Henry V

(Henry V of England)


Henry V is one of the most romantic heroes of Mediaeval Britain. While he is most well known for his astounding victory at Agincourt, he showed consummate skill as a warrior in all of his wars and battles, beginning at Shrewsbury at age 16, which was a rebellion against his father fought on English soil. He accomplished more in six years of campaigning in France than England had achieved in the previous sixty years, and won nearly every encounter. This made him enormously popular within England. Yet stories are also told from his youth, recounting how he gave up his childish amusements in order to assume greater responsibilities. In one case he is credited with thanking a judge who sentenced him and his cohorts to prison in their youth instead of allowing them to go just because they were nobles. In any case, he is one of the most popular monarch in English history in spite of his short reign, and his death at only 34 was a great blow to England.

Henry V
Before for generations before Henry V came to the throne, England and France had been engaged in the Hundred Years War. At first the war had gone well for England, but over time she had lost much ground, and the nobles in both England and France were not agreed upon how to proceed. Henry V, however was very ambitious. He noted that the king of France was nearly senile, and there was a great divisions between the French court and that of Burgundy. He correctly predicted an impending civil war within France and seized on the opportunity. With only a small army he cross the channel and began his invasion of Northern France. After his victory at Agincourt he took the Burgundians as his allies and within a few years controlled much of Northern France. At this point he negotiated a treaty providing for his marriage to a princess of France, and stipulating that the crown would pass to himself or his son after the death of the French king, rather than the dauphin Charles. After coming within a hair of achieving the union of France and England under a single crown, Henry V died unexpected while campaigning in France. Although his son Henry VI was crowned on the death of the King of France a few months later, the war between the two countries continued to rage. And without Henry V's strong hand, much of the English gains in France were soon lost.

Key events during the life of Henry V of England:

Birth of Henry V.
Henry's father deposes Richard II and assumes the throne.
Henry's defends his father against the Percy Rebels at the Battle of Shrewsbury.
Assumed more influence in the government as his father declined in health.
Ascends to the throne on the death of Henry IV.
Tremendous victory for England over France at Agincourt.
Rouen falls to England.
Marries Catherine of Valois, daughter of the French King.
Birth of Henry VI, heir to both England and French crowns.
Unexpected death of Henry V in France.

Other Resources

Story Links
Book Links
Harry of Monmouth  in  Historic Boys  by  E. S. Brooks
A Merry Young Prince  in  Cambridge Historical Reader—Primary  by  Cambridge Press
Agincourt  in  Stories From English History, Part Second  by  Alfred J. Church
Henry V  in  Famous Men of the Middle Ages  by  John H. Haaren
Lancastrian Kings, & Close of the Hundred Years' War in  The Story of England  by  Samuel B. Harding
Battle of Agincourt  in  The Story of France  by  Mary Macgregor
The Story of How Prince Hal was Sent to Prison  in  Our Island Story  by  H. E. Marshall
France: The Hundred Year's War  in  The Story of Europe  by  Henrietta Elizabeth Marshall
Agincourt  in  The Boy's Book of Battles  by  Eric Wood

Image Links

There is but one lad in all England can do that,' cried enthusiastic Lionel
 in Historic Boys

Harry of Monmouth dashed to his father's aid
 in Historic Boys

Harry of Monmouth, Prince of Wales
 in Historic Boys

Prince Henry and Chief Justice Gascoigne.
 in Cambridge Historical Reader—Primary

The Morning of the battle of Agincourt
 in  The Story of the English

Wooing of Henry V.
 in  The Story of the English

King Henry V rejects his early companions
 in Famous Men of the Middle Ages
Henry V. Rejects Falstaff
Henry V. Rejects Falstaff
 in Back Matter

'For your contempt and disobedience I send you to prison,' said Judge Gascoigne.
 in Our Island Story

Short Biography
Henry IV Son of John of Gaunt. Assumed the throne after Richard II was deposed.
Henry Hotspur Percy Famous warrior of his age. Arch rival of the Scottish Douglases. Helped to depose Richard II in favor of Bolingbroke.
Catherine of Valois French princess married to Henry V after his victory at Agincourt.
Charles VI Senile king of France during the war with Henry V.