The Gold Rose: An Edward of Angoulême timeline

Burgundy's Normandy campaign of 1378
Burgundy's Normandy campaign of 1378
Burgundy's Normandy campaign was a surprise attack on the French estates of King Charles II of Navarre in the fall of 1378. It was improvised late in the campaign season after the discovery of a newly-established alliance between the kingdom of England and the kingdom of Navarre.

Background
King Charles II of Navarre held lands within the kingdom of France as count of Évreux. The county was once a great appanage in Normandy, but by 1378 it had been reduced to a fraction of its original size. For Charles, the county's losses were part of a history of injustices inflicted upon him and his family.

Charles's mother, Queen Jeanne II of Navarre, was the only surviving child of King Louis X of France. Jeanne was just four years old at the time of her father's death and she was denied the French crown as a result of her age and gender, as well as lingering suspicion of her true paternity following the Tour de Nesle affair. She was not without supporters, though, and many French lords only recognized the authority of her uncle, King Philippe V of France, after he confirmed Jeanne's right to inherit the counties of Brie and Champagne and agreed to provide her with an annuity of 15,000 livres.

Jeanne was denied Brie and Champagne when she reached her majority, though. Instead, she was granted the much poorer county of Anglouême and her husband was given the county of Mortain, control over the Cotentin peninsula, and a number of towns in the Île-de-France. This much smaller offering was made smaller still when Jeanne was stripped of Angoulême in 1349. Years later, the extinction of the Capetian house of Burgundy made Charles heir to the duchy of Burgundy, but he was denied this inheritance and the duchy was instead granted to the youngest son of King Jean II of France. These indignities drove Charles to decades of scheming and rebellion against the Valois kings of France.

In 1354, Charles assassinated Charles de la Cerda, one of Jean II's closest advisors, and plunged France into an anarchic civil war. Charles largely pursued his ambitions through plots, but entered into open warfare against the French crown in 1364. His defeat at the Battle of Cocherel led to the humiliating 1365 Treaty of Pamplona, in which he was forced to renounce his claims to the kingdom of France and to the counties of Angoulême, Brie, and Champagne. He also forfeited most of the lands that had made up the county of Évreux, but was allowed to keep the title of Évreux, its namesake town, and a dozen castles in the Seine Valley that were considered important for the protection of the town. He also retained the county of Mortain and his lands in the Cotentin Peninsula. Charles's claim to the duchy of Burgundy was to be investigated by the papal court, though there would be no such investigation.

In 1377, the resumption of hostilities between England and France encouraged Charles to petition the king of France for the restoration of the lands he'd lost in Normandy and for financial compensation for the duchy of Burgundy. His petition was ignored. Unwilling to suffer another insult, Charles negotiated a secret alliance with England the following year. English ambassadors attempted to bring Gaston III, count of Foix, into this alliance, but badly misjudged the count's intentions. They shared plans for an upcoming Anglo-Navarrese campaign in great detail, which Foix quickly reported to Paris.

Campaign
On 18 September 1378, King Charles V of France declared all the lands of Charles of Navarre within the kingdom of France forfeit. Charles of France dispensed with the formalities and normal processes that had become legal precedent over generations of French kings. Charles of Navarre was not notified of the French king's intention or given an opportunity to address the charges made against him in the parlement. No one protested this act of tyranny, however. Decades of conspiracy and violence had made Charles of Navarre the most hated man in the upper nobility of France and no one would defend him now that he had been caught forging an alliance with England.

Philippe II, duke of Burgundy, already had a major army in the north of France in September 1378, as the details of the Anglo-Navarrese alliance reached Paris. Burgundy had been expected to lead a major assault on Calais after its near capture the year prior, but was ordered to hold off his attack as early reports of the Anglo-Navarrese negotiations and of a troop buildup in southern England trickled in. In late September, Burgundy was ordered to take control of Charles of Navarre's Norman lands.

On 12 October, Burgundy arrived at Breteuil, one of the fortresses that Charles of Navarre had been allowed to keep for the protection of Évreux. Detachments of the French army laid siege to the nearby fortresses of Beaumont-le-Roger and Bernay as well as the town of Évreux itself. The weakness of Charles of Navarre's position in Normandy was immediately clear. The Navarrese professionals in these places—the captains who led the castle garrisons and the clerks who administered the estates—remained loyal to their lord and were ready to fight, but the Norman men who made up the rank and file of the various garrisons were not.

