Sir John Hawkwood, ca 1320-1396: Inglese Italianato, Diavolo Incarnato*

A significant difficulty in raising armies or any other kind of trouble is figuring out what to do with the soldiers once the fighting stops.

At the end of the Hundred Years’ War in 1360 (more a breather than an end, but close enough for our purposes), the number of idle infantrymen and cavalry hanging around France was great enough to be a serious concern for both sides.  The soldiers had been on campaign for years having a grand old time and didn’t want to go home, not after they had seen Paree so to speak.   England didn’t want them, France certainly didn’t want them.  Best thing for the reconciled monarchs now was to direct these troublesome fellows elsewhere.  South, first, where they worried the pope who was  then in Avignon.  He suggested that they might find useful occupation in Italy.

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