In the training process of the Cavaliers, do not teach how to make money. Geoffroy de Charny gives some advice in his book, but if you want to make money from war, you will find that his advice is not really useful. Instead, he warns you not to place too much importance on winning trophies or making money from wars, because neither of them compares to honor in the long run. He also advises you not to pay too much attention to appearance, if you spend too much time, energy and money on it, you will waste your military career. What he means is that you need to make ends meet. For de Charny, the best knights should be able to take risks, withstand physical ordeals, and accomplish great deeds, but should not demand anything other than personal honor in return.
De Charny did not understand that war was also big business. There is money waiting for you to earn, but there are also risks. Earnings may be high or low, and you may end up trading at a loss. You can make a lot of money by collecting ransoms, and you can also make a decent amount of money by charging villages and towns for protection. A lot of money is waiting for you to earn. If you are smart enough, you can get rich, but there are not many people who might get rich.
You can exchange captured prisoners for ransom. This approach has several clear benefits. First, you can make a lot of money with it. Second, it makes no sense to kill the enemy because the live captives are exchanged for money, which makes the war a little less brutal. Before the Battle of Aure in 1364, the English commander John Chandos was considering whether the conflict should be settled by negotiation instead of fighting, but a group of knights and squires came up to him and begged him to go to war. They say they are poor and want to make money by fighting.
You also need to be careful, because sometimes the ransom can be difficult to get. You'd better avoid this, because if you're caught, you can get killed; if you're paid, you don't get the money. After the Battle of Kortrijk in 1302, the Flemish people did not receive the ransom, so many French soldiers were executed at that time. At the Battle of Crecy, King Edward III of England and King Philip V of France both ordered that it was a "total war" and that no mercy should be given to the opponent. Neither king wanted the possibility of negotiating a surrender or paying a ransom to distract his men from the battle. In the end, the English won only a few captives for ransom in this major victory. You have to be especially careful with the Swiss, because they don't take money very seriously and don't take captives for ransom as a rule. At the Battle of Sempach in 1386, the Swiss army directly killed the Austrian Duke and many of his knights.
capture prisoners of war
You need to be careful not to injure your opponent too badly in battle, as dead captives cannot be exchanged for money. In the mid-1460s, John Amory was captured and seriously wounded by Guichard de Albigon. Guichard did his best to save him, taking him to a nearby town for treatment, but unfortunately Amory succumbed to bloodshed and a good chance for a ransom was gone.
There's also the issue that the average soldier in your army might mess you up because they're so fond of slaughtering knights. In 1359, Henri de Quinillarte captured Eustace de Aubercicourt, but had great difficulty in protecting Eustace, as the soldiers were eager to attack Eustace. Stas took revenge for his earlier actions and wanted to kill him.
In 1415, at the Battle of Agincourt, the British army with infantry archers as the main force routed the elite French army composed of a large number of nobles.
After you capture a prisoner, you need to make sure that the prisoner is yours alone. At the Battle of Poitiers, the Count of Damartin had just begun to surrender to a squire, giving him his bowl helmet. Then a Gascon appeared menacingly, and the count handed him the shield as a sign of surrender. Then came a third man, who received an oath of surrender from the count. In the end, the earl was judged to be the captive of the Earl of Salisbury.
Sometimes bad things happen. At the Battle of Agincourt, Henry V, fearing a French counteroffensive, ordered the prisoners of war to be killed. His actions are understandable from a military point of view, but from a monetary point of view, a good opportunity to earn a ransom was completely wasted.
How much should the ransom be?
You may have heard of several very high ransoms:
In 1356, the two counts of Vendôme, Doncaville and You, were captured by the enemy at the Battle of Poitiers, and later each paid 30,000 flores Lin's ransom.
According to Froissard, after the battle of Lonarch (near Toulouse) in 1362, the total agreed ransom was 1 million francs. Documents at the time showed that Fu Huasa's account was not too exaggerated.
Don't dwell on these tempting numbers, but think about how much your captives can afford.
In 1366, John Hawkwood captured a Siena commander and demanded a ransom of 10,000 francs, only to have to accept a ransom of 500 francs.
In 1347, Charles de Blois was captured by the English, and King Edward III of England demanded a huge ransom of up to 700,000 Ecu, but he only actually received 50,000 in the end.
