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Sunday, 20 October 2013

Calais

England's King Edward III annexed Calais in 1347. Siege guns were used by the English for one of the first times.

Auguste Rodin’s sculpture The Burghers of Calais commemorates the siege of Calais in 1347.

The siege ended when Edward III agreed to spare the townsfolk if six of their leaders presented themselves to be executed. Six leaders did so but Edward’s wife, Queen Philippa, persuaded him to spare them.

Half the population of Calais in the fifteenth century worked for the British wool trade.

Calais was the last continental territorial possession of England until its capture on January 7,  1558 by the French under Francis, Duke of Guise.

Map showing the situation of 1477, northern France and the pale of Calais

Spain captured Calais in 1596 during their war with Henry IV of France. but gave it back to France two years later.

Guy Fawkes participated in the capture of the city of Calais by the Spanish.

Nelson’s mistress Emma Hamilton went to live in Calais after he died to flee her creditors. Penniless, she died there of dysentery in 1814.

Swimming the English Channel was first achieved on 24-25 August 1875 by Captain Matthew Webb (1848-83). He covered the 21 miles from Dover to Calais Sands in 21 hours 45 minutes using the breast stroke.

At 21 miles from England across the Strait of Dover, Calais is the French town closest to the UK.

The line from Calais to Dover is the boundary between the English Channel and the North Sea.

Calais is one of five French towns allowed by royal decree to have their own flags. The other four are Boulogne, Dunkirk, Le Havre and Saint-Malo.

Source Daily Express

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