|Siege of Compiègne|
|Part of the Hundred Years' War (1415–53 phase)|
Siege of Compiègne by Martial d'Auvergne
| Burgundian State |
Kingdom of England
|Kingdom of France|
|Commanders and leaders|
| Count of Ligny |
Earl of Huntingdon
Earl of Arundel
| Joan of Arc (POW) |
Guillaume de Flavy
Louis I, Count of Vendôme
Poton de Xaintrailles
|Casualties and losses|
|Less than the French||More than the English, Joan of Arc captured|
The siege of Compiègne (1430) was conducted by Duke Philip III of Burgundy after the town of Compiègne had refused to transfer allegiance to him under the terms of a treaty with Charles VII. The siege is perhaps best known for Joan of Arc's capture by Burgundian troops while accompanying an Armagnac force during a skirmish outside the town on 23 May 1430. Although this was otherwise a minor siege, both politically and militarily, and ultimately ended in a defeat for the Burgundians, the capture of Joan of Arc was an important event of the Hundred Years' War.
During this era, late in the Hundred Years' War, the politically independent Philip the Good, duke of Burgundy, was allied with England under the regency of John, Duke of Bedford (who was the uncle of the child King, Henry VI). These two allies had conquered most of northern France during the preceding ten years. They suffered stunning losses in 1429 to a reinvigorated French army under joint command of Joan of Arc and Duke John II of Alençon.
The French had defeated the English at Patay on 18 June 1429 and had proceeded northeastward to crown King Charles VII of France at Rheims without further resistance, accepting the peaceful surrender of every town along their path. Compiègne was not along that road – its location is north of Paris – but along with several other cities it declared allegiance to Charles VII shortly after his coronation. It had previously been under Burgundian control.
In March 1430 the French court learned that Philip the Good, duke of Burgundy, planned to lay siege to the city. The count of Clermont delivered a message to the city that Compiègne was his according to legal treatyand demanded a surrender. Residents of the city expressed strong opposition to the demand and the French garrison commander Guillaume de Flavy readied the city for action.
Count John of Luxembourg departed for the expedition in command of the vanguard on 4 April. Philip the Good departed from Péronne on 22 April. Meanwhile, the Duke of Bedford was waiting at Calais for the arrival of King Henry VI of England, a nine-year-old boy who had recently been crowned king of England.
According to Régine Pernoud and Marie-Veronique Clin, Philip the Good planned to retake command of the cities that controlled the Oise river. Bedford supported the strategy in order to protect Île-de-France and Paris, which was then under Anglo-Burgundian control. King Charles VII of France had been hoping for a peace treaty with Burgundy but realized on 6 May that he had been duped by false promises.
Joan of Arc had realized the danger before the king did, and began meeting with a few Royal commanders in the area in an attempt to convince them to come to the city's aid. By April she had convinced several commanders, including Florent d'Illiers and an Italian mercenary commander named Bartolomeo Baretta, resulting in a company of about 300–400 volunteers. She departed for Compiègne, possibly without the king's knowledge, and arrived at the city on 14 May.
Several minor actions took place in the days that followed. Two days later Captain Louis de Flavy fled artillery bombardment at Choisy-au-Bac and took refuge at Compiègne. On 18 May Joan of Arc's group, which by that point included Regnault of Chartres and the Count of Vendôme, attempted to surprise the Burgundians at Soissons. Residents of Soissons refused them entry and declared allegiance to Burgundy the following day.
On the morning of May 23, the defenders of Compiegne launched an assault against the Burgundians at Margny, attacking an outpost while it was separated from the main force. Count John of Luxembourg noticed the action by chance while taking a survey of the territory and called in reinforcements. These reinforcements outnumbered the attackers and the Armagnac commanders ordered a retreat over the objections of Joan of Arc, who urged them to stand and fight. They refused, and ordered a rearguard to screen the rest of the force as it retreated toward the town. Joan of Arc chose to remain with the rearguard, carrying her banner on her horse.
The next moments remain a source of scholarly debate. The city gate closed before the rearguard could return to the town. This was either a reasonable action to prevent the Burgundians from entering the city after they had seized the end of the bridge; or an act of betrayal by Guillaume de Flavy. In the words of Kelly DeVries, "both the accusers and defenders must in turn either indict or vindicate the character of Compiègne's governor, Guillaume de Flavy, and the role he played in shutting off any escape possibility for Joan of Arc on that day." The French rearguard that remained outside had no means of avoiding capture.
According to the Burgundian chronicler Georges Chastellain and other sources, Burgundian troops soon surrounded the rearguard and shouted at Joan of Arc to surrender, eager to capture such a famous figure. She refused. Finally, a Burgundian crossbowman, "a rough and very sour man", maneuvered his horse behind her and "grabbed the edge of her cloth-of-gold doublet, and threw her from her horse flat to the ground".
She then surrendered to Lionel, Bastard of Vendôme, who was in the service of the Count of Ligny.
