Henry V was one of the great warrior kings of medieval England, famous for his victory against the French at the Battle of Agincourt.

Henry was born in 1386 or 1387, the son of the future Henry IV. He was created prince of Wales at his father’s coronation in 1399. He showed his military abilities as a teenager, taking part in the Battle of Shrewsbury in 1403. He then spent the next five years fighting against Owen Glendower’s rebellion in Wales. He was also keen to have a role in government, leading to disagreements with his father.

Henry became king in 1413. In 1415, he successfully crushed a conspiracy to put Edmund Mortimer, Earl of March, on the throne. Shortly afterwards he sailed for France, which was to be the focus of his attentions for the rest of his reign. Henry was determined to regain the lands in France held by his ancestors and laid claim to the French throne. He captured the port of Harfleur and on 25 October 1415 defeated the French at the Battle of Agincourt.

Between 1417 and 1419 Henry followed up this success with the conquest of Normandy. Rouen surrendered in January 1419 and his successes forced the French to agree to the Treaty of Troyes in May 1420. Henry was recognised as heir to the French throne and married Catherine, the daughter of the French king. In February 1421, Henry returned to England for the first time in three and half years, and he and Catherine went on a royal progress round the country. In June, he returned to France and died suddenly, probably of dysentery, on 31 August 1422. His nine-month-old son succeeded him.


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