Siege of Tournai (1340)

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Siege of Tournai
Part of the Hundred Years' War
Date23 July – 25 September 1340
Tournai, France

50°22′N 3°14′E / 50.36°N 3.23°E / 50.36; 3.23Coordinates: 50°22′N 3°14′E / 50.36°N 3.23°E / 50.36; 3.23
Result French victory
Truce of Espléchin
Royal Arms of England (1340-1367).svg Kingdom of England Blason pays fr FranceAncien.svg Kingdom of France
Commanders and leaders
Royal Arms of England (1340-1367).svg Edward III Blason pays fr FranceAncien.svg Philip VI

During the Hundred Years' War, after the naval Battle of Sluys on 20 June 1340, in which Edward III of England dealt the French a heavy blow, he went on to besiege Tournai. This city in Flanders was loyal to Philip VI of France.

Edward and his forces reached Tournai on 23 July. Apart from the inhabitants, there was also a French garrison inside. The siege dragged on and Philip was drawing closer with an army, while Edward was running out of money. At the same time, Tournai was running out of food.

Edward's mother-in-law, Jeanne of Valois, then visited him in his tent on 22 September and begged for peace. She had already made the same plea in front of Philip, who was her brother. A truce (known as the Truce of Espléchin) could then be made without anyone losing face and Tournai was relieved.[1]

The Siege of Tournai is notable for being an early example of the use of the cannon in European siege warfare[2]


  1. ^ Mortimer, Ian (2008). The Perfect King The Life of Edward III, Father of the English Nation. Vintage. pp. 177–180.
  2. ^ DeVries, Kelly (2012). Medieval military technology. University of Toronto Press. ISBN 9781442604971. OCLC 1026062443.