Teenagers at War During the Middle Ages

Knight with SquireTeenagers at War During the Middle Ages

Kelly DeVries (Loyola University, Maryland)

The Premodern Teenager: Youth in Society, 1150-1650 (2002)

Early in 1212 a young man from western Germany, whose name has come down through history only as Nicholas, became the focal point of an attempted military endeavour against the Muslims in the Holy Land. Sweeping through the Rhineland, the fervour for participation grew with such vigour that more than a thousand like him joined the endeavour. They were fearless, willing to leave the comforts of their homes and families to travel thousands of miles and fight enemies whose different religion compelled them to make the journey. Because of their relative youth, this `crusade’ has become known historically as the `Children’s Crusade.’1


More than a century later, late in the afternoon of 26 August 1340, a young man stood firm in his position. It was important that he not show fear at what he was about to encounter. He was obviously rich, with a noble and brave demeanour the result of years of training in military arts. He was well armed and well armoured. He was also young and fear must have crossed his heart. No doubt he thought about the role he was to play in ensuing events, for he was in command of the most vulnerable spot on the battlefield, the central position of the middle of three solid defensive lines. Although only a teenager, a mere sixteen years old, Edward, Prince of Wales, later to be known as the Black Prince, was about to engage the French army at Crecy.2

Not one hundred years after the Black Prince fought at Crecy, early in the morning of 7 May 1429, another teenager, Joan of Arc, prepared to make military history. On this occasion, she was not waiting in a defensive formation as the Black Prince had done at Crecy, but poised to attack an enemy-controlled position, the strongly fortified bridgehead called the Tourelles that stood opposite the besieged city of Orleans.3 This was not her first military engagement, for she had been fighting against the besiegers of Orleans for more than a week, but it was to be her first great military effort, a direct assault on a fortification packed with the enemy armed with a large number of gunpowder weapons as well as with more traditional medieval arms. Like the `children crusaders,’ but unlike the Black Prince, Joan probably felt little fear, for she had a divine mission to fulfil, and that mission began with the relief of the English siege of Orleans.

All three of these military incidents, with their adolescent participants, have given historians the impression that warfare in the Middle Ages was fought often, if not primarily, by warriors under the age of twenty: teenagers. Judging from what little age-related evidence there is, however, this may actually not have been the case. In fact, the children of the Children’s Crusade may not actually have been children, or even adolescents, while the young age of the Black Prince and of Joan of Arc may have been unusual in leadership roles, but seems not to have mattered as the two youths showed military skill far beyond their teenage years.

There is no doubt that throughout history youths in their teens fought in wars. Even beyond those who were recruited in early modern armed forces as musicians (pipers, buglers, and drummers) and as logistical personnel in armies or as ensigns in navies, many teenagers chose to enlist among those actually fighting. Muster rolls in the early modern and modern periods, which sometimes contain age-related details, have confirmed this fact. For example, a statistical analysis of late eighteenth-century British soldiers found an average age of 21.6 years for 74 soldiers serving in the British army in America in 1776-82 and 24.0 years for 951 soldiers serving in the British army during the Napoleonic Wars of 1790-99. These same soldiers’ ages stayed relatively the same during proximate years of peace: an average of 22.8 years for 35 soldiers serving in the British army in 1762-75 and 24.0 years for 56 soldiers serving in the same army in 1783-89.4 Still, because of poor and frequently dishonest recruitment information, it is almost impossible for the historian seeking statistical evidence to determine how many teenagers actually fought in any engagement.

Yet another source of evidence has facilitated the historians’ search for soldiers’ ages: the excavation of corpses from military conflicts. For example, excavations of graves from a 1812 battle at Snake Hill, near Fort Erie, Canada, have established that 17 of the 32 bodies were of soldiers under the age of 25, with 9 of these under the age of 20. The youngest was only 14 years old.5 These findings are further corroborated by the excavations of 21 eighteenth-century military corpses from Fort Laurens, Ohio, whose average age was 23.5 years, with two soldiers aged between 12 and 15 years.6 Other age-related studies of victims of war indicate a similar young age of the soldiers: five who died during the attacks on Fort William Henry in 1757 averaged 23.3 years, and thirty New York Provincials who died during engagements in 1760 averaged 25.5 years.7 It is this evidence that has led-some early modern military historians to estimate that while the largest portion of men serving in armies of the period were between 20 and 40 years of age, up to a quarter of the soldiery might have been under 20 years of age, with many only 15 or 16 years old.8

