King Edward III began the siege of Calais that would last for almost a year. The governor of the town was man called Jean de Vienne. Edward demanded that the town should surrender but de Vienne refused, hoping that the town walls would hold the English out until King Philippe VI could come to their rescue. The English set up camp around the town and arranged for supplies to be brought from England. Wooden houses were also built to house the soldiers while they waited. Edward's wife Philippa even joined her husband at the camp.
Philippe VI finally arrived at Calais and challenged Edward III to a fight. Edward agreed but instead Philippe withdrew abandoning the town to the English. The governor, Jean de Vienne, had no other option other than to surrender the town to Edward. The town's leaders should have been executed according to siege rules because they refused to surrender when first asked, but Edward spared their lives and they were taken as hostages. The town of Calais was emptied of all its citizens and all their property was confiscated. Edward then made Calais English territory and sent word to England that anyone who wanted to live in Calais was welcome as long as they could get there quickly.
The Treaty of Bretigny brought a period of peace for nine years during the Hundred Years War. The treaty was arranged between the Black Prince and the dauphin the future King Charles V of France before being approved by King Edward III of England and King John of France. As part of the treaty Edward was given control of the areas of Gascony, Calais and Ponthieu as long as he agreed to give up his claim for the French throne. King John of France, currently being held hostage in England, was to be released on condition of a payment of 3 million gold crowns to be paid in instalments.
At Calais Edward III of England and King John of France, who had be released from captivity, signed the Treaty of Bretigny.
John of Gaunt, the Duke of Lancaster, left Calais with 2,000 soldiers and marched across northern France destroying towns along the way. ¹
Henry's plans for invading France had been dented by the time it took to capture Harfleur and the affect of disease on his men. He decided to move his men to Calais which was under English control.
Henry's plan was to get across the Somme at its estuary where it was relatively easy to cross but he received word that the crossing was being guarded by the French. Henry had no other choice but to follow the west bank of the Somme south into French territory to find a suitable crossing point. His men were short of food as Henry had told them to take only a few day's supplies expecting them to reach Calais. Henry finally found a crossing point that was unguarded and his army crossed the Somme.
After a few weeks recovering in Calais from their ordeal, Henry and the English army returned to England to a hero's welcome.
The English who were under siege inside Calais were resupplied by Edmund Beaufort, Duke of Somerset. For his actions Beaufort received the title Earl of Dorset.
With Richard, Duke of York running the country, several changes were made, one of which was to make the elder Richard Neville chancellor. Richard also made himself the Captain of Calais removing his rival the Earl of Somerset from the post.
Henry's return to sanity swung the balance of power back to favour the Duke of Somerset and he was quickly restored to his former position of Captain of Calais. The Yorkists at this time felt it wise to leave London in fear of reprisals.
King Henry VI had by his side at St. Albans the Dukes of Somerset and Buckingham, Lords Pembroke, Northumberland and Devon and around 2,000 Lancastrian men. They tried to hold the town against the Yorkists led by Salisbury and Warwick but Warwick was able to enter the town through an unguarded spot and attack the flanks of the Lancastrian barricades. Although this battle was small it left the Duke of Somerset dead along with Lord Northumberland and Clifford. As a result of this victory power again swung to the Yorkists although support from the Barons was not total. Richard, Duke of York, again became Protector of the Realm and the powerful position of Captain of Calais was given to the Earl of Warwick.
The Earl of Warwick with a force from Calais reached Ludlow and the combined army of the Yorkists attacked the King's army at Ludford Bridge near Ludlow. The men from Calais refused to fight their king and a weak Yorkist army was defeated. Richard Duke of York and his younger son escaped and fled to Ireland while Salisbury, Warwick and Edward of March (later Edward IV) fled to Calais.
With plans of invasion made the Earl of Warwick sailed back to Calais to organise his army.
Yorkists from Calais landed on the south coast of England and quickly seized Sandwich. They prepared for the arrival of the Earl of Warwick and the Earl of March.
Once the Yorkist army had secured Sandwich the Earls of March and Warwick arrived from Calais. They had a force of around 2,000 and the support of the Kentish men.
Queen Margaret of England and Louis XI of France signed a treaty. Margaret promised that Calais would be returned to the French if he helped her return her husband King Henry VI of England to the throne. ¹
The Tudor king Henry VII landed in Calais leading a large army against the French King Charles VIII. They captured the town of Boulogne.
At a meeting at Calais the terms of the marriage bewteen Arthur, Prince of Wales and Catherine of Aragon were finally agreed.
Henry prepared an invasion fleet and set sail for Calais.
The Field of the Cloth of Gold was a meeting between King Henry VIII and King Francis I of France somewhere between Guines and Ardres near Calais. The meeting included a series of tournaments and jousts. The extravagant nature of the event giving the meeting its name.
The defences of Calais had not been maintained as Queen Mary had been spending the country's wealth elsewhere and when the French laid siege to the city it did not take long for it to fall. The shock of losing Calais was felt all over England.
Mary Stuart hoped that she could return to Scotland through England but Queen Elizabeth denied her request. Instead Mary and her entourage left France from Calais in a small flotilla of ships and set sail for Scotland. The voyage was hazardous as the English fleet were looking for her. But thick fog aided her escape and five days later the ships arrived at the port of Leith, now part of Edinburgh. Mary was met by her half-brother James Stewart ¹
The Treaty of Richmond was signed in secret by Queen Elizabeth and Louis Bourbon prince of Condé, the leader of the Huguenots. The Huguenots were French Protestants or French Calvanists. In return for Elizabeth's military assistance in France the prince promised the return of Calais to the English. ¹
As part of the secret treaty of Richmond, an English garrison was allowed to station itself at Le Havre and would swap the town for Calais once Calais was recaptured. The garrison of around 3,000 men was lead by the Earl of Warwick. ¹
Explore the White Tower
Explore all four floors of the White Tower at the Tower of London using the Unity 3d game engine.
A Medieval Mystery
There appear to be some strange connections between the fourteenth century Old Wardour Castle and ancient stone circle Stonehenge.
Old Wardour Castle appears to be aligned to ancient sites in the Stonehenge landscape.
Stonehenge is aligned to the Summer Solstice. Old Wardour has a very similar alignment.
Could the builders of Old Wardour used mesaurements from Stonehenge to layout the geometrical keep?