Treaty of Guînes

Last updated

Treaty of Guînes
TypeTreaty of perpetual peace
ContextHundred Years' War
DraftedSpring 1353 April 1354
Signed6 April 1354 (1354-04-06)
Location Guînes, France
EffectiveNot ratified
  • Bishop of Norwich and others
  • Archbishop of Rouen and others
France relief location map.jpg
The location of some places mentioned in the text, shown within modern France

The Treaty of Guînes ( [ɡin] , gheen) was a draft settlement to end the Hundred Years' War, negotiated between England and France and signed at Guînes on 6 April 1354. The war had broken out in 1337 and was further aggravated in 1340 when the English king, Edward III, claimed the French throne. The war went badly for France: the French army was heavily defeated at the Battle of Crécy and the French town of Calais was besieged and captured. With both sides exhausted, a truce was agreed that, despite being only fitfully observed, was repeatedly renewed.


When English adventurers seized the strategically located town of Guînes in 1352, full-scale fighting broke out again. This did not go well for the French, as money and enthusiasm for the war ran out and state institutions ceased to function. Encouraged by the new pope, Innocent VI, negotiations for a permanent peace treaty opened at Guînes in early March 1353. These broke down, although a truce was again agreed and again not fully observed by either side. In early 1354 a faction in favour of peace with England gained influence in the French king's council. Negotiations were reopened and the English emissaries suggested that Edward abandon his claim to the French throne in exchange for French territory. This was rapidly agreed and a draft treaty was formally signed on 6 April.

The treaty was supposed to be ratified by each country and announced by Innocent in October it at the papal palace in Avignon. By then the French king, John II, had a new council which turned entirely against the treaty and John had decided that another round of warfare might leave him in a better negotiating position. The draft treaty was acrimoniously repudiated and war broke out again in June 1355. In 1356 the French royal army was defeated at the Battle of Poitiers and John was captured. In 1360, both sides agreed to the Treaty of Brétigny, which largely replicated the Treaty of Guînes, but was a little less generous towards the English. War again flared up in 1369 and the Hundred Years' War finally ended in 1455, 101 years after the Treaty of Guînes was signed.


Since 1153 the English Crown had controlled the Duchy of Aquitaine, which extended across a large part of south-west France. By the 1330s this had been reduced to Gascony. A series of disagreements between France and England regarding the status of these lands culminated on 24 May 1337 in the council of the French king, Philip VI, declaring them forfeit. This marked the start of the Hundred Years' War, which was to last 116 years. [1] [2] In 1340 the English king, Edward III, as the closest male relative of Philip's predecessor Charles IV, laid formal claim to the Kingdom of France. This permitted his allies who were also vassals of the French crown to lawfully wage war on it. Edward was not fully committed to this claim and was repeatedly prepared to repudiate it in exchange for his claims to historically English territory in south-west France being satisfied. [3]

In 1346 Edward led an army across northern France, storming and sacking the Norman town of Caen, defeating the French with great loss of life at the Battle of Crécy and laying siege to the port of Calais. With French finances and morale at a low ebb after Crécy, [4] Philip failed to relieve the town and the starving defenders surrendered on 3 August 1347. [5] With both sides financially exhausted, Pope Clement VI dispatched emissaries to negotiate a truce. On 28 September the Truce of Calais was agreed, bringing a temporary halt to the fighting. [6] The agreement strongly favoured the English, confirming them in possession of all of their territorial conquests. [6] It was agreed that it would expire nine months later on 7 July 1348 but was extended repeatedly over the years. The truce did not stop ongoing naval clashes between the two countries, nor small-scale fighting in Gascony and Brittany. [7] [8] In August 1350 John II succeeded his father, Philip, as King of France. [9]

In early January 1352 a band of freelancing English soldiers seized the French-held town of Guînes by a midnight escalade. The French garrison of Guînes was not expecting an attack and the English crossed the moat, scaled the walls, killed the sentries, stormed the keep, released a group of English prisoners being held there and took over the whole castle. [10] The French were furious and their envoys rushed to London to deliver a strong protest to Edward. [11] [12] Edward was thereby put in a difficult position. The English had been strengthening the defences of Calais with the construction of small fortifications at bottlenecks on the roads through the marshes to the town. [13] These could not compete with the strength of the defences at Guînes that would greatly improve the security of the English enclave around Calais, but retaining it would be a flagrant breach of the truce then in force. Edward would suffer a loss of honour and possibly a resumption of open warfare, for which he was unprepared. He ordered the English occupants to hand Guînes back. [10]

