The Hundred Years' War

The Hundred Years' War could be perceived as a series of separate wars. However, such an approach diminishes understanding of a truely epic event in Western history. The inter relationships of the many battles and personalities in the English-French struggle between 1337 and 1453 produced a coherent whole. Individuals and issues overlapped, and there was a continuous weaving of themes. The awareness of the totality provides better understanding and also reveals the flow and direction of Western history as the medieval era drew to a close. This overview is to support the timeline, or chronological list of events in the Hundred Years' War that is given below. Hundred Years War, la guerre de cent ans

If one were to compartmentalize the epic war, there is a natural separation into two major periods, separated by an interim period. Each of the two major periods has an initial conquest phase and a reconquest phase. The first period would be the war initiated by the invasion of Edward III. This led to Edward's dramatic and decisive field victory over the French army at Crécy. Later, in essentially the same phase, there was the second dramatic English success at the Battle of Poitiers, where the French king was captured. This was the zenith of the English conquests in the first period, and was followed by the French dauphin Charles, and later new French king as Charles V, developing a military response to the English battlefield tactics of longbow missiles balanced with a disciplined roll for the men-at-arms. By the end of the first period, The French had recovered most all the gains ceded in the Treaty of Brétigny.

The first period was followed by years of ineffective political power in both England and France. Military activity was relegated to small raids along the frontiers in France between English held towns in France, and French naval raids on the coast of England. The usurpation of the English crown by the Lancasterians introduced more aggressive leadership in England. While, in France, a mad king was subjected to inner dynastic struggles among his powerful uncles ­ most markedly, the actions of the second Valois duc de Bourgone [duke of Burgundy], Philippe 'the Fearless'.

The second period of the Hundred Years' War began with the invasion of Henry V of England into France and his spectacular battlefield victory at Agincourt (1415), which had many of the same tactical characteristics of the English field victories in the earlier period. However, there were differences in the arms and in the complete logistical mastery of Henry V. Henry V was more effective than Edward III in conducting siege operations, and Henry's successful sieges led to real, if gradual and incomplete, conquests. His accomplishment was aided considerably by the continued political division in France. Valois France's recovery from this nadir provided a remarkable and dramatic conclusion -- the final phase -- to the epic war.

The study of the Hundred Years' War is complicated by the infusion of related events ­ often separate wars in their own spheres ­ that sometimes were integrated with, and at other times they only casually affected, the developments of the greater struggle. Some of the more significant of these 'sideshows' to the Hundred Years' War are identified at the end of this page.


Directory: Preliminary Summary. Initial Period. Interim Period. Final Period.

Chronology is taken from various sources listed in the associated Bibliography on the Hundred Years's War.

Preliminary Summary.

1154 Accession of Henri 'Plantagenet' d'Anjou, Maine and Touraine, to the English throne. Henry II began the Plantagenet dynasty in England. By inheritance (from his mother's side and sustained by force of arms) Henry II held ducal claim to Normandy. In 1152, he had become duke of Aquitaine by marriage to the heriess, Eleanor. King Henry II of England, as a duke, held far more French land in direct vassalage than did the French king. His son, Richard 'The Lionheart' managed to protect most of it from seizure by the French king Philippe II Auguste.

1214 King Philippe II Auguste of France defeated English-German coalition armies in the 'War of Bouvines', essentially confirming his earlier confiscation of Normandy, Anjou, and Maine from the English duke-king John I 'Lackland'. This effectively removed any direct claims of English Plantagenet kings to the French domains associated with the French-Norman conquest of England in 1066.

1242 King Louis IX (Saint Louis) defeated the English king Henry III and a rebel force of French nobles in the Santonge War of 1242. The result was confiscation by the French crown of large portions of the former 'Aquitaine'. However, Louis IX's main ambition was to devote his energies toward a crusade to the Levant, and he desired to assuage the king of England with some return of French ducal land in Guyenne.

1259 Treaty of Paris: Henry III of England acknowledged surrender of Plantagenet claims to lands in France conquered by Philippe Augustus (Normandy, Anjou, Maine, Touraine and Poitou). In addition, he accepted to hold the remaining Plantagenet fiefs in southwest France (partially increased from the 1242 losses, but still 'Guyenne', a lesser Aquitaine) by liege homage to the king of France. However, this region remained a significant source of disputes and confiscation initiatives by later French monarchs. Most significant was a 'small war' of Saint-Sardos (1325), which was the result of king Edward II of England refusing to pay homage to Charles IV of France for Guyenne.

1327 Accession of Edward III (1327-77) to the English throne. His mother, Isabelle, was sister to three French kings, none of whom left a direct male heir to the Capetian throne.

