The Lancastrian War was the third and final phase of the Anglo-French Hundred Years' War. It lasted from 1415, when King Henry V of England invaded Normandy, to 1453, when the English lost Bordeaux. It followed a long period of peace from the end of the Caroline War in 1389. The phase was named after the House of Lancaster, the ruling house of the Kingdom of England, to which Henry V belonged.
Henry V of England asserted a claim of inheritance through the female line, with female agency and inheritance recognised in English law but prohibited in France by the Salic law of the Salian Franks.
The first half of this phase of the war was dominated by the Kingdom of England. Initial English successes, notably at the famous Battle of Agincourt, coupled with divisions among the French ruling class, allowed the English to gain control of large parts of France.
The second half of this phase of the war was dominated by the Kingdom of France. French forces counterattacked, inspired by Joan of Arc, La Hire and the Count of Dunois, and aided by the English loss of its main allies, the Dukes of Burgundy and Brittany.
The assassination of Louis I, Duke of Orléans in Paris in November 1407
Armagnac–Burgundian Civil War
1407 Nov 23 -
The Armagnac–Burgundian Civil War was a conflict between two cadet branches of the French royal family — the House of Orléans (Armagnac faction) and the House of Burgundy (Burgundian faction) from 1407 to 1435. It began during a lull in the Hundred Years' War against the English and overlapped with the Western Schism of the papacy.
The leaders of both parties were closely related to the French king through the male line. For this reason, they were called "princes of the blood", and exerted much influence on the affairs of the kingdom of France. Their rivalries and disputes for control of the government would serve as much of the basis for the conflict.
The war's causes were rooted in the reign of Charles VI of France (Charles V's eldest son and successor) and a confrontation between two different economic, social and religious systems. On the one hand was France, very strong in agriculture, with a strong feudal and religious system, and on the other was England, a country whose rainy climate favoured pasture and sheep farming and where artisans, the middle classes and cities were important. The Burgundians were in favour of the English model (the more so since the County of Flanders, whose cloth merchants were the main market for English wool, belonged to the Duke of Burgundy), while the Armagnacs defended the French model. In the same way, the Western Schism induced the election of an Armagnac-backed antipope based at Avignon, Pope Clement VII, opposed by the English-backed pope of Rome, Pope Urban VI.
On 23 November 1407, Louis, Duke of Orléans, brother of king Charles VI, was murdered by masked assassins in the service of John the Fearless. The French civil war begins.
Henry V of England invaded France following the failure of negotiations with the French. On Tuesday 13 August 1415, Henry landed at Chef-en-Caux in the Seine estuary. Then he attacked Harfleur with at least 2,300 men-at-arms and 9,000 bowmen.
The defenders of Harfleur surrendered to the English on terms and were treated as prisoners of war. The English army was considerably reduced by casualties and an outbreak of dysentery during the siege but marched towards Calais, leaving a garrison behind at the port.
After taking Harfleur, Henry V marched to the north, the French moved to block them along the River Somme. They were successful for a time, forcing Henry to move south, away from Calais, to find a ford. The English finally crossed the Somme south of Péronne, at Béthencourt and Voyennes and resumed marching north. By 24 October, both armies faced each other for battle, but the French declined, hoping for the arrival of more troops. The two armies spent the night of 24 October on open ground. The next day the French initiated negotiations as a delaying tactic, but Henry ordered his army to advance and to start a battle that, given the state of his army, he would have preferred to avoid, or to fight defensively.
King Henry V of England led his troops into battle and participated in hand-to-hand fighting. King Charles VI of France did not command the French army as he suffered from psychotic illnesses and associated mental incapacity. The French were commanded by Constable Charles d'Albret and various prominent French noblemen of the Armagnac party.
Although the victory had been militarily decisive, its impact was complex. It did not lead to further English conquests immediately as Henry's priority was to return to England, which he did on 16 November, to be received in triumph in London on the 23rd. Very quickly after the battle, the fragile truce between the Armagnac and Burgundian factions broke down.
A raiding force under Thomas Beaufort, Earl of Dorset, was confronted by a larger French army under Bernard VII, Count of Armagnac at Valmont. The initial action went against the English, who lost their horses and baggage. They managed to rally and withdraw in good order to Harfleur, only to find the French had cut them off. A second action now took place, during which the French army was defeated with the aid of a sally from the English garrison of Harfleur.
