Henry V of England

Henry V (16 September 1386 – 31 August 1422), also called Henry of Monmouth, was King of England from 1413 until his early death in 1422. He was the second English monarch of the House of Lancaster. Despite his relatively short reign, Henry's outstanding military successes in the Hundred Years' War against France, most notably in his famous victory at the Battle of Agincourt in 1415, made England one of the strongest military powers in Europe.[3] Immortalised in the plays of Shakespeare, Henry is known and celebrated as one of the great warrior kings of medieval England.

In his youth, during the reign of his father Henry IV, Henry gained military experience fighting the Welsh during the revolt of Owain Glyndŵr and against the powerful aristocratic Percy family of Northumberland at the Battle of Shrewsbury. Henry acquired an increasing share in England's government due to the king's declining health, but disagreements between father and son led to political conflict between the two. After his father's death in 1413, Henry assumed control of the country and asserted the pending English claim to the French throne.

In 1415, Henry embarked on war with France in the ongoing Hundred Years' War (1337–1453) between the two nations. His military successes culminated in his famous victory at the Battle of Agincourt (1415) and saw him come close to conquering France. Taking advantage of political divisions within France, he conquered large portions of the kingdom and Normandy was occupied by the English for the first time since 1345–1360. After months of negotiation with Charles VI of France, the Treaty of Troyes (1420) recognised Henry V as regent and heir apparent to the French throne and he was subsequently married to Charles's daughter, Catherine of Valois.

Following this arrangement, everything seemed to point to the formation of a union between the kingdoms of France and England, in the person of King Henry. His sudden and unexpected death in France two years later condemned England to the long and difficult minority of his infant son and successor,[4] who reigned as Henry VI in England and Henry II in France.

Henry V
King Henry V from NPG
Posthumous portrait of Henry
King of England; Lord of Ireland
Reign21 March 1413 – 31 August 1422
Coronation9 April 1413
PredecessorHenry IV
SuccessorHenry VI
Born16 September 1386[1][2]
Monmouth Castle, Wales
Died31 August 1422 (aged 35)
Château de Vincennes, France
Burial7 November 1422
IssueHenry VI of England
FatherHenry IV of England
MotherMary de Bohun
Henry V's signature

Early life

Henry was born in the tower above the gatehouse of Monmouth Castle in Wales, and for that reason was sometimes called Henry of Monmouth.[5] He was the son of Henry of Bolingbroke (later Henry IV of England) and Mary de Bohun, and thus also the paternal grandson of the influential John of Gaunt, and great-grandson of Edward III of England. At the time of his birth, Richard II, his first cousin once removed, was king. Henry's grandfather, John of Gaunt, was the king's guardian. As he was not close to the line of succession to the throne, Henry's date of birth was not officially documented; and for many years it was disputed whether he was born in 1386 or 1387.[6] However, records indicate that his younger brother Thomas was born in the autumn of 1387 and that his parents were at Monmouth in 1386 but not in 1387.[7] It is now accepted that he was born on 16 September 1386.[8][2][12]

Henry V Halfpenny
Halfpenny of Henry V

Upon the exile of Henry's father in 1398, Richard II took the boy into his own charge and treated him kindly.[13] The young Henry accompanied King Richard to Ireland. While in the royal service, he visited Trim Castle in County Meath, the ancient meeting place of the Irish Parliament. In 1399, Henry's grandfather died. In the same year, King Richard II was overthrown by the Lancastrian usurpation that brought Henry's father to the throne and Henry was recalled from Ireland into prominence as heir apparent to the Kingdom of England. He was created Prince of Wales at his father's coronation and Duke of Lancaster on 10 November 1399, the third person to hold the title that year. His other titles were Duke of Cornwall, Earl of Chester and Duke of Aquitaine. A contemporary record notes that during that year, Henry spent time at The Queen's College, Oxford under the care of his uncle Henry Beaufort, the chancellor of the university.[14] From 1400 to 1404, he carried out the duties of High Sheriff of Cornwall.