1328 Death of the last [direct] Capetian king of France, Charles IV. Edward III's claim to succeed him was rejected, and Philippe de Valois, a cousin by direct male line, acceded to the French throne as Philippe VI (1328-1350). This began the royal Valois dynasty in France. In 1329, Edward III went to Amiems and paid homage to king Philippe IV of France for the duchy of Guyenne. He also paid homage for the county of Ponthieu.

Return to Directory.

Initial Period.

1337 King Philippe VI of France declared the duchy of Guyenne forfeited by Edward III for the latter's harboring Robert d'Artois ­ a troublsome criminal in the eyes of the French crown. Edward III sent letter of defiance to 'Pilip [sic] of Valois, who calls himself king of France'. These incidents are usually cited as the Beginning of the Hundred Years' War.

1338 Edward III's ambitions were supported by the newly appointed leader of the Flemish townsmen seeking independence from France. Jacob van Artevelde formed a commerical treaty with Edward III and encouraged Edward to claim the French crown.

1339 Edward III's first personally led campaign in France (launched from Flanders into Thiérache) proved ineffective, as well as financially costly. He returned to England to better prepare for a future invasion.

1340 Edward III assumed the title of "king of England and France" (26 January), and concluded a military alliance with the Flemish. Edward III's fleet defeated the French fleet at Sluys [l'Écluse] (24 June).

1341 Death of the Jean III, duc de Bretagne [Brittany], led to a war of succession (1341-64) for the duchy between Charles de Blois (supported by the French king) and Jean de Montfort (supported by the English king).

1345-7 English campaigns in Normandy, Brittany and Aquitaine; battle of Crécy (26 August 1346) and capture of Calais (4 August 1347).

1348-49 The 'Black Death' (bubonic plague) spread in France and England.

1350 English defeated a Castilian fleet in battle of Les-Espagnols-sur-Mer, off Winchelsea (August).
Death of Philippe VI (22 Aug) and accession of Jean II le Bon (the Good) (1350-64).

1355-7 English campaigns in northern and southern France; and the battle of Poitiers [Maupertuis] (19 September 1356), in which Jean II of France was made prisoner of the English.

1358 In February, Parisian bourgeoise rebels, led by Etienne Marcel, murdered the Marshals of Champagne and Normandy; and threatened the life of the dauphin, Charles, who was forced to flee the city. In May, a peasants' rebellion, known as the jacqerie, began, but was put down near Meaux by Charles "the Bad," King of Navarre.

1359-60 Hoping to gain from the dauphin's difficulties, Edward III launched his last great campaign in France. He failed to get himself crowned 'king of France' at Reims, was unable to take Paris, and agreed to the preliminaries of a peace at Brétigny near Chartes (8 May 1360). A modified version of the treaty was ratified at Calais (24 Oct 1360). There was relative peace in terms of direct combat between English and French armies until 1369. The French king, Jean II was released from English captivity in December, 1360.

1362 The Grand Companies ravaged the French countryside. The routiers defeated a royal army at Brignais (6 April). Edward III announced the creation of the sovereign principality of Aquitaine [a region of ancient designation that was more extensive than Guyenne, which it included] to be ruled by his son, the 'Black Prince', Edward of Woodstock.

1364 King Jean II returned to London in 1364 (and died there in the same year) when his son, the duc d'Anjou, refused to remain a hostage until the full ransom was paid. Charles V, the Wise became king of France (1364-80). In supporting his brother, Philippe the Bold, as duke of Burgundy (since 1364), Charles V incited Charles 'the Bad' of Navarre (who believed that he had a better claim to the dukedom) to lead an uprising. Charles of Navarre's forces were defeated in the battle of Chocherel (May 1364) by the French king's army, led by a low-ranking Breton knight, Bertrand du Guesclin. Du Guesclin was later captured by the English at the battle of Auray (29 September), in which Charles de Blois was killed. Montfort's son, became Jean IV, duke of Brittany, but paid homage to the French king, Charles V.
Charles deployed du Guesclin to lead a force of routiers to aid Enrique [Henry] of Trastámara against Pedro 'the Cruel', king of Castile, who was supported by an English force under the Black Prince. Enrique was defeated at the battle of Navarete [Nájera] (2 April 1367) in Castile, and du Guesclin was again captured by the English and ransomed by Charles V. Later, the English withdrew support of Pedro, and Enrique (with du Guesclin's help) defeated Pedro at Montiel (14 March 1369). The new king of Castile, Enrique II, rewarded the French for their support by sending the formidable Castilian navy to assist the French in the struggle against England.

