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1388 - French amphibious assault on Southampton


PeterMacD

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1338: French naval superiority at the start of the Hundred Years War was brutally demonstrated with an amphibious assault on Southampton by several thousand men under the ruthless admiral Hugh Quieret. The town's defences were completely inadequate, and most of the local militia fled. The small garrison of professional troops, backed by the braver elements from the townspeople, defeated the first assault but were then overrun by Italian mercenaries. The French and Italians thoroughly looted the town, but the next morning started to come under attack again, whereupon they withdrew, leaving Southampton in flames.

 

 

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EXTRACTS for HAMPSHIRE from FROISSART'S CHRONICLES, 1325-1400

 

 

... and as soon as sir Hugh Quieret, sir Peter Behuchet and Barbevaire, who lay and kept the straits between England and France with a great navy, knew that the war was open, they came on a Sunday in the forenoon to the haven of Hampton, while the people were at mass: and the Normans, Picards and Spaniards entered into the town and robbed and pilled the town, and slew divers, and despoiled maidens and enforced wives, and charged their vessels with the pillage, and so entered again into their ships. And when the tide came, they disanchored and sailed to Normandy and came to Dieppe; and there departed and divided their booty and pillages.

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They tried in Jersey as well on several occasions. One time they landed at 7:00 am , burst into the Lieutenant Governors house just of the harbour , disturbing his breakfast. this so incensed the L.G.'s butler he discharged a pistol. Foreign occupying forces took to their heels and set sail for home. total time in Occupation 10 minutes, down as the shortest invasion in history.

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Those damn froggies were the major enemy for a couple of hundred years. Trying for a replay of 1066. It was only in the early part of the 20th century that France even began to be considered and ally. Bear in mind england declared war on triple alliance in 1914, not because they had invaded France, the British government knew that wouldn't wash, but because Belgium sovereignty was violated, and they waited to King Albert of the Belgium's specifically asked for help before any British troops moved.

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Degsy, that particular expedition was led by a drunken American mercenary, name can't remeber at the moment. the story is that when they landed all that faced them was the local militia. So goes the legend the local ladies gathered on the top of the mountains over the bay dressed in traditional Welsh clothing of red jackets and tall black hats. The French thought they were regular line infantary.

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Yes but the tale is better in the telling :-D Next thing is to vist Hartlepool and ask about the monkey. Part of the fun of history is to sort through the embillishment, mind you the truth is often even more fantastic.

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2-3 years ago HARTLEPOOL FC'S mascot a guy in a monkey suit called Hangus the Monkey entered the competition for Town Mayor and won. Had eventually to step down due to ?

 

Barry.

 

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The monkey-hanging legend is the most famous story connected with Hartlepool. During the Napoleonic Wars a French ship was wrecked off the Hartlepool coast.

 

During the Napoleonic Wars there was a fear of a French invasion of Britain and much public concern about the possibility of French infiltrators and spies.

 

The fishermen of Hartlepool fearing an invasion kept a close watch on the French vessel as it struggled against the storm but when the vessel was severely battered and sunk they turned their attention to the wreckage washed ashore. Among the wreckage lay one wet and sorrowful looking survivor, the ship's pet monkey dressed to amuse in a military style uniform.

 

The fishermen apparently questioned the monkey and held a beach-based trial. Unfamiliar with what a Frenchman looked like they came to the conclusion that this monkey was a French spy and should be sentenced to death. The unfortunate creature was to die by hanging, with the mast of a fishing boat (a coble) providing a convenient gallows.

 

 

In former times, when war and strife

 

The French invasion threaten'd life

 

An' all was armed to the knife

 

The Fisherman hung the monkey O !

 

The Fishermen with courage high,

 

Siezed on the monkey for a French spy;

 

"Hang him !" says one; "he's to die"

 

They did and they hung the monkey Oh!

 

They tried every means to make him speak

 

And tortured the monkey till loud he did speak;

 

Says yen "thats french" says another "its Greek"

 

For the fishermen had got druncky oh!

 

 

 

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