Hundred Years’ War: The Great War That Shaped National Identities

Conflict between the kingdoms of France and England, known as the Hundred Years’ War. The war, which had its origins in a succession dispute in France, was won by the French following the heroic exploits of Joan of Arc.

War and peace were interspersed during the century-long Hundred Years’ War (1337–1453). This war between France and England, two great powers, began with a power vacuum. The succession crisis in France began with the death of King Charles IV in 1328. As he had no sons, the Capetian dynasty fell out, and his cousin, Philip VI of Valois, became king. Edward III Plantagenet, the nephew of the deposed king, and the King of England are only two of the many claimants to the throne of France. When Philip VI ignored his legitimate claim to the throne, he went to war with him in 1337.


Although it was fought exclusively on the European mainland, the war had a lasting impact on the country, which was 116 years in the making. The English took advantage of the situation after their wins at Crécy (1346) and Poitiers (1356), and the French king was forced to cede a great deal of territory to them at the Treaty of Brétigny (1360). Between the years 1369 and 1380, King Charles V of France successfully retook territory previously lost. The French monarchy was further eroded by the Armagnac-Burgundian civil war, which broke out in 1407. At Azincourt (Battle of Agincourt), the English king recovered the upper hand and ultimately emerged victorious (1415). The King of France officially anointed the King of England as his successor at the Treaty of Troyes (1420). Although the French were seemingly losing the battle, they eventually won with the help of Joan of Arc (Jeanne d’Arc) and other uprisings against the occupation. Charles VII of France ultimately ended the war in 1453 after winning the decisive Battle of Castillon. The English lost all of their holdings after being “kicked out of France” and signing the Treaty of Picquigny (1470).

What were the causes of the Hundred Years’ War?

The Duchy of Guyenne (Aquitaine), which had belonged to England since Eleanor of Aquitaine’s marriage to the King of England, was one of the many territorial disputes that sparked the Hundred Years’ War between France and England. Furthermore, Charles IV passed away in 1328 without a male heir, and Philip VI of Valois was crowned king. Having claimed descent from King Philip IV of France through his mother, the nephew of the late King Edward III claimed the throne of France. French jurists used a long-forgotten Frankish tradition called the Salic law to keep the French monarchy out of English hands. By the letter of the law, females and their offspring were barred from ever becoming kings of France. Definably, Edward III was not included in the line of succession. His claim to the throne was repeatedly rejected, but he nevertheless declared himself king of France and England. Philip VI’s conquest of Guyenne in 1337 marked the official start of the Hundred Years’ War. Later, Edward III disembarked on the European continent to face up against King Louis XIV of France.

When did the Hundred Years’ War take place?

The Hundred Years’ War began on May 24, 1337. On this day in history, Philip VI, in retaliation for the King of England’s arrogance, gained control of the French territory of Guyenne. For the Duchy of Guyenne, Edward III was actually the King of France’s vassal. Edward, King of England, publicly challenged King Francis I of France for “his” throne on October 7, 1337. They were unsuccessful in their July 1339 siege of Bordeaux, the capital of English Aquitaine. Fighting between the two royal families would continue for almost a century after this. France won the Hundred Years’ War with the help of Joan of Arc. The Battle of Castillon in 1453 put an end to it. The Treaty of Picquigny, signed on August 29, 1475, officially ended the war that had been going on for almost a hundred years.

How long did the Hundred Years’ War last?

The official duration of the Hundred Years’ War is generally accepted to be from 1337 and 1453, making it 116 years long. The two world powers, France and England, battled for the throne of France for numerous centuries. Numerous conflicts, including the well-known battles of Crécy, Agincourt, and Castillon, and times of relative calm punctuated this century. War of the British Succession, Great Jacquerie, and civil war between the Armagnacs and Burgundians all took place during this time in France, as did the rise to power of the House of Lancaster in England during this same era. Ten separate English and French sovereigns fought in the war.

How did Joan of Arc impact the Hundred Years’ War?

After losing at Agincourt early in the 15th century, the crazy king of France, Charles VI, controlled barely half of the country. A civil war sprang out between the Burgundians and the Armagnacs, further dividing the realm. During this time of turmoil, England’s monarch was able to stake his claim to the French throne. He succeeded Charles VI as king at the Treaty of Troyes (1420). A little girl claimed to have had a supernatural mission from God in 1425 to rescue France from the English invaders and install Charles VII on the French throne. Joan the Maid (Jeanne la Pucelle) joined the army of the dauphin after being convinced that she was the one who was destined to serve. She had a string of spectacular successes early on, and it made her a hero among her fellow troops. Joan of Arc went to the crowning of Charles VII at Reims in 1430 before she was captured by the English at Compiègne. Thanks to this “divine” intervention, France was able to reclaim the initiative from England. A victory in the Battle of Castillon in 1453 officially ended the Hundred Years’ War and allowed for the recapture of Paris the following year.

What were the results of the Hundred Years’ War?

The economic and geopolitical effects of the Hundred Years’ War were profound. After suffering a crushing defeat at the hands of the French at the Battle of Castillon in 1453, England was left with nothing in France save for Calais. The struggle damaged the Plantagenet dynasty, leading to the terrible The Wars of the Roses (1455–1485). Even though France reclaimed Guyenne and Normandy, its population was decimated by the Black Death and other diseases. The government instituted a new tax called the taille to help pay for its operations. Changes in military doctrine, tactics, and technology (artillery, bows, pikes, etc.) were all introduced or refined during the Hundred Years’ War. Finally, the war contributed to the formation of strong national identities in both nations.


February 1, 1328 – Death of Charles IV the Fair

At Vincennes, France’s King Charles IV the fair passed away without a male heir. Joan of Évreux, his wife, was pregnant, and she eventually had a daughter. Charles IV was the last of the direct Capetians, and his nephew, Philip of Valois, became King of France as Philip VI. After his death, the Valois branch of the Capetian family reacquired the throne.

May 24, 1337 – Beginning of the Hundred Years’ War

Edward III of England, who claimed the French throne, refused to pay homage to his suzerain, the king of France, for the duchy of Guyenne. From his mother’s side, he is truly the grandson of Philip the Fair. In 1337, King Philip VI of France was forced to seize Guyenne from his treasonous vassal.

October 7, 1337 – Edward III claims the throne of France

After Philip VI of France took control of Guyenne, Edward III of England officially contested his cousin’s claim to the throne in Westminster Abbey on October 7, 1337. The relationship between the two secular rivals deteriorated after years of hostility. For the next century, the Valois and Plantagenet dynasties would be at odds with one another.

December 28, 1337 – Revolution in the County of Flanders

At the center of the battles between France and England during the Hundred Years War was the county of Flanders, a principality of the French realm. On December 28, 1337, the people of Ghent, the county seat, were encouraged by the English monarch, using economics as a weapon, to rise up against the French. From 1345 until that year, they self-governed under Jacob van Artevelde’s stance of neutrality in the battle between the French and the English.

