Henry V (16 September 1386 – 31 August 1422), also called Henry of Monmouth, was King of England from 1413 until his death in 1422. Despite his relatively short reign, Henry's outstanding military successes in the Hundred Years' War against France made England one of the strongest military powers in Europe.
Nov 09, 2009 · Henry V: The Warrior-Prince . Henry was born in August of 1386 (or 1387) at Monmouth Castle on the Welsh border. His father, Henry of Bolingbroke, deposed his cousin Richard II in 1399.
Henry V, (born September 16?, 1387, Monmouth, Monmouthshire, Wales—died August 31, 1422, Bois de Vincennes, France), king of England (1413–22) of the house of Lancaster, son of Henry IV. As victor of the Battle of Agincourt (1415, in the Hundred Years’ War with France), he made England one of the strongest kingdoms in Europe.
- Family & Early Life
- Hundred Years' War
- King-To-Be of France
- Death & Successor
Henry was born on 16 September 1387 CE at Monmouth Castle, the son of Henry IV of England, the first of the kings of the House of Lancaster, and Mary of Bohun (b. c. 1369 CE). The ousting of Richard II of England (r. 1377-1399 CE) by Henry IV in 1399 CE (when he was known as Henry Bolingbroke) and the murder of the ex-king in Pontefract Castle in 1400 CE would come back to haunt the House of Lancaster but for now, Prince Henry had no doubts about his role in the world: to one day rule England and then to conquerFrance. Henry, often called Henry of Monmouth prior to his accession, was a very pious individual and developed a taste for an ascetic lifestyle as king, but in his youth, he was known for his partying. The young Henry spent time at Richard's court - even when his father was exiled - and he also learnt about arms and warfare from his guardian, the celebrated medieval knight Sir Henry 'Hotspur' Percy (1364-1403 CE). Indeed, the prince learnt rather too well from the old master...
Henry IV died of illness on 20 March 1413 CE. The king's health had been in decline since 1406 CE, and Prince Henry had already taken over some of the king's duties. Prince Henry, aged just 25, was crowned Henry V on 9 April 1413 CE in Westminster Abbey while a blizzard raged outside. The new king took his new responsibility seriously and banished all his old rollicking and roistering comrades from his presence, forbidding any of them to come within 10 miles (16 km) of his person. The king also sported what seems to modern eyes an unusual haircut but this was in the style of soldiers and indicated the king meant business when he said to his dying father that he would defend his crown with his sword. The king would need his sword sooner than he thought when he had to deal with a murder plot in 1415 CE, known to history as the 'Southampton Plot'. The plan was to put Edmund Mortimer, Earl of March and great-great-grandson of Edward III of England(r. 1327-1377 CE) on the throne. The con...
The Hundred Years' War between England and France had started remarkably well for the English during the reign of Edward III. Aided by his son Edward the Black Prince(1330-1376 CE), great victories were won at Crécy in 1346 and Poitiers in 1356 CE. However, Charles V of France, aka Charles the Wise (r. 1364-1380 CE), steadily regained the initiative and by 1375 CE the only lands left in France belonging to the English Crown were Calais and a thin slice of Gascony. Now, though, with the demise of Charles VI, the French nobles were divided and the country in chaos. In addition, the longbows used by English armies were still the most devastating weapon the medieval battlefield had yet witnessed. Henry IV and his son had disagreed over policy towards France and which faction to back: those led by the Duke of Burgundy (the Burgundians) or the supporters of the Duke of Orleans (the Armagnacs). Henry V was now keen to make good on his failed expedition in France when a prince and to take a...
To give himself time to assemble funds and his army, Henry made diplomatic advances towards both of the French factions in 1415 CE. Nothing came of these discussions except, as the story goes, the son and heir of Charles VI, the Dauphin (another Charles), sent the young Henry a box of tennis balls with a note he should concentrate on sports rather than war. Henry showed his clear intent when, in mid-August, he invaded Normandy with an army of around 10,000 men and captured the port of Harfleur after a gruelling five-week siege. With winter around the corner and his force already depleted to 6,000-7,000 men by the fighting and a wave of dysentery, Henry decided to withdraw to English-held Calais and regroup. The French had not been wasting time during this first part of the invasion and the Constable of France, Charles d'Albert, assembled an army of around 20,000 men to meet the enemy and overwhelm them with sheer numbers. The two armies met on Saint Crispin's day, 25 October 1415 CE...
