The Third Phase: Lancastrian War

The Lancastrian War


    The Lancastrian war was the third phase of the Hundred Years’ War, and lasted from 1415 with the invasion of Normandy by Henry V of England to the Battle of Castillon in 1453. Named for ruling house of England at the time, the House of Lancaster, to which Henry V belonged, this phase of the war followed the period of peace after the end of the Carolingian War, the second phase of the Hundred Year’s War, which ended in 1389. The Lancastrian phase of the war ended with the French Victory and the coronation of Charles VII, which gave the throne of France to the House of Valois, resulting in the eventual downfall of Feudalism in France.

The Height of English Power During the War and the Treaty of Troyes

   After the invasion in 1419, England rose to the height of its power with the crowning of Henry VI, the son of Henry V, as king of France, following the Treaty of Troyes.

   By 1419, Phillip the Good, Duke of Burgundy, had taken control of Paris, and later that year forged a formal alliance with Henry V of England. This alliance forced the current and insane king of France, Charles VI, to sign the Treaty of Troyes, forging the Union of He

nry V to Charles VI’s daughter, Catherine of Valois, ensuring that while Henry V would have no claim to the throne of France, but that any children they would have would be legitimate heirs of France. Not only did this treaty allow the possibility of the end of the Hundred Years’ War, but also declared the current Dauphin and future French King, Charles VII, illegitimate.

After the almost simultaneous deaths of Henry V and Charles VI in 1421, infant Henry VI, son of the late Henry V, was crowned king of England and France, following the agreement set about by the Treaty of Troyes; however, Henry VI was not crowned King of France in the cathedral Notre Dame de Reims, therefore his claim to the throne was considered illegitimate to the Aragnacs, a political party loyal to the now illegitimate Dauphin of France Charles VII,    which incited a new wave a fighting and the continuation of the War.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   France in 1419, the red regions belonging to England,                                                                                                                                                                                    and the green being loyal to Charles VII, the Dauphin 

In 1424, The English army, under the Duke of Bedford, vanquished a Franco-Scottish army in a battle Verneuil. Consequently, no more large-scale Scottish forces landed in France. In the battle, having lost all their leaders on the field, the French received a devastating hit. The next five years were the peak of English power during the War with English conquering territory stretching from the English Channel to the Loire and Brittany to Burgundy, excluding Orléans and Angers. This peak of English power, however, came of the price of significant resources and manpower.

Joan of Arc c. 1425

            Joan of Arc was born in Loraine France. At the age of eleven, she claimed to have received visions from St. Catherine and Michael, the Archangel, who told her that she would save France.

Having received these visions, she went to Charles VII to offer her help in defeating the English. To test if she truly was receiving revelations, Charles VII dressed as a courtier while a courtier sat on his throne, dressed as the Dauphin. If Joan of Arc, who had never before seen the Dauphin, knew which man he was, then it would prove the legitimacy of her claims of divination. When was stood before the courtier who was dressed as Charles VII, she turned around and walked up to the true Charles VII and bowed.

The French Victory At Orléans

          The English had laid siege to Orléans, which was one of the most heavily fortified cities in Europe, by 1428. During the siege, the English concentrated their fortresses around the city, specifically in areas by which the French moved supplies into the city.  In 1429, Joan of Arc convinced the Dauphin to send her to the siege, claiming she had received a vision from God, commanding her to drive out the English positioned there. Charles VII agreed. The presence of Joan boosted the moral of the troops at Orléans, and the French were able to force the English to lift the siege. The Dauphin having re-conquered much of Southern France, the city of Orléans had been the only English held region between the Dauphin and Paris. With the French victory at Orléans, there were no longer any English blockades keeping Charles VII from entering Paris, and being crowned King of France in Notre Dame de Reims.  The French victories headed by Joan or Arc, gave hope to the French armies, enabling them to take back several English-held regions of France along the Loire River, finally breaking through English forces and archers to take Patsy. This victory was all Joan needed to convince the Dauphin to march to Paris for his coronation.