Can the same estimation apply to soldiers fighting during the Middle Ages? While there are several medieval muster rolls, such as that for Edward III’s Crecy campaign in 1346 or the Bridport muster roll of 1457, none of these contain the ages of their listed participants.9 Nor have prosopographical studies of medieval military endeavours aided this understanding; even James M. Powell’s Anatomy of a Crusade, a detailed study of the Fifth Crusade that uses an extremely large number of sources, has not been able to determine how old, or young, those crusaders were.

What about the excavations of medieval military corpses? Despite knowing the locations of several grave mounds and cemeteries, only a few have been excavated. The unearthing by Bengt Thordeman of more than a thousand skeletons from the largest of these, the battlefield of Visby, where in 1361, the Danes defeated the Gotlanders, revealed no information on the ages of these soldiers, primarily because Thordeman was little concerned with the bodies themselves and even bagged all the bones together.10

However, two recent excavations are far more profitable for determining the age of medieval soldiers. The first, undertaken by the Council for British Archaeology at St. Andrew’s cemetery in the Fishergate area of York, while not a military cemetery per se, did reveal 29 skeletons which had sustained fatal blade injuries. Their average age, however, was much older than the early modern corpses mentioned above: 28 years old.11 Far more secure evidence of medieval soldiers’ ages can be found in the second excavation, that of 32 bodies from the battle of Towton, fought in 1461 during the English Wars of the Roses. These skeletons, found only in July 1996, have received extremely close scrutiny by forensic archaeologists on all aspects, including age. Using both dental and bone data, it was discovered that the average age of these victims of this most bloody battle fought on English soil was 29.2 years of age. Moreover, of these 32 corpses, only 11 can be identified as between 16 and 25 years old, with the archaeologists unwilling to specify whether these 11 were teenagers or not. This makes the average age of the Towton warriors considerably older than their early modern and modern counterparts.12

And yet, what about the famous examples of medieval adolescent soldiers mentioned at the beginning of this article? How do they reconcile with the age-related detail from the excavations that showed a relatively more advanced age for medieval soldiers? The simple answer could be that all three examples – the Children’s Crusade, the Black Prince, and Joan of Arc – were special and unusual cases, and that while they included famous teenagers in military roles, they were anomalies. That may be so, and certainly the cases of the Black Prince and Joan of Arc seem to confirm this thesis. In the case of the Children’s Crusade, however, these famous young soldiers were not soldiers, or even young. For, despite a persistence among nineteenth-century writers to glorify or even romanticize this 1212 military endeavour by `poor children,’ more modern research has argued that the Children’s Crusade was, to use Thomas Madden’s words, `not an army of children, and it was not a crusade.’13

As is well known to medieval historians, by 1212 the crusades were not going well. During the previous half century, endeavours in the Holy Land had met with ineptitude and bickering between the resident crusaders in Outremer and their reinforcements (the Second Crusade), with military failure when facing a superior enemy (the Third Crusade), or with misdirection of crusading efforts to suit more personal ambitions and greed (the Fourth Crusade). Jerusalem was no longer in the hands of Christians and the other Latin kingdoms in the Middle East stood on the brink of surrender. Only the death of Saladin, it seems, had prevented all of the gains of the First Crusade to fall back into the hands of the Saracens.

Scholars have frequently debated how much of this news from the Middle East reached the poorer `grassroots’ of Europe. Some have claimed that victory or failure in the Middle East had little effect on what was happening in Europe;14 judging from the responses given to Gerald of Wales’ crusading sermons, such an assertion may have validity.15 Perhaps early thirteenth-century peasants in the Rhineland would never have known of the failings of these Crusades had preachers not told them about them and warned them of the disastrous future of Christianity because of them. Whether this was the case or not cannot be determined from our meagre sources, but what can be determined is that when some lower class groups heard of the plight of the Holy Land they were spurred on with an enthusiasm that knew no equal among the upper classes. Such had certainly been the case with the popular crusaders of the First Crusade who, led by preachers such as Peter the Hermit and Walter the Penniless, had met their end outside Nicea without making even so much as a single military foray. Since that time, most of these poorer crusaders, even if initially enthused about service in the Holy Land, would soon realize the futility of such endeavours and return to their previously militarily uneventful lives, as Gerald of Wales witnessed.

