|Caroline War (1369–1389)|
|Part of the Hundred Years' War|
The Battle of Pontvallain
|Crown of Castile||Ghent rebels (1383-85)||Ghent rebels (1379-1383)|
|Commanders and leaders|
|Robert Knolles||Jan Hyoens|
The Caroline War was the second phase of the Hundred Years' War between France and England, following the Edwardian War. It was so-named after Charles V of France, who resumed the war nine years after the Treaty of Brétigny (signed 1360). The Kingdom of France dominated this phase of the war.
The Black Prince, eldest son and heir of Edward III of England, spent a huge sum of money in order to restore Peter the Cruel to the throne of Castile. The Castilian King was unable to repay him, however, so the Black Prince raised the taxes in his domains in Aquitaine. The people's complaints were unheeded, so they appealed to the French King Charles V. In May 1369, the Black Prince received summons from the French king demanding his presence in Paris. The prince refused, and Charles responded by declaring war. He immediately set out to reverse the territorial losses imposed at Brétigny and he was largely successful in his lifetime. His successor, Charles VI, made peace with the son of the Black Prince, Richard II, in 1389. This truce was extended many times until the war was resumed in 1415.
In the Treaty of Brétigny, Edward III renounced his claim to the French throne in exchange for the duchy of Aquitaine in full sovereignty. Between the nine years of formal peace between the two kingdoms, the English and French clashed in Brittany and Castile.
In the War of the Breton Succession, the English backed the heir male, the House of Montfort (a cadet of the House of Dreux, itself a cadet of the Capetian dynasty) while the French backed the heir general, the House of Blois. Since Brittany allowed female succession, the French considered the Blois side to be the rightful heir. The war began in 1341, but the English continued backing the Montforts even after the Peace of Brétigny. The English-supported claimant John of Montfort defeated and killed the French claimant, Charles of Blois, at the Battle of Auray in 1364. By that time, however, Edward III no longer had a claim to the throne of France, so John had to accept the suzerainty of the French king in order to hold his duchy in peace. Thus, the English derived no benefit from their victory. In fact, the French received the benefit of improved generalship in the person of the Breton commander Bertrand du Guesclin, who, leaving Brittany, entered the service of Charles and became one of his most successful generals.
With peace in France, the mercenaries and soldiers lately employed in the war became unemployed, and turned to plundering. Charles V also had a score to settle with Pedro the Cruel, King of Castile, who married his sister-in-law, Blanche of Bourbon, and had her poisoned. Charles V ordered Du Guesclin to lead these bands to Castile to depose Pedro the Cruel. The Castilian Civil War ensued. Du Guesclin succeeded in his object; Henry of Trastámara was placed on the Castilian throne.
Having been opposed by the French, Pedro appealed to the Black Prince for aid, promising rewards. The Black Prince succeeded in restoring Pedro following the Battle of Nájera. But Pedro refused to make payments, to the chagrin of his English and Navarrese allies. Without them, Pedro was once more deposed, and lost his life. Again the English gained nothing from their intervention, except the enmity of the new king of Castile, who allied himself with France. The English merchant community that had been established in Seville was massacred on Henry's order.Between 1372 and 1380, Castilian corsairs raided the southern coasts of England with relative impunity, turning the tide in the Hundred Years' War decisively in France's favour.
The Black Prince's intervention in the Castilian Civil War, and the failure of Pedro to reward his services, depleted the prince's treasury. He resolved to recover his losses by raising the taxes in Aquitaine. The Gascons, unaccustomed to such taxes, complained. Unheeded, they turned to the King of France as their feudal overlord. But by the Treaty of Brétigny the King of France had lost his suzerainty over Aquitaine. After reflecting on the matter, it was asserted that Edward III's renunciation of France had been imperfect. In consequence, the King of France retained his suzerainty over Aquitaine. Charles V summoned the Black Prince to answer the complaints of his vassals but Edward refused. The Caroline phase of the Hundred Years' War began.
Charles V resumed the war in favorable conditions. France, after all, was still the foremost kingdom in Western Europe; England had also lost its most capable military leaders — Edward III was too old, while the Black Prince was languishing in sickness.
Just before New Year's Day 1370, the English seneschal of Poitou, John Chandos, was killed at the bridge at Lussac-les-Châteaux. The loss of this commander was a significant blow to the English. Jean III de Grailly, the captal de Buch, was also captured and locked up by Charles, who did not feel bound by "outdated" chivalry. Du Guesclin continued a series of careful campaigns, avoiding major English field forces, but capturing town after town, including Poitiers in 1372 and Bergerac in 1377. Du Guesclin, who according to chronicler Jean Froissart, had advised the French king not to engage the English in the field, was successful in these Fabian tactics, though in the only two major battles in which he fought, Auray (1364) and Nájera (1367), he was on the losing side and was captured but released for ransom. The English response to du Guesclin was to launch a series of destructive military expeditions, called chevauchées, in an effort at total war to destroy the countryside and the productivity of the land. But du Guesclin refused to be drawn into open battle. He continued his successful command of the French armies until his death in 1380.
