Town defence in the French Midi during the Hundred Years War, c.1337-c.1453
This thesis examines the organisation of defence in the towns of southern France during the Hundred Years Wart and contributes to the debate on the part played by the non-combatant civilian population in late-medieval warfare. The construction, maintenance, funding and architecture of the fortifications, which were at the centre of the defensive effort, are dealt with extensively, although equal emphasis is placed on the human aspects; on the obligations of guet, arrière-guet, garde, corvées and service in the militia, incumbent on every citizen. The wartime government of towns by consuls and syndics, complemented in some cases by special war committee, and the often uneasy relationship between the Municipality and its seigneur, the king, the king's officers and other towns and villages in the area# form an important part of the study. The broad chronological limits are 1337 and 1453, although the greatest attention has been paid to the thirty years after 13559 which were the most crucial of the war in the Midi. The impression emerges that$ for all its flaws, town defence was in most instances efficiently and conscientiously organised, and the larger conclusion drawn is that, while there were limits to the ability of the towns to protect themselves against the garrison warfare of the 1370s and -80s, the greater preparedness of the towns of Languedoo in the later fourteenth century probably discouraged the English from attempting again the kind of chevauchee undertaken by the Prince of Wales in 1355.