Less than three years later, Henry was in command of part of the English forces. He led his own army into Wales against Owain Glyndŵr and joined forces with his father to fight Henry "Hotspur" Percy at the Battle of Shrewsbury in 1403.[15] It was there that the sixteen-year-old prince was almost killed by an arrow that became stuck in his face. An ordinary soldier might have died from such a wound, but Henry had the benefit of the best possible care. Over a period of several days, John Bradmore, the royal physician, treated the wound with honey to act as an antiseptic, crafted a tool to screw into the broken arrow shaft and thus extract the arrow without doing further damage, and flushed the wound with alcohol. The operation was successful, but it left Henry with permanent scars, evidence of his experience in battle.[16] For eighteen months in 1410–11, Henry was in control of the country during his father's ill health and took full advantage of the opportunity to impose his own policies. When the king recovered, he reversed most of these and dismissed the prince from his council.[17]

Role in government and conflict with Henry IV

Henry, Prince of Wales, presenting this book to John Mowbray. Thomas Hoccleve, Regement of Princes, London, c. 1411-1413, Arundel 38, f. 37detail
Henry, while Prince of Wales, presenting Thomas Hoccleve's Regement of Princes to the Duke of Norfolk (1411–13), British Library

The Welsh revolt of Owain Glyndŵr absorbed Henry's energies until 1408. Then, as a result of the king's ill health, Henry began to take a wider share in politics. From January 1410, helped by his uncles Henry Beaufort and Thomas Beaufort, legitimised sons of John of Gaunt, he had practical control of the government.[13]

Both in foreign and domestic policy he differed from the king, who discharged the prince from the council in November 1411. The quarrel of father and son was political only, though it is probable that the Beauforts had discussed the abdication of Henry IV. Their opponents certainly endeavoured to defame the prince.[13]

Supposed riotous youth

It may be that the tradition of Henry's riotous youth, immortalised by Shakespeare, is partly due to political enmity. Henry's record of involvement in war and politics, even in his youth, disproves this tradition. The most famous incident, his quarrel with the chief justice, has no contemporary authority and was first related by Sir Thomas Elyot in 1531.[18][13]

The story of Falstaff originated in Henry's early friendship with Sir John Oldcastle, a supporter of the Lollards. Shakespeare's Falstaff was originally named "Oldcastle", following his main source, The Famous Victories of Henry V. His descendants objected and the name was changed (the character became a composite of several real persons, including Sir John Fastolf). That friendship, and the prince's political opposition to Thomas Arundel, Archbishop of Canterbury, perhaps encouraged Lollard hopes. If so, their disappointment may account for the statements of ecclesiastical writers like Thomas Walsingham that Henry on becoming king was suddenly changed into a new man.[19][13]

Accession to the throne

After Henry IV died on 20 March 1413, Henry V succeeded him and was crowned on 9 April 1413 at Westminster Abbey. The ceremony was marked by a terrible snowstorm, but the common people were undecided as to whether it was a good or bad omen.[20] Henry was described as having been "very tall (6ft 3 in), slim, with dark hair cropped in a ring above the ears, and clean-shaven". His complexion was ruddy, the face lean with a prominent and pointed nose. Depending on his mood, his eyes "flashed from the mildness of a dove's to the brilliance of a lion's".[21]

Domestic policy

Henry V noble 1413 74001322
A gold noble coin of Henry V

Henry tackled all of the domestic policies together and gradually built on them a wider policy. From the first, he made it clear that he would rule England as the head of a united nation. On the one hand, he let past differences be forgotten – the late Richard II was honourably re-interred; the young Mortimer was taken into favour; the heirs of those who had suffered in the last reign were restored gradually to their titles and estates. On the other hand, where Henry saw a grave domestic danger, he acted firmly and ruthlessly, such as the Lollard discontent in January 1414 and including the execution by burning of Henry's old friend Sir John Oldcastle in 1417 to "nip the movement in the bud" and make his own position as ruler secure.[13]

English chancery hand 1418
English chancery hand. Facsimile of letter from Henry, 1418

His reign was generally free from serious trouble at home. The exception was the Southampton Plot in favour of Mortimer,[13] involving Henry, Lord Scrope and Richard, Earl of Cambridge (grandfather of the future King Edward IV), in July 1415. Mortimer himself remained loyal to Henry.

Starting in August 1417, Henry V promoted the use of the English language in government[22] and his reign marks the appearance of Chancery Standard English as well as the adoption of English as the language of record within government. He was the first king to use English in his personal correspondence since the Norman conquest 350 years earlier.[23][24]

Foreign affairs


Silver groat of Henry V (YORYM 1980 794) obverse
Silver groat of Henry V, York Museums Trust

Henry could now turn his attention to foreign affairs. A writer of the next generation was the first to allege that Henry was encouraged by ecclesiastical statesmen to enter into the French war as a means of diverting attention from home troubles. This story seems to have no foundation. Old commercial disputes and the support the French had lent to Owain Glyndŵr were used as an excuse for war, while the disordered state of France afforded no security for peace.[13] The French king, Charles VI, was prone to mental illness; at times he thought he was made of glass, and his eldest surviving son was an unpromising prospect. However, it was the old dynastic claim to the throne of France, first pursued by Edward III of England, that justified war with France in English opinion.

