The Treaty of Chateaugiron was an agreement made between England and Brittany. The two parties agreed to combine forces for an attack on France or into parts of Gascony that the French held.
Anglo-Breton talks at Chateaugiron
The treaty was the result of negotiations undertaken by Anthony Woodville, 2nd Earl Rivers. In 1472 the Bretons had sent a request for England to come to their aid. Under attack from the French, they had requested that Edward IV send 6000 archers.
Instead, they found a band of 30 archers and a small personal entourage accompanying Anthony Woodville, Earl Rivers. Woodville did persuade the King to allow further men to be sent to Brittany. King Edward permitted a further 1000 archers, at Woodville’s expense, to sail to Brittany.
Treaty of Chateaugiron
It was at this time that Woodville opened talks with the Bretons about an alliance treaty.
Similarly, Edward had opened talks with Burgundy on the same matter. Woodville was successful, as was Edward, and as a result, the Treaty of Chateaugiron was signed on 11th September 1472.
Three Party Alliance against the French
These agreements helped King Edward negotiate with the Bretons and Burgundians as he formulated his plan to invade France. These plans took some time to come to fruition due to concerns held by members of the English Commons. In the meantime though, the Treaty acted as a warning to France not to interfere with the autonomy enjoyed by England’s continental allies.
The Bretons had been engaged in conflicts with France for many years. The duchy had bene fought over throughout the Hundred Years War, drawing in support from the English, French, and other states, as rival claims for made for the dukedom. Now the French were attempting to exert their authority on the duchy. This came at a time when Burgundy was in an aggressive mood and France was perhaps attempting to eliminate the threat of a major second front being opened to the west.
The most famous aspect of this Franco-Breton clash is the Siege of Beauvais. Here the defence was led the stuff of legend, with Jeanne Hachette gaining fame for her stoic actions. You can read more about the Siege of Beauvais on the Freelance History Writer.
French actions lead to the Treaty of Chateaugiron
It was actions such as those at Beauvais that led to the request for English intervention in Breton affairs. England would be expected to have sympathies with the Duke of Brittany given the role of France in the Angers Agreement and their supporting of the Lancastrian invasion of 1471. This led to Anthony Woodville being given permissions that led to the Treaty of Chateaugiron.