Henry V

Henry was born around 1386 – 1387 at Monmouth Castle in Wales. His father was Henry of Bolingbroke (future King Henry IV of England) and Mary de Bohun.

King Richard II exiled Henry’s father in 1398, but he returned in 1399 to overthrow the English throne and depose Richard. His father was now King Henry IV of England.

Young Henry now became heir to the throne of England and was named Prince of Wales.

Henry was now in charge of his father’s English forces. He spent the next few years fighting against the rebellious Welsh leader Owain Glyndwr, initially without success. Harry Hotspur was appointed to bring order to Wales, but he defected to Glyndwr’s side.

Young Henry fought against Hotspur at the Battle of Shrewsbury in 1403 and defeated him; he was however injured in the battle having been hit with an arrow in the face. Many would have died with this injury but Henry had the best care available and he survived, although he was scared for life.

Henry’s father became unwell in 1410 and young Henry with support from his uncles, Henry Beaufort and Thomas Beaufort took control of the country. Henry imposed many policies during this time that differed greatly from his father.

When Henry IV recovered from his illness, he was unhappy with his son’s behaviour and in November 1411 he discharged him from the council.

Henry IV died in 1413 and young Henry ascended to the throne as Henry V on 20 March that same year. He was crowned on 9 April at Westminster Abbey, England.

Reign 1413 – 1422

Henry’s first trouble was on home soil. He discovered a plot to have Edmund Mortimer, Earl of March take the throne from him in 1415, but he crushed this revolt.

On 12 August 1415, Henry sailed to France to lay claim to the French throne.

He first captured the port of Harfleur and then marched on and defeated the French at the Battle of Agincourt on 25 October 1415.

In 1417, Henry laid siege to the city of Rouen. The people were starving and still Henry continued the siege with Rouen eventually falling in 1419.

Henry’s continued victories in France forced the French to sign the Treaty of Troyes in 1420. This treaty stated that Henry would inherit the throne of France upon the death of King Charles VI of France.

On 2 June 1420, Henry married the king’s daughter Catherine of Valois. They had one son, the future Henry VI, born 6 December 1421.

Henry V died suddenly on 31 August 1422, having reigned for 9 years. He was never to take the French throne, having died 2 months before the King of France.

Henry is buried at Westminster Abbey, England.

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