In 1372, English command of the sea, which had been kept since the Battle of Sluys, came to an end at La Rochelle. An English fleet carrying supplies and reinforcements for the English forces in Aquitaine was destroyed by the Castilians who had cannon and who sprayed oil on the decks of the English ships and then fired flaming arrows to ignite it. This defeat undermined English seaborne trade and supplies and isolated their Gascon possessions.
In 1373 John of Gaunt commanded what historians call the Great Chevauchée. It was launched between two epidemics of the Black Death in 1369 and 1375. The economic impact of the Black Death was devastating, and John of Gaunt was having difficulty financing his French campaign.According to chronicler Jean Froissart the Chevauchée had been planned for three years.
English armies were known for their devastating capability in chevauchée warfare.The chevauchée or "war-ride" involved leading an army through enemy territory and burning manors, mills and villages. This wore away the enemy's tax revenues and undermined political support. Using this tactic, the English could strike and withdraw before the enemy could respond. This tactic had helped Edward III and his son, The Black Prince, force a surrender in the Edwardian Wars.
The English forces were ambushed by one of France's most effective commanders, Olivier de Clisson. In the frontier lands between King Charles V's domains and the Duchy of Burgundy, 600 English and Bretons were killed and many others were taken prisoner.When the English tried to cross the rivers Loire and Allier in October, they lost most of their baggage train and transport. According to the Grandes Chroniques de France the English had little provisions, and had lost many men and most of their horses. Even after the chevauchée had left Burgundian territory, the Duke of Burgundy continued to watch their movements closely, and there was fierce fighting between French and English forces.
When John of Gaunt's forces finally reached Bordeaux on Christmas Eve in 1373, they were half-starved and weary. Grandes Chroniques de France says the chevauchée had lost most of their men and many knights had lost their armor because they were unable to carry them.The Great Chevauchée was over.
The Great Chevauchée's defeat caused tremendous anger and resentment in Britain. John of Gaunt continued to be a powerful political player, but he was not popular and his efforts to promote peace with France were unsuccessful.
The Treaty of Bruges was a treaty signed in 1375 between France and England in Bruges, present-day Belgium. The conference leading to the treaty was called at the instigation of Pope Gregory XI.France was represented in the negotiations by Philip II, Duke of Burgundy and England by John of Gaunt, 1st Duke of Lancaster. Negotiations broke down over the issue of sovereignty over the Aquitaine. The English wanted full sovereignty over Edward's territories, while the French insisted that the House of Valois retain sovereignty of any Plantagenet provinces. Despite attempts by the Pope to broker a compromise, agreement could not be reached and the war resumed in 1377.
In 1376, the Black Prince died, and in April 1377, Edward III of England sent his Chancellor, Adam Houghton, to negotiate for peace with Charles, but when in June Edward himself died, Houghton was called home.The underaged Richard of Bordeaux succeeded to the throne of England. It was not until Richard had been deposed by his cousin Henry Bolingbroke that the English, under the House of Lancaster, could forcefully revive their claim to the French throne. The war nonetheless continued until the first of a series of truces was signed in 1389.
Charles V died in September 1380 and was succeeded by his underage son, Charles VI, who was placed under the joint regency of his three uncles. With his successes, Charles may have believed that the end of the war was at hand. On his deathbed Charles V repealed the royal taxation necessary to fund the war effort. As the regents attempted to reimpose the taxation a popular revolt known as the Harelle broke out in Rouen. As tax collectors arrived at other French cities the revolt spread and violence broke out in Paris and most of France's other northern cities. The regency was forced to repeal the taxes to calm the situation.
In 1378 Charles V's support for the election of the Avignon Pope Clement VII started the Great Schism.This event split the Church for almost four decades and thwarted papal efforts to prevent or end the Hundred Years' War. The disputed papal succession resulted in several lines of popes competing for the support of national rulers, which exacerbated the political divisions of the war. Despite papal involvement in peace conferences throughout the 14th century, no settlement was ever reached, in part because the papacy was not influential enough to impose one.
John of Gaunt was an English prince, military leader, and statesman. He was the third of the five sons of King Edward III of England who survived to adulthood. Due to his royal origin, advantageous marriages, and some generous land grants, Gaunt was one of the richest men of his era, and was an influential figure during the reigns of both his father, Edward, and his nephew, Richard II. As Duke of Lancaster, he is the founder of the royal House of Lancaster, whose members would ascend to the throne after his death. His birthplace, Ghent, corrupted into English as Gaunt, was the origin for his name. When he became unpopular later in life, a scurrilous rumour circulated, along with lampoons, claiming that he was actually the son of a Ghent butcher. This rumour, which infuriated him, may have been inspired by the fact that Edward III had not been present at his birth.
Charles II, called Charles the Bad, was King of Navarre 1349–1387 and Count of Évreux 1343–1387.
Charles V, called the Wise, was King of France from 1364 to his death in 1380. His reign marked an early high point for France during the Hundred Years' War, with his armies recovering much of the territory held by the English, and successfully reversed the military losses of his predecessors.