January 23, 1340 – Edward III of England takes the title of King of France in Ghent

King Edward III of England was the last direct descendant of Philip the Fair and hence should have inherited the French crown upon Charles IV’s death in 1328. Unfortunately, his distant cousin Philip VI of Valois was able to unseat him and become king. The Hundred Years’ War began when English King Edward III claimed to be the rightful king of France in 1337. After the revolt in the county of Flanders on January 23, 1340, he assumed the title of king of France at Ghent.

June 23, 1340 – The naval battle of Sluys

The first naval combat of the Hundred Years’ War took place on June 24, 1340, between the fleets of Edward III of England (the claimant to the French throne) and Philip VI of France. The English won this fight, which occurred in the North Sea close to Belgium, and the French fleet was destroyed. Many thousands of troops were lost during the conflict, most of them to the water.

The Truce of Espléchin was signed on September 25, 1340

King Edward III of England was in a tough spot in June 1340 despite his victory at the Battle of Sluys. He ran out of money and couldn’t pay his friends, thus his men took heavy losses on other fronts. Scots took advantage of his absence to rise out against the English forces. Due to pressure, on September 25, 1340, the sovereign agreed a brief ceasefire with the king of France known as the Truce of Espléchin.

September 7, 1341 – Philip VI supports Charles of Blois for the succession of the duchy of Brittany

Another conflict of succession broke out in Brittany at the start of the Hundred Years’ War, this time between Charles of Blois, who sided with the French king Philippe VI, and Jean de Montfort, who sided with the English king Edward III. Naturally siding with Charles of Blois, Philip VI of Valois had his support codified by the Court of Peers at Conflans on September 7, 1341.

September 26, 1345 – Death of Jean de Montfort

During the War of Succession of Brittany, which took place between 1341 and 1345 and occurred smack in the midst of the Hundred Years’ War, Jean de Montfort was a claimant to the Duchy of Brittany. He was an ally of King Edward III of England against King Philippe VI of Valois of France, but he was caught by the army of Jean Le Bon at the end of 1341 and spent almost four years in a Parisian jail. He escaped in March 1345 and continued fighting, but he became sick and passed away on September 26, 1345.

August 26, 1346 – Defeat of the French at Crécy

Edward III’s army, rampaging across the regions surrounding the English Channel, collided with Philip VI’s men on August 26, 1346, at the legendary Battle of Crécy (Picardy). The French force was almost entirely wiped out in the ensuing terrible battle. The archers were crucial to the outcome of the fight, which they won by routing both the cavalry and the infantry.

September 4, 1346 – The Siege of Calais begins

It was for the throne of France that King Philip of Valois of France and King Edward III of England battled during the Hundred Years’ War. After launching a military expedition in France in 1346, Edward III became king. In July, English forces descended onto Normandy; by September 4, 1346, they had made their way north to Calais. This marked the start of the eleven-month long English siege of Calais. Two centuries passed while the city was governed by the British.

October 17, 1346 – David II of Scotland invades England

To protect French interests under the Auld Alliance, Scottish King David II invaded England on October 17, 1346. Scots and French people “oldly” agreed that if one country was attacked by England, the other would launch an invasion of England. It was under this contract that Scottish forces invaded England and fought the disastrous Battle of Neville’s Cross. Scottish monarch King David II was taken captive and held for 11 long years.

June 18, 1347 – Battle of La Roche-Derrien

One of the first conflicts between French and English forces for control of France, the Battle of La Roche-Derrien occurred during the War of the Breton Succession, which was a component of the Hundred Years’ War. Charles of Blois, the claimant to the duchy of Brittany backed by French king Philippe de Valois, was captured by English forces after France lost this battle. After nine long years in jail, he was finally freed in 1356.

August 3, 1347 – Calais surrendered to the king of England

It took the English army ten years from the start of the Hundred Years’ War to lay siege to Calais. Having just won a decisive battle at Crecy, Edward III was eager to solidify his control over the northern part of France. In September of 1346, he marched his army against the city. The city finally gave up on August 3, 1347, after an eleven-month siege that left its inhabitants weak from food and despondent from the lack of reinforcements. It took another two centuries for Calais to return to French control… Rodin’s “Les Bourgeois de Calais,” sculpture in 1895, depicts municipal officials accepting capitulation terms.

1348 – Foundation of the Order of the Garter

During the height of the Hundred Years’ War in 1348, King Edward III of England established the Order of the Garter as a British order of chivalry. This order was created to back Edward III’s claim to the throne of France, and it centered on a group of 25 knights known as “companion knights” who surrounded the sovereign. British royal etiquette is that becoming a part of the Order of the Garter is a high honor, and the organization itself is still active and accepting new members.

August 22, 1350 – Death of Philip VI of France

On August 22, 1350, Philip of Valois, King of France since 1328, passed away. King Edward III of England was the rightful successor, but he was deposed and replaced by a political maneuver that allowed him to take the throne. During Philip VI’s rule, France saw the outbreak of the Black Death, the start of the Hundred Years’ War, and the War of Succession in Brittany. His son, King John II of France, inherited a chaotic and much sought for realm after his father’s death.

September 26, 1350 – Coronation of John II of France

His son, John II of France, was dubbed “John the Good,” and he became king when Philip of Valois died on August 22, 1350. A month later, on September 26th, he was crowned king and crowned. Due to the population’s opposition after the Hundred Years’ War’s devastating setbacks and the plots of Charles II of Navarre, pretender to the throne, he would rule with just a small group of trusted advisers at his side.

March 25, 1351 – Battle of the Thirty

After a challenge, thirty Bretons loyal to Charles of Blois met thirty Englishmen serving under Jean de Montfort at Plormel during the War of the Breton Succession. In the end, Beaumanoir’s French side came out on top. French historian Froissart will write about this one-of-a-kind combat.

January 6, 1352 – Creation of the Order of the Star

King John II the Good of France founded the first French order of chivalry, the Order of the Palm, after he was inspired by the English Order of the Garter. The city of Saint-Ouen is the site of the commemoration marking the founding of the Order of the Star.

August 14, 1352 – Battle of Mauron

The Battle of Mauron took place on August 14, 1352, during the War of Succession in Brittany between the Anglo-Breton troops supporting Jean de Montfort and the Franco-Breton forces supporting Charles of Blois. Mauron, a walled hamlet, played an important role in determining who ruled Brittany. Despite being outnumbered, Jean de Montfort’s army was victorious in the Battle of Mauron due to the English archers.

February 22, 1354 – Treaty of Mantes

On February 22, 1354, King John II of France and King Charles II of Navarre signed the Treaty of Mantes. During the Hundred Years’ War, when the kingdom of England was at war with France, John II of France sent negotiators to secure the kingdom of Navarre and sign a peace treaty with Charles II. This treaty, known as the Treaty of Mantes, was very advantageous to the king of Navarre, who gained control over a large swath of territory in France.

