Jean III de Grailly, captal de Buch's strange title

Jean III de Grailly, captal de Buch's strange title

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The title of Jean III de Grailly, Captal de Buch, seems odd to me. It was acquired by his father Jean II de Grailly (so it was passed down from father to son like other titles of nobility):

Jean III's father, Jean II de Grailly, acquired the captalat of Buch (i.e., the principal seigniory in the land of Buch, the chief town of which was La Teste de Buch).


It was apparently granted by Edward III:

And 'tis evident, this Knight of the Garter must be the Grandson of Peter, because we find that Edward III, in his thirty second Year, confirms to him, by the Title of Captal de Buch, the Lands that Peter his Grandfather (not his Father) held… "

-The Register of the Most Noble Order of the Garter, Volume 2

It apparently derives from the Latin capitales domini, meaning "chief lords" (though I can find no other reference to this term):

Captal de Buch (later Buché) was an archaic feudal title in Gascony, captal from Latin capitalis "prime, chief" in the formula capitales domini or "principal lords."


The title was used by more than just the de Grailly family, but not many:

The title of "captal," which Jean de Grailly inherited in 1343, was used by only a few of the most prominent noble families of Gascony, such as the lords of Buch.

-Encyclopedia of the Hundred Years War, Wagner

So the questions I have about the title captal:

  • Why was de Grailly granted this title, which was apparently used by only a few families, and not some other title? Was it just some strange title invented on the spot because Edward couldn't or didn't want to use a more commonly-used title?
  • Was Captal used in the same way as other titles, such as Duke or Viscount, where the title is used in place of the name? (E.g. "Who lead the charge?" "The captal did.")
  • What was its order of precedence? Britannica says Jean I de Grailly was granted the "viscountcies of Benauges and Castillon" but Jean III is almost universally referred to by the captal title. Was Captal considered more prestigious or had the de Graillys lost all their other titles by the time of Jean III?
  • What were the other families that used this title?
  • Why did the title not outlive the Middle Ages as the titles of Duke and Count did?
  • Was that title ever used outside of Gascony, or was it limited to Gascony as the Encyclopedia of the Hundred Years War above seems to imply?
  • Why did the title derive from Latin rather than something in French? Did it have any connections with something used by the Romans?

This is really more like a whole list of questions…

1. Why was de Grailly granted this title, which was apparently used by only a few families, and not some other title?

I think there's a bit of confusion here. The prefix of Captal was the traditional title for the lords of Buch. Edward III granted Jean III de Grailly the fief of Buch which came with it the feudal title of Captal de Buch. He didn't randomly have him titled captal by itself.

2. Was captal used in the same way as other titles, such as Duke or Viscount, where the title is used in place of the name?


The captal and his noble kinsman, attended by forty lancers, were joyfully received at Meaux by the dauphiness and the duke and duchess of Orleans.

- Beltz, George Frederick. Memorials of the Order of the Garter. 1841.

3.What was its order of precedence?

Based on notes in Sir John Froissart's Chronicles of England, France, Spain, and the Adjoining Countries, it was originally approximately equivalent to count. But it seemed to have become roughly comparable to viscount later.

4. What were the other families that used this title?

From the same source, several other families used it at some point or another, but by the time of the de Grailly, only them and the Captal de Trene was left.

5. Why did the title not outlive the Middle Ages as the titles of Duke and Count did?

It did. After Jean III died, the title passed to his uncle, Count Archambaud of Foix. It stayed with his descendants (in the female line after 1593) until it was sold to Jean-Baptiste Amanieu de Ruat in 1713.

The title was always rather obscure and snowflakey.

6. Why did the title derive from Latin rather than something in French?

The title started during the time of the first Dukes of Aquitaine. The Roman Empire was a recent thing and French didn't really exist as a language at the time.

The expression probably comes from caput in latin , which means roughly head. Or a vernacular term of Capital, or both. Either way , the bloke was the head of his house and that made him a capital person ;-).

Jean III. de Grailly

Jean III. de Grailly, KG († 7. September 1376 in Paris) war Captal de Buch von 1347 bis 1376 und einer der wichtigsten Militärführer des Hundertjährigen Kriegs. Berühmt wurde er durch Froissarts Schilderung seiner Person als Musterbeispiel ritterlicher Tugend.

Person:Jean de Grailly (1)

Jean III de Grailly (d. 7 September 1376, Paris), Captal de Buch, , was a Gascon nobleman and a military leader in the Hundred Years' War, who was praised by the chronicler Jean Froissart as an ideal of chivalry.

He was son of Jean II de Grailly, Captal de Buch, Vicomte de Benauges, and Blanch de Foix, and a cousin of the Counts of Foix.

Attached to the English side in the conflict, he was made Count of Bigorre by Edward III of England, and was also a founder and the fourth Knight of the Garter in 1348. He played a decisive role as a cavalry leader under Edward, the Black Prince in the Battle of Poitiers (1356), with de Buch leading a flanking move against the French that resulted in the capture of the king of France (John II), as well as many of his nobles. John was taken to London by the Black Prince and held to ransom.

In 1364 he commanded the forces of Charles II of Navarre in Normandy, where he was defeated and captured by Bertrand du Guesclin at Cocherel. After his release the following year, he defected to the French side and was made lord of Nemours by Charles V of France. However, he soon re-established his loyalty to the English, and in 1367 he went to Spain with the Black Prince, fighting at the Battle of Nájera. Here he again faced Bertrand du Guesclin, but this time it was du Guesclin who was captured, and the Captal was put in charge of the prisoner. He was rewarded for his service by being made the Constable of Aquitaine in 1371.

