Between 20 June 1294 and 24 March 1298 England and France were formally and publicly at war. Historians have been more than usually censorious about the nature and upshot of this war. If the Anglo-French war of 1294–8 proved anything, it was that neither side could hope to emerge victorious from a conflict fought exclusively in the duchy of Aquitaine. The war of 1294–8 was to break out over almost exclusively Gascon issues. These negotiations ultimately failed and the secret treaty was never honoured. With some justification Edmund of Lancaster believed himself misled and duped by the French. He had perhaps relied too much upon his own connections at the court of France. The first French attempt to confiscate the duchy of Aquitaine by judicial means ran into deep and troubled waters because of procedural incompetence, or perhaps arrogance. It is clear, however, that the maritime conflict between the Bayonnais and their rivals formed only one link in the chain of events which led to the Anglo-French war of 1294.
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