The initial action near Valmont
Dorset marched out on his raid on 9 March. He looted and burnt several villages, reaching as far as Cany-Barville. The English then turned for home. They were intercepted near Valmont by the French. The English had time to form a fighting line, placing their horses and baggage to the rear, before the French launched a mounted attack. The French cavalry broke through the thin English line but, instead of turning to finish the English, charged on to loot the baggage and steal horses. This allowed Dorset, who had been wounded, to rally his men and lead them to a small hedged garden nearby, which they defended till nightfall. The French withdrew to Valmont for the night, rather than stay in the field, and this allowed Dorset to lead his men off under the cover of darkness to take shelter in woods at Les Loges. English casualties at this stage of the battle were estimated at 160 killed.
The second action near Harfleur
The following day, the English struck out for the coast. They moved down onto the beach and began the long march across the shingle to Harfleur. However, as they neared Harfleur, they saw that a French force was awaiting them on the cliffs above. The English deployed in line and the French attacked down the steep slope. The French were disordered by the descent and were defeated, leaving many dead. As the English looted the corpses, the main French army came up. This force did not attack, instead forming up on the high ground, forcing the English to attack. This they successfully did, forcing the French back. The retreating French then found themselves attacked in the flank by the sallying garrison of Harfleur and retreat turned to rout. The French are said to have lost 200 men killed and 800 captured in this action. D'Armagnac later had a further 50 hanged for fleeing from the battle.
Following his victory at Agincourt in 1415, Henry had returned to England and led a second invasion force across the English Channel. Caen was a large city in the Duchy of Normandy, a historic English territory. Following a large-scale bombardment Henry's initial assault was repulsed, but his brother Thomas, Duke of Clarence was able to force a breach and overrun the city. The castle held out until 20 September before surrendering.
In the course of the siege, an English knight, Sir Edward Sprenghose, managed to scale the walls, only to be burned alive by the city's defenders. Thomas Walsingham wrote that this was one of the factors in the violence with which the captured town was sacked by the English. During the sack on orders of Henry V all 1800 men in the captured city were killed but priests and women were not to be harmed.
Caen remained in English hands until 1450 when it was taken back during the French reconquest of Normandy in the closing stages of the war.
When the English reached Rouen, the walls were defended with 60 towers, each containing three cannons and 6 gates protected by barbicans. The garrison of Rouen had been reinforced by 4,000 men and there were some 16,000 civilians willing to endure a siege. The defence was lined by an army of crossbow men under the command of Alain Blanchard, commander of the crossbows (arbalétriers), and second in command to Guy le Bouteiller, a Burgundian captain and the overall commander.
To besiege the city, Henry decided to set up four fortified camps and barricade the River Seine with iron chains, completely surrounding the city, with the English intending to starve out the defenders. The duke of Burgundy, John the Fearless, had captured Paris but did not make an attempt to save Rouen and advised citizens to look after themselves. By December, the inhabitants were eating cats, dogs, horses, and even mice. The streets were filled with starving citizens. Despite several sorties led by the French garrison, this state of affairs continued. The French surrendered on 19 January.
Henry went on to take all of Normandy, apart from Mont-Saint-Michel, which withstood blockade. Rouen became the main English base in northern France, allowing Henry to launch campaigns on Paris and further south into the country.
Miniature showing John the Fearless's assassination on the bridge at Montereau, painted by the Master of the Prayer Books
Duke of Burgundy murdered
1419 Sep 10 -
Because of the shattering defeat at Agincourt, John the Fearless's troops set about the task of capturing Paris. On 30 May 1418, he did capture the city, but not before the new Dauphin, the future Charles VII of France, had escaped. John then installed himself in Paris and made himself protector of the King. Although not an open ally of the English, John did nothing to prevent the surrender of Rouen in 1419. With the whole of northern France in English hands and Paris occupied by Burgundy, the Dauphin tried to bring about a reconciliation with John. They met in July and swore peace on the bridge of Pouilly, near Melun. On the grounds that peace was not sufficiently assured by the meeting at Pouilly, a fresh interview was proposed by the Dauphin to take place on 10 September 1419 on the bridge at Montereau. John of Burgundy was present with his escort for what he considered a diplomatic meeting. He was, however, assassinated by the Dauphin's companions. He was later buried in Dijon. Following this, his son and successor Philip the Good formed an alliance with the English, which would prolong the Hundred Years' War for decades and cause incalculable damage to France and its subjects.