Guillaume de Flavy was blamed by some sources for allegedly ordering the drawbridge raised behind the rearguard. Although the defense of Compiègne was eventually successful several months later when the Burgundian army was forced to withdraw, nonetheless accusations of misconduct regarding Joan of Arc's capture caused the decline of de Flavy's career.
Joan of Arc, nicknamed "The Maid of Orléans" or "Maid of Lorraine", is considered a heroine of France for her role during the Lancastrian phase of the Hundred Years' War, and was canonized as a saint. She was born to Jacques d'Arc and Isabelle Romée, a peasant family, at Domrémy in the Vosges of northeast France. Joan said that she received visions of the archangel Michael, Saint Margaret, and Saint Catherine of Alexandria instructing her to support Charles VII and recover France from English domination late in the Hundred Years' War. The as-yet-unanointed King Charles VII sent Joan to the siege of Orléans as part of a relief army. She gained prominence after the siege was lifted only nine days later. Several additional swift victories led to Charles VII's consecration at Reims. This long-awaited event boosted French morale and paved the way for the final French victory at Castillon in 1453.
Year 1430 (MCDXXX) was a common year starting on Sunday of the Julian calendar.
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.
Philip the Good was Duke of Burgundy from 1419 until his death. He was a member of a cadet line of the Valois dynasty, to which all 15th-century kings of France belonged. During his reign, the Burgundian State reached the apex of its prosperity and prestige, and became a leading centre of the arts. Philip is known in history for his administrative reforms, his patronage of Flemish artists such as van Eyck and Franco-Flemish composers such as Guillaume Du Fay, and the capture of Joan of Arc and turning her over to the English, who tried and executed her. In political affairs, he alternated between alliances with the English and the French in an attempt to improve his dynasty's powerbase. Additionally, as ruler of Flanders, Brabant, Limburg, Artois, Hainaut, Holland, Luxembourg, Zeeland, Friesland and Namur, he played an important role in the history of the Low Countries.
John the Fearless was a scion of the French royal family who ruled the Burgundian State from 1404 until his death in 1419. He played a key role in French national affairs during the early 15th century, particularly in the struggles to rule the country for the mentally ill King Charles VI, his cousin, and the Hundred Years' War with England. A rash, ruthless and unscrupulous politician, John murdered the King's brother, the Duke of Orléans, in an attempt to gain control of the government, which led to the eruption of the Armagnac–Burgundian Civil War in France and in turn culminated in his own assassination in 1419.
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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.
The Battle of the Herrings, also called the Battle of Rouvray, was a military action near the town of Rouvray in France, just north of Orléans, which took place on 12 February 1429 during the siege of Orléans in the Hundred Years' War. The immediate cause of the battle was an attempt by French and Scottish forces, led by Charles of Bourbon and Sir John Stewart of Darnley, to intercept a supply convoy headed for the English army at Orléans. The English had been laying siege to the city since the previous October. This supply convoy was escorted by an English force under Sir John Fastolf and had been outfitted in Paris, whence it had departed some time earlier. The battle was decisively won by the English.
John II of Luxembourg, Count of Ligny was a French nobleman and soldier, a younger son of John of Luxembourg, Lord of Beauvoir, and Marguerite of Enghien. His older brother Peter received his mother's fiefs, including the County of Brienne, while John received Beaurevoir. He married Jeanne de Béthune, Viscountess of Meaux, widow of Robert of Bar, on 23 November 1418, and became step-father to Jeanne de Bar, Countess of Marle and Soissons. He and Jeanne de Béthune had no children.
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 was named after the House of Lancaster, the ruling house of the Kingdom of England, to which Henry V belonged.
Joan of Arc was a young French woman who said she had been sent to help Charles VII during the Hundred Years' War, which led to her capture by the English-allied Burgundians during the siege of Compiègne in 1430. She was then put on trial by a pro-English church court overseen by English commanders at Rouen, Normandy in 1431. The court found her guilty of heresy and she was burned at the stake. The trial verdict was later reversed on appeal by Jean Bréhal, the Inquisitor-General in 1456, thereby completely exonerating her. Considered a French national heroine, she was declared a saint by the Roman Catholic Church in 1920. The trial is one of the most famous in history, becoming the subject of many books and films.
Joan of Arc, a French historical figure executed by the English for heresy in 1431, is a national heroine of France and a Roman Catholic saint. Joan accompanied an army during the Hundred Years War, adopting the clothing of a soldier, which ultimately provided a pretense for her conviction and execution. Whether her crossdressing and lifestyle have implications for her sexuality or gender identity is debated.
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 conviction of Joan of Arc in 1431 was posthumously investigated on appeal in the 1450s by Inquisitor-General Jean Bréhal, at the request of Joan's surviving family. The appeal was authorized by Pope Callixtus III.
Jean de Villiers, lord of L'Isle-Adam was a French nobleman and military commander who fought in the Hundred Years' War. As a supporter of the Duke of Burgundy, he fought on both sides of the conflict – English and French. He was a Marshal of France and a founding member of the knightly Order of the Golden Fleece.
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 and the 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 1430 in France
The Burgundian State is a concept coined by historians to describe the vast complex of territories that is also referred to as Valois Burgundy.
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