The Black Prince

Peter Clarke

In mid April about 30 members of the ESU were entertained to a talk by Peter Hoskins who has a residence in this part of France. He has taken a deep and keen interest in the 100 years war of old, and he shared it with us at our Saturday lunch in April, at a restaurant near Angers.

Not many local ESU members will profess to having more than a general interest in the wars in France during 15 and 16th centuries. Peter Hoskins an ex RAF officer living in the Deux Sevres has spent endless time to the study of the 100 years war that started in the mid 14th Century and this intermittent war continued off and on, until the time of Joan of Arc.

There were occasional decades of peace following a truce and a decade of relative peace occurred at the time of the Black plague for example. It was evidently not possible to tackle the 100 years war it self but the members were held enthralled by the life of the Black Prince who was the eldest son of Edward III of England who, in 1337, was determined to exercise sovereignty over the English lands claimed by of Philip VI of France and his son commenced war via Gascony and did well at the Battle of Poitiers.

After the Battle of Poitiers, where Edward the Black Prince led English forces and captured King John the Good, there was widespread low morale amongst the French public for years and the English were in control towards the end of the 14th and the start of the 15th centuries. Indeed the war lasted until after the emergence of Joan of Arc in the mid 15th century, when the English fortunes had suffered many setbacks for years.

A brief and detailed description of the various well known battles that we learned about at school, Crecy, Calais Poitiers for example were well explained. Peter Hoskins concentrated on the Campaigns of 1355-6 where the Back Prince was involved before dying in his 40s, outlived by his father Edward III.

The vote of thanks was given by Mike Small to much applause.