19 September 2014
I have to admit that yesterday; my article Save the Dates went a bit gory on the death penalty and the guillotine in France. I thought it was important to have a bit of history in contrast of being too generic article. Talking about “history”, let’s talk about our History, France and England relationship. Yes, we’ve always been in a love/hate relationship with England. A long history of battles, wars, reconciliations, cheats, alliances and so on… This 19th of September is the anniversary of at least 2 famous battles between those countries… And France is not well placed here…
There we go:
19 September 1356 – Defeat of Poitiers
The French army was crushed by the English archers at the first real battle of the Hundred Years War (i.e. from 1356 to 1453). The King of France, Jean II Le Bon and his son, Philip le Hardi were taken prisoners. The Black Prince whose real name is Edward of Woodstock (Prince of Wales, Duke of Cornwall, and finally Prince of Aquitaine) led them to Bordeaux and imprisoned them in London.
19 September 1417 – Capitulation of Caen
After a month of siege, the castle of Caen surrendered to the troops of Henry the V, making it his headquarters. After the victory over the Armagnacs at Agincourt (1415), Normandy is now English. Henry V forced Charles VI Le Fou to sign the Treaty of Troyes dated 21 May 1420, making him the new king of France and England. Can you imagine, France could have been part of the UK! :0
The 19th of September is obviously not a great date for my Frenchies…. 😦
However, Caen was occupied by the English until 1450 retaken by Charles VII of France. We lost a few battles but we won Normandy back 😉
19 September 1783 – The Montgolfier brothers bluff the Court of Versailles
In front of a Court held by Louis XVI, Joseph-Michel et Jacques-Étienne Montgolfier managed to fly a 400 cubic meters balloon having on board a rooster, a duck and a sheep. The idea of a hot air balloon came to Joseph in November 1782.
Later, in December 1783, in recognition of their achievement, their father Pierre was elevated to the nobility and the hereditary appellation of “De Montgolfier” by King Louis XVI of France.
For the little story, the Montgolfier Company still exists today. In fact, Etienne’s son-in-law, Barthélémy Barou de la Lombardière de Canson (you can’t do longer than that!) succeeded him as the head of the company (he married Jacques-Etienne’s daughter Alexandrine de Montgolfier).
The company became “Montgolfier et Canson” in 1801, then “Canson-Montgolfier” in 1807. Nowadays, Canson SAS (everybody in France knows the brand, we use Canson for our drawing class at school) is a successful company producing fine art papers and sold in 120 countries.
I’ll probably write later about the incredible story and tragic end of Suzanne de Canson, heir of Montgolfier and Canson.
Posted on September 19, 2014, in Save the dates! and tagged 19 September 1356, 19 September 1417, 19 September 2014, Canson, Capitulation of Caen, Defeat of Poitiers, Edward of Woodstock, France and England relationship, french, french attitude, Henry the V, history, Jacques-Étienne Montgolfier, Jean II Le Bon, Joseph-Michel Montgolfier, Montgolfier, Normandy English, Save the Dates, Suzanne de Canson, The Black Prince, the castle of Caen. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.