The Breton War of Succession was a conflict between the Houses of Blois and Montfort for control of the Duchy of Brittany. It was fought between 1341 and 1364. It formed an integral part of the early Hundred Years War due to the involvement of the French and English governments in the conflict; the French supported Blois whilst the English backed Montfort and both sides expended considerable resources on this war. The Hundred Years' War (Guerre de Cent Ans was a prolonged conflict lasting from 1337 to 1453 between two royal houses for the French throne vacant with the extinction of the senior Although Montfort was ultimately successful following the Battle of Auray in 1364, it was the French who were to gain the most from his victory. The Battle of Auray took place on September 29, 1364 at the French town of Auray.
In the middle of the 14th century, Brittany was ruled by the House of Dreux. Brittany (Breizh bʁejs Bretagne; Gallo: Bertaèyn) is a former independent Celtic kingdom and Duchy, now incorporated into The Counts of Dreux in France took their title from the chief stronghold of their domain the château of Dreux, which lies near the boundary between Normandy The dukes had a historical connection to England and were also Earls of Richmond in Yorkshire. The title of Earl of Richmond was created many times in the Peerage of England. Duke Arthur II of Dreux married twice, first to Mary of Limoges (1260-1291), then to Yolande of Dreux, countess of Montfort (1263-1322) and widow of king Alexander III of Scotland. Arthur II ( July 2, 1262 &ndash August 27, 1312) of the House of Dreux, was Duke of Brittany from 1305 to his death Alexander III ( Medieval Gaelic: Alaxandair mac Alaxandair; Modern Gaelic Alasdair mac Alasdair) (4 September 1241 – 19 March 1286 King of Scots From his first marriage, he had three sons, including his heir John III and Guy, count of Penthievre (d. John III the Good (in Breton Yann III, in French Jean III) ( March 8 1286 &ndash 1331). From Yolande, Arthur had another son, John, who became count of Montfort. (See Dukes of Brittany family tree. This is a family tree of the Dukes of Brittany from the 9th century, to the annexation of Brittany by France in 1532. )
John III strongly disliked the children of his father’s second marriage. He spent the first years of his reign attempting to have this marriage annulled and his half-siblings bastardized. When this failed, he tried to ensure that John of Montfort would never inherit the duchy. John IV of Montfort (in Breton Yann Moñforzh, in French Jean de Montfort) (1295 – September 16 1345, Château d'Hennebon) was Since John III was childless, his heir of choice became Joanna of Dreux, la Boiteuse, daughter of his younger brother Guy. Joanna of Penthievre or Joanna the Lame (in French Jeanne de Penthièvre, Jeanne la Boiteuse) (1319 &ndash September 10 In 1337 she married Charles of Blois, the second son of a powerful French noble house and son of the sister of King Philip VI of France. Charles of Blois ( Blois, 1319 &ndash September 29 1364) claimed the title Duke of Brittany, from 1341 to his death Philip VI (1293 &ndash 22 August 1350) known as the Fortunate ( French: le Fortuné) and of Valois, was the But in 1340, John III reconciled himself with his half-brother, and made a will that appointed John of Montfort the heir of Brittany. 30 April 1341 John III died. Events 313 - Roman emperor Licinius unifies the entire Eastern Roman Empire under his rule Uttered on his deathbed, his last words on the succession were, "For God’s sake leave me alone and do not trouble my spirit with such things. "
Most of the nobility supported Charles of Blois, so if John of Montfort was to have any chance, he was dependent upon swift action before organized resistance could be made. John quickly took possession of the ducal capital Nantes and then seized the ducal treasury at Limoges. Nantes (Naoned Gallo: Naunnt) is a city in western France, located on the Loire River, from the Atlantic coast Limoges ( Lemòtges / Limòtges in the Limousin dialect of Occitan language) is a city and commune in France, the préfecture By the middle of August, John of Montfort was in possession of most of the duchy, including the three principal cities, Nantes, Rennes and Vannes. Rennes ( Gallo: Resnn, Roazhon Condate Condate Riedonum is a city in the east of Brittany in northwestern Vannes (Gwened is a town and commune located in the Morbihan département, in Brittany, in the west of France.
