In the early part of the Hundred Years’ War, Edward III of England conducted a siege of Calais that lasted close to a year. Eventually, in August 1347, the inhabitants of Calais surrendered to the English forces. Edward III demanded that six of the most prominent citizens (burghers) leave the city with nooses around their necks, carrying the keys to the city. Six Calais citizens walked out to meet the king barefoot, in rags, gaunt from a year of near-starvation. Edward ordered that they be beheaded. His wife, however, intervened.