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Henry V, King of England
REIGNED: who reached the apogee of medieval kingship, revered as a legend in his own lifetime.
Henry was designated Heir to throne of France; Henry V, King of England and Prince of Wales, known for his victorious campaigns against France. On succeeding to the throne in 1413 Henry V honorably reburied at Westminster Abbey the remains of Richard II, who had been deposed by Henry IV and had died in prison during the latter's reign. The new king continued his father's policy in persecuting the religious sect known as the Lollards and executed their leader, Sir John Oldcastle, in 1417.
In 1415 Henry warred against France, winning in that same year the Battle of Agincourt. The following year he allied himself with the Holy Roman emperor Sigismund, and in 1417 he began the conquest of Normandy, completing it with the capture of Rouen two years later. He concluded a peace treaty with Charles VI of France at Troyes in 1420, obtaining Charles's daughter, Catherine of Valois, in marriage and securing the promise of succession to the French throne on the death of Charles.
When Henry returned to England in 1421, leaving his brother Thomas, Duke of Clarence, as governor of Normandy, the French rose in opposition to English rule and defeated the duke. Henry returned to France for a third campaign, but he became ill and died. He was the most influential ruler in western Europe at the time of his death. He was succeeded by his son Henry VI.
«i»"We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother; be he ne'er so vile,
This day shall gentle his condition;
And gentlemen in England now-a-bed
Shall think themselves accurs'd they were not here,
And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
That fought with us upon Saint Crispin's day."
«/i»-- Wm. Shakespeare, King Henry V
BIOGRAPHICAL: He had experience of warfare in his fathers reign, putting down rebellion and being wounded in the face by an arrow at the Battle of Shrewsbury. His Will appointed his brother John, Duke of Bedford, as governor of France, and his younger brother Humphrey was trusted with the guardianship of his infant son.
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