Vicomte de Bruillois, seigneur de Salignac, Roques, Villeton,
Tonneins et Saint-Macaire.
Jean Poton de Xaintrailles,
a minor noble of Gascon origin, was one
of the chief lieutenants of Joan of Arc. He served as master of
the royal stables, as royal bailiff in Berry and as seneschal of
Limousin. In 1454 he was appointed a Marshal of France.
He served with Joan of Arc at the
Siege of Orléans, and the battles of
Jargeau, Meung-sur-Loire, Beaugency and Patay. He raised the
siege of Compiègne.
Poton de Xaintrailles (Saintrailles)
began as a mercenary in the service of the duke of Burgundy in
1424, but later switched to fight with the forces supporting
Charles VII. He was one of the many 'freelance' warriors upon
whom the French had to rely following the major defeats of
Agincourt (1415) and Verneuil (1424), and prior to rebuilding a
formal military organization.
He fought at the
battle of Verneuil in 1424, and at
Orléans in 1427, where he was wounded. He was captured at the
battle of Cravant and later exchanged for John Talbot.
where he was born
Xaintrailles often conducted operations along with
another mercenary, known as 'La Hire'. The two were captured by
a Burgundian force at Mons-en-Vimeu (1421) and later ransomed.
They were together again at the Battle of 'the Herrings', in
January 1429. Later in the year, they joined in the Maid's Loire
Jean de Xaintrailles was captured in
March 1431, by the earl of Warwick, when his raiding force
attempted to ambush the English regent, duke Bedford.
Jean was exchanged for the famous
English captain Talbot (who had been captured at Patay, June
In the latter phase of the
Hundred Years War he was active in the
reconquest of Normandy and the conquest of Guyenne, often with
Étienne de Vignolles, better known as La Hire, including the
action at Gerbevoy.
Siege of Orleans May 1429
detail of image from
de Charles VII
La Hire & Xaintrailles
Jean Poton de Xaintrailles
and La Hire
Xaintrailles campaigned with moderate
success in Normandy in 1435. The Dauphin Louis [future XI] took
Xaintrailles with him in the 1444
campaign against the Swiss.
Jean developed from a free-booting mercenary into a
reliable leader in the new armies formed by Charles VII
following the 1444-49 truce in the war between England and
When the standing army was
created in 1445, Xaintrailles was appointed to command one of
the twelve companies of the new army.
When hostilities re-opened, Jean de
Xaintrailles was a leader in the 1450 French reconquest
of Normandy. Recognition of his military contribution to the
reconquest of Normandy was evidenced by him being the 'grand
écuyer' who bore the royal ceremonial sword, Joyeuse, in
the procession of Charles VII's entry into Rouen in June 1451.