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War of the Breton Succession

Brittany is a duchy on the coast of present day France. Over the years it's loyalties have been subject to change, so when Duke John the Good of Brittany falls deathly ill at age 55, there is a struggle between England and France to gain its alliance. Normally, the Duchy would go to his half-brother, John of Montfort, but John the Good designates his niece, Countess Joan, as his rightful successor. John of Montfort contests this decision but the Duke's last words are: "For God's sake leave me alone and do not trouble my spirit with such things" and he passes away, leaving utter chaos in his wake. Countess Joan and her French husband, Count Charles of Blois (pronounced, [bloo-WAH]) step forward to take the Duchy but John of Montfort has himself crowned and thus begins the War of the Breton Succession. This war will drag on for more than 20 years with England being the eventual "winner" but nothing will be settled as the 100 year's War rolls on. [1] [2] [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
This war will fulfill the classic definition of a Pyrrhic victory [pronounced, PEER-ick]. After counting the cost, you realize you would have been better off trying to lose! This war over succession is really a proxy war. The English and the French had agreed to a truce until 1345, but the truce didn't prohibit a "police action" such as putting down a rebellion in the Duchy of Brittany. Countess Joan pushed her husband to continue the fight time and again but once he died everyone just stopped fighting. If only they had done that sooner.

Robin Hood vs Folville's Law

The Folville Gang almost fits the definition of Robin Hood and his Merry Men. They live in Sherwood Forest. The Sheriff of Nottingham is looking for these guys and they set things straight.... but don't ask how they get it done. It's not too pretty... and none too merry. The Follvilles are mentioned in the same rhymes with Robin Hood but in a darker sense. There is no honor here. It is vigilante justice. Make no mistake. They bump off anyone who needs bumping off and they work for pay. The locals call it Follville's Law and they look the other way when it is carried out. In this year, Robert Follville is captured and summarily beheaded. No need for a protracted trial. [10] [11] [12] [13] [14]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
The Sheriff of Nottingham really is looking for these guys and he's going to find them too. Robert Folville ran a rectory, but his sense of the Divine did not prevent him from roughing up whoever got in his way. His brother, Eustice, runs the gang and they had recently bumped off the baron of the exchequer. That was guaranteed to get the attention of the King which explains the "kill on sight" order for Robert.

See Also


  1. War of the Breton Succession - Wikipedia, 2014 [last update]
  2. What is &lquot;Breton War of Succession&rquot; ? - LifeSun, LifeSun.info, 2013-Dec-13.
  3. John of Montfort - Encyclopedia Britannica, britannica.com, 2014 [last update]
  4. Montfort of Brittany - Wikipedia, 2014 [last update]
  5. Duchy of Brittany - Wikipedia, 2014 [last update]
  6. Charles I of Blois, Duke of Brittany - Wikipedia, 2014 [last update]
  7. Joan, Duchess of Brittany - Wikipedia, 2014 [last update]
  8. John III, Duke of Brittany - Wikipedia, 2014 [last update]
  9. Hundred Years' War - Wikipedia, 2014 [last update]
  10. Gaunt, Andy. Archaeology and History of Medieval Sherwood Forest: Medieval Outlaws: The Folville Gang. 2012-Jan-05.
  11. Outlaws in Hathersage: Little John Loxley, Sherwood Nottingham. RobinHoodLoxley.net, 2013 [last update]
  12. Warner, Kathryn. (BA and an MA with Distinction in Medieval History and Literature) Edward II: The Murder Of Sir Roger Belers. 2012-Sep-14.
  13. Spraggs, Gillian. (author of the book: "Outlaws and Highwaymen". London: Pimlico, 2001.) Passages from Knighton's Chronicle, 2007-Aug-28 [last update]
  14. Richard Folville - Wikipedia, 2014 [last update]

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