September 10, 1355 – Treaty of Valognes

During the Hundred Years’ War, John II of France and Charles II of Navarre signed a peace contract at Mantes to ensure that Navarre would assist France. Nonetheless, the king of Navarre quickly allied with England, and the initial pact was not in effect for very long. The French monarch presented a new contract to Charles II, the Treaty of Valognes, which was even more lenient than the previous one.

September 19, 1356 – Defeat of Poitiers

In the second major battle of the Hundred Years’ War, following Crécy, the French army was utterly defeated by English archers. The French monarchs John II the Good and his son Philip the Bold were both held hostage. Edward III of England’s oldest son, known as the Black Prince, guided the group to the French city of Bordeaux.

March 23, 1357 – Truce of Bordeaux

France and England signed the Armistice of Bordeaux on March 23, 1357. It was the fourth ceasefire of the Hundred Years’ War and lasted for a full calendar year. Edward III’s resistance to the negotiations that included John II the Good, who was taken at the Battle of Poitiers, contributed to their failure. A signed ceasefire would result in the French monarch being imprisoned in England for three years.

June 9, 1358 – Battle of Mello

On June 9, 1358, during the Hundred Years’ War, Charles the Bad crushed the Great Jacquerie, a rural rebellion of peasants in insurrection against the nobles. In revenge for the peasantry’s support of the enemy, the knights slaughtered seven thousand civilians at the battle of Mello. Approximately 20,000 rebels were put to death in only two weeks, including the Jacques commander Guillaume Carle, who was betrayed and slain.

July 31, 1358 – Death of Étienne Marcel

On July 31, 1358, in Paris, France, Étienne Marcel, Provost of the Paris Merchants under John the Good, passed away. Between the years 1302 and 1310, he entered the world and later became the leader of the reform movement that favored a more restrained monarchy. He stood up to the Dauphin’s authority by representing the Third Estate in many states general during the Hundred Years’ War. Because of his antagonism to the Dauphin, bourgeois assassins believed he would sell off Paris to the English.

March 10, 1360 – Treaty of Guillon

The Treaty of the Golden Sheep, or Philip of Rouvres, Duke of Burgundy, and Edward III, King of England, signed at Guillon on March 10, 1360. Free mobility for the English on Burgundian land was negotiated in exchange for 200,000 gold denarii, with payment secured by volunteer hostages. The duchy was given its freedom in return for the English army’s withdrawal from Paris.

May 8, 1360 – Treaty of Brétigny

Preliminary peace treaty documents were signed by the monarchs of France and England at Bretigny during the Hundred Years’ War (1337–1453). Since his capture by the English in 1356, French King John II, known as “the Good,” has ceded territory in both the north (between Calais and Ponthieu) and the south (Aquitaine). Upon receiving the ransom of 4.3–3.3 million ECU, King Edward III of England gave up his claim to the French crown. Nine years later, the fighting between the two nations would recommence.

April 6, 1362 -Battle of Brignais

Large mercenary groups faced off against the French royal army in the Battle of Brignais on April 6, 1632. During the ceasefire of the Hundred Years’ War, the mercenaries were not paid and they wreaked havoc on the countryside, earning the wrath of the monarch. Jacques de Bourbon was among the many barons slaughtered when one of these companies, the Tard-venus, routed the royal army south of Lyon. Although this loss created widespread concern in the kingdom, the mercenaries’ inability to work together, along with the operations they were dispatched on in Spain and Hungary, effectively put a stop to their uprising.

July 19, 1362 – Foundation of the Principality of Aquitaine

Edward III of England established his son Edward as the Prince of Aquitaine on July 19, 1362, carving Aquitaine out of Guyenne. With the Treaty of Bretigny in 1360, the English were able to expand their realm and install the Prince of Wales (also known as the Black Prince) as king. Between 1369 until 1372, Duke of Anjou, brother of King Charles V, retook the provinces of Aquitaine.

April 8, 1364 Death of John II the Good

The French monarch passed away at the young age of 45 in London. With the death of the monarch, who had gone to negotiate the Treaty of Brétigny with King Edward III of England, all prospect of peace between the French and the English, who had been at war for twenty years, was dashed. A century later, the fighting would finally stop. Charles V the Wise, son of John II the Good, was anointed king of France.

May 19, 1364 – Coronation of Charles V

On May 19, 1364, Charles V was crowned king of France at Reims. The first phase of the Hundred Years’ War ended under his reign, with Charles the Wise regaining control of much of the territory that had been lost to the English. To avoid utilizing mercenaries and to battle the English, whom he isolated politically via alliances with the Gascons, he instituted a policy of apanages and sustainable taxes, and he established a permanent army. In 1380, Charles V passed away.

September 29, 1364 – Battle of Auray

The War for the Breton Succession culminated at the Battle of Auray on September 29, 1364. It took place during the Hundred Years’ War and included an Anglo-Breton army led by Jean IV de Montfort facing off against French and Breton forces. The fight resulted in the death of Charles of Blois and the capture of Bertrand du Guesclin, ending the succession dispute between the two houses in France. The next year, at the Treaty of Guérande, Charles V officially acknowledged Jean IV of Brittany as duke.

April 3, 1367 – Du Guesclin prisoner of the Black Prince

The Prince of Wales captured Bertrand du Guesclin at the battle of Najera in Navarre. Black Prince, Prince of Wales, imprisoned the future Constable in Bordeaux, where his release was eventually arranged by envoys of King Louis XIV of France. On January 17th, 1368, du Guesclin was freed from prison.

December 3, 1368 – Birth of Charles VI

Charles V and Jeanne of Bourbon had their son, the future King of France, Charles VI, in Paris. When he was 12, he became the fourth king of the Capetian House of Valois. Until he was 18, his uncles Louis of Bourbon, Louis I of Anjou, Jean of Berry, and Philippe of Burgundy would rule in his stead. Until his death on October 21, 1422, Charles VI was king of France.

March 14, 1369 – Battle of Montiel

There was a major battle in Montiel (Castile and León, Spain) during the Hundred Years’ War. Kingdoms of France and Castile faced up against pro-English armies commanded by Portugal and followers of Peter I, nicknamed as “the harsh.” Because of the success of the pro-English coalition, the First Castilian War came to a conclusion. After executing his half-brother Peter I, Henry II ascended to the throne of Castile a few days later.

October 2, 1369 – Du Guesclin is named Constable

Bertrand du Guesclin, a knight, was appointed constable by King Charles V the Wise. As a result, he assumed the role of the French army’s supreme leader. In this way, the French monarch recognized and honored contributions to the military effort. Before his death in 1380, du Guesclin showed his loyalty to the king by fighting for the Kingdom of France.

December 4, 1370 – Battle of Pontvallain

During the Hundred Years’ War, the battle of Pontvallain was fought in reprisal for a string of pillaging activities, mostly in northern France and the Beauce region. Fought in Maine County, it pitted English troops under Robert Knolles and Thomas Granson against French forces under Bertrand du Guesclin, Olivier de Clisson, and Jean de Vienne. In the end, the latter side triumphed and captured a large number of their opponents.

