|March to Reims|
|Part of the Hundred Years' War|
Coronation of Charles VII in Reims (miniature from the Vigiles du roi Charles VII (Vigils of King Charles VII) by Martial d'Auvergne, Paris, BnF, Manuscripts department).
|Kingdom of France|| Kingdom of England |
|Commanders and leaders|
Charles VII of France
After the French lifted the siege of Orléans and won a decisive victory at the Battle of Patay, the English and Burgundians no longer posed a threat. Joan of Arc convinced the Dauphin Charles to go to Reims for his coronation. Successfully marching their army though the heart of territory held by the hostile Burgundians solidified the Dauphin’s grasp on the throne of France. He had been disinherited from it through the Treaty of Troyes.
Following the assassination of John the Fearless, the Treaty of Troyes in 1420 gave the throne of France to Henry V of England.Henry had married the daughter of King Charles VI of France, and his son Henry VI was to succeed him to the thrones of both France and England. But Henry V died in 1422 when his son was not yet one year old; the regency was entrusted to John of Lancaster, Duke of Bedford. The intervention of Joan of Arc with the Dauphin Charles was seen as miraculous, even more so after the lifting of the Siege of Orléans and the Battle of Patay.
For the first time in the history of France, the eldest son of the king did not inherit the crown. Charles VI of France disinherited his son, leaving the kingdom of France to Henry VI of England, the son of his daughter Catherine. After Charles VI died, his son challenged his disinheritance and claimed the throne. Despite the French victory in the Battle of Patay on 18 June, which caused the English to retreat to Paris,The dauphin refused to continue on to Reims, which was held by the Burgundians. He remained in Sully-sur-Loire then withdrew to Orléans intending to be crowned there, as Louis VI had been. Nevertheless, a coronation in Reims would have a much greater impact because it would be seen as a new miracle, attesting to his divine legitimacy.
After initially meeting the Dauphin on 23 May 1429 at Loches,Joan of Arc next met him on 21 June at the Fleury Abbey to persuade him to go to Reims. The next day, the dauphin's council met in Châteauneuf-sur-Loire and ordered the army to gather at Gien.
On 24 June, preceded by her squire, Louis de Coutes, who held her banner emblazoned Jhésus Maria, Joan of Arc — arriving at Gien wearing her armor forged in Tours and the sword of Fierbois, found Charles VII. The next day 12000 men of the king's army gathered in Gien, bringing to 33000 the cavalry forces and 40000 foot soldiers. The French army took Bonny-sur-Loire and Saint-Fargeau.
Joan of Arc broke her sword on the back of a camp follower.Two days later the Dauphin ordered a march to the city of the coronation: the march began at Gien on 29 June 1429. The ease of the march showed both the fragility of the Anglo-Burgundian rule and the restoration of confidence in the cause of Charles VII of France. According to Jean de Dunois, bluffing was the only tactic that opened the gates of the city. The Marshal of France Gilles de Rais rode to Reims, hoping to use this victorious march to retrieve a ransom of land taken from "collaborators."
Joan of Arc left Gien accompanied by her captains: Tugdual de Kermoysan, La Hire, André of Lohéac, Pierre Rieux , Jean V de Bueil, Pierre Bessonneau, Jacques de Chabannes, Jacques de Dinan , Pierre Bessonneau, and Jean Poton de Xaintrailles. On the road to Reims, the Constable Richemont sent Pierre Rostrenen to ask the dauphin for leave to serve him at his coronation. Rostrenen instead accompanied the constable to Parthenay. During the march, the Burgundian garrison in Auxerre refused to open its gates. Georges de la Trémoille, a favorite of the Dauphin, reportedly bribed the minister of the city two thousand gold écus.
The city remained neutral and allowed the French army to resupply itself and camp outside its walls on 1 and 2 July.The army of the Dauphin left again; Saint-Florentin submitted immediately, as did Brienon l’Archevêque. On 4 July, the army reached Troyes, occupied by five or six hundred Burgundians, who refused to open the gates.
After four days of siege, the majority of the dauphin's council wanted to lift the siege and continue on the road without entering the city. On the fifth day of the siege, 9 July, Troyes capitulated (for fear of attack), but only Charles VII and the captains were able to enter. The soldiers spent the night in Saint-Phal, under the command of Ambroise de Loré. Gilles de Rais was one of the leaders of the army who reduced Troyes to obedience.
