The Scots at the Siege of Orléans
1428-1429

 Introduction
| Blair | Carmichael | Chamber | Crichton | Douglas | Galoys (Galloway) | Hamilton |
 
| Houston | Kennedy | Lennox | Melvill | Norvell | Ogilvy | Stuart | Wishart |

  Appendix (in french actually) :
The Scot Guards of Charles VII
The Scots in the accounts of the Treasurer for War

 

 
15th c. miniature


The friendship between France and Scotland was well known; indeed there had long been an alliance between them more popularly known as the Auld Alliance (Website in French : *Vieille Alliance*). This friendship was forged because the two countries were at war with England though for different reasons. Charles V was the first king to employ Scotsmen in his bodyguard, but it is principally with Charles VII that the alliance was properly employed by the creation of the first elements of Scot Guards who were maintained by tradition in the King’s Household until the 18th century and again under the Restoration.

In 1420, a contingent of 6,000 Scotsmen had disembarked at La Rochelle to assist the Dauphin. John Stewart, Earl of Buchan, the son of the Duke of Albany, regent of Scotland, commanded this contingent. John Stewart was made Constable of France in 1423, after his victory at *Baugé* (1421). He was killed at Verneuil in 1424. He should not be confused with a homonym, John Stuart of Darnley (see below).

At the beginning of the siege, in October 1428, Orleans sheltered a strong Scottish contingent appointed by the king, since the accounts of the Treasurer for War, master Raguier, noted the presence of companies commanded by three Scottish knights: William Hamilton, Thomas Houston, John Wischard – alias Oulchard –, and five squires: Thomas Blair, Henry Galoys (Galloway), Edward Lennox, David Melvill and Alexander Norwill.

8th February 1429: important reinforcements led by William d'Albret arrived, with a strong contingent of 1,000 Scots commanded by the brothers John Stewart of Darnley and William Stewart of Castelmilk. Alas, a few days later there occurred the disaster of Rouvray-Saint-Denis, in the open country of Beauce.

9th February 1429: an English supply convoy was sent from Paris towards Orleans under the protection of John Fastolf. A messenger from the Orleans garrison informed Charles de Bourbon, Count of Clermont, who commanded French troops in the region. It was decided that French troops should be assembled to intercept the convoy. The principle commander, Charles de Bourbon ordered that the French captains leaving Orleans should not take independent action without his support. The Bastard of Orleans, Xaintrailles and La Hire, but especially John Stuart, impatient to cross swords, did not wait and hurled themselves on the "goddamns". Behind the improvised defences of wagons and barrels full of fish, the English bowmen awaited the enemy. Demoralized, Charles de Bourbon retreated and resumed his responsibility in the lamentable check of this battle.

Once more, the impetuous attack of the cavalry cut deeply into the Franco-Scottish Army. The outcome of this fatal day, left among scattered fish on the battlefield, the bodies of 250 soldiers of the French army, including the Stuart brothers. 12th February 1429 is remembered in history under the name of *Battle of the Herrings*.

Nevertheless the renown of the Scottish bowmen was such that they were charged with protecting the relief column from Blois to Orleans accompanied by Joan of Arc, and under the command of Patrick Ogilvy of Auchterhouse, Sheriff of Angus, who held the title of Constable of the Scottish Army in France.


The notes below are doubtless still insufficient, even erroneous on certain points.
We hope that Scottish Internet users can give us further pieces of information
which will be welcome by e-mail :
colrat-jc@wanadoo.fr.

Many thanks to:
Kevin Hendryx, Brian G.H Ditcham, Jimmy Croall, John Blair,
Barry Harden Baron of Cowdenknowes, Anthony Maxwell.


 

BLAIR (alias Blar), Thomas. – This Scottish squire was present at Orleans from the beginning of the siege, commanding a company of 20 men-at-arms and 29 bowmen. He was of the old Scottish family Blair of Balthayock (country of Perth, Fife and Angus). Thomas died about 1453.

Coat of arms: Argent a chevron Sable between three tortaux.

 

 

CARMICHAEL, John (alias Kirkmichael or in French Jean de Saint-Michel). – Elected in 1426 Bishop of Orleans with the name "Jean de Saint-Michel", John Carmichael of Carmichael, 3rd baron, disembarked in France in 1420, within the army commanded by John Stewart, Earl of Buchan. The bishop was also man at arms; he had bravely participated in the battle of Baugé in 1421 when he unseated the duke of Clarence who was killed by the marshal of La Fayette. John Carmichael was an Ecclesiastical Peer to the Coronation of Charles VII. He was the nephew of John, the 1st baron of Carmichael in 1370, and a son of William, confirmed 2nd baron of the name in 1413. He died in 1436 or 1438.