Such seems not to have been the case in 1212. Contemporary sources note that between 25 March and 13 May a popular crusading movement gained strength primarily along the border lands between France and the Holy Roman Empire.16 They record that thousands of pueri accepted the call to crusade, joining with a puernamed Nicholas who may have been the originator of the crusade – or had risen quickly to be its chief instigator. Their mission was to relieve the crusader holdings in the Holy Land, to redeem Jerusalem, and to recover the Holy Sepulchre, doing so essentially because it was not being done by the soldiers of their kings and princes.17

Who this Nicholas was is somewhat of a mystery. Some sources indicate he came from the region around Cologne, but there is no certainty in this, especially as the Cologne chroniclers reporting on this crusade say nothing about it.18 Nor do any of these sources indicate his age, beyond saying that he was a puer. Contemporary Giovanni Codagnello suggests that Nicholas had received a vision in which he had been instructed by an angel to regain the Holy Sepulchre and remove it from Saracen control.19 (It is uncertain here and elsewhere whether Nicholas or any of his followers had a precise understanding of who their enemy would be, beyond the simple designation `Saracen.’) Most other original sources give no such divine rationale for this crusading movement.

Starting in the Rhine region near Cologne, the Children Crusaders travelled south to Alsace, stopping along the way perhaps at Trier and definitely at Speyer. According to Alberic of Troisfontaines, a separate French Children’s Crusade led by a shepherd boy named Stephen, inspired by the German one, also began around Vendome at this time and marched south to Marseilles, but most modern historians see this as a confused figment of the writer’s imagination.20 These crusaders were humble, poor, and, perhaps more importantly, poorly prepared for the endeavours of European travel. Several seem to have died of hunger, thirst, and exposure along the way; others turned back at Mainz and returned home.21 Many more travelled through the Alps and reached northern Italy, arriving in Genoa on 25 August. This in itself was an impressive undertaking – the city annalist, Ogerius Panis, expressed awe when he counted the 7,000 crusaders who had arrived there with Nicholas.22

In Genoa the crusade somehow began to fall apart. Perhaps some crusaders began to doubt Nicholas’ divinity when no transportation awaited their transfer to the Holy Land. The crusade fractured. One group went from Genoa to Marseilles, another to Rome, while still another appeared in Brindisi, where the wise bishop forbade them from further attempting to reach the Holy Land.23 Some of the crusaders even seem to have secured boats for the Mediterranean crossing, although the Chronicon Eberheimense reports that no sooner had these set sail than they were captured by Muslim pirates and sold into slavery.24 A few returned to the Rhineland, but most seem to have disappeared from the historical record. Even Nicholas’ fate is unknown. Only two sources comment on him once he left Genoa: one, the Gesta Treverorum suggests that he died in Brindisi, while a second, the Annales Admuntenses, claims that he survived this initial crusade and later, in 1217, took the cross and fought at Akirs and Damietta.25

So, warriors they were not, at least not in 1212. But exactly how old were these crusading `children’? The original sources use the words puer, puella, or  puelle to describe them. However, because these sources include them with homines and feminae and even infantes lactantes, several modern historians see this crusade less as one in which only children, or even predominantly children or even adolescents, participated.26 They regard it, instead, more as a `popular’ or even `poor’ crusade, in other words as one designated more by class and wealth than by age. This assertion becomes even more convincing when the contemporary account of the Marbach annalist is examined. Not hiding his feelings of disgust nor his criticism for this crusade and its leaders, the Marbach annalist may be the most trustworthy source in which to research the question of age as he does not embellish what occurred in 1212. And this source claims that not only were these crusaders not teenagers or younger children, but that they were adult and married `children.’27 Other contemporary sources seem to indicate no age for them. Only medieval chronicles written long after the crusade insist on the youth of these crusaders.28

Furthermore, according to Georges Duby and Philippe Aries, the word puer was often used during the Middle Ages to indicate an agricultural labourer or wage-earner.29 (A somewhat analogous semantic situation occurred in the pre-Civil War American South where slave-owners often referred to their adult male slaves as `boy.’) Without firmer contemporary information, one must agree that the `Children’s Crusade’ was not a military undertaking by adolescents.