Fewer than 2000 English soldiersof the captain of Paris, John of Lancaster, occupied Paris, which had as its provost Simon Morhier, and as Governor Jean de La Baume. Philip the Good of Burgundy opted to leave Laon for Paris, where he arrived on 10 July, appointed the Master of the Louvre Jean de Villiers de L'Isle-Adam governor, and committed to him the safety of Paris in the absence of Lancaster. Philip sent ambassadors to the Dauphin to sue for peace.
On 11 July the Dauphin's army left Troyes to head to Châlons-en-Champagne, which opened its gates on 14 July to let him spend the night.
On Saturday 16 July, Philip the Good left Paris to return to Laon, while the Archbishop of Reims, Regnault de Chartres, left Reims in the hands of William, Lord of Châtillon-sur-Marne and of the Sire of Saveuse. The dauphin arrived at the castle of the Archbishop of Reims in Sept-Saulx (located 21 km from Reims). The dauphin called on the people of Reims to open their gates, despite their vow to resist him for six weeks until relieved by Lancaster and Philip the Good. After negotiations and dinner, Charles VII entered and slept in Reims. That same day, René of Anjou brought homage from Lorraine and Barrois to the Dauphin.
On Sunday 17 July 1429 Charles VII was crowned King of France in Reims:he received the Holy Ampulla from the hands of the Archbishop Renault Chartres.
"Noble King, now is executed the pleasure of God who wished I lift the siege of Orléans, and I bring you into this city of Rheims to receive your holy coronation to show you are the true king, and the one to whom the kingdom of France must belong," declared Joan of Arc, paying tribute to her king.
The coronation ceremony, given the circumstances, took place in simplicity. The crown, the scepter, and the globe were still in English-held Saint-Denis. Only three of the spiritual peers attended the ceremony: the Archbishop of Reims Renault Chartres, the Bishop of Laon William of Champeaux, and the bishop of Châlons Jean Saarbrücken. But the eighth sacrament, the anointing of the king, gave him the sacred sign of legitimate power, and made him the rightful monarch, of the House of Valois, authentically appointed by God, unlike John of Lancaster, who was imposed by an enemy army and the irresponsible signature of a mad king.
For the fifth centennial of the campaign, and in the context of the canonization of Joan of Arc, a series of plaques was mounted along the route that Joan followed to retake Reims and crown the king.
Joan of Arc is a patron saint of France, honored as a defender of the French nation for her role in the siege of Orléans and her insistence on the coronation of Charles VII of France during the Hundred Years' War. Stating that she was acting under divine guidance, she became a military leader who transcended gender roles and gained recognition as a savior of France.
The siege of Orléans was the watershed of the Hundred Years' War between France and England. It was the French royal army's first major military victory to follow the crushing defeat at the Battle of Agincourt in 1415, and also the first while Joan of Arc was with the army. The siege took place at the pinnacle of English power during the later stages of the war. The city held strategic and symbolic significance to both sides of the conflict. The consensus among contemporaries was that the English regent, John of Lancaster, would have succeeded in realizing his brother the English king Henry V's dream of conquering all of France if Orléans fell. For half a year the English and their French allies appeared to be winning, but the siege collapsed nine days after Joan's arrival.
Charles VII, called the Victorious or the Well-Served, was King of France from 1422 to his death in 1461.
Charles VI, nicknamed the Beloved and later the Mad, was King of France from 1380 until his death in 1422. He is known for his mental illness and psychotic episodes that plagued him throughout his life.
The Treaty of Troyes was an agreement that King Henry V of England and his heirs would inherit the French throne upon the death of King Charles VI of France. It was formally signed in the French city of Troyes on 21 May 1420 in the aftermath of Henry's successful military campaign in France. It forms a part of the backdrop of the latter phase of the Hundred Years' War finally won by the French at the Battle of Castillon in 1453, and in which various English kings tried to establish their claims to the French throne.
Pierre Cauchon was Bishop of Beauvais from 1420 to 1432. He was a strong partisan of English interests in France during the latter years of the Hundred Years' War. He was the judge in the trial of Joan of Arc and played a key role in her execution. The Catholic Church overturned his verdict in 1456.
Jean d'Orléans, Count of Dunois, known as the "Bastard of Orléans" or simply Jean de Dunois, was a French military leader during the Hundred Years' War who participated in military campaigns with Joan of Arc. His nickname, the "Bastard of Orléans", was a term of higher hierarchy and respect, since it acknowledged him as a first cousin to the king and acting head of a cadet branch of the royal family during his half-brother's captivity. In 1439 he received the county of Dunois from his half-brother Charles, Duke of Orléans, and later king Charles VII made him count of Longueville.