1369-73 Renewed warfare between France and England began in June. Charles V anounced that he was confiscating Aquitaine (Guyenne) and launched an invasion which took several towns. The Black Prince, experienced revolts in his domaine and sacked Limoges (19 September 1370). The Prince returned to England in 1371, leaving his French dominion to his brother, John of Gaunt, duke of Lancaster.
Charles V had prepred his treasury for war, financed a new fleet, Clos des Galées at Rouen, and recruited commanders with proven battlefield experience: Oliver de Clisson, Boucicault, Amaury de Craon, the Bègue de Vilaines, the Admiral Jean de Vienne. In particular, Charles made du Guesclin constable (2 October 1370). In that same year the new constable and Oliver de Clisson routed an Entlish force at Pontvallain, near Le Mans.
This latter part of the first period (the final phase) of the Hundred Years' War receives little attention in most military histories, though it was the decisive part of the period. By mostly avoiding open-field battles, where the English longbow tactical system dominated, the French followed Fabian methods of raids, ambushs, night attacks, and harassment. Du Guesclin led most of the main French operations and reconquered several towns in Guyenne in 1372. In June of the same year, a Castilian fleet destroyed the English fleet off La Rochelle. The trend was repeated in Brittany and Normandy, as the French reclaimed, by force or bribery, most all of the territories that had been ceded to Edward III at Brétigny.

Return to Directory.

Interim Period.

1377 Death of Edward III (21 June) and accession of Richard II (1377-99) of England at age eleven.
Jean de Vienne directed French naval raids on English coast.
Battle of Eymet (1 September), French defeated Anglo-Gascon army.

1378 Beginning of the Great Schism (1378-1417) in the western Church. Charles V confiscated the duchy of Brittany.

1380 Death of du Guesclin (13 July) and of Charles V (16 September), and accession of Charles VI (1380-1422) at age eleven.

1382 Battle of Roosebeke (November). French knights defeated Flemish uprising led by Philippe van Artevelde.

1383 Upon the death of the count of Flanders, Louis de Mâle, his son-in-law, Philippe, duke of Burgundy (and brother to king Charles V, of France) became the count of Flanders.

1389 Truce of Leulinghen, renewed repeatedly, prevented any major campaign until 1404.

1396 Marriage of Richard II to Isabella of France, daughter of king Charles VI. A twenty-eight year truce was agreed to, but the two monarchs were unable to conclude a peace. Many of the English nobility resent no longer having an opportunity to plunder the natural richness of France.

1399 Richard II was deposed by John of Gaunt's son Henry Bolingbroke, who secured the throne as Henry IV (1399-1413), beginning the Lancasterian dynasty.

1402 French troops (primarily Orléanist) assisted a Scottish invasion of England.

1403 Charles VII was born (22 February) in Paris. He was the third son of Charles VI and his queen, Isabeau. There was low expectancy of him becoming dauphin, as he was preceded by his two brothers: Louis, duc de Guyenne (b.1397) and Jean, duc de Touraine (b.1398). French raided the English coast while Henry IV was preoccupied with scattered revolts.

1405 French sent an expedition to England to assit Owen Glendower's revolt in Wales, against king Henry IV, but withdrew as the rebellion faltered.

1406 French attacked English possessions in France, in Vienne, and Calais.

1407 Assassination of Charles VI's brother, Louis, duc d'Orléans, by Jean 'the Fearless', duke of Burgundy (since 1404) initiated a dramatic eruption in the ongoing friction between the two powerful houses. This resulted in open civil war in France between partisans of the duke of Burgundy (Burgundians) and those of the duke of Orléans, called 'Armagnacs'. (In 1410 Charles, son of Louis d' Orléans, married the daughter of Bernard VII, count of Armagnac. Bernard assumed leadership of the faction.)

1411 Both the Orléanists ['Armagnacs'] and the Burgundians sought aid from the English king, Henry IV.

1413 Henry V became king of England upon the death of his father. The cabochienne uprisings (April and May) in Paris. The Armagnacs gained control of Paris in September, and ruthlessly expelled factions loyal to Burgundy. Charles [VII] was betrothed to Marie d'Anjou, daughter of duc d'Anjou and Yolande of Aragón. The House of Anjou allied itself with the Orleanist-Armagnac faction. In May, Jean 'the Fearless' allied Burgundy with the new English king, Henry V.

Return to Directory.

Final Period.

1415 As the powerful duke of Burgundy remained neutral, Henry V of England invaded France, captured Harfleur (23 September) and defeated the French army at Agincourt (25 October). The defeat resulted in the deaths or capture of many of the leading French nobles that supported the Orléanst-Armagnac faction, and, thereby, strengthen the Burgundian position. In December, Bernard d'Armagnac became constable of France.

1416 Comte d'Armagnac, constable of France was defeated by English force at Valmont (11-13 March). English fleet defeated French-Genoese fleet in a naval engagment on the Seine (15 August). Henry V signed an alliance with Emperor Sigismond de Luxembourg, for the latter to remain netural in the English-French conflict.

