Du Guesclin, Bertrand
free companies,the marauding soldiers who pillaged France after the Treaty of Brétigny between France and England, Du Guesclin was sent to Spain to aid Henry of Trastamara (later Henry II of Castile) against Peter the Cruel. Du Guesclin, though successful in the campaign of 1366, was defeated and captured (1367) by Peter and Edward the Black Prince at Nájera. In 1369, however, he and Henry won the battle of Montiel, gaining for Henry the throne of Castile. Warfare with England was renewed in 1369, and Du Guesclin reconquered Poitou and Saintonge and pursued (1370–74) the English into Brittany. He disapproved of the confiscation (1378) of Brittany by Charles V, and his campaign to make the duchy submit to the king was halfhearted. An able tactician and a loyal and disciplined warrior, Du Guesclin had reconquered much of France from the English when he died while on a military expedition in Languedoc.
See biographies by D. F. Jamison (1864), E. V. Stoddard (1897), and R. Vercel (tr. 1934).
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