The Hundred Years’ War
The ‘Hundred Years’ War’ was a series of conflicts which in fact took place over a period of 116 years. It is generally considered to have begun in 1337, when King Philip VI of France confiscated the lands held by King Edward III of England, namely the county of Ponthieu in northern France and the more extensive territory that he held in Gascony as duke of Aquitaine, and to have ended when the English lost Gascony to the French in 1453. During the course of the war the English greatly expanded their French holdings, and one of their kings, Henry VI, was even crowned king of France. They could not maintain these gains, however, and when the war ended nothing was left to them save for Calais in the north.
For many Welshmen, fighting for the English Crown in France during this period provided good money and opportunities for advancement; others, however, saw the French as useful allies against the English in their struggle to restore Wales’s own former independence (see Welsh soldiers).
Guto’r Glyn himself served as an archer in Normandy during the final phase of the war and composed poems to important Welsh commanders such as Matthew Gough a Sir Richard Gethin (see Guto and the War).
Bibliography: This article is based mainly on C. Allmand, The Hundred Years War: England and France at War c.1300-c.1450 (Cambridge, 1988) and A. Curry, The Hundred Years War (2nd edition, Basingstoke, 2003), except for some information concerning Guto’r Glyn’s patrons which is drawn from the relevant patron notes in www.gutorglyn.net.
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