1417 As Henry V began a conquest of Normandy (1417-19), save Mont-Saint-Michel, France was divided. The Armagnacs maintain themselves in the French capital. The duke of Burgundy, with close alliance with Isabeau of Bavaria, Charles VI's queen, set up a rival government at Troyes. The two eldest sons of Charles VI died while 'under the portection' of the duc de Burgundy (Louis, d.December 1415; and Jean, d.5 April 1417). This left the third son of the French king, Charles, as the dauphin.

1418 Jean the Fearless secured control of Paris and Armagnacs were massacred. The constable, Bernard, was killed. The dauphin Charles escaped to south of the Loire, to Melun (29 May). With the help of the Angevins, Charles established a rival government at Bourges. Dauphin Charles assumed (29 June) the position of lieutenant-general from his father. Charles retained a bodyguard of Scots archers. In July he led a force that siezed the Burgundian-held castle of Azay-le-Rideau. Henry V besieged Rouen in July.

1419 Rouen surrendered in January, and Henry V completed his conquest of Normandy. Jean the Fearless, while meeting (10 September) with the dauphin Charles at Montereau, was assassinated in revenge for the murder of the duc d'Orleans. Philippe the Good succeeded his father as duke of Burgundy, and continued the alliance with Henry V of England in December.

1420 French-Scottish army was defeated by English at Fresnay (3 March). The Treaty of Troyes (21 May) was the result of the English-Brugundian alliance and the mental illness of the French king, Charles VI. The treaty called for Henry V to marry Catherine, daughter of Charles VI, and to become king of France on the death of his father-in-law.

1421 The dauphin Charles' Scots allies and French (under Marshal Gilbert Lafayette) defeated an English force at Baugé (22 March 1421), in which Henry V's brother, duke of Clarence, was killed. A Burgundian force defeated French at Mons-en-Vimeu (31 August 1421), in which Jean Ponton de Xaintrailles and Etienne de Vignolles, le Bourg de la Hire, were captured.

1422 Henry V died (31 August) before Charles VI (21 October). Henry V's brother, duke John of Bedford, became the English regent in France and tried to establish Henry V's ten-month old son on the French throne.

1422 Bedford launched a campaign that gradually expanded English holdings in France, and Maine was added to Normandy as an English possession. With few reverses, the campaign continued until 1429.

1423 English forces defeated the dauphin's forces at Cravant (31 July).

1423 Yolande, duchess d'Anjou returned (after four years in Provence) to the court of Charles VII, and began to exert her influence.

1424 English forces defeated the dauphin's forces and at Verneuil (17 August), where the constable, the Scot Earl of Buchan, was killed and duc d'Alençon and Marshal Lafayette were captured.

1425 Charles VII awarded the Breton, Arthur de Richemont, the position of constable (7 March).

1426 Bedford defeated an army led by Arthur de Richemont at St-Jacques, near Avranches (6 March), which forced Richemont's brother, Jean V, duc de Brittany, to sign a treaty with Henry V; this led to Richemont's banishment from the French court (1427).

1427 Dunois and La Hire defeated an English army under Warwick at Montargis (September).

1428 The English invested Orléans (12 February).

1429 English food convoy (en route to besiegers at Orléans) repulsed an attack by a larger French force in the 'Battle of the Herrings' (12 February 1429) near Rouvray-Saint-Denis. Duc of Burgundy withdrew his forces supporting the siege of Orléans in April. French forces under the titular command of Jeanne d'Arc relieved Orléans (8 May) and continued their campaign with a series of small tactical victories: seized Jargeau (11/12 June) and Beaugency (16/17 June). At Patay (18 June), the forces of Jeanne d'Arc and the constable de Richemont defeated English in open battle, and captured Talbot. Charles VII was crowned and anointed king of France at Rheims (17 July). Jeanne d'Arc was wounded leading a failed attack on Paris (16 August).

1430 Jeanne was captured by Burgundians at Compiégne (23 May).

1431 Jeanne was burnt at the stake in Rouen (30 May).
René d'Anjou, duc de Bar and Lorraine, was captured by Antoine de Vaudement in a local territorial dispute, as battle of Bulgnéville.

1432 The duc de Brittany and the Angevins made a treaty of alliance (February). Richemont was reconciled with Charles VII (5 March). La Trémoélle, the scheming advisor to Charles VII, was overthrown and Charles [IV] d'Anjou (son of Yolande of Aragón, and held the title of comte de Maine) assumed the position. In August, Dunois's army defeated Bedford's English force besieging Lagny-sur-Marne, the latter abandoning their artillery.

1434 Jean Bureau joined the service of Charles VII.
Louis III, duc d'Anjou died in Italy while campaigning for the crown of Naples. His brother, René d'Anjou, while still a prisoner of the duke of Burgundy, inherited Louis III's claim to Naples, as well as the duchy of Anjou.