Following Agincourt, Sigismund, then King of Hungary and later Holy Roman Emperor, made a visit to Henry in hopes of making peace between England and France. His goal was to persuade Henry to modify his demands against the French. Henry lavishly entertained the emperor and even had him enrolled in the Order of the Garter. Sigismund, in turn, inducted Henry into the Order of the Dragon.[25] Henry had intended to crusade for the order after uniting the English and French thrones, but he died before fulfilling his plans.[26][27][28] Sigismund left England several months later, having signed the Treaty of Canterbury acknowledging English claims to France.

Campaigns in France

Henry may have regarded the assertion of his own claims as part of his royal duty, but a permanent settlement of the national debate was essential to the success of his foreign policy.[13]

1415 campaign

Ratification du Traité de Troyes 1 - Archives Nationales - AE-III-254
The ratification of the Treaty of Troyes between Henry and Charles VI of France. Archives Nationales (France).

On 12 August 1415, Henry sailed for France, where his forces besieged the fortress at Harfleur, capturing it on 22 September. Afterwards, Henry decided to march with his army across the French countryside towards Calais despite the warnings of his council.[29] On 25 October, on the plains near the village of Agincourt, a French army intercepted his route. Despite his men-at-arms being exhausted, outnumbered and malnourished, Henry led his men into battle, decisively defeating the French, who suffered severe losses. It is often argued that the French men-at-arms were bogged down in the muddy battlefield, soaked from the previous night of heavy rain, and that this hindered the French advance, allowing them to be sitting targets for the flanking English and Welsh archers. Most were simply hacked to death while completely stuck in the deep mud. Nevertheless, the victory is seen as Henry's greatest, ranking alongside the Battle of Crécy (1346) and the Battle of Poitiers (1356) as the greatest English victories of the Hundred Years' War.

During the battle,[30] Henry ordered that the French prisoners taken during the battle be put to death, including some of the most illustrious who could be used for ransom. Cambridge historian Brett Tingley posits that Henry was concerned that the prisoners might turn on their captors when the English were busy repelling a third wave of enemy troops, thus jeopardising a hard-fought victory.

The victorious conclusion of Agincourt, from the English viewpoint, was only the first step in the campaign to recover the French possessions that he felt belonged to the English crown. Agincourt also held out the promise that Henry's pretensions to the French throne might be realised.

Diplomacy and command of the sea

Command of the sea was secured by driving the Genoese allies of the French out of the English Channel.[13] While Henry was occupied with peace negotiations in 1416, a French and Genoese fleet surrounded the harbour at the English-garrisoned Harfleur. A French land force also besieged the town. To relieve Harfleur, Henry sent his brother, John of Lancaster, Duke of Bedford, who raised a fleet and set sail from Beachy Head on 14 August. The Franco-Genoese fleet was defeated the following day after a gruelling seven-hour battle and Harfleur was relieved. Diplomacy successfully detached Emperor Sigismund, from France and the Treaty of Canterbury in 1416 paved the way to end the Western Schism in the Church.

1417–20 campaign

Marriage of henry and Catherine
Late 15th-century depiction of Henry's marriage to Catherine of Valois. British Library, London.

With those two potential enemies gone, and after two years of patient preparation following the Battle of Agincourt, Henry renewed the war on a larger scale in 1417. Lower Normandy was quickly conquered and Rouen was cut off from Paris and besieged. This siege cast an even darker shadow on the reputation of the king than his order to slay the French prisoners at Agincourt. Rouen, starving and unable to support the women and children of the town, forced them out through the gates believing that Henry would allow them to pass through his army unmolested. However, Henry refused to allow this, and the expelled women and children died of starvation in the ditches surrounding the town. The French were paralysed by the disputes between Burgundians and Armagnacs. Henry skilfully played them off one against the other without relaxing his warlike approach.[13]

In January 1419, Rouen fell.[13] Those Norman French who had resisted were severely punished: Alain Blanchard, who had hanged English prisoners from the walls of Rouen, was summarily executed; Robert de Livet, Canon of Rouen, who had excommunicated the English king, was packed off to England and imprisoned for five years.[31]

