The Battle of Poitiers (1356) resulted in an emphatic victory for the English forces led by King Edward III’s son, the Black Prince. The French king, John the Good, and his son, together with most of their nobles were captured. France descended into chaos: disaffected nobles ravaged the countryside, where the peasants rose in revolt, and the merchants of Paris rebelled against misgovernment and excessive taxes. In the circumstances, the Treaty of Bretigny (1360) was always going to be advantageous to England (Edward III only agreed to negotiate at all because a freak hailstorm had killed many of his troops and horses). Under the treaty, British territory doubled, and a huge ransom was agreed for the French king but, in the interests of lasting peace, Edward renounced all claims to the French throne. It did not work; in 1369, the new French king, Charles V, once more declared war.
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