Again fighting for the English, he commanded an English relief force when the French attacked La Rochelle in 1372. While attempting to lift the siege of Soubise his force was surprised by a French force led by Owain Lawgoch, a Welsh soldier of fortune in the French service. The Captal and Sir Thomas Percy, seneschal of Poitou, were captured. The Captal spent the remainder of his life as a prisoner at the Temple in Paris because Charles V believed him too dangerous to ransom back to the English.

Froissart gives an account of the Captal de Buch's chivalry and courage at the time of the peasant uprising in 1358 called the Jacquerie (see link).

Jean de Grailly was a prisoner of the French since 1372. He had refused his freedom as it would have meant taking up arms against the king of England, which he swore never to do. His personal allegiance to Prince Edward of England, the Black Prince, was so strong that upon hearing of his death, he lost all resolve, refused food and died a few days later.

Since he left no heirs from his marriage to Rose d' Albret, his uncle, Archambaud, Count of Foix and of Bigorre took the title Captal de Buch, which passed to his descendants the Counts of Foix.

João III de Grailly

João III de Grailly (? - 7 de setembro de 1376) , Captal de Buch entre 1343 e 1376, foi um cavaleiro gascão um dos principais líderes militares da Guerra dos cem anos, a serviço de Eduardo, o Príncipe Negro. [ 1 ] Segundo o cronista Jean Froissart, João III de Grailly era o modelo de cavaleiro digno e honrado, que encarnava todos os ideais cavalheirescos do século XIV.

Foi uma figura importante na estratégia que levou à vitória inglesa na batalha de Poitiers (1356) e à captura do Rei João II de França. O sucesso fez com que Eduardo III de Inglaterra o elevasse a Conde de Bigorre. Posteriormente, João III de Grailly e o seu primo, o conde de Foix juntaram-se à cruzada dos cavaleiros teutónicos na Prússia. No regresso a França, em 1358, Grailly e Foix intervieram de forma decisiva no cerco de Meaux. O castelo da cidade estava cercado então pelos camponeses revoltados em plena Jacquerie e só a chegada de ambos com os seus homens salvou a família de Carlos V de França, então Delfim e regente da coroa.

Na vitória francesa da batalha de Cocherel (1364), João III de Grailly encontrava-se a serviço de Carlos II de Navarra, um aliado inglês, e foi feito prisioneiro. Para ganhar a sua fidelidade, Carlos V libertou-o sem resgate e nomeou-o Senhor de Nemours. Mas quando Carlos V renovou a guerra com os ingleses ao anular unilateralmente o Tratado de Brétigny (1369), Grailly regressou à causa de Inglaterra e devolveu todos os seus territórios franceses. Para atestar esta renovada confiança, o Príncipe Negro nomeou-o Condestável do Ducado da Aquitânia.

Em 1372, João III de Grailly defendia La Rochelle dos exércitos franceses liderados por Owen de Gales - um inglês renegado ao serviço de França - quando foi capturado. Levado a Paris, Carlos V recusou estabelecer um resgate para a sua libertação, ao contrário do que ditavam as regras de ética de então, justificando a sua decisão pela traição cometida em 1369. Vários nobres influentes, incluindo Enguerrando VII de Coucy, apelaram ao rei para pelo menos tirar o Captal de Buch da masmorra onde estava encarcerado, em nome da sua honra de cavaleiro. Carlos V aceitou considerar os apelos se Grailly lhe jurasse que nunca mais lutaria contra França. O Captal de Buch recusou fazer tal promessa e morreu, ainda na prisão, quatro anos depois. Após a sua morte, os seus títulos reverteram para tio Archambaud, Conde de Foix.

Added 2020-06-23 10:15:06 -0700 by Private User

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About Jean III de Bettencourt

Jean III de Bethencourt born 1339 at Normandy, France, died March 13, 1364, buried at Sigy-en-Bray

Lord of Saint Vincent de Rouvray and Grainville and Baron of Saint-Martin le Gaillard.

(III) Barón de Saint-Martin-le-Gaillard, en "le Pays de Caux", Normand໚ muerto en la batalla de Cocherel. Señor de Béthencourt y de Grainville la Tenturière, sirvió primero al lado de los ingleses, pero a la llamada del Delfín se unió en Nantes con Bertrand du Guesclin. Su heroico comportamiento hizo que el monarca francés levantase el secuestro que pesaba sobre sus bienes.

In the Battle of Cocherel in which the French routed the partisans of Charles the Bad, commanded by Captal de Buch. Bethencourt had previously switched from the side of the Burgundians, who were allied with the English, to the opposite side, joining the army of the king of France. The royal army divided into two parts. At the same time as Du Guesclin attacked the enemy from the right, the Lord of Béthencourt, with other nobles, enveloped the enemy from the left - and it was in this action that he lost his life. This heroic action led the king to lift the confiscation which previously affected his property There is a problem. James H. Guill presents a very different genealogy for this branch of the Bethencourt family. He seems to be basing his information on the Chronicle of Enguerrand de Monstrelet as well as other information which he combines. Monstrelet includes details of the Battle of Azincourt (Agincourt). Monstrelet, however, appears to be referring to a completely different line of Bethencourts which Guill merges with the current line. Monstrelet does not refer to the progenitor (Jean III) by name but by the title bailiff of Amiens. No other source refers to this title being ascribed to Jean III. Since Jean III must have been born no later than 1345, at the youngest, he would have been 70 at the Battle of Agincourt in 1415. It seems highly unlikely that he would participate in a battle at such an advanced age. It also seems clear from other sources that Jean III died in the Battle of Cocherel in 1364. Therefore, this cannot be the same person.

