Research snippets: Arthur of Brittany attempts to capture his grandmother, Eleanor of Aquitaine

Arthur (b. 1187), Duke of Brittany, falls more under King Philip of France’s influence after the death of his mother Constance of Brittany in September 1201. Philip offers Arthur the hand of his infant daughter and bestows knighthood on Arthur.

In July 1202, Philip sends 200 knights with Arthur to attack Poitou. Joined by an additional 300 knights from the Lusignan and de Maulfon troops, Arthur attacks the castle at Mirebeau where Eleanor is staying.

Eleanor gets word to her son King John, who with his men, marches 80 miles in two days to rescue Eleanor. It is the beginning of the end for 15 year old Arthur.

“The enemies had already taken the outer ward and thrown down all the gates save one, deeming their own valour a sufficient safeguard against John’s expected attack. So great was their self-confidence that they even marched out to meet him… They were driven back into the castle, hotly pursued by [John’s] troops… The whole of the French and Poitevin forces were either slain or captured; and among the prisoners were the three Lusignans, and Arthur.”

Norgate, Kate. (1902). John Lackland. London, New York, Macmillan.


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