March 15, 1371 – Siege of Bressuire

During the Hundred Years’ War, the French under Bertrand du Guesclin battled the English in Bressuire (Poitou). After this fight, not only did the French retake the city and fortress, but they also took back all of Poitou. By the end of 1373, Charles V had reclaimed both the Aunis and the Saintonge thanks to the policy of launching many sieges simultaneously (at Bécherel, Guérande, Soubise, etc.).

June 22, 1372 – Battle of La Rochelle

Off the coast of La Rochelle, French and Spanish ships met English navy vessels head-on. Since the Treaty of Bretigny was signed in 1360, this area has been under English control. Charles V persisted with his tactic of favoring fortified positions over open field warfare. The next day, the Franco-Castilian coalition, led by Constable Bertrand du Guesclin, was successful in breaking into the city. At the same time, they destroyed the Vauclair castle in order to build the Gabut wall.

March 12, 1376 – Prorogation of the Truce of Bruges

A year-long truce struck at Bruges on June 27, 1375, during the second phase of the Hundred Years’ War, was prolonged to the next June 24. Several months later, advisers to the monarchs of France and England resumed discussions. However, hostilities would resume with Edward III’s rejection and subsequent death on June 21, 1377.

July 16, 1377 – Coronation of Richard II of England

Richard II became King of England after the death of Edward III. He became the ninth king of England under the Plantagenet dynasty at the tender age of 10. But because of his youth, his uncles set up a co-regency (John of Ghent, Edmund of Langley, and Thomas of Woodstock). He remained on the throne until his eventual removal in 1399. He settled on Henry IV of Lancaster as his successor on September 29 and officially abdicated the following day.

13 July 1380 – Death of Bertrand du Guesclin

During the besiegal of Châteauneuf-de-Randon, Bertrand Du Guesclin became sick and died. Born to Robert II Du Guesclin and Jeanne de Malesmains, he served both Navarre and France in several conflicts during his life. These included the Hundred Years’ War, the War of Succession in Brittany, the First Civil War of Castile, and others. In addition, he earned a slew of distinctions during the course of his career (Captain of Pontorson and Mont Saint-Michel, Duke of Longueville, in Normandy, King of Granada and Duke of Molina, etc.).

September 16, 1380 – Death of Charles V

As the plague swept through Beauté-sur-Marne, Charles V lost his life there. John IV, also known as the Great, was the son of John II, also known as the Good, and Bonne de Luxembourg. He was born on January 21, 1338, at Vincennes, and ruled France from 1364 until his death. During the Hundred Years’ War, he was successful in regaining control of territory that had been lost by his predecessors. He was the driving force for a new economic structure and a strategy of decentralized authority.

November 4, 1380 – Coronation of Charles VI

King Charles VI of France was crowned at Reims, making him the fourth monarch of the Valois dynasty, which descended from the Capetians. A collegiate style of administration was established since Charles VI was just 12 years old. He did not become ruler until 1388. His rule ended on October 21, 1422, when he passed away. The Hundred Years’ War continued throughout this time, and there was also a civil war between the Armagnacs and the Burgundians.

August 5, 1392 – Charles VI goes mad

While leading his army through the forest of Le Mans, the 24-year-old King Charles VI had a mental breakdown. He saw nothing but opponents ahead and charged full tilt with his sword, slaying no less than six knights. Attacks would occur 44 times throughout his rule (1380-1422), lasting anything from 3 to 9 months apiece. Two rival aristocratic camps, led by the Duke of Orleans and the Duke of Burgundy, battled for control of the country.

April 28, 1393 – Truce of Leulinghem

A few years into the Hundred Years’ War, on April 28, 1393, the ceasefire of Leulinghem negotiated between France and England was extended for the first time, this time until September 29, 1394. As part of the terms of the Treaty of Leulinghem, no city or castle may be constructed closer than seven leagues to the next city on the other side. The plan’s initial duration was three years.

July 11, 1397 – Thomas of Woodstock is accused of treason and arrested

After criticizing the new truce signed between France and England during the Hundred Years’ War and the king’s marriage to Isabelle of Valois, the daughter of the French king Charles VI, on July 11, 1397, Thomas de Woodstock, Richard II of England’s uncle, was arrested and executed less than two months later on the simple accusation of treason.

September 30, 1399 – Henry of Lancaster becomes King of England

Henry of Lancaster, son of John of Ghent, was declared king of England on September 30, 1399, when his father, Richard II, was kidnapped. He was crowned on October 13 of same year and ruled until his death in 1413. Henry IV, who established the House of Lancaster, was known as “Henry Bolingbroke” because he was born at Bolingbroke Castle.

February 14, 1400 – Murder of ex-King Richard II of England

On September 29, 1399, King Richard II of England abdicated in favor of Henry Bolingbroke, who would later become King Henry IV, due to the growing unrest among the English populace and his increasingly authoritarian conduct, which frightened even his closest advisors. He was imprisoned in the Tower of London and died there on February 14, 1400, perhaps as a result of being killed or starved to death. His reign was the commencement of absolute monarchy in England, and it was distinguished by efforts to calm tensions with France.

February 22, 1403 – Birth of Charles VII, future King of France

Charles VII, the sixth child of Charles VI and Isabeau of Bavaria, was born on February 22, 1403. Aside from the mother, he was the only dauphin to mature into an adult. After his father disinherited him in favor of the King of England, he suffered greatly during the Hundred Years’ War. The appearance of Joan of Arc changed the course of his life. He was the one who ended the hundred-year conflict with the English.

April 27, 1404 – Death of Philip II the Bold, Duke of Burgundy

Philippe II “le Hardi,” born in Pontoise in 1342, passed away in Hal (county of Hainaut). During the Hundred Years’ War, he rose to prominence thanks to his boldness at the battle of Poitiers (1356) and the subsequent acquisition of a title and the usufruct of his Burgundian territory. John the Fearless, his son and successor as Duke of Burgundy and Count of Flanders, plunged France into the Armagnac Civil War by contesting Louis of Orleans’ claim to authority as King of France. John was born in 1363 and had been Duke since 1363.

November 23, 1407 – Assassination of Louis of Orleans

As the Duke of Orléans was leaving the Hôtel Barbette in Paris’s street Vieille-du-Temple, John the Fearless had him killed. The Duc of Burgundy’s original plan included incorporating the provinces of Artois and Flanders into his duchy. Louis I of Orleans, a relative and the son of the French king Charles V, was not on board with the plan. John the Fearless’s elimination of his rival set off a terrible civil war between the Armagnacs and the Burgundians that would not conclude until the Treaty of Arras was signed 30 years later (1435).

March 9, 1409 – Peace of Chartres, cease-fire between Armagnacs and Burgundians

The civil war between the Armagnacs and the Burgundians was officially ended when the Treaty of Chartres was signed. Duke of Burgundy John the Fearless (1371–1419) admitted to killing Louis I of Orleans (1404), the king of Orleans, and apologized to his sons, Philip and Charles, in one of the 21 articles written by Lord Jean de Montagu, a trusted advisor to King Charles VI. On the same day, at the cathedral of Chartres, the heirs of Orleans planned to forgive their father’s killer in a conciliation ritual.