Bernay surrendered within hours of the French arrival. Beaumont-le-Roger and the town of Évreux, the administrative center of Charles of Navarre's French holdings, both surrendered two days later. The castles at Pacy and Brevel opened their gates in the days that followed and Breteuil surrendered before the end of the week.

The speed with which Évreux and its outlying towns and forts fell stunned Burgundy and his commanders. Most of the domains that had been left to Charles of Navarre after 1365 were poorly defended, but Breteuil was a decently walled town with a strong citadel. It could have been expected to hold out for weeks at least. It was also the home of Charles of Navarre's younger children, which should have given it cause to resist, but it did not. As the Navarrese were interrogated, it was revealed that they had been ignorant of their lord's new alliance with England. Either as a result of adverse winds at sea or sheer incompetence, no instructions had come from Pamplona to prepare for war. All 12 of Charles of Navarre's castles in the Seine Valley were under French control before the end of the month and Burgundy's forces moved west.

Tinchebray surrendered quickly in November, but resistance was finally met in the southern Cotentin. Orders seem to have arrived from Pamplona by now, but there had been no real time to prepare for war. Still, the French were forced to lay siege to Mortain, Gavray and Avranches. That resistance came here, from Charles of Navarre's lands nearest Brittany, could be attributed at least in part to the English capture of Saint-Malo, a Breton port about 40 miles from Avranches. The English in Saint-Malo, however, were not yet in a position to help their new Navarrese allies.

A detachment of men swept through the Cotentin, accepting quick surrenders from the castles that Charles of Navarre held between Gavray and Cherbourg. Among these was Regnéville, a once-minor fortress that Charles had significantly built up in recent years. Like Breteuil before it, though, it surrendered after only about a week despite likely having been able to hold out for much longer.

The bulk of Burgundy's army was preoccupied with the sieges of Mortain, Gavray and Avranches for several weeks. Gavray and Avranches surrendered in late November after having run out of food. Mortain held out until December, by which time it had become clear that English relief would not come.

Cherbourg, however, could not be taken. In late October, as Burgundy laid siege to the castles of the southern Cotentin, the earl of Arundel sailed into Cherbourg with the lord of Garro and 100 English men at arms to formally take control of the town in accordance with the Treaty of Saint-Jean-Pied-de-Port.

Aftermath
Burgundy's campaign in Normandy was a stunning success. Twenty-one castles and several towns, which was the entirety of Charles of Navarre's holdings in Normandy, save Cherbourg, had been taken quickly and with minimal bloodshed. What's more, they'd been taken on a largely unplanned campaign.

The French were not completely victorious, though. Their gains in Normandy had been largely offset by the transfer of Cherbourg to English control and England's conquest of Saint-Malo in Brittany. Like Calais, these towns were heavily fortified and easily resupplied by sea. Cherbourg was especially formidable. It was the greatest stronghold in northern France and considered impregnable by many at the time.

England and France thus ended 1378 in something of a draw, but Navarre lost badly. Charles had sought to restore his county of Évreux to greatness, but instead had lost even the rump estate that he controlled at the start of the year. Worse, France had called upon its chief ally, Castile, to take up arms. Facing invasion from its much larger neighbor to the south, the kingdom of Navarre now faced total extinction.
 
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What about Castile that was not resolved yet let's not forget that Edward the black Prince successfully deposed a king of that kingdom with only 6,000 men
 
What about Castile that was not resolved yet let's not forget that Edward the black Prince successfully deposed a king of that kingdom with only 6,000 men
Do you mean what led me to push it from 1379 to 1380? It was just an issue of me not fully thinking through the order of events until writing this. It should have been a 1380 invasion all along.

The Black Prince didn't do it alone. Enrique's hold on power was tenuous at best in the aftermath of the usurpation. This is best illustrated by the fact that several towns across the north and east changed sides the moment they heard Pedro was coming back with an army -- before Nájera was actually fought.
 
Do you mean what led me to push it from 1379 to 1380? It was just an issue of me not fully thinking through the order of events until writing this. It should have been a 1380 invasion all along.

The Black Prince didn't do it alone. Enrique's hold on power was tenuous at best in the aftermath of the usurpation. This is best illustrated by the fact that several towns across the north and east changed sides the moment they heard Pedro was coming back with an army -- before Nájera was actually fought.
True but has got to sting the new dynasty that it happened and Castile is allied to France and the kingdom of Castile could be a threat to an Plantagenet Conquest of Southern France.