Between 1417 and 1419 CE Henry conquered Normandy by persistent siege warfare of strategically important citiesand fortifications. Caen, for example, was taken in 1417 CE after a siege where no quarter was given by either side. Henry forbade his men from plundering but, despite once hanging an archer for stealing a small box from a church, this was difficult to always enforce. The king famously captured Rouen, the Norman capital, in January 1419 CE after a siege where the king's artillery batteries were used and a ruthless Henry ordered dead animals thrown into any wells which eventually caused so much disease in the town that it was forced to capitulate. Consequently, Normandy was now in Henry's control and land was parcelled out to loyal followers. At the end of 1419 CE Henry set his sights on Paris. Supporters of the Duke of Burgundy, after the duke's father was murdered by a French rival, crucially gave their backing to Henry's claim to be ruler of France as well as England. Thi...
Henry died, probably of dysentery (although it may have been bowel cancer), aged 35, on 31 August 1422 CE at Bois de Vincennes in France. The English king had missed the chance to become the king of France by less than two months; Charles VI died on 21 October 1422 CE. Henry's body was returned to England and buried at Westminster Abbey, and he was succeeded by his infant son, crowned Henry VI in November 1429 CE, again in Westminster Abbey. The infant's regents had already been appointed by his father: Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester (l. 1390-1447 CE) for England and John, Duke of Bedford (l. 1389-1435 CE) for France, both were brothers of Henry V. Henry VI's reign turned out to be long, despite an interruption during the 1460s CE, but he could not stop a grand French revival which included the heroic efforts of Joan of Arc (c. 1412-1431 CE) and the crowning of the Dauphin as King Charles VII of France (r. 1422-1461 CE). Henry had continued to press a claim for the French throne, even...
- Mark Cartwright
- Birth and Early Life
- Tensions in Court
- Becoming The Heir
- Relationship with Richard II
- Experience in Battle
- Lessons Learned in Wales
- Involvement in Politics
- Threat of Civil War and Ascension to The Throne
- Early Reforms
- Uniting The Nation
The future Henry V was born Henry of Monmouth at Monmouth Castle into one of England's most powerful noble families. His parents were Henry Bolingbroke, Earl of Derby, a man who had once tried to curb the ambitions of his cousin, King Richard II, but now acted loyally, and Mary Bohun, heir to a rich chain of estates. His grandfather was John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster, third son of Edward III, a staunch supporter of Richard II, and the most powerful English noble of the age. At this point, Henry was not considered an heir to the throne and his birth was thus not recorded formally enough for a definitive date to have survived. Historians can't agree on whether Henry was born on August 9th or September 16th, in 1386 or 1387. The current leading biography, by Allmand, uses 1386; however, the introductory work by Dockray uses 1387. Henry was the oldest of six children and he received the best upbringing an English noble could have, including training in martial skills, riding, and form...
In 1397 Henry Bolingbroke reported treasonous comments made by the Duke of Norfolk; a court was convened but, as it was one Duke's word against another, trial by battle was arranged. It never took place. Instead, Richard II intervened in 1398 by exiling Bolingbroke for ten years and Norfolk for life. Subsequently, Henry of Monmouth found himself a "guest" at the royal court. While the word hostage was never used, there was underlying tension behind his presence and the implicit threat to Bolingbroke should he disobey. However, the childless Richard appeared to have a genuine fondness for young Henry and he knighted the boy.
In 1399, Henry's grandfather, John of Gaunt, died. Bolingbroke should have inherited his father's estates but Richard II revoked them, kept them for himself and extended Bolingbroke's exile to life. By this time, Richard was already unpopular, seen as an ineffective and increasingly autocratic ruler but his treatment of Bolingbroke cost him the throne. If the most powerful English family could lose their land so arbitrarily and illegally; if the most loyal of all men is rewarded by his heir's disinheritance; what rights did other landowners have against this king? Popular support swung to Bolingbroke, who returned to England where he was met by many who urged him to seize the throne from Richard. This task was completed with little opposition the same year. On October 13th, 1399, Henry Bolingbroke became Henry IV of England, and two days later Henry of Monmouth was accepted by Parliament as heir to the throne, Prince of Wales, Duke of Cornwall, and Earl of Chester. Two months later...