March 20, 1413 – Death of Henry IV of England

Although he was born in Bolingbroke (Lincolnshire), King Henry IV of England passed away at Westminster. His coronation in 1399 established the Lancastrian dynasty; he was the son of John of Ghent and the grandson of Edward III. Despite being exiled and having his estates taken by Richard II, the Duke of Lancaster was able to quell feudal resistance, lead his rival to resign in his favor, and ruthlessly put down independence movements in Wales and Scotland throughout his reign. Henry V (reigning from 1387 until 1422) was one of his sons.

April 9, 1413 – Coronation of Henry V of England

Henry V (reigning 1387–1422) of England was crowned there. His alliance with John the Fearless’s Burgundians came at a time when he could take advantage of the chaos in France caused by the country’s civil war. After conquering Normandy, he fought and beat the Armagnacs at Agincourt (October 25, 1415), and then he enforced the Treaty of Troyes (1420) to solidify his position as regent and apanage of the French kingship. He wed Charles VI’s daughter, Catherine of Valois. On August 31 at the age of 35, he passed away in Vincennes from dysentery.

August 13, 1415 – Landing of Henry V in Normandy

With a fleet of 1,500 ships, heavy artillery, and 30,000 warriors, King Henry V of England landed in Normandy at Chef-de-Caux (estuary of the Seine) with Duke of Burgundy John the Fearless. The subsequent month-long siege of Harfleur began on August 18. (September 22). The English defeated the Armagnacs at the decisive Battle of Agincourt, capping off their effort to capture France (October 25, 1415).

October 25, 1415 – Battle of Agincourt

At Agincourt, north of the Somme, King Henry V’s English forces decisively defeated the French army. The French nobility’s horses became stuck in the mud and couldn’t keep up with the English archers. A large number of knights were captured. The French had a numerical advantage (50,000 to 15,000), but they were too disorganized to win. The Battle of Agincourt was a major turning point in the Middle Ages. It was after this victory that Henry V seized control of Normandy.

August 1, 1417 – Landing of Henry V

At the mouth of the Touques River (modern-day Trouville), Henry V of England unloaded his army of 10,000 soldiers and artillery. The fortress was besieged immediately, and it finally surrendered on September 9th. One by one, the Norman citadels capitulated in the face of the relentless English advance: Lisieux and Dives on the 13th, Auvillars and Eterville on the 14th and 17th, respectively. The siege of Caen began on August 18. After that, on September 15, there was Bayeux, then on October 12 there was Alençon, then on October 13 there was Falaise (November). The only holdout was Mont-Saint-Michel.

September 19, 1417 – Capitulation of Caen

After a month-long siege, Henry V’s men were able to take control of the castle at Caen and use it as their headquarters. Two years passed between the start of the Normandy war and the conquest of Château-Gaillard in December 1419. English forces defeated Armagnac forces at Azincourt in 1415, thereby annexing Normandy. Henry V forced Charles VI the Mad to sign the Treaty of Troyes (May 21, 1420), establishing him as the future king of France and England.

July 29, 1418 – Beginning of the siege of Rouen by Henry V

In front of Rouen, the English set up camp. Half of the city’s population of 35,000 was killed during the city’s six-month siege, which ended on January 19, 1419. Capturing the capital of the Duchy of Normandy was a major victory for the English, and it paved the way for King Henry V of England to move his court to the heart of France and take up residence in the royal château at Amboise. Under the patronage of King Charles VII of France, it was readmitted to France in 1449.

September 16, 1418 – The Dauphin turned down the Burgundian’s offer of friendship

Duke John the Fearless of Burgundy and Charles VI the Mad’s Bavarian wife Isabeau of Bavaria signed the Treaty of Saint-Maur. The future Charles VII of France (1403–1461), then a dauphin, was chosen regent of France due to his insane father, but he was put under Burgundian care as part of a peace pact. The young Charles strongly disagrees with the passage.

July 11, 1419 – Peace of Ponceau between John the Fearless and the Dauphin

John the Fearless and the dauphin, the future Charles VII, took the oath of Pouilly (or “peace of Ponceau”) in 1419. The Duke of Burgundy had been disappointed by his encounter with Henry V of England and instead sought reconciliation with the King of France. After arranging to meet on the bridge of Montereau (Yonne), the gathering was called off after John the Fearless was murdered by the Dauphin’s closest advisors.

September 10, 1419 – The Assassination of John the Fearless

The Duke of Burgundy, John the Fearless, was murdered at Montereau by a confidant of Dauphin Charles, heir to the throne of France, in the midst of the Hundred Years’ War. Twelve years after Louis of Orleans’ death, the latter was persuaded to exact revenge. The murder rekindled animosity between Armagnacs and Burgundians, further weakening an already fractured French army. When Charles’ father, King Charles VI le Fou, disinherited him in 1420, he had to wait ten years for a certain Joan of Arc to help him reclaim the French throne.

May 21, 1420 – The Treaty of Troyes

Henry V, King of England, and Philip, Duke of Burgundy, signed the Treaty of Troyes (Aube), ceding France to England. Through this pact, Henry V became Charles VI the Mad’s legitimate successor to the French throne. For this reason, the contract also called for Henry V to wed Charles VI’s daughter Catherine of Valois. On December 6, 1421, their son Henry, the future Henry VI of England, was born. After the French were defeated in the Battle of Agincourt on October 25, 1415, and the kingdom was divided between the Burgundians and the Armagnacs, the Treaty of Troyes was signed. Due to his sickness and the mobility of his council and court, Charles VI was only able to establish his rule over the southern part of France. Charles VII did try to assume the regency, but by this treaty, he was excluded from the succession.

June 2, 1420 – Catherine of Valois becomes Queen Consort of England

Henry V and Catherine of Valois tied the knot at Troyes’ Saint-Jean-du-Marché Cathedral on June 2. As a result of their relationship, Henry VI, the future king of England, was born in 1421.

December 6, 1421 – Birth of Henry VI of England

Henry V and Catherine of Valois had a son, Henry VI (who was assassinated in London in 1471) who was born in Windsor Castle. Soon after his father’s death in 1422, he ascended to the throne and began ruling under the tutelage of his uncles Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester, and John of Lancaster, Duke of Bedford (for France, until his coronation in 1431). After the War of the Roses, he was ousted (1461) by Edward IV.

August 31, 1422 – Early death of Henry V, King of England

Henry V of England died of dysentery at the age of 35 in the fortress of Vincennes, when he was at the height of his rule but had not yet been permitted to wear the crown of France. Shakespeare wrote a play after his terrible death; he was buried with great grandeur in Westminster Abbey. He and Emperor Sigismund were instrumental for ending the Great Western Schism by electing Martin V.

October 21, 1422 – Death of the King of France, Charles VI the Mad

Charles VI the Mad, whom he had anointed King of England by the Treaty of Troyes, passed away in Paris two months after the English monarch. Because of his frequent and severe mental breakdowns, the French monarch abdicated power to his dauphin, the future Charles VII.