Up to this point, the succession crisis had been a purely internal affair. But to complicate things further, the Hundred Years' War between England and France had broken out four years earlier, in 1337. The Hundred Years' War (Guerre de Cent Ans was a prolonged conflict lasting from 1337 to 1453 between two royal houses for the French throne vacant with the extinction of the senior England is a Country which is part of the United Kingdom. Its inhabitants account for more than 83% of the total UK population whilst its mainland This article is about the country For a topic outline on this subject see List of basic France topics. In 1341, there was truce between the two countries, but there was little doubt that hostilities would be renewed when the truce ended in June 1342. Thus, when rumours reached Philip VI of France that John of Montfort had received English agents, the French Crown naturally took a more direct interest in the situation. Philip VI (1293 &ndash 22 August 1350) known as the Fortunate ( French: le Fortuné) and of Valois, was the Charles of Blois became the official French candidate. Whatever had been his original intentions, John of Montfort was now forced to support Edward III of England as King of France. Edward III (13 November 1312 &ndash 21 June 1377 was one of the most successful English monarchs of the Middle Ages.
Edward III was bound by the truce not to take any offensive action in France. Nothing in it, however, hindered France from subduing rebellious vassals. In November, after a short siege and defeat at the battle of Champtoceaux, John of Montfort was forced to surrender at Nantes by the citizens. The battle of Champtoceaux, often called the battle of l'Humeau, was the opening action of the twenty-three year long Breton War of Succession, a dynastic conflict Nantes (Naoned Gallo: Naunnt) is a city in western France, located on the Loire River, from the Atlantic coast He was offered safe conduct to negotiate a settlement with Charles of Blois, but when this led nowhere he was thrown in prison.
It now fell upon John’s wife, Joanna of Flanders to lead the Montfortist cause. Joanna of Flanders (c 1295 &ndash September 1374 also known as Jehanne de Montfort was consort Duchess of Brittany by her marriage to John IV Duke of Brittany Deeming her possessions in the east undefendable, she set up headquarters at Hennebont in western Brittany but was driven into Brest and besieged, the siege being broken by the arrival of an English army under the Earl of Northampton at the naval battle of Brest. Hennebont (Henbont is a commune in western France (in the historic region of Brittany) in the Morbihan département. William de Bohun 1st Earl of Northampton (ca 1312-1360 was an English Nobleman and military commander The battle of Brest, sometimes called the battle of the River Penfeld was an action in 1342 between an English squadron of converted merchant ships and that of a mercenary In Paris it was feared that Edward III would land at Calais once the truce ran out. Calais (kaˈlɛ in English often kæˈleɪ traditional English pronunciation /ˈkælɨs/ Kales is a town in northern France. The major part of the French army was therefore withdrawn, and Charles of Blois was left to pursue his claim on his own. Charles soon proved himself to be an able soldier: Rennes and Vannes were taken and many of the Montfortist captains defected.
In late November, Edward III arrived with his army at Brest. Brest (bʁɛst in French, in Breton) is a city in the Finistère department in Bretagne in northwestern France. He almost at once marched against Vannes. The siege dragged on and a French army was assembled to meet him, but 19 January 1343, before any major engagements could be fought, the two kings agreed upon a new truce. Events 1419 - Hundred Years' War: Rouen surrenders to Henry V of England completing his reconquest of Normandy. Vannes was taken into papal custody. With John of Montfort in prison, his son an infant, and his wife recently gone mad, the places under Montfortist control in practise to be administrated from London, with a large permanent English garrison at Brest.