The Treaty of Troyes was an agreement that King Henry V of England and his heirs would inherit the French throne upon the death of King Charles VI of France. It was formally signed in the French city of Troyes on 21 May 1420 in the aftermath of Henry's successful military campaign in France.
In the same Year, Henry marries Catherine of Valois, daughter of Charles VI, and their heir would inherit both kingdoms. The Dauphin, Charles VII is declared illegitimate.
A Scottish army was assembled under the leadership of John, Earl of Buchan, and Archibald, Earl of Wigtown, and from late 1419 to 1421 the Scottish army became the mainstay of the Dauphin’s defence of the lower Loire valley. When Henry returned to England in 1421, he left his heir presumptive, Thomas, Duke of Clarence, in charge of the remaining army. Following the King's instructions, Clarence led 4000 men in raids through the provinces of Anjou and Maine. This chevauchée met with little resistance, and by Good FrieventDate, 21 March, the English army had made camp near the little town of Vieil-Baugé. The Franco-Scots army of about 5000 also arrived in the Vieil-Baugé area to block the English army's progress. There are several accounts of the Battle of Baugé; they may vary in the detail; however, most agree that principal factor in the Franco-Scottish victory was the rashness of the Duke of Clarence. It seems that Clarence did not realise how big the Franco-Scottish army was as he decided to rely on the element of surprise and attack immediately. The battle ended in a major defeat for the English.
Henry had returned from England in June 1421 with 4,000 troops, and he set off immediately to relieve the Duke of Exeter at Paris. The capital was threatened by French forces, based at Dreux, Meaux, and Joigny. The King besieged and captured Dreux quite easily, and then he went south, capturing Vendôme and Beaugency before marching on Orleans. He did not have sufficient supplies to besiege such a large and well-defended city, so after three days he went north to capture Villeneuve-le-Roy.
This accomplished, Henry marched on Meaux with an army of more than 20,000 men.The town's defense was led by the Bastard of Vaurus, by all accounts cruel and evil, but a brave commander all the same. The siege commenced on 6 October 1421, mining and bombardment soon brought down the walls.
Casualties began to mount in the English army. As the siege continued, Henry himself grew sick, although he refused to leave until the siege was finished. On 9 May 1422, the town of Meaux surrendered, although the garrison held out. Under continued bombardment, the garrison gave in as well on 10 May, following a siege of seven months.
Henry V died on 31 August 1422, at the Château de Vincennes. He had been weakened by dysentery, contracted during the siege of Meaux, and had to be carried in a litter towards the end of his journey. A possible contributory factor is heatstroke; the last day he was active he had been riding in full armour in blistering heat. He was 35 years old and had reigned for nine years. Shortly before his death, Henry V named his brother, John, Duke of Bedford, regent of France in the name of his son, Henry VI of England, then only a few months old. Henry V did not live to be crowned King of France himself, as he might confidently have expected after the Treaty of Troyes, because Charles VI, to whom he had been named heir, survived him by two months.
In the early summer of 1423, the French Dauphin Charles assembled an army at Bourges intending to invade Burgundian territory. This French army contained a large number of Scots under Sir John Stewart of Darnley, who was commanding the entire mixed force, as well as Spanish and Lombard mercenaries. This army besieged the town of Cravant. The garrison of Cravant requested help from the Dowager Duchess of Burgundy, who raised troops and in turn sought support from Burgundy's English allies, which was forthcoming. The two allied armies, one English, one Burgundian, rendezvoused at Auxerre on 29 July.
Approaching the town from across the river, the allies saw that the French army had changed position and was now waiting for them on the other bank. For three hours the forces watched each other, neither willing to attempt an opposed river crossing. Eventually, the Scots archers began shooting into the allied ranks. The allied artillery replied, supported by their own archers and crossbowmen.