1435 Duke of Bedford died (14 September). Treaty of Arras (10 December) established peace between Philippe 'the Good' of Burgundy and Charles VII.

1436 Richemont recovered Paris (13 April), and allowed English to evacuate. The highly successful merchant, Jacques Coeur, was appointed Director of the Paris Mint. In July, the duke of Burgundy besieged the English at Calais. In August, an English force, under Humphry of Gloucester, counter attacked and drove the Burgundians back into Flanders in a campaign that lasted until 1438. Released from captivity, the English Lord Talbot [later made earl of Shrewsbury in 1442], aggressivley subdued French communities in Normandy and Maine.

1437 Charles VII entered Paris (12 November). Talbot continued to counter French attacks in Normandy, repulsing a Burgundian attack on Le Crotoy, and recovering other towns.

1438 Jacques Coeur was appointed Argentier (personal treasurer) to Charles VII. Charles VII issued the Pragmatic Sanction of Bourges. French forces secured the upper Seine by capturing Montereau.

1440 Charles duc d'Orléans [a prisoner since Agincourt (1415)] was released from English captivity. Charles I, duc de Bourbon, led other nobles in the Praguerie revolt (15 February- 17 July) against Charles VII. The dauphin, Louis, and Jean II, duc d'Alençon, were associated with the rebels. The revolt was put down by Constable Richemont. Talbot continued to defend English-held towns and managed to recapture Harfleur (July).

1441 The French army captured Creil and Conflans. French besieged Pontoise in June, and took the town (25 October) after a long campaign and an artillery siege directed by Jean Bureau.

1442 Charles VII launched a major campaign into Guyenne and captured St.-Sever, Dax, and La Réole. Yolande d'Aragon died (14 November).

1443 Jean Bureau was made treasurer of France.

1444 Truce of Tours suspended hostilities between England and France (lasted until 1449). As part of a two-year truce, English surrendered Maine and the English king, Henry VI married [in 1445] Margaret d'Anjou [daughter of the brother-in-law to Charles VII of France]. Agnès Sorel was admitted to the court of Charles VII.
Charles VII sent his son, the dauphin Louis, to lead an expedition against the Swiss in Alsace and Lorraine (summer and autumn, 1444). The expedition resulted in a costly French victory over the Swiss at Saint Jacob-en-Birs (24 August). The campaign had nothing to do with the Hundred Years' War, but did manage to divert the écorcheurs from marauding French territory. In the same year, Charles VII personally led a limited campaign into Lorraine.

1445 Charles VII issued ordonnances (January-March) that created a 'standing army' from the men-at-arms. Jean Bureau was known to be a close advisor of Charles VII by this time. Guillaume Jouvenel des Ursins was appointed chancellor of the Grand Conseil.

1446-1447 Charles VII's court was plagued by schemes to support Charles d'Orléans and Charles d'Anjou in efforts to re-establish dynastic claims in Italy, and by intrigues instigated by the dauphin, Louis.

1448 The francs-archers were formed in April.

1449 The truce was broken by English attacks on the Breton fortress of Fougères (March). Charles VII ordered his army to invade Normandy (31 July). The English duke Somerset surrendered Rouen (10 November).

1450 Agnès Sorel died at Jumièges (9 February). The French besieged Caen in March. The decisive battle of Formigny (15 April) demonstrated the first real effective use of gunpowder weapons on the battlefield in the Hundred Years' War and saw the defeat of English longbow tactics. Caen captured (24 June) and Cherbourg was taken (12 August). Charles VII completed the reconquest of Normandy.

1451 First campaign to reconquer Guyenne (6 May - 21 August). Comte de Dunois, accompanied by Bureau's artillery, quickly siezed English held towns in Guyenne; Bordeaux surrendered 30 June. Dauphin Louis married Charlotte of Savoy (9 March) without the consent of Charles VII.

1452 A pro-English faction in Bordeaux sought help from England. John Talbot, earl of Shrewsbury, arrived in France, and was welcomed into Bordeaux.

1453 Jacques Coeur was charged with various, questionable crimes and imprisoned. He was condemened (29 May 1453). His wealth was effectively confiscated by the French crown. Charles VII deployed an army to reconquer Guyenne (1453). Jean Bureau directed the French force that invested Castillon. An English relief force advanced on the French fortified encampment. The French cannon and handguns which cut down many of the attackers before a heavy cavalry of Breton men-at-arms made a flank attack and routed the English, killing their commander, Talbot, outside of Castillon (17 July 1453). Bordeaux's final submission to Charles VII (19 October).

1455 Some members of the Scots Archers (part of the royal bodyguards) were condemned to death for plotting (in 1450, at the Siege of Caen) to kill Charles VII. Robert Cunningham, captain of the king's men-at-arms and archers was banished. Charles VII experienced his first signs of serious illness.