By coincidence, the English parliament was scheduled to meet, its opening session due on 17 January. Several members of the King's Council made fiery, warmongering speeches and the parliament was persuaded to approve three years of war taxes. Reassured that he had adequate financial backing, Edward changed his mind. By the end of January the Captain of Calais had fresh orders: to take over the garrisoning of Guînes in the King's name. The Englishmen who had captured the town were rewarded. Determined to strike back, the French took desperate measures to raise money and set about raising an army. Thus the opportunistic capture of Guînes resulted in the war resuming. [12]


The motte and keep of Guines castle in 2012 Tour vue du ciel.gif
The motte and keep of Guînes castle in 2012

The resumption of hostilities caused fighting to flare up in Brittany and the Saintonge area of south-west France, but the main French effort was against Guînes. The French assembled an army of 4,500 men, including 1,500 men-at-arms and a large force of Italian crossbowmen under the command of Geoffrey of Charny, [14] a senior and well-respected Burgundian knight in French service [15] and the keeper of the Oriflamme , the French royal battle banner. [16] By May 1352 the 115 men of the English garrison, commanded by Thomas Hogshaw, were under siege. The French reoccupied the town, but found it difficult to approach the castle because of the marshy terrain and the strength of its barbican. [14]

By the end of May the English authorities had raised a force of more than 6,000 which was gradually shipped to Calais. From there they harassed the French in what the modern historian Jonathan Sumption describes as "savage and continual fighting" throughout June and early July. In mid-July a large contingent of troops arrived from England, and, reinforced by much of the Calais garrison, they were successful in approaching Guînes undetected and launching a night attack on the French camp. Many Frenchmen were killed and a large part of the palisade around their positions was destroyed. Shortly after, Charny abandoned the siege, leaving a garrison to hold the town. [17]

in August the French army in Brittany was defeated by a smaller English force at the Battle of Mauron with heavy losses, especially among its leadership and men-at-arms. [18] [19] In south-west France there was scattered fighting across the Agenais, Périgord and Quercy with the English getting the better of it; French morale in the area was poor and they despaired off being able to drive off the English. [20]



A contemporary image of the French king, John II JeanIIdFrance.jpg
A contemporary image of the French king, John II

The war was going badly for the French on all fronts and money and enthusiasm for the war was running out. Sumption describes the French administration as "fall[ing] apart in jealous acrimony and recrimination". The new pope, Innocent VI, a relative of John's, [21] encouraged negotiations for a permanent peace treaty and discussions opened at Guînes in early March 1353 overseen by the Cardinal Guy of Boulogne. [22] The modern historian George Cuttino states that Innocent was acting at John's instigation. [23] The English sent a senior deputation: Henry of Lancaster, one of Edward's most trusted and experienced military lieutenants; Michael Northburgh, keeper of the privy seal; William Bateman the Bishop of Norwich, the most experienced diplomat in England; and Simon Islip, an ex-keeper of the privy seal and the archbishop of Canterbury; among others. The French were represented by Pierre de La Forêt, Archbishop of Rouen and John's Chancellor; Charles of Spain, who was the Constable of France and a close confident of John; Robert de Lorris, John's Chamberlain; Guillaume Bertrand, the Bishop of Beauvais; and several other high-ranking figures. Both parties were ill-prepared and ill-briefed [24] with only two of the French delegation having any previous negotiating experience with the English. [25] After several meetings it was agreed they would adjourn to receive further instructions from their monarchs, reconvening on 19 May. Until then hostilities would be suspended by a formal truce. This temporary agreement was signed and sealed on 10 March. [24]

In early May 1353 the English requested the negotiations not be restarted until June, to allow them to discuss the matter more fully. The French responded on 8 May by cancelling the truce and announcing an arrière-ban for Normandy, a formal call to arms for all able-bodied males. The negotiators met briefly in Paris on 26 July and extended the truce until November, although all concerned understood that much fighting would continue. [26] French central and local government collapsed. French nobles took to violently settling old scores rather than fighting the English. Charles of Navarre, one of the most powerful figures in France, broke into the bedroom of Charles of Spain and murdered him as he knelt naked, pleading for his life. Navarre then boasted of it and made tentative approaches to the English regarding an alliance. [27] [28] Navarre and John formally reconciled in March 1354 and a new balance within the French government was reached; this was more in favour of peace with England, in some quarters at almost any price. Informal talks started again at Guînes in mid-March. The principle whereby Edward abandoned his claim to the French throne in exchange for French territory was agreed; Edward gave his assent to this on 30 March. Formal negotiations recommenced in early April. The French were represented by Forêt, Lorris and Bertrand again, joined by Robert le Coq, Bishop of Laon, Robert, Count of Roucy, and Jean, Count of Châtillon. [29] The make up of the English delegation is not known. [30] Discussions were rapidly concluded. A formal truce for a year was agreed, as was the broad outline of a permanent peace. [31] On 6 April 1354 these heads of terms were formally signed by the representatives of both countries, [32] witnessed by Guy of Boulogne. [29]


