Date: 12 Feb 1429
Outcome: English victory
English Leadership: William de la Pole
English Strength: 2.200
English Casualties: ?
French Leadership: JComte de Clermont
French Strength: 4,000
French Casualties: ?
The Battle of the Herrings was a military action near the town of Rouvray in France, just north of Orléans, which took place on 12 February 1429 during the siege of Orléans. The immediate cause of the battle was an attempt by French forces, led by Charles of Bourbon, Count of Clermont, to intercept and divert a supply convoy headed for English forces.
The English had been laying siege to the town of Orléans since the previous October. The French were assisted by a Scottish force led by the Constable of the Scottish army, Sir John Stewart of Darnley. There are two places called Rouvray in the region in question. In his biography of Sir John Fastolf, Stephen Cooper gives reasons why the battle probably took place near Rouvray-Sainte-Croix, rather than Rouvray-Saint-Denis.
This supply convoy was led by Sir John Fastolf and had been outfitted in Paris, whence it had departed some time earlier. According to Regine Pernoud, this convoy consisted of “some 300 carts and wagons, carrying crossbow shafts, cannons and cannonballs but also barrels of herring.” The latter were being sent since the meatless Lenten days were approaching. It was the presence of this stock of fish which would give the somewhat unusual name to the battle.