This Day in History: 1356-06-13

On 13th June 1356, Henry, Duke of Lancaster and lord of Pontefract, commanded a small army of 800 archers and 500 men-at-arms which arrived in Normandy pursuing Edward III’s aim of forcing the French to accept the Treaty of Guines of 1354. Henry met up with Sir Robert Knolles’ 500 archers from Brittany and a small force under Philip of Navarre and Godfrey de Harcourt. After destroying Verneuil on 5th-6th July and with no advance from John II’s French army, Lancaster retreated into Normandy. These ‘manoeuvres’ prefaced the Black Prince’s crushing victory at the Battle of Poitiers on 19th September 1356 where France’s King John and his youngest son were captured.