Poitiers, battle of

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Poitiers, battle of, 1356. Edward, the Black Prince's blooding had been at Crécy in 1346 and he spent much of the next ten years campaigning in France. In August 1356 he was before Bourges but threatened by a much larger army under John II of France. The English attempted to retreat towards Bordeaux but found their way blocked at Poitiers. The Black Prince offered terms, hoping to avoid battle, but on 19 September the French attacked. Archers, lying in ditches and behind hedges, broke up the first assaults, and in their last attack the French were taken in the flank. The large number of prisoners included the French king. Since King David of Scotland, captured at Neville's Cross in 1346, was still a prisoner, Edward III now had two kings on his hands.

J. A. Cannon