Siege of Paris (1429)

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Siege of Paris (1429)
Part of the Hundred Years' War (1415–53 phase)
Le siege de Paris en 1429 par Jeanne d'Arc - Martial.jpg
Joan of Arc at the porte Saint-Honoré during the siege of Paris of 1429
Date3–8 September 1429
Location
Paris, France
Result English and Burgundian victory
Belligerents
Arms of France (France Moderne).svg Kingdom of France Royal Arms of England (1470-1471).svg Kingdom of England
Arms of the Duke of Burgundy (1404-1430).svg Burgundian State
Commanders and leaders
France moderne.svg Charles VII
Coat of Arms of Jeanne d'Arc.svg Joan of Arc  (WIA)
Armes alencon moderne.png Jean II d'Alençon
Armoiries des compagnons de Jeanne d'Arc - Gilles de Rais (augmentees).svg Gilles de Rais
Armoiries des compagnons de Jeanne d'Arc - Jean de Brosse.svg Jean de Brosse
Blason ville fr Villiers-Adam (Val-d'Oise).svg Jean de Villiers
Blason ville fr Villiers-le-Morhier (Eure-et-Loir).svg Simon Morhier
Strength
10,000 3,000 English
citizens of Paris
Casualties and losses
500 dead
1,000 wounded

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.

Contents

Background

After Henry V of England entered Paris in 1420, the English administration was sympathetic to the citizens of Paris, confirming their former privileges and giving new ones. The Parisians had accepted the English mostly because of their hatred of Charles VII (whom they had nicknamed "King of Bourges") and the Armagnac party, who threatened the many liberties that the city had obtained over the centuries. [1]

After the battle of Montépilloy on 26 August 1429, Joan of Arc and Duke John II of Alençon took Saint-Denis, a town north of Paris. On August 28, Charles VII signed the truce of Compiègne which excepted from the armistice Saint-Denis (which was already taken), St. Cloud, Vincennes, Charenton and Paris. [2] [3]

The battle

The Porte Saint-Honore a century later, in 1530 (Braun and Hogenberg plan). Plan de Paris vers 1530 Braun Paris Porte St-Honore.jpg
The Porte Saint-Honoré a century later, in 1530 (Braun and Hogenberg plan).

In early September, Charles VII established his camp at the butte de Saint-Roch. [4]

On September 3, Joan of Arc accompanied by the Dukes of Alençon and Bourbon, the counts of Vendôme and Laval, Marshals Gilles de Rais and La Hire and their troops, lodged in the village of La Chapelle. After several days of performing recognitions and skirmishes on various gates of Paris, Joan of Arc prayed in St. Genevieve chapel. On the morning of Thursday, 8 September 1429, Joan of Arc, the Duke of Alençon, Marshals Gilles de Rais and Jean de Brosse Boussac began their march from the Village of La Chapelle to storm the Porte Saint-Honoré. Joan of Arc installed culverins on the butte de Saint-Roch to support the attack.

Joan of Arc at siege of Paris Jeanne d'Arc au siege de Paris.jpg
Joan of Arc at siege of Paris

The Parisians, believing that the Armagnacs wanted to destroy the city from top to bottom, made a vigorous defence. [4] Joan of Arc was given the task of leading the assault to capture the city by Charles VII. Joan of Arc charged towards the main gate with the French army and tried to cross the city's water-filled moat in front of the gate. The French failed to capture any section of the gatehouse and its surrounding walls and suffered extremely heavy casualties. Joan of Arc was wounded by a crossbow bolt in the thigh. Joan was then dragged away from the battlefield and was brought back to her house in La Chapelle. Although she wished to resume the attack on Paris, King Charles VII ordered her to withdraw to the Abbey of Saint-Denis. After four hours of assaulting the walls of Paris, Charles VII sounded the retreat as no progress had been made. [4] In the end, ultimately the English won, and successfully defended Paris.

Consequences

The city was defended by about 3,000 English commanded by marshal Simon Morhier and governor Jean de Villiers de L'Isle-Adam, which forced Charles VII and his army of 10,000 soldiers to retreat.

Having failed by force, Charles VII, tried to take the city otherwise. In 1430, he staged a plot that was discovered by the English, and lead to the hanging of 6 Parisians on the scaffold. [4] In 1432 and 1434, further attempts were made to open the gates of Paris to the forces of Charles VII, but were prevented by Parisians. After the Duke of Burgundy had withdrawn his support for the English as a result of the Treaty of Arras (1435), on 13 April 1436 the Parisians opened the city gates to the bastard of Orléans and constable Richemont.

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Paris in the Middle Ages

In the 10th century Paris was a provincial cathedral city of little political or economic significance, but under the kings of the Capetian dynasty who ruled France between 987 and 1328, it developed into an important commercial and religious center and the seat of the royal administration of the country. The Île de la Cité became the site of the royal palace and the new cathedral of Notre-Dame, begun in 1163. The Left Bank was occupied by important monasteries, including the Abbey of Saint-Germain-des-Prés and the Abbey of St Genevieve. In the late 1100s, the collection of colleges on the left bank became one of the leading universities in Europe. The Right Bank, where the ports, central markets, artisans and merchants were located, became the commercial center of the city, and the merchants assumed an important role in running the city. Paris became a center for the creation of illuminated manuscripts and the birthplace of Gothic architecture. Despite civil wars, the plague, and foreign occupation, Paris became the most populous city in the Western world during the Middle Ages.

March to Reims

After the lifting of the Siege of Orléans and the decisive French victory at the Battle of Patay, the Anglo-Burgundian threat was ended. Joan of Arc convinced the Dauphin Charles to go to be crowned at Reims. The march though the heart of territory controlled by the hostile Burgundians was successful and would give the throne of the French monarchy to Charles VII, who had been ousted therefrom by the Treaty of Troyes.

The siege of Saint-Denis was the last instance of cooperation between the English and their Burgundian allies in the Hundred Years' War. Saint-Denis, the traditional burial place of the kings of France, was located in the outskirts of English-held Paris, and had been captured by the French a couple of months earlier. The enemy presence there critically endangered the English position in the capital, and, aiming to retake it urgently, the English moved onto the town in August with a handful of Burgundian auxiliaries. The siege was undertaken during the peace congress of Arras, during which no end to the fighting was seen, as both sides struggled to gain ground around and over Paris. The English were victorious at St. Denis after the French garrison surrendered due to lack of external support.

References

  1. Larousse, P. (1874). Grand dictionnaire universel du XIXe siècle (in French). 12. Paris. p.  232.
  2. Lefèvre-Pontalis 1885, p. 6.
  3. Lefèvre-Pontalis, G. (1885). "Un détail du siège de Paris par Jeanne d'Arc" [A detail of the siege of Paris by Joan of Arc]. BEC (in French). 46: 5–15. doi:10.3406/bec.1885.447327.
  4. 1 2 3 4 Larousse 1874, p. 232.

Further reading

Coordinates: 48°51′24″N2°21′06″E / 48.8566°N 2.3518°E / 48.8566; 2.3518