1456 Jean II, duc d'Alençon was arrested. He was tried in 1458, imprisoned, and his lands confiscated. Dauphin Louis fled to the protection of the duc of Burgundy (Philippe the good). When he later became Louis XI, he restored Alençon his lands.

1457 Charles VII deprived his son, Louis, the Dauphiné (8 April). The possibility that Charles VII might disinherit Louis in favor of Louis' younger brother, Charles of France, drove Louis to side with Burgundy.

1458 The harboring of Louis by the duc of Burgundy caused a serious division among the advisors of Charles VII. Some of the advisors who had been most loyal to Charles VII were disliked by the dauphin Louis and they feared his eventual accession to the throne. These advocated armed aggression against Burgundy.

1460 Jean IV, comte d'Armagnac was banished.

1461 Henry VI's army was defeated at Towton (29 March), and led to the accession of Edward IV as king of England (1461-83). Charles VII died at Mehun-sur-Yèvre (22 July).

The English took a long time to relinquish Edward III's hope to acquire the French crown. The 1475 Truce of Picquigny between Edward IV and Louis XI was a cover to bribe the English off so that Louis could concentrate his struggle against Burgundy. In 1513, Henry VIII invaded France, and won the Battle of Guinegate ('second battle of the spurs' ), 17 August 1513 . The English king captured a few small towns and attempted to arranged with the Austrian Emperor a futile scheme to obtain the French crown. In 1558, the French captured Calais, England's last foothold in France. The English monarchs continued to call themselves 'king' or 'queen' of France until the 1802 Treaty of Amiens, after which the fleur-de-lis was removed from the royal arms of England.

Return to Directory.

Medal to commemorate the explusion of the English from France (1453).
B.N. cabinet des Médailles.


Intergrated, more or less, with the overall HYW are:

Flemish uprisings against the French, and later Burgundian, domination. The uprisings were usually supported by the English. The first Flemish revolt took place well before the Hundred Years' War (HYW), but began with a victory of pole-armed Flemish town militia over French knights at Courtrai (1302). The battle is frequently mentioned in writings about the HYW as signaling the era of infantry dominance over heavy cavalry. Usually un-mentioned in these accounts are the following French knights' defeats of the Flemish militia at Mons-en-Pévèle (1304) and Cassel (1328), after which the French crown strengthened its hold over Flanders.
A Flemish uprising in 1338 was led by Jacob van Artevelde. In this revolt, the Flemish attempted to play off Edward III against the French king. It was in Ghent, at a 1340 meeting with the Flemish leaders, that Edward first declared his claim to the French throne. The English king enjoyed a geat naval victory over the French at the Flemish port of Ecluse [Sluys] (June 1340). However, Edward III was unable to maintain the expense of a military campaign against France launched from Flanders, and the Flemish support faded with the murder of Artevelde in 1345 by some of his own followers.
A later Flemish revolt in 1382 was led by Philippe van Artevelde (son of Jacob) against their count (Louis de Mâle). The revolt led to the battle of Roosebeke (27 Nov 1382), where Artevelde died with the destruction of the Flemish pikemen. Philippe de Bourgone [Burgundy] soon after inherited Flanders upon the death of his father-in-law, Louis de Mâle. This would lead to Burgundy essentially replacing the French monarach as a ruler of Flanders and as an opponent of the Flemish urban struggles for independence.
In the last period of the HYW, Bedford's victory at Verneuil was offset by his brother, Humphry of Gloucester (former Regent and then Protector in England) attempt, with a 1424 expedition, to gain the land of the countess Jacqueline of Hainault's husband (whom she had abandoned). The eposode infuriated Philippe de Bourgone, who was after the Flemish lands himself, and helped drive a wedge in the Anglo-Burgundian alliance.
Gent (Ghent) revolted against the duke of Burgundy (7 April 1452).

Brittany's war of succession (1341-64) was largely a civil war, in which the French and English supported opposite sides. The French king supported Charles de Blois who fought for the claim through his wife, Jeanne de Penthièvre. The English king sided with the claim of Jean de Montfort, who captured early in the war had his cause sustained by his wife, Jeanne de Flanders. Eventually, Charles de Blois was killed at the Battle of Auray (1364) and Montfort's son, also named Jean, claimed the title of duc de Bretagne. Though the French supported faction lost, the duchy remained ­ with brief interruptions ­ associated with French sovereignty.