Seeing the Dauphinists were suffering casualties and becoming disordered, Salisbury took the initiative and his army began to cross the waist-high river, some 50 metres wide, under a covering barrage of arrows from the English archers. The French began to withdraw, but the Scots refused to flee and fought on, to be cut down by the hundreds. Perhaps 1,200–3,000 of them fell at the bridgehead or along the riverbanks, and over 2,000 prisoners were taken. The Dauphin's forces retreated to the Loire.
In September 1423, John de la Pole left Normandy with 2000 soldiers and 800 archers to go raiding in Maine and Anjou. He seized Segré, and there mustered a huge collection of loot and a herd of 1,200 bulls and cows, before setting off to return to Normandy, taking hostages as he went.
During the battle, the English, with a long baggage train but marching in good order, emplaced great stakes, behind which they could retire in case of cavalry attack. The infantry moved to the front and the convoy of carts and troops closed the route to the rear. Trémigon, Loré and Coulonges wanted to make an attempt on the defences, but they were too strong; they turned and attacked the English in the flank, who were broken and cornered against a large ditch, losing their order. The foot soldiers then advanced and fought hand-to-hand. The English were unable to withstand attack for long.
The result was a butchery in which 1,200 to 1,400 men of the English forces perished on the field, with 2-300 killed in the pursuit.
One of Henry VI's regents, Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester, marries Jacqueline, Countess of Hainaut, and invades Holland to regain her former dominions, bringing him into direct conflict with Philip III, Duke of Burgundy.
In 1424, Jaqueline and Humphrey had landed with English forces and quickly overrun Hainaut. The death of John of Bavaria in January 1425 led to short campaign by Burgundian forces in pursuit of Philip's claim and the English were ousted. Jaqueline had ended the war in the custody of Philip but in September 1425 escaped to Gouda, where she again asserted her rights. As leader of the Hooks, she drew most of her support from the petty nobility and small towns. Her opponents, the Cods, were drawn largely from the burghers of the cities, including Rotterdam and Dordrecht.
In August, the new Franco-Scottish army made ready to march into action to relieve the fortress of Ivry, which had been under siege by the Duke of Bedford.
On 15 August, Bedford received news that Verneuil was in French hands and made his way there as quickly as he could. As he neared the town two days later, the Scots persuaded their French comrades to make a stand.
The battle started with a short archery exchange between English longbowmen and Scottish archers, after which a force of 2,000 Milanese heavy cavalry on the French side mounted a cavalry charge that brushed aside the ineffective English arrow barrage and wooden archer's stakes, penetrated the formation of English men-at-arms and dispersed one wing of their longbowmen. Fighting on foot, the well-armoured Anglo-Norman and Franco-Scottish men-at-arms clashed in the open in a ferocious hand-to-hand melee that went on for about 45 minutes. The English longbowmen reformed and joined the struggle. The French men-at-arms broke in the end and were slaughtered, with the Scots in particular receiving no quarter from the English.
The result of the battle was to virtually destroy the Dauphin's field army. After Verneuil, the English were able to consolidate their position in Normandy. The Army of Scotland as a distinct unit ceased to play a significant part in the Hundred Years' War, although many Scots remained in French service.
Jaqueline requested support from her husband Humphrey, who was in England, and he set about raising a force of 1500 English troops to reinforce her, led by Walter FitzWalter, 7th Baron FitzWalter. In the meantime, Jaqueline's army had defeated a Burgundian force of city militia at the Battle of Alphen on 22 October 1425. Duke Philip had plenty of notice of the assembly of the English force and raised a fleet to intercept them at sea. Although he did succeed in catching a small part of the English force, consisting of 300 men, most of the English force made landfall at the port of Brouwershaven, where they rendezvoused with their Zeeland allies.
The Zeelander forces allowed their opponents to land unopposed from boats, perhaps hoping for an Agincourt-like triumph with the aid of their English allies.
However, when the Burgundians were still disembarking, the English led an attack, advancing in good order, giving a great shout and blowing trumpets. The English troops were bombarded with a cannonade and a volley of arbalest bolts from the militia. The well-disciplined English longbowmen held firm and then shot back with their longbows, quickly scattering the crossbowmen in disarray. The well-armored and equally disciplined Burgundian knights then advanced and came to grips with the English men-at-arms. Unable to withstand the fierce attack of the knights, the English men-at-arms and archers were driven onto a dike and were virtually wiped out. The loss was devastating to Jacqueline's cause.
