Queen始sMen Editions

About this text

  • Title: Famous Victories of Henry V: Supplementary Materials
  • Author: Karen Sawyer Marsalek
  • General editor: Helen Ostovich
  • Coordinating editor:

  • Copyright Karen Sawyer Marsalek. This text may be freely used for educational, non-profit purposes; for all other uses contact the Editor.
    Author: Karen Sawyer Marsalek
    Peer Reviewed

    Supplementary Materials

    From Edward Hall, The Vnion of the two noble and illustre famelies of Lancastre and Yorke (excerpts)

    London: Richard Grafton, 1548.

    During [his] sickness, as authors write, [King Henry IV] caused his crown to be set on the pillow at his bed始s head, and suddenly his pang so sore troubled him that he lay as though all his vital spirits had been from him departed. Such chamberlains as had the cure and charge of his body, thinking him to be departed and dead, covered his face with a linen cloth. The prince his son, being thereof advertised, entered into the chamber and took away the crown and departed. The father, being suddenly revived out of his trance, quickly perceived the lack of his crown, and having knowledge that the prince his son had possessed it, caused him to repair to his presence, requiring of him for what cause he had so misused himself. The prince with a good audacity answered, “Sir, to mine and all men始s judgments you seemed dead in this world, wherefore I as your next and apparent heir took that as mine own and not as yours.” “Well, fair son,” said the King (with a great sigh), “what right I had to it and how I enjoyed it, God knoweth. “Well,” quoth the prince, “If you die king, I will have the garland and trust to keep it with the sword against all mine enemies as you have done.” “Well,” said the King, “I commit all to God, and remember you to do well,” and with that turned himself in his bed and shortly after departed to God... (fol. xxii verso) (1550 edition, fol. HIV xxxii verso)

    This King, this man, was he which (according to the old proverb) declared and showed that honors ought to change manners. For incontinent after that he was stalled in the siege royal, and had received the crown and scepter of the famous and fortunate region, determined with himself to put on the shape of a new man, and to use another sort of living, turning insolence and wildness into gravity and soberness, and wavering vice into constant virtue. And to the extent that he would so continue without going back, and not thereunto be allured by his familiar companions, with whom he had passed his young age [in] wanton pastime and riotous misorder (insomuch that for imprisonment of one of his wanton mates and unthrifty playferes he struck the Chief Justice with his fist on the face, for which offence he was not only committed to straight prison, but also of his father put out of the privy council and banished the court, and his brother Thomas Duke of Clarence elected president of the King始s council to his great displeasure and open reproach), he therefore banished and separated from him all his old flatterers and familiar companions (not unrewarded nor yet unpreferred), inhibiting them upon a great pain not once to approach either to his speech or presence, nor yet to lodge or sojourn within ten miles of his court or mansion. And in their places he elected and chose men of gravity, men of wit, and men of high policy, by whose wise counsel and prudent instruction he might at all times rule to his honor and govern to his profit. (fol. xxxiii recto-verso) (1550 edition, HV fol. i recto-verso)