By August, the English were outside the walls of Paris. The intrigues of the French parties culminated in the assassination of John the Fearless, Duke of Burgundy, by the Dauphin's partisans at Montereau on 10 September. Philip the Good, the new duke, and the French court threw themselves into Henry's arms. After six months of negotiation, the Treaty of Troyes recognised Henry as the heir and regent of France (see English Kings of France),[13] and on 2 June 1420 at Troyes Cathedral, he married Catherine of Valois, the French king's daughter. They had only one son, Henry, born on 6 December 1421 at Windsor Castle. From June to July 1420, Henry's army besieged and took the military fortress castle at Montereau-Fault-Yonne close to Paris. He besieged and captured Melun in November 1420, returning to England shortly thereafter. In 1428, Charles VII retook Montereau-Fault-Yonne, to once again see the English take it over within a short time. Finally, on October 10, 1437, Charles VII was victorious in regaining Montereau-Fault-Yonne.

1421 campaign and death

While he was in England, Henry's brother Thomas of Lancaster, 1st Duke of Clarence, led the English forces in France. On March 22, 1421, Thomas led the English to a disastrous defeat at the Battle of Baugé against a Franco-Scottish army. The duke was killed in the battle. On 10 June, Henry sailed back to France to retrieve the situation. It would be his last military campaign. From July to August, Henry's forces besieged and captured Dreux, thus relieving allied forces at Chartres. On October 6, his forces laid siege to Meaux, capturing it on May 11, 1422.

Henry V died suddenly on 31 August 1422 at the Château de Vincennes. He was thought to have died from dysentery,[32] supposedly contracted during the siege of Meaux. He was 35 years old and had reigned for nine years.

Shortly before his death, Henry V named his brother, John of Lancaster, 1st Duke of Bedford, regent of France in the name of his son, Henry VI of England, then only a few months old. Henry V did not live to be crowned King of France himself, as he might confidently have expected after the Treaty of Troyes, because the sickly Charles VI, to whom he had been named heir, survived him by two months. Henry's comrade-in-arms and Lord Steward, John Sutton, 1st Baron Dudley, brought his body back to England and bore the royal standard at his funeral.[33] Henry V was buried in Westminster Abbey on 7 November 1422. By Henry's request, he shared his grave with his friend, Richard Courtenay, rather than his wife. This was confirmed in 1953 when the grave was opened. Courtenay's death in 1415 had left Henry distraught. The closeness of the attachment has led to scholarly speculation that Courtenay played a critical role in mentoring Henry to become a respected monarch and that the attachment was more than a friendship.[34] However, the abbey says that Richard Courtenay's grave was found in the base of Henry's chantry, perchance disturbed when the king's memorial was built.[35] Also, Henry's last will and codicils, which gave specific instructions on how he should be buried, make no mention of a co-burial with anyone else.[36]


Henry's arms as Prince of Wales were those of the kingdom, differenced by a label argent of three points.[37] Upon his accession, he inherited use of the arms of the kingdom undifferenced.

Coat of Arms of the Prince of Wales (France modern)

Henry's achievement as Prince of Wales

Coat of Arms of Henry IV & V of England (1413-1422)

Royal achievement as king.


In 1420 Henry V married Catherine of Valois, daughter of Charles VI of France and younger sister of the widow of Richard II, Isabella of Valois (who died several years after her husband). Her dowry, upon the agreement between the two kingdoms, was 600,000 crowns.[38] Together the couple had one child, Henry. Upon Henry V's death, the infant Prince was made king and was crowned Henry VI of England.