One of the big reason England as a kingdom could not win the hundred years war was that the kingdom of France was a lot more wealth then England which did not fully recover from the black death until King Henry VIII came to the throne.

Don't get me wrong the Kings of England could hold lands in France as long as they have capable King following capable King but did not happen with the kings of England.
 
Thank you. That's what I'm going for 😜
Why you have Goldan rose in your title I take it is due to the main line of House Plantagenet still ruling England how far are you planning of taking this story.

If Edward can take Northern France or the Aquitaine England would stay a real power in the 16th and 17th centuries.

But the British Empire my be smaller due to the three why war between France, England and Hasburgs or Spain in the future.

But for that to happen England would need great dynastic look moving forward

England has been in a state of constant War since the late 1270s the longest period of peace was under Henry III of England.

These continental wars just will lead to more wars
 
True but has got to sting the new dynasty that it happened and Castile is allied to France and the kingdom of Castile could be a threat to an Plantagenet Conquest of Southern France.

One of the big reason England as a kingdom could not win the hundred years war was that the kingdom of France was a lot more wealth then England which did not fully recover from the black death until King Henry VIII came to the throne.

Don't get me wrong the Kings of England could hold lands in France as long as they have capable King following capable King but did not happen with the kings of England.
France had more wealth on paper, yes, but France suffered from a number of issues that prevented it from drawing upon that wealth and led the kings of France to have almost as many struggles with finances as the kings of England did in this era. The most important of these issues by far was that the government of the French crown was still rather primitive compared to English government. You can trace this divergence in national government all the way to the seed of the Hundred Years War itself: The Norman Conquest.

William the Conquerer distributed land to his supporters piecemeal, spreading the large estates of Norman lords out across the kingdom England instead of giving them geographically compact power bases. This, in theory, diminished the power of the lords so that no regional power could rise to oppose the crown, but in the long term quite the opposite happened. National estates, in which a single lord may own a small number of manors or castles in the southeast and a few more in the midlands and a few more in the north or on the Welsh marches gave English lords a vested interest in national government that simply didn't exist in France. Over time, this interest asserts itself violently -- poor national government moves large coalitions of lords to rebel against John and Henry III, leading to the rise of parliament and to a government body that works to make government work well across the whole country. So, by the time of the Hundred Years War, then English have a much smaller tax base from which to draw, but a far more effective means of actually collecting and distributing money.

Compare to France, with its extraordinary national wealth. It has great cash crops like wine, an industrial base (by medieval standards) in Flanders, and is the center of trade between northern Europe and the Iberian peninsula. It is, in theory, overflowing with wealth -- and yet Philip VI and other kings are consistently broke, almost always in debt, reduced to devaluing the currency repeatedly and teetering on bankruptcy. This is because there was no centralized system of tax collection, and so you have areas like, say, Forez, where people don't see any reason why they should have to pay for a war in Flanders or Gascony.

Philip IV saw and understood these problems and did a great deal of work to correct them, but this made Philip terribly unpopular and Louis X's short reign is effectively a story of cutting taxes and rolling back government -- it's a rapid dismantling his father's administrative system, and the short reigns of Louis's brothers don't do much to help the situation before the Valois come to the throne.


Why you have Goldan rose in your title
That will be explained later on.


how far are you planning of taking this story
Unsure.
 
France had more wealth on paper, yes, but France suffered from a number of issues that prevented it from drawing upon that wealth and led the kings of France to have almost as many struggles with finances as the kings of England did in this era. The most important of these issues by far was that the government of the French crown was still rather primitive compared to English government. You can trace this divergence in national government all the way to the seed of the Hundred Years War itself: The Norman Conquest.

William the Conquerer distributed land to his supporters piecemeal, spreading the large estates of Norman lords out across the kingdom England instead of giving them geographically compact power bases. This, in theory, diminished the power of the lords so that no regional power could rise to oppose the crown, but in the long term quite the opposite happened. National estates, in which a single lord may own a small number of manors or castles in the southeast and a few more in the midlands and a few more in the north or on the Welsh marches gave English lords a vested interest in national government that simply didn't exist in France. Over time, this interest asserts itself violently -- poor national government moves large coalitions of lords to rebel against John and Henry III, leading to the rise of parliament and to a government body that works to make government work well across the whole country. So, by the time of the Hundred Years War, then English have a much smaller tax base from which to draw, but a far more effective means of actually collecting and distributing money.

