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The Lioness of Brittany

A woman pirate? How did this happen? The 100 Years' War was not known by that name. It was a series of wars with the same goal in mind. This year, Olivier III de Clisson has won the "golden ticket to the guillotine". He has sided with King Edward III of England in his dispute with King Philip the Fortunate over who is the rightful heir to the throne of France.... only... France and England can't really fight about that. They agreed to a truce, so they must find something else to fight about and Olivier loses his head over it. This makes his wife, Jeanne de Belleville, VERY, VERY angry. Jeanne sells her lands, and takes to the sea with her two sons. She raises a small army and massacres the garrison at Château-Thébaud. She becomes known as the Lioness of Brittany and her eldest son, Olivier, will earn the nickname of "The Butcher." This mayhem will continue for the next 13 years until "the Lioness" finally finds another lion and settles down. [1] [2] [3] [4] [5]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
What a gal! This is all part of what is now called "The War of the Breton Succession" which was sold as a local "police action" to put down some rebels but, in fact, was an excuse to continue the 100 Years' War. England will win this little "police action" but it will be a Pyrrhic victory. [6] [7]

The Night of Dead Kings

Economically speaking, Denmark has been coming apart at the seams. To put off the inevitable, King Valdemar has been "paying" his debts in land instead of cash... sometimes promising the land to more than one creditor. Denmark gives the Teutonic Knights claim to the Duchy of Estonia but the locals in Estonia don't like the change in management and look to Sweden for help. Meanwhile, Ludwig of Brandenburg has been promised Estonia as a dowry payment to marry the King's sister, but, frankly, he'd rather have silver. With the threat of a Swedish invasion, a complex deal is struck but then the peasants of Estonia renounce Christianity and rebel. The "St. George's Night Uprising" begins on the feast day of St. George. The pagans elect "four kings". Christian monks are massacred. Churches burn and any German taller that 2 feet is killed outright. During an attempt at a negotiated peace, the "four kings" are hacked to death by the Teutonic Knights in a violation of the rules of diplomacy even for the Middle Ages. When the smoke clears in 1345, four tons of silver will have changed hands in various ways amongst the major parties and Estonia will be owned by the Livonian Order of the Teutonic Knights. [8] [9] [10] [11] [12] [13]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
As Shakespeare said, "Something is rotten in Denmark." (Hamlet Act 1, scene 4.) The philosophy of the Danish aristocracy seems to be to spend until they are dead and let their kids sort it out afterwards. "You can't take it with you" or as the Danes say "Your last suit has no pockets." The US government has been overspending for years, believing that they can put off the day of reckoning. It is difficult to know what that day of reckoning will look like. It probably will not end in death and destruction as it did in Estonia in 1343, but there are examples of economic collapses in the modern day. It won't exactly be the zombie apocalypse, but it will be quite unpleasant.

This Year on Wikipedia

Year 1343, Wikipedia.

See Also


  1. LastName, FirstName. 1343: Olivier III de Clisson, husband of the Lioness of Brittany, ExecutedToday.com, 2008-Aug-2.
  2. Jeanne de Belleville, Pirate or Politician?. James Adams Historic Enterprises (Australia). 2013 [last update](WEBSITE)
  3. Philip VI of France - Wikipedia, 2014 [last update]
  4. Olivier de Clisson (the eldest son) - Wikipedia, 2014 [last update]
  5. Château-Thébaud - Wikipedia, 2014 [last update]
  6. War of the Breton Succession - Wikipedia, 2014 [last update]
  7. Pyrrhic victory - Wikipedia, 2014 [last update]
  8. Much ado about Estonia or who prevailed on St. George's night?, Estonica.org, 2014 [last update] (Lots of context provided.)
  9. St. George's Night Uprising. Wikipedia.
  10. Saint George's Day - Wikipedia, 2014 [last update]
  11. Livonian Order - Wikipedia, 2014 [last update]
  12. History of Estonia - Wikipedia, 2014 [last update]
  13. The aftermath of St. George's Night uprising in Saaremaa, Histrodamus.ee, 2014 [last update]

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