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The ancient city of Orleans has existed since at least the 4th century and has been everything from a Carnute trading post to a rival with Paris for the Capetian's center of royal government. After 1344, the dukes of Orleans were all close relatives of the French Kings. Philip, the younger son of Philip VI ruler until his death in 1375 when Louis, brother of Charles VI became both Duke of Orleans and the leader of the anti-Burgundian or Armagnac faction. Louis was assassinated and Charles d'Orleans was Duke during Joan's time. Since he was captured at Agincourt and still held by the English at the time of the siege of Orleans, many felt that the English were breaking the chivalric code by attacking a city whose lord was imprisoned.
The English began the siege of Orleans on October 12, 1428 and the French made several unsuccessful attempts to relieve the city including the Battle of Herrings on February 12. Charles d'Orleans' illegitimate half-brother John the comte de Dunois, commonly known as the Bastard of Orleans, took charge of leading the defense of Orleans. Joan entered the city on April 29, 1429 and within a few days she and the French army had captured several of the English held Bastille's. On May 8, 1429, the siege of Orleans was lifted with the aid of Joan.