Compare to France, with its extraordinary national wealth. It has great cash crops like wine, an industrial base (by medieval standards) in Flanders, and is the center of trade between northern Europe and the Iberian peninsula. It is, in theory, overflowing with wealth -- and yet Philip VI and other kings are consistently broke, almost always in debt, reduced to devaluing the currency repeatedly and teetering on bankruptcy. This is because there was no centralized system of tax collection, and so you have areas like, say, Forez, where people don't see any reason why they should have to pay for a war in Flanders or Gascony.

Philip IV saw and understood these problems and did a great deal of work to correct them, but this made Philip terribly unpopular and Louis X's short reign is effectively a story of cutting taxes and rolling back government -- it's a rapid dismantling his father's administrative system, and the short reigns of Louis's brothers don't do much to help the situation before the Valois come to the throne.



That will be explained later on.



Unsure.
I remember reading that Henry III of England only had 15,000 pounds a year compared to Louis iX of France there also was the expansion of Capations power in the 13th century.

I do agree that England was the most centralised Kingdom and most effective administrative Kingdom in Europe.

It was Edward I of England and Edward III of England that got parliament working and the lords and commonse support for there wars.

Edward I of England could not get support to fight Philip iV of France because it was seen as the Duke of Aquitaine problem not the king of England.

One of the reasons for the hundred years war was Philip Vi of France blocking English wool to Flanders.

On a final not there is not guarantee that democracy as we know it will happen it my be republicanism with a ruling dynasty.

You could even call the why England is ruled a Republic from a certain point of view according to the Renaissance humanists
 
OK, well, it's a blowout for the parliament. I'll leave the poll open, but I expect that to be the next update unless something drastically changes.

As I think about it, I expect this may end up becoming something of a "1379 in the Hundred Years War" sort of thing, with a long "Background" section that touches very briefly on everything leading up to it. (Well, maybe not very briefly in the context of Brittany, as I have an idea of what I want to say there, but it will still be brief.)


Yeah, I've been feeling bad for John Neville too.
I am really leaning towards giving him a short write up just because it might be fun :coldsweat:
 
An update to my last update:
OK, well, it's a blowout for the parliament. I'll leave the poll open, but I expect that to be the next update unless something drastically changes.

As I think about it, I expect this may end up becoming something of a "1379 in the Hundred Years War" sort of thing, with a long "Background" section that touches very briefly on everything leading up to it. (Well, maybe not very briefly in the context of Brittany, as I have an idea of what I want to say there, but it will still be brief.)
"Parliament of 1379" is still coming, but I found the "Background" section grew far too long as I tried to make it a "1379 in the Hundred Years War" recap. So I'm going to break it up into three pieces:
  1. "Breton Rebellion of 1379" will move along the events that the "Breton campaign of 1378" set in motion. This is finished and I'll be posted it just after this update.
  2. "Gascon campaign of 1379" will quickly touch on the events of Neville's lieutenancy in Aquitaine after his arrival in 1378. This is also finished and I'll post sometime in the coming week.
  3. "Parliament of 1379" will delve into the politics of England and their evolving foreign policy at the close of the ATL 1370s, as promised. This is about 50ish percent done and should be up in sometime in the next couple of weeks.
Other updates may follow :coldsweat:
 
Breton Rebellion of 1379
Breton Rebellion of 1379
The Breton Rebellion of 1379, also called the Revolt of the Breton League, was an uprising of the Breton nobility against King Charles V of France in defiance of the king's decision to annex the duchy of Brittany.

Background
The War of Breton Succession was settled after more than two decades of bloody stalemate with the victory of the English candidate, Jean de Montfort, and the death of his French rival, Charles de Blois, at the 1364 Battle of Auray. Jeanne de Penthièvre, Blois's widow and the opposing claimant for control of the duchy, formally recognized Montfort as Duke Jean IV in the 1365 Treaty of Guérande. Jean rejected his English alliance and recognized the Valois as the rightful kings of France as part of the treaty, but the prominence of Blois supporters at the court of King Charles V of France strained relations between the king and duke. As a result, Jean negotiated a new alliance with England in 1372.

The Breton nobility, exhausted by the duchy's long and financially ruinous civil war, strongly opposed further entanglement in the war between England and France. Jean's support within the duchy quickly collapsed when the new English alliance was discovered. Charles V's Breton favorites, Olivier V de Clisson and Bertrand du Guesclin, forced Jean into exile in 1373. Brittany was effectively under Clisson's control by 1375.

