By this stage Jeanne de Clisson had sold off many of her assets and as the fable goes, she sold her body off to the highest bidder too. She needed to raise funds and favours. Jeanne used her booty to buy three warships, she had them painted black with red sails and henceforth they were named the “Black Fleet”.
Jeanne de Clisson exclusively and mercilessly attacked French ships in the Channel, slaughtering all of their occupants leaving just two or three crew members. The survivors could then scamper home and tell the tale of the Lioness of Brittany to the King. This Lioness had a passion for hunting down the ships of French nobility whilst they were aboard and personally beheading them. Jean hated the nobility and took great pleasure in torturing them. Unsurprisingly this made her popular with the English as she not only cleared the channel of French ships, she also helped them to get supplies through to their troops on French shores.
Jeanne eventually retired, legend has it that she was piratical for 13 years, although historians say it may have only been as long as a few months. Her story has been intertwined with fables and fiction, so the exact nature of her activities will never truly be known. It is known that she definitely existed and was a massive help to the English thanks to a mention of her in official truce documents from the time.
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