Petit Meschin

Le Petit Meschin was a French soldier, mercenary and brigand of the Hundred Years War in the 14th century.[1]

Tard-Venus pillage Grammont

Originally from Gascon he was a soldier in his Youth [2] but In 1363, after the Treaty of Brétigny, Meschin[3] and his men began to pillage the countryside. His was one of the many so called Tard-Venus bands, groups of mercenaries left without employment by the end of hostilities.

In early January 1362, the Tard-Venus invaded Forez and Meschin held the priory of Estivareilles.

King John II commissioned Count James Bourbon and Jean de Tancarville [fr] to raise an army to put down the "Free Companies" under the informal leadership of Petit Meschin before they could overrun Burgundy. Bourbon and Tancarville gathered their army at Brignais.

The French King's forces were besieging the town of Brignais, which had been seized by the Companies in March as an operating base.[4] Never dreaming that the companies would dare challenge them in the open the Royal forces took few steps to secure their camp and when the companies attacked that morning of 6 April 1362 they were taken completely by surprise. In the battle that followed the government army was routed and James Bourbon and his oldest son were mortally wounded.

Le Petit Meschin was taken prisoner in 1368, by the Bailiff of Franche-Comté [fr], Huart Raincheval, on 11 May 1369.


  1. ^ Consulter la biographie (rare) d'Aimé Cherest : L'Archiprêtre, épisodes de la guerre de cent ans au XIVe siècle, éd. Claudin, Paris 1879.
  2. ^ Froissart's Chronicles Vol.6.
  3. ^ Françoise Autrand, Charles V, Fayard 1994, p. 499
  4. ^ Fowler, Kenneth (2001). Medieval Mercenaries: Vol. I The Great Companies. Oxford: Blackwell. pp. 46–52.