The Calais Garrison

The Calais Garrison

War and Military Service in England, 1436-1558

David Grummitt


Boydell Press



Definitive account of the English garrison at Calais - the largest contemporary force in Europe - in the wider context of European warfare in the middle ages.
"This is the book on the Calais garrison we have been waiting for". COLIN RICHMOND

For over 200 years, following its capture by Edward III in 1347, the town of Calais was in English hands; after 1453 it remained the last English possession on the continent, a commercial, cultural, diplomatic and military frontier, until its recapture by the French in 1558. This book - the first full-length study so to do - examines the Calais garrison, the largest standing military force available to the English crown. Based on extensive archival research, it covers recruitment and service in the garrison, the problems of pay and logistics, the weaponry and tactics used, and the chivalric and professional ethos among the soldiers. It also investigates the effectiveness of English arms against their European counterparts, through a detailed study of the failed Burgundian siege of 1436 and the successful French siege of 1558. Overall, it reaffirms the importance of Calais to successive medieval and early modern English kings, and challenges the perceived notion that England lagged behind its northwest European rivals in terms of military technology and effectiveness. The Calais garrison is placed in the wider context of the development of European warfare in general during this period.

Dr DAVID GRUMMITT is Lecturer in British History, University of Kent.

An e-book version of this title is available (9781846156069), to libraries through a number of trusted suppliers. See here for a full list of our partners.


August 2008
3 line illustrations
234 pages
23.4x15 cm
Warfare in History
ISBN: 9781843833987
Format: Hardback
Boydell Press
Share on Facebook   Share on Twitter   Pin it   Share by Email

Table of Contents

Introduction: Calais in Context
The Burgundian Siege of 1436
The Organisation of the Garrison
The Nature of Military Service in the Pale
Chivalry and Professionalism in the Calais Garrison
Weaponry and Fortifications in Calais
Financing and Supplying the Garrison
The Fall of Calais in 1558
Conclusion: War and Military Service in England 1436-1558


[An] excellent and scholarly book which I urge colleagues to buy or borrow. CASEMATE

David Grummit has filled an enormous gap in our understanding of how English armed force was configured. DE RE MILITARI

A meticulous [...] and focused scholarly monograph. [...] It makes some important and original contributions to military history. JOURNAL OF MILITARY HISTORY

An accomplished academic monograph, concentrating on the military garrison. Between accounts of the 1436 siege and that of 1558, he analyses the form and condition of military service, finance and supply, weapons and fortifications. ENGLISH HISTORICAL REVIEW

[...] interesting and full of information [...]. THE RICARDIAN

The detailed study that [the subject] deserves. SOUTHERN HISTORY

Also in Series