Henry's rise to heir had been sudden and due to factors beyond his control, but his relationship with Richard II, especially during 1399, is unclear. Richard had taken Henry on an expedition to crush rebels in Ireland and, upon hearing of Bolingbroke's invasion, confronted Henry with the fact of his father's treason. The encounter, allegedly recorded by one chronicler, ends with Richard agreeing that Henry was innocent of his father's acts. Although he still imprisoned Henry in Ireland when he returned to fight Bolingbroke, Richard made no further threats against him. Furthermore, sources suggest that when Henry was released, he traveled to see Richard rather than return directly to his father. Is it possible that Henry felt more loyalty to Richard—as a king or a father figure—than to Bolingbroke? Prince Henry agreed to Richard's imprisonment but it is unclear whether this and Henry IV's decision to have Richard murdered had any effect on later events, such as the younger Henry's im...
Henry V's reputation as a leader began forming in his 'teenage' years, as he and took on responsibilities in the government of the realm. One example of this is the Welsh uprising led by Owain Glyn Dŵr. When the small uprising swiftly grew into a full-scale rebellion against the English crown, Henry, as Prince of Wales, had a responsibility to help fight this treason. Consequently, Henry's household moved to Chester in 1400 with Henry Percy, nicknamed Hotspur, in charge of military affairs. Hotspur was an experienced campaigner from whom the young prince was expected to learn. However, after several years of ineffective cross-border raiding, the Percys rebelled against Henry IV, culminating in the Battle of Shrewsburyon July 21st, 1403. The prince was wounded in the face by an arrow but refused to leave the fight. In the end, the king's army was victorious, Hotspur was killed, and the younger Henry famed throughout England for his courage.
Following the Battle of Shrewsbury, Henry's involvement in military strategy increased greatly and he began forcing a change in tactics, away from raids and into the control of land through strong points and garrisons. Any progress was initially hampered by a chronic lack of funding—at one point, Henry was paying for the entire war from his own estates. By 1407, fiscal reforms facilitated the sieging of Glyn Dŵr castles, which finally fell by the end of 1408. With the rebellion fatally, Wales was brought back under English control just two years later. Henry's successes as king can be clearly tied to the lessons he learned in Wales, particularly the value of controlling strongpoints, approaches to dealing with the tedium and difficulties of besieging them, and the need for proper supply lines and a reliable source of adequate finances. He also experienced the exercise of royal power.
From 1406 to 1411, Henry played an ever-increasing role in the King's Council, the body of men who ran the nation's administration. In 1410, Henry took overall command of the council; however, the opinions and policies Henry favored were often counter to those favored by his fater—particularly where France was concerned. In 1411, the king became so irked that he dismissed his son from the council altogether. Parliament, however, were impressed by both the prince's energetic rule and his attempts to reform government finances. In 1412, the king organized an expedition to France led by Henry's brother, Prince Thomas. Henry—possibly still angry or sulking over his expulsion from the council—refused to go. The campaign was a failure and Henry was accused of staying in England to plot a coup against the king. Henry denied these accusations vigorously, obtaining a promise from Parliament to investigate and personally protesting his innocence to his father. Later in the year, more rumors...
Henry IV had never secured universal support for his seizure of the crown from Richard and by the end of 1412, his family's supporters were drifting into armed and angry factions. Fortunately for the unity of England, people realized Henry IV was terminally ill before these factions were mobilized and efforts were made to obtain peace between father, son, and brother. Henry IV died on March 20th, 1413, but if he had remained healthy, would his son have started an armed conflict to clear his name, or even seize the crown? It is impossible to know. Instead, Henry was proclaimed king on March 21st, 1413, and crowned as Henry V on April 9th. Throughout 1412, the younger Henry seemed to have been acting with righteous confidence, even arrogance and was clearly chafing against the rule of his father, but legends claim that the wild prince turned into a pious and determined man overnight. There may not be much truth in those tales, but Henry probably did appear to change in character as he...
For the first two years of his reign, Henry worked hard to reform and solidify his nation in preparation for war. The dire royal finances were given a thorough overhaul by streamlining and maximizing the existing system. The resulting gains weren't enough to fund a campaign overseas, but Parliament was grateful for the effort and Henry built on this to cultivate a strong working relationship with the Commons, resulting in generous grants of taxation from the people to fund a campaign in France. Parliament was also impressed with Henry's drive to tackle the general lawlessness into which vast areas of England had sunk. The peripatetic courts worked much harder than in Henry IV's reign to tackle crime, reducing the number of armed bands and trying to solve the long-term disagreements which fomented local conflict. The chosen methods, however, reveal Henry's continued eye on France, for many 'criminals' were simply pardoned for their crimes in return for military service abroad. The em...