Jeanne, who had largely exited Breton politics and mainly resided in Paris since 1365, took a more direct role in the management of her estates soon after Jean was driven into exile. She eventually returned to Brittany, establishing her household at Guingamp in 1377. Though she acted only as countess of Penthièvre, her move was a clear sign that she hoped to revive her claim on the duchy.

The affairs of state were complicated. Clisson commanded French garrisons at ducal strongholds, but the ducal government continued to run autonomously under the de facto regency of Jean I, viscount of Rohan, who also administered the ducal demesne. Rohan, like most Breton lords, assumed that the duke and the king would eventually reconcile their differences. In 1378, however, Charles chose to end this awkward interregnum in ducal government by annexing Brittany and joining it to the royal demesne. This was immediately and overwhelmingly unpopular with the Breton people and especially the nobility.

Conspiracy
On 4 December 1378, the parlement of Paris heard a list of treasonable offenses committed by Jean IV. A sham trial proceeded in the absence of the duke, who was an exile in England. Jean was found guilty two weeks later and the duchy of Brittany was declared forfeit to the crown.

Jeanne, who had returned to Paris for the proceedings, was enraged. Brittany's annexation by the crown was a total invalidation of her claim to the duchy. Her lawyers had objected to the proceedings in the parlement, but had been brushed aside. Jeanne left Paris for her lands in Brittany at once.

Charles de Blois, Jeanne's late husband, had been the main driver of her cause in the war. He was one of the most renowned knights of his age—a brave, intelligent, intensely pious figure who inspired great loyalty from those who followed him. He was so crucial to her party that Jeanne was prepared to concede her claim after his capture by the English in 1347, but the king of France intervened to stop her. After Blois's death in 1364, Jeanne negotiated the treaty that brought Jean to power. In 1378, Charles V seemed to believe that, since Jeanne had always been a secondary figure in pressing her own claim, he could simply ignore her protests in the parlement. This was a serious misreading of Jeanne's tenacity and political talents.

Louis I, duke of Anjou, who was Charles's brother and Jeanne's son-in-law, was named governor of Brittany and tasked with bringing the ducal government under royal control as soon as possible. Anjou proceeded cautiously in light of Jeanne's dramatic exit from the capital. He was not completely comfortable with the disinheritance of his wife's family and he understood that the local nobility would be highly skeptical of the king's decision. Still, he believed a diplomatic approach that included appointments to office, land grants and other thinly-veiled bribes could win over the Breton elite.

In early 1379, Jeanne brought her family and household into a conspiracy to oppose the king and began to quietly reach out to members of the secular nobility and the higher clergy. The ferocity of the opposition to the annexation was quickly understood. Jeanne believed that they could convince the king to reverse his decision if they could present an alternative candidate for the ducal throne. She tasked her third son, Henri, with discouraging the suspicions of the duke of Anjou while a pair of ambassadors was secretly dispatched to England.

Jean de Blois, Jeanne's eldest son and heir, had been an English hostage since boyhood. He had been delivered to the English as surety that Charles de Blois's ransom would be paid in full after Charles's release in 1356. The ransom was never paid, however, and Jean de Blois had thus spent nearly two-thirds of his life as an English prisoner. Still, though, Jeanne hoped that the local opposition to the annexation would force the king to accept her son as duke in the event of his release.

On 17 March, Jeanne's envoys arrived at Westminster. They were greeted warmly and even allowed to meet with Jean de Blois, but they were unable to secure his release. The English stood to gain nothing from Jean de Blois's release while they still had the opportunity to restore their ally, Jean IV, to the ducal throne.

On 1 April, Rohan and Guy XII, baron of Laval, the two most powerful lords in Brittany, were made to appear in Paris. They were interrogated by the king's council and made to swear oaths to the king before they were allowed to depart. There are few details of their interrogation, but the timing strongly suggests that some word of Jeanne's efforts had reached the capital. The king's longtime Breton councilors, Clisson and Guesclin, were made to swear similar oaths around this time.

Rohan and Laval's summons to Paris did not warm the two lords to the annexation and pushed them towards an alliance with Jeanne. Once back in Brittany, the pair joined Jeanne at a secret meeting where they renounced their oaths to the king on the condition that they were made under duress. Jeanne, fearing that her plot had been discovered and emboldened by Rohan and Laval's rejection of the king, moved closer to open rebellion.