France after the later (1360) Treaty of Bretigny; the territorial settlement was similar to that proposed in the failed Treaty of Guines: French territory in green, English territory in pink Map- France at the Treaty of Bretigny (cropped).jpg
France after the later (1360) Treaty of Brétigny; the territorial settlement was similar to that proposed in the failed Treaty of Guînes: French territory in green, English territory in pink

The treaty was very much in the favour of the English. England was to gain the whole of Aquitaine, Poitou, Maine, Anjou, Touraine and Limousin  the large majority of western France as well as Ponthieu and the Pale of Calais. All were to be held as sovereign English territory, not as a fief of the French crown as English possessions in France had previously been. [33] [34] It was also a treaty of friendship between the two nations and both France's alliance with Scotland over which Edward claimed suzerainty  and England's with Flanders  which was technically a province of France were to be abandoned. [35] The truce was to be immediately publicised, while the fact that the outline of a peace treaty had been agreed was to be kept secret until 1 October, when Innocent would announce it at the papal palace in Avignon. In the same ceremony, English representatives would repudiate the English claim to John's throne and the French would formally relinquish sovereignty over the agreed provinces. [36] Edward was overjoyed, the English parliament ratified the treaty sight unseen. The English party for the ceremony departed more than four months before they were due in Avignon. [37] John also endorsed the treaty, but members of his council were less enthusiastic. [36]


The English adhered to the truce, but John of Armagnac, the French commander in the south west, ignored his orders to observe the peace; however, his offensive was ineffectual. [38] Details of how much of the treaty was known to the French ruling elite and their debates regarding it are lacking, but sentiment was against its terms. In August it was revealed that several of the men who had negotiated and signed the treaty had been deeply involved in the plot to murder Charles of Spain. At least three of John's closest councillors fled his court or were expelled. By early September the French court had turned against the treaty. The date for formal ceremony in Avignon was suspended. [39]

In November 1354 John seized all of Navarre's lands, besieging those places which did not surrender. Planned negotiations in Avignon to finalise the details of the treaty did not take place in the absence of French ambassadors. The English emissaries who were to formally announce the agreement arrived among much pomp in late December. John had meanwhile decided that another round of warfare might leave him in a better negotiating position and the French planned an ambitious series of offensives for the 1355 campaigning season. [36] [40] The French ambassadors arrived in Avignon in mid-January, repudiated the previous agreement and attempted to reopen negotiations. The English and the Cardinal of Boulogne pressed them to adhere to the existing treaty. The impasse continued for a month. Simultaneously the English delegation plotted an anti-French alliance with Navarre. By the end of February the futility of their official missions was obvious to all and the delegations departed with much acrimony. Their one achievement was a formal extension of the ill-observed truce to 24 June. It was clear that from then both sides would be committed to full-scale war. [41] [42]


The war resumed in 1355, [43] with both Edward and his son, Edward the Black Prince, fighting in separate campaigns in France. [44] In 1356 the French royal army was defeated by a smaller Anglo-Gascon force at the Battle of Poitiers and John was captured. [45] In 1360, the fighting was brought to a temporary halt by the Treaty of Brétigny, which largely replicated the Treaty of Guînes, [42] with slightly less generous terms for the English. By this treaty vast areas of France were ceded to England, including Guînes and its county which became part of the Pale of Calais. [46] In 1369 large-scale fighting broke out again and the Hundred Years' War did not end until 1453, 99 years after the Treaty of Guînes was signed. [47]