Perhaps the most important 'campaign' Henry undertook in this phase was to unite the nobles and common people of England behind him. He showed and practiced a willingness to forgive and pardon families who had opposed Henry IV, none more so than the Earl of March, the lord Richard II had designated as his heir. Henry freed March from imprisonment and returned the Earl's landed estates. In return, Henry expected absolute obedience and he moved quickly and decisively to stamp out any dissent. In 1415 the Earl of March informed on plans to put him on the throne which, in truth, were merely the grumblings of three disaffected lords who had already abandoned their ideas. Henry acted swiftly to execute the plotters and remove their opposition. Henry also acted against the spreading belief in Lollardy, a pre-Protestant Christian movement, which many nobles felt was a threat to England's very society and which had previously had sympathizers at court. A commission was created to identify al...
- History Expert
- Accession to The Throne
- Foreign Affairs
- A Summing Up
- in Literature
- External Links
After his father Henry IV died on March 20, 1413, Henry V succeeded him and was crowned on April 9, 1413. With no past to embarrass him, and with no dangerous rivals, his practical experience had full scope. He had to deal with three main problems: the restoration of domestic peace, the healing of the Papal Schism in the Catholic Church, and the recovery of English prestige in Europe. Henry grasped them all together, and gradually built upon them a yet wider policy.
Henry could now turn his attention to foreign affairs. He revived the dynastic claim to the French throne and demanded a return of feudal land that previously belonged to the English crown. Old commercial disputes and the support which the French had lent to Owain Glyndŵr were also used as excuses for war, whilst the disordered state of France afforded no security for peace. Furthermore the French king, Charles VI, was prone to mental illness, and his eldest son, the Dauphin, an unpromising prospect.
Henry's last words were a wish that he might live to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem. They are significant. His ideal was founded consciously on the models of Arthur and Godfrey as national king and leader of Christendom. So he is the typical medieval hero. Yet he was not reactionary. His policy was constructive: firm central government supported by parliament; church reform on conservative lines; commercial development; and the maintenance of national prestige. His aims in some respects anticipated those of his Tudor successors, but he would have accomplished them on medieval lines as a constitutional ruler. His success was due to the power of his personality. He could train able lieutenants, but at his death there was no one who could take his place as leader. War, diplomacy and civil administration were all dependent on his guidance. His dazzling achievements as a general have obscured his more sober qualities as a ruler, and even the sound strategy, with which he aimed to be mast...
Henry V is the subject of the play Henry V by William Shakespeare, which largely concentrates on his campaigns in France. In the play Henry is presented as the ideal monarch who wrestles with his conscience as he strives to do God's will. Such plays played an important role in the moral formation of English political culture by presenting a model of leadership to be emulated. Henry invites any soldiers who do not wish to fight to go home. Such freely given loyalty remains the basis of English patriotism. Henry himself always led from the front even risking his life to save others. In the play Shakespeare also explored important ideas such as the just war. As always different perspectives are articulated through the various characters. The final marriage scene of Henry and Catherine is an inspiring vision of the purposes and holiness of marriage and of international marriage as a way to bring about peace and reconciliation. Henry is also a main character in Henry IV, Part 1 and Henry...This article incorporates text from the Encyclopædia Britannica Eleventh Edition, a publication now in the public domain.Allmand, Christopher. Henry V. Yale, 1997. ISBN 0300073704Barker, Juliet. Agincourt: The King, the Campaign, the Battle. London: Abacus, 2006. ISBN 034911918XDockray, Keith. "Warrior King: The Life of Henry V." Stroud, UK: NPI Media Group, 2006. ISBN 0752423363
All links retrieved December 19, 2017. 1. Tyler, J. Endell. Henry of Monmouth:Memoirs of Henry the Fifth. Volume 1, Volume 2at Project Gutenberg. 2. Henry V of England ThoughtCo. 3. Monarchs of England - Henry V Britannia 4. A BBC piece presenting an alternative version of Henry V 5. Illustrated history of Henry V
Henry V (16 September 1386 – 31 August 1422) was King of England from 1413 until his death at the age of 35 in 1422. He was the second English monarch who came from the House of Lancaster . After military experience fighting various lords who rebelled against his father, Henry IV, Henry came into political conflict with the increasingly ill king.