On 22 April, a great majority of the Breton nobility gathered at Rennes. Knights, squires, and a large number of experienced captains were called to join the secular lords, leading to a rather martial assembly in which professional soldiers were overrepresented and the more diplomatic voices of ecclesiastical lords were drowned out. The presence of longtime Montfortists like Sir Briant de Lannion demonstrated the breadth of the opposition to the king's decision. Jeanne, the key figure in organizing this opposition, deferred to Rohan as debate began. The viscount's status as a regent in all but name helped to legitimize the assembly, though Jeanne would remain the dominant figure behind the scenes.

Rebellion
On 25 April, the lords signed a letter declaring their resistance to the annexation. The duchy of Brittany, they said, was not part of the kingdom of France and the oaths of homage that the dukes of Brittany had sworn to generations of French kings did not entail fealty. A king therefore could not act unilaterally in dispossessing a duke, but could only act with the consent of the Breton people, which they did not give. This legal pretext did not hide the true reason for the nobility's rebellion, though, as the letter concluded that Brittany was not "like Normandy" and it would not be subject to the king's oppressive fiscal regime, the intrusiveness of his tax collectors, or his degradation of local rights and privileges.

Jeanne put herself in a precarious position as she encouraged the lords of Brittany to formalize their league and declare their rebellion. The Montfort and Penthièvre factions had united to preserve the autonomy of the duchy, but there was no duke to lead them. Jeanne could not declare herself duchess without alienating the Montfortists, and she could not fight both the Montfortists and the French crown.

On 30 April, Jeanne struck a deal with the Mortfortist party that paved the way for Jean IV's return under the terms to which she and Jean had agreed in the 1365 Treaty of Guérande. Jeanne had likely always been willing to accept the duke's return in the event that she could not secure the duchy for herself or her eldest son. Her treaty with Jean had named her son as his heir in the event that Jean died childless, which he was despite being more than 10 years into his second marriage. For Jeanne, it was better to restore the childless duke with whom she had a treaty than it was to submit to the king who had rejected her family's rights entirely.

The king and his council were stunned when a copy of the Rennes letter arrived in Paris. Its signatories included every major figure in Brittany, save Clisson and Guesclin. Anjou was humiliated. He had been outmaneuvered by his mother-in-law. Worse still, his cautious policy looked suspicious in retrospect. Jeanne's sons were all childless at the time, presenting the possibility that Brittany could eventually be inherited by her daughter, Anjou's wife, in the event that the annexation was stymied. Rumors swirled that Anjou had been complicit in Jeanne's treachery. He was removed from the governorship of Brittany and left court soon thereafter.

Louis II, duke of Bourbon, was named as Anjou's replacement and adopted an altogether more aggressive approach. He dispatched Clisson and an array of commissioners to take control of the ducal administration while Bourbon himself began gathering an army. Clisson rode into the ducal capital at Nantes, but found that he could go no farther. The castle was garrisoned by men loyal to the crown, but the local population had taken control of the walls guarding the town. They barred Clisson's entry and refused to negotiate their position, claiming that they held the town on behalf of the duke.

The situation in Nantes repeated itself across eastern Brittany. French garrisons that had been stationed in the area began arriving at Champtoceaux and other French fortresses in the Breton marches. Their captains reported that the local population had become so hostile toward them that they had been forced to flee their positions. By the end of May, the Breton league had command of every major castle and town in eastern Brittany, except for English-controlled Saint-Malo and the French-controlled fortress at Nantes.

On 15 May, representatives of the Breton league arrived in England to meet with Jean IV. They presented him with a copy of the Rennes letter and invited him to return to Brittany and lead their cause. Jean greeted them with a mix of enthusiasm and skepticism. The league had revived his claim, but a lifetime of war made him question whether the Penthièvre faction was truly committed to it. Jean turned to the English in hopes that they would provide an armed escort that could guarantee his safety. The English were eager to see Jean retake Brittany, but were unwilling to provide Jean with an army without assurances of their own.

Three-way talks between Jean, the Breton league, and the English proved difficult. Several major issues divided the parties, including Jean's homage, the possibility of an Anglo-Breton campaign in western France, and the status of English positions at Brest and Saint-Malo. Negotiations dragged on for weeks.

In June, news of the league's diplomatic mission in England inevitably reached Paris. The prospect of Jean returning as duke forced the crown to reverse course once more. The king recalled Anjou and adopted a more conciliatory tone toward the Breton lords. Bourbon, who had by now raised 2,500 men for a planned invasion, was ordered to move his army to Avranches, from where he could respond to English invasion via either Cherbourg or Saint-Malo.