Coat of arms: Argent, a fess twistled Azure and Gules.

 

 

CHAMBER, Cristy (alias in French Cristin de la Chambre). – It is not certain that Cristin Chamber (alias Cristin de La Chambre) fought in the defence of Orleans, but he was in the army that accompanied Charles VII in Reims for his coronation. He was indeed the captain of the King's Scottish Lifeguards from 1427 until 1445 (he was replaced by his son, Nicole or Nicolas de la Chambre). He became established in the French country of Saintonge where he found a new family. He received the seigneury of Villeneuve-la-Comtesse (Charente-Maritime). In 1453, he was doubtless established as a pensioner, caretaker and guard of the King's palace in Paris.

Coat of arms: Azure a chevron Or between three lions’ head Or lampassed Gules.

 

 

CRICHTON (alias Criston or Cresson), John. – In April and May, 1429, he commanded a company of Scottish men-at-arms and bowmen. Later he became governor of Châtillon

Coat of arms: Argent a lion Azure armed and lampassed Gules.

 

 

 

 

DOUGLAS. – Archibald († on 1439), 5th Earl Douglas and Wigtown, Count of Touraine, Lord of Dun-le-Roi, was he present in Orleans in 1429? And in the campaign which followed? He was the son of Archibald, the 4th Earl Douglas, Duke of Touraine, killed during the battle of Verneuil, on August 17, 1424. Archibald 5th Earl Douglas, called Victon by the French chronicles by the name of his Wigtown county, had been made Count of Touraine, this as an honorary title. Unless the knight named Douglas who was present at the siege was another member of this great Scottish family, maybe the Archibald's cousin: William.

Coat of arms: Argent a heart Gules on a chief Azure three stars Argent (the heart is crowned since 1562). Archibald Douglas, Duke of Touraine, bore quarterly, 1st Azure three fleurs-de-lis Or (France), 2nd Argent a heart Gules on a chief Azure three stars Argent (Douglas), 3rd Azure a lion Argent armed and lampassed Gules crowned Or (Galloway), 4th Or a saltire Gules a chief Gules (Annandale).

 

 

GALOYS (GALLOWAY), Henry. –This Scottish squire led at Orleans a company of bowmen whose commander was William Hamilton. At the beginning of the siege, this company was made of 10 men-at-arms and 30 bowmen. The name "Galoys" was possibly for "Galloway" in the French chronicles.

Coat of arms of Galloway: Azure, a lion Argent langued, armed and crowned Or.

 

 

HAMILTON, William (alias Guillaume Hameton or Hameleton). – This Scottish squire had a company who was led at Orleans by Henry Galois (see above). A member of Hamilton’s family later became Duke of Châtellerault in France, in 1548.

Coat of arms: Gules three cinquefoils Ermine.

 

 

HOUSTON, Thomas († after 1439). – This Scottish knight arrived in Orleans in October 1428, commanding a company of 22 men-at-arms and 71 bowmen. He became Lord of Gournay in France, as a reward for his behaviour at the siege of Meaux in 1439.

Coat of arms: Or, a fess (alias a chevron) chequy Sable and Argent between three martlets Sable.

 

 

 

KENNEDY, Hugh Kennedy of Ardstynchar, alias in French "Canède". – Hugh Kennedy of Ardstynchar was one of the sons born from the first marriage of Gilbert Kennedy of Dunure's, who was alive in 1400. He disembarked in France in 1420, within the army commanded by John Stewart, Earl of Buchan. His behaviour at the battles of Baugé (1421) and Verneuil (1424) earned him a reward by Charles VII who allowed him to display a quarter of France on his coat of arms. Hugh Kennedy was one of numerous Scottish troops who fought at Orleans. He will still be at Joan’s side at Lagny, in April 1430, and would defend the city with Ambroise de Loré and Jean Foucault during the siege of 1432. The French called him generally "Canède"! Unmarried and without children, his possessions were passed on to his young brother, Thomas Kennedy of Bargany.

Coat of arms: quarterly, 1st and 4th Azure three fleurs-de-lis Or (France), 2nd and 3rd Argent a chevron Gules between three cross-crosslet fitchy Sable.

 

 

LENNOX, Edward of (alias Edouard or Douard de Linaux). – Scottish squire who arrived at Orleans in October 1428 with a big troop of 42 men-at-arms and 108 bowmen.

Coat of arms: Argent four cinquefoils Gules pierced Argent between a saltire Gules.

 

 

MELVILL (alias Malvill or Malleville), David. – Scottish squire who arrived at Orleans in October 1428 commanding a company of 12 men-at-arms and 28 bowmen. In January, the company is considerably strengthened when the royal treasurer paid him for 50 men-at-arms and 32 bowmen. This Scottish family were Norman companions of William the Conqueror, native of Malleville, in the Country of Caux.