See also


  1. ^ Mortimer 2007, p. 371.
  2. ^ a b Allmand 2010.
  3. ^ Ross, C. (28 July 1999). "Henry V, king of England". Encyclopædia Britannica.
  4. ^ Ross 1999.
  5. ^ Allmand, C. (23 September 2010). "Henry V (1386–1422)". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online). doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/12952.
  6. ^ Allmand, C. (1992). Henry V. English Monarchs series (new ed.). Yale University Press (published 1997). ISBN 978-0-300-07369-0. pp. 7–8
  7. ^ Mortimer, I. (2007). The Fears of Henry IV: The Life of England's Self-Made King. London: Jonathan Cape. ISBN 978-0-224-07300-4. pp. 371–2.
  8. ^ Curry, A. (2013). "The Making of a Prince: The Finances of 'the young lord Henry', 1386–1400". In Gwilym Dodd (ed.). Henry V: New Interpretations. York Medieval Press. p. 11. ISBN 978-1-903153-46-8.
  9. ^ Richardson, R. (2011). Kimball G. Everingham (ed.). Plantagenet Ancestry. 2 (2nd ed.). Salt Lake City. p. 364 n. 231.
  10. ^ Allmand 1992, pp. 7–8.
  11. ^ Mortimer 2007, p. 371.
  12. ^ Several combinations of 9 August, 16 September, and the years 1386 and 1387 frequently feature as birth dates. 16 September appears in Henry V's birth record found in Prologus in Cronica Regina (printed by Hearne), which states that he was born in the feast of St. Edith. Another document, located at John Rylands Library (French MS 54), gives the specific date of 16 September 1386. The only early authority which places his birth in August is Memorials of Henry V (ed. Cole, p. 64: "natus in Augusto fueras"); the date 9 August is first given by Paolo Giovio, but seems to be a misprint for his coronation date (9 April). The only other evidence for a birth in August would be a statement that he was in his 36th year (aged 35) when he died.[9] This would place Henry V's birth in September 1386 or August 1387.[10] Since Henry's household was at Monmouth in 1386 but not in 1387, and a specific date is given for 1386, the date of 16 September 1386 is now regarded as the correct one.[11]
  13. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m  One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainKingsford, C. (1911), "Henry V (1387–1422)" , in Chisholm, Hugh (ed.), Encyclopædia Britannica, 13 (11th ed.), Cambridge University Press
  14. ^ Salter, HE; Lobe, Mary D (1954). "The University of Oxford". A History of the County of Oxford. Victoria County History. 3. pp. 132–43.
  15. ^ Harriss, Gerald Leslie (2005). Shaping the Nation: England 1360–1461. Oxford, England, UK: Oxford University Press. p. 532. ISBN 0-19-822816-3.
  16. ^ "John Bradmore and His Book Philomena", Social History of Medicine, 5: 121–30, 1992, doi:10.1093/shm/5.1.121.
  17. ^ Pearsall, DA (1999). "The first English Life of Henry V". Chaucer to Spenser: an anthology of writings in English, 1375–1575. Oxford: Blackwell. p. 571. ISBN 0-631-19839-3.
  18. ^ Weis, René (1998). "Introduction". Henry IV, part 2. Oxford, England, UK: Oxford University Press. p. 27. ISBN 0-19-283143-7.
  19. ^ Patterson, Annabel (1996). "Sir John Oldcastle and Reformation histiography". In Hamilton, Donna; Strier, Richard (eds.). Religion, literature, and politics in post-Reformation England, 1540–1688. Cambridge, England, UK: Cambridge University Press. pp. 8–12. ISBN 0-521-47456-6.
  20. ^ "1413", TimeRef (History timelines), archived from the original on 5 May 2009, retrieved 27 May 2009
  21. ^ Andrews, Allen (1976), Kings and Queens of England and Scotland, London: Marshall Cavendish Publications, p. 76.
  22. ^ Fisher, J. (1996). The Emergence of Standard English. Lexington, KY: The University Press of Kentucky. p. 22. ISBN 978-0-8131-0852-0.
  23. ^ Harriss, G.L., ed. (1985). Henry V: The Practice of Kingship. Oxford University Press. p. 46.
  24. ^ Mugglestone, Lydia (2006), The Oxford History of English, UK: Oxford University Press, p. 101, ISBN 0-19-924931-8.
  25. ^ Rezachevici, Constantin (1999). Miller, Elizabeth (ed.). "From the Order of the Dragon to Dracula". Journal of Dracula Studies. St John's, NL, Canada: Memorial University of Newfoundland. 1. Archived from the original on 14 April 2008. Retrieved 18 April 2008.
  26. ^ Mowat, Robert Balmain (1919). Henry V. London: John Constable. p. 176. ISBN 1-4067-6713-1.
  27. ^ Harvey, John Hooper (1967). The Plantagents. London: Collins.
  28. ^ Seward, Desmond (1999). The hundred years war: The English in France 1337–1453. Harmondsworth, England, UK: Penguin Books. ISBN 0-14-028361-7.
  29. ^ Barker, J. (2005). Agincourt: Henry V and the Battle That Made England. London. p. 220.
  30. ^ Hibbert, Christopher (1964). "During the battle". Agincourt. London: Batsford. p. 114. OCLC 460624273.
  31. ^ Kingsford, C. (1901). Henry V: The Typical Mediæval Hero. GP Putnam's Sons.
  32. ^ Henry V (c.1387 – 1422). BBC
  33. ^ Wilson, Derek (2005), The Uncrowned Kings of England: The Black History of the Dudleys and the Tudor Throne, Carroll & Graf, ISBN 0-7867-1469-7.
  34. ^ Was my ancestor King Henry V's lover?, Daily Telegraph, 7 April 2017; https://www.telegraph.co.uk/men/health/king-henry-v-actually-gay/
  35. ^ "Richard Courtenay". www.westminster-abbey.org. Retrieved 28 August 2017.
  36. ^ Strong & Strong (1 January 1981). "Last Will and Codicils of Henry V". the English Historical Review. XCVI: 79–89 – via Oxford Academic.
  37. ^ Marks of Cadency in the British Royal Family
  38. ^ Fraser, Antonia (2000). A Royal History of England-- The Wars of the Roses I. Los Angeles: University of California Berkeley Los Angeles. p. 40. ISBN 9780520228023.

