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Henry V

Henry V: New Interpretations

Edited by Gwilym Dodd
Copyright Date: 2013
Published by: Boydell and Brewer,
Pages: 312
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    Henry V
    Book Description:

    Henry V (1413-22) is widely acclaimed as the most successful late medieval English king. In his short reign of nine and a half years, he re-imposed the rule of law, made the crown solvent, decisively crushed heresy, achieved a momentous victory at the battle of Agincourt (1415), and negotiated a remarkably favourable settlement for the English over the French in the Treaty of Troyes (1420). Above all, he restored the reputation of the English monarchy and united the English people behind the crown following decades of upheaval and political turmoil. But who was the man behind these achievements? What explains his success? How did he acquire such a glorious reputation? The ground-breaking essays contained in this volume provide the first concerted investigation of these questions in over two decades. Contributions range broadly across the period of Henry's life, including his early years as Prince of Wales. They consider how Henry raised the money to fund his military campaigns and how his subjects responded to these financial exactions; how he secured royal authority in the localities and cultivated support within the political community; and how he consolidated his rule in France and earned for himself a reputation as the archetypal late medieval warrior king. Overall, the contributions provide new insights and a much better understanding of how Henry achieved this epithet. Gwilym Dodd is an Associate Professor in the Department of History, University of Nottingham. Contributors: Christopher Allmand, Mark Arvanigian, Michael Bennett, Anne Curry, Gwilym Dodd, Maureen Jurkowski, Alison K. McHardy, Neil Murphy, W. Mark Ormrod, Jenny Stratford, Craig Taylor.

    eISBN: 978-1-78204-159-7
    Subjects: History

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
    (pp. ix-x)
    Gwilym Dodd
  4. List of Contributors
    (pp. xi-xi)
    (pp. xii-xiv)
    (pp. 1-10)
    Christopher Allmand

    Recent years have seen considerable advances made in the study of the reign of Henry V, and, consequently, in our understanding and appreciation of the man himself. If the events of the year 1415, which witnessed the king’s first foray into France ending with the victory won at Agincourt, still claim headline status, there is a greater eagerness to view the ‘real’ Henry rather than a ‘creation’ of the historical past. Modern historical scholarship demands a more rounded, a more considered, certainly a more complex assessment of him. A better understanding of the king, his times, his policies and his...

  7. 1 The Making of a Prince: The Finances of ‘the young lord Henry’, 1386–1400
    (pp. 11-34)
    Anne Curry

    With such high levels of success as king as well as a substantial apprenticeship as Prince, it is easy to overlook the fact that Henry V was not born into the royal purple. Until his circumstances changed around the time of his thirteenth birthday in the autumn of 1399, his future was that of a peer.¹ Even though his long-term prospects were promising – he was heir not only to his paternal Lancaster inheritance, but also to a share of that of the Bohuns through his co-heiress mother – he would have had to wait to enjoy these resources. In the shorter...

  8. 2 Henry V’s Establishment: Service, Loyalty and Reward in 1413
    (pp. 35-76)
    Gwilym Dodd

    To whom did Henry V turn to help establish his rule in the early years of his reign? This, in essence, is the question which I shall address in the following discussion. It centres on the dynamics of the transition of power and the relative balance between continuity and change that can be observed by considering who the ‘winners’ and who the ‘losers’ were in 1413. The subject of who Henry retained in his company once he became king holds special interest in light of his reputation as a play-boy Prince who kept bad company and lived a life of...

  9. 3 Henry V, Lancastrian Kingship and the Far North of England
    (pp. 77-102)
    Mark Arvanigian

    Historians of the English north in the late Middle Ages have recently engaged with a number of issues of importance to students of both the English regions and of the period. Of these, two stand out for the purposes of this chapter. The first considers the prospect of the ‘far north’ as a unique frontier society, sufficiently set apart from the main currents of English society by virtue of the dictates of border warfare and its close proximity to England’s perennial enemy. This envisages a region bordered, roughly, by the Scottish borders to the north, and by the palatinate of...

  10. 4 Henry V’s Suppression of the Oldcastle Revolt
    (pp. 103-130)
    Maureen Jurkowski

    At the time of Henry V’s unexpected demise in August 1422 contemporary commentators were fulsome in their praise of his qualities as a ruler and, above all, his achievements in the administration of justice. Exemplar justicie was among the personal attributes listed in the minutes of a meeting of the king’s council just after his death,¹ and a similar compliment was paid in the inscription Civitas Regis iusticie spotted on a wall over the entrance to London Bridge during the celebrations of his victory at Agincourt in 1415.² French chroniclers in particular sang his praises as a paragon of justice,...

