23 September – On this day
The Battle of Arnemuiden was a naval battle fought on this day in 1338 at the start of the Hundred Years’ War between England and France. It was the first naval battle of the Hundred Years’ War and the first recorded European naval battle using artillery, as the English ship Christopher had three cannons and one hand gun.
The battle featured a vast French fleet under admirals Hugues Quiéret and Nicolas Béhuchet against a small squadron of five great English cogs transporting an enormous cargo of wool to Antwerp, where Edward III of England was hoping to sell it, in order to be able to pay subsidies to his allies. It occurred near Arnemuiden, the port of the island of Walcheren in the Netherlands. Overwhelmed by the superior numbers and with some of their crew still on shore, the English ships fought bravely, especially the Christopher under the command of John Kingston, who was also commander of the squadron. Kingston surrendered after a day’s fighting and exhausting every means of defence.
The French captured the rich cargo and took the five cogs into their fleet, but massacred the English prisoners.