Henry V (Dictionary of World Biography: Renaissance)
Article abstract: Henry V gave England justice and stability at home, while his military and political genius enabled him to proceed in the conquest of France and claim to its crown. He left England a strong power in European affairs.
The man who would become Henry V, King of England and Regent of France, was born on September 16, 1387, at Monmouth Castle in western England (this date of birth is sometimes given as August 9). He is familiar to modern readers and audiences as the Prince Hal of William Shakespeare’s plays, but his contemporaries knew him in his youth as Henry of Monmouth. His father, Henry, Duke of Lancaster, was similarly known from his birthplace as Henry Bolingbroke and was the cousin of the reigning monarch, Richard II.
Henry was well educated; the records for the Duchy of Lancaster show early payments for his books, a harp, and a sword. Unverified tradition says that he was educated at Oxford. Whatever his background, during his reign he showed considerable ability in a variety of fields, from the military (he was an outstanding general) to the musical (he composed several pieces of church music).
In 1389, Richard II exiled Henry Bolingbroke, whose sons were taken into the court, partly as kinsmen, partly as hostages. Richard displayed real affection for the younger Henry, taking him in May, 1399, on an expedition to Ireland, where the king himself knighted the...
(The entire section is 2607 words.)
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Henry V (Magill’s Guide to Military History)
Article abstract: Military significance: Henry’s strategy against France was to systematically capture the great towns and fortresses and turn them into headquarters for English garrisons. This enabled the English to impose taxes and help defray the cost of war.
Raised in his uncle Richard II’s household while his own father, Henry IV, was exiled, Henry V was knighted during Richard’s Irish expedition in 1399. Upon Henry IV’s usurpation of the crown, Henry was made prince of Wales and took command of the fight against the Welsh rebels who were led by Owen Glendower (1402-1409). Henry was a brave warrior at Shrewsbury in 1403. He suppressed both the Lollard Revolt (1413-1414) and that of the Percys (1403-1408).
Henry’s most famous exploits were against the French in the Hundred Years’ War. Determined to revive English dominion over France, he declared war in 1415, besieging and capturing Harfleur and attacking Calais. Almost trapped near the Somme at one point, he escaped and eventually led a force of 6,000 to victory at Agincourt, killing 3,000 French and capturing 1,000 more at minimal cost to his own side. His French adventure culminated in an alliance with Burgundy, the Treaty of Troyes in May, 1420 (whereby he became heir to Charles VI), and the siege and capture of Meaux (1421-1422). Weakened by exertion, however, he contracted camp fever and died before his French designs were completed.
(The entire section is 274 words.)