  11. 5 Religion, Court Culture and Propaganda: The Chapel Royal in the Reign of Henry V
    (pp. 131-156)
    Alison K. McHardy

    Henry V’s religious outlook is well known: he was fiercely orthodox and the founder of two religious houses. The clergy who ministered to the king’s spiritual needs have, however, received less direct attention. This chapter investigates the clerics closest to him, especially the members of his chapel royal, and asks how they were linked to Henry’s overseas ambitions, and how the king’s liturgical observance and spiritual support shaded into propaganda, because the private Christian was inseparable from the public ruler. It is hoped that, by bringing together information from diverse sources, it may be possible to observe a clearer picture...

  12. 6 ‘Par le special commandement du roy’. Jewels and Plate Pledged for the Agincourt Expedition
    (pp. 157-170)
    Jenny Stratford

    There is no more intriguing example of the use of the English royal treasure as a war chest than the financing of the 1415 expedition which led to the battle of Agincourt. A royal treasure embodied magnificence and served as an arm of diplomacy, but it was also a bank. In times of war and of other pressing need, English kings, like other European rulers, had of course often resorted to raising loans by pledging jewels and plate to corporations, syndicates and wealthy individuals.¹ They would continue to do so until well into the modern period. The arrangements made by...

  13. 7 Henry V and the Cheshire Tax Revolt of 1416
    (pp. 171-186)
    Michael Bennett

    After his triumphal return to England in November 1415, Henry V wasted no time resting on his laurels. He was eager to consolidate his achievements in France, most especially his capture of Harfleur, and to seek opportunities to build on them. His victory at Agincourt provided favourable circumstances for securing the necessary resources. The parliament of November 1415 brought forward the collection of the next instalment of the double subsidy granted in 1414. Early in 1416 he summoned another parliament to meet in March to enable him to secure the necessary resources for a further expedition. As Anne Curry has...

  14. 8 Henry V and the English Taxpayer
    (pp. 187-216)
    W. Mark Ormrod

    Henry V’s reputation as manager of the crown’s resources stands higher in the current generation of historians than perhaps ever before, and the king’s strengths in this area are now routinely regarded as an essential element, alongside the more sensational achievements in war, of the second Lancastrian king’s claims to greatness. A strong tradition of scholarship from Ramsay and Steele to McFarlane and Harriss has engaged in detail with two aspects of Henry’s gift for finance: his management of parliaments and convocations to effect one of the most intense bouts of taxation experienced in England over the course of the...

  15. 9 Henry V, Flower of Chivalry
    (pp. 217-248)
    Craig Taylor

    On 6 November 1422, the coffin of Henry V was carried to a funeral carriage by eight chamber knights, with four earls holding each of the corners of a cloth of gold on top of it, and four knights supporting a canopy above the coffin. Two of the horses that drew the carriage were decorated with the arms of England, and the other three horses wore the arms of St Edmund, St Edward and St George. As the procession moved towards Westminster, the coffin was followed by knights and pages on horseback, carrying the king’s helmet and the shields of...

  16. 10 War, Government and Commerce: The Towns of Lancastrian France under Henry V’s Rule, 1417–22
    (pp. 249-272)
    Neil Murphy

    The reign of Henry V saw the greatest expansion of English power in France since the conquests of Edward III. In contrast to the chevauchées of the fourteenth century, which were raids intended to destroy crops and demoralize the population, the type of warfare prosecuted by Henry V was designed to lead to a lasting territorial settlement. As administrative, economic and military centres, the possession of towns was fundamental to Henry’s strategy in France. While relations between Lancastrian rulers and their urban subjects in France have attracted the attention of historians such as Christopher Allmand, Anne Curry and Guy Thompson,...

  17. 11 Writing History in the Eighteenth Century: Thomas Goodwin’s The History of the Reign of Henry the Fifth (1704)
    (pp. 273-288)
    Christopher Allmand

    Few will know of Thomas Goodwin, author of The History of the Reign of Henry the Fifth, King of England, & c., whose ‘Nine Books’ or chapters, each broadly covering a regnal year, was published in London in 1704. He was the son of another Thomas Goodwin, a leading divine of his day, regarded as one of the founding fathers of Congregationalism, who was president of Magdalen College, Oxford (before resigning at the restoration of the monarchy in 1660) and, as chaplain to Oliver Cromwell, had been in attendance at the Protector’s deathbed. Thomas (the younger), born about 1650, received...

  18. INDEX
    (pp. 289-306)
  19. Back Matter
    (pp. 307-311)