Also, Monstrelet mentions several of the bailiff's sons, but does not mention Gallien, Jean IV, or Regnault. He does mention Aubert as Lord of Betencourt, but there were other locations called Bethencourt, etc. in France. In the English edition of Monstrelet translated by Thomas Johnes, a note indicates that "there must be some mistake about" some of the comments that Monstrelet makes regarding the bailiff of Amiens.

Perhaps Monstrelet refers to a completely different branch of the family Blazon of arms: Argent, a lion sable, armed and langued gules. Em campo de prata, um leao do preto rompente, armado de vermelho. D'argent, un lion de sable, armé de gueules. The arms of France were confirmed for the Bettencourts of Portugal on 1 Apr 1505 by the king D. Manoel Genea Portugal lists Jean III's children as Joao de Bettencourt, rei das Canárias, Regnault de Bettencourt, and an unnamed son to whom is ascribed the children Jorge, Henri, and Maciot. There seems to be some confusion with Regnault who is the father of these sons One source, obviously in error, states that, in 1430, at the side of the

Burgundians allied with the English, he was in the siege of Compiègne (in which Joan of Arc was captured), having also been imprisoned, by the French, and subsequently ransomed.

9. Jean de Bethencourt (III) (Jean, Jean, Regnault, Philippe, Jean) (suffix added for clarification) was also known as Jean de Béthencourt. He was also known as Josef de Bethancourt "Lord of Bethancourt and of Granville." He was also known as João de Bethancourt. He was also known as João de Bettencourt (III). He was also known as João de Betancur. He was also known as Jehan de Béthencourt (III). He was also known as Jean de Bettencourt. He was also known as Jhean de Bethancourt (III). He was also known as Jean de Bettencourt. He was born circa 1339 at Normandy, France. Several sources indicate that he was born circa 1340 at Picardy, France. Blazon of arms: Argent, a lion sable, armed and langued gules. Em campo de prata, um leão do preto rompente, armado de vermelho. D'argent, un lion de sable, armé de gueules. The arms of France were confirmed for the Bettencourts of Portugal on 1 Apr 1505 by the king D. Manoel Blazon of amrsBlazon of arms

Marie de Bracquemont was also known as Maria de Braquemont. She was also known as Marie de Braquemont. She was also known as Maria de Bracamonte. She was also known as Maria de Braquemont Florenville e Sedan. She was also known as Maria Bracamonte. She was born circa 1330 at Traversain, Normandy, France. She married Roger Suhart in 1375 at France.60 She and Roger Suhart resided after 1375 at Grainville-la-Teinturière, Cany-Barville, Dieppe, Seine-Maritime, France.

Children of Jean de Bethencourt (III) and Marie de Bracquemont were as follows:

Died in the battle of Chocherel.

The king's forces were led by Bertrand du Guesclin, though Jean, Count of Auxerre was the highest-ranking noble present. There were knights from Burgundy (f. e. Jean de Vienne), Breton, Picard, Parisian and Gascon people. The forces of Navarre were commanded by the Gascon chief, Jean de Grailly, Captal de Buch and mainly consisted of 800 to 900 knights and 4000 to 5000 soldiers from Normandy, Gascony and England, including 300 English archers.

The result of the battle was the French king's victory. The Navarrese army was lined up in three battalions. It took up a defensive position, as was standard English tactics, forcing du Guesclin to be the aggressor. The French commander managed to break the defensive formation by attacking and then pretending to retreat, which tempted the enemy from their hill in pursuit. A flank attack by du Guesclin's reserve then won the day.

Bethencourt had previously switched from the side of the Burgundians, who were allied with the English, to the opposite side, joining the army of the king of France. The royal army divided into two parts. At the same time as Du Guesclin attacked the enemy from the right, the Lord of Béthencourt, with other nobles, enveloped the enemy from the left - and it was in this action that he lost his life.

Meet the French knight who hammered the English

The Hundred Years’ War has been defined by the historical figures that emerged out of the chaos that engulfed France between 1337-1453. Most of them were English royalty and included Edward III, the Black Prince and Henry V – men who led endless campaigns to pursue what they considered to be their rightful claim to the French throne. Between them they won great victories that became famous, including the battles of Crécy, Poitiers and Agincourt.

It is also often presumed that an effective French resistance only emerged in the late 1420s under the unlikely leadership of the illiterate peasant girl Joan of Arc. This is a grave misinterpretation of events and far from being a continuous conflict, the period was punctuated by cycles of both war and peace and victory did not always belong to the English. Before the dramatic conquests of Henry V, there had been a remarkably successful period of French resurgence where the majority of Edward III’s territorial gains were overturned. The man most responsible for this reversal was a Breton knight of obscure origins but near infinite courage: Bertrand du Guesclin.

An artist’s impression of what du Guesclin as he might have appeared during his tenure as Constable of France c.1370-80. (Jean-Michel Girard – The Art Agency)

A Breton Squire

Nicknamed ‘The Black Dog of Brocéliande’ or ‘The Eagle of Brittany’, du Guesclin was arguably the most renowned captain who fought for France during the Hundred Years’ War, but his early life gave little indication of his future greatness.

Born around 1320 near Dinan in Brittany, du Guesclin was the eldest of ten children and his family were a minor branch of the Breton nobility. As his father was only a ‘seigneur’ (lord of the manor), du Guesclin was a mere squire and he grew up to become famously ugly and of small stature. One story claims that his beautiful mother rejected him at first sight.

Like many young men of his status, du Guesclin entered local military service in the 1340s as a mercenary captain in the service of Charles of Blois before entering the service of King John II of France in 1351. After succeeding his father as the seigneur of Broons du Guesclin, he was then knighted by the marshal of France in 1354. From that moment, he spent the rest of his life serving the kingdom.

