Etienne de VIGNOLLES (* v.1380, † 1442) nicknamed La Hire. He joined the Dauphin Charles in 1418, closing Poton de Xaintrailles of whom he will become inseparable. Captain of Vendome in 1428. Participated in the raising of the siege of Orleans, and fought to Jargeau, Meung, Beaugency and Patay. Made Squire of the King and bailli of Vermandois on the occasion of the coronation in Reims. Winner in May 1435 of the battle of Gerberoy. Capitaine-general of Normandy, Lord of Montmorillon and feudal lord of Longueville. Died to Montauban on January 11, 1442, during the campaign of Guyenne.

  Vignolles, Etienne de (' La Hire') (d.1443).
Poton was know for quick raids and taking of English positions, which he usually could not hold for long. He was at the battle of Bauge (1421). La Hire was with Dunois, when they reinforced Montargis with 1,600 troops, forcing Warwick to break off his siege. La Hire seized Le Mans, but Talbot retook the town later. La Hire, with Dunois and Poton de Xaintrailles, reinforced Orleans early in the siege and remained active in the army of the Loire campaign if 1429 until the coronation of Charles VII. In late 1436, La Hire and Poton de Xaintrailles appeared in front of Rouen with 1,000 troops, but the citizens would not admit them. The French retired to a little town of Ris, where they were later driven out by Talbot. La Hire was made captain general of Normandy by Charles VII. He was later captured by the Burgundians and ransomed by the French king. La Hire became ill at Montauban during one of the early reconquest campaigns of the southwest, and died 11 January 1443.

the house of La Hire in Francescasthe house of La Hire in Francescas

Of the great battle captains under Jeanne d'Arc, Etienne de Vignolles is one of the toughest and most warlike. A professional soldier of some repute, La Hire was present at the lifting of the Siege of Orleans, and was the primary leader at the Battle of Patay which caused as much damage to the English as Agincourt did to the French.

Etienne de Vignolles, called La Hire, was a Gascon captain (renowned for their short temper) and Bailly of Vermandois. He was born about 1390 and entered the Dauphin's service about 1418 and waged guerilla warfare in the country around Laon and in Vermandois. He was captain of Chateau Thierry in 1421 and then of Vitry in Champagne in 1422.

He was seriously wounded at Saint Riquier and remained lame. He commanded the Lombard knights at Verneuil (August, 1424) and delivered Vendome from Suffolk, succored Montargis in 1427, surprised Marchenoir but let the English retake Le Mans. He undertook the reprovisioning of Orleans which he entered on October 25, 1428. At the Battle of the Herrings, La Hire protected the retreat of the French companies; he encountered the Maid at Blois and reentered Orleans with her on April 29, 1429. He prosecuted the whole campaign of Beauce and commanded the forces that escorted Jeanne and the King on the journey to Reims.

Created Bailly of Vermandois, he installed himself at Laon. But we encounter him shortly afterwards in Normandy, of which he was captain-general after the taking of Louviers (1429). He conducted two mysterious enterprises which appear to have had as their object the deliverance of Jeanne d'Arc from Rouen. But he was captured by the Burgundians who held him for a ransom of 1,500 reaux d'or and kept him prisoner at Dourdan.

In September, 1432, la Hire appeared at Lagny, which was besieged by Bedford, and he ravaged the lands of the Duke of Burgundy around Cambrai the following year. Captain-general of the hither side of the Seine, in December, 1433, he took Ham and Breteuil from the Burgundians and defeated the Earl of Arundel at Gerberoy (1435).

In spite of the peace of Arras he continued to wage guerrilla warfare in Artois, around Caux, but he was taken prisoner by the Lord of Offemont at Beauvais (1437). In the service of Rene d'Anjou, La Hire led the Ecorcheurs (2) in Lorraine (1438-1439). He took part in the sieges of Harfleur and Pontoise, and in the battle of Tartas.

He died, poor and glorious, at Montauban on January 12, 1443.
La Hire

Le Hire is remembered as the Jack of Hearts in card decks.

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