Ferdinand I, sometimes called the Handsome or occasionally the Inconstant, was the King of Portugal from 1367 until his death in 1383. His death led to the 1383–85 crisis, also known as the Portuguese interregnum.
Henry II, called Henry of Trastámara or the Fratricidal, was the first king of Castile and León from the House of Trastámara. He became king in 1369 by defeating his half-brother Peter the Cruel, after numerous rebellions and battles. As king he was involved in the Fernandine Wars and the Hundred Years' War.
The Duke of Aquitaine was the ruler of the ancient region of Aquitaine under the supremacy of Frankish, English, and later French kings.
The Treaty of Brétigny was a treaty, drafted on 8 May 1360 and ratified on 24 October 1360, between King Edward III of England and King John II of France. In retrospect, it is seen as having marked the end of the first phase of the Hundred Years' War (1337–1453) as well as the height of English power on the European continent.
Bertrand du Guesclin, nicknamed "The Eagle of Brittany" or "The Black Dog of Brocéliande", was a Breton knight and an important military commander on the French side during the Hundred Years' War. From 1370 to his death, he was Constable of France for King Charles V. Well known for his Fabian strategy, he took part in six pitched battles and won the four in which he held command.
The Battle of Nájera, also known as the Battle of Navarrete, was fought on 3 April 1367 near Nájera, in the province of La Rioja, Castile. It was an episode of the first Castilian Civil War which confronted King Peter of Castile with his half-brother Count Henry of Trastámara who aspired to the throne; the war involved Castile in the Hundred Years' War. Castilian naval power, far superior to that of France or England, encouraged the two polities to take sides in the civil war, to gain control over the Castilian fleet.
The Battle of Montiel was a battle fought on 14 March 1369 between the Franco-Castilian forces supporting Henry of Trastámara and the Granadian-Castilian forces supporting the reigning Peter of Castile.
This is a timeline of the Hundred Years' War between England and France from 1337 to 1453 as well as some of the events leading up to the war.
John Hastings, 2nd Earl of Pembroke, KG, was a fourteenth-century English nobleman and soldier. He also held the title Baron Abergavenny. He was born in Sutton Valence, the son of Laurence Hastings, 1st Earl of Pembroke, and Agnes Mortimer. His father died when John Hastings was only a year old, and he became a ward of King Edward III whilst remaining in his mother's care. The King arranged for John to marry Edward's daughter Margaret in 1359, which drew John into the royal family. However, Margaret died two years later. John Hastings inherited his father's earldom, subsidiary titles and estates in 1368. The same year he made a second marriage, to Anne, daughter of Walter, Lord Mauny. The following year Pembroke commenced the career in royal service that was to consume the rest of his life. The Hundred Years' War had recently reignited in France, and in 1369 Pembroke journeyed to Aquitaine.
Sir Hugh Calveley was an English knight and commander, who took part in the Hundred Years' War, gaining fame during the War of the Breton Succession and the Castilian Civil War. He held various military posts in Brittany and Normandy. He should not be confused with his nephew, also Sir Hugh Calveley, who died in June 1393 and was Member of Parliament for Rutland.
The War of the Two Peters was fought from 1356 to 1375 between the kingdoms of Castile and Aragon. Its name refers to the rulers of the countries, Peter of Castile and Peter IV of Aragon. One historian has written that "all of the centuries-old lessons of border fighting were used as two evenly matched opponents dueled across frontiers that could change hands with lightning speed."
Events from the 1360s in England.
Events from the 1370s in England.
The treaty of Bruges of 1375 was a truce between the Kingdoms of England and France during the Hundred Years' War. It was signed on 27 June 1375 for one year, then extended on 12 March 1376 to 24 June 1377. King Charles V of France retained the territories conquered during his previous military operations. The Duchy of Brittany is returned to France, with the exception of Brest, Auray and Berval which remain the possessions of John IV of Brittany.
The Hundred Years' War (1337–1453) was a war involving a series of conflicts between the Kingdom of England and Kingdom of France, that took place during the Late Middle Ages, and lasted for a total of 116 years. The war had been based on disputed claims to the French crown by the English Royal Dynasty House of Plantagenet and the French House of Valois. Over time, the war encompassed a broad power struggle, involving factions from across Western Europe, and was fueled by emerging nationalist sentiment on both sides.
The Battle of Pontvallain, part of the Hundred Years' War, took place in the Sarthe region of north-west France on 4 December 1370, when a French army under Bertrand du Guesclin heavily defeated an English force which had broken away from an army commanded by Sir Robert Knolles. The French numbered 5,200 men, and the English force was approximately the same size.
Chivalry and Betrayal: The Hundred Years' War is a 2013 documentary television series written and presented by cultural historian Dr. Janina Ramirez looking at a time when the ruling classes of England and France were bound together by shared sets of values, codes of behaviour and language for three hundred years that ended with the Hundred Years' War when chivalry ended with the devastating warfare of cannon and betrayal between rulers when England lost her French possessions. It was originally broadcast by the BBC in February 2013.