The Hundred Years War marks on of the most violent and bloodiest periods in English history. The war was fought over a number of battles between the English and the French between 1337 through to 1453, and the war lasted for a total of 116 years.
Obviously the length of the war meant that a number of individuals were involved in both sides, and the war spanned for generations. During this time key events occurred and technological developments took giant leaps forward, while the economy, treasury and society stepped backwards through the bloodshed.
This timeline will go through the key events and battles that occurred during the Hundred Years War. The Hundred Years War is broken into two periods, as there was a temporary period of respite.
Timeline 1337 – 1377
The Hundred Years War started during the reign of King Edward III. The war starts as England and France struggle for domination throughout Western Europe. The Hundred Years War starts with the Battle of Cadsand (1337). It is believed that an exchange of insulting letters between King Philippe VI of France and Edward III of England gave rise to the first of many battles between England and France.
A number of other battles also occur during this time period, including:
- Naval Battle of Sluys (1340) – English victory
Six months before the naval battle Edward III had assumed the title of ‘king of England and France’. In 1341 the death of the Jean III, Duc de Bretagne [Brittany], led to a fifteen year long war for the duchy. The position was fought between between Charles de Blois (supported by King Philippe VI) and Jean de Montfort (supported by the Edward III).
- Battle of Auberoche (1345) – English victory
- Siege of Calais (1346) – English victory
- Battle of Crecy (1346) – English victory
- Battle of Saint-Pol-de-Leon (1346) – English victory
In 1347 the first wave of the Black Death swept throughout Europe. A huge amount of the population was wiped out in the first wave alone, and the Black Death continued to plague Europe for years to come.
- Battle of La Roche-Derrien (1347) – English victory
In 1350 King Philippe VI passed away and Jean II took the French throne.
- Battle of Saintes (1351) – English victory
- Battle of Ardres (1351) – French victory
- Battle of Mauron (1352) – Anglo-Breton victory
- Battle of Poitiers (1356) – English victory
It was in the Battle of Poitiers that Jean II was captured and taken prisoner by the English forces. In 1360 Charles made one last attempt to have himself crowned as king of France, but the attempt failed. A temporary treaty was drafted and at the end of the year Jean II was released. However, peace did not last long and in 1369 the demand for war began to rise once again.
- Battle of Auray (1364) – English victory
In 1364 King Jean II passed away, and Charles V reigned as the French king until 1380. At just 11 years old Charles VI took over the French throne, and there he stayed until 1422.
- Battle of Navarrette (1367) – English victory
- Battle of Montiel (1369) – French victory
- Battle of Chiset (1373) – French victory
Timeline 1377 – 1415
During the interim period a lot of events occurred. The Great Schism began in 1378 and continued until 1417. Chaucer began writing The Canterbury Tales, and the Peasants Revolt began in England in 1381. In 1382 the Bible was translated into English, making the text much more accessible to the citizens of England. Most importantly was the transition of power in the English monarchy.
The reign of King Edward III ended at his death, and the reign of King Richard II began in 1377. In 1396 Richard II married Isabella of France, who was the daughter of King Charles VI. From this union a 28 year truce was agreed, but ultimately it seems that no party could keep to the conditions of the truce and war broke out again, creating the second period of war within the Hundred Years War.
King Henry IV took the reign from King Richard II in 1399, deposing the king from his throne and launching the start of the Lancastrian dynasty.
In 1413 Henry V took control of the throne following the death of his father, and it was two years into his reign that the next key battle in the Hundred Years War occurred.
Timeline 1415 – 1453
On the 23rd September 1415 Henry V invaded France, taking Harfleur during the siege. This was a successful English victory followed quickly by another in October at Agincourt. The two battles led to a huge loss of life and a number of French nobles were captured by the English.
- Siege of Rouen (1418-1419) – English victory
- Battle of Bauge (1421) – Franco-Scots victory
In 1422 Henry V died, and two months later the French King Charles VI also passed. In one year both the English and French thrones become available for contention, creating a perfect storm that led to yet more battles.
- Battle of Cravant (1423) – English victory
- Battle of Verneuil (1423) – English victory
- Battle of St.James (1426) – English victory
- Battle of Jargeau (1429) – French victory
- Battle of Beaugency (1429) – French victory
- Siege of Orleans (1428 – 1429) – French victory
1429 saw a turning point for the French, as they started to turn the tide of battle. The Siege of Orleans was a critical turning point that was supported by Joan of Arc. However, Joan of Arc was captured in 1930, sent to trial and executed. She was burnt at the stake in 1931. Charles VII, third son of Charles VI, was crowned king of France.
- Battle of Patay (1429) – French victory
- Siege of Compiegne (1430) – French victory
- Battle of Gerberoy (1435) – French victory
- Battle of Formigny (1450) – French victory
- Battle of Castillon (1453) – French victory