Hundred Years War

Siege of Caen
Siege of Caen ©Image Attribution forthcoming. Image belongs to the respective owner(s).
1417 Aug 14 - Sep 20

Siege of Caen

Caen, France

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.

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Last Updated: Mon Mar 13 2023