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People List




1412 - 1431

The lands of ancient France, by 2,500 BC, were dominated by Celts, or as known to the Roman's in Latin, Gaul's. The town of Lutetia, founded in 52 BC, eventually became the capitol of modern day France named Paris.

Julius Caesar led the first of the Roman campaigns into Gaul in 58 BC. Gaul eventually became part of the Roman Empire with the Romans having introduced christianity to the region by 300 AD.

By 406 AD, with the Roman Empire in decline, Gaul was being invaded by Barbarian tribes from the east. By 418 AD, the Franks from Germany had settled in Gaul and began taking control of the area. By 509 AD, the Frankish chieftain Clovis, had defeated the last of the Roman armies in Gaul. He then united all the tribes in Gaul, this seeing the Frankish Kingdom ruling the region for the following 1000 years, a region that became modern day France.

By the early 1200s, France had become the most important nation in Europe. When the last son of Philip IV died in 1328, his only direct descendant was his daughter Isabelle, who had married Edward II of England. Her son, Edward III, King of England at that time, claimed the vacant French throne.

Philip's French nephew, another Philip, was chosen by France as their new king in favour of Edward III, this leading to the start of the 100 Year War, as the French fought to prevent an English king from ruling France.

On January 6th 1412, Joan of Arc was born, the daughter of a farmer near the village of Domremy.

She was born at a time of peace due to the Truce of Leulinghen. The king of France at that time was Charles VI (Charles the Mad). With Charles VI becoming unfit to rule France, the country became embroiled in a Civil War.

Joan of Arc image

Joan of Arc

Henry V of England, a distant relative of Charles VI, saw the French Civil War as the ideal situation for him to lay claim to the French throne.

The English forces invaded Normandy where they defeated the French Royal Army at Agincourt in 1415. At the Treaty of Troyes in 1420, Henry V was granted the title King of France. Henry secured his position by marrying Charles the Mad's daughter Catherine.

In 1422, Henry V and Charles the Mad died within two months of each other, leaving the infant Henry VI as nominal King of France. At that time, Charles de Ponthieu, the French heir to Charles the Mad, along with Scottish forces, battled against the English who were supported by the French Burgundians from the north of France.

By 1422, the young farm girl Joan of Arc said she had begun experiencing visions of the Angels of God. These vision were telling her to lead an army against the English and help Charles de Ponthieu become King of France.

By 1429, Joan had managed to meet and convince Charles that she could lead an army against the English that were besieging Orleans. As the French forces set out to confront the English, Joan sent the English letters stating, the King of Heaven, son of Saint Mary, has appointed her to push you out of France.

The French, with Joan as a figurehead of their army, defeated the English at Orleans in May 1429. The English, unnerved by the sight of Joan leading the French forces, were defeated in a series of battles along the Loire River. The French victories led to Charles being crowned King of France July 17th 1429 at Reims Cathedral, with Joan given a place of honour next to him.

Joan was captured in 1430 by the Burgundians while defending Compiegne near Paris. After being sold to the English, imprisoned for months at Rouen, and with there being no attempts by Charles VII to gain her release, the English put her on trial.

Joan insisted it was the Saints of God that commanded her to do what she did. The English court responded to her claims by condemning her to death as a heretic and sorceress. On May 30th 1431, at the age of 19, Joan of Arc was burned at the stake at Rouen marketplace.

Charles VII finally defeated the English and their allies the Burgundians in 1453, this ending the 100 Year War.

Joan of Arc was beatified in 1909 and canonized in 1920 by Pope Benedict XV.

Monument of Saint Joan of Arc at Chinon in France

Monument of Saint Joan of Arc at Chinon/France

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joan_of_Arc People List