© Le Havre Et Le Port Vus Du Sommet Du Donjon Du Château De Regnéville © Département De La Ma

The defence of the castle

THE DEFENCE OF THE CASTLE

Since the beginning of the 15th century, only a small garrison of 20 men ensured the defence of the castle under the orders of the captain. The main mission of the armed forces was to monitor the port traffic and to collect taxes.

The garrison of Regnéville castle

From the end of the 14th century, the men that constituted the garrison of Regnéville castle were professionals and their contracts were drawn up directly between the sovereign and the captain. Charles le Mauvais, then the kings of France or England, ensured their payment from the port revenue and taxes. At the start of the 15th century, the garrison fell from thirty or so men, to around twenty.

The military decline

In 1486, the king of France, Charles VIII, freed himself from the responsibility of the castle by entrusting it to Jean du Mas for the annual sum of 20 livres tournois per year (about 2 450€ today). A sign of the reduction of personnel, the garrison required the assistance of outside inhabitants to correctly carry out their duty. A document from 1518 indicates that inhabitants of several neighbouring parishes must guard the castle or pay the captain 10 sous tournois per year, and per household.

 

>> One livre equals 20 sous (about 122.5€). How much would have inhabitants in 1518 had to pay to be excused from guarding the castle ?
Answer : 20 sous = one livre tournois = 122.5€. 10 sous = ½ livre, so about 66€ today.