    Wherefore on a day when the King was present in the parliament, Henry Chichele, Archbishop of Canterbury thereto newly preferred, which beforetime had been a monk of the Carthusians, a man which had professed willful poverty in religion, and yet coming abroad much desired honor, and a man much regarding God始s law, but more loving his own lucre. After low obeisance made to the King he said after this manner in effect: “When I consider, our most entirely beloved and no less dread sovereign lord and natural prince, the loving mind, the daily labor and continual study which you incessantly employ both for the advancement of the honor of your realm and also profit of your people, I cannot nor ought not…keep silence. … [B]y lineal deceit, by progeny of blood and by very inheritance, not only the duchy of Normandy and Aquitaine with the counties of Anjou and Maine and the country of Gascony are to you as true and indubitate heir of the same lawfully devolved and lineally descended from the high and most noble prince of famous memory, King Edward the Third, your great-grandfather, but also the whole realm of France with all his prerogatives and pre-eminences, to you as heir to your great grandfather is of right belonging and appertaining. ... Wherefore regard well, my sovereign Lord, your just and true title to the realm of France, by God始s law and man始s law to you devoluted as very heir to Queen Isabel, your great grandmother, daughter to King Philip the Fair and sister and heir to four kings deceasing without any issue. … Therefore for God始s sake lose not your patrimony, disinherit not your heirs, dishonor not your self, diminish not your title, which your noble progenitors so highly have esteemed. Wherefore advance forth your banner, fight for your right, conquer your inheritance, spare not sword, blood or fire; your war is just, your cause is good, and your claim true; and therefore courageously set forward your war against your enemies....” When the Archbishop had finished his prepared purpose, Ralph, Earl of Westmoreland, a man of no less gravity than experience, and of no more experience than stomach, which was then high Warden of the marches toward Scotland, and therefore thinking that if the King should pass over into France with his whole puissance, that his power should be too weak to withstand the strength of Scotland if they should invade during the King始s absence. Wherefore he rose up, and making his obeisance to the King, said, “Surely, sir, as my Lord Canterbury hath clerkly declared, the conquest of France is very honorable, and when it is gotten and obtained, very profitable and pleasant. But saving Your Grace始s reformation, I say and affirm that to conquer Scotland is more necessary, more apparent easy, and more profitable to this realm than is the gain of France…Wherefore my counsel is, first to invade Scotland, and by God始s grace to conquer and join that region to your empire, and to restore the renowned monarchy of Britain to her old estate and pre-eminence, and so beautified with realms and furnished with people, to enter into France for the recovering of your righteous title and true inheritance, in observing the old, ancient proverb used by our forefathers, which sayeth, ‘He that will France win, must with Scotland first begin.始”

    “No,” quoth the Duke of Exeter, uncle to the King,,.“he that will Scotland win, let him with France first begin. . . . Then if France be the nourisher of Scotland, if the French pensions be the sustainers of the Scottish nobility, if the education of Scots in France be the cause of practice and policy in Scotland, then pluck away France and the courage of the nobles of Scotland shall be soon daunted and appalled. . . . Behold the conditions of the councillors and the desire of the movers: what persons were they which coveted their poor neighbors rather than rich foreigners? Men more meet for a carpet than a camp, men of a weak stomach, desiring rather to wake in a pleasant garden than pass the seas in a tempestuous storm. What should I say?... [I]f you get France, you get two, and if you get Scotland, you get but one.” (fols. xxxv verso-xxxvi recto, xxxvii recto-verso, xxxix verso-xlirecto) (1550 edition fols. HV iii verso-iiiirecto,v recto-verso, vii verso-ix recto)

    Here I overpass how some writers say that the Dauphin, thinking King Henry to be given still to such plays and light follies as he exercised and used before the time that he was exalted to the crown, sent to him a tun of tennis balls to play with, as who said that he could better skill of tennis than of war, and was more expert in light games than martial policy. Whether he [King Henry] were moved with this unwise present, or. espying that the Frenchmen dallied and vainly delayed his purpose and demand, was moved and pricked forward, I cannot judge, but sure it is that after the return of his ambassadors, he, being of a haughty courage and bold stomach, living now in the pleasantest time of his age, much desiring to enlarge and dilate his empire and dominion, determined fully to make war in France, conceiving a good trust and a perfect hope in this point which he had before experimented, which is that victory for the most part followeth where right leadeth, advanced forward by justice and set forth by equity. . . . (fol. xli verso) (1550 edition fol. HV ix verso)

