Known for

The Hundred Years War actually lasted longer than 100 years. It was fought between the royal families of England and France. The royal family of England was called Plantagenet. They were originally French and would have spoken French at the beginning of the war. The royal family of France was called Valois. Both families fought for control of the kingdom of France. People from Cornwall played a part in the Hundred Years War.

Doublet, helmet, shield, gaunlets and scabbard of Edward Woodstock, 'The Black Prince' and Duke of Cornwall
Doublet, helmet, shield, gaunlets and scabbard of Edward Woodstock, 'The Black Prince' and Duke of Cornwall Image courtesy of Dean and Chapter of Canterbury Cathedral
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The Duchy of Cornwall

During the first year of the war, England’s King Edward III established the Duchy of Cornwall and made his eldest son, Edward of Woodstock, Duke of Cornwall. The Duchy of Cornwall had special rights and could summon Cornwall’s Stannary Parliament.

Edward of Woodstock, the ‘Black Prince’ and Duke of Cornwall

Edward of Woodstock was made Duke of Cornwall aged just six. As an adult he helped to command England’s army against the French at the Battle of Crécy and the Siege of Calais. He was also known as the Black Prince.


Battle of Crécy

The Battle of Crécy (26th August 1346) was fought in northern France. Cornish soldiers served in England’s army. Cornish tin sold in Flanders (now part of France, Belgium and the Netherlands) helped to pay the cost of the battle.

Sir John Treffry

Sir John Treffry of Fowey fought alongside the Black Prince against the French. During the Battle of Poitiers, he seized the French Royal Standard (flag). As a reward for this, he was allowed to use this Royal Standard on his coat of arms.


Siege of Calais

Small ships from the port of Fowey in Cornwall, known as the “Fowey Gallants”, helped to block the French port of Calais during the siege (4th September 1346 – 3rd August 1347). As reward for their service, the Fowey Gallants were allowed to raid French ships off the Cornish coast. 

Roland Penfound

Roland Penfound of Penfound, near Bude, served in at least three battles during the Hundred Years War (Aquitaine, Brittany and the Siege of Calais).

Photograph of the Penfound Coat of Arms
The Penfound Coat of Arms


Battle of Agincourt

The Battle of Agincourt (25th October 1415). Cornish archers served in England’s army, fighting under a banner showing two Cornish wrestlers in a hitch (hold).

Sir John Coleshill

Sir John Coleshill of Tremadart, near Duloe, and Binhamy Castle, near Stratton, was killed during the battle of Agincourt. 


Fowey attacked

Cornishwoman Elizabeth Treffry of Fowey bravely defended the family home, Place House, from a raid by men from Brittany in 1457. She is said to have poured hot lead on those attacking the house. 



Calendar of the Patent Rolls

Read the book

Cornish history timeline

Visit the website

An Historical Survey of the County of Cornwall

Gilbert, C S, An Historical Survey of the County of Cornwall, Vol. 2 (1820)


Payton, P, Cornwall (1996)

The Land Beside the Celtic Sea

Pearse, R, The Land Beside the Celtic Sea (1983)

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