Ponthieu ( [pɔ̃.tjø] , Latin : Pagus Pontivi) was one of six feudal counties that eventually merged to become part of the Province of Picardy, in northern France. Its chief town is Abbeville.
Ponthieu played a small but important role in the politics that led up to the Norman invasion of England in 1066.
Harold Godwinson of England was shipwrecked at Ponthieu, in 1064 and taken captive by Guy I (or Wido according to the Bayeux Tapestry), the then Count of Ponthieu.It is alleged that William (Duke of Normandy, later William I of England), discovering that Harold had been taken captive, sent messengers ordering Count Guy to hand over his prisoner. William then forced Harold to swear to support his claim to the throne, only revealing after the event that the box on which Harold had made his oath contained holy relics, making the promise especially binding.
In 1067 the chaplain of Matilda of Flanders, Guy, Bishop of Amiens, composed Carmen de Hastingae Proelio, a Latin poem on the battle of Hastings.
In 1150 the Count of Ponthieu built a fortress for himself at Crotoy, a strategic point on the mouth of the river Somme.
During the Hundred Years' War, Ponthieu changed hands a number of times, although the English claimed control of it from 1279–1369, and then later until 1435. During English control of Ponthieu, Abbeville was used as the capital.
In late August 1346, during his campaigns on French soil, Edward III of England reached the region of Ponthieu. While there, he restored the fortress at Crotoy that had been ruined. He forced a passage of the Somme at the ford of Blanchetaque. The army led by Philip VI of France caught up with him at nearby Crécy-en-Ponthieu, leading to the famous Battle of Crécy.
In 1360, the Treaty of Brétigny between King John II of France and Edward III of England gave control of Ponthieu (along with Gascony and Calais) over to the English, in exchange for Edward relinquishing his claim to the French throne. Edward took the land but still refused to surrender his claim.
In April, 1369 Charles V of France conquered Ponthieu, and a month later declared war on England (he had done so previously in 1368 as well). As a result, Edward publicly reassumed the title 'King of France' in June.
In 1372 an English army under the leadership of Robert Knolles invaded Ponthieu, burning the city of Le Crotoy before crossing the Somme at the ford of Blanchetaque.
Also during the Hundred Years' War, in the Treaty of Arras (1435), Charles VII of France bribed Philip the Good, Duke of Burgundy, to break his alliance with the English in exchange for possession of Ponthieu. This arguably marked a turning point that led to the end of England's part in the conflict 40 years later.
In 1477 Ponthieu was reconquered by King Louis XI of France.
Renaissance Ponthieu, specifically Abbeville, is the setting for the 1993 film The Hour of the Pig , which was released in the US as The Advocate and stars Colin Firth. Part of the action turns on the difference in the Renaissance era between Ponthieu law and that of France, which was then a separate kingdom.
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, along with his youngest son, and much of the French nobility who were present.
Harold Godwinson, also called Harold II, was the last crowned Anglo-Saxon king of England. Harold reigned from 6 January 1066 until his death at the Battle of Hastings, fighting the Norman invaders led by William the Conqueror during the Norman conquest of England. His death marked the end of Anglo-Saxon rule over England.
The Battle of Crécy took place on 26 August 1346 in northern 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.
Picardy is a historical territory and a former administrative region of France. Since 1 January 2016, it has been part of the new region of Hauts-de-France. It is located in the northern part of France.
The Somme is a river in Picardy, northern France.
Crécy-en-Ponthieu, known in archaic English as Cressy, is a commune located south of Calais in the northern French department of Somme. It gives its name to Crécy Forest, which starts about two kilometres to the south-west of the town and is one of the largest in the north of France. A small river, the Maye, runs through the town.
Guy I of Ponthieu was born sometime in the mid-to late 1020s and died 13 October 1100. He succeeded his brother Enguerrand as Count of Ponthieu.
Saint-Riquier is a commune in the Somme department in Hauts-de-France in northern France.
The County of Ponthieu, centered on the mouth of the Somme, became a member of the Norman group of vassal states when Count Guy submitted to William of Normandy after the battle of Mortemer. It eventually formed part of the dowry of Eleanor of Castile and passed to the English crown. Much fought-over in the Hundred Years' War, it eventually passed to the French royal domain, and the title Count of Ponthieu became a courtesy title for the royal family.
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 arrondissement of Abbeville is an arrondissement in the Somme department in the Hauts-de-France region of France. It has 164 communes. Its population is 125,867 (2016), and its area is 1,560.6 km2 (602.6 sq mi).
Le Crotoy is a commune in the Somme department in Hauts-de-France in northern France. The inhabitants are known as Crotellois.
The Réseau des Bains de Mer (RBM) was a group of five metre gauge railways centred on Noyelles-sur-Mer, with a total route length of some 68 kilometres (42 mi). It was a part of the Chemins de fer départementaux de la Somme. Three of the lines are still open as the Chemin de Fer de la Baie de Somme heritage line, and are dealt with under that article. This article covers the other two lines, now closed. All the lines were in the Somme department.
Ponthoile is a commune in the Somme department of Hauts-de-France in northern France.
The Canton of Crécy-en-Ponthieu is a former canton situated in the department of the Somme and in the Picardie region of northern France. It was disbanded following the French canton reorganisation which came into effect in March 2015.
The Canton of Rue is a canton situated in the department of the Somme and in the Hauts-de-France region of northern France.
The House of Godwin was an Anglo-Saxon family and one of the leading noble families in England during the last 50 years before the Norman Conquest. Its most famous member was Harold Godwinson, king of England for nine months in 1066.
Abbeville is a commune in the Somme department and in Hauts-de-France region in northern France.
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.