[MR] King John of France Captured at Poitiers
Garth Groff and Sally Sanford
mallardlodge1000 at gmail.com
Wed Sep 19 03:29:22 PDT 2018
On this day in 1356, King John II of France was captured at the Battle of
Poitiers. Despite the precaution of having 17 identically equipped knights
as decoys, John and his 14 year-old son Philip (later known as "The Bold"
for his spirited defense of the King) were surrounded.
According to Froissart, a French knight named Sir Dennis Morbeke of Artois
fighting on the English side approached the King John and asked him to
surrender. The King replied, "To whom shall I yield me? Where is my cousin
the Prince of Wales? If I might see him, I would speak with him." Morbeke
offered to take John to the prince, and the king yielded his gauntlet. The
Black Prince was no doubt delighted, and treated his prisoner to a fine
dinner, serving the King himself.
Then John was hustled off to England for several years of rather cushy
captivity, and a King's ransom that nearly bankrupted France. (The unpaid
balance was one of causes of Henry V's resumption of the Hundred Years'
What happened to Philip after the battle is not recorded in any accounts I
have read (he went onto a long life as Duke of Burgundy), nor have I heard
what the Black Prince offered Morberke for his captives.
Historians have not been kind to King John, some calling him the worst king
in French history. Actually, he was a really noble person, but failed
repeatedly in the face of overwhelming circumstances. Most unfortunate
would be a fairer assessment:
Mungo Napier, Laird of Mallard Lodge 🦆
More information about the Atlantia