Ponthieu is a former province of northern France.
town is Abbeville.
Ponthieu was part of the Duchy of
from 911 and played a small but important role in the
politics that led up to the Norman invasion of England in
of England was
shipwrecked at Ponthieu, Normandy
and taken captive by Guy I
according to the Bayeux
), the then Count of Ponthieu. It is alleged that
William (Duke of Normandy
William I of England
discovering that Harold had been taken captive, sent messengers
ordering Count Guy to hand over his prisoner. William then forced
Harold to swear to support his claim to the throne, only revealing
after the event that the box on which Harold had made his oath
contained holy relics, making the promise especially binding.
the chaplain of Duchess Matilda,
Guy, Bishop of Amiens,
composed a Latin poem on the battle of
the Count of Ponthieu built a fortress for himself at Crotoy, a
strategic point on the mouth of the river Somme.
The Hundred Years' War
During the Hundred Years' War, Ponthieu changed hands a number of
times, although the English claimed control of it from 1279–1369,
and then later until 1435. During English control of Ponthieu,
Abbeville was used as the capital.
In late August of 1346, during his campaigns on French soil, Edward
III of England reached the region of Ponthieu. While there, he
restored the fortress at Crotoy that had been ruined. He forced a
passage of the Somme at the ford of Blanchetaque
. The army led by
Philip VI of France caught up
with him at nearby Crécy-en-Ponthieu, leading to the famous Battle of Crécy.
the Treaty of Bretigny between
King John II of France and
Edward III of England gave
control of Ponthieu (along with Gascony and Calais) over to the
English, in exchange for Edward relinquishing his claim to the
Edward took the land but still refused to
surrender his claim.
In April, 1369 Charles V of
conquered Ponthieu, and a month later declared war on
England (he had done so previously in 1368 as well). As a result,
Edward publicly reassumed the title 'King of France' in June.
In 1372 an
English army under the leadership of Robert Knolles invaded Ponthieu, burning the
city of Le
Crotoy before crossing the Somme at the ford
Also during the Hundred Years' War; in 1435, Charles VII of France
bribed Philippe le Bon
, Duke of Burgundy
, to break his alliance
with the English in exchange for possession of Ponthieu. This
arguably marked a turning point leading to the end of England's
part in the conflict 40 years later.