Battles and Sieges

Preparations for invading France

On 8 December 1473 Commissioners began to purchase provisions and arms for the planned invasion of France. 

Edward IVs intended invasion of France was to be a large undertaking. Construction of a large fleet began in ports along the South Coast. Lords and nobles were instructed to ready themselves. Arrangements were made to collect the taxes granted to finance the venture. Edward now needed to ensure that the invading army was well equipped and that sufficient victuals were secured for the campaign.

Planning an invasion is logistically challenging. More so when it is into entirely hostile territory. When Edward had landed at Ravenspur two years earlier, he had the advantage of knowing which parts of the country were likely to be sympathetic to his cause. That meant he could be confident of being supplied. Furthermore, he had been provisioned with victuals and arms by the Duchy of Burgundy.

In 1473 the situation was somewhat different. The KIngs stated intention was to invade France and reclaim the crown that Henry VI had worn. Here, there would be no warm welcome. Supplies would be collected by the French and taken into their reserve or destroyed. The French would be well-armed. The English army would need to be prepared for modern, continental tactics. This meant investment.

On 8th December 1473, the King’s Commissioners began the process of ordering the supplies and arms. Armouries had time to fashion armour and artillery; the bowyers to fashion longbows; the swordsmiths and blacksmiths to hammer new weapons and, for the nobility to devise methods of producing sufficient supplies for the campaign. Pigs to be fattened, slaughtered, and cured; biscuits to be baked, the list was long and would take time. And it needed to be done as secretly as possible.

Image details

Image of a Nave Quadra (Cog). As illustrated by Michael of Rhodes. Cogs were used in the 1475 invasion as transportation. This example us a little earlier than Edward’s expedition but is a near contemporary example.

Leave a Reply