Du Guesclin’s first prominent action came during the Siege of Rennes between 1356-57 where he took a leading role defending the town from the besieging army of Henry of Grosmont, Duke of Lancaster. This was notable in the wake of almost unbroken English successes, particularly after the crushing Battle of Poitiers the previous year. One man who recognised the emerging talent of du Guesclin was the Dauphin Charles, who granted him a life pension of 200 livres and named him the captain of Pontorson, which was a strategic fortress on the Breton-Norman frontier.

During the Siege of Rennes, du Guesclin reputedly burned down an English siege tower

Following this initial achievement, du Guesclin suffered a series of setbacks when he was captured by the English twice between 1359-60. In a telling sign of how low French fortunes had sunk, du Guesclin paid his ransoms by borrowing money from the duke of Orléans, who was himself a prisoner in the Tower of London.

By the 1360s, France was crippled. With John II held prisoner by Edward III after Poitiers, the English demanded a huge ransom of 3 million crowns as part of the Treaty of Brétigny. Under its terms, the English retained Aquitaine and acquired new territories that comprised a quarter of France in full sovereignty. Nevertheless, upon John’s death in 1364, the kingdom gained a new monarch who would largely reverse the humiliations of Brétigny.

Cocherel and Auray

Charles V’s succession to the throne was difficult. Even before his father’s death, he had to contend with the English and the king of Navarre, known as ‘Charles the Bad’. This Pyrenean monarch held extensive lands in Normandy, which enabled him to blockade Paris. When he was deprived of what he saw as his rightful claim to the duchy of Burgundy, Charles the Bad raised two armies and passed through Aquitaine en route to Normandy with the Black Prince’s permission. His Anglo-Gascon forces were commanded by a notable soldier called Jean de Grailly, Captal de Buch but the Dauphin Charles already had 1,000 ‘routier’ mercenaries in Normandy.

This small force was ostensibly commanded by the count of Auxerre, but it was actually led by du Guesclin who followed Charles’s orders to attack Navarrese fortresses. By the time the captal arrived in Normandy, most of the strongholds had surrendered and du Guesclin blocked his eastern path in a defensive line before the River Eure. The captal’s army numbered around 6,000, in comparison to the 1,500-3,000 that du Guesclin had scraped together, but neither commander wanted to make the first move. The opposing armies faced each other in a two-day standoff near Houlbec-Cocherel.

On 16 May 1364, du Guesclin attempted to withdraw when his food supplies ran low but the captal was determined to prevent his escape and sent in his cavalry to outflank the French and block their access to the Eure bridge. The Battle of Cocherel began and it was strongly contested. The Navarrese army initially had the upper hand, thanks to their superior numbers, but the French managed to outflank them. Du Guesclin then forced a retreat when he deployed his Breton reserves. Surprised by this reversal of fortune, the captal’s forces fled and he was personally surrounded with 50 of his men and fought in a bloody last stand. The captal was wounded and captured while the majority of his men were killed.

Jean de Grailly, Captal de Buch, surrenders to du Guesclin after the Battle of Cocherel

It was a dramatic victory for du Guesclin, and his success bode well for the future as the battle had taken place three days before Charles V’s coronation. Charles the Bad’s streak was broken and Navarre never seriously threatened France again.

One king may have been defeated but Charles V still had many problems. Although the war with England was officially over, it nevertheless continued in du Guesclin’s home duchy of Brittany. Over 20 years, two factions under the houses of Blois and Montfort fought for the ducal title and the English ruthlessly exploited the destabilising situation. Charles supported the Blois faction and du Guesclin was sent to Brittany in September 1364 to aid Duke Charles of Blois in his claim.

The two armies of Blois and John of Montfort met at Auray on 29 September and the Montfortian army was conspicuous due to its extensive use of English soldiers and commanders. Out of the five commanders fighting against du Guesclin, three were English and the famous longbowmen were a conspicuous presence. Against this military machine, du Guesclin’s chances were unfavourable and although the armies were evenly matched at between 3,500-4,000 men, the English-dominated Montfortians prevailed.

The combat was particularly bloody as both sides wanted the encounter to end the Breton war and no quarter was given. The most significant casualty was Charles of Blois, who was killed, and du Guesclin was forced to surrender to the English commander, Sir John Chandos, but only after he had broken all of his weapons. John of Montfort was now recognised by Charles V as Duke John IV but despite du Guesclin’s defeat, Charles ransomed him and he was soon back in royal service. The reason for this rehabilitation became clear as the king needed du Guesclin to deal with perhaps the most serious problem in his kingdom besides the English: the merciless ‘routiers’.

The Battle of Auray was the decisive engagement of what became known as the Breton War of Succession

‘Routiers’ and Spain

After the Treaty of Brétigny, many soldiers were left unemployed, particularly those who had served under Edward III or the Black Prince. While on campaign, these men had grown accustomed to living off the land and they were reluctant to return home to a life of poverty or serfdom. As a result, large groups of mercenaries rampaged at will across France without any sufficient force to counter them. To protect their interests, the mercenaries formed into bands known as ‘Free Companies’ or ‘routes’ and they became known as ‘routiers’. One historical chronicler wrote that these groups, “…wasted all the country without cause and robbed, without sparing, all that ever they could get. They violated and defiled women without pity and slewed men, women and children without mercy.”

The routiers were particularly dangerous because of their professionalism. Not only were they former soldiers, but each company had a command structure with a staff to collect and distribute loot and some even had their own uniforms. Their nationalities varied and included Bretons, Spaniards and Germans but the majority were either Gascon or English with the latter being the most dominant group. Tellingly, the French described all routiers as ‘English’ and many of the most successful captains were enemies of du Guesclin, such as Sir Robert Knolles and Sir Hugh Calveley. Knolles became so notorious for burning towns that charred gables were nicknamed ‘Knolles’s Mitres’. Elsewhere, Sir John Harleston’s routiers once had a party where they drank from 100 chalices stolen from Champagne churches.

