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Factfile – Battle of Agincourt 600th anniversary

October 25, 2015 - FRANCE

The Battle of Agincourt is notable both because it features in William Shakespeare's Henry V, and because the decisive English victory against a superior French force is attributed to their use of the longbow. Oct 25 is the 600th anniversary

• The battle of Agincourt (1415) occurred during the Hundred Years' War (1337 to 1453), an ongoing struggle for the control of France between the House of Plantagenet, rulers of the Kingdom of England, and the House of Valois, rulers of the Kingdom of France.

• As a child Henry, later King Henry V (1387-1422), was looked after from 1398, when his father went into exile, by then-King Richard II. Richard, Henry's cousin once removed, was toppled by a Lancastrian uprising. Henry's father became King and Henry became heir to the throne. Between 1403 and 1408 Henry gained battle experience as commander in the war against the Welsh rebels.

* He ascended to the English throne in 1413 and pressed his claim for the French throne. When the negotiations failed the English crossed the channel and met the French at Agincourt in northern France. At the time of the battle of Agincourt, Henry V was 28

* Henry V led his troops into battle himself and participated in hand-to-hand fighting. Although outnumbered, 5,000 English troops defeated some 20,000 French. The battle was one of the bloodiest of the Medieval Era. Six thousand Frenchmen and 400 English lost their lives, and large numbers of French noblemen were taken prisoner.

* The subsequent treaty recognized Henry V as regent and heir apparent to the French throne. He later married the daughter of Charles VI, Catherine of Valois.

* The death of Henry V at 35 on August 31, 1422, opened the way for the French to recapture their sovereignty.

* It is said of Agincourt, that although the English won the battle, the France won the war (The One Hundred Years War)

Date written/update: 2015-04-29