Normandy was the principal domaine of duke William 'the Conqueror' when he seized the English throne in 1066. The duchy of Normandy was inherited by William's heirs on the throne of England until the French king, Philippe Augustus confiscated Normandy from the English king, John 'Lackland' in 1204.
Throughout the HYW, the English gave priority in their major invasions of France to secure their holding in Normandy. Regardless that more than one English king had agreed to renounce the ancient Plantagenet claim, the duchy's proximity to England encourage the reaffirmation of it as part of the English domain. Many local lords took advantage of the disputed sovereignty, switching allegiances for advantages. Considerable economic ties, in trade, developed with England. Following his 1415 victories, Henry V placed priority on the conquest of Normandy. With their occupation [save Mont-Saint-Michel] secured by 1420, the English reclaimed Normandy as part of their traditional English fiefdom until the French reconquest in 1450.
Charles de Navarre was involved in both Brittany and in Normandy, at different times. Charles 'the Bad' king of Navarre sought by arms to establish his claim as duke, and assisted the English king, Edward III's 1346 and 1355-57campaigns. Early in 1354, Charles de Navarre enginered the murder of the French constable, Charles of Spain [Don Carlos de la Cerda], who was an enemy of the Évreux family (of which Charles de Navarre was part). This triggered a response by the Valois king, Jean II, and launched nearly ten years of Valois-Évreux hostilities that complicated the larger Anglo-French conflict, and proved critical for the history of French political and military society. Jean II of France seized and imprisoned Charles de Navarre, and executed some of his supporters, in April 1356. Normandy was plunged into civil war. This preceded Jean II's defeat and capture, by the English, at Poitiers in Sept 1356.

Guyenne [Guienne] is the large region in southwest France that is a lesser 'Aquitaine' [a region of more ancient existance; see Aquitaine] and sometimes included Gascony, a smaller region immediately to the south of Guyenne proper. Guyenne was under control of the English duke-kings the longest of any of the English controled regions in France. The region developed strong economic ties to England. As with Normandy, many local lords took advantage of the disputed sovereignty, switching allegiances for advantages. However, the long economic and ducal association developed strong popular loyalities toward the English cause in Guyenne, and the French reconquest was long a daunting.
The region initially came under ducal rule by the English monarch when Eleanor, heiress of Aquitaine, married Henri d'Anjou, who later became Henry II of England (1154-86). The arrangement of one sovereign holding ducal lands within the realm of another sovereign presented obvious problems. There were many occasions when the French king sent royal troops into the regions of the English king-duke (as best to describe his position in respect to Guyenne).
Early in Edward III's reign he reluctanly paid homage to the King of France, acknowledging his ducal status in the region. Edward broke his acceptance of such a relationship when he declared himself the rightful king of France and invaded France. The success of his son's, the 'Black Prince', Poitiers campaign (1355- 56) encouraged the English to perceive of the region as a 'soverign' domaine of the Prince. This enlarged Guyenne, as a new 'Aquitaine' was in the terms of the Peace of Brétigny (1360), in which Edward III renounced his earlier claim to be king of France. The treaty was pretty well renounced when warfare broke out in 1369, but by this time the armies of Charles V were able to reduce the English king's holding to a coastal strip in Guyenne.
With the defeat of the English at the end of the first major period of the HYW, the region of Guyenne became fragmented into many separate factions. Bordeaux temporarly became an independant state which neither the English nor the French monarachs were strong enough to challenge. During the second major period, many of the towns in Guyenne rallied to the English as the victories of Henry V made it appear that English rule would be inevitable (and was desired by most of the merchants in the region). However, Henry V's emphasis on securing Normandy and areas in northern France denied adequate support to the pro-English factions in southwest France. The military balance turned after 1440 in favor of the French, and after two major campaigns of reconquest (1451-52 and 1453) Guyenne was firmly made part of France.

Aquitaine was originally an early (from Gallo-Roman times) region in southwest France. The name was again applied by Edward III to identify the enlarged Guyenne region to be a domaine for his son, the Black Prince. [See Guyenne]

Burgundian - Orleanist/Armanac civil war was completely integrated into the HYW from the time of Charles VI (most certainly from the murder of Louis I of Orléans (1407) to the Treaty of Arras (1435). The Valois dukes of Burgundy really played to their own interests, and ultimately were not disposed to see England gain power in France.

Urban and rural uprisings in France and England:
Parisian bourgeois revolt led by Étienne Marcel (May-June 1358).
The Jacquerie (1356-58), French rural uprising against the nobility.
Béziers' uprising (September 1381).
Agitation of the 'Tuchins' in Languedoc (1381-84).
English Peasants Revolt (1381).
Uprising at Rouen (Feb 1382), of the maillotins in Paris (Mar 1382).
Supression of the marchands in Paris (1383).
Cabochienne uprising (1413) in Paris: first (April), second (May).

The Plague ('Black Death') (1347-48) forced an interuption in warfare and weakened the economic hold of the nobility over the peasants and, thereby, the general feudal social-economic structure as a whole.