Citations and sources


  1. Wagner 2006c, pp. 157–158.
  2. Curry 2002, p. 7.
  3. Wagner 2006c, p. 158.
  4. Burne 1999, pp. 144–147, 182–183, 204–205.
  5. Rogers 2014, pp. 273, 281.
  6. 1 2 Sumption 1990, p. 585.
  7. Wagner 2006a, pp. 74–75.
  8. Harari 2007, p. 114.
  9. Curry 2002, p. 41.
  10. 1 2 Sumption 1999, pp. 88–89.
  11. Kaeuper & Kennedy 1996, p. 14.
  12. 1 2 Sumption 1999, pp. 89–90.
  13. Harari 2007, p. 122.
  14. 1 2 Sumption 1999, pp. 91–92.
  15. Sumption 1999, p. 12.
  16. Harari 2007, p. 112.
  17. Sumption 1999, p. 93.
  18. Burne 1999, pp. 236, 240.
  19. Rogers 2014, p. 288.
  20. Rogers 2014, p. 288, 288 n. 16.
  21. Rogers 2014, p. 290.
  22. Sumption 1999, pp. 102, 111, 115.
  23. Cuttino 1985, p. 89.
  24. 1 2 Sumption 1999, pp. 115–116.
  25. Fowler 1969, p. 112.
  26. Sumption 1999, pp. 117, 122.
  27. Sumption 1999, pp. 121–126.
  28. Fowler 1969, p. 122.
  29. 1 2 Sumption 1999, p. 132.
  30. Fowler 1969, p. 131.
  31. Sumption 1999, pp. 131–133.
  32. Rogers 2014, pp. 290–291.
  33. Bothwell 2001, p. 195.
  34. Fowler 1969, p. 129.
  35. Rogers 2014, p. 291.
  36. 1 2 3 Wagner 2006b, pp. 142–143.
  37. Sumption 1999, p. 133.
  38. Sumption 1999, p. 136.
  39. Sumption 1999, pp. 136–137.
  40. Rogers 2014, pp. 291–292.
  41. Sumption 1999, pp. 139–142.
  42. 1 2 Rogers 2014, p. 292.
  43. Curry 2002, pp. 42–43.
  44. Rogers 2014, pp. 297, 304.
  45. Curry 2002, p. 9.
  46. Sumption 1999, pp. 135–136, 447.
  47. Curry 2002, pp. 46, 91.


  • Bothwell, James (2001). The Age of Edward III. Woodbridge, Suffolk: York Medieval Press. ISBN   1-903153-06-9.
  • Burne, Alfred (1999) [1955]. The Crecy War. Ware, Hertfordshire: Wordsworth Editions. ISBN   978-1-84022-210-4.
  • Curry, Anne (2002). The Hundred Years' War 1337–1453. Essential Histories. Oxford: Osprey Publishing. ISBN   978-18417-6269-2.
  • Cuttino, George Peddy (1985). English Medieval Diplomacy. Bloomington, Indiana: Indiana University Press. ISBN   978-0-25331-954-8.
  • Fowler, Kenneth (1969). The King's Lieutenant: Henry of Grosmont, First Duke of Lancaster, 1310–1361 . New York: Barnes & Noble. ISBN   978-0389010036. OCLC   164491035.
  • Harari, Yuval N. (2007). "For a Sack-full of Gold Écus: Calais 1350". Special Operations in the Age of Chivalry, 1100–1550. Woodbridge, Suffolk: Boydell Press. pp. 109–124. ISBN   978-1-84383-292-8.
  • Kaeuper, Richard W. & Kennedy, Elspeth (1996). The Book of Chivalry of Geoffroi de Charny: Text, Context, and Translation . Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press. ISBN   978-0-8122-3348-3.
  • Rogers, Clifford (2014) [2000]. War Cruel and Sharp: English Strategy under Edward III, 1327–1360. Woodbridge, Suffolk: Boydell Press. ISBN   978-0-85115-804-4.
  • Sumption, Jonathan (1990). Trial by Battle. The Hundred Years' War. I. London: Faber and Faber. ISBN   0-571-20095-8.
  • Sumption, Jonathan (1999). Trial by Fire. The Hundred Years' War. II. London: Faber and Faber. ISBN   0-571-13896-9.
  • Wagner, John A. (2006a). "Calais, Truce of (1347)". Encyclopedia of the Hundred Years War. Westport, Connecticut; London: Greenwood. pp. 74–75. ISBN   0-313-32736-X.
  • Wagner, John A. (2006b). "Guines, Treaty of". Encyclopedia of the Hundred Years War. Westport, Connecticut; London: Greenwood. pp. 142–143. ISBN   0-313-32736-X.
  • Wagner, John A. (2006c). "Hundred Years' War, Causes of". Encyclopedia of the Hundred Years War. Westport, Connecticut; London: Greenwood. pp. 157–159. ISBN   0-313-32736-X.

