This Day in History: 1417-06-01

Charles, Duke of OrleansIn June 1417, Charles Duke of Orleans was sent by Henry V to Pontefract Castle in the custody of Sir Robert Waterton (largely in the cell once occupied by Richard II). Charles, captured at the Battle of Agincourt on the 25th October 1415, was imprisoned (later with Jean II Le Maingre, Marshall Boucicaut, who died in captivity in Yorkshire in 1421) but was treated fairly leniently, being allowed to visit Waterton’s estate at Methley, six miles away, to hunt. Throughout his 25 years’ captivity, Charles was held at various other castles, including: Tutbury, Fotheringhay, Bolingbroke, Ampthill, Wingfield, Sterborough, Stourton, Windsor and the Tower of London. He was finally released on the 28th October 1440 and sailed for Calais on the 5th November. Charles was seen as an accomplished medieval poet who produced over 500 poems, written in both French and English, many of which were compiled during his time in captivity.