October 30, 1422 – Charles VII became King of France

Despite being disinherited by the Treaty of Troyes (1420) in favor of England’s Henry V, Charles VII nonetheless declared himself King of France at Mehun-sur-Yèvre (near Bourges) in place of the young Henry VI. However, it wasn’t until 1429 in Reims that Charles VII was actually crowned King of France, thanks to Joan of Arc. He oversaw a period of economic prosperity and political modernization.

April 17, 1423 – Alliance between the Dukes of Burgundy, Brittany and the English against Charles VII

While at Amiens, the English regent Duke of Bedford signed the Treaty of Amiens with the Dukes of Brittany and Burgundy on behalf of their infant ward, Henry VI. Charles VII, who had fled to Bourges, intended to retake the land north of the Loire River from the English despite the Treaty of Troyes (1420).

July 3, 1423 – Birth of Louis XI, son and heir of Charles VII

After the union of Marie of Anjou and Charles VII, the sixth king of the Valois branch of the Capetians, Louis XI, future king of France, was born in Bourges. Louis XI “Louis the Prudent” inherited a kingdom in ruins after the Hundred Years’ War and the brutal civil war between the Armagnacs and the Burgundians in 1461. By subduing the major French feudatories of Maine, Anjou, Provence, and Burgundy, he bolstered royal power in France.

July 31, 1423 – Defeated by the English, Charles VII must withdraw to Bourges

At Cravant, the English and their Burgundian allies defeated Charles VII’s forces (Yonne). After the Dauphin was disinherited in the Treaty of Troyes (1420), hostilities in the Hundred Years’ War once again erupted. Charles VII was compelled to make a defensive retreat to the south, where he still ruled, while the English occupied the north of the Loire and were numerically superior. As a result, he became known as the “King of Bourges.”

September 26, 1423 – French victory over the English at La Gravelle

During the fight of the “besoigne” of La Brossinière (Mayenne), also known as the battle of La Gravelle, the French under Charles VII, headed by the knight Ambroise de Loré and captain Jean VII d’Harcourt, soundly defeated the English under William de la Pole. Although the Hundred Years’ War had only just started, Charles VII saw this victory as a “good omen,” signaling the turning point in the fight.

August 17, 1424 – Defeat of Charles VII against the English at Verneuil

At the Battle of Verneuil, the English regent Duke of Bedford united with the Burgundians and ultimately defeated Charles VII’s French soldiers (Normandy). The army of the “dauphin,” aided by a detachment of Scots, was unable to withstand the attack of English archers headed by Jean de Lancaster. Six thousand French troops were killed in what became known as the rout of Verneuil (out of the 12,000 present).

May 1, 1426 – Convocation of the Estates General by Yolande of Aragon

Yolande of Aragon (1381-1442), mother-in-law of young Charles VII and queen of Sicily, called a States General meeting at Saumur. She signed a treaty with John V, Duke of Brittany, to break his alliance with the English, who were already allies of the Burgundians, and she urged the Duke’s brother, Arthur de Richemont, who had been made Constable in 1425, to join her cause. All of this was done in the name of the interests of the Valois and to guarantee the prerogatives of her protégé, Charles VII.

February 8, 1427 – Arrest of Pierre de Giac, former favorite of Charles VII

A favorite of King Charles VII, the 1377-born knight and lord Pierre de Giac was apprehended at Issoudun at the behest of Constable Arthur de Richemont and Yolande of Aragon. His terrible approach and rising influence on the young sovereign led to his dismissal from his positions as master of finance and chairman of the council. His swift trial resulted in a death sentence by drowning in Dun-le-Roi (Cher).

June 12, 1427 – Assassination of “Camus de Beaulieu”, favorite of Charles VII

After the death of Pierre de Giac, the French king Charles VII’s new favorite, the Auvergne military officer Jean Vernet, also known as the “Camus de Beaulieu,” was assassinated by Jean de Brosse at Poitiers. His mother-in-law, Yolande of Aragon, and the head of government, the Constable of Richemont, decided to get rid of him because of his influence on the young sovereign. He had been quickly appointed grand master of the stables and then captain of Poitiers. A new Grand Chamberlain of France, Georges de la Trémoille, has taken his place.

May 1428 – Joan of Arc undertakes to deliver France

17-year-old shepherdess from Lorraine, Joan of Arc, approached Robert de Baudricourt, commander of Vaucouleurs, after hearing calls for her to free France from the English and install the dauphin as monarch. After being permitted to talk to the future Charles VII, who was skeptical and had her imprisoned for form’s sake, the “virgin” was taken to Orleans, which was being besieged by the English, because of public outcry.

October 12, 1428 – Beginning of the siege of Orleans by the English

Thomas Montaigu, Earl of Salisbury’s English forces camped in front of Orléans, the final bulwark on the Loire, and the entrance to the southern provinces still governed by the Dauphin, after capturing the surrounding territory in August and September. The English launched a protracted siege with the intention of encircling the city, which had been well defended by the construction of bastilles. Orléans, defended by Jean de Dunoy’s French garrison, held out until Joan of Arc liberated it on May 8, 1429.

February 12, 1429 – French rout on “Herring Day”

Several thousand residents of New Orleans, led by Jean de Dunois, Count of Longueville, left their besieged city to travel with a convoy of 300 English wagons coming from Chartres, which included fish among its provisions. The French were beaten in the Battle of Rouvray thanks to the caravan’s defensive ring formation and the efforts of John Falstaff’s 1,500 escorting men.

April 29, 1429 – Joan of Arc enters Orléans

From October 1428 to May 1429, the siege of Orléans dominated the second part of the Hundred Years’ War. The city was strategically significant for both sides because of its fortifications guarding the southern French passage. On April 29, 1429, the French army, led by Joan of Arc, successfully overcame the blockade and invaded Orleans. On May 8th, 1429, when reinforcements for the enemy began to arrive, the English decided to end their siege of the city.

June 1429 – The army of Charles VII launches the campaign of the Loire Valley

Following the fall of Orléans, Charles VII’s army took the towns of Jargeau (June 12), Meung-sur-Loire (June 14), Beaugency (June 15-16), and Patay (June 17), where Joan of Arc beat Talbot and his 5,000 English soldiers (June 18). To complete the freedom of the Loire Valley, which began with the campaign in 1428-1429, this fight took place. There was a decisive shift in the tide of the Hundred Years’ War.

July 9, 1429 – Capture of Troyes by Charles VII

Troyes, before Châlons and Reims, gave up to Charles VII’s troops after a few days of siege because of Joan of Arc. The city that had pledged loyalty to the English monarch supposedly refused to hand up the keys. Seeing the “virgin,” it capitulated, paving the way for the dauphin’s coronation at Reims.