    At a time prefixed, the Archbishop of Bruges made an eloquent and long oration, dissuading war, and praising peace, offering to the King of England a great sum of money with diverse base and poor countries, with the Lady Katherine in marriage, so that he would dissolve his army and dismiss his soldiers which he had gathered and made ready. . . . The bishop of Bruges, being inflamed with anger that his purpose took none effect, desiring license and pardon of the King that he might speak, which one attained he very rashly and unreverently said, “Thinkest thou to put down and destroy wrongfully the most Christian king, our most redoubted sovereign lord and most excellentest prince of all Christianity, of blood and preeminence? Oh, King, saving thine honor, thinkest thou that he hath offered or cause to be offered to the lands goods, or other possessions with his own daughter for feare of thee or thy English nation, or thy friends, or well willers, or fautors. No, no? But of truth, he, moved with pity, as a lover of peace, to the intent that innocent blood should not be dispersed abroad and that Christian people should not be afflicted with battle and destroyed with mortal war, hath made to thee this reasonable offers and this godly motion, putting his whole affiance in God most puissant according to right and reason, trusting in his quarrel to be aided and supported by his benevolent subjects and favorable well-willers. And since we be subjects and servants, we require thee to cause us safely and surely without damage to be conducted out of thy realm and dominions, and that thou wilt write thine answer wholly as thou hast given it, under thy seal and sign manual.”

    The King of England. . .coldly and soberly answered the bishop, saying, “My lord, I little esteem your French brags, and less set by your power and strength. I now perfectly my right to your region, and except you will deny the apparent truth, so do you, and if you neither do nor will, yet God and the world knoweth it. . .But this I say unto you, that before one year pass, I trust to make the highest crown of your country stoop and the proudest miter to kneel down; and say this to the usurper your master, that I within three months will enter into France, not as into his land, but as into mine own true and lawful patrimony, intending to conquer it, not with bragging words, flattering orations, or colored persuasions, but with puissance of men and dint of sword, by the side of God in whom is my whole trust and confidence. And as concerning my answer to be written, subscribed, and sealed, I assure you that I would not speak that sentence the which I would not write and subscribe, nor subscribe that line to the which I would refuse to put my seal. Therefore, your safe conduct shall be to you delivered with mine answer, and then you may depart surely and safely, I warrant you, into your country, where I trust sooner to visit you than you shall have cause to salute me or bid me welcome.” (fol. xlii recto-verso) (1550 edition fol. HV x recto-verso)

    When the wind was prosperous and pleasant for the navy to set forward, they weighed up the anchors and hoisted up their sails and set forward with fifteen hundred ships on the vigil of the Assumption of Our Lady, and took land at Caux, commonly called Kyd Caux (where the river of Seine runs into the sea) without resistance or bloodshedding. (fol. xliv verso) (1550 edition fol. HV xii verso)

    The French King being at Rouen, hearing that the King of England was past the water of Somme, was not a little discontent, and assembled his council to the number of thirty-five to consult what should be done….And so Mountjoy , King-at-Arms, was sent to the King of England to defy him as the enemy of France, and to tell him that he should shortly have battle. King Henry soberly answered, “Sir, mine intent and desire is none other but to do as it pleaseth Almighty God and as it becometh me, for surely I will not seek your master at this time, but if he or his seek me I will willingly fight with him…”

    When the lords of France heard the King of England始s answer, it was incontinent proclaimed that all men of war should resort to the Constable of France to fight with the King of England and his puissance. Whereupon all men accustomed to bear armes and desirous to win honor through the realm of France drew toward the field. The Dauphin sore desired to be at that battle, but he was prohibited by the King his father…

    The Constable of France, the Marshall, the Admiral, the Lord Rambures, Master of the Crossbows and diverse lords and knights pitched their banners near to the banner royal of the Constable in the county of Saint Paul within the territory of Agincourt, which way the Englishmen must needs pass toward Calais. The Frenchmen made great fires about their banners . . . and all that night made great cheer and were very merry. The Englishmen that night sounded their trumpets and diverse instruments musical with great melody, and yet their were both hungry, weary, sore travailed and much vexed with cold diseases. (fols. xlvi verso- xlvii recto) (1550 edition, fols. HV xiv verso-xv recto)