What, then, of the Black Prince and Joan of Arc? In their cases, it is almost certain that they were teenagers. For the Black Prince, there is no doubt. He was born on 15 June 1330 as the first child of King Edward III of England and Philippa of Hainault. Joan of Arc’s exact age cannot be determined from the sources available; she never revealed it nor was she asked at her trial how old she was. Unfortunately, without a clear answer to such a question, Joan’s age during the events of her military career cannot be known for sure. Some believe she was born in 1412, which would make her seventeen years old when she began her military adventures. Others give 1414 or 1411 as her birth year. Since none of these dates is based on the least amount of original source evidence, scholars, such as Regine Pernoud and Jules Quicherat, have simply not discussed her age, except to say that she was still a teenager, even at her death in 1431.30

What were these two teenagers doing, fighting in a war which seemed to know no chronological bounds, especially if, as was shown above, it might have been unusual for teenagers to have fought in medieval wars? Indeed, not only were they fighting, but they were also leading other soldiers far older and more veteran than they. And why did adult men follow them into these and other military engagements? The answer is quite simple: their youth did not matter. Should they have failed in their military tasks, their age might have mattered. What mattered was their victories, which most contemporary commentators and eye-witnesses credit to their bravery, leadership, and military skills.

Because of the tumultuous times, provoked for the most part by his father, the young Prince of Wales was active in warfare at a younger age than most sons of even the most bellicose of medieval leaders. While too young to participate in his father’s early efforts at the battle of Sluys and at the siege of Tournai (1340) or in the Breton civil war (1342), once King Edward III was again able to attack the French in 1346, the young prince not only went with him, but also supplied him with men and revenues from his English holdings.31 Whether the noble youth could have anticipated what awaited him in France cannot be known; it was to be quite the introduction to warfare.

The speed and scope of the English march from their landing at Saint-Vaast-la-Hogue to Crecy was impressive. Between 11 July and 26 August, not only did the English manoeuvre across a large amount of enemy territory, but they also captured many towns and fortifications, including the historical capital of Normandy, Caen.32The sources do not say what the Black Prince’s role in the affair was to this point, but no doubt he was getting an education in how to lead an army from one of the best generals of the medieval world, his father, King Edward III.33 In turn, he must have inspired such trust that his father gave him heavy responsibilities in the battle to follow.

On the morning of 26 August, with King Philip VI’s army quickly approaching the battlefield, King Edward III ordered his troops in a defensive formation. All troops were to fight on foot, the cavalry dismounting to stand alongside the rest of the infantry. Even the Black Prince, who was placed in command of the centre line, was dismounted. Why was Prince Edward placed in this position of responsibility when still so young? It is difficult to say without being able to look into Edward III’s psyche; if his son failed in his task at Crecy, his future military leadership would be largely ineffective. The Black Prince, however, would not fail.

After a largely one-sided archery duel, in which the English longbowmen clearly proved their strength against Genoese crossbowmen fighting in the employ of the French, Philip VI ordered his cavalry to charge the English position, directly at the centre of the line commanded by the Black Prince. Although the archery exchange had proved a failure for the French army, its main body, the cavalry, armed with lance and sword, was still an impressive and formidable force which in the past had often caused infantry foes to flee in panic even before encountering them. The French cavalry could still carry the day, especially if the Black Prince’s position were to fail.

It was a brutal fight, described by the bourgeois of Valenciennes as `very perilous, murderous, without pity, cruel, and very horrible.’34 The Herald of Chandos agrees: `That day was there battle so horrible that never was there a man so bold that would not be abashed thereby.’35 The French cavalry made a number of attacks on the English line. These charges became directed at the centre of the English front line, the section commanded by the Black Prince. Indeed, the Prince himself became the target of many direct attacks, but despite on one occasion being `compelled to fight on his knees,’ he and his men held their position.36

Although having previously been knighted when the English landed at Saint-Vaast-la-Hogue, it was in this battle experience that the teenaged Edward, the Black Prince, `earned his spurs.’ Praise for his performance at Crecy was almost unceasing. The following day, when the English king conducted a funeral service for all those who had fought and died on both sides, the Black Prince stood by his side.37 On 12 October 1347, back in London after the successful siege of Calais, and despite his age, Prince Edward became one of the first inductees in the chivalric Order of the Garter, established by his father to honour those nobles who had performed well in their military escapades in France; he was by far the youngest inductee. Also inducted were many others who had stood near him in that centre position and who, impressed by his strength of leadership, would continue to be his companions for the rest of his life.38 His adolescence had not mattered, for he had performed his military task well, and even much older soldiers honoured that.