This organised chaos was a widespread problem and Charles V had neither the troops nor money to deal with them. However, he sent du Guesclin to rid Anjou of the routiers. This was a shrewd move as du Guesclin was a former mercenary himself, but he managed to clear the area in a short space of time.

In 1365, an opportunity arose when a pretender to the Castilian throne called Henry of Trastámara asked Charles for assistance against his half-brother King Pedro the Cruel. Sensing an opportunity, Charles ordered du Guesclin to recruit every routier he could find and sent this new army to Spain to assist Henry.

A group of ‘Tard-Venus’ routiers pillage Grammont, 1362. This particular band of mercenary bandits ravaged many French regions including Champagne, parts of Burgundy and the area around Lyon

At first, du Guesclin’s army performed well and many fortresses were captured, including Briviesca, Magallon and even the Castilian capital of Burgos. Henry was delighted with the results and proclaimed du Guesclin as the ruler of Granada, even though the Moors still held that territory. However, as Aquitaine was on the other side of the Pyrenees, it was not long before the English saw another chance to harass the French. Like the war in Brittany, the Castilian Civil War was a sub-conflict of the wider wars with England, and Edward the Black Prince was an ally of Pedro.

Edward led an Anglo-Gascon army into Spain to fight du Guesclin’s force, which led to a famous battle at Nájera on 3 April 1367. The clash was notable for the use of English longbowmen in an unfamiliar landscape away from France and the British Isles. Du Guesclin led a hand-picked vanguard of 1,500 men-at-arms and 500 crossbowmen in Henry’s Franco-Castilian army – outnumbering Edward’s force.

Directly facing him was a division of English archers and infantrymen led by Edward’s brother, John of Gaunt. Captal de Buch, du Guesclin’s defeated enemy from Cocherel, was also present. During the battle, du Guesclin was engaged in fierce hand-to-hand fighting with Gaunt’s division in the centre while chaos raged all around. The English archers inflicted heavy damage on Henry’s light cavalry on the flanks, which eventually caused them and the infantry to flee. Du Guesclin, who was surrounded in the centre, was completely unaware of the rout and only surrendered when he was informed of the situation. By the time the battle was over, a quarter of his force was dead and virtually everyone else was injured.

Nájera was a painful defeat but once again Charles V quickly ransomed du Guesclin as he was now considered to be invaluable. The Breton returned to Spain with a larger army and this time his fortunes changed when Edward left Spain after Pedro refused to pay the English campaign costs. Henry was now in a stronger position and at the Battle of Montiel on 14 March 1369, Pedro was decisively defeated. The victory was largely du Guesclin’s achievement he led Henry’s army and used enveloping tactics to crush Pedro’s Castilian-Moorish force. Despite this success, the greater drama came immediately after the battle.

The Battle of Montiel saw the defeat of Pedro the Cruel at the hands of du Guesclin and sealed an alliance between France and Castile

Pedro fled to Montiel Castle and attempted to bribe the pursuing du Guesclin to allow him to escape. Du Guesclin agreed but he also informed Henry, who also bribed him to lead him to Pedro’s tent. Once inside, the brothers began a fight to the death with daggers. Pedro gained the upper hand but at the last moment, the compromised du Guesclin took hold of Pedro, which allowed Henry to kill him. During this complicity in regal fratricide, du Guesclin is alleged to have said: “I neither put nor remove a king, but I help my master.”

This wilful abdication of responsibility reaped its dubious reward and a grateful Henry proclaimed du Guesclin as Duke of Molina and sealed the Franco-Castilian alliance. With his work completed, du Guesclin returned to France to once more aid his king.

Constable of France

By 1370, Charles V was ready to take the fight back to the English. Known as ‘Charles the Wise’, he was physically frail but nevertheless highly educated and pragmatic. He stopped sending the crippling ransom payments that were still owed for John II’s English imprisonment and reorganised his taxation system to fund a new force that was arguably France’s first standing army. This consisted of 3,000-6,000 men-at-arms and 800 crossbowmen. He also gave orders for townsmen to practice archery and to keep castles in good repair.

These preparations were made for a military offensive, but not one that involved any direct confrontations with the English. Charles knew that his armies could not defeat his enemies in open battle and so he contrived to win back his lost territory by adopting a scorched earth policy, guerrilla raids and forbidding his troops to openly engage the English.

Perhaps his most radical strategy was breaking with knightly chivalric traditions by appointing commanders who had proved themselves as captains of frontier garrisons or even as routiers. These men would not be paladins but hard-nosed professionals, and chief among these soldiers was du Guesclin himself.

In 1370, Charles appointed the former squire as Constable of France. This ancient office made du Guesclin the highest officer in the land after the king and effectively commander-in-chief of his military forces. Senior members of the nobility usually filled the position, but Charles needed a seasoned soldier who could appeal to the routiers to fight for him. In this regard, and despite his patchy military record, du Guesclin was perfect. He agreed with Charles’s strategy and from the outset, the French began to achieve successes against their ancient foe.

Charles V appoints du Guesclin as Constable of France

The test came almost immediately when Sir Robert Knolles launched a large raid into the Île de France and devastated the countryside up to the gates of Paris in September 1370. From his palace, Charles V could even see the rising smoke of burning villages, but he still refused to engage in battle. Du Guesclin deliberately waited until the enemy split up and then pounced on a contingent of 4,000 men led by Sir Thomas Grandison at Pontvallain on 4 December.