Further reading

External links

Henry V of England
Cadet branch of the House of Plantagenet
Born: 16 September 1386 Died: 31 August 1422
Regnal titles
Preceded by
Henry IV
King of England
Lord of Ireland

Succeeded by
Henry VI
Duke of Aquitaine
Peerage of England
Title last held by
Richard of Bordeaux
Prince of Wales
Title next held by
Edward of Westminster
Duke of Cornwall
Title next held by
Henry (VI)
Preceded by
Henry of Bolingbroke
Duke of Lancaster
Merged in Crown
Honorary titles
Preceded by
Sir Thomas Erpynham
Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports
Succeeded by
The Earl of Arundel
1419 in France

Events from the year 1419 in France.

1420 in France

Events from the year 1420 in France.

Battle of Agincourt

The Battle of Agincourt ( French: Azincourt [azɛ̃kuʁ]) was one of the greatest English victories in the Hundred Years' War. It took place on 25 October 1415 (Saint Crispin's Day) near Azincourt in northern France. England's unexpected victory against a numerically superior French army boosted English morale and prestige, crippled France, and started a new period in the war during which the English began enjoying great military successes.

After several decades of relative peace, the English had renewed their war effort in 1415 amid the failure of negotiations with the French. In the ensuing campaign, many soldiers died due to disease and the English numbers dwindled; they tried to withdraw to English-held Calais but found their path blocked by a considerably larger French army. Despite the disadvantage, the following battle ended in an overwhelming tactical victory for the English.

King Henry V of England led his troops into battle and participated in hand-to-hand fighting. King Charles VI of France did not command the French army himself, as he suffered from severe psychotic illnesses with moderate mental incapacitation. Instead, the French were commanded by Constable Charles d'Albret and various prominent French noblemen of the Armagnac party.

This battle is notable for the use of the English longbow in very large numbers, with the English and Welsh archers making up nearly 80 percent of Henry's army.

Agincourt is one of England's most celebrated victories and was one of the most important English triumphs in the Hundred Years' War, along with the Battle of Crécy (1346) and Battle of Poitiers (1356). It forms the centrepiece of the play Henry V by William Shakespeare.

Blanche of Lancaster

Blanche of Lancaster (25 March 1342 – 12 September 1368) was a member of the English royal House of Plantagenet and the daughter of the kingdom's wealthiest and most powerful peer, Henry of Grosmont, 1st Duke of Lancaster. She was the first wife of John of Gaunt, the mother of King Henry IV, and the grandmother of King Henry V of England.

Catherine of Valois

Catherine of Valois (27 October 1401 – 3 January 1437) was the queen consort of England from 1420 until 1422. A daughter of Charles VI of France, she married Henry V of England, and gave birth to his heir Henry VI of England. Her liaison (and possible secret marriage) with Owen Tudor proved the springboard of that family's fortunes, eventually leading to their grandson's elevation as Henry VII of England. Catherine's older sister Isabella was queen of England from 1396 until 1399, as the child bride of Richard II.

Charles VII of France

Charles VII (22 February 1403 – 22 July 1461), called the Victorious (French: le Victorieux) or the Well-Served (French: le Bien-Servi), was King of France from 1422 to his death in 1461, the fifth from the House of Valois.