English civil wars: (1) Henry Bolingbroke overthrew Richard II and established himself as Henry IV (1399), the first Lancasterian. Henry IV and his son, Prince Henry [later the V] had to contend against the 1401-1409 uprising in Wales led by Owen Glendower. The French even sent a small expedition in 1405 to assist the Welsh, but the English king prevailed. The war contributed considerably to preparing the future Henry V as a war leader and honing the English army that would later invade France in 1415. (2) The Wars of the Roses (1455-85) may have been induced considerably by the English reverses at the end of the HYW. The latter war led to the downfall of the House of Lancaster on the English throne. Henry VI and his queen, Margaret d'Anjou, were overthrown (Henry was first defeated, 1461; captured, 1471; died, 1483) by Edward IV (of York). Edward IV was later overthrown (1485) by Henry VII (Tudor).

Not integrated, but had some impact:

Civil War in Castile (1364-1422). The contest between Enrique of Trastamara and Pedro I for the Castilian crown provided an alternative theater for HYW combatants during a lull in the war in France. France and England supported opposite sides in the Castilian conflict. The English provided Pedro a smashing victory over French-supported army of Enrique's at the Battle of Navarrette [Nájera] (1367). However, the English fell out with Pedro and, with French support, Enrique prevailed at Montiel (1369). The outcome led to valuable Castilian naval support being provided to the French in some later HYW actions. John of Gaunt's (Lancaster) claim (through marriage to Pedro I's daughter) to the Castilian throne never developed as a serious factor.

Conflict between Castile and Portugal again had the French and English supporting opposite sides. English enabled the Portuguese victory at Aljubarrota (1385). However, there was no direct tie to the HYW.

Swiss war with the Emperor provided an excuse for Charles VII to send unemployed men-at-arms [écorcheurs] out of France to fight for the Emperor Frederick III against the Swiss. Result was the battle of St. Jackob (near Basel, 14 Aug 1444). It had nothing to do with the HYW. Though, like the battles in Spain, many of the combatants from the HYW participated. The expedition ended in a confusing campaign in Alsace where the men-at-arms were confronted with guerilla warfare (1444-45). Soldiers from the expedition eventually drifted back to France. The best were taken into the new royal companies.

The Great Schism (1378-1417) in the Church weakened the papal authority to settle inter-dynastic ['national' or 'state'] disputes. Again, England and France aligned themselves to suppot different claimants.

Uprisings in Scotland against English domination. The initial battles of Edward III against the Scots contributed to the development of the English longbow tactics -- especially the battles of Dupplin Moor (1332) and Halidon Hill (1333) -- that dominated over many of the open-field battles in the subsequent HYW. During the HYW, French support of the Scots was generally ineffective, though there developed the 'Auld Alliance' which resulted in capable Scots soldiers joining the French in the HYW.

The French House of Anjou, though loyal to the French Valois monarachy, was often distracted with their own, separate military campaigns. The successive dukes of Anjou (Louis I, Louis II, Louis III, and René I) all campaigned in Itlay attempting to establish their claims to the crown of Naples. In addition, René d'Anjou's inheritance of Lorraine was contested by Antoine de Vaudémont, who was supported by Philippe, duke of Burgundy. René was captured by de Vaudémont at the battle of Bulgnéville (1431), though he retained his title as duc de Lorraine. The duke of Burgundy, held René a prisoner until 1347. In a effort to make good on his inheritence to the crown of Naples, René was defeated by Alfonso V of Aragón in 1442. After this, René returned to serve Charles VII in the final actions of the Hundred Years' War. Even then, Charles VII personally led a limited expedition, in 1444, into Lorraine principally to support René's ducal claim, but served also as an affront to the duke Philippe 'the Good' of Burgundy.

Nicopolis (25 September 1396) was the site of a disastrous defeat of a crusade composed mostly of French and Burgundian knights attempting to take a fortified strategic town ['Nikopol' in modern Bulgaria] on the Danube, held by the Ottoman Turks. Many of the Western men-at-arms were killed in a battle that took place outside the town, most of the captured were slaughtered by the victorious Turkish sultan. A few survivors lived to be ransomed. Other than depleting some of the men-at-arms that might have contributed to the Valois cause, the event had little effect in the HYW. The future duke of Burgundy, Jean 'the Fearless', was one of the survivors and received his nickname from his participation.

The Praguerie (15-17 February 1440) was an uprising of French nobles, against Charles VII. The constable Richemont quickly put down the revolt, and the incident did not weaken Charles. Many of the nobles who rebeled went on to serve the French king well in the last phase of the HYW.

Return to top of web pageReturn to beginning of 'Sideshows'Return to chronological list

Return to
Hundred Years' War, Final Phase
Web Page.

This page was last updated 23 September 2007.
Comments can be sent to the Société de l'Oriflamme.