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1337OctStart of the Hundred Years' War
  Relations between England and France were not good. Philippe VI the French King had sent ships to help the Scots who were attacking English merchant shipping and ports. There was the threat that the French would invade England. Edward III then laid a claim to the French throne. The claim centred on the fact that Isabella, his mother, was the daughter of Philippe IV. All of Philippe IV's sons (John I, Philippe V and Charles IV) had died without passing the French throne onto a son. On his death-bed Charles IV designated Philippe of Valois, his first cousin, as regent. Charles' wife was expecting a child and it was hoped that the child would be a boy. The child was a girl and Philippe of Valois claimed the throne for himself. Edward's claim to the throne was diputed because in French law it was stated that the line of succession could not pass through a female line. Philippe VI then declared that all of the English held lands in France were forfeit. These events were the start of conflict between England and France that would last (on and off) for more than one hundred years.
1338Qtr 1French attack English ports
  Philippe used Genoese troops to attack ports on the south coast of England including Southampton, Plymouth, Hastings and Rye. The attacks reached right around the coast as far as Bristol.
JulEdward invades France
  Edward crossed to Antwerp and attempted an invasion of France.
1339SepEdward in Northern France
  With the promised help of the counts of Hainault and Namur Edward took his army into Northern France. The counts changed their minds as they had lands to lose if they fought against Philippe. Edward continued without their help and the English confronted the French at La Fremengerie. The French refused to fight and and English, short of supplies, turned back.
1340Jan 25Edward declares himself King
  In Ghent (Flanders) Edward declared himself as the true King of France. When he left Flanders for England Philippa remained as assurance that money Edward owed would be paid.
Mar 29Edward raises taxes
  Parliament agreed to raise taxes so that Edward could fund an army to invade France.
Jun 24Battle of Sluys
  A naval battle between the English and French. The French tried to prevent the English ships landing at Flanders. The French were defeated by Edward's forces. Edward did not follow up with the advantage.
1341SpringEdward raises funds
  To raise funds for further French expeditions Edward had to confront Parliament. Parliament insisted that Edward reconfirmed various ancient charters.
1342OctEdward and Brittany
  Edward sailed to Brittany to assist English troops already there. They were supporting Jean de Montfort's claim to be the Duke of Brittany. Philippe, king of France, disputed this claim and supported his own contender to the title. Edward left his eldest son in charge of England while he was away.
DecSiege of Vannes
  Edward had to control Vannes if he was to hold Brittany and he laid siege to the city. The city did not fall to the English.
1343JanTreaty of Malstroit
  After a hard winter without any new gains in France Edward signed a new peace treaty with the French and returned to England.
1346Aug 26Battle of Crecy
  Under Edward III, the English forces defeated a superior French army at Crecy. Estimates give the English numbers at around 12,000 and a French contingent at 36,000. The English longbow made it's mark in the battle against the armour of the French knights.
Sep 4Siege of Calais
  Edward III began the siege of Calais that would last for almost a year.
1347Calais captured by the English
  Edward captures Calais.
SepEdward accepts truce
  Edward III accepted a truce with France as the efforts abroad had been exhausting and he returned to England. Edward's popularity was high. He had beaten the French at Crecy and in his absence the Scots had been defeated at Neville's Cross.
1350John II becomes King of France
  John became king of France after the death of his father Philippe.
1356Sep 19Battle of Poitiers
  Edward the Black Prince moving to the safety of the English owned city of Bordeux met the French army lead by King John of France at Poitiers. Eventhough outnumbered the English army defeated the French without suffering many losses and captured the French King.
1360Treaty of Bretigny
  A treaty that brought a period of peace of nine years during the Hundred Years War. The treaty was between Edward III of England and King John of France who was being held captive. As part of the treaty Edward was given control of the areas of Gascony, Calais and Ponthieu. As part of the deal, Edward was supposed to give up his claim for the French throne but this he failed to do.
