LHundred Years War is a dynastic conflict that opposed the kings of France and England for more than a century at the end of the Middle Ages. Although its origins date back to the 12th century with the marriage of Henri Plantagenêt and Eleanor of Aquitaine, it is the death of Charles IV without a male heir that provokes hostilities. Discarded from the succession to the throne of France, the King of England Edward III started a war in 1337 which would continue until 1453, in an alternation of armed conflicts and periods of peace. The Hundred Years War is famous not only for its duration, but also because it marked an important stage in the construction of the national identities of the two countries. In addition, it was made of famous battles, fought by historical figures who have become for some mythical, such as Joan of Arc.
Hundred Years War: the origins
- 1152: marriage ofEleanor of Aquitaine, ex-wife of King Louis VII of France, with Henry II Plantagenêt, future king of England. Through Eleanor, he became Duke of Aquitaine and therefore an imposing rival against the King of France, of whom he was however the vassal. The conflict between Capetians and Plantagenets is often considered to be one of the beginnings of the Hundred Years War.
- 1204 : Philippe Auguste annexed Normandy to the kingdom of France.
- 1217: Louis VIII conquers most of Aquitaine, including Guyenne.
- 1295: alliance between France and Scotland against England.
- 1299 : Treaty of Montreuil-sur-Mer, between Philip IV the Fair and Edward I of England. France returns Guyenne as a stronghold to its rival, who pays homage to it.
The end of the "Capetian miracle"
- 1316 : death of Louis X le Hutin, son of Philippe le Bel. This is the end of the "Capetian miracle" : for the first time since Hugues Capet, the sovereign does not leave a male heir (his young son actually dies very young), posing a problem of succession. It's his brother Philippe V says "the Long" which encircles the crown of France.
- 1322 : Charles IV succeeds his brother Philippe V on the throne of France.
- 1324: Charles IV confiscates Guyenne after the conflict of Saint-Sardos. It was returned shortly after, minus the Agenais.
- 1326: The King of Scotland, Robert Bruce, renews the alliance with France at the Treaty of Corbeil.
- 1327: after the disastrous reign of his father, who saw England lose control of Scotland, Edward III ascend the throne. But the real power is in the hands of her mother's lover, Mortimer. New conflict over Guyenne.
- 1328 : death of Charles IV, the succession crisis is confirmed in France. The council of peers is looking for a legitimate heir, when Isabelle of France, daughter of Philippe le Bel but above all mother of Edward III, chooses to claim the crown on behalf of her son (who is then fifteen). Tensions are mounting between the two countries, for these succession quarrels, but also for political reasons and economic competition, not to mention the dispute over Guyenne. The young Edward III is however in a weak position, and must accept the choice of peers which is Philippe VI of Valois, nephew of Philippe le Bel, in the name of an obscure "Salic law" of Merovigian origin. The King of France was consecrated on May 24, and on August 24 he crushed a revolt in Flanders in the battle of Cassel. France appears to be in a strong position, but the Kingdom of England is in fact stronger, both politically and economically.
- 1329 : in a tense atmosphere, Edward III lends a half-tribute to Philippe VI for Guyenne.
- 1330: Edward III had Mortimer executed, and his mother Isabelle exiled. He is finally the king of England in fact. The King of France had Saintes looted following the semi-homage of the previous year.
- 1331: liege homage of Edward III to Philippe VI for his fiefs; Saintes is evacuated by French troops.
- 1332 : War resumes between England and Scotland. France is shaken by the Robert d´Artois case ; he must go into exile and find refuge in England, where he pressures Edward III to declare war on France!
- 1334: Philippe VI welcomes David II, the King of Scotland, and supports him in negotiations with England.
- 1336 : Robert d'Artois is declared "enemy of France". Edward III decides to embark on the export of English wool to Flanders, to urge the Flemish towns to support him; at the same time, he obtained subsidies from Parliament to prepare for the war, and the support of Louis of Bavaria. Philippe VI encourages Norman piracy against his rival.
The challenge of Edward III to Philip VI
- 1337 : May 24, Philippe VI uses the pretext of Edward III’s refusal to hand over Robert’Artois to him, to confiscate Guyenne. The King of England then challenges his overlord, and claims his crown. This date is considered to be the start of the Hundred Years War.
- 1338 : Jacques Van Artevelde captain of Ghent, forcing the count of Flanders, Louis de Nevers, to take refuge in France.
