The Hundred Years War and Joan of Arc. What was the Hundred Years War?. The time from 1337 to 1453 is often known as the Hundred Years War, because England and France were fighting each other for most of this time. Why did the fighting start?.
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The time from 1337 to 1453 is often known as the Hundred Years War, because England and France were fighting each other for most of this time.
Why did the fighting start?
English and French sailors often came into conflict
The French often helped the Scots in their wars against England
English and French Kings argued over the ownership of Gascony
English merchants complained that French officials tried to stop them sending wool to Flanders
Edward III declared that he was the rightful ruler of France
1337 Edward III declared war on France
Kings of France
Philip III d.1285
Philip IV d.1314
Louis X d.1316
Philip V d.1322
Charles IV d.1328
Philip VI d.1350
Do you think that Edward had a strong claim to the French throne?
Today the English crown passes through the offspring of the eldest male child.
Edward II of England
Edward III of England
The wars used a lot of mercenaries (hired soldiers). These were often men eager for adventure and fortune.
The foot soldiers were mostly archers and these were often more successful than the noblemen on horseback.
? Why do you think people would become mercenaries? - Think about the sort of life ordinary peasants had at this time.
The two famous English victories at Crecy and Agincourt were in part due to the English use of the Long-bow. These could be fired more quickly and had a longer range than the French crossbows. They also penetrated chainmail.
Longbows were about 6ft long and made of yew
Gunpowder was invented during the Hundred Years War. Unfortunately, early cannons often exploded and killed the soldiers who fired them.
1340 - Philip VI was preparing to invade England. Edward
III decided to prevent the invasion. He forced merchants and fishermen to lend him boats as there was no navy, and packed them full of soldiers.
On 24 June the English ships swept down on the French fleet. Philip was expecting the attack and so had chained the fleet together and put 20,000 men on board.
trained, and many were killed.
By the end of the day the whole of the French fleet was either sunk or captured.
What does this information tell you about which side’s troops were better prepared and more keen for victory?
For the next six years, Edward III sent raiding
parties into France. During one of these raids, the first land battle took place at Crecy.
Edward’s force of 12,000 had been chased by a much larger French army. Edward drew up his army along the top of a ridge. He put his men-at-arms in the centre, with his long-bowmen around them.
When Philip arrived he realised Edward was in a very strong position. However, before he could tell his troops not to attack, his knights began riding up the hill with Italian crossbowmen running in front of them.
It was a disaster for Philip. The English long-bowmen rained arrows down on the French who were forced to retreat. By the time the battle finally ended, 12,000 French were dead.
What does this battle tell us about the French army?
When Henry V became King in 1413 he decided to
invade France. He thought he would easily make the French crown him King, as their King, Charles VI, was mad.
The Battle of Agincourt happened when Henry tried to return to Calais for reinforcements after besieging Harfleur. Henry had only 6000 men, and was met by a French army of more than 40,000.
It had been raining heavily. Henry ordered his bowmen to advance about 300 metres from the French and each hammer a stake into the ground pointing at the French. The bowmen then began to shoot.
The heavily armoured French knights charged at the English.
Who had the advantage and why?
The French made a grave mistake. Their horses were slowed down by the muddy ground, due to the heavy rain. This meant they were easy targets for the bowmen.
Those who did get through had their horses impaled on the spikes in front of the bowmen. Lightly armed soldiers then dashed out from the English lines, pulled the knights down and stabbed them to death through their armour joints.
In all about 10,000 French were killed and they admitted defeat and retreated allowing Henry to reach Calais.
What were the odds that the English would win this battle? What does the outcome tell you about Henry’s abilities as a soldier and leader?
The next year Henry returned to France with a strong army. He conquered most of Normandy and the French made peace.
Henry married Charles VI of France’s daughter, Catherine, and was given the right to become King of France when Charles died.
Unfortunately, Henry died before Charles and left a baby son behind. Although Henry V’s son was crowned King of France when Charles died the French soon began to rebel, wishing to put Charles VI’s son on the throne instead. They were led in their struggle by Joan of Arc.
She claimed to hear the voices of Christ and His saints
At the age of 17 she led a French army against the English
She defeated the English at Patay and secured the coronation of Charles VII of France
She was captured and sold to the English who burnt her at the stake claiming she was a witch
1412-1431 - a peasant girl
Why do you think the French were prepared to follow this girl?
Inspired by Joan, the French continued to fight. Charles VII taxed the French heavily and used the money to train and equip a full time army. He also employed John Bureau who invented a mill to make gunpowder finer. This made it explode with more force. He also designed new guns. With their new equipment, the French steadily regained their land.
The Hundred Years War came to an end in 1453. The English had been driven out of all of France except for the town of Calais. The Kings of England lost Gascony, which they had ruled for 300 years.
English and French traders
The Battle of Agincourt
Joan of Arc
Henry V dying