Joan of Arc did not have the wealth, education, nor the advantages of Edward III’s eldest son. Nor, it should be said, did she have the responsibilities. The only similarity she had with the Black Prince, aside from her age, was her ability to make followers of much older troops, soldiers who seemed not to have considered her too young to lead them once she had proven her capabilities on the battlefield.

Born in Domremy, Lorraine, of comparatively wealthy peasant parents,39 Joan had a relatively normal young girl’s rural life until the fall of 1428 when she approached the castle of Vaucouleurs with her now famous tale of having heard heavenly voices, most often those of Saints Michael, Margaret, and Catherine. Their message, spoken to her since childhood, was that she was to seek out Charles, Dauphin of France, and he would give her an army with which she would deliver France from its English occupiers.40 Why the castellans at Vaucouleurs did not turn her away is undoubtedly one of the great mysteries of history, surpassed only by the mystery of why later at Chinon the Dauphin actually provided her with her desired army. Yet, Joan still had to perform some great military feat to validate the faith the Dauphin had placed in her. Her chance came at Orleans.

Joan joined the French army at Orleans in April 1429. It was a demoralized force, led by Jean, Bastard of Orleans who, only two weeks before, had led his troops to an extremely embarrassing defeat at the battle of the Herrings. The Bastard of Orleans was reluctant to attack the English in their well armed and fortified siegeworks; instead, he wished to retreat from the city and leave it to the English.41 Joan would have none of this, for her voices had told her that a victory at Orleans must precede the crowning of the Dauphin. A new strategy was undertaken, with the French attacking several of the boulevards surrounding the town. Finally, on 7 May, Joan herself led her soldiers against the most fortified and well armed boulevard held by the English, the boulevard of the Augustins, which had been erected to add protection to the Tourelles.

There was never any question in Joan’s mission about her need to relieve the siege of Orleans. This had always been one of her tasks and she had talked unceasingly about it during her time at Vaucouleurs and Chinon. No one would have forgiven her had she shunned it on the morning of 7 May 1429. As for herself, Joan was adamantly opposed to caution and promised to lead the main attack in a direct assault of the fortress. She knew this would be risky; in fact, she prophesied to her confessor that she herself would be wounded.42 Despite the risks, Joan was certain that she would be supported by her troops in an undertaking for which she felt some urgency.

In the midst of the battle, Joan was wounded, precisely as she had predicted. Yet, this did not stop her from carrying on the battle. Her fellow leader, the Bastard of Orleans, recalled the event as follows:

On May 7, early in the morning, when the attack was beginning against the
enemy who were within the boulevard of the bridge [the Tourelles], Joan
was wounded by an arrow which penetrated her flesh between her neck
and her shoulder, for a depth of half a foot. Nevertheless, her wound not
restraining her, she did not retreat from the conflict, nor did she take medication
for her wound. (my translation)43

When other leaders, including the Bastard of Orleans, became fatigued and wished to retreat from the fight to rest until the following day, Joan refused. The Bastard continued his testimony:

The attack lasted from early morning until the eighth hour of vespers [eight o’clock in the evening], so
that there was almost no hope of victory on this day. On account of this, this lord [the Bastard of Orleans]
chose to break it off and wanted the army to retreat to the city. And then the Maid came to him and requested
that he wait for a little while, and at that time she mounted her horse and retired alone into a vineyard at a
distance from the crowd of men. In this vineyard she was in prayer for a space of seven minutes. She returned
from that place, immediately took her standard in her hands and placed it on the side of the ditch. And instantly,
once she was there, the English became afraid and trembled. The soldiers of the king regained their courage and
began to climb [up the ramparts], making an attack on those against the boulevard, not finding any resistance.
And then the fortification was taken and the English in it were put to flight. (my translation)44