July 17, 1429 – Coronation of Charles VII

On July 17, 1429, after his victory at Orleans, Charles VII went to the cathedral in Reims to be crowned. He and Joan of Arc traveled to the “city of kings,” only to find themselves besieged by English forces. Amidst the turmoil of the Hundred Years’ War, the last surviving “dauphin” of France ascended to the throne. His authority and popularity will increase after this coronation. He was now free to focus all of his energy on retaking his country.

August 15, 1429 – “Status quo” of Montépilloy between English and French

At the battle of Montépilloy, the French army of Charles VII, headed by Joan of Arc and her companion Etienne de Vignolles, known as “La Hire,” clashed with the English army commanded by the Duke of Bedford (near Senlis). Despite the invectives of the men of the king of France to make their opponents “move,” the encounter ultimately ended in a status quo, with neither side achieving a triumph nor suffering a loss and neither formation abandoning its positions under a scorching heat.

May 23, 1430 – Joan of Arc arrested at Compiègne

When Joan of Arc and her army had secured a string of decisive victories, they marched toward the Paris area. The city of Compiègne was besieged by the Burgundians, an English ally, in April 1430. On May 23, 1430, Joan of Arc was captured after she had flown to the aid of the locals. As part of their campaign to undermine Charles VII’s coronation, the English demanded that she be handed over to them in their Norman fiefdom.

November 21, 1430 – John of Luxembourg surrenders Joan of Arc to the English

The Burgundians betrayed Joan of Arc to the English via Jean du Luxembourg. When they met in Compiègne, the latter ended up capturing her. He sold her to the English for ten thousand shillings. The English handed her up to the Church’s judicial system with the promise to retrieve her if she was cleared of heresy.

January 9, 1431 – Beginning of the trial of Joan of Arc

On January 9, 1431, in Rouen, Joan of Arc’s trial began. In the case of “The Maid of Orleans” (La Pucelle d’Orléans), an ecclesiastical court was secretly directed by England to render a verdict. She admitted to the Inquisition that she had experienced voice hearing. She was accused of many things, including dressing like a man and refusing to bow to the oppressive Church. At last, she was found guilty of heresy and witchcraft and given the death penalty.

May 30, 1431 – Joan of Arc at the stake

Exactly one year after being captured by the Burgundians in Compiègne, Joan of Arc was transported to the site of her death. After an unjust trial on May 30, 1431, she was subsequently burnt at the stake. After the French troops recaptured the city, Charles VII ordered that her trial be reexamined. 25 years later, on July 7, 1456, it was ruled null and invalid, and Joan of Arc was rehabilitated.

December 16, 1431 – Coronation of Henry VI of England as King of France

Henry VI of England (1421–1471) was crowned King of France at the Cathedral of Notre Dame de Paris by Cardinal Henry de Beaufort when he was 10 years old, under the terms of the Treaty of Troyes (1420). However, in 1453, Charles VII was reinstated to the throne after he was stripped of his title because the Salic law stated that his mother, Catherine of Valois, had no right to the succession.

January 1432 – Creation of the University of Caen

John of Lancaster (1389-1435), Duke of Bedford, ruled in the name of Henry VI of England, chose to create the University of Caen (Lower Normandy) because Henry V’s siege (1417) had devastated the educational facilities there and he wanted to win the favor of the city’s residents. When it was opened in 1291, the university only had canon law and civil law schools; it wasn’t until 1437 that it received its arts, medicine, and theology facilities. On July 31, 1450, Charles VII gave the university his official blessing.

May 9, 1435 – French victory over the English at Gerberoy

The battle of Gerberoy (Beauvaisis) in Picardy between 3,000 Englishmen under John FitzAlan, Earl of Arundel, and the French under Lords Jean Poton de Xaintrailles (c. 1400-1461) and Etienne de Vignolles (known as “La Hire”, 1390-1443) was a turning point in the Hundred Years’ War. Even after Charles VII conquered France, it took until 1451 for him to take control of Normandy.

September 21, 1435 – Treaty of Arras

After years of fighting, the Armagnacs and Burgundians finally signed the Treaty of Arras in 1435. The end of the Hundred Years’ War was signaled by the signing of a lasting peace treaty between Philip III of Burgundy and Charles VII.

April 13, 1436 – Capture of Paris by Arthur de Richemond

The French army, under the command of Constable Arthur III of Richemont (1393-1458), reached Paris and freed the city from English rule. Charles VII (1403-1461) was able to reinvest his funds, which had been stashed away in 1418, in a move that was seen as a symbolic restoration of his sovereignty in November 1438. A picture by Jean-Simon Berthélemy, “La Reprise de Paris sur les Anglais,” (1787) was commissioned by the Count of Angiviller in the name of Louis XVI to honor the occasion.

November 12, 1437 – Charles VII enters Paris

In triumph, King Charles VII returned to Paris after an absence of 19 years. Due to their success in driving out the English troops, the capital city surrendered on its own. The effort to retake the French monarchy began in 1429 with the fall of Orleans, and its successful recovery in 1448 marked its successful conclusion. The English had been mostly removed from France. The king’s victory was sealed with the Peace of Tours (May 20, 1444)

February 2, 1439 – Appointment of Jacques Coeur as the great treasurer of France

Businessman and merchant Jacques Coeur (1400–1456) is credited as France’s greatest financier during his lifetime. He was Charles VII’s first banker and creditor, and he was appointed Master of the Coins at Bourges in 1435, where he oversaw a full overhaul of the country’s financial system. In addition to fighting, he helped the war effort by giving the king the resources he needed to defeat the English and retake France.

November 2, 1439 – Charles VII introduces the “taille” payment

The king of France needed an army to expel the English from the country. Everyone in the kingdom will be taxed a sum known as “taille” to raise the funds necessary for the war effort. Nobles and clergy were spared. The Estates General delegates gave Charles VII annual authority to impose the taille.

February 1440 – Beginning of “Praguerie”

The great lords and vassals of France rebelled against King Charles VII when he issued an ordinance on November 2 to restructure the army. John II of Alençon, Charles of Bourbon, and Georges de la Trémoille were all members of the “Praguerie,” an allusion to the Hussite insurrection in Bohemia, which gained the support of the dauphin, Louis XI, but was ultimately defeated in Auvergne after being repelled in Poitou and Bourbonnais.

July 24, 1440 – Signing of the Treaty of Cusset, which puts an end to the “Praguerie”

By signing the Treaty of Cusset (Auvergne), the major French vassals who had been rebelling (since February 1440) against Charles VII and Arthur III, Duke of Brittany were finally defeated. The monarch “pensioned” the rebellious lords and rewarded his loyal subjects to restore peace in the country. Louis XI, the Dauphin, was appointed to the rule of the Dauphiné through a gilded exile after being persuaded to join the insurrection against his father by the use of a guardian.

April 28, 1442 – Birth of Edward IV, King of England

The future king of England, Edward IV, was born at Rouen. He reigned from 1461 to 1470 and again from 1470 to 1483. He was the son of Richard of York and the leader of the House of York. In 1461, he successfully deposed Henry VI of Lancaster, who had been king since 1453. He attempted to rally support for the Duke of Burgundy, Charles the Bold, in his fight against Louis XI, but Louis XI ultimately prevailed and forced the withdrawal of the Duke of Burgundy (Peace of Picquigny, 1475). His son, Edward V, became king after his untimely death in Westminster on April 9, 1483.

