Partisan identity in the French civil war, 1405-1418: reconsidering the evidence on livery badges

  • Hutchison E
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Abstract

This article examines the efficiency with which John the Fearless used his personal badges during his conflict with Louis of Orleans and the Armagnacs, and questions current thinking on the relationship between the emblems of both parties. As early as 1405, he began distributing emblems that corresponded directly to his ideology: first the carpenter's plane, and from 1410 onwards, his mason's level, two symbols that were representative of his platform for reform. In August 1411, his urban supporters in Paris and elsewhere began wearing crosses of St Andrew, his patron saint, as a means of identifying themselves as Burgundian partisans. This study argues that in making a conscious decision to link his symbols to his ideology, and in making them available to his vassals and urban supporters alike, John the Fearless forged a strong Burgundian community that transcended social barriers. In so doing, he also manufactured an Armagnac anti-community, a tangible entity against which his partisans' animosity was directed from 1411 onwards. As badges of allegiance, the symbols helped fuel a war that had, thus far, remained a private conflict between the princely houses of Burgundy and Orleans. © 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Burgundian identity
  • French civil war
  • Partisanship
  • [Livery] Badges

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Authors

  • Emily J. Hutchison

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