Related Research Articles

Charles II of Navarre King of Navarre

Charles II, called Charles the Bad, was King of Navarre 1349–1387 and Count of Évreux 1343–1387.

John II of France King of France

John II, called John the Good, was King of France from 1350 until his death in 1364. When he came to power, France faced several disasters: the Black Death, which killed nearly half of its population; popular revolts known as Jacqueries; free companies of routiers who plundered the country; and English aggression that resulted in catastrophic military losses, including the Battle of Poitiers of 1356, in which John was captured.

Siege of Harfleur Siege in 1415

The siege of Harfleur was conducted by the English army of King Henry V in Normandy, France, during the Hundred Years' War. The defenders of Harfleur surrendered to the English on terms and were treated as prisoners of war. The English army was considerably reduced by casualties and an outbreak of dysentery during the siege but marched towards Calais, leaving a garrison behind at the port. The English were intercepted en route and fought the Battle of Agincourt, inflicting a huge defeat on the French.

Peter I, Duke of Bourbon Duke of Bourbon

Peter I of Bourbon was the second Duke of Bourbon, from 1342 to his death. Peter was son of Louis I of Bourbon, whom he also succeeded as Grand Chamberlain of France, and Mary of Avesnes.

Henry of Grosmont, 1st Duke of Lancaster 14th-century English duke

Henry of Grosmont, 1st Duke of Lancaster was an English statesman, diplomat, soldier, and Christian writer. The owner of Bolingbroke Castle in Lincolnshire, Grosmont was a member of the House of Plantagenet, which was ruling over England at that time. He was the wealthiest and most powerful peer of the realm.

Siege of Calais (1346–1347) Siege by King Edward III during the Hundred Years War

The siege of Calais occurred at the conclusion of the Crécy campaign, when an English army under the command of King Edward III of England successfully besieged the French town of Calais during the Edwardian phase of the Hundred Years' War.

Hundred Years War Conflicts between England and France during the 14th and 15th centuries

The Hundred Years' War was a series of conflicts between the kingdoms of England and France during the Late Middle Ages. It originated from disputed claims to the French throne between the English royal House of Plantagenet and the French royal House of Valois. Over time, the war grew into a broader power struggle involving factions from across Western Europe, fueled by emerging nationalism on both sides.

Battle of Pontvallain Battle in the Hundred Years War

The Battle of Pontvallain, part of the Hundred Years' War, took place in the Sarthe region of north-west France on 4 December 1370, when a French army under Bertrand du Guesclin heavily defeated an English force which had broken away from an army commanded by Sir Robert Knolles. The French numbered 5,200 men, and the English force was approximately the same size.

Truce of Leulinghem 1389 truce between England and France

The Truce of Leulinghem was a truce agreed to by Richard II's kingdom of England and its allies, and Charles VI's kingdom of France and its allies, on 18 July 1389, ending the second phase of the Hundred Years' War. England was on the edge of financial collapse and suffering from internal political divisions. On the other side, Charles VI was suffering from a mental illness that handicapped the furthering of the war by the French government. Neither side was willing to concede on the primary cause of the war, the legal status of the Duchy of Aquitaine and the King of England's homage to the King of France through his possession of the duchy. However, both sides faced major internal issues that could badly damage their kingdoms if the war continued. The truce was originally negotiated by representatives of the kings to last three years, but the two kings met in person at Leulinghem, near the English fortress of Calais, and agreed to extend the truce to a twenty-seven years' period. Other provisions were agreed to, in attempts to bring an end to the Papal schism, to launch a joint crusade against the Turks in the Balkans, to seal the marriage of Richard to Charles' daughter Isabella along with an 800,000 franc dowry, and to guarantee to continue peace negotiations, in order to establish a lasting treaty between the kingdoms. The treaty brought peace to the Iberian peninsula, where Portugal and Castile were supporting the English and French respectively. The English evacuated all their holdings in northern France except Calais.

Battle of Calais Battle of the Hundred Years War

The Battle of Calais took place in 1350 when an English force defeated an unsuspecting French army which was attempting to take the city. Despite a truce being in effect the French commander Geoffrey de Charny had planned to take the city by subterfuge, and bribed Amerigo of Pavia, an Italian officer of the city garrison, to open a gate for them. The English king, Edward III, became aware of the plot and personally led his household knights and the Calais garrison in a surprise counter-attack. The French were routed by this smaller force, with significant losses and all their leaders captured or killed.