The truce was to last until 29 September 1346 with the hopes that in the meantime the disputes between the two kingdoms could be permanently settled, but in Brittany it made little difference. Events 522 BC - Darius I of Persia kills the Magian usurper Gaumâta securing his hold as king of the Persian Empire. The truce bound the two kings and their followers, but Charles of Blois claimed to be fighting his own separate war, and was therefore not bound by any truce. The brutal small scale fighting continued at the same pace.
In Paris, John of Montfort was released from prison 1 September 1343 in return for a huge bond and a promise to stay on his estates in the east. Events 462 - Possible start of first Byzantine indiction cycle. The English coastal garrisons held firm, but the Montfortist party continued to crumble. They had some successes, such as the expulsion of the papal custodians from Vannes, but with no unifying leadership, mostly they were reduced to pleading for men and money from London.
To hamper communication between Brest and Vannes, Charles of Blois laid siege to Quimper in early March 1344. Quimper ( Breton: Kemper, Latin: Corspotium) is a commune and capital of the Finistère department in The city fell by assault 1 May and, as usual at that time, this meant the slaughter of civilians in huge numbers, between 1400 and 2000. Events 305 - Diocletian and Maximian retire from the office of Roman Emperor. The English prisoners were held for ransom, but the Breton and Norman captives were dispatched to Paris where they were executed for treason. During the summer and autumn, the Montfortist party fell apart. Even those who had been John of Montfort’s staunchest allies now considered it futile to continue the struggle. It therefore mattered little that in March 1345 John finally managed to escape to England. With no adherents of note of his own, he was now little more than a figurehead for English ambitions in Brittany.
Edward III decided to repudiate the truce in summer 1345, a year before it was due to run out. As part of his larger strategy, a force was dispatched to Brittany under the joint leadership of the Earl of Northampton and John of Montfort. William de Bohun 1st Earl of Northampton (ca 1312-1360 was an English Nobleman and military commander Within a week of their landing in June, the English had their first victory when Sir Thomas Dagworth, one of Northampton’s lieutenants, raided central Brittany and defeated Charles of Blois at Cadoret near Josselin. Sir Thomas Dagworth (d 1352 was an English Knight and Soldier, who lead English armies in Brittany during the Hundred Years' War Josselin (Josilin is a commune of France, in the Morbihan département, in the région of Brittany
The follow-up was less impressive. Further operations were delayed until July when Montfort attempted the recapture of Quimper. However, news had reached the French government that Edward’s main campaign had been cancelled and they were able to send reinforcements from Normandy. With his strengthened army, Charles of Blois broke the siege. Routed, Montfort fled back to Hennebont where he fell ill and died 16 September. Events 1400 - Owain Glyndŵr is declared Prince of Wales by his followers The heir to the Montfortist cause was his 5-year-old son, John. John V the Conqueror (in Breton Yann IV, in French Jean IV) (1339 &ndash November 1 1399) was Duke of Brittany and
During the winter, Northampton fought a long and hard winter campaign with apparent objective of seizing a harbour on the north side of the peninsula. Edward III had probably planned to land here with his main force during summer 1346. However, the English achieved very little for their efforts. Northern Brittany was Joanna of Dreux’ home region and resistance here was stiff. The only bright spot for the English was victory at the Battle of La Roche-Derrien, where the small town was captured and garrison installed under Richard Totesham. The Battle of La Roche-Derrien was one of the battles of the Hundred Years' War, fought in 1347 during the night between English and French forces
In the end, Edward decided upon Normandy as the landing spot for his 1346 campaign. Northampton was recalled and Thomas Dagworth was appointed as deputy lieutenant. It was during a tour through the English strongholds that on 9 June Dagworth and his escort were trapped by Charles of Blois and his army near Saint-Pol-de-Léon. Events 53 - Roman Emperor Nero marries Claudia Octavia 62 - Claudia Octavia commits Saint-Pol-de-Léon (Kastell-Paol is a commune in the Finistère department in Bretagne in northwestern France. They dug in on a hill top and fought off all attacks until nightfall when Charles was forced to retreat leaving many of his wounded behind.
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