ohn Talbot, born in 1373 at Blechmore in Shropshire, was the second son of Richard, Lord Talbot. In 1414, he was sent to Ireland to suppress a rebelion and given the title of Lord Lieutenant of Ireland. He then fought in France as part of the Hundred Years War where he was renowned as a great leader even by the French themselves. He was present at the siege of Orleans in 1429 until Joan of Arc rescued the city forcing the English to retreat. At the Battle of Patay a few months later, the English were defeated and Lord Talbot was captured. As was usual in medieval times, the more important prisoners were held captive in the hope of exchanging them for a ransom fee. In John's case he was exchanged for an important French hostage that the English had taken. After his release he once again commanded the English in France and attacked Paris. After his successes in France he returned to England and was given the title Earl of Shrewsbury by King Henry VI. Returning again to France he secured peace with the French at the Treaty of Tours. Even in his old age, Lord Talbot was directing his troops in France, until at the Battle of Castillon in 1453 he fell and was killed. This defeat is regarded as the last event in the Hundred Years War.
Joan of Arc had tried to negotiate with the English to lift the siege of Orleans without success. More French troops had arrived to assist break the blockade. On May 7th, Joan was wounded by an arrow in the neck but survived and managed to lead the French to defeat the English at Les Tourelles, part of the town. On May 8th the English moved out of Orleans.
The rulers of Europe intervened when they saw that the ongoing war between England and France was doing destructive damage to both countries. Delegates including Cardinal Beauforta and the Earl of Suffolk from England met delegates from France to discuss a peace treaty. It wasn't until the followg year that the treaty was signed. The Treaty of Tours was signed by King Henry VI of England and Charles VII of France. The treaty resulted in five years of peace between the two countries and included the arrangement of marriage between Henry VI and Margaret of Anjou. ¹
Sir John Talbot, Earl of Shrewsbury and his army were totally destroyed by the French as they attempted to regain control of the region around Bordeaux. This is regarded as the last event in the Hundred Years War.
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Selection of references used:
1. J R Lander, The Wars of the Roses, ISBN:0-75090-018-0