    When these battles were thus ordered, it was a glorious sight to behold them, and surely they were esteemed to be in number six times as many or more than was the whole company of the Englishmen with wagoners, pages and all. Thus the Frenchmen were every man under his banner only waiting for the bloody blast of the terrible trumpet . . . during which season the Constable of France said openly to the captains in effect as followeth:
    “Friends and companions in arms, I cannot but both rejoice and lament the chances and fortunes of these two armies which I openly see and behold with mine eyes here present. I rejoice for the victory which I see at hand for our part, and I lament and sorrow for the misery and calamity which I perceive to approach to the other side. For we cannot but be victors and triumphant conquerors, for who saw ever so flourishing an army within any Christian region, or such a multitude of valiant persons in one company? Is not here the flower of the French nation on barded hourses with sharp spears and deadly weapons? Are not here the bold Britons with fiery handguns and sharp swords? See you not present the practiced [Picards], with strong and weighty crossbows? Beside these, we have the fierce [Brabants] and strong Almains with long pikes and cutting slaughmesses. And on the other side is a small handful of poor Englishmen which are entered into this region in hope of some gain or desire of profit, which by reason that their victual is consumed and spent are by daily famine sore weakened, consumed, and almost without spirits. . . . For you must understand that [if] you keep an Englishman one month from his warm bed, fat beef and stale drink and let him that season taste cold and suffer hunger, you shall see his courage abated, his body wax lean and bare, and ever desirous to return into his own country….” (fols. xlvii verso-xlviii recto) (1550 edition fols. HV xv verso-xvi recto)

    King Henry, also like a leader and not like one led, like a sovereign and not like a soldier, ordered his men for his most advantage like an expert captain and a courageous warrior. And first he sent privily twenty archers into a low meadow which was near to the forward of his enemies, but separate with a great ditch, and were there commanded to keep themselves close till they had a token to them given to shoot at their adversaries. Beside this, King Henry the Fifth appointed a vanguard, of the which he made captain Edward, Duke of York, which of a haughty courage had of the King required and obtained that office, and with him were the Lords Beaumont, Willoughby and Fanhope, and this battle was all archers. The middle ward was governed by the King himself with his brother the Duke of Gloucester, and the Earls Marshall, Oxford and Suffolk, in the which were all the strong billmen. The Duke of Exeter, uncle to the King, led the rearward, which was mixed both with archers and billmen. The horsemen like wings went on every side of the battle. When the King had thus ordered his battle, . . .he caused stakes bound with iron, sharp at both ends, of the length of five or six foot to be pitched before the archers, and on every side the footmen like an hedge, to the intent that if the barde horses ran rashly upon them, they might shortly be gored and destroyed… (fol. xlvii recto-verso) (1550 edition fol. HV xvi recto-verso)

    The Frenchmen … little or nothing regarding the small number of the English nation, were of such haughty courage and proud stomachs that they took no thought for the battle, as who say they were victors and overcomers before any stroke was stricken, and laughed at the English men, and for very pride though themselves lifted into heaven, jesting and boasting that they had the Englishmen enclosed in a strait, and had overcome them and taken them without any resistance. The captains determined how to divide the spoil, the soldiers played [for] the Englishmen at dice, the noblemen devised a chariot how they might triumphantly convey King Henry, being captive, to the city of Paris”. . . I may not forget how the Frenchmen, being in this pleasant pastime, sent a herald to King Henry to inquire what ransom he would offer, and how he answered that within two or three hours he hoped that it should so happen that the Frenchmen should come rather with the Englishmen how to be redeemed, than the Englishmen should take thought how to pay any ransom or money for their deliverance, ascertaining them for himself that his dead carrion should rather be their prey than his living body should pay any ransom. (fol. xlix recto-verso) (1550 edition, fol. HV xvii recto-verso)

