Did your ancestors fight in the Hundred Years War? There is a way to find out. Historians at the universities of Southampton and Reading may have the answer.
The Hundred Years’ War was a long struggle between England and France over succession to the French throne. The House of Plantagenet, rulers of the Kingdom of England, fought against the House of Valois, rulers of the Kingdom of France. The conflict lasted from 1337 to 1453, so it might more accurately be called the “116 Years’ War.”
Historians have long considered the Hundred Years’ War a milestone in the development of national consciousness in Western Europe. After many hard battles, the House of Valois managed to secure the French crown.
Many people would like to know if their relatives participated in this long struggle. An easy way to find out is to visit a new website called www.medievalsoldier.org.
As part of the Soldier in Later Medieval England project, historians have added the names of over 3,500 French soldiers linked to the Battle of Agincourt (1415).
They join the quarter of a million names already available for English armies who fought in a number of campaigns, including Agincourt- forming what’s believed to be the largest database of medieval people in the world.
The Medieval Soldier website was first launched in 2009 and has been expanding ever since. The database now contains details of geographical origins of soldiers and locations of their service, enabling the local life of the medieval soldier to be illuminated more fully. People can search by surname, rank, or year of service. It also contains biographies of all English captains of 1415 and further insights into the Battle of Agincourt, which was commemorated extensively in the UK and France last year.
“Our newly developed interface interrogates sources found in many different archive repositories in England and France. Without our site, searching for this information would require many visits to the National Archives of both England and France, the British Library and Bibliothèque nationale and all of the Archives Départementales in Normandy,” Professor Adrian Bell, fellow project Director and Head of the ICMA Centre, Henley Business School at the University of Reading said.
Historians and researchers hope this new data will help us to reach out to new users and shed fresh light on the Hundred Years War.
You can find out if your relatives participated in the Hundred Years War by visiting: www.medievalsoldier.org.