After a night march, the fight began at dawn with the French initially taking heavy casualties but the English were eventually either killed or captured, including Grandison. A similar fight took place at a nearby engagement at Vaas and Knolles was forced to call off his raid. The pursuing du Guesclin subsequently killed around 300 English soldiers outside the gates of Bressuire.

Although it was a relatively small battle, Pontvallain broke the decades-old aura of English invincibility and du Guesclin proceeded to reconquer Poitou and Saintonge between 1371-72 and even temporarily overran Brittany in 1373. During these campaigns, and the ones that followed for the next five years, du Guesclin slowly clawed back French lands and made inroads into English Aquitaine. There were even French naval raids on English home territories such as Guernsey, Rye, Plymouth and Lewes.

Du Guesclin’s finest hour as constable arguably came in 1377, when he defeated Edward III’s Aquitanian representative Thomas Felton at the Battle of Eymet. So many soldiers drowned after the battle that the area around the River Dropt was known as the ‘Englishmen’s Hole’ for centuries afterwards. After Eymet, du Guesclin came within a day’s march of Bordeaux and took Bergerac.

The Battle of Pontvallain as depicted in Jean Froissart’s Chronicles. The anointing of Pope Gregory XI is also depicted

Although Pontvallain and Eymet were notable battlefield victories, du Guesclin’s successes were largely won by deliberately avoiding the English where he could. Consequently, the English were left with no one to fight and they wasted vast resources marching through French territory on campaigns that would ultimately amount to nothing. The most costly of these campaigns was arguably John of Gaunt’s 1373 raid, which struck out from Calais to Bordeaux and covered 965 kilometres in five months. The English cut a huge swathe of destruction through central France but they lost 5,000 men out of 11,000 and huge amounts of supplies without capturing a single town or fighting any battle. Consequently, by the mid-1370s, English territory in France had shrunk to the area around Calais and a reduced Aquitaine.

This achievement was due to the combined work of Charles V and du Guesclin but this military odd couple would end their partnership on very poor terms. Although he had loyally served the French crown for decades, du Guesclin was proud of his Breton roots and when Charles confiscated Brittany in 1378, the constable opposed the decision. He carried out the subsequent campaign into his homeland half-heartedly. The constable now lost favour with the French king for the first time and was dispatched far from court to Languedoc to suppress the routiers in the region. While he was besieging Chateauneuf-de-Randon, du Guesclin caught a fever and died aged around 60 on 13 July 1380. The sickly Charles died three weeks later but not before he had given orders for his loyal constable to be buried among the kings of France at the Basilica of Saint Denis.

This final act turned the already highly popular du Guesclin into a folk hero among both the French and Bretons. Here was a man who had fought his way from the status of a lowly squire, to being considered the equal of kings and in the process liberating the majority of France from a relentless invader. The kingdom would not see his like again for half a century.

Bertrand du Guesclin’s tomb effigy at the Basilica of Saint-Denis

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Fils de Johan II de Grailly († 1343), premier captal de Buch de la famille Grailly et de Blanche de Foix, il est célébré par Froissart comme un parangon de vertu chevaleresque.

Descendant de Jean I er de Grailly qui se trouva aux côtés du futur comte Pierre de Savoie et de nombreux chevaliers savoyards et du pays de Vaud-venus soutenir le roi Henri III, neveu de Pierre [ 2 ] - à l’instar de ses ancêtres, il est fidèle aux rois d’Angleterre – ducs d’Aquitaine – dans leur lutte contre les rois de France.

Le titre de captal (« capdàu » en gascon) de Buch signifie « seigneur principal » de Buch (territoire entourant notamment le bassin d'Arcachon). La localité principale où se situait le château seigneurial était La Teste-de-Buch.

Les captaux de Buch de la famille de Bordeaux – dont Johan III descend par sa grand-mère paternelle Assalhide de Bordeaux – possédaient aussi la seigneurie de Puy-Paulin en plein Bordeaux.

Il succède à la mort de son grand-père Pey II de Grailly (+ 1357) aux vicomtés de Benauges (région de Cadillac, Gironde) et de Castillon (Castillon-la-Bataille) devenant ainsi le seigneur le plus important de l’Aquitaine anglo-gasconne.

Le fait que son grand-père soit mort bien après son père et après la bataille de Poitiers (1356) explique pour quelles raisons Johan III de Grailly fut connu sous le nom de "Captal de Buch", le seul titre d’importance qu’il avait jusqu’en 1357.

Quand en 1348 Édouard III fonde l'ordre de la Jarretière, il est des tout premiers à en faire partie [ 3 ] . Cependant la stalle du captal de Buch à la chapelle Saint-Georges de Windsor et les premiers statuts de l'ordre qui ont survécu (qui datent tous du début du XV e siècle) portent le nom de "Pierre, captal de Buch", ce qui fait parfois supposer que son grand-père, Pey II de Grailly, fut fait chevalier de l’ordre avant Johan III. En fait, il s’agit d'une erreur et c’est bien Johan III qui fut le premier chevalier de la Jarretière de sa famille.

Le 27 novembre 1350 il célèbre au château de Cazeneuve son mariage avec Rose d'Albret, fille de Bernard-Ezi d'Albret et de Mathe d'Armagnac.

Un Jean I er de Grailly, sénéchal d'Édouard I er d'Angleterre, est cité comme acquéreur en 1290 du château de Roquefère en Agenais, où séjourna en 1305 Bertrand de Goth, futur pape Clément V lié d'amitié avec John Chandos, connétable d'Aquitaine et de Guyenne pour Édouard III d'Angleterre, Grailly lui céda cette seigneurie "pour en jouir sa vie durant", point de départ d'un interminable procès [ 4 ] .

