The Hundred Years' War
Sophie (age 7) and Ellie (age 5) tell the story of the Hundred Years’ War between England and France.----more----
This is a time of knights and castles. William the Conqueror had come from France to conquer England. This meant that English Kings now owned land in France. The lost some in battle, but gained other parts through marriage – especially the lands of Eleanor of Aquitaine. Often English Kings would be married to French princesses to help keep the peace between the two lands. However, when the French King died the next in line to the throne was the King of England. The French did not want an English King. So they changed the rules and said that descendants of Princes were more important than descendants of princesses.
The King of England, Edward III was furious. He declared war on France.
The French were confident of victory because they had many knights. They thorught their knights were invincible. However, the English had armed their soldiers with a longbow. Properly used they could destroy the French knights.
At the first major battle at Crecy that is exactly what happened. The French were destroyed by the English Archers. The same happened at the Battle of Poitiers where the French King was captured by the English King’s son, the Black Prince.
The French carried on fighting. So Edward and France did a deal. The English released the French king and the French promised Edward III could rule some of the French lands. However, once their king was safe the French refused to give England all the promised land. War continued. However, the Black Prince died and slowly France regained all her land.
For 40 years there was relative peace. This was broken by England’s new King, Henry V. He invaded France and crushed the English at Agincourt. The French agreed that he could be King after the old French King. However, Henry V died first leaving an infant son. The French were not scared of him and fought on.
Then a peasant girl called Joan of Arc claimed that God was telling her to fight the English. She persuaded the French ruler to lend her his army. She attacked and destroyed the English army. The English captured her and killed her as a witch.
Later the final English Army met the French in Battle. However this time the French had a sneaky plan up their leaves. They had cannon. The cannon could fire further and it destroyed the English Archers.
The Hundred Years War (which lasted 116 years) was over. France had won.
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