Etienne de VIGNOLLES (v.1380, † 1442) nicknamed La Hire.
Etienne de Vignolles, called La Hire, was a Gascon captain (renowned for their short temper) and Bailly of Vermandois. He was born about in 1380 and entered the Dauphin's service about 1418 and waged guerilla warfare in the country around Laon and in Vermandois. He was captain of Chateau Thierry in 1421 and then of Vitry in Champagne in 1422.
He was seriously wounded at Saint Riquier and remained lame. He commanded the Lombard knights at Verneuil (August, 1424) and delivered Vendome from Suffolk, succored Montargis in 1427, surprised Marchenoir but let the English retake Le Mans. He undertook the reprovisioning of Orleans which he entered on October 25, 1428. At the Battle of the Herrings, La Hire protected the retreat of the French companies; he encountered the Maid Joan of Arc at Blois and reentered Orleans with her on April 29, 1429. He prosecuted the whole campaign of Beauce and commanded the forces that escorted Jeanne and the King on the journey to Reims.
Created Bailly of Vermandois, he installed himself at Laon. But we encounter him shortly afterwards in Normandy, of which he was captain-general after the taking of Louviers (1429). He conducted two mysterious enterprises which appear to have had as their object the deliverance of Jeanne d'Arc from Rouen. But he was captured by the Burgundians who held him for a ransom of 1,500 reaux d'or and kept him prisoner at Dourdan.
He died, poor and glorious, at Montauban on January 12, 1443.
Le Hire is remembered as the Jack of Hearts in card decks.
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