June 8, 1442 – Departure of Charles VII’s army for the Guyenne campaign

In the year 1328, Charles VII led an army of almost 30,000 troops on an expedition from Paris to Toulouse through the Guyenne. Tartas, near Dax, was captured from the English on June 24 when he rallied the French nobles behind him, including the Counts of Armagnac, Foix, and Albret, and won the allegiance of the great vassals of the south. As a result, they were helpless and without support. The campaign advanced successfully through Agen and Montauban. The summer saw the royal army free the Landes, Aquitaine, and all of Languedoc.

May 26, 1445 – The first standing army in France

The Compagnie d’ordonnance was established by King Charles VII. The first really permanent army at the king of France’s disposal was this brand new military organisation. Back in the day, when a monarch wanted to go to war, he would issue a ban to all of his vassals. However, the vassals only had to perform their duties for a total of 40 days. The monarch was forced to hire mercenaries, despite their high cost and unpredictable behavior.

March 16, 1448 – Beginning of the Normandy campaign

The city of Le Mans surrendered on March 16, 1448, marking the commencement of the Normandy war. When pitted against the Duchy of Normandy and the Kingdom of England, the Duchy of Brittany and the French Empire found themselves on the losing side. The Franco-Breton triumph came after a year of battle in 1448 and 1449.

April 28, 1448 – Creation of the Corps of Franc-Archers

Charles VII, King of France, issued an order on April 28, 1448, establishing a unit of franc-archers within the French army. The ordinance required that a man armed with a bow be present with any gathering of more than fifty flames. These francs-archers served in the royal army and, in exchange for their dedication, were spared the burden of paying the taille.

March 23, 1449 – François de Surienne captures the town of Fougères

François de Surienne, also known as “the Aragonese,” captured the Breton town of Fougères on March 23, 1449, in the midst of a truce between France and England. The man who had dedicated over twenty years of his life to serving the English king was renowned as an exceptional artilleryman who had taken over thirty cities before reaching Fougères. His actions exacerbated tensions between the warring France and England.

July 19, 1449 – Storming of Verneuil

Pierre de Brézé, on orders from King Charles VII of France, invaded Verneuil on July 19, 1449. This event occurs during the French and English effort to reclaim Normandy at the close of the Hundred Years’ War. The French were successful in their aim of having the English garrison surrender in under a month.

November 10, 1449 – Liberation of the city of Rouen

King Charles VII of France made a solemn entry into Rouen on November 10, 1449, liberating the city after it had been occupied by the English for more than 30 years. This triumph for the French monarch is only one in a long series of recoveries of French territory that the English had abandoned during the Hundred Years’ War. Other successes would help King Charles VII to eventually finish this conflict between France and England.

January 1, 1450 – Capture of Harfleur

After a lengthy siege, French King Charles VII retook the city of Harfleur from the English on January 1, 1450. One of King Charles VII’s many successes against the English in the reconquest of Brittany and Normandy, which helped bring an end to the Hundred Years’ War, was the liberation of the city of Harfleur.

April 15, 1450 – Battle of Formigny

On this day in 1450, French and English forces clashed at Formigny during the Hundred Years’ War. By force of arms, the Franco-Breton forces under the command of Charles de Bourbon and Arthur de Richemont were able to defeat the English. French forces were successful in retaking all of Normandy, effectively ending the Hundred Years’ War.

June 12, 1451 – Signature of the treaty of capitulation of the city of Bordeaux

On June 12, 1451, the city of Bordeaux was the subject of a surrender contract, made between the kingdom of France, represented by the armies of Charles VII, and the kingdom of England. During the height of the conflict known as the “Hundred Years’ War,” on June 29, 1452, Englishman John Talbot arrived in Bordeaux to reclaim the city for England.

October 2, 1452 – Birth of the future King of England, Richard III

Richard III of England, brother of King Edward IV, was born on October 2, 1452. He ruled the British realm from 1483 to 1485, before dying at the Battle of Bosworth and bringing an end to the War of the Roses. A play by Shakespeare was written in his honor a few years later.

October 23, 1452 – The Englishman John Talbot recaptures the city of Bordeaux

English forces retook Bordeaux on October 23, 1452. In 1452, Englishman John Talbot retook the city of Bordeaux from the French armies of Charles VII, despite a surrender pact made the year before. France and England fought a bloody war for a century, and the siege of Bordeaux represents a microcosm of that conflict.

July 17, 1453 – Battle of Castillon

The French army of Charles VII achieved a major victory against the English at the Gironde hamlet of Castillon. As the English finally concede defeat and stop seeking to steal the French monarchy, this battle is often seen as the moment when the Hundred Years’ War finally came to an end. The eventual result was that the English were no longer in Guyenne. When the French monarch captured Bordeaux on October 19, he had successfully reclaimed the whole Aquitaine province. Afterward, the English will be “booted” out of the country for good. One of the English commanders in the Hundred Years’ War, John Talbot, also fell in the battle of Castillon.

June 28, 1461 – Coronation of Edward IV of England

Edward IV was anointed King of England on June 28th, 1461. Son of Richard of York and Cecile Neville, he was the first monarch of England to belong to the House of York. In the early years of his reign, his own dynasty fought against the House of Lancaster in the War of the Roses. After a brief illness, he passed away on April 9, 1483.

July 22, 1461 – Death of King Charles VII of France

The death of Charles VII occurred on July 22, 1461, in the town of Mehun-sur-Yèvre. He ended the Hundred Years’ War in 1453 and earned the epithets “Victorious” and “Well Served” from the common people. Charles VII was disinherited by his father in favor of the English monarch and required Joan of Arc’s help to reclaim his rightful place as king. Louis XI, his son, took his place as king.

August 15, 1461 – Coronation of Louis XI

King Louis XI of France was crowned in Reims. He was the son of Charles VII and Marie of Anjou. Known as “Louis the Prudent,” his reign will be defined by protecting France’s peasants and being loyal to the people rather than bolstering his own power or standing up to France’s powerful feudal lords.

August 29, 1475 – Treaty of Picquigny

Although the battle of Castillon (1450) was a turning point, it wasn’t until the pact of Picquigny was signed in 1475 that the Hundred Years’ War was really over. Charles the Bold, Duke of Burgundy, joined forces with King Edward IV of England in 1474 in an effort to expand his domain. While the English landed in July 1475, their Burgundian ally had already departed to fight elsewhere. Louis XI used the opportunity to have the English monarch sign a peace treaty with France. As king, Edward IV of England and Ireland amassed vast fortunes thanks to France. In exchange, he was required to legitimate the French king, return to England, and sever ties with the Duke of Burgundy.


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By Hrothsige Frithowulf

Hrothsige works at Malevus as a history writer. His areas of historical interest include the ancient world and early Europe, as well as the history of modern culture.