    [I]n the morning, Mountjoy, King-at-Arms, and four heralds came to [King Henry] to know the number of prisoners and to desire burial for them which were slain. Before he could make any answer to the heralds, he, remembering that it is more honorable to be praised of his enemies than to be extoled of his friends, and he that praiseth himself lacketh loving neighbors, wherefore he demanded of them why they made to him that request, considering that he knew not certainly whether the praise and the victory were meet to be attributed to him or to their nation. “Oh, Lord,” quoth Mountjoy, King-at-Arms, “think you us officers of arms to be rude and bestial persons?. . .we say, determine, and affirm that the victory is yours, the honor is yours, and yours is the glory, advising you, as you have manfully gotten it, so politically to use it.” “Well,” said the King, “seeing this is your determination, I willingly accept the same, desiring you to know the name of the castle near adjoining.” When they had answered that it was called Agincourt, he said that this conflict should be called the Battle of Agincourt, “which victory hath not been obtained by us nor our power, but only by the sufferance of God, for injury and untruth that we have received at the hands of your prince and his nation.” (fols. l verso-li recto) (1550 edition, fols. HV xviii verso-xix recto)

    But surely by the relation of the heralds and declaration of other notable persons worthy of credit . . .there were slain on the French part above ten thousand persons, whereof were princes and nobles bearing banners one hundred twenty six, and all the remnant, saving sixteen hundred, were knights esquires and gentlemen, so of noblemen and gentlemen were slain eight thousand four hundred, of the which five hundred were dubbed knights the night before the battle….

    Of Englishmen at this battle were slain Edward, Duke of York, the Earl of Suffolk, Sir Richard Chichele and Davy Gam, Esquire, and of all other not above twenty-five, if you will give credit to such as write miracles. But other writers, whom I sooner believe, affirm that there was slain above five or six hundred persons, which is not unlike[ly] considering that the battle was earnestly and furiously fought by the space of three long hours, wherefore it is not incredible nor [im]possible but more Englishmen than five and twenty were slain and destroyed. (fol. lii recto) (1550 edition, fol. HV xx recto)

    [T]he next day all such as were appointed repaired toward the pavilion ordained for the consultation. Where the King, like a prince of great stomach and no less good behavior, received humbly the French queen and her daughter and them honorably embraced and familiarly kissed. … After the King始s requests made and his demands declared, the French queen and her company took leave lovingly of the King of England and returned to Pontoise to certify her husband of her demands and claims.. .The next day after they assembled again, and the French part brought with them the lady Katherine, only to the intent that the King of England, seeing and beholding so fair a lady and so minion a damsel, should so be inflamed and rapt in love that he, to obtain so beautiful an espouse, should the sooner agree to a gentle peace and loving composition. (fol. lxvi recto) (1550 edition, fol. HV xxxiiii recto)

    And after he had reposed himself, [King Henry] went to visit the king [of France], the queen and the lady Katherine, whom he found in Saint Peter始s Church. . . . and on the third day of June next following they were with all solemnity espoused and married in the same church. At which marriage the Englishmen made such triumphs, pomps and pageants as though the king of all the world had been present. La, so much (as three French writers affirm) that the nobles of France more marveled at the honor and glory of the Englishmen than they disdained or maligned at their own fortune.

    And when these solemn ceremonies were honorably finished and the marriage consummated, the two kings and their council assembled together diverse days, wherein the former league and treaty was in diverse points altered and brought to a certainty by the device of the King of England and his brethren. When this great matter was finished, the kings swore for their part to observe this agreement and league in all points. Likewise swore the duke of Burgundy and a great number of princes and nobles which were present, and that the sooner because they marveled before at his noble acts done by King Henry of whom they had knowledge only by report, and now they more marveled when they saw and beheld the honor, estate, and wisdom of his person. (fol. lxix recto) (1550 edition, fol. HV xxxvii recto)