Il entre dans l'histoire quand il va en Angleterre à la tête d'une délégation de nobles gascons pour demander de l'aide contre les Français (1355) et que le prince de Galles Édouard (surnommé au XVI e siècle le Prince Noir) soit mis à la tête de l'expédition.

L'armée du Prince Noir arrive à Bordeaux en septembre 1355 et effectue avec le captal deux expéditions contre le royaume de France dont la seconde se termine par la victoire de la bataille de Poitiers (1356).

Tous les chroniqueurs soulignent le rôle primordial du captal lors de cette bataille. Avec un détachement de cavaliers gascons, il effectua un mouvement tournant qui prit à revers l'armée du roi de France Jean II le Bon, ce qui permit la victoire des Anglo-Gascons.

La célébrité du captal de Buch atteignit dès lors des sommets en Europe occidentale et on le plaça alors sur le même plan que son compagnon John Chandos et que son "rival" du parti français, le Breton Bertrand Du Guesclin. Il est l'un des héros chevaleresque des Chroniques de Froissart.

En 1357-1358, il participe aux côtés de son cousin germain Gaston Fébus, comte de Foix et vicomte de Béarn (1343-1391), à la "croisade" annuelle des chevaliers teutoniques contre les païens baltes. À leur retour en Occident (1358), ils répriment une partie de la Jacquerie qui assiégeait la ville de Meaux, alors que, de l'autre côté de la Marne, dans le quartier du Marché, se trouvait la femme du dauphin (futur Charles V) avec 300 dames.

Même après le traité de Brétigny-Calais (1360) qui établit la paix entre le roi d'Angleterre Édouard III et le roi de France Jean II, le captal désire continuer à combattre.

Il s'allie avec le roi de Navarre Charles II (dit depuis le XVI e siècle "le Mauvais") et il défend ses possessions normandes à la Bataille de Cocherel ( 6 mai 1364 ) où il est battu et fait prisonnier par les Français de Bertrand Du Guesclin appuyés par quelques nobles anglo-gascons également sans emploi à cause de la paix.

Après avoir promis au roi de France Charles V de jouer les intermédiaires avec le roi d'Angleterre en vue d'appliquer correctement le traité de paix, ce roi lui rend la liberté et, pour se l’attacher, lui donne la seigneurie de Nemours et obtient ainsi son hommage.

Mais le Prince Noir, Édouard, prince d'Aquitaine depuis 1362, lui reproche d'avoir accepté cette nouvelle allégeance et le captal rend alors Nemours au roi de France.

Il participe évidemment à l'expédition en Castille du Prince Noir qui replace provisoirement Pierre le Cruel sur le trône castillan après la victoire obtenue lors de la bataille de Nájera ( 3 avril 1367 ) contre Henri de Trastamare et Bertrand Du Guesclin [ 5 ] .

À la suite de l'appel du comte d'Armagnac Jean I er contre le fouage (taxe levée par foyer) décidé par le Prince Noir en 1368, la guerre reprend avec la France. Bien sûr, le captal combat de toutes ses forces aux côtés du parti « anglais ». Le Prince Noir lui donne le comté de Bigorre ( 27 juin 1369 ) pour lutter efficacement contre le comte d'Armagnac qui s'est fait donner ce comté par le roi de France.

À la suite de la mort de John Chandos ( 2 janvier 1370 ), le captal lui succède en tant que connétable d’Aquitaine. Le 23 août 1372 , à Soubise, il tombe de nouveau aux mains des Français qui, cette fois, le gardent en prison, dans la tour du Temple à Paris, où il mourut le 7 septembre 1376 .

On ne sait s'il fut enterré à Paris comme l'affirme Froissart ou à Bordeaux en l'église des Franciscains (quartier St-Michel), comme il l'avait demandé dans son testament (1369).

Il ne laissa aucun héritier de son mariage avec Rose d'Albret et légua toutes ses possessions à son oncle Archambaud de Grailly, demi-frère cadet de son père Joan II, qui lui succéda sans opposition.

Le captal eut un fils bâtard, nommé comme lui Johan de Grailly, qui n'était probablement pas né à la date du seul testament de Johan III qui nous est parvenu ( 16 mars 1369 ), puisqu'il n'y est pas mentionné. Comme le captal fut fait prisonnier en 1372, il n'a pu naître qu'entre 1369 et 1372.

Il est mentionné en 1394 en tant que jeune capitaine de Bouteville (entre Cognac et Angoulême), une possession de son oncle Archambaut.

Froissart le rencontra lors d'un voyage à Londres (1394) quand les Gascons s'opposèrent au don du duché d'Aquitaine à Jean de Gand, frère du Prince Noir et oncle du roi d'Angleterre Richard II dit « de Bordeaux ».

Johan de Grailly participa à la défense de Blaye lors de son siège (1406) par une armée française dirigée par Louis I er d'Orléans.

Il mourut à Blaye en 1407 et fut enterré en grande pompe à Bordeaux et ne semble pas avoir laissé d'enfants.

Sont issus d'Archambaud de Grailly, son oncle, ou lui sont apparentés:

- peut-être le peintre Victor de Grailly (Paris,1804 - ? 1889), élève de Jean-Victor Bertin, qui exposa au Salon depuis 1833

  • Le marquis Gaston de Grailly ( XIX e siècle), dont l'hôtel particulier familial de Poitiers est devenu le siège de la délégation Poitou-Charentes du Centre national de la fonction publique territoriale (C.N.F.P.T.), et qui avait comme résidence estivale le château de Panloy à Port-d'Envaux (Charente-Maritime), dont le pigeonnier complet datant de 1620 est le mieux conservé du département.

La demeure, "modernisée" vers 1770, fut l'objet un siècle plus tard d'importants travaux d'agrandissement - galerie dite de chasse, écuries et servitudes - et d'embellissement de ses décors extérieur et intérieur suivant la mode opulente du temps.

