English with his own field army. The area had previously been stripped of food stocks by the French, and the English were essentially trapped.
The Battle of Lunalonge was fought in the summer of 1349 between a French force numbering approximately 1,500 men and an Anglo-Gascon force of some 500 men, during the first phase of the Hundred Years' War. The location of the battle is thought to have been modern Limalonges in Deux-Sèvres. The outnumbered Anglo-Gascons, commanded by Thomas Coke, gained the upper hand during the day, but had to withdraw on foot during the night because the French, under Jean de Lille, had captured their horses. The French lost approximately 300 killed and an unknown but large number captured, including their leader.
The Battle of Auberoche was fought on 21 October 1345 during the Gascon campaign of 1345 between an Anglo-Gascon force of 1,200 men under Henry, Earl of Lancaster, and a French army of 7,000 commanded by Louis of Poitiers. It was fought at the village of Auberoche near Périgueux in northern Aquitaine. At the time, Gascony was a territory of the English Crown and the "English" army included a large proportion of native Gascons. The battle resulted in a heavy defeat for the French, who suffered very high casualties, with their leaders killed or captured.
The Battle of Caen on 26 July 1346 was the assault on the French-held town by elements of an invading English army under King Edward III as a part of the Hundred Years' War. The English army numbered 12,000–15,000, and part of it, nominally commanded by the Earls of Warwick and Northampton, prematurely attacked the town. Caen was garrisoned by 1,000–1,500 soldiers and an unknown, but large, number of armed townsmen, commanded by Raoul, the Count of Eu, the Grand Constable of France. The town was captured in the first assault; more than 5,000 of the ordinary soldiers and townspeople were killed and a few nobles were taken prisoner. The town was then sacked for five days.
The dual monarchy of England and France existed during the latter phase of the Hundred Years' War when Charles VII of France and Henry VI of England disputed the succession to the throne of France. It commenced on 21 October 1422 upon the death of King Charles VI of France, who had signed the Treaty of Troyes which gave the French crown to his son-in-law Henry V of England and Henry's heirs. It excluded King Charles's son, the Dauphin Charles, who by right of primogeniture was the heir to the Kingdom of France. Although the Treaty was ratified by the Estates-General of France, the act was a contravention of the French law of succession which decreed that the French crown could not be alienated. Henry VI, son of Henry V, became king of both England and France and was recognized only by the English and Burgundians until 1435 as King Henry II of France. He was crowned King of France on 16 December 1431.
The Battle of Bergerac was fought between Anglo-Gascon and French forces at the town of Bergerac in Gascony, in August 1345 during the Hundred Years' War. In early 1345 Edward III of England decided to launch a major attack on the French from the north, while sending smaller forces to Brittany and Gascony, the latter being both economically important to the English war effort and the proximate cause of the war. The French focused on the threat to northern France, leaving comparatively small forces in the south west.
Between August and November 1345 Henry, Earl of Derby, conducted the whirlwind Gascon campaign of 1345 in Gascony, an English-controlled territory in south west France. The campaign was part of the Hundred Years' War, and Derby, commanding an Anglo-Gascon force, oversaw the first successful land campaign of the war. He twice defeated large French armies in battle, taking many noble and knightly prisoners. They were ransomed by their captors, greatly enriching Derby and his soldiers in the process. Following this campaign, morale and prestige swung England's way in the border region between English-occupied Gascony and French-ruled territory, providing an influx of taxes and recruits for the English armies. As a result, France's ability to raise tax money and troops from the region was much reduced.
The Gascon campaign of 1294 to 1303 was a military conflict between English and French forces over the Duchy of Aquitaine, including the Duchy of Gascony. The Duchy of Aquitaine was held in fief by King Edward I of England as a vassal of King Philip IV of France. Starting with a fishing fleet dispute and then naval warfare, the conflict escalated to open warfare between the two countries. In spite of a French military victory on the ground, the war ended when the Treaty of Paris was signed in 1303, which restored the status quo. The war was a premise to future tensions between the two nations culminating in the Hundred Years' War.
The Siege of Aiguillon, an episode in the Hundred Years' War, began on 1 April 1346 when a French army commanded by John, Duke of Normandy, laid siege to the Gascon town of Aiguillon. The town was defended by an Anglo-Gascon army under Ralph, Earl of Stafford.
Lancaster's chevauchée of 1346 was a series of offensives directed by Henry, Earl of Lancaster, in southwestern France during autumn 1346, as a part of the Hundred Years' War.
The Crécy campaign was a large-scale raid (chevauchée) conducted by an English army throughout northern France in 1346, which devastated the French countryside on a wide front and culminated in the eponymous Battle of Crécy. It was part of the Hundred Years' War. The campaign began on 12 July 1346, with the landing of English troops in Normandy, and ended with the capitulation of Calais on 3 August 1347. The English army was led by King Edward III, and the French by King Philip VI.
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