Coronation of Charles VII

         The French victories headed by Joan or Arc, gave hope to the French armies, enabling them to take back several English-held regions of France along the Loire River, finally breaking through English forces and archers to take Patsy. This victory was all Joan needed to convince the Dauphin to march to Paris for his coronation July 16, 1429. A king cannot truly be king unless crowned in Notre Dame de Reims. This was the downfall for the legitimacy

of the claim of Henry VI for the French throne, for, although England had control over Paris, Henry V was unable to enter the city. After the coronation and the decline of power of the army of Charles VII, Charles VII attempted to siege Paris, but was defeated September 8, 1429, and retreated back to the Loire Valley.

France in 1428, before the French Victory at Orléans

The Execution of Joan of Arc and the Rise of French Power

        While attempting to retake Paris, which was as well defended as Orléans, Joan of Arc was captured at Compiegne by the Burgundian portion of the English allies May 23, 1430, and was convicted of heresy by Bishop Pierre Cauchon. She was executed may30, 1431. The execution didn't lead to any gain of power by the English in France.

         Henry VI was crowned king of England November 5, 1492. He was also crowned king of France December 16, 1431 at Notre Dame de Reims. With the majority of Henry's advisors against negotiating peace with the French, negotiations stalled. After the Congress of Arras in the summer of 1453, Phillip III, Duke of Burgundy, deserted to Charles VII, after which he signed the Treaty of Arras, returning control of Paris to the King of France. This loss of Paris was a major devastation to English sovereignty in France, especially after the death of the Duke of Bedford on September 14, 1935.

         With England putting the majority of her time and assets into expanding into the Low Countries, Charles VII had time to centralize France and overturn his feudal army with a stronger, more professional one. At this time, French artillery also quickly developed to become on of the best in the world.

The End of The War                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 

            By 1449, The French had regained Rouen. After having regained much of Normandy in 1450, Charles VII focused his sources on Gascony, the last province under English power. After having been sieged, Bordeaux, the capitol of Gascony, surrendered to the armies of Charles VII on June 30, 1451. However, the English retook Gascony October 23, 1452 under the army of John Talbot, but were defeated a few months later at the Battle of Castillon July 17, 1453, where the French tricked the English into perusing them then being caught under heavy cannon fire. The Battle of Castillon is considered the last battle of the Hundred Years' War; however, France and England were formally at war for another twenty years, although the English were unable to carry out formal battle due to civil unrest brewing in England. The loss of land in continental Europe incited the War of the Roses (1455-1487) in England between the Houses of Plantagenet and Lancaster.

Results of the War

            The English loss in the Hundred Years’ War caused England to lose its land holding in France with the region of Calais; however, this was the only shift of possession of land from the war. The major outcomes of the war were the strengthen sense of French and English Nationalism and the beginning of the end of Feudalism in France. With the House of Valois on the throne of France, Charles VII began to lessen the power of the nobility in France to centralize his own power in France. This end of Feudalism was solidified by Louis XI, the son and successor of Charles VII, who is most often known as the Spider King due to his web-like control of French politics.

YouTube Video


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"Charles VII the Victorious (1403-1461)." - Web. 3 Dec. 2014. <>.

"Hundred Years’ War." A&E Television Networks. Web. 3 Dec. 2014. <>.

"INSCRIVEZ-VOUS !" Histoire Du Jour Bonjour. Web. 3 Dec. 2014. <>.

"Joan of Arc Biography." Joan of Arc Biography. Web. 3 Dec. 2014. <>.

"PHOTO." Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation. Web. 3 Dec. 2014. <>.

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Cutthroat, Thecajun. "Hundred Years War - The French Final Victory."YouTube. YouTube, 12 Aug. 2008. Web. 04 Dec. 2014.

(The majority of my information on the War came from my notes from previous history classes that thoroughly covered the Hundred Years' War. The sites listed above were primarily for photos, maps, and information for battles).