Joan corroborates this testimony when she testified at her own trial that she `was the first to put her ladder on the boulevard of the Tourelles.’45

Joan’s military career was far from over. Although it would last less than a year longer, her relieving of the siege of Orleans with the attack of the Tourelles was recognized by both the French and the English as the defining moment in the way the Hundred Years War would fare. John, Duke of Bedford and Regent of England, wrote to his nephew, King Henry VI:

And all things prospered for you until the time that the siege of Orleans was undertaken . . . At which
time . . . by the hand of God, as it seemed, a great offense upon your soldiers who were assembled
there in great number, caused to a large party of them . . . by a disciple and follower of the Fiend, called
the Pucelle, who used false enchantments and sorcery. This offense and destruction not only lowered by
great party the number of your soldiers there, but as well removed the courage of the remnant in a
marvellous way, and encouraged your opponents and enemies to assemble themselves afterwards in great
number.(my translation)46

The French were more positive about what had occurred. The Dauphin’s secretary, Alain Chartier, writing to an unnamed prince at the end of July 1429, could not help but extol Joan’s virtues in raising the siege:

This Maid, whom divine precept burns to satisfy, immediately asked him to give her an army to succour
the Orleanais who were then in danger. He [the Dauphin], to whom she showed no fear, at first denied
her request, but finally conceded to it. This having been accepted, she took a huge amount of foodstuffs
to Orleans. Crossing under the enemy camps, they perceived nothing hostile . . . Leaving the victuals in
the city and attacking these camps, which in a way was a miracle, in a short space of time she captured
them, especially that which was erected almost in the middle of the bridge [the Tourelles]. It was so strong,
so well armed with all types of weapons, and so fortified that, if all people, if all nations fought against it,
they could not capture it . . . Here is she who seems not to come from anywhere on earth, who seems to be
sent from heaven to sustain with her neck and shoulders a fallen France. She raised the king out of the vast
abyss onto the harbour and shore by labouring in storms and tempests, and she lifted up the spirits of the
French to a greater hope. By restraining the ferocity of the English, she excited the bravery of the French,
she prohibited the ruin of France, and she extinguished the fires of France. O singular virgin, worthy of all
glory, worthy of all praise, worthy of divine honours! You are the honour of the reign, you are the light of
the lily, you are the beauty, the glory, not only of France, but of all Christendom.(my translation)47

Neither side seemed to focus on the fact that she was a woman, or even a teenager.

            It would be folly to suggest that the above information proves that either many or few teenagers participated in medieval combat. Because of the scantiness of age-related evidence on medieval soldiers, such a suggestion is not defensible. Perhaps more importantly, this discussion reveals that when one encounters what seem to be historical examples of adolescent warriors fighting in the Middle Ages, caution must be followed: were they truly teenagers and, if so, did their youth seem to affect their fighting skills or leadership? Perhaps the only conclusion that can be reached is that in the Middle Ages when teenagers participated in a military engagement if they performed their task well their youth did not seem to matter to their contemporaries.

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Proces de condamnation et de rebabilitation dejeanne d’Arc, dite la Pucelle, ed. Jules Quicherat. Societe de 1’histoire de France. 5 vols. Paris: Jules Renouard, 1841-49.

Proces en nullite de la condamnation dejeanne d’Arc, ed. Pierre Duparc. 5 vols. Paris: C. Klincksieck, 1977-89.

Raedts, Peter. `The Children’s Crusade of 1212′ Journal of Medieval History 3 (1977): 279-324.

Recits d’un bourgeois de Valenciennes (XIVe siecle), ed. Kervyn de Lettenhove. Louvain: Impr. de P. et J. Lefever, 1877.

Reiner of Liege, Reineri annales S. Jacobi Leodienses, ed. Georg Heinrich Pertz. Monumenta Germaniae historica, Scriptores 16. Hanover: Impensis Bibliopolii Hahniani, 1859.

Richardson, Thom. `The Bridport Muster Roll of 1457′ Royal Armouries Yearbook 2 (1997): 46‑52.

Rogers, Clifford J. `Edward III and the Dialectics of Strategy, 1327-1360′ Transactions of the Royal Historical Society, 6th ser., 4 (1994): 83-102.