The Truce of Calais was a truce agreed to by King Edward III of England and King Philip VI of France on 28 September 1347, that was mediated by Pope Clement VI. Originally agreed to last for nine months, it was repeatedly renewed until 1355.

Crécy campaign 1346–1347 military campaign during the Hundred Years War

The Crécy campaign was a series of large-scale raids (chevauchées) conducted by the Kingdom of England throughout northern France in 1346 that devastated the French countryside on a wide front, culminating in the eponymous Battle of Crécy. The campaign was part of the Hundred Years' War.

Black Princes <i>chevauchée</i> of 1356

The Black Prince's chevauchée of 1356, which began on 4 August at Bordeaux and ended with the Battle of Poitiers on 19 September, was a devastating raid of Edward of Woodstock, Prince of Wales, the eldest son of King Edward III of England. This expedition of the Black Prince devastated large parts of Bergerac, Périgord, Nontronnais, Confolentais, Nord-Ouest, Limousin, La Marche, Boischaut, Champagne Berrichonne, Berry, Sologne, south of Touraine and Poitou.

Burnt Candlemas was a failed invasion of Scotland in early 1356 by an English army commanded by King Edward III, and was the last campaign of the Second War of Scottish Independence. Tensions on the Anglo-Scottish border led to a military build up by both sides in 1355. In September a nine-month truce was agreed, and most of the English forces left for northern France to take part in a campaign of the concurrent Hundred Years' War. A few days after agreeing the truce, the Scots, encouraged and subsidised by the French, broke it, invading and devastating Northumberland. In late December the Scots escaladed and captured the important English-held border town of Berwick-on-Tweed and laid siege to its castle. The English army redeployed from France to Newcastle in northern England.

Black Princes <i>chevauchée</i> of 1355 1355 mounted raid during the Hundred Years War

The Black Prince's chevauchée, also known as the grande chevauchée, was a large-scale mounted raid carried out by an Anglo-Gascon force under the command of Edward, the Black Prince, between 5 October and 2 December 1355 as a part of the Hundred Years' War. John, Count of Armagnac, who commanded the local French forces, avoided battle, and there was little fighting during the campaign.

Lancaster's chevauchée of 1356 in Normandy was an English offensive directed by Henry, Earl of Lancaster, in northern France during 1356, as a part of the Hundred Years' War. The offensive took the form of a chevauchée, a large mounted raid and lasted from 22 June to 13 July. During its final week the English were pursued by a much larger French army under King John II that failed to force them to battle.

The sieges of Berwick were the Scottish capture of the town of Berwick-upon-Tweed on 6 November 1355 and their subsequent unsuccessful siege of Berwick castle, and the English siege and recapture of the town in January 1356. In 1355 the Second War of Scottish Independence had been underway for 13 years. After a period of quiescence the Scots, encouraged by the French who were fighting the English in the Hundred Years' War, assembled an army on the border. In September a truce was agreed and much of the English army left the border area to join King Edward III's campaign in France.

Siege of Guînes (1352) Siege of Hundred Years War

The siege of Guînes took place from May to July 1352 when a French army under Geoffrey de Charny unsuccessfully attempted to recapture the French castle at Guînes which had been seized by the English the previous January. The siege was part of the Hundred Years' War and marked the resumption of full-scale hostilities after six years of an uneasy and ill-kept truce.

Siege of Breteuil Siege during the Hundred Years War

The siege of Breteuil was the investment of the Norman town of Breteuil, held by partisans of Charles II, King of Navarre, by French forces. It lasted from April to about 20 August 1346. It was interrupted on 5 July when a small English army commanded by Henry, Earl of Lancaster relieved and resupplied it. The French king, John II attempted to bring Lancaster to battle with the much larger French royal army, but Lancaster marched away and the attempt failed. John then renewed the siege of Breteuil.

Hundred Years War (1345–1347) Series of military campaigns in 1345–1347

English offensives in 1345–1347, during the Hundred Years' War, resulted in repeated defeats of the French, the loss or devastation of much French territory and the capture by the English of the port of Calais. The war had broken out in 1337 and flared up in 1340 when the king of England, Edward III laid claim to the French crown and campaigned in northern France. There was then a lull in the major hostilities, although much small-scale fighting continued.