  • Le petit-fils de Gaston de Grailly, Archambaud, fonda avec le docteur Jean Texier, propriétaire par mariage vers 1920 du château de Dampierre-sur-Boutonne (Charente-Maritime), et d'autres responsables de vieilles demeures du département l'association la Route historique des trésors de Saintonge, un des premiers circuits de découverte touristique du patrimoine monumental local, encore active.

Au château de Panloy, ses descendants, conservent souvenirs et documents familiaux - des archives seigneuriales provenant de cette maison ont été déposées aux archives départementales de Charente-Maritime et communicables sur autorisation - continuent d'y recevoir le public.

Jean III de Grailly

Cadfridog yn ystod y Rhyfel Can Mlynedd rhwng Lloegr a Ffrainc oedd Jean III de Grailly, captal de Buch (bu farw 7 Medi 1376). Roedd yn gefnder i Gownt Foix, ac yn arweinydd milwrol amlwg, yn cefnogi brenin Lloegr yn erbyn brenin Ffrainc. Ystyriai'r croniclydd Jean Froissart fel esiampl ddelfydol o sifalri.

Bu ganddo ran bwysig ym muddugoliaeth y Saeson ym Mrwydr Poitiers yn 1356 fel arweinydd y marchogion. Yn 1364 gorchfygwyd ef gan Bertrand du Guesclin ym Mrwydr Cocherel, a'i gymeryd yn garcharor. Wedi ei ryddhau y flwyddyn ddilynol, ochrodd gyda Siarl V, brenin Ffrainc am gyfnod, ond yn fuan newidiodd ei ochr i gefnogi brenin Lloegr eto. Yn 1367 roedd gyda'r Tywysog Du yn Sbaen.

Yn 1372, ymosododd y Ffrancwyr ar La Rochelle, oedd ym meddiant y Saeson. Roedd y Captal yn arwain byddin Seisnig oedd yn ceisio codi'r gwarchae, ond wrth iddo geisio codi'r gwarchae ar Soubise, ymosodwyd ar ei fyddin gan fyddin Ffrengig dan arweiniad Owain Lawgoch, a'i cymerodd ef a Syr Thomas Percy, seneschal Poitou, yn garcharorion. Treuliodd y Captal y gweddill o'i fywyd yn garcharor ym Mharis, gan ei fod yn cael ei ystyried yn rhy beryglus i'w ryddhau.

Buch in a sentence

3 The term caldera was introduced into the geological vocabulary by the German geologist Leopold von Buch when he published his memoirs of his 1815 visit to the Canary Islands, where he first saw the Las Cañadas caldera on Tenerife, with Montaña Teide dominating the landscape, and then the Caldera de Taburiente on La Palma.

4 However, since the German dative is marked in form, it can also be put after the accusative: Ich schickte das Buch dem Mann(e).

5 Das Buch liegt auf dem Tisch(e) (dative: The book is lying on the table), but Ich lege das Buch auf den Tisch (accusative: I put the book onto the table).

6 Of higher literary value is the didactic and satirical Buch von der Tugend und Weisheit (1550), a collection of forty-nine fables in which Alberus embodies his views on the relations of Church and State.

7 These were first published in Buch der Lieder (Book of Songs) in 182.

8 Then, in 1809, the German geologist Christian Leopold von Buch used the term more restrictively in his description of these Italian ophiolitic rocks.

9 Unlike the other factions, Ribbentrop's foreign policy programme was the only one that Hitler allowed to be executed during the years 1939–41, though it was more due to the temporary bankruptcy of Hitler's own foreign policy programme that he had laid down in Mein Kampf and Zweites Buch following the failure to achieve an alliance with Britain, than to a genuine change of mind.

10 The functions of the genitive are normally expressed using a combination of the dative and a possessive determiner: e.g. dem Mann säi Buch (lit.

11 In 1958, the Zweites Buch was found in the archives of the United States by American historian Gerhard Weinberg.

12 Unable to find an American publisher, Weinberg turned to his mentor – Hans Rothfels at the Institute of Contemporary History in Munich, and his associate Martin Broszat – who published Zweites Buch in 1961.

13 On 2 September 1929, Bormann married 19-year-old Gerda Buch (23 October 1909 – 23 March 1946), whose father, Major Walter Buch, served as a chairman of the Untersuchung und Schlichtungs-Ausschuss (USCHLA

14 Hitler was a frequent visitor to the Buch house, and it was here that Bormann met him.

15 exceptions include Wülflingen (acquired 1760), Buch (acquired 1761), Dietikon, which was a condominium, and Rheinau (owned by Rheinau Abbey).

16 Büsingen is served by PostBus Switzerland with a regular connection to the German village Randegg, the Swiss villages Ramsen, Buch and Dörflingen, as well as the city and railway station of Schaffhausen.

17 Captal de Buch (later Buché from Latin capitalis, "first", "chief") was a medieval feudal title in Gascony held by Jean III de Grailly among others.

18 The title is best known in connexion with the famous soldier, Jean III de Grailly, captal de Buch (r. 1343–1376), the "captal de Buch" par excellence, immortalized by Jean Froissart as the confidant of the Black Prince and the champion of the English cause against France during the first phase of the Hundred Years' War.

19 Christian Leopold von Buch (April 26, 1774 – March 4, 1853), usually cited as Leopold von Buch, was a German geologist and paleontologist born in Stolpe an der Oder (now a part of Angermünde, Brandenburg) and is remembered as one of the most important contributors to geology in the first half of the nineteenth century.

20 In the spring of 1798, Buch extended his excursions into Italy, where his faith in the Neptunian theory was shaken.