In the midst of the Hundred Years' War, Charles VII inherited the throne of France under desperate circumstances. Forces of the Kingdom of England and the Duchy of Burgundy occupied Guyenne and northern France, including Paris, the most populous city, and Reims, the city in which the French kings were traditionally crowned. In addition, his father Charles VI had disinherited him in 1420 and recognized Henry V of England and his heirs as the legitimate successors to the French crown instead. At the same time, a civil war raged in France between the Armagnacs (supporters of the House of Valois) and the Burgundian party (supporters of the House of Valois-Burgundy allied to the English).

With his court removed to Bourges, south of the Loire River, Charles was disparagingly called the “King of Bourges”, because the area around this city was one of the few remaining regions left to him. However, his political and military position improved dramatically with the emergence of Joan of Arc as a spiritual leader in France. Joan of Arc and other charismatic figures led French troops to lift the siege of Orléans, as well as other strategic cities on the Loire river, and to crush the English at the battle of Patay. With the local English troops dispersed, the people of Reims switched allegiance and opened their gates, which enabled the coronation of Charles VII in 1429 at Reims Cathedral. This long-awaited event boosted French morale as hostilities with England resumed. Following the battle of Castillon in 1453, the French expelled the English from all their continental possessions except for the Pale of Calais.

The last years of Charles VII were marked by conflicts with his turbulent son, the future Louis XI of France.

Cultural depictions of Henry V of England

Henry V of England has been depicted in popular culture a number of times.


Fluellen is a fictional character in the play Henry V by William Shakespeare. Fluellen is a Welsh Captain, a leader of a contingent of troops in the small army of King Henry V of England while on campaign in France during the Hundred Years' War. He is a comic figure, whose characterisation draws on stereotypes of the Welsh at that time, but he is also portrayed as a loyal, brave and dedicated soldier.

Henry IV, Part 1

Henry IV, Part 1 is a history play by William Shakespeare, believed to have been written no later than 1597. It is the second play in Shakespeare's tetralogy dealing with the successive reigns of Richard II, Henry IV (two plays, including Henry IV, Part 2), and Henry V. Henry IV, Part 1 depicts a span of history that begins with Hotspur's battle at Homildon in Northumberland against Douglas late in 1402 and ends with the defeat of the rebels at Shrewsbury in the middle of 1403. From the start, it has been an extremely popular play both with the public and critics.

Henry IV, Part 2

Henry IV, Part 2 is a history play by William Shakespeare believed to have been written between 1596 and 1599. It is the third part of a tetralogy, preceded by Richard II and Henry IV, Part 1 and succeeded by Henry V.

The play is often seen as an extension of aspects of Henry IV, Part 1, rather than a straightforward continuation of the historical narrative, placing more emphasis on the highly popular character of Falstaff and introducing other comic figures as part of his entourage, including Ancient Pistol, Doll Tearsheet, and Justice Robert Shallow. Several scenes specifically parallel episodes in Part 1.

Henry V (2012 film)

Henry V is a 2012 British television film based on the play of the same name by William Shakespeare. It is the fourth film in the series of television films called The Hollow Crown produced by Sam Mendes for BBC Two covering the whole of Shakespeare's Henriad. It was directed by Thea Sharrock and stars Tom Hiddleston as Henry V of England.Henry V is the fourth play in Shakespeare's tetralogy dealing with the successive reigns of Richard II, Henry IV, and Henry V.

Henry V (play)

Henry V is a history play by William Shakespeare, believed to have been written near 1599. It tells the story of King Henry V of England, focusing on events immediately before and after the Battle of Agincourt (1415) during the Hundred Years' War. In the First Quarto text, it was titled The Cronicle History of Henry the fift, which became The Life of Henry the Fifth in the First Folio text.

The play is the final part of a tetralogy, preceded by Richard II, Henry IV, Part 1, and Henry IV, Part 2. The original audiences would thus have already been familiar with the title character, who was depicted in the Henry IV plays as a wild, undisciplined young man. In Henry V, the young prince has matured. He embarks on an expedition to France and, his army badly outnumbered, defeats the French at Agincourt.

King Henry Fifth's Conquest of France

King Henry Fifth's Conquest of France (Child 164; Roud 251) is a British ballad which recounts a highly fictionalized version of the Battle of Agincourt and the events surrounding it.

Monmouth Castle

Monmouth Castle (Welsh: Castell Trefynwy) is a castle in the town of Monmouth, county town of Monmouthshire, south east Wales. It is a Grade I listed building and scheduled monument.Monmouth Castle is located close to the centre of Monmouth on a hill above the River Monnow, behind shops and the main square and streets. Once an important border castle, and birthplace of Henry V of England, it stood until the English Civil War when it was damaged and changed hands three times before being slighted to prevent it being fortified again. After partial collapse in 1647, the site was reused and built over by Great Castle House, which became the headquarters and regimental museum of the Royal Monmouthshire Royal Engineers.