- 1339 : first offensive of Edward III. With the support of Jacques Van Artevelde, he laid siege to Cambrai and devastated the region to push Philippe VI into a pitched battle. But the King of France does not react.
- 1340 : Battle of the Lock, which sees the naval defeat of France. Edward III could not take advantage of it, and had to return to England where his fiscal pressure caused some discontent. In addition, the conflict is bogged down in Scotland.
- 1341 : the death of John III of Brittany causes a war of succession. Rivals Jean de Montfort and Charles of Blois ally with Edward III and Philip VI respectively. A "parallel" war begins, in which the Duke of Normandy is illustrated, John the Good.
- 1342: Robert d´Artois is mortally wounded at the siege of Vannes.
- 1343 : the treaty of Malestroit suspends the war in Brittany. The English occupy Brest. Philippe VI summons the States General to raise new taxes.
- 1345 : Jacques Van Artevelde is assassinated. Flanders allies with France. England breaking the truce, with Henry of Lancaster’s campaign in Aquitaine. Death of Jean de Montfort, but the conflict resumes sporadically in Brittany.
- 1346 : massive offensive by Edward III in northern France. He defeated Philip VI at the battle of Crécy August 26. David II of Scotland defeated and captured at Neville’s Cross: England has one less front.
- 1347 : capture of Calais by the English. The plague arrives in Marseille.
- 1348 : foundation of the Order of the Garter by Edouard III.
- 1349: Philippe VI buys the Dauphiné.
The difficulties of John II the Good
- 1350 : Jean le Bon is married to Jeanne, heiress of the Duchy of Burgundy. Death of the king on August 25, his son was consecrated on September 26.
- 1351: truce signed between John II the Good and Edward III. Convening of the States General. Foundation of the Order of the Star by the King of France.
- 1352: marriage of the king's daughter, Jeanne, with Charles of Navarre.
- 1353 : Westminster Treaty, which marks the end of the first war of succession in Brittany.
- 1354 : assassination of the Constable of France, Charles de la Cerda, by Philippe, brother of the king of Navarre. The latter, who only wanted the capture of his rival, nevertheless took responsibility and took advantage of John II’s overwhelm to impose the Treaty of Mantes on him, which was very favorable to him. Charles the Bad’s position of strength threatens a truce with England.
- 1355: start of the ride of the son of Edward III, the black prince, in the southwest of France.
- 1356 : suspected of a conspiracy with the English, Charles the Bad is arrested. September 19, the French army is defeated in Poitiers by the Black Prince; John II is taken prisoner! The regency is ensured by the dolphin.
- 1357: Escape of Charles of Navarre, who has his eye on the throne, and opposes the increasingly troubled dolphin. Abuses by Big Companies (demobilized mercenaries). Some Bertrand Du Guesclin shines in the Rennes defense against the Duke of Lancaster.
The restless regency of Dauphin Charles
- 1358 : Edward III imposes the treaty of london to his prisoner. Ally of Charles the Bad, the provost of the merchants Etienne Marcel starts a riot in Paris. Jacqueries broke out all over the kingdom, with among the leaders a certain Guillaume Carle (Jacques Bonhomme for Froissart). Under pressure from the nobility, Charles the Bad mate the jacquerie, also seeing it as a means of strengthening his power; he relies on English mercenaries. He then joined Etienne Marcel in Paris, but the presence of the English shocked the Parisian population: a riot broke out! The bourgeois Jean Maillart then decides to take the regent's side: Etienne Marcel is massacred, the Dauphin enters Paris on August 2.
- 1359: new ride for Edward III, without much success.
- 1360 : Treaty of Brétigny (or Calais), which allows the liberation of John II, but forces France to cede territories, such as Poitou.
- 1361: the Duchy of Burgundy is annexed to the Kingdom of France. The exactions of the Big Companies worsen in the South, but the English do not profit from it.
- 1362: an army of the Grand Companies defeats the royal army in Brignais! Aquitaine is given to the Black Prince. Resumption of war in Brittany.
- 1363: Jean le Bon cedes Burgundy in prerogative to his son Philip the Bold.
The successes of Charles V and Du Guesclin
- 1364 : come to renegotiate the Treaty of Brétigny, King John II dies in London. The dolphin succeeds him, Charles V, crowned in Reims on May 19. Philippe le Bold is beaten by the Navarre at La Charité-sur-Loire, but the latter are defeated by Du Guesclin at the Battle of Cocherel. The "dogue de Brocéliande" must however bow at Auray, where he is taken prisoner; Charles de Blois is killed, which puts an end to the war of succession in Brittany, for the benefit of Jean IV de Montfort.
- 1365: Charles V pays the ransom of Du Guesclin, who frees him from the Large Companies by taking them to fight in Spain in the war of succession between Henri de Transtamare and Pierre le Cruel; he covered himself with glory for a time. Treaty of Avignon (March 6), where Charles of Navarre cedes his possessions in Basse-Seine in exchange for Montpellier. The Treaty of Guérande confirms the end of the war in Brittany.
- 1367: Du Guesclin is beaten by the Black Prince at the battle of najera, in Castile.
- 1368: the Gascons and John I of Armagnac complain to Charles V of the Black Prince. The King of France begins the reorganization of the army and attempts to diplomatically isolate England.
- 1369 : after the battle of Montiel, in which Du Guesclin participates, the pro-English party of Peter the Cruel is defeated; Henri de Transtamare becomes king of Castile. Du Guesclin returned to France with the Grandes Compagnies. Charles V obtains the support of the States General to raise funds for a resumption of war against England. The Black Prince ignores the king's threats. The Duke of Lancaster launches rides in Picardy and Normandy.
- 1370: ride of Robert knolles in Artois and Brittany. The Black Prince takes Limoges. Du Guesclin is made constable, and implemented its guerrilla strategy. French victory at Pontvallain, in Maine.
- 1371: at the Treaty of Vernon, Charles the Bad lends homage to Charles V.
- 1372 : June 22, the English fleet is defeated by the Castilian fleet off La Rochelle. French success in Saintonge and Poitou. Alliance between the Duke of Brittany and Edward III.
- 1373: Du Guesclin occupies the Duchy of Brittany. The Duke of Lancaster ravaged Artois and Picardy, but was slowed down by Philippe le Hardi and Du Guesclin.
- 1375 : the Treaty of Bruges validates a truce between England and France, to the benefit of the latter.
- 1376 : death of the black prince.
- 1377 : death of Edward III, his grandson Richard II succeeded him. The war with France resumes, with raids by John of Vienna on the English coast.
- 1378 : Charles V receives with great pomp the Germanic Emperor Charles IV. Plot of Charles of Navarre against the King of France, who confiscates his land. The French sovereign does the same with Brittany. Great Western Schism. Troubles in Languedoc.
- 1379: Jean IV de Montfort and Richard II land in Brittany. Clement VII, recognized as pope by Charles V, settles in Avignon. Uprisings in Montpellier and Languedoc.
Charles VI under influence
- 1380 : deaths of Du Guesclin (replaced by Olivier de Clisson) and of King Charles V ! His son Charles VI succeeded him. Ride from Buckingham in France.
- 1381: second treaty of Guérande, which allows John IV to recover his rights over Brittany. Unrest in Flanders.
- 1382: insurrections in Paris and Rouen, marking the beginning of recurring revolts in the following years. Charles VI wins at the battle of Roosebeke facing the Flemish Philippe van Artevelde.
- 1383: the English land in Calais and attack Flanders.
- 1385: landing of Jean de Vienne in Scotland.
- 1387: in full decline since the failure of his plot, Charles the Bad dies burnt alive in sheets soaked in brandy ...
- 1388 : Charles VI surrounds himself with Marmosets to free himself from the tutelage of Jean de Berry and Philippe le Bold.
- 1389: truce between France and England.
- 1392: crisis of madness of Charles VI.
- 1396 : disaster facing the Turks in Nicopolis, where the son of Philip the Bold, Fearless jeans, is taken prisoner.
- 1397: start of the conflict between Richard II and his uncle Jean de Gand, Duke of Lancaster and third son of Edward III.
- 1399 : Louis d´Orléans supplants the Duke of Burgundy at the court of Charles VI, whose madness is confirmed. Death of Jean de Gand, but his son Henri is supported by Louis of Orleans, whom peace with England does not arrange. The new Duke of Lancaster dismisses the tyrannical Richard II and becomes King of England, under the name of Henry IV. Death of John IV of Brittany.
- 1402: Louis d´Orléans acquires Luxembourg.
- 1404 : Jean sans Peur succeeds his father Philippe in the Duchy of Burgundy. Rivalry grew with the Duke of Orleans, who allied himself with Jean de Berry and the Queen.
The civil war: Armagnacs against Burgundians
- 1407 : by order of the Duke of Burgundy, Louis d´Orléans is assassinated in Paris (November 23).
- 1408: John without Fear has his murder validated by the theologian Jean Petit. The same year, he beats the Liégeois at Otheus.
- 1409 : the Duke of Burgundy controls Paris and imposes the peace of Chartres to its rivals. The latter, however, founded the Armagnac party.
- 1412: alliance between Henri IV and the Armagnacs. English rides in the Cotentin.
- 1413 : the cabochian episode leads to the loss of Paris by the Burgundians. The Armagnacs purge the administration. Henry V becomes King of England, succeeding his father.
- 1414: Jean sans Peur takes back Paris from the Armagnacs. Truce of Arras.
- 1415 : landing of Henri V in Normandy, and Battle of Azincourt. The French knighthood is once again overthrown there.
- 1416-1417: the Armagnacs besiege and take Paris. The Duke of Burgundy negotiates with the English.
- 1417: Henri V takes Caen. End of the Western schism.
- 1418: the Burgundians take back Paris and massacre the Armagnacs.
- 1419 : assassination of John the Fearless, his son Philippe le Bon succeeds him. Henri V completes the conquest of Normandy by taking Rouen.
- 1420 : with his Burgundian ally, Henri V imposes the Treaty of Troyes. The Dauphin Charles takes refuge in Bourges.
- 1422 : despite criticism from England, Henry V persisted in wanting to impose his treaty on the Armagnacs. He laid siege to Meaux, but died on August 31. His son Henry VI, destined to become King of France, is still a baby, and the Duke of Bedford takes charge of the regency. On October 21, it's Charles VI's turn to die! Charles VII was then proclaimed king in Bourges. The war starts again ...
- 1423 : French defeat at Cravant. The Anglo-Burgundians ally with Brittany with the Treaty of Amiens.
- 1424: French defeat at Verneuil. Alliance between Charles VII and Arthur de Richemont, brother of the Duke of Brittany.
Joan of Arc, Charles VII and the reconquest
- 1425 : a certain Jeanne hears voices. The English take Le Mans. Arthur de Richemont is made constable of France.
- 1427: rivalry between Arthur de Richemont and Georges de La Trémoille.
- 1428 : revolt of Arthur de Richemont. Beginning of the siege of Orleans by the English.
- 1429 : epic of Joan of Arc, which frees Orleans and defeats the English at Patay. On July 17, Charles VII is consecrated in Reims. On the other hand, Jeanne fails in front of Paris.
- 1430: May 24, Jeanne is taken prisoner by the Burgundians, and delivered to the English on November 21. Meanwhile, Charles VII takes Compiègne.
- 1431 : trial and execution at the stake of Joan of Arc. Henri VI is crowned King of France in Paris on December 17.
- 1433: Georges de La Trémoille is disgraced because of his fierceness against Arthur de Richemont.
- 1435 : insurrection of Normandy against the English. The Treaty of Arras marks the end of the civil war between Burgundians and Armagnacs.
- 1436: the troops of Charles VII, led by Arthur de Richemont, liberate Paris.
- 1437 : Charles VII enters Paris.
- 1438: capture of Meaux.
- 1440: conspiracy of the princes, or Praguerie, against Charles VII.
- 1441: the whole of Île-de-France is liberated, marking the start of the reconquest.
- 1442: Charles VII frees Toulouse.
- 1444: truce with England. The dolphin Louis is agitated ...
- 1446: accused of conspiracy against his father and especially his mistress, Agnes Sorel, the dolphin is driven out of the court.
- 1448-1451: successively Le Mans, Rouen, Cherbourg and Bordeaux were freed.
The end of the Hundred Years War
- 1453 : battle of Castillon (June 21), which generally marks the end of the Hundred Years' War. The English only hold Calais.
- 1456: rehabilitation of Joan of Arc.
- 1461: death of Charles VII, succeeded by his turbulent son Louis XI.
- 1558: on the orders of Henri II, the Duke of Guise reconquers Calais.
- 1801: the King of England abandons the title of King of France in his title.
- 1920: canonization of Joan of Arc.
- The Hundred Years' War, by Georges Minois. Tempus, 2016.
- The time of the Hundred Years War 1328-1453, Belin 2014.
NB: we also provide you with ourChronology of the History of France !