- Historical event
- 17 July 1453
- English kings considered themselves rightful kings of France at the time. They were trying to conquer the French territory and thus attain their power over it. Hundred Years’ War peaked in 1420's, when the English, with the help of Burgundians, occupied the whole of northern France and the English King Henry VI was formally crowned King of France in Paris. Only the superhuman effort of St. Joan of Arc saved France from complete collapse.
On this day the famous Hundred Years’ War between England and France finally ended.
One of the longest wars in history lasted not only for 100, but as many as 116 years, from 1337 till 1453, fortunately not constantly, but with longer or shorter breaks.
The main cause of the war was the English claim to the French throne. To clarify, when the last direct descendant of the French royal dynasty of Capet died without sons, English King Edward III argued that he should become King of France, because he was the son of Queen Isabella, daughter of the previous king of France.
Just to mention, Isabella is known to those who saw the movie Braveheart, portrayed by Sophie Marceau, where she is the queen in a romantic relationship with William Wallace (Mel Gibson).
English kings, therefore, considered themselves rightful kings of France from that time and were trying to conquer the French territory and thus attain their power over it (they even placed golden French lilies beside the English lions on their coat of arms).
Hundred Years’ War peaked in 1420’s, when the English, with the help of Burgundians, occupied the whole of northern France and the English King Henry VI was formally crowned King of France in Paris.
Only the superhuman effort of St. Joan of Arc saved France from complete collapse. The 17-year-old virgin led the French into the battle of liberation and the English were soon pushed out of the greater part of France.
The fighting continued to this day, when the British were finally defeated. On that day the English army under the command of John Talbot, Earl of Shrewsbury, was defeated at Castillon (30 km from Bordeaux, in the famous wine-growing region).
English commander Talbot’s horse was killed by a cannon-ball, so he fell and stayed trapped under the horse’s corpse. He was spotted by a French soldier who killed him with an ax.
After that, English kings ceased to try to win the French throne, although they retained the title of French monarchs up until 1801.