Henry V of England

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Henry V (16 September 1386 – 31 August 1422), also called Henry of Monmouth, was King of England from 1413 until his death in 1422. Despite his relatively short reign, Henry's outstanding military successes in the Hundred Years' War against France made England one of the strongest military powers in Europe. Immortalised in Shakespeare's Henry V, Henry is known and celebrated as one of the greatest warrior kings of medieval England.


  • Thou speakest as a fool, for by the God of Heaven in whose grace I trust and in whom is my firm hope of victory, I would not have one more than I have, even if I could... Dost thou not believe that the Almighty can through this humble little band overcome the pride of these Frenchmen, who boast of their numbers and their strength?
    • Answer to Walter Hungerford, who lamented on the eve of the Battle of Agincourt that in addition to the small band which he had there could have had ten thousand of the better archers of England, as recorded in Gesta Henrici Quinti, quoted in English Historical Documents 1327–1485, ed. A. R. Myers (1969), p. 206

Quotes about Henry V[edit]

  • Owre Kynge went forth to Normandy
    With grace and myght of chyvalry
    Ther God for hym wrought mervelusly;
    Wherefore Englonde may call and cry:
    Deo gratias!
    Deo gratias Anglia redde pro victoria!
  • He applied his mind with all devotion to encompass what could promote the honour of God, the extension of the Church, the deliverance of his country and the peace and tranquillity of kingdoms.
  • [O]ur older men [do not] remember any prince ever having commanded his people on the march with more effort, bravery or consideration, or having, with his own hand, performed greater feats of strength in the field. Nor, indeed, is evidence to be found in the chronicles or annals that any king of England ever achieved so much in so short a time and returned home with so glorious a triumph.
  • [Henry V was] very wise and capable in everything he undertook and he had an iron will. When he ruled France, he made greater conquests than any before him for many years past. He was so feared by his nobles and captains that there was no one, however close or dear to him, who was not afraid to go against his orders.
  • Henry the fift, I wish you not forget,
    At Agent Court, thinke what a field he fought:
    When all the powre of Fraunce him round beset,
    Ten thousand men, them to subjection brought.
    Though night before, they Bonfires great did make,
    And made their boastes, what prisoners they would take.
    • John Phillips, A Commemoration of the Life and Death of Sir Christopher Hatton, knight, Lord Chancellor of England (1591), p. 7
  • King Henry left no one like him among Christian kings or princes. His death, not only by his subjects in England and France but in the whole of Christendom, was deservedly mourned. He was pious in soul, taciturn and discreet in his speech, far-seeing in counsel, prudent in judgement, modest in appearance, magnanimous in his actions, firm in business, persistent in pilgrimages and generous in alms, devoted to God and supportive and respectful of the prelates and ministers of the church. War-like, distinguished and fortunate, he had won victories in all his military engagements. He was generous in constructing buildings and founding monasteries, munificent in his gifts, and above all pursued and attacked enemies of the faith and the church. Thinking of his memorable deeds, people felt awe at his sudden and terrible death [and] mourned inexpressibly.

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