Ceding of Maine

Letters Patent confirm the handover of Maine to France.

On 22nd December 1445, the English agreed to handover Maine to France. It was a secret element of the Treaty of Tours, linked to peace and the King’s marriage to Margaret of Anjou.

“To the most high and powerful prince, our very dear uncle of France [Charles VII]. Most high and powerful prince, our very dear uncle, knowing that you would be very glad that we should make deliverance of the city and town of Le Mans, and all that we have and hold within the county of Maine, to the most high and powerful prince and our very dear father and uncle, the King of Sicily and Charles of Anjou, his brother (as by your subjects and ambassadors at this time sent to us has been more fully said and explained), who have most affectionately upon your part required us so to do, and moreover informed us that it appeared to you that this was one of the best means to arrive at the blessing of a peace between us and you; wishing effectually to prove the greatest desire and affection which we have to attain unto the said blessing of peace… favouring also our most dear and well beloved companion the queen who has also requested us to do this many times. Dated at Windsor, the xxij day of December, in the year one thousand cccc and forty five Thus signed Henry.” Letter sent from Henry VI to Charles VII, 22 December 1445

The territory was not handed over straight away. It was a politically sensitive issue, and full audits would need to be undertaken prior to the final transfer of rights to the county. France, however, being in the ascendancy of the conflict, was able to press for the handover to take place. England simply would not be able to say no.

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