Yolande of Aragon was Duchess of Anjou and Countess of Provence by marriage, who acted as regent of Provence during the minority of her son. She was a daughter of Joan I of Aragon and his wife Violant of Bar. Yolande played a crucial role in the struggles between France and England, influencing events such as the financing of Joan of Arc's army in 1429 that helped tip the balance in favour of the French. She was also known as Yolanda de Aragón and Violant d'Aragó. Tradition holds that she commissioned the famous Rohan Hours.
Robert de Baudricourt, Seigneur de Baudricourt, Blaise, Buxy and Sorcy was a minor figure of 15th century French nobility. The son of the Chamberlain of the Duke of Bar, his principal claim to fame is to have been the first stepping stone in the career of Joan of Arc.
Jean de Brosse (1375–1433), Lord of Boussac, Sainte-Sévère and Huriel, was a councillor and chamberlain to Charles VII of France; he was made a Marshal of France in 1426.
The Burgundian party was a political allegiance against France that formed during the latter half of the Hundred Years' War. The term "Burgundians" refers to the supporters of the Duke of Burgundy, John the Fearless, that formed after the assassination of Louis I, Duke of Orléans. Their opposition to the Armagnac party, the supporters of Charles, Duke of Orléans, led to a civil war in the early 15th century, itself part of the larger Hundred Years' War.
Georges de la Trémoille was Count of Guînes from 1398 to 1446 and Grand Chamberlain of France to King Charles VII of France. He sought reconciliation between Philip, Duke of Burgundy and Charles VII during their estrangement in the latter part of the Hundred Years' War. De la Trémoille was a political opponent of Arthur de Richemont within the French court. Most historians take a poor view of his career, assessing that he placed personal advancement before the public interest, though the traditional historical interpretation of the Grand Chamberlain as Jeanne d'Arc's opponent has been revised.
The Battle of Jargeau took place on 11–12 June 1429. It was part of the Loire Campaign during the Hundred Years' War, where Charles VII's forces successfully recaptured much of the region following their victory at the siege of Orleans. The battle ended in victory for Charles VII and is notable as Joan of Arc's first offensive battle.
The Lancastrian War was the third and final phase of the Anglo-French Hundred Years' War. It lasted from 1415, when King Henry V of England invaded Normandy, to 1453, when the English lost Bordeaux. It followed a long period of peace from the end of the Caroline War in 1389. The phase is named after the House of Lancaster, the ruling house of the Kingdom of England, to which Henry V belonged.
Jean d'Aulon (1390–1458) was a French knight and lord best known for serving alongside Jeanne d'Arc as her soldier, steward, bodyguard, and squire. Some sources incorrectly attribute the role of d'Arc's bodyguard to Gilles de Rais. d'Aulon was an avid and detailed journaler and his records, considered to be honest and straightforward, set the foundation for what we know about Jeanne d'Arc, including her apparent amenorrhea.
The Armagnac–Burgundian Civil War was a conflict between two cadet branches of the French royal family – the House of Orléans and the House of Burgundy from 1407 to 1435. It began during a lull in the Hundred Years' War against the English and overlapped with the Western Schism of the papacy.
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 siege of Paris was an assault undertaken in September 1429 during the Hundred Years' War by the troops of the recently crowned King Charles VII of France, with the notable presence of Joan of Arc, to take the city held by the English Burgundians. King Charles's French troops failed to enter Paris, defended by the governor Jean de Villiers de L'Isle-Adam and the provost Simon Morhier, with the support of much of the city's population.
Events from the year 1429 in France
Antoine de Chabannes (1408-1488), from 1439 Count of Dammartin, was a significant military and political figure of 15th-century France. An indefatigable fighter, during his long career he joined or led numerous military campaigns all over France and beyond. He served the French Valois kings Charles VII, Louis XI and Charles VIII, but also participated in two aristocratic uprisings, the Praguerie against Charles VII in 1440 and the War of the Public Weal in 1465 against Louis XI. Associated early in his life with the Armagnac faction, he fought in Charles VII's campaigns against England, including those involving Joan of Arc, and also remained generally opposed to the Burgundians and their Habsburg successors. 18th-century scholar Charles Pinot Duclos described him as "one of the bravest men of his time, sincere, faithful, quick-tempered, a keen friend and implacable enemy". Claude Villaret called him "the most experienced general of his era".