Sciuli P.W. and R.M. Gramly. `Analysis of the Fort Laurens, Ohio, Skeletal Sample’ American Journal of Pbysical Antbropology 80 (1989): 11-24.

Steegmann, A.T. `Eighteenth Century British Military Stature: Growth Cessation, Selective Recruiting, Secular Trends, Nutrition at Birth, Cold and Occupation’ Human Biology 57 (1985): 77-95.

Stroud G. and R. L. Kemp, Cemeteries of the Cburcb and Priory of St. Andrew, Fisbergate. The Archaeology of York: The Medieval Cemeteries, 12. York: Council for British Archaeology, 1993.

Tallett, Frank. War and Society in Early Modern Europe, 1495-1715. London and New York: Routledge, 1992.

The Life and Campaigns of the Black Prince, from Contemporary Letters, Diaries and Cbronicles, including Cbandos Herald’s Life of the Black Prince, ed. and trans. Richard Barber. Woodbridge, Suffolk: Boydell, 1979.

The Retrial of Joan of Arc: The Evidence at the Trial for Her Rebabilitation, ed. Regine Pernoud, trans. J. M. Cohen. London and New York: Harcourt, Brace, 1955.

Wrottesley, George. Crecy and Calais from the Original Records in the Public Records. London: Harrison & Sons, 1898.

Zacour, Norman. `The Children’s Crusade’ 2: 325-43 in A History of the Crusades, ed. Kenneth Setton. 6 vols. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1962.

End Notes

1. For a good, short summary of the Children’s Crusade, see Madden, A Concise History of the Crusades, pp. 138‑40; for more in‑depth studies see Raedts, `The Children’s Crusade’; Miccoli, `La “crociata dei fanciulli”‘; and Zacour, `The Children’s Crusade.’

2. It seems that `the Black Prince’ as a nickname was not assigned to Prince Edward until the sixteenth century, and then probably at the bidding of antiquarians such as John Leland. Barber suggests this was done perhaps to differentiate this prince from Edward of Woodstock, later King Edward IV; Edward, pp. 242-43.

3. For a description of the Tourelles and its importance see DeVries, Joan of Arc, p. 60.

4. Steegmann, `Eighteenth Century British Military Stature.’ McKern/Stewart showed that the average age of Korean War soldiers was 23.7 years; see their Skeletal Age Changes. The average age of American soldiers fighting in Vietnam was 19; Boylston, `Physical Anthropology’  p. 5.

5. Pfeiffer, `Estimation of Age at Death,’ pp. 167-75. For a discussion of how age is determined in these excavations see Boylston, `Physical Anthropology,’ pp. 45-59.

6. Sciuli/Gramly, `Analysis of the Fort Laurens, Ohio, Skeletal Sample.’

7. These are included with references on a table found in Knusel/Boylston, `How Has the Towton Project,’ p. 171.

8. Tallett, War and Society, pp. 85-86.

9. Wrottesley has edited Edward III’s Crecy muster roll (Crecy and Calais from the Public Records) while Richardson has done the same for the Bridport muster roll (`The Bridport Muster Roll of 1457′). There are others, but none contain age-related information.

10. Armour from the Battle of Visby. Dental means of identifying age among these combatants have shown that in one of the three mass graves excavated over a third of the corpses were of teenagers (the other two mass graves did not contain a large number of youths). However, as the Gotlander contingent in this battle included many civilians (or militia) from the countryside, such findings have not been seen as representative of medieval soldiers as a whole, especially in the absence of the more firm bone evidence; see Ingelmark, `The Skeletons.’11. Stroud/Kemp, Cemeteries of St. Andrew, Fishergate.

12. See Boylston, `Physical Anthropology,’ pp. 47-53.

13. Madden, A Concise History of the Crusades, p. 138. For a review of nineteenthand twentieth‑century writings about the crusades see Raedt, `The Children’s Crusade,’ pp. 279-82.

