As part of my research for the Stonehearted books, including By the Sword’s Edge, I have put together a chronology for the Pontvallain campaign of 1370.
This is a basic chronology at the moment, and I hope once I have done some more research to add some more detail.
|June 1369||English Parliament re-grants wool tax at increased rates to pay for war|
|July 1369||Charles of Navarre arrives in Brittany to make contact with potential allies|
|August 1369||Charles of Navarre’s councillors appear before French king to demand restoration of Charles’s rights|
|August 1369||Charles’s ambassadors arrive in England – discussions in September and throughout winter between Charles and the English|
|Early Feb 1370||Great Council in London to discuss war plans for 1370 – Knolles’s campaign planned|
|Feb 1370 +||Two English fleets paid for to defend coasts|
|Feb 1370||Charles of Navarre informed about the English plans|
|March 1370||Charles V final offer to Navarre – not a good one|
|March 1370||Exchequer officials touring country to make forced loans|
|April 1370||Collapse of defences in Garonne made known in England.|
|Mid-April 1370||Decided to send John of Gaunt to Aquitaine with an army|
|May 1370||First companies of Knolles’s army began mustering|
|June 1370||Exchequer realises they don’t have enough money for war expenses|
|Early June 1370||Charles of Navarre’s ambassadors arrive Newport, Isle of Wight and pass through Southampton. Discussed state visit of Charles to England and Knolles expedition. Landing place changed from Cotentin to Pay de Caux.|
|26 June 1370||Fleet receives revised orders to muster around Winchelsea and Rye.|
|1 July 1370||Date planned initially for transports to be ready in Southampton for embarkation of the army|
|Mid-July to 2 August 1370||Knolles’s army sails from Winchelsea and Rye in stages – land in Calais instead of Normany because of bad weather.|
|21 July 1370||Charles of Navarre arrives in England|
|1 August 1370||Charles of Navarre meets with Edward III at Clarendon.|
|1st week August||Knolles lands in Calais|
|9th August||Knolles’s army marches out of Calais.|
|12 August 1370||Charles of Navarre leaves Clarendon for the ships.|
|May to Sept 1370||Earl of Arundel helps – lending 30,000 marks – much of this went directly by guarded wagon from Shrewsbury to the army and navy.|
|End Sept 1370||Exchequer had raised about 2/3 of target of 100,000 marks by forced loans throughout the country|
|22nd Sept||Knolles’s army arrives on left bank of the Seine near to Corbeil, SE of Paris.|
|24th Sept||Knolles drew up his army outside Paris to provoke an engagement.|
|25th Sept||Knolles army was gone – and split into 2 columns. 1 towards lower Normandy around Sées, and the other around Beauce and southern Île de France.|
|End Sept||2nd column tried defences of Paris again|
|Late Sept +||Count of Alençon, King’s Lieutenant in Lower Normandy based in Caen – actively recruiting.|
|Mid Oct||English columns regrouped and headed south towards Vendôme.|
|2 Oct||Bertrand du Guesclin invested with sword of office of Constable – he arrives in Paris just as the English are leaving|
|Early Oct||French hold Royal Council to decide war plans and financing – forced loans to raise army quickly|
|Oct||Charles of Navarre ambassadors negotiate with French over safe conduct so he can meet King to discuss issues|
|Oct||English army in the Vendômais and Touraine. Castles and monasteries in region captured and area divided into ransom districts.|
|Early Nov||Bertrand du Guesclin and Marshal Mouton de Blainville arrive in Caen with their retinues. Joined by other commanders.|
|End Nov||Bertrand’s force swelled to c. 4,000 men|
|Nov||Second French army forming at Châtellerault in Knolles’s rear under Marshal Sancerre. When assembled moved down Loire to establish HQ at Vendôme, with c. 1,200 men.|
|Nov||Sir Hugh Calveley joined Knolles with some of his men from fortified abbey of Saint-Maur – response to concerns about English army being surrounded.|
|End Nov, 1st Dec||Knolles sends Sir Alan Buxhill and 100 men to take command of Saint-Sauveur and so provide support from its garrison if need be.|
|Early Dec||Army breaks up over dispute regarding winter quarters. Knolles leaves garrisons and then marches west towards Brittany.|
|1 Dec||Bertrand du Guesclin marches south from Caen at speed|
|2 Dec||Sancerre leaves Vendôme to approach from other side|
|2 Dec||Treaty drafted between Edward III and Charles of Navarre|
|3 Dec||Du Guesclin arrives in area of Le Mans|
|3 Dec night||Du Guesclin receives reports of dispositions of English and marches through the night|
|4 Dec||Du Guesclin arrives at Pontvallain at dawn surprising the forces of Gandison.
Sancerre attacks Fitwalter’s corps.
Du Guesclin sends part of his army under Olivier de Clisson west in pursuit of Knolles.
Fitwalter flees south to abbey of Vaas – assaulted by Sancerre and routed. Du Guesclin arrives at the end with his troops, claiming Fitzwalter as his prisoner.
|8 Dec midnight||Sancerre and Du Guesclin continue pursuit of scattered English forces across the Loire after getting a couple of days rest|
|Mid December||Minsterworth and others escape, but many English left on the beach and massacred by Clisson’s men.
Du Guesclin ends pursuit and returns north to take Saint-Maur
|Dec?||Charles of Navarre dismisses English mercenaries in his Cotentin garrisons|
|25 Mar 1371||Charles V and Charles of Navarre meet – meeting hold over several days|
|29 Mar 1371||Charles of Navarre does homage to the king and leaves|
|July 1372||Blame for campaign pinned on Knolles and Buxhill. Minsterworth fled to France and entered service of Charles V.|