In late 1425, Jean, Duke of Brittany, had switched his allegiance from the English to Charles the dauphin. In retaliation, Sir Thomas Rempston invaded the duchy with a small army in January 1426, penetrating to the capital, Rennes, before falling back to St. James-de-Beuvron on the Norman frontier. The duke of Brittany's brother, Arthur de Richemont, newly made constable of France, rushed to his brother's aid. Richemont hastily levied an army across Brittany in February and gathered his forces in Antrain. The newly assembled Breton force first captured Pontorson, executing all the surviving English defenders and entirely destroying the wall after seizing the city. By the end of February, Richemont's army then marched on St. James. Rempston was heavily outnumbered, with 600 men to Richemont's feudal horde of 16,000.
Richemont was reluctant to launch a full assault with troops of such poor quality. After holding a council of war with his officers, he decided to assault the walls through the two breaches. On the 6th of March the French attacked in force. All day Rempston's troops held the breaches, but there was no let-up in the constable's assault. The English defenders capitalized on a panic that ensued among the largely ill-trained Breton militia to inflict heavy losses on the fleeing Breton troops. During the chaotic retreat, hundreds of men drowned crossing the nearby river while many others fell to the deadly bolts of the defenders' crossbows.
By 1428, the English were laying siege to Orléans, one of the most heavily defended cities in Europe, with more cannons than the French. However one of the French cannons managed to kill the English commander, the Earl of Salisbury. The English force maintained several small fortresses around the city, concentrated in areas where the French could move supplies into the city. In 1429, Joan of Arc convinced the Dauphin to send her to the siege, saying she had received visions from God telling her to drive out the English. She raised the morale of the local troops and they attacked the English redoubts, forcing the English to lift the siege. At the same time, the French king had updated and enhanced his army and took advantage of the lack of common goal between allies.
The immediate cause of the battle was an attempt by French and Scottish forces, led by Charles of Bourbon and Sir John Stewart of Darnley, to intercept a supply convoy headed for the English army at Orléans. The English had been laying siege to the city since the previous October. This supply convoy was escorted by an English force under Sir John Fastolf and had been outfitted in Paris, whence it had departed some time earlier. The battle was decisively won by the English.
The Loire Campaign was a campaign launched by Joan of Arc during the Hundred Years' War. The Loire was cleared of all English and Burgundian troops.
Joan and John II, Duke of Alençon marched to capture Jargeau from the Earl of Suffolk. The English had 700 troops to face 1,200 French troops. Then, a battle began with a French assault on the suburbs. English defenders left the city walls and the French fell back. Joan of Arc used her standard to begin a French rally. The English retreated to the city walls and the French lodged in the suburbs for the night.
oan of Arc initiated an assault on the town walls, surviving a stone projectile that split in two against her helmet as she climbed a scaling ladder. The English suffered heavy losses. Most estimates place the number at 300–400 of some 700 combatants. Suffolk became a prisoner.
After the Battle of Jargeau, Joan moved her army to Meung-sur-Loire. There, she decided to launch an assault.
English defenses at Meung-sur-Loire consisted of three components: the walled town, the fortification at the bridge, and a large walled castle just outside the town. The castle served as headquarters to the English command of John, Lord Talbot and Thomas, Lord Scales.
Joan of Arc and Duke John II of Alençon controlled a force that included captains Jean d'Orléans, Gilles de Rais, Jean Poton de Xaintrailles, and La Hire. Estimates of numerical strength vary with the Journal du Siège d'Orléans citing 6000 - 7000 for the French. A number that large probably counts noncombatants. The English force's numbers remain uncertain, but are lower than the French. They were led by Lord Talbot and Lord Scales. Bypassing the city and the castle, they staged a frontal assault on the bridge fortifications, conquered it in one day, and installed a garrison. This hampered English movement south of the Loire.
Joan launched an attack on Beaugency. Joan of Arc and Duke John II of Alençon controlled a force that included captains Jean d'Orléans, Gilles de Rais, Jean Poton de Xaintrailles, and La Hire. John Talbot led the English defense. Breaking with siege warfare custom, the French army followed the 15 June capture of the bridge at Meung-sur-Loire not with an attack on that town or its castle but with an assault on neighboring Beaugency the next day.
