Recalling Jeanne de Clisson & Women You Don’t Mess With

Recalling Jeanne de Clisson & Women You Don’t Mess With August 2, 2019





It was on this day, the 2nd of August, in 1343 that the French nobleman Oliver de Clisson was convicted of treason and beheaded. His head was hung on the gates of Paris.

Many saw the trial something trumped up, and the conviction and execution an act of injustice for which the king was directly responsible.

No one felt this more so than his wife, Jeanne de Clisson.

She took her children to Paris and showed them their father’s head, returned to her estates, sold them, raised an army and began her own reign of revenge.

When her army faced defeat she fled to England.

There she was given a commission as a privateer. De Clisson raised a small fleet of three warships, painted the ships black, outfitted them with red sails and for the next thirteen years attacked French vessels, usually killing everyone except a witness or two to report this was a gift for the French king.

Her fleet also attacked some towns on the mainland of France, apparently to the same purpose. And with much the same conclusion…

Eventually she remarried and settled in a castle in Brittany in territory held by allies.

Apparently no one bothered her or her family.

She died there in 1359.


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