The siege of Cambrai was undertaken by an English army led by King Edward III of England during September and October 1339 in the early stage of the Hundred Years War. At the time Cambrai, located in the Nord department of the Hauts-de-France region in France, was not part of France but a Free imperial city of the Holy Roman Empire.
In 1339, Cambrai became the centre of a struggle between supporters of the Louis IV, Holy Roman Emperor, and William II, Count of Hainaut, on the one hand, and those of king Philip VI of France on the other. Among Philip VI's allies were counts John I of Bohemia, Philip III of Navarre, Aymon, Count of Savoy, Humbert II of Viennois and vassals of King Alfonso XI of Castile and Leon. Cambrai had allowed the French to garrison the city with 300 men-at-arms.
Meanwhile, Edward III left Flanders in August 1339, where he had been on the continent since July 1338. Edward had asserted his rights to the throne of France, openly defying the authority of Philip VI. Wanting to satisfy his Bavarian allies, he decided to seize Cambrai. Edward asked the bishop of Cambrai, Guillaume d'Auxonne, a vassal of the Holy Roman Empire, to let him in, however the bishop also had instructions from Philip VI informing him to hold on for a few days until he arrived with a French army. Guillaume proclaimed his allegiance to France and prepared to resist a siege.
The defence of Cambrai was provided by the governor Étienne de la Baume, grand master of the crossbowmen of France. The French garrison had artillery comprising 10 guns, five of iron and five of other metals. This is one of the earliest instances to the use of cannon in siege warfare.
Edward launched several attacks from 26 September, with Cambrai resisting every assault for five weeks.
When Edward learned on the 6 October that Philip was approaching with a large army, he abandoned the siege on 8 October.He retreated across Picardy, devastating the plains of Cambresis along the way. A strong English garrison was left in the castle of Thun-l'Eveque. Edward then proceeded to Saint-Quentin. On 23 October, the armies of England and France faced each other across the plain between La Capelle and Buironfosse. They separated without engaging in battle.
Year 1102 (MCII) was a common year starting on Wednesday of the Julian calendar.
Philip VI, called the Fortunate and of Valois, was the first King of France from the House of Valois, reigning from 1328 until his death in 1350.
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Odo IV or Eudes IV was Duke of Burgundy from 1315 until his death and Count of Burgundy and Artois between 1330 and 1347, as well as titular King of Thessalonica from 1316 to 1320. He was the second son of Duke Robert II and Agnes of France.
John of Montfort, sometimes known as John IV of Brittany, and 6th Earl of Richmond from 1341 to his death. He was the son of Arthur II, Duke of Brittany and his second wife, Yolande de Dreux. He contested the inheritance of the Duchy of Brittany by his niece, Joan of Penthièvre, which led to the War of the Breton Succession, which in turn evolved into being part of the Hundred Years' War between England and France. John's patron in his quest was King Edward III of England. He died in 1345, 19 years before the end of the war, and the victory of his son John IV over Joan of Penthièvre and her husband, Charles of Blois.
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Philip III, called the Noble or the Wise, was King of Navarre from 1328 until his death. He was born a minor member of the French royal family but gained prominence when the Capetian main line went extinct, as he and his wife and cousin, Joan II of Navarre, acquired the Iberian kingdom and a number of French fiefs.
Froissart's Chronicles are a prose history of the Hundred Years' War written in the 14th century by Jean Froissart. The Chronicles open with the events leading up to the deposition of Edward II in 1326, and cover the period up to 1400, recounting events in western Europe, mainly in England, France, Scotland, the Low Countries and the Iberian Peninsula, although at times also mentioning other countries and regions such as Italy, Germany, Ireland, the Balkans, Cyprus, Turkey and North Africa.
The County of Valentinois was a fiefdom within Dauphiné Viennois and was a part of the Holy Roman Empire from 1032 until the sixteenth century.
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The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Cambrai is an archdiocese of the Latin Rite of the Roman Catholic Church in France, comprising the arrondissements of Avesnes-sur-Helpe, Cambrai, Douai, and Valenciennes within the département of Nord, in the region of Nord-Pas-de-Calais. The current archbishop is Vincent Dollmann, appointed in August 2018. Since 2008 the archdiocese has been a suffragan of the Archdiocese of Lille.
Le Quesnoy is a commune and small town in the east of the Nord department of northern France; accordingly its historic province is French Hainaut. It had a keynote industry in shoemaking before the late 1940s, followed by a chemical factory and dairy, giving way to its weekly market, tourism, local commuting to elsewhere such as Valenciennes and local shops.
John I of Armagnac, son of Bernard VI and Cecilia Rodez, was Count of Armagnac from 1319 to 1373. In addition to Armagnac he controlled territory in Quercy, Rouergue and Gévaudan. He was the count who initiated the 14th century expansion of the county.
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The House of Bethune is a French noble house from the province of Artois in the north of France whose proven filiation dates back to Guillaume de Béthune who made his will in 1213. This family became extinct in 1807 with Maximilien-Alexandre de Béthune, duke of Sully.
The sieges of Vannes of 1342 were a series of four sieges of the town of Vannes that occurred throughout 1342. Two rival claimants to the Duchy of Brittany, John of Montfort and Charles of Blois, competed for Vannes throughout this civil war from 1341 to 1365. The successive sieges ruined Vannes and its surrounding countryside. Vannes was eventually sold off in a truce between England and France, signed in January 1343 in Malestroit. Saved by an appeal of Pope Clement VI, Vannes remained in the hands of its own rulers, but ultimately resided under English control from September 1343 till the end of the war in 1365.
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Jean de Vienne was a French prelate and diplomat. He served as the bishop of Avranches from 1328 until he was transferred to the diocese of Thérouanne in 1331. He was transferred again in 1334 to the archdiocese of Reims, which he held until his death. Jean twice served the king of France as an ambassador to the Holy See and once as an ambassador to Castile.
Geoffroy d'Harcourt, called "the Lame", Viscount of Saint-Sauveur, was a 14th century French nobleman and prominent soldier during the early stages of the Hundred Years' War.
The Thiérache campaign, also known as the chevauchée of Edward III of 1339 was the march from Valenciennes, Hainault across Cambrésis, Picardy and Thiérache in northern France by an English army with Flemish, Hainault and Holy Roman Empire allies. It began on 20 September 1339, resulting in the siege of Cambrai and ended with the withdrawal of the English forces on 24 October 1339 into Brabant. The English army was led by King Edward III, and the French by King Philip VI. It was a campaign during the Hundred Years' War.