Here are two new mnemonics by Peter Hobbs for recalling the dates of the Hundred Years War in Europe which lasted, with long pauses, for 117 years from 1336 until 1453.

Using a=1, b=2, c=3 etc, think of:

100 years war? - c/f to Dec!
(carry forward to December)

a c c f  to  a d e c
1 3 3 6  --  1 4 5 3

The Oxford Junior Encyclopedia describes the three phases of the war thus:

It began as an attempt by Edward III to gain full sovereignty over the Duchy of Aquitaine, a territory in south-western France which he held from the French King by dependent feudal tenure. The war was then turned by Henry V into a serious attempt to conquer France itself (resulting in Agincourt); and it ended with a revival of national spirit among the French (assisted by Joan of Arc), which swept the English out of all France except Calais (which was finally lost in Mary I's reign just over a hundred years later in 1558).

To recall quickly just how many years it lasted (117 in all), start at 100 and add the number of letters (plus gaps) in the phrase itself:


ie. add 100 to (+7 +1 +5 +1 +3)

1453 was also the year that the thousand-year-old Byzantine Empire ended, when Constantinople (now Istambul) was captured by the new Turkish Ottoman Empire. This growing eastern threat helped to bring about the end of the war between England and France, and 1453 is thus regarded by historians as marking the end of the period now known as the Middle Ages.


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