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 Boucicaut

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Boucicaut

  • Original Name Jean Le Maingre
  • Birth 28 Aug 1366
  • Death 21 Jun 1421
  • Burial Tours, Departement d'Indre-et-Loire, Centre, France
  • Plot Family Chapel
  • Memorial ID 37970315

Marshal of France, Administrator. A celebrated warrior of his time, noted for his chivalry and courage. He is remembered today as a commander in two decisive battles of the Middle Ages - Nicopolis (September 25, 1396) and Agincourt (October 25, 1415) - both of which ended in French defeat. Jean Le Maingre (Jehan le Meingre in Old French) was born in Tours. The sobriquet "Boucicaut" was traditionally given to prominent members of his gentry family. He had his first military experience at age 12, fighting under the Duke of Bourbon in Normandy, and in 1382 he was knighted for distinguishing himself at the Battle of Roosebeke in Flanders. Charles VI named him Marshal of France in 1391. Boucicaut was admired for his courtliness and physical strength. It was said he could scale a tall ladder with his hands only while wearing full armor. At the Tournament of St. Inglevert in 1390, he victoriously jousted with two dozen knights from four countries, and he furthered his reputation for old school chivalry by founding the Order of the White Lady (1399) to protect the honor of wives and daughters of absent nobles. But it was as a crusader that he made his name, devoting nearly 20 years to fighting the "heathens" in the East and in Spain, either with the Teutonic Knights or for France. In 1396 he was a division commander of the last major crusade of the Medieval era, a French-led European coalition against the Ottoman Turks under Sultan Bayezid I. It ended with the crusaders' rout at Nicopolis. Boucicaut was taken prisoner, narrowly escaped execution, and was ransomed. Three years later he returned east with an army of 1200 to aid the crumbling Byzantine Empire against the Ottomans. He served as Governor of Dauphine (1399 to 1407) and of Genoa (1401 to 1409). Boucicaut was involved with the Constable of France Albret in preparing for an English invasion months before Henry V landed in France in August 1415. After the Siege of Harfleur in September, the two pursued Henry's army north towards Calais and finally intercepted them on the road near Agincourt on October 24, where they faced each other in a nearly 24-hour standoff. Although Boucicaut and Albret were the nominal commanders of the French forces and the highest military men in the country, they could not control the higher-ranking noblemen whose retinues made up a significant portion of their army, and their battle plans were thwarted. In addition Boucicaut erred in agreeing with Albret's strategy to wait the English out and force them to attack; this gave Henry time to judge the terrain and deploy his men in a more effective position. When a hailstorm of English arrows goaded the French cavalry into charging, the commanders had no choice but to follow. The English treated Boucicaut with deference on the field. Successful efforts were made to capture him alive and he was later spared Henry's order to kill most of the French prisoners, even though he was not of the nobility. His family could not pay the exorbitant ransom Henry demanded, however, and he spent his last six years imprisoned in Yorkshire. Boucicaut's body was brought back to his native Tours and interred in the family chapel at the Cathedral of St. Martin, where he had been deemed Marshal of France 30 years before.

Bio by: Bobb Edwards


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Originally Created by: Bobb Edwards
  • Added: 5 Jun 2009
  • Find A Grave Memorial 37970315
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Boucicaut (28 Aug 1366–21 Jun 1421), Find A Grave Memorial no. 37970315, citing Basilique de St-Martin, Tours, Departement d'Indre-et-Loire, Centre, France ; Maintained by Find A Grave .