The Battle of Crécy

BookThe Battle of Crécy

The Battle of Crécy

A Casebook

Liverpool Historical Casebooks


November 3rd, 2015

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Winner of the Society for Military History Distinguished Book Award 2017
This casebook is the most extensive collection of documents ever assembled for the study of one of the famous battles in history. Here we see the Battle of Crécy across the cultural landscape of Europe — through chronicles and letters, through poems and prophecies, through sermons and laments — enabling us to understand the events of 26 August 1346 like never before. Together with other experts, the editors have gathered, edited, and translated over 80 fourteenth-century sources concerning this fascinating and important conflict — sources from Bohemia to France, from Italy to Wales — many here printed or translated for the first time. Original essays provide historical context and literary background to help interpret the battle in light of this new material. Among the discoveries: despite its fame, the location of the battle has been misidentified for centuries, and the actions of the men on both sides of the bloodied field have been completely misunderstood. This unparalleled accumulation of material means that the Battle of Crécy will never be seen in the same way again.

'...The remarkable volume … is unlike any previous study of the battle of Crécy. ...The gathering together of this vast range of source materials into a single volume and offering new translations would, in itself, present a remarkable achievement. ...offers striking new insights about the campaign of 1346 and the battle itself. ...offers unprecedented access to the sources for the campaign of 1346 and the battle of Crécy both to scholars and to students.'
David Bachrach, The Medieval Review

'An immense collection, followed by a thorough and renewed reflection on a battle as essential to the history of France.'

Livingston and DeVries 'provide another essential book on the Battle of Crécy, enriching the debate around some of its military aspects. More fundamental for any scholar of the Hundred Years War is the useful edition of collected primary sources. It will greatly facilitate access to this material and hopefully give rise to further, diverse studies.'Pit Péporté, Revue d’Histoire luxembourgeoise

Author Information

Michael Livingston is an Associate Professor at The Citadel, The Military College of South Carolina. He is the editor of ‘The Battle of Brunanburh: A Casebook’ (2011), along with scholarly editions of ‘Siege of Jerusalem’ (2004),’ In Praise of Peace’ (2005), and ‘The Middle English Metrical Paraphrase of the Old Testament’ (2011). Kelly DeVries is Professor of History, Loyola University Maryland, an Honorary Historical Consultant with the Royal Armouries, Leeds, and often appears in television documentaries as an expert commentator on warfare in the Middle Ages.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents
Section TitlePagePrice
Cover 1
Contents 6
Illustrations 9
Contributors 10
Preface: The Shape of the Volume 12
Map of the Crécy Campaign 15
Losses Uncountable: The Context of Crécy 16
Sources on the Battle 34
1. William Retford, Kitchen Journal 35
2. Cleopatra Itinerary 37
3. Colins de Beaumont, On the Crécy Dead 41
4. Richard Wynkeley, Letter to the Blackfriars 65
5. Edward III, Letter to Thomas Lucy 69
6. Michael Northburgh, Letter 73
7. Edward III, Request for Supplies 77
8. Philippe VI, Payment to Loyal Men 77
9. Robert de Dreuex, Horses Lost at Crécy 79
10. Johann von Schönfeld, Letter to Passau 79
11. Thomas Bradwardine, Victory Sermon81
12. Jean de Batery, Poem of the Eight Coats-of-Arms 83
13. King John of Bohemia 97
14. Chronicle of the Este Family 99
15. Annals of Zwettl 101
16. Chronicle of Lanercrost 101
17. Chronicle of Guyenne 103
18. Crécy Poem 103
19. Guillaume Flote, Horses Lost at Crécy 107
20. Chronicle of the Counts of Flanders 107
21. Chronicle of Artois 109
22. Chronicle of Saint-Omer115
23. Capture of Tifford 121
24. Rhyming Chronicle 121
25. Giovanni Villani, New Chronicle129
26. John of Hocsem, Chronicle 137
27. Pistoian History 137
28. Jean de Winterthur, Chronicle 139
29. Gilles li Muisit, Major Chronicle141
30. Grand Chronicles 145
31. William of Dene, History of Rochester149
32. Matthius von Neuenburg, Chronicle 151
33. Anonymous of Leoben, Chronicle 153
34. John of Tynemouth, Golden History 155
35. Psedo-Adam Murimuth, Chronicle [Nero Version] 155
36. Philippe of Orléans, Ransom Payment 159
37. Chronicle of Siena 159
38. Jan van Boedale, Brabantese Stories 161
39. Laurence Minot, Edward III in France 163
40. Polychronicon Continuation 163
41. Iolo Goch, Panegyric to Edward III 165
42. Francis of Prague, Chronicle 169
43. Marco Battagli, Chronicle 171
44. Michael de Leone, Housebook 173
45. Geoffrey le Baker, Chronicle 173
46. Anonymous of Rome, Chronicle 179
47. Iolo Goch, Elegy for Sir Rhys ap Gruffudd 191
48. Richard Lescot, Chronicle Continuation 193
49. Guglielmo Cortusio, History of Padua195
50. Jean le Bel, Chronicle197
51. Heinrich of Diessenhofen, Chronicle205
52. Thomas Gray, Scalacronica [Leland’s Abstract] 207
53. Thomas Bisset, Gesta Annalia II 207
54. Neplach of Opatovice, Chronicle 207
55. Heinrich Taube of Selbach, Chronicle209
56. John Ergom, Commentary to Bridlington’s Prophecy209
57. Brief Chronicle213
58. Chronicle of Canterbury213
59. Eulogium Historiarum213
60. Accounts of a Citizen of Valenciennes217
61. Chronicle of Saint-Trond225
62. John of Reading, Chronicle227
63. Jean de Venette, Chronicle227
64. Chronicle of Normandy231
65. Beneš Krabice, Chronicle of the Church of Prague237
66. World-chronicle of Köln237
67. Prose Brut [Common Version to 1377]239
68. Chronicle of Flanders [Version A]241
69. Niccolò of Ferrara, World History243
70. Chandos Herald, Life of the Black Prince247
71. Death of King John255
72. Henry Knighton, Chronicle261
73. Anonimalle Chronicle263
74. Tilemann Elhen, Chronicle of Limburg265
75. Jean Froissart, Chronicles [Amiens Version]267
76. Jean Froissart, Chronicles [Abridged Version]291
77. Jakob Twinger, Chronicle of Strasburg311
78. Chronicle of the First Four Valois Kings313
79. Thomas Burton, Chronicle of Meaux Abbey315
80. Chronicle of the Low Countries317
81. Jean Froissart, Chronicles [B/C Version]321
Notes to the Texts 354
Essays on the Battle of Crécy 428
The Location of the Battle of Crécy 430
The Bohemian Participation in Crécy 454
The Geoese Crossbowmen at Crécy 456
The Tactics of Crécy 462
Froissart's Herce and Crécy 484
The Italian Perspective on Crécy 492
Counting the Dead at Crécy 500
The After-Life of Crécy 504
Bibliography 512
Index to the Volume 522