June 16, 2024


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Limoges were mentioned by the English in 1370 in Ridley Scott’s “Last Battle”.

As British director Ridley Scott was interested in the wars in the medieval Haute-Vienne. His Robin Hood, Released in 2010, he rebuilt the Battle of Salus. From the first minutes, when the castle was besieged, the world public discovered the place where King Richard the Lionheart of England was fatally struck by a crossbow bolt.

The black prince considers himself a traitor

Eleven years later, the filmmaker evokes another chapter in the Hundred Years’ War: The Sock of Limoges. This time again from the beginning of his new film The last fight.

A bloody event in September 1370, which took place at the present location of a street perpendicular to Bond Saint-Etienne Street. At that time, the city was divided into two parts: the castle, which was managed by the English, and the city, which was managed by Bishop Jean de Cross.

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This man of the Church was very close to Edward of Woodstock, Prince of Wales, later nicknamed the “Black Prince”, even the eldest son’s godfather.

However, under the command of Jean de Berry, Jean de Cross crosses the Prince of Wales by opening the city gates to French troops.

According to some historians, the Black Prince believed he had betrayed himself and would engage in 6,400 warriors, and even come to Cognac, Sorrento, and Limoges, despite being ill. Carrying on a bed, he insists on being there to wipe away the shame.

Limousines, cadastral plan 1812. You can clearly see the city and the castle.

Men, women and children were killed

On September 13 or 14, the army was at the city gates, which were spread over 10 hectares, surrounded by walls and accessed by six gates. At the level of the Aurasia Tower between Port Bonnet and Bond Saint-Etienne, a section of troops rushed on September 19th. The looting of the city then begins.

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In Archaeological and Historical Bulletin of Limousine, Alfred Leroux reports that the attack took place in the early hours of the morning and that people were still asleep. “Many people had to leave their homes and disturb the alleys to find out what was going on. “

No wonder the British were ordered to kill without pardon. Men, women and children are destroyed.

Looting and burning

According to historian Froyshord, “The entire population of Limousin would have knelt before the English prince for mercy.

He says British forces massacred 3,000 people. According to Alfred Leroux, the British looted and then effectively burned the city, but as a monk of the Saint-Martial Report, 300 died. And not 3,000.

Alfred Lerox recalled that “the real nature of the capture of Limoges by the black prince was not a layoff and the massacre of men” for whom Frozard’s account of facts was “exaggerated”. Sure, he was “hard to find” but questioned the winners … so were the English. Hence his discriminatory presentation.

Will be mentioned in the show Test De Montein then in England for many centuries in France.

In an in-depth analysis of the impact of this event, historian Catherine Four-Delhum notes that after World War II, local historians compared the history of Limoges and the valiant French knights to limousine resistance. And the Oradur-sur-Glen massacre.

In both cases, the cities were set on fire and innocent people were massacred. One way to elevate patriotic sentiments and thereby create “the best attributes that limousine identity has been telling limousines for centuries: a sense of courage, sacrifice and resistance in the face of the enemy.”

Two historians study the limousine sac and its impact

Thomas Schneider Doctor of Medieval History in Limoges under the supervision of Anne Masoni.
Pascal Texier President of the Limousine Archaeological and Historical Society. Cross-interview.

Who was the black prince behind the attack on the city of Limoges?

Thomas Schneider: “He is the eldest son of King Edward III, Prince of Wales and Queen Duke. The legend surrounding this bloodthirsty and cruel man is not so black. Is involved. “

How is the city captured?

Thomas Schneider: “They used the mining method: they dug the galleries, propped them up with beams and then set fire to the beams. The gallery collapsed, along with the wall.”

Pascal Texier: ” This is the downside. We create a weakness, a breach to attack the city. The street they entered has long been known as the Ru de la Mine. “

Is he attacking the city because he thinks he was betrayed by Bishop Jean de Cross?

Thomas Schneider: “This is a personal story, but not only that. You need to understand that Limoges represents a political issue. This is the important place of the Aquitaine Duchy. It is a bridge, a political and economic flag. The attack was carried out. He is in his role when he intervenes. The attack is systematic. This massacre, with our modern consciousness, screams at us.

Pascal Texier: “We should not ignore personal relationships between two people. From 1368, Du Gesklin led the recapture of French territory. The king’s brother, Perry Duke, later came to Limoges to suggest that he change his alliance with Jean de Cross. The latter sees the emerging political situation and accepts it. Reading the evidence, we understand that there is an angry reaction from the black prince, who is served a little soup in milk. For him it was personal betrayal. “

Does this phenomenon increase anti-English sentiment?

Pascal Texier: “At that time, there was no idea of ​​a nation. So there is no patriotism, only those who speak the same language depending on this or that Lord. Anti-English, it does not mean anything. People recognize the dominance of one or the other. “

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Thomas Schneider: “Talking about anti-English sentiment is not a historical fact. The King of England, Lord Aquitaine, is at home in Limoges. It should also be remembered that the English impact is not so negative. The history of Limoges benefited from English domination. Back then the British were not the enemy here. “

Pascal Texier: “But the Limoges episode will be instrumentalized from Frozart’s chronology 9 years later. The task of rebuilding the Kingdom of France will be done later around a common enemy, the English.”
Does the event create a limousine identity?

Thomas Schneider: “This is part of the limousine myth of limousine because we are in a state of resistance and sacrifice. This event was mainly used in the light of a non – neutral view of history.”

Pascal Texier: “It always pays to think like that, and I belong to a limousine. But when we do comparative history, we understand that resistance in times of war is the most classic approach. Relating this survival process to political and social planning is even more specific.”


Bulletin of Limousine Archaeological and Historical Society Alfred Leroux recalled from his pen that there were four immediate sources related to this event.

Limoges-Château Embassy’s Cartulage, probably written by the embassy’s ordinary writer, The second text is in Limoges’ notary’s register. The third comes from a manuscript from Saint-Martial Abbey, and the fourth, more precisely, is taken from the testimony of a monk from Usersey Abbey. Alfred Lerox thinks this monk may have been a direct witness to the events.

The other four sources, cited later, include Frozard’s sources Bulletin of the Archaeological Society, “Took the trouble to find” but questioned the winners … hence the English. Alfred Leroux rejects some of the characters and tries to base them on stories that seem too objective to him.

Go further: Read Bulletin of Limousine Archaeological and Historical Society. How about this book again This event marked the identity of the limousine.

Frank Logier