1364Charles V becomes King of France
  Charles became king of France after the death of his father John.
1385Qtr 2French prepare for invasion
  All through the summer months, the French prepared men and supplies in the Norman ports.
1386SummerFrench fleet mass at Sluys
  An invasion from France seemed to be imminent as the French fleet mass at Sluys.
1387DecInvasion threat from France
  During the winter months of 1387 and spring months of 1388, Henry Bolingbroke prepared defences along the south coast.
1414SummerHenry claims French territories
  France was in the midst of a civil war between the Burgundians and the Armagnacs. Charles VI, the king of France, had joined the Armagnacs. Henry came in on the side of the Burgundians and saw the opportunity to reclaim lost lands in France. Henry's plan was to invade France but he needed a good reason. He gave the French king a list of demands including the French throne, the restoration of the Angevin empire and the hand of the king's daughter in marriage. If the demands could not be met Henry could go to war.
1415SpringPreparations for war with France
  As negotiations were underway in France, England was preparing for the invasion of France.
Aug 1Plot to overthrow the King
  Lead by Richard Earl of Cambridge, Henry's cousin, a plot to assasinate the King and replace him with the Earl of March who was the true heir to the throne was hatched. The revolt brought together all the old enemies of Henry including Lord Scrope (Archbishop Scrope's nephew) and the Lollards. The Earl of March whose loyalties were with the king informed Henry of the plot the night before and the rebels were arrested. Several were executed.
Aug 11Henry sails for France
  Preparations for war are complete and Henry's army sets sail from Southampton for the French coast.
Aug 16English fleets lands in Normandy
  Henry's army landed on the north bank of the Seine estuary near to the town of Harfleur (now part of Le Havre). Henry organised the siege of the town and waited for it to fall.
Sep 22Harfleur falls to the English
  The town held out for five weeks in which time the English soldiers were starting to suffer from disease caught from their camps in the marshes. The people in the town were not doing much better and when it was clear that the town was not going to be rescued, the citizens surrendered. Henry treated the towns people with respect and let them leave.
Oct 8The march to Calais
  Henry's plans for invading France had been dented by the time it took to capture Harfleur and the affect of disease on his men. He decided to move his men to Calais which was under English control.
Oct 19Henry crosses the Somme
  Henry's plan was to get across the Somme at its estuary where it was relatively easy to cross but he recieved word that the crossing was being guarded by the French. Henry had no other choice but to follow the west bank of the Somme south into French territory to find a suitable crossing point. His men were short of food as Henry had told them to take only a few day's supplies expecting them to reach Calais. Henry tinally found a crossing point that was unguarded and his army crossed the Somme.
Oct 25The Battle of Agincourt
  The English army met the French army near the town of Agincourt. Although the English were outnumbered three to one, Henry used the local terrain to his advantage. The French cavalry were hit heavily by the English archers and French knights got bogged down in the wet fields. The French were defeated and Henry ordered that no prisoners should be taken apart from the extremely important knights who could be ransomed. The death toll amongst the French nobility was high.
NovHenry returns to England
  After a few weeks recovering in Calais from their ordeal, Henry and the English army returned to England to a hero's welcome.
1416Armagnac Fleet blockade Harfleur
  A French fleet laid siege to Harfleur, the French port captured by Henry, and attempted to get it back.
Aug 15Harfleur rescued
  An English fleet commanded by John Duke of Bedford attacked and defeated the French blockading the mouth of the Seine who were preventing supplies reaching the English held town of Harfleur. Bedford was the king's brother.

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Key People

 EDWARD (III, King of England 1327-1377)
 Philippe (VI, King of France 1328-1350)
 Philippa (of Hainault)
 Edward (The Black Prince)
 John (II, King of France 1350-1364)
 Charles (V, King of France 1364 - 1380)
 RICHARD (II, King of England 1377-1399)
 HENRY (IV, King of England 1399-1413)
 HENRY (V, King of England 1413-1422)
 Charles (VI, King of France 1380-1422)
 Richard (Earl of Cambridge)
 Mortimer, Edmund (5th Earl of March)
 John (Duke of Bedford)

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