Henry V, Flower of Chivalry

Henry V depicted in A Chronicle of England: B.C. 55 – A.D. 1485 (1864)

Kingship and chivalry were not separate constructs in late medieval didactic works, chronicles and biographies which praised ideal qualities like loyalty largesse, honour and above all prudence that were essential for both kings and knights.

The Visit of King Sigismund to England, 1416

King Sigismund of Luxemburg

In their chapter-length account of Sigismund’s visit to England in 1416, James Hamilton Wylie and William Templeton Waugh remark that, though this was the first and only visit by a Holy Roman Emperor to England during the Middle Ages, aside from an immediate political gain, in the treaty signed by Sigismund and Henry V to defend each other against the French, the impact in terms of anecdote or literature is virtually nil; and they conclude somewhat ironically, “The most notable momento of Sigismund’s stay in England is his sword, which is now one of the insignia of the corporation of York.”

Why do historians disagree? A comparison of biographies of Henry V

Henry V

In this essay, I shall be examining what I feel are the main issues surrounding the problem of why historians do not agree whether Henry V was a good king.

The spider in the web: the weaving of a new, Lancastrian England in the late fourteenth and early fifteenth centuries

John of Gaunt

Examining the political maneuvering of John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster and his grandson, King Henry V, this thesis will show how the House of Lancaster wove the authority of both the temporal and spiritual realms into an inescapable web that enabled John of Gaunt’s direct descendents to secure their continuous position as heirs to the throne of England.

English Royal Minorities and the Hundred Years War

Detail of a miniature of Richard II giving the Duchy of Aquitaine to the Duke of Lancaster.

It has become commonplace in modern textbooks to base any brief account of the Hundred Years War on the contention that the chief cause was the dynastic dispute over the French throne between Edward III and Philip of Valois.

‘Kings were not wont to render account’ Henry IV and the Authority of the King

Henry IV in a 16th century portrait

Henry travelled extensively, became famed throughout Christendom as a champion jouster, crusaded in Eastern Europe, and looked after his father’s holdings whilst John of Gaunt campaigned in Spain.3 It is impossible not to note that Henry Bolingbroke’s popularity continued to increase while Richard II’s declined.

Prince Hal’s Head-Wound: Cause and Effect

King Henry V

The future King Henry V was hit by an arrow to the face at the Battle of Shrewsbury – how did he survive?

Medieval Book History Week Lecture: “Practical Latin and Formal English in the 14th-15th Centuries”

Reeve - Manuscript c. 1327-1328

This lecture is part of Medieval Book History Week. Renown Professor Jeremy Catto spoke about literacy and language in England during the later Middle Ages at the Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies at the University of Toronto.

The military ordinances of Henry V: texts and contexts

King Henry V

We can be certain that Henry V did not invent the idea of disciplinary ordinances for his army, nor was he the last to issue them.

“Partners in the same”: Monastic Devotional Culture in Late Medieval English Literature

St. Benedict delivering his rule to the monks of his order

To understand this apparent incongruity, it is, I argue, necessary to interrogate more carefully the continuation of monastic literary culture and its gradual diffusion beyond the walls of the cloister.

The personnel of English and Welsh castles, 1272-1422

Workers/Labourers building

In England, the role played on the continent by the castellanies would appear to have been performed by the county castle and the sheriff, a post that remained firmly under the king’s control in all but a few counties. Instead, a more subtle link between the castle community and political power will have to be found. It will be searched for in the appointment of constables to royal castles, and in grants of ownership of castles, royal or forfeited. It may be found in the building activity that was so common in this period, or in the marriage alliances that created many of the great castle owning estates.

“Be waar, Hoccleue, I rede thee”: Intertextual Subjectivity in Thomas Hoccleve’s Petitioning Poetry

Hoccleve (right) presenting his work The Regement of Princes (1411) to Henry, Prince of Wales (later Henry V of England), from Arundel MS. 38

The way these operate can be seen in the section of La Male Regle from which I excerpted my paper’s title. It comes about three-quarters of the way through the poem when the narrator relates a first-hand account of how he and his Privy-Seal Office colleagues handle a night of drinking.

Modernization of the Government: the Advent of Philip the Good in Holland

Philip the Good

As I have shown elsewhere, the county of Holland underwent a structural change in the second half of the fourteenth century, when economically the emphasis shifted from agriculture to trade and industry and demographically from the country to the towns. The institutions however did not change.

The Efficacy of the English Longbow: A Reply to Kelly DeVries

English Longbow - Agincourt Archers

According to DeVries, historians (myself specifically included) who argue for the lethal efficacy of the longbow are committing the sin of technological determinism, and indeed ‘have done military history and the history of technology a disservice’…

Modernization of the Government: the Advent of Philip the Good in Holland

Philip the Good

Modernization of the Government: the Advent of Philip the Good in Holland Jansen, H.J.H Bijdragen en mededelingen betreffende de geschiedenis der Nederlanden, Vol.95 (1980) Abstract On the sixth of January 1425 John of Bavaria died. He had been a former bishop-elect of Liège in Belgium and had been for the last six years of his life […]

Not Quite One of the Guys: Pantysyllya as Virgin Warrior in Lydgate’s Troy Book

Not Quite One of the Guys: Pantysyllya as Virgin Warrior in Lydgate’s Troy Book Hennequinn, M. Wendy Medieval Feminist Forum 34, no. 1 (2002) Abstract In her book Blood Rites: Origins and History of the Passions of War, Barbara Ehrenreich tells us, “War is, in fact, one of the most rigidly ‘gendered’ activities known to […]

A Norfolk gentlewoman and Lydgatian patronage: Lady Sibylle Boys and her cultural environment

John Lydgate

A Norfolk gentlewoman and Lydgatian patronage: Lady Sibylle Boys and her cultural environment Bale, A. Medium Aevum, 78(2), (2009) Abstract The poetry of John Lydgate (c.1370–1449/50) is often discussed in terms of the poet’s illustrious and powerful patrons: literary commissions for royal figures such as Henry V (Troy Book), Henry VI (numerous mummings and pageant poems), […]

Representation in the Gesta Henrici Quinti

Gesta Henrici Quinti

‘Not in the strict sense a chronicle or history, and certainly not a ‘compilation’, it is rather an original and skilful piece of propaganda in which narrative is deliberately used to further the larger theme.’

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