Jean learned of the French crown's attempts to reconcile with the Breton league sometime in July. He feared that his window of opportunity was closing and hastily gathered every man in his service, declaring he would return to Brittany without delay. As a result of his being bankrupt through much of the 1370s, though, every man in his service amounted to just a few dozen figures of little renown. The duke of Lancaster, who was also lord regent of England, was suspicious of Jean's intentions and offered to put several knights from his own retinue under Jean's command. This was ostensibly for Jean's protection, but in reality was a means for the English to receive direct reports on the duke's movements. Jean embarked for Britttany before the end of the month.

On 3 August, Jean landed at the English fortress of Saint-Malo on the northern coast of Brittany. His sudden arrival caught the French flat-footed. Anjou had only recently returned and set up his headquarters on the Breton marches at Pontorson. He had launched an aggressive diplomatic campaign to try to pry the two figures at the heart of the rebellion away from the league. He preyed on the prejudices of Rohan, who was perhaps the most fiercely anti-English lord in Brittany, to poison the viscount against Jean's return while also floating the idea that Jeanne's younger son, Henri, could be made duke. The effort, however, was too late now that Jean had returned. Anjou, unsure whether English forces were to follow Jean's arrival, fled Pontorson for Avranches, where Bourbon and his army were stationed.

On 6 August, Jean and Jeanne met at Dinan. Over the next three days, nearly the whole of the Breton nobility, including Rohan, gathered there to offer their submissions to Jean. Over the week that followed, a new ducal government was appointed and the lords committed themselves to raising an army to force Clisson's men from the castle at Nantes, the only position in Brittany still under French control.

Ceasefire
Events in Brittany had moved far too quickly for the French to develop a coherent strategy in spring 1379, allowing the Breton league to assume control over most of the duchy. As reports trickled in from Dinan in August, Anjou recognized that events threatened to spiral out of control once more and raced to salvage what remained of the situation. He wrote to Jean directly, addressing his letter to the "former duke," and arranged a conference at the border castle of Mont-Saint-Michel.

On 17 September, a six-month truce was signed by French and Breton envoys. The hastily-arranged agreement froze the situation in Brittany until the spring. The French crown did not formally recognize Jean as duke, but agreed to take no action against the rebellious Bretons. In exchange, Jean agreed to take no action against the French garrison at Nantes and to disallow the movement of English troops within the lands under Breton control. Future talks were arranged to negotiate a permanent resolution.

News of the ceasefire and peace talks reached England as parliament met in the fall, stunning those who had expected their years of support for Jean to be returned with an alliance against the French.

The French, for their part, still publicly held that the judgment of the parlement of Paris was valid and that the duchy of Brittany had been joined to the crown. Privately, however, the king and his council understood that they had failed completely both in their attempts to annex the duchy and to stop Jean's return. They noted, though, that no English army had appeared to support the duke. Driving a wedge between Jean and the English was to be the focus of French efforts over the coming months, though other events would soon overtake the situation in Brittany as the primary interest of the crown.
 
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Nice update with some very interesting developments! All the diplomatic maneuvering and secret negotiations reads like a complicated dance with everyone swapping partners and twirling around the room. In such circumstances, it seems like success requires both luck and careful planning.
 
Gascony campaign of 1379
Gascony campaign of 1379
The Gascony campaign of 1379 was a small offensive in the Gascon marches led by John Neville, 3rd baron Neville, as part of the Caroline Phase of the Hundred Years War.

Background
King Charles V of France reignited the Hundred Years War in 1369, exploiting a loophole in the 1360 Treaty of Brétigny to fan discontent against the rule of Edward of Woodstock, prince of Wales, in Aquitaine. The French rapidly recovered most of Aquitaine in the early 1370s, reducing English control to a thin strip of coastline from Bordeaux to Bayonne and extending inland to Bergerac along the Dordogne. A number of minor Gascon lords remained committed to English overlordship, though. Their lands dotted Gascony and Aquitaine, creating a porous border between areas of English and French control. This messy patchwork of lordships was dominated by local alliances and rivalries that often trumped the interests of the two crowns.

In 1377, after the expiration of a two-year truce, the French launched a major campaign to evict the English from Gascony. Louis I, duke of Anjou, targeted the minor Gascon nobles still loyal to the English and overran dozens of small fortified towns across the region. Despite Anjou's early success, the Anglo-Gascon victory at the Battle of Eymet forced the duke to withdraw and most of the towns he'd captured returned to the English.

