Reconciliation of Charles the Bad and the Dauphin, 1359

One 1st September 1359 the Dauphin and Charles II of Navarre rode side by side into Paris as a public showing of their reconciliation. France had been plagued by a bitter rivalry between the Dauphin and Charles of Navarre for several years. The brothers-in-law had clashed in struggles for power whilst King John II was being held in captivity in London. The Navarrese King had courted the English, making overtures to Edward III. In Paris, the popularity of both men ebbed and flowed, causing unrest and at times violence within the city’s walls.

A violent power struggle

It had seemed that the conflict could only be settled through military force. Paris itself had been under siege, and the Estates-General had changed its preference as leader as recently as May of 1359. Suddenly and wholly unexpectedly, Charles of Navarre changed his tone. He became conciliatory, asked for compromises and wanted to meet in person with his brother-in-law.

Suspicions over Charles of Navarre’s motives

The change was viewed with suspicion at first After all, the Navarrese was a man who had looked for assistance from France’s foes. So too were forces of the two senior nobles clashing at Melun. Perhaps only the impending invasion of France by the English led the Dauphin to entertain negotiations. But in July of 1359 representatives of the two men began to discuss terms, whilst forces were still gathering around Melun.

Terms of reconciliation

The King of Navarre proposed that he wanted to have all that he had held at the beginning of the civil war returned to him. In addition, he asked for 600,000 ecus to be paid and land grants to be made to the value of 12,000 livres per year. In return for this, the Navaresse would pay homage to the Dauphin and the civil war would be over. The terms were quite reasonable and, after some modifications, were accepted by the Dauphin, Council and the Parisians.

Treaty of Pontoise

The pair then met to formalise the agreement on 19th August, near Pontoise. Following the formalities, the two men travelled to Paris. On 1st September 1359, they entered side by side. It was a symbolic entry, which visualised the unity ahead of the campaigns that they expected to encounter in the coming weeks.


Charles II of Navarre, the Freelance History Writer

Charles V (the Wise) of France, the National Galleries Scotland.

Books on the Hundred Years War

Trial by Battle: The Hundred Years War, Vol. 1. Johnathon Sumption. 

Hundred Years War Vol 2: Trial By Fire, Johnathon Sumption. 

Hundred Years War Vol 3: Divided Houses. Johnathon Sumption. 

Hundred Years War Vol 4: Cursed Kings. Johnathon Sumption. 


Dan Moorhouse

Dan Moorhouse graduated in History and Politics and has since undertaken postgraduate studies in Medieval History and Education. Dan is a member of the Royal Historical Society and has previously been a member of the Historical Association’s Secondary Education Committee. Dan’s early publishing was in the Secondary School History Education field. This included co-authoring the Becta Award shortlisted Dynamic Learning: Medicine Through Time series for Hodder Murray and contributing to the Bafta Award winning Smallpox Through Time documentary series by A former teacher, Dan now concentrates on research and writing, predominantly in Medieval English history. Books by Dan Moorhouse On this day in the Wars of the Roses On this day in the Hundred Years War

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