1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Dunois, Jean

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8218451911 Encyclopædia Britannica, Volume 8 — Dunois, Jean

DUNOIS, JEAN, Count of (1403–1468), commonly called the “Bastard of Orleans,” a celebrated French commander, was the natural son of the duke of Orleans (brother of Charles VI.) and Mariette d’Enghien, Madame de Canny. He was brought up in the house of the duke, and in the company of his legitimate sons, and it appears that he was present at the battle of Beaugé in 1421 and Verneuil in 1424. His earliest feat of arms was the surprise and rout in 1427 of the English, who were besieging Montargis—the first successful blow against the English power in France following a long series of French defeats. In 1428 he defended Orleans with the greatest spirit, and enabled the place to hold out until the arrival of Joan of Arc, when he shared with her the honour of defeating the enemy there in 1429. He then accompanied Joan to Reims and shared in the victory of Patay. After her death he raised the siege of Chartres and of Lagny (1432) and engaged in a series of successful campaigns which ended in his triumphal entry into Paris on the 13th of April 1436. He continued to carry on the war against the English, and gradually drove them to the northward, though his work was to some extent interrupted by the civil disorders of the time, in which he played a conspicuous part. Finally in 1450 he completed the reconquest of northern France, and in 1451 he attacked them in Guienne, taking among other towns Bordeaux, which the English had held for three hundred years, and Bayonne. After the expulsion of the English he was constantly engaged in the highest diplomatic and military missions. In 1465 he joined the league of revolted princes, but, assuming the function of negotiator, he was after a time reinstated in his offices. Dunois was thenceforward in the greatest favour with the court. He died on the 24th of November 1468.