Calais

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This port on the northern French coast has always been an important location for both the French and the English. Being opposite Dover at the shortest crossing point of the English Channel Calais was vital for the English to control when they wanted to invade France. A siege of Calais started in 1436 during the early years of the Hundred Years War and the port was captured almost a year later in 1347 by Edward III, King of England. The town's leaders should have been executed according to siege rules because they refused to surrender when first asked, but Edward spared their lives and they were taken as hostages. The town of Calais was emptied of all its citizens and all their property was confiscated. Edward then made Calais English territory and sent word to England that anyone who wanted to live in Calais was welcome as long as they could get there quickly. Calais remained in English hands until 1558.
 
YearMonthEvent
1346 Sep 4  Siege of Calais
 Edward III began the siege of Calais that would last for almost a year. The governor of the town was man called Jean de Vienne. Edward demanded that the town should surrender but de Vienne refused, hoping that the town walls would hold the English out until Philippe VI could come to their rescue. The English set up camp around the town and arranged for supplies to be brought from England. Wooden houses were also built to house the soldiers while they waited. Philippa, the Queen even joined her husband at the camp. 
1347 Aug  Calais captured by the English
 Philippe VI finally arrived at Calais and challenged Edward III to a fight. Edward agreed but instead Philippe withdrew abandoning the town to the English. The governor, Jean de Vienne, had no other option other than to surrender the town to Edward. The town's leaders should have been executed according to siege rules because they refused to surrender when first asked, but Edward spared their lives and they were taken as hostages. The town of Calais was emptied of all its citizens and all their property was confiscated. Edward then made Calais English territory and sent word to England that anyone who wanted to live in Calais was welcome as long as they could get there quickly. 
1360 May  Treaty of Bretigny
 The treaty of Bretigny brought a period of peace for nine years during the Hundred Years War. The treaty was arranged between the Black Prince and the dauphin (later Charles V of France) before being approved by Edward III of England and King John of France. As part of the treaty Edward was given control of the areas of Gascony, Calais and Ponthieu as long as he agreed to give up his claim for the French throne. King John, currently being held hostage in England, was to be released on condition of a payment of 3 million gold crowns to by paid in instalments. 
 Oct  Treaty agreed
 At Calais Edward III and King John of France, who had be released from captivity, signed the Treaty of Bretigny. 
1369 Jul  John of Gaunt in northern France
 John of Gaunt, the Duke of Lancaster, left Calais with 2,000 soldiers and marched across northern France destroying towns along the way.[1] 
1415 Oct 8  The march to Calais
 Henry's plans for invading France had been dented by the time it took to capture Harfleur and the affect of disease on his men. He decided to move his men to Calais which was under English control.  
 Oct 19  Henry crosses the Somme
 Henry's plan was to get across the Somme at its estuary where it was relatively easy to cross but he received word that the crossing was being guarded by the French. Henry had no other choice but to follow the west bank of the Somme south into French territory to find a suitable crossing point. His men were short of food as Henry had told them to take only a few day's supplies expecting them to reach Calais. Henry finally found a crossing point that was unguarded and his army crossed the Somme. 
 Nov  Henry returns to England
 After a few weeks recovering in Calais from their ordeal, Henry and the English army returned to England to a hero's welcome. 
1442   Calais relieved by Edmund Beaufort
 The English who were under siege inside Calais were resupplied by Edmund Beaufort, Duke of Somerset. For his actions Beaufort received the title Earl of Dorset. 
1454 Apr 2  Earl of Salisbury becomes chancellor
 With Richard, Duke of York running the country, several changes were made, one of which was to make the elder Richard Neville chancellor. Richard also made himself the Captain of Calais removing his rival the Earl of Somerset from the post. 
1455 Mar  Somerset back in command
 Henry's return to sanity swung the balance of power back to favour the Duke of Somerset and he was quickly restored to his former position of Captain of Calais. The Yorkists at this time felt it wise to leave London in fear of reprisals. 
 May 22  Battle of St. Albans
 The King had by his side at St. Albans the Dukes of Somerset and Buckingham, Lords Pembroke, Northumberland and Devon and around 2,000 Lancastrian men. They tried to hold the town against the Yorkists led by Salisbury and Warwick but Warwick was able to enter the town through an unguarded spot and attack the flanks of the Lancastrian barricades. Although this battle was small it left the Duke of Somerset dead along with Lord Northumberland and Clifford. As a result of this victory power again swung to the Yorkists although support from the Barons was not total. Richard, Duke of York, again became Protector of the Realm and the powerful position of Captain of Calais was given to the Earl of Warwick. 
1459 Oct 12  Battle of Ludford Bridge
 The Earl of Warwick with a force from Calais reached Ludlow and the combined army of the Yorkists attacked the King's army at Ludford Bridge near Ludlow. The men from Calais refused to fight their king and a weak Yorkist army was defeated. Richard Duke of York and his younger son escaped and fled to Ireland while Salisbury, Warwick and Edward of March (later Edward IV) fled to Calais. 
1460 May  Warwick returns to Calais
 With plans of invasion made the Earl of Warwick sailed back to Calais to organise his army. 
 Jun  Yorkists take control of Kent
 Yorkists from Calais landed on the south coast of England and quickly seized Sandwich. They prepared for the arrival of the Earl of Warwick and the Earl of March. 
 Jun 26  Earls of March and Warwick land in England
 Once the Yorkist army had secured Sandwich the Earls of March and Warwick arrived from Calais. They had a force of around 2,000 and the support of the Kentish men. 
1462 Jun 28  Queen Margaret and Louis XI
 Queen Margaret of England and Louis XI of France sign a treaty. Margaret promised that Calais would be his if he helped her return Henry to the throne.[2] 
Early Modern Period (1500-1800)
1513 Jun  Henry sails to France
 Henry prepared an invasion fleet and set sail for Calais. 
1520 Jun 7  Field of the Cloth of Gold
 Meeting between Henry VIII and Francis I of France somewhere between Guines and Ardres near Calais. The meeting included a series of tournaments and jousts. The extravagant nature of the event giving the meeting its name. 
1561 Aug 14  Mary Stuart leaves France
 Leaving France from Calais in a small flotilla of ships, Mary Stuart set sail for Scotland. Five days later the ships arrived at the port of Leith, now part of Edinburgh. Mary was met by her half-brother James Stewart[3] 
1562 Sep  Treaty of Richmond
 This treaty was signed in secret by Queen Elizabeth and Louis Bourbon prince of Condé, the leader of the Huguenots. The Huguenots were French Protestants or French Calvanists. In return for Elizabeth's military assistance in France the prince promised the return of Calais to the English.[4] 
 Winter  Le Havre occupied by the English
 As part of the secret treaty of Richmond, an English garrison was allowed to station itself at Le Havre and would swap the town for Calais once Calais was recaptured. The garrison of around 3,000 men was lead by the Earl of Warwick.[4]