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The Black Prince Checkmates the King

8,000 men led by the Black Prince Edward head north from Bordeaux. 16,000 French soldiers are mustered in haste but the army lacks unit cohesion. Nevertheless, with twice as many troops, how could they lose? At the Battle of Poitiers, unit cohesion is a factor when King John the Good of France is captured in battle. In time he will be traded for hostages but when one of the hostages escapes, the King's parole (and honor) demand that he return to his English captors. King John will die in captivity. His son, Charles the Wise, is the heir apparent and will rule as King, but he will be none too wise at first as demonstrated at the Dance of the Savages where he is almost burned to death in a foolish stunt. [1] [2] [3]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
Historians and strategists have puzzled over how the Black Prince won this battle but the fatal flaw was that the King of France was convinced by the clergy to observe the Sunday "Truce of God." This gave Prince Edward the time to dig in and plan his defense. In an ancient war between the Assyrian-Greeks and the Maccabees (167 to 160 Before the Common Era) some Jewish fighters refused to fight on the Sabbath. They died. Those who DID fight on the Sabbath... lived... and the military became exempt from the Sabbath laws while on duty and they may carry a sword at all times. The rules are made by the winners. [4]

The Lioness of Brittany Settles Down

In 1343, thirteen years ago, King Philip the Fortunate had the husband of Jeanne de Clisson executed. She became so angry that she set out to punish France, massacred a garrison and became a pirate. Now she has finally settled down with Sir Walter Bentley in England. [5] [6] [7] [8]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
There is no doubt that women were recruited into some of the mercenary companies fighting in the 100 Years' War. Keep in mind that modesty was a low priority in the Middle Ages. If you'd like to read a believable novel about such a woman, check out, "The Deed of Paksenarrion" by Elizabeth Moon. [9]

Dance of the Savages

Apparently, in France, a third marriage is considered a time for an obscene party. In celebration of such a wedding, the heir apparent King Charles the Wise of France is made up as a wild man of the hills with hemp pasted to his skin. As he and his fellows dance around, making obscene gestures before the fifteen-year-old Duchesse de Berry, men arrive late holding torches and set fire to the dancers. The Duchesse de Berry realizes that one of the dancers is the King and throws her skirt over top of him, very likely saving his life. The only other "wild man" to survive was Sire de Nantouillet who threw himself into a wine cooler. [10]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
Charles is the acting-King while King John the Good remains captured. That Charles would do such a ridiculous and potentially dangerous thing points to the lack of concern for the value of life. A few days later in England, during the Festival of Candlemas, King Edward III will destroy Edinburgh and Haddington in Scotland with flame and sword. This will be known as the Burnt Candlemas. (Candlemas is also known as "Meeting the Lord" or the "Presentation of the Lord.") [11] [12] [13] [14] [15]

This Year on Wikipedia

Year 1356, Wikipedia.

See Also


  1. 1300-1400 AD, from History Central, Multieducator, Inc., quote="1356 AD Battle In Poitiers- At the Battle of Poiters, the Black Prince of Wales Edward defeated the French. In the course of the battle, the French king, John II, was taken prisoner and brought to England. This resulted in civil chaos in France."
  2. Grun, Bernard. The Timetables of History: A Horizontal Linkage of People and Events. New York: Simon and Schuster. 1991. p. 192. (BOOK) quote="The Black Prince defeats French at Poitiers, John II and his son Philip being taken prisoners"
  3. Cantor, Norman F. The Civilization of the Middle Ages. Harper Perennial. August 3, 1994. pp. 517-18. (BOOK) quote="In the second encounter, the Battle of Poitiers in 1356, the English captured the French king."
  4. Maccabean Revolt - Wikipedia, 2014 [last update]
  5. h2g2 - Jeanne de Clisson - the 'Lioness of Brittany', h2g2.com, Oct 8, 2006 [last update]
  6. Jeanne de Clisson - Wikipedia, 2014 [last update]
  7. 1343: Olivier III de Clisson, husband of the Lioness of Brittany, ExecutedToday.com, 2008-Aug-2.
  8. Jeanne de Belleville, Pirate or Politician?. James Adams Historic Enterprises (Australia). 2013 [last update](WEBSITE)
  9. Moon, Elizabeth. The Deed of Paksenarrion. Riverdale, NY: Baen Pub. Enterprises. 1992. ISBN: 0743471601 (NOVEL) Note: A young woman leaves the farm to join a company of soldiers willing to recruit women. (This actually happened during the 100 Years' War but this book is fantasy fiction.)
  10. Tuchman, Barbara Wertheim. (Barbara Tuchman, bio). A Distant Mirror: The Calamitous 14th Century. Ballantine, 1979. pp. 504-505. (BOOK) quote="In their Dance of the Savages, the masqueraders capered before the revelers, imitating the howls of wolves and making obscene gestures while the guests tried to discover their identity. Charles was teasing and gesticulating before the fifteen-year-old Duchesse de Berry when Louis d'Orléans and Philippe de Bar, arriving from dissipations elsewhere, entered the hall accompanied by torches despite the ban."
  11. Grun, Bernard. The Timetables of History: A Horizontal Linkage of People and Events. New York: Simon and Schuster. 1991. p. 192. (BOOK) quote="Scots defeat English at Nesbit"
  12. Candlemas - Wikipedia, 2014 [last update]
  13. Cobham, Brewer, E.. Burnt Candlemas Day. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898
  14. St Mary's Collegiate Church, Haddington: Burnt Candlemas - Wikipedia, 2014 [last update]
  15. Battle of Nesbit Moor (1355) - Wikipedia, 2014 [last update]

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