The Battle of Crécy (occasionally called the Battle of Cressy in English) took place on 26 August 1346 near Crécy in northern France, and was one of the most important battles of the Hundred Years' War. The combination of new weapons and tactics have caused many historians to consider this battle the beginning of the end of chivalry.
Crécy may also have seen the first real use of cannon on the European battlefield, which were used only in small numbers by a few states during the 1340s. "Ribaldis", a type of cannon, were first mentioned in the English Privy Wardrobe accounts during preparations for the battle between 1345 and 1346, and they were perhaps employed against both the Genoese and the cavalry.
The use of firearms at this battle is only mentioned in one contemporary account of the battle, that of Villani (d. 1348). Villani did travel abroad during much of the early 14th century, yet he had returned to his home in Florence at the time of the Battle of Crécy, so his information was likely second hand if not third or fourth hand. His account also conflicts with almost all of the other contemporary chronicles of this time on the events of the battle, specifically the use of firearms. In one of the later versions of his chronicle, Froissart does mention guns being used in the battle, but by that time firearms had become more common in warfare. His earlier versions fail to include any mention of firearms. So while firearms were perhaps employed, their possible effect on the battle should be viewed critically.
The political consequences of the battle were significant for Edward III especially, who had financed and supplied his expedition to Normandy with increasingly unpopular policies. The widespread use of purveyance and the arresting of ships to provide transport for his armies had left the King with potential sources of discontent in his kingdom. Likewise, the bold and unprecedented move to expand compulsory service, usually only required for defence of the coasts, to supply overseas service in France proved to be deeply unpopular with many of his subjects. However, the successes of the campaign did much to mute opposition when English Parliament was called at 11 – 20 September 1346.
Image & Text:wikipedia.com
Returning from "Inglourious Basterds" at the Castro Theater three years ago last night, I learned the sad news that Senator Edward Kennedy had died at the age of 77. At least he lived far longer than any of his brothers (and four years more than my Dad or his father). I recall his eloquent eulogy at RFK's funeral in Saint Patrick's Cathedral NYC forty-four years ago! What promise-- destroyed two years later just before the first moon landing. If not a president... a great senator.