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By Peter Hoskins

In 1355 the Black Prince took a military to Bordeaux and launched into chevauchées (mounted army expeditions, commonly characterized by way of the devastation of the encircling cities and countryside), which culminated in his decisive victory over King Jean II of France at Poitiers the next yr. utilizing the recorded itineraries as his start line, the writer of this booklet walked greater than 1,300 miles throughout France, retracing the routes of the armies looking for a better figuring out of the Black Prince's excursion. He the 1355 chevauchée from Bordeaux to the Mediterranean and again, and that for 1356 from Aquitaine to the Loire, to the battlefield at Poitiers, and again back to Bordeaux. Drawing on his findings at the floor, a variety of documentary resources, and the paintings of neighborhood historians, a lot of whom the writer met on his travels, the booklet presents a distinct viewpoint at the Black Prince's chevauchées of 1355 and 1356 and the conflict of Poitiers, one of many maximum English triumphs of the Hundred Years conflict, demonstrating specifically the influence of the panorama at the campaigns.

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Extra resources for In the Steps of the Black Prince: The Road to Poitiers, 1355-1356

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26 This banner would have been square, as opposed to the triangular pennant of a knight. It may be that, as with Sir John Chandos on the eve of the Battle of Nájera in 1367, this was achieved by simply cutting off the end of the pennant. In military terms a banneret was senior to a knight bachelor and would normally have responsibility for organising cavalry. However, the rank could also be a mark of social status. 28 On the following day Bassoues surrendered, but all save victualling officers were required to remain outside the town since it belonged to the archbishop of Auch and, as church property, was to be respected.

Whatever the reason the result of the hard day’s march was the loss of more horses. When the army was two miles from Arouille, which was just inside enemy territory in the county of Armagnac, banners were unfurled and the army was divided into three divisions. The vanguard was commanded by the earl of Warwick, in the office of constable, and Sir Reginald Cobham, the marshal. With them were Lord Beauchamp of Somerset, Lord Clifford and Sir Thomas Hampton, the standard-bearer. The main body was commanded by the prince, and in his company were the Earl of Oxford, Sir Bartholomew de Burghersh, Sir John de Lisle, Lord Wilby, Lord de la Ware, Sir Maurice Berkeley, Sir John Bourchier, Sir John de Roos, mayor of Bordeaux, the captal de Buch, the lord of Caumont and the lord of Montferrand who was the standard-bearer.

However, if this expedition followed this common practice, once more extrapolating from Harari’s calculations, there could have been around 350 head of cattle. Harari points out that carts could be pulled by up to eight horses, but that four was a good average figure. On this basis we need to add a total of around 800 horses for the baggage train. In addition, some of the lords would have had pack animals for their own use. It is also possible that a number of portable bridges were taken with the army.

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