Coat of arms: Argent a fess Gules.

 

 

NORVELL (alias Norvill, Norwill or Normanville), Alexander. – Scottish squire who fought at Orleans at the beginning of the siege with a company of 15 men-at-arms and 29 bowmen.

 NORVELL (alias Norvill, Norwill or Normanville), Michael. – Scottish squire who the presence is attest at Orleans in April and May 1429, with company of 20 men-at-arms and 25 bowmen. He can be a brother of the precedent person.

Coat of arms: Argent, on a bend Sable voided of Argent 3 martlets Sable beaked Gules.

 

 

 

OGILVY, Patrick Ogilvy of Auchterhouse, called "le vicomte d’Ecosse". – Ogilvies or O'Gilvies was hereditary Sheriffs of Angus. Patrick Ogilvy, Lord of Auchterhouse, Constable of the Scottish army in France, was councillor and chamberlain of King Charles VII. He commanded the escort of the convoy carrying foods to Orleans with Joan of Arc. His personal company was made up of 60 men-at-arms and 70 bowmen. He fought at Jargeau, Meung, Beaugency and Patay, and then followed the King to his coronation in Reims.

Coat of arms: quarterly, 1st and 4th Argent a leopard Gules armed and lampassed Azure crowned Or (Ogilvy), 2nd and 3rd Argent an eagle Sable beaked and membered Gules (Ramsay of Auchterhouse).

 

 

 

 

STEWART, John (alias Jean Stuart) († 1429). – Duke of Darnley, Count of Évreux, Lord of Concressault and Aubigny (Aubigny-sur-Nère, see below), John Stewart was the son of Sir Alexander Stewart (1368-1406), Duke of Darnley, and of his first wife, Marguerite. He married in 1408 Elizabeth Lennox († in November, 1429). Constable of Scotland, he disembarked in 1420 with a troop of 6,000 fellow countrymen and came to the Dauphin's help (with a homonym, John Stewart, Earl of Buchan, alias Boucan, who was made Constable of France in 1424). He participated in the battles of Baugé, Cravant and Verneuil, and then contributed to Montargis’s liberation in 1427. He arrived at Orleans on February 8, 1429 with a troop of 1,000 men-at-arms. But he was killed four days later during the disastrous "Battle of the Herrings". He was buried in Orléans’s cathedral.

Coat of arms: quarterly, 1st and 4th Azure three fleurs-de-lis Or (France) within a bordure Gules charged eight buckles Or, 2nd and 3rd Or a fess chequy Azure and Argent a bendlet Gules overall. Crest: a foal’s head proper mantled same colour doubled Azure (see below).

 

 

STEWART, William (alias Guillaume Stuart) († 1429). – William Stewart, Lord of Stelemilk or Castlemilk, was the son of Sir Alexander Stewart and of his second wife, Janet Keith. He was also the half brother of John Stewart of Darnley. He accompanied Darnley to Orleans and was also killed on February 12, 1429 during the "Battle of the Herrings".

Coat of arms: Or a fess chequy Azure and Argent a bendlet Gules overall.

 

 

WISHART, John of (alias Wischard, Wischart, Ouschart or Oulchart). – John Wishart of Pittarow, a Scottish knight, was doubtless the son of the 5th baron of this name. He arrived at Orleans in October 1428, with 48 men-at-arms and 105 bowmen. He returned to France in 1436 to accompany Princess Margaret of Scotland who marry the Dauphin Louis (future King Louis XI). John Wishart was still alive in 1443.

Coat of arms: Argent three piles Gules meeting in point.

 

Appendix (in French actually) :
The Scot Guards of Charles VIIThe Scots in the accounts of the Treasurer for War




Photo © J.-C. Colrat

Aubigny-sur-Nère (France) :
the "City of the Stuarts"

Bérault Stuart, nephew of Jean Stuart of Darnley, built the castle of Aubigny-sur-Nère (in Duchy of Berry) at the end of 15th century. His cousin Robert Stuart of Lennox who rebuilt the city destroyed by a fire in 1512 continued the construction of the castle. Today, the castle is the Town Hall and shelters the "Auld Alliance's Museum".

Full coat of arms of
John Stewart of Darnley
first Lord of Aubigny


Sculpture and painting : J.-C. Colrat

 The bordure of the arms of France which according by Charles VII
is charged by
"fermaillets". These seem buckles of belted plaid.

Author's note: certain pieces of information contained at the same moment in "Les compagnons d'armes de Jehanne la Pucelle" and in this Website can present differences. After more than twenty years of researches, new elements constantly come to refine and to complete my study. The pieces of information contained in this Website establish the finishing touches on this subject (in what concerns me...). It is notably the case for the Scottish captains above.




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