Prince Hal

Prince Hal is the standard term used in literary criticism to refer to Shakespeare's portrayal of the young Henry V of England as a prince before his accession to the throne, taken from the diminutive form of his name used in the plays almost exclusively by Falstaff. Henry is called "Prince Hal" in critical commentary on his character in Henry IV, Part 1 and Henry IV, Part 2.

Hal is portrayed as a wayward youth who enjoys the society of petty criminals and wastrels, a depiction which draws on exaggerations of the historical Prince Henry's supposed youthful behaviour. The question of whether Hal's character is cynical or sincere has been widely discussed by critics.

St Crispin's Day Speech

The St Crispin's Day speech is from Shakespeare's history play Henry V, in Act IV Scene iii 18–67. In the speech, which fell on Saint Crispin's Day, Henry V urged his men – who were vastly outnumbered by the French – to recall how the English had previously inflicted great defeats upon the French. The speech by Shakespeare has been famously portrayed by Laurence Olivier to raise British spirits during the Second World War, and by Kenneth Branagh in the 1989 film Henry V, and it made famous the phrase "band of brothers." The play was written around 1600, and several later writers have used parts of it in their own texts.

The Famous Victories of Henry V

The Famous Victories of Henry the fifth: Containing the Honourable Battel of Agin-court: As it was plaide by the Queenes Maiesties Players, is an anonymous Elizabethan play, which is generally thought to be a source for Shakespeare's Henriad (Henry IV, Part 1, Henry IV, Part 2, and Henry V). It was entered by printer Thomas Creede in the Stationers' Register in 1594, but the earliest known edition is from 1598. A second quarto was published in 1617.

The play covers the riotous youth of Prince Henry and his transformation into a warrior king, ending with his victory at Agincourt and his wooing of Princess Katherine. The work is of unknown authorship, and various possible authors have been proposed, including a young Shakespeare, though this view is not widely accepted by scholars.

Treaty of Troyes

The Treaty of Troyes was an agreement that King Henry V of England and his heirs would inherit the French crown upon the death of King Charles VI of France. It was signed in the French city of Troyes on 21 May 1420 in the aftermath of Henry's successful military campaign in France. It forms a part of the backdrop of the latter phase of the Hundred Years' War finally won by the French at the Battle of Castillon in 1453, and in which various English kings tried to establish their claims to the French throne.

William Herbert, 1st Earl of Pembroke (died 1469)

William Herbert, 1st Earl of Pembroke KG (c. 1423 – 27 July 1469), known as "Black William", was a Welsh nobleman, politician, and courtier. He was the son of William ap Thomas, founder of Raglan Castle, and Gwladys ferch Dafydd Gam, and grandson of Dafydd Gam, an adherent of King Henry V of England.

His father had been an ally of Richard of York, and Herbert supported the Yorkist cause in the Wars of the Roses. In 1461 Herbert was rewarded by King Edward IV with the title Baron Herbert of Raglan (having assumed an English-style surname in place of the Welsh patronymic), and was invested as a Knight of the Garter.

Soon after the decisive Yorkist victory at the Battle of Towton in 1461, Herbert replaced Jasper Tudor as Earl of Pembroke which gave him control of Pembroke Castle. However, he fell out with Lord Warwick "the Kingmaker" in 1469, when Warwick turned against the King. William and his brother Richard were executed by the Lancastrians, now led by Warwick, after the Battle of Edgecote Moor, near Banbury.Herbert was succeeded by his son, William, but the earldom was surrendered in 1479. It was later revived for a grandson, another William Herbert, the son of Black William's illegitimate son, Sir Richard Herbert of Ewyas.

Ancestors of Henry V of England
8. Edward III of England
4. John of Gaunt, 1st Duke of Lancaster
9. Philippa of Hainault
2. Henry IV of England
10. Henry of Grosmont, 1st Duke of Lancaster
5. Blanche of Lancaster
11. Isabel of Beaumont
1. Henry V of England
12. William de Bohun, 1st Earl of Northampton
6. Humphrey de Bohun, 7th Earl of Hereford
13. Elizabeth de Badlesmere
3. Mary de Bohun
14. Richard FitzAlan, 10th Earl of Arundel
7. Joan FitzAlan
15. Eleanor of Lancaster
EnglishScottish and British monarchs

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