In 1358, when Renault le Viconte was taken prisoner, he promised to pay for two barrels of wine as a ransom. This kind of physical delivery also went wrong. The wine was stolen, so Renault did not pay.
Remember, if your captive is a very important person, it's not up to you to decide how much ransom you want. At the Battle of Neville's Cross in 1346, John of Coupland found the King of Scotland under a bridge and took him prisoner. John handed over the captives to the King of England to deal with himself. John was later rewarded: £500 a year for life. That's a small amount for the total ransom of £66,666, but it's a lot for John.
If you're a knight of average status, you'd better not control a very important captive for a long time, and don't negotiate a ransom with him personally. You should take the captive as soon as possible. After you sell your captive to someone else, you may not get as much money as the captive can pay, but at least you can make a fortune and save yourself a lot of trouble.
In 1337, Walter Mooney captured Guy de Rickenberg, who agreed to pay a ransom of £11,000. Money then resold him to Edward III for £8,000. After the resale, Guy agreed to support Edward III and did not pay the ransom. With that in mind, Mooney did a decent job on this one.
At the Battle of Najera, Bertrand du Guekrain was captured by two knights, William Berlain and Thomas Cheyne. The pair sold their right to a ransom to the Black Prince for £3,000 each. In the end, the black prince got more than 100,000 Brah coins. The two knights may feel like they're losing money, but in reality they don't have the status of the Black Prince, so it's impossible to negotiate such a big deal.
If you do not resell the captives, you are likely to encounter many difficulties. At the Battle of Najura in 1367, two attendants captured the Count of Denia, but they were not as sensible as the two knights who captured du Guekrain, but offered a huge ransom of more than 150,000bras. After the earl communicated with his son, he found that he could not scrape together so much money. For diplomatic reasons, the English government very much wanted to help the earl redeem himself, but the two attendants refused to budge and insisted on the money. As a result, the two attendants were imprisoned in the Tower of London, after which they escaped and took refuge in Westminster Abbey. Soon the tower of London guards chased them and killed one of them. The legal dispute over the ransom has dragged on for years without resolution.
How to pay the ransom?
No matter how powerful a soldier is, he can become a prisoner. Bertrand du Gueklain was captured at least twice, probably more than twice. Boucicault was also taken prisoner twice, once at the Battle of Nicopolis and once at the Battle of Agincourt. Therefore, you may also become a prisoner and need to pay money to redeem yourself. If your status is high enough, you may receive assistance from various sources.
Du Gueklain was captured by John Chandos at the Battle of Aure in 1364, and later by the Black Prince's army at the Battle of Najera. The money for his ransom was mostly paid by King Charles V of France, Henry of Trastamara, and the Pope.
After Busicault was captured by the Turks at the Battle of Nicopolis, the two sides engaged in complex negotiations over the capture. The initial price for freeing all captives was 1 million florins, which was later reduced to 200,000 florins. France and Burgundy paid most of the money, and Venetian bankers were instrumental in moving the money. Boucicault himself paid 10,000 francs, but at least he did not need to pay the full amount of his ransom.
Ransom payment scenario. In 1387, the Brittany warrior Jean de Beaumanoy handed over 100,000 francs to the representative of the Duke of Brittany to redeem the French Marshal Olivier de Crisson.
If you're lucky, your minions might try to rescue you. Eustace de Aubercicourt was demanded a ransom of 22,000 livres after being captured by the French in 1359. But he was very fortunate that the army under his command had collected enough money for him. Although his wife is very rich, it is still impossible to collect this huge sum of money with daily income.
The way the ransom is paid can get incredibly complicated. For example, after the Earl of Damartin was captured at the Battle of Poitiers in 1356, he had to pay the Earl of Salisbury a ransom of 12,000 florins. This ransom may not be comparable to some of the huge ransoms, but Count Damartan still can't raise that much cash. So the two sides agreed to first transfer a piece of property in Somerset belonging to another French nobleman, Robert de Feines, to the name of the Earl of Salisbury, and then the Earl of Damartin would transfer his property in France. Transfer to Fiennes. They were later involved in complex litigation over the value of the lands, which were not resolved until 1370, long after the Counts of Damartan had been released.