The Battle of Eymet was relatively small, but it had an outsize impact on Anglo-Gascon morale. The English were eager to capitalize on this, but limits on shipping made it too difficult to transport a large army from England to Bordeaux and English attention turned toward Brittany. Unwilling to let the opportunity pass entirely, though, John Neville, 3rd baron Neville, was made lord lieutenant in 1378 and given an army of about 1,000 men to support local efforts against the French.

The French forewent a major campaign in Gascony in 1378, instead focusing their war efforts in the north. Smaller campaigns led by Franco-Gascon lords were coordinated by Louis de Sancerre, marshal of France, who was a protégé of Bertrand du Guesclin. Sancerre was laying siege to Mortagne when Neville arrived at Bordeaux. Mortagne was the last major coastal fortress in the Saintonge under English control and Neville wasted no time in responding to the situation, crossing the Gironde with his army in August. Sancerre was unwilling to give battle and fled at the appearance of Neville's army. Several bastides surrounding Mortagne surrendered as Franco-Gascon forces melted away. Neville moved south from Mortagne, sweeping up French garrisons in the Blayais and Libournais before returning to Bordeaux for the winter.

Neville's short campaign after his arrival in 1378 was the first English action north of the Dordogne and in the Saintonge for many years. This caught the attention of locals who'd previously written off the English cause.

Campaign
Over the winter of 1378-9, Neville brought several prominent Anglo-Gascon lords on as partners in the lieutenancy. A war council was established that included Gaillard II de Durfort, lord of Duras, Bérard d’Albret, lord of Langoiran, and Raymond de Montaut, lord of Mussidan. Langoiran was part of a junior branch of the powerful Albret clan and the last major landholder in that family who maintained allegiance to the English. Together they planned to push English power out from Bordeaux, securing the approach to the capital before rooting the local lords' French rivals out of the Gascon marches.

Neville also spent the winter making contact with several routier captains, including Bertucat d'Albret, a bastard-born knight who was instrumental to the defense of Bergerac in 1377. This marked a new era of cooperation between the English and the routiers. These mercenary bands had become a permanent fixture in southern France since the start of the war. They ranged from small gangs that roamed the countryside to large companies that could control entire towns. French policy toward the routiers had grown increasingly hostile over the 1360s and 70s, threatening their lives and livelihood and predisposing their captains to tighter collaboration with the English.

In June 1379, Neville marched southeast to Bazas before turning toward La Réole, installing his own men at towns along the way. He moved on to Duras, where the lord of Duras joined Neville with his own men. They took control of several small towns and fortresses, filling in the holes of the porous border that stretched from eastern Gascony up into Périgord, Angoumois and the Saintonge. They moved as far inland as Bourdeilles, where the great fortress captured by the duke of Anjou in 1377 was retaken for the lord of Mussidan. This put the Anglo-Gascons in a position to threaten the regional capital of Périgueux once more.

French resistance was almost nonexistent. A rebellion in Brittany preoccupied the French crown while a tax revolt in Languedoc starved it of desperately needed revenue. This effectively left Franco-Gascon lords to their own devices. Many of these lords simply bribed Neville's army to pass by their lands, literally buying themselves time in the hope that the king's council would turn its attention to a southern campaign the following year. Positions held directly by the crown, like the fortress at Bourdeilles, were most often abandoned by their garrisons for lack of pay.

Assessment
The campaign was a disaster for the French. By October, Neville and the Anglo-Gascon lords had taken at least 48 castles and walled towns and had captured great stores of food and supplies that would make the newly-installed Anglo-Gascon garrisons difficult to dislodge. The balance of power in the marches had tipped toward the English, though many Franco-Gascon lords and French positions remained. The routiers, meanwhile, had devastated lands in the Angoumois and Quercy and successfully raided far beyond English territory, reaching into La Marche, Auvergne and Rouergue.

Neville had few resources at his disposal, but had used them with remarkable efficiency. More valuable than any land gain or loot, though, Neville had discovered the weakness of the French crown. Royal garrisons had been hollowed out by desertions as their pay went into arrears and the Franco-Gascon nobility was frightened and demoralized after the Battle of Eymet. Neville's men, on the other hand, were well-paid thanks to the bribes from the Franco-Gascon lords and his Anglo-Gascon allies envisioned retaking the Agenais in 1380. As parliament met in fall 1379, news of Neville's success inspired fresh calls for a major campaign in southwestern France.
 
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