Henry V of England

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Henry V reigned as King of England from 1413 until his death in 1422. He was the second Lancastrian to rule the United Kingdom. Following his father Henry IV to the throne, he ascended the throne as an energetic ruler, transforming the country into a great European kingdom. He fought for Henry IV against the strong House of Percy in the Battle of Shrewsbury and during the uprising of Welsh ruler Owain Glyndwr. Later in life, though, he became embroiled in a political feud with his father. Following his father’s death and enthronement, he went to war with France, carrying on the ongoing Hundred Years’ War (1337–1453) between the two kingdoms. His victory in the Battle of Agincourt in 1415, over a numerically larger French force, marked a decisive English victory in the Hundred Years’ War and helped him virtually capture France. Following negotiations with Charles VI of France, the Treaty of Troyes was signed in 1420, stating that following Charles VI’s death, Henry V and his heirs would inherit the French crown. Catherine of Valois, the daughter of Charles VI, married Henry V, and their only son, Henry VI, became King of England and contested King of France after the latter’s death in 1422.

Childhood and Adolescence

Henry V was born on August 9, 1386, in Monmouth Castle, Monmouth, Principality of Wales, to Henry of Bolingbroke and Mary de Bohun, the son of Henry of Bolingbroke, who eventually became King Henry IV of England.

Before becoming King Henry V, he was known as Henry of Monmouth. His great grandfather was England’s famed King Edward III.

At the time of Henry’s birth, England was ruled by Richard II, and the king’s guardian was John of Gaunt, Henry V’s grandfather. Following his father’s banishment in 1398, the young boy fell under the tutelage of Richard II, who treated him with kindness.

Following the death of Henry’s grandfather, Richard II disinherited his father, who invaded England in June 1399 and eventually overthrew Richard II from the throne, calling himself King Henry IV of England.

Henry V has crowned Prince of Wales during his father’s coronation ceremony on October 13, 1399. On November 10, 1399, he was given the title of Duke of Lancaster. He was also given the titles of Duke of Aquitaine, Duke of Cornwall, and Earl of Chester after that.

He was at The Queen’s College, Oxford, in 1399, according to a contemporary account, under the supervision of his uncle Henry Beaufort, the university’s Chancellor at the time.

Richard II was imprisoned and died on February 14, 1400, most likely from malnutrition. Henry V was High Sheriff of Cornwall from that year until 1404.

Experiences, Government Role, and Discord

Nearly three years later, Henry V took leadership of a portion of the English soldiers and led them against the Welsh monarch Owain Glyndwr. He was fighting the uprising until 1408 when he died.

Meanwhile, on July 21, 1403, the Battle of Shrewsbury took place between Henry IV’s forces and those of English lord Sir Harry Hotspur. The battle ended in a clear royalist triumph, with Henry V, then 16 years old, fighting valiantly for his father.

Henry V was gravely injured when an arrow pierced his face during the Battle of Shrewsbury. Despite being extracted with utmost accuracy and the greatest possible treatment by the royal physician, it left permanent scars on his face, which spoke volumes about the young prince’s valor.

Henry V, with the support of his uncles Henry Beaufort and Thomas Beaufort, controlled the kingdom for the next eighteen months while Henry IV remained unwell.

He enacted a number of policies, most of which were overturned by Henry IV after his recovery. The views of father and son on internal and foreign affairs diverged, resulting in a significant political schism between them. In November 1411, Henry IV removed his son from his council.

Henry V’s Ascension and Reign

Henry V rose to the kingdom after his father died on March 20, 1413. On April 9, 1413, he was crowned King of England at Westminster Abbey in London.

He was in charge of all domestic programs, which he gradually transformed into a more expansionist agenda.
He moved on with the view that “previous offenses or causes of conflict should be forgiven and reconciled.”

On April 8, 1413, he re-interred Richard II with honor, set Edmund Mortimer, Richard II’s son, free, and made Mortimer and his brother Roger Knights of the Bath.

Mortimer remained an important and enthusiastic vassal of Henry V and Henry VI, despite the fact that his claim to the throne became the basis of uprisings against Henry IV and Henry V, and was later taken up by Yorkists in the Wars of the Roses.

Henry V’s benevolence also included the restoration of titles and estates to heirs who had suffered under his father’s rule.

The monarch, on the other hand, never shied away from displaying his harsh side in order to “nip the movement in the bud” and maintain his authority. This was demonstrated by the instance of Sir John Oldcastle, a personal friend of his.

In 1413, Oldcastle was brought to trial after being exposed as a Lollard leader. He, on the other hand, escaped the Tower of London and plotted a coup against Henry V, which included an attempt to kidnap the monarch. Oldcastle was arrested and executed in London on December 14, 1417, after the insurgency failed.

Following the Norman Conquest, Henry V advocated the use of English in administration and became the first ruler to use the language in his personal communications.

In the Role Hundred Years War

Henry V then turned his focus to international issues, particularly the continuing Hundred Years’ War (1337-1453), the most prominent middle-aged struggle in which generations of English kings fought against French rulers over succession to the French throne.

The Hundred Years’ War is divided into three parts, according to historians: the Edwardian Era War (1337–1360), the Caroline War (1369–1389), and the Lancastrian War (1415–1453), the latter of which was started by Henry V when he invaded Normandy in 1415.

On August 12, 1415, Henry V set a ship for France, where his soldiers besieged the bastion of Harfleur, eventually capturing it on September 22.

Following that, he won a major victory in the Battle of Agincourt, which became legendary. The battle took place in the County of Saint-Pol, Artois, on October 25, 1415, on Saint Crispin’s Day.

He led his tiny, fatigued, and malnourished men-at-arms to a resounding victory over French forces led by Constable Charles d’Albret and other major Armagnac party French noblemen.

Henry V’s triumph at Agincourt significantly damaged France, which was already prone to mental disease and suffered from moderate mental incapacity.

Sigismund, King of Hungary and later Holy Roman Emperor, paid Henry V a visit in the hopes of brokering peace between England and France. While Henry V lavished Sigismund with gifts and entered him into the Order of the Garter, Sigismund inducted Henry V into the Order of the Dragon.

Later, on August 15, 1416, Henry V and Sigismund signed the Treaty of Canterbury, which accepted English rights to France and ended the relationship between France and the House of Luxembourg, which had been created by Sigismund’s grandfather, John of Bohemia.

Henry V restarted the Hundred Years’ War in 1417, conquering lower Normandy and then seizing Normandy’s capital Rouen in the Siege of Rouen (July 29, 1418 – January 19, 1419), marking another key event in the war.

By August 1419, the great English forces had pushed beyond the gates of Paris, and the French court had succumbed to Henry V. Following negotiations, the Treaty of Troyes was signed on May 21, 1420, recognizing Henry V and his heirs as the rightful heirs to the French crown following Charles VI’s death.

On June 2, 1420, at the Troyes Cathedral, he married Charles VI’s daughter Catherine of Valois, according to the Treaty of Troyes.

His most recent military effort saw him besiege and capture Dreux in 1421, and then lay siege to Meaux, which he finally captured on May 2, 1422.

Personal History and Legacy

Henry, his only son, was born at Windsor Castle on December 6, 1421, through Catherine of Valois.
His untimely death at the Château de Vincennes on August 31, 1422, from dysentery, contracted during the siege of

Meaux resulted in the crowning of his infant son as King Henry VI of England and the disputed King of France.
Henry V was buried in Westminster Abbey on November 7, 1422.

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