Unlike Meung-sur-Loire, the main stronghold at Beaugency was inside the city walls. During the first day of fighting the English abandoned the town and retreated into the castle. The French bombarded the castle with artillery fire. That evening de Richemont and his force arrived.
Hearing news of an English relief force approaching from Paris under Sir John Fastolf, d'Alençon negotiated the English surrender and granted them safe conduct out of Beaugency.
An English reinforcement army under Sir John Fastolf departed from Paris following the defeat at Orléans. The French had moved swiftly, capturing three bridges and accepting the English surrender at Beaugency the day before Fastolf's army arrived. The French, in the belief that they could not overcome a fully prepared English army in open battle, scoured the area in hopes of finding the English unprepared and vulnerable.
The English excelled at open battles; they took up a position whose exact location is unknown but traditionally believed to be near the tiny village of Patay. Fastolf, John Talbot and Sir Thomas de Scales commanded the English.
On hearing the news of the English position, about 1,500 men under captains La Hire and Jean Poton de Xaintrailles, composing the heavily armed and armoured cavalry vanguard of the French army, attacked the English. The battle swiftly turned into a rout, with every Englishman on a horse fleeing while the infantry, mostly composed of longbowmen, were cut down in droves. Longbowmen were never intended to fight armoured knights unsupported except from prepared positions where the knights could not charge them, and they were massacred. For once the French tactic of a large frontal cavalry assault had succeeded, with decisive results.
In the Loire campaign, Joan had won a great victory over the English at all of the battles and drove them out of the Loire river, and routed Fastolf back to Paris where he had departed from.
Joan traveled to Compiègne the following May to help defend the city against an English and Burgundian siege. On 23 May 1430 she was with a force that attempted to attack the Burgundian camp at Margny north of Compiègne, but was ambushed and captured.
Joan was imprisoned by the Burgundians at Beaurevoir Castle. She made several escape attempts. The English negotiated with their Burgundian allies to transfer her to their custody. The English moved Joan to the city of Rouen, which served as their main headquarters in France. The Armagnacs attempted to rescue her several times by launching military campaigns toward Rouen while she was held there.
She was executed by burning on 30 May 1431.
During the Year 1434 the French king Charles VII increased control over the territories north of Paris, including Soissons, Compiègne, Senlis and Beauvais. Due to its position Gerberoy appeared as a good outpost to threaten the English occupied Normandy and even stronger to protect the nearby Beauvais of a possible reconquest.
The Earl of Arundel appeared on 9 May before Gerberoy along with a vanguard that probably consisted of a few knights and withdrew after a brief observation of the valley, waiting for the arrival of the main English force.
A column of French cavalry under La Hire left the town, and bypassed the position of the English vanguard to launch a surprise attack on the English, as they were marching along the road to Gournay. The French cavalry arrived undetected in a place called Les Epinettes, near Laudecourt, a hamlet near Gournay, and then attacked the English main force. After it was La Hire and his horsemen attacked the English on the streets of Gournai, and heavy fighting between the two sides ensued with many English soldiers and French cavalry being killed. When the French reinforcements appeared, the remaining English soldiers realised their situation was now hopeless and retreated to Gerberoy. During the retreat, the French were able to kill a large number of English soldiers
Small illustration from Vigiles de Charles VII (circa 1484) depicting the congress
End of the French Civil War: Burgundy switches sides
1435 Sep 20 -
Bedford was the only person that kept Burgundy in the English alliance. Burgundy was not on good terms with Bedford's younger brother, Gloucester. At Bedford's death in 1435, Burgundy deemed himself excused from the English alliance, and signed the Treaty of Arras, restoring Paris to Charles VII of France. His allegiance remained fickle, but the Burgundian focus on expanding their domains into the Low Countries left them little energy to intervene in France.
Philip the Good was personally exempted from rendering homage to Charles VII (for having been complicit in his father's murder).
Henry, who was by nature shy, pious, and averse to deceit and bloodshed, immediately allowed his court to be dominated by a few noble favourites who clashed on the matter of the French war when he assumed the reins of government in 1437. After the death of King Henry V, England had lost momentum in the Hundred Years' War, whereas the House of Valois had gained ground beginning with Joan of Arc's military victories in the Year 1429. The young King Henry VI came to favour a policy of peace in France and thus favoured the faction around Cardinal Beaufort and William de la Pole, Earl of Suffolk, who thought likewise; the Duke of Gloucester and Richard, Duke of York, who argued for a continuation of the war, were ignored.
