Henry of Lancaster's Expedition to Aquitaine, 1345-1346: Military Service and Professionalism in the Hundred Years War [Paperback]

Nicholas A. Gribit(Author)

ISBN: 9781783276431 | Published by: Boydell Press | Series: Warfare in History | Volume: 42 | Year of Publication: 2021 | 392p, H9.25 x W6.25, 7 line illus.
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Henry of Lancaster's Expedition to Aquitaine, 1345-1346


In 1345 Henry of Lancaster, earl of Derby - the most prominent soldier, diplomat and statesman of his generation - led an English royal army to the duchy of Aquitaine and inflicted two devastating defeats on the French royal forces, at Bergerac and then Auberoche. These were the first decisive victories for either side, and swung the course of the Hundred Years' War dramatically in England's favour. The remarkable success of the expedition, however, has been overshadowed in history by Edward III's more celebrated victory at Crécy the following year.
This reassessment of a neglected campaign draws on a wealth of original source material to furnish an examination of the campaign "in the round"; recruitment, preparations and financial administration, as well as its events and achievements, are examined closely. A detailed biographical study of the individuals who took up arms under Lancaster's command forms a main part of this work: the portrayal of hundreds of careers in arms allows us to glean a sense of what life was like for soldiers in this army and in the later Middle Ages in general. An investigation of the men's martial experience, motivations for service and personal military networks provides an understanding of how and, indeed, why the army was so effective in the field of war. It also reveals much about the emergence of professionalism in English medieval armies and offers a reassessment of Lancaster's importance as a captain, administrator and diplomat, and above all, as a successful military commander.

Table of Contents

Henry of Lancaster and the English Expedition to Aquitaine, 1345-46
English and Welsh Soldiers: Troop Types in Lancaster's Army
Raising an Army: Recruitment and Composition
Paying an Army: Financial Administration
The Twin Victories: The First Campaign, 1345
Siege and Conquest by Sword: The Second Campaign, 1346
Lancaster's War Retinue in 1345: Formation and Structure
Lancaster's War Retinue in 1345: Cohesion and Stability
An Era of Military Professionalism: Careers and Patterns of Service
Appendix A: Transcription and Translation of Lancaster's Indenture
Appendix B: Prosopographical Catalogue of Men in Lancaster's Retinue

Reviews & Quotes

"Through the careful assembly, assessment, and analysis of a wealth of new material from archival and printed records, the book offers much food for thought on the organization of war and military recruitment at this time."


"In this carefully produced and detailed study...Nicholas Gribit analyses with impressive forensic skill what turned out to be the first notably victorious English land campaigns in the developing Anglo-French war."


"This is a book that rewards the reader with insight concerning the importance of sound leadership and also the value of professionalism in leading to military success in campaigns, with lessons that are easily applicable to other campaigns in the Hundred Years' War and other areas of study within military history for the wise researcher."


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