14. See, for example, Gilchrist, ‘The Erdmann Thesis.’

15. Giraldus Cambrensis, Itinerarium Kambriae, passim, in Opera.

16. Raedt, ‘The Children’s Crusade,’ pp. 282-89.

17. So says Reiner of Liege, Reined annales, p. 665.

18. Raedt, ‘The Children’s Crusade,’ p. 290.

19. Codagnello, Annales Placentini, p. 426.

20. Alberic of Troisfontaines, Chronicon, p. 893. Alberic claims that these children, some 30,000 in number, were either shipwrecked and drowned or were betrayed and sold into slavery. Those doubting this story include Raedt, ‘The Children’s Crusade,’ pp. 293-94; Zacour, ‘The Children’s Crusade,’ p. 337; and Munro, ‘The Children’s Crusade,’ p. 520. Other contemporary French sources also report a popular crusading movement which began that year in Vendome, but claim that, once it reached Paris, the crusaders were sent home by King Philip Augustus. See Raedt, `The Children’s Crusade,’ pp. 292-93.

21. Reiner of Liege, Reineri annales, p. 665; Chronica regia Coloniensis, pp. 191, 234.

22. Panis, Annales Ianuenses, p. 131.

23. Gesta Treverorum, p. 399.

24. Chronicon Eberheimense, p. 450.

25. Annales Admuntenses, p. 592.

26. See especially Miccoli `La “crociata dei fanciulli,”‘ p. 430 and Raedts, `The Children’s Crusade,’ pp. 295‑300.

27. Annales Marbacenses, pp. 82-83.

28. Raedts, `The Children’s Crusade,’ pp. 296-97.

29. Duby, ‘Les pauvres des campagnes,’ p. 30; Aries, L’enfant et la vie familiale, pp. 14-15; Raedts, `The `Children’s Crusade’,’ p. 296.

30. For a further discussion on this see DeVries, Joan of Arc, p. 202 n. 8.

31. Barber, Edward, p. 45.

32. On the English army’s movement from the Seine to the Somme see Barber, Edward, pp. 59-61, and DeVries, Infantry Warfare, pp. 157-158.

33. Admittedly, while there is no doubt as to Edward III’s later success as a military leader (see Rogers, `Edward III and the Dialectics of Strategy,’ pp. 83-102), at this point in his career he had seen personal victory only at the battle of Halidon Hill and at the naval battle of Sluys, while he had been defeated at the siege of Tournai and in numerous other engagements associated with this siege.

34. Recits d’un bourgeois de Valenciennes, p. 232.

35. The Life and Campaigns of the Black Prince, p. 9.

36. Geoffrey le Baker, Chronicon, p. 84.

37. John Arderne, the English army’s (and perhaps the royal family’s) surgeon leaves the best record of this funeral and the Black Prince’s place in it: see his Treatises of Fistula in Ano, p. xxviiSee also Barber, Edward, pp. 68-69 and pl. 16. It is also here that the Black Prince may have taken up his famous motto, Ich d(i)ene, impressed either by his Flemish allies or by the bravery of the dead King of Bohemia, whose blindness had not kept him from playing a role in the Crecy battle; see Barber, Edward, p. 69.

38. Barber, Edward, pp. 80-93.

39. DeVries, Joan of Arc, pp. 35-36.

40. On Joan’s voices and their message see DeVries, Joan of Arc, pp. 38-39. This is largely based on Joan’s own trial testimony in Proces de condamnation, 1:51-53, 171, and several testimonies of her friends and neighbours in her rehabilitation trial, as found in Proces en nullite, 1:253-310.

41. On the Bastard of Orleans at the siege of Orleans see DeVries, Joan of Arc, pp. 63-65. For an alternate view see The Retrial of Joan of Arc, p. 101 n. 1, where Pernoud defends the Bastard’s military leadership at Orleans.

42. According to the testimony of Pasquerel, in Proces en nullite, 1:394-95. Joan also testified (in Proces de condamnatton, 1:79) that she knew that she would be wounded in the attack on the Tourelles.

43. Dunois, in Proces en nullite, 1:320.

44 Dunois, in Proces en nullite, 1:320-21.

45 Joan, in Proces de condamnation, 1:79.

46. In Proces de condamnation, 5:136-37. See also DeVries, Joan of Arc, p. 95, and Pernoud, Joan of Arc, pp. 100-1. Quicherat dates this letter to the end of July 1429, but Pernoud dates it, in my opinion more accurately, to 1434. If this is correct, it is a particularly interesting document in that it reveals that Bedford, the leader of the English forces in France during this time, believed that the relief of the siege of Orleans was the turning point of this phase of the Hundred Years War.

47. Proces de condamnation, 5:131-36.

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