The allegiance of Burgundy remained fickle, but the English focus on expanding their domains in the Low Countries left them little energy to intervene in the rest of France. The long truces that marked the war gave Charles time to centralise the French state and reorganise his army and government, replacing his feudal levies with a more modern professional army that could put its superior numbers to good use. A castle that once could only be captured after a prolonged siege would now fall after a few days from cannon bombardment. The French artillery developed a reputation as the best in the world.
The Treaty of Tours was an attempted peace agreement between Henry VI of England and Charles VII of France, concluded by their envoys on 28 May 1444 in the closing years of the Hundred Years' War. The terms stipulated the marriage of Charles VII's niece, Margaret of Anjou, to Henry VI, and the creation of a truce of two years – later extended – between the kingdoms of England and France. In exchange for the marriage, Charles wanted the English-held area of Maine in northern France, just south of Normandy.
The French, under Charles VII, had taken the time offered by the Treaty of Tours in 1444 to reorganize and reinvigorate their armies. The English, without clear leadership from the weak Henry VI, were scattered and dangerously weak. When the French broke the truce in June 1449 they were in a much improved position.
The English had gathered a small army during the winter of 1449. Numbering around 3,400 men, it was dispatched from Portsmouth to Cherbourg under the command of Sir Thomas Kyriell. Upon landing on 15 March 1450, Kyriell's army was reinforced by with forces drawn from Norman garrisons.
At. Formigny, the French opened the engagement with a failed assault on the English position with their dismounted men-at-arms. French cavalry charges on the English flanks were also defeated. Clermont then deployed two culverins to open fire on the English defenders. Unable to withstand the fire, the English attacked and captured the guns. The French army was now in disarray.
At this moment the Breton cavalry force under Richemont arrived from the south, having crossed the Aure and approached the English force from the flank. As his men were carrying off the French guns, Kyriell shifted forces to the left to face the new threat. Clermont responded by attacking again. Having abandoned their prepared position, the English force was charged upon by Richemont's Breton cavalry and massacred. Kyriell was captured and his army destroyed. A small force under Sir Matthew Gough was able to escape.
Kyriell's army had ceased to exist. With no other significant English forces in Normandy, the whole region quickly fell to the victorious French. Caen was captured on 12 June and Cherbourg, the last English-held fortress in Normandy, fell on 12 August.
After the 1451 French capture of Bordeaux by the armies of Charles VII, the Hundred Years' War appeared to be at an end. The English primarily focused on reinforcing their only remaining possession, Calais, and watching over the seas. The citizens of Bordeaux considered themselves subjects of the English monarch and sent messengers to Henry VI of England demanding that he recapture the province.
On 17 October 1452, John Talbot, Earl of Shrewsbury landed near Bordeaux with a force of 3,000 men. With the cooperation of the townspeople, Talbot easily took the city on 23 October. The English subsequently took control over most of Western Gascony by the end of the Year. The French knew an expedition was coming, but had expected it to come through Normandy. After this surprise, Charles VII prepared his forces over the winter, and by early 1453 he was ready to counter-attack.
On the day of the battle, English commander John Talbot, 1st Earl of Shrewsbury, believing that the enemy was retreating, led his army into a fortified French encampment without waiting for reinforcements. Talbot then refused to withdraw even after realizing the strength of the French position, causing his men to suffer extensive casualties from the French artillery.
Charles VII's full recovery of Aquitaine and Normandy effectively brings to an end the Hundred Years' War.
England and France remained formally at war for another 20 years
Bordeaux fell to the French on 19 October and there were no more hostilities afterwards
English landowners complained vociferously about the financial losses resulting from the loss of their continental holdings; this is often considered a major cause of the Wars of the Roses that started in 1455
The Treaty of Picquigny(1475) formally ended the Hundred Years' War with Edward renouncing his claim to the throne of France.
Louis XI was to pay Edward IV 75,000 crowns upfront, essentially a bribe to return to England and not take up arms to pursue his claim to the French throne. He would then receive a Year
King of France was to ransom the deposed English queen, Margaret of Anjou, who was in Edward's custody, with 50,000 crowns.
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