A Conversation for The Battle of Agincourt, 1415

Henry's claim to the French throne

Post 1

Musencus II (Muse of Dilettantism in Multiple Arts)

Hey this is the second excellent entry I read this day! Congrats! It's really well done. smiley - smiley
One thing though: When Henry set out for France he didn't claim the Duchy of Normandy, but the French throne.
Since the days of Edward III (the Black Prince's father) the English Kings felt that they had a stronger claim to the French throne than the reigning House of Valois. This is as I recall due to the fact that none of Philippe Le Bel's (Philippe the Handsome, King of France) three sons had been able to produce a male heir. So the crown was bestowed upon the son of Philippe's brother Charles Valois. But Philippe had had a daughter - Jeanne or Joanne - who was then married to Edward II Plantagenet, King of England. Their son - later King Edward III - thus had a stronger claim to the French throne - if one recognizes a woman as a possible heir to the throne, which the French (not exactly keen on getting an English sovereign) didn't.
Now Henry V was a descendant of Edward III, although - to make things even more complicated - only through one of the Black Prince's brothers, namely John of Gaunt, the Duke of Lancaster. Neither the Black Prince nor John of Gaunt ever became kings themselves. The Black Prince died before his father and John wasn't next in line as the prince had a son - Richard II - who formally succeeded Edward III. But John's son Henry Bolingbroke after a lot of struggle finally dethroned him and became king Herny IV (an act that eventually led to the War of the Roses between the Houses of Lancaster and York). Now we're almost there: The son of Henry IV - Henry V - thus inherited the Plantagenet's claim to the French throne (as he himself was in fact a Plantagenet or - at least - a close relative to the Plantagenets). This explains why Henry at Agincourt not only sported the three English leopards but also the French kings' fleur-de-lys on his surcoat. His son - Henry VI - become as you said king of France and England, but this was but an empty title as he never got a chance to reign France, since he was onlay a little boy when he succeeded his father. Under his reign England lost most of its possesions in France. This story is told in John-the-GURUdener's excellent entry on Joan of Arc (A403543).
Complicated, huh? smiley - smiley
Oh man I do like genealogy!smiley - smiley

Henry's claim to the French throne

Post 2

Abu Shenob

Hey - great to find someone who likes all this geneology stuff as much as I do! I have two tiny quibbles, though. One is that Edward II Plantagenet's wife was named Isabella, not Joanna. I am trying to think of whom you might have been thinking - perhaps Joan - the wife of Edward, the Black Prince, who would have been Edward IV if he had not been so politically maladroit as to precede his father in death? Isabella of France was NOT a nice person, by the way, and became known as 'the She-wolf'. Understandably annoyed at Edward's preference for his male courtiers, she eventually had him murdered in a fashion that was thought to be a very good joke considering his sexual predelictions, and which, if not fatal, would certainly have precluded his sitting on a throne (or anything else) with any degree of comfort ever again. She then ruled England in her son's name with HER (male) lover Roger Mortimer - sort of the pot calling the royal kettle black. This was before hate-crime legislation outlawed the killing of homosexuals, a situation that still pertains in George Bush's home state, with his full blessing.

The second quibble is that I don't believe there is any doubt that Henry V was a Plantagenet (not just a close relative thereof), although there was some quibble about his right to rule - or more properly his father's right to rule - since the latter was gained by offing Richard II, the