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Overview for "100 Years War"

Begin End Event Description Keywords
1327 1377

Edward III

Being the nephew of the French king Charles IV on his mother's side, Edward III saw himself as his legitimate heir. When his claimed was denied, it led to renewed struggles between the English and French and when Philip VI seized Guienne, Edward declared himself King of France and went to war. Winning the famous Battle of Sluys and Battle of Crécy, Edward proved himself to be a capable military leader, adding large territories in France to the English Crown.
History, 100 Years War, Kings + Rulers, Middle English Period, Political
1330 1376

Edward the Black Prince

Edward the Black Prince, also Edward of Woodstock (after his birthplace), was the eldest son of Edward III and the first English prince to not become king, since he died a year before his father. He was an exceptional military leader, who proved himself during the Battles of Crécy and Poitiers, and a founding Knight of the Garter. He was succeeded by his son Richard II.
History, 100 Years War, Middle English Period, Political, Kings + Rulers
1337 1386

First Phase of the 100 Years' War

Political reasons, feudal disputes between England and France, and the striving for economic power were the main causes of this series of wars which erupted in 1337. What followed was not constant warfare, but rather a series of campaigns and battles with long interruptions of diplomatic negotiations and truces. After the death of the Black Prince in 1376 and his father in 1377, the young king Richard II and his regents were no longer capable of waging war against France; fighting ended in 1386 and a truce of 30 years was signed in 1396.
History, Middle English Period, Political, 100 Years War
1340 1399

John of Gaunt

John of Gaunt was the third of Edward III's five surviving sons. By marriage to Blanche of Lancaster in 1359, he became Duke of Lancaster, which made him the most powerful nobleman of the realm. When the king fell ill, Gaunt ruled the country in his stead. He was a shrewd statesman, but his unorthodox methods and inability to compromise antagonized the Church and the Commons. Many suspected that he was aiming for the crown, but they were proved wrong when Gaunt stood faithfully to his young nephew King Richard II.
History, Middle English Period, Political, Kings + Rulers, 100 Years War
1340 -

The Battle of Sluys

During the First Phase of the 100 Years' War, Edward III declared himself king of France after Philip IV seized Guienne. He invaded Northern France and won a decisive naval battle near Sluys in the Scheldt estuary. After the French lost almost their entire fleet, the battle resulted in the English control of the Channel, while the French navy was no longer a threat to England.
History, 100 Years War, Middle English Period, Political
1346 -

The Battle of Crécy

The Battle of Crécy was the first great English land victory over the French during the first phase of the 100 Years' War. On August 26, 1346, Edward III led his army of less than 10,000 men to the Northern French village Crécy. It was especially archers who inflicted terrible losses on the thrice as large French army and it was virtually drowned in a shower of English arrows.
100 Years War, Middle English Period, Political, History
1356 -

The Battle of Poitiers

Edward the Black Prince, the eldest son of Edward III, won the second great English victory of the first phase of the 100 Years' War at the Battle of Poitiers on September 19, 1356. Philip's successor, King John II of France, and the Duke of Burgundy were captured and led to London where they were held in chivalrous captivity until a ransom was paid.
History, 100 Years War, Middle English Period, Political
1377 1399

Richard II

At the age of only 10, Richard inherited the throne after the death of his father Edward the Black Prince, who was the eldest son of Edward III. Richard's reign was marked by a series of changing counsellors, the Peasants' Revolt and an attempt to take over his control by a group of aristocrats known as the Lords Appellant. Later he was overthrown by his exiled cousin, Henry IV, son of John of Gaunt, and died in his captivity in 1400.
History, 100 Years War, Middle English Period, Kings + Rulers
1399 1413

Henry IV

Henry was the son of John of Gaunt, fourth son of Edward III. After his father's death, Henry's cousin Richard II denied him all inheritance and exiled him. He returned with the also exiled former Archbishop Thomas Arundel and began a campaign to reclaim not only his patrimony, but later on also the English throne, where he may have become the first king after the Norman Conquest whose mother tongue was English rather than French. His reign was marked by series of plots against him and he died of some unknown illness in 1413.
History, 100 Years War, Middle English Period, Kings + Rulers
1412 1431

Joan of Arc

Joan of Arc became the heroine of her day when she successfully led French armies against the English. She had seen visions of saints and of God telling her to fight against the English; so she became an able military leader, very unusual for a girl of her time. Her wearing men's clothes made her easily suspicious to the Church, and so the English had no difficulties to finally accuse her as an heretic. She was burnt in May 1431, but her death was largely a political act.
100 Years War, Middle English Period, Religious, Political, History
1413 1422

Henry V

Twelve years before the truce with France was intended to end, Henry V resumed the 100 Years' War. He won the famous Battle of Agincourt and took Rouen and Paris, controlling all of France north of the Loire. With the peace treaty of 1420, Charles VI of France recognized Henry V as his heir and regent and married him to his daughter, Catherine of Valois. Henry died unexpectedly at Vincennes, fighting the French and thus left his cross-channel kingdom to his one-year-old son Henry VI.
100 Years War, Middle English Period, Kings + Rulers, History
1414 1453

Second Phase of the 100 Years' War

Henry V resumed the 100 Years' War when he invaded France in 1415. After winning the decisive Battle of Agincourt, he gained control over all of France north of the Loire in the following years. With the Treaty of Troyes the French king declared his own son illegitimate and recognized Henry V as his heir and regent, until under Joan of Arc, the French forces freed Orléans, defeated the English and drove them north. From 1449 onwards, the French regained nearly all territories and eventually the war ended in 1453 without any peace treaty.
History, 100 Years War, Middle English Period, Political
1415 -

The Battle of Agincourt

After seizing the French port Harfleur, Henry V was intercepted by the French on his retreat to Calais. Henry's 6,000 men faced about 25,000 French knights and soldiers, but against all odds, the English won this decisive battle of the second phase of the 100 Years' War because of their lightly equipped archers who had the advantage over their heavily armoured enemies. This victory paved the way for Henry's success in the following years and he took Rouen and Paris and controlled all of France north of the Loire.
History, 100 Years War, Middle English Period, Political
1420 -

Treaty of Troyes

Supported by House of Burgundy, Henry V took Rouen and Paris and controlled all of France north of the Loire. In 1420, a peace treaty was signed at Troyes virtually fulfilling the English aims of war. The French king, Charles VI declared his son illegitimate and recognized Henry V as his heir and regent. Henry married the French king's daughter, Catherine of Valois, and returned triumphantly to England in 1421.
History, 100 Years War, Middle English Period, Political
1421 1461

Henry VI

Henry VI inherited the throne when he was only a year old. He ruled from 1422 to 1461 and again from 1470 to 1471. By marrying Margaret of Anjou, he hoped to achieve peace, but France resumed the 100 Years' War and by 1453 had regained nearly all the territories they had lost. This is said to be one of the main reasons (next to Henry's mental illness) for the breakout of the Wars of the Roses, during which Edward IV defeated and imprisoned Henry VI and claimed the throne in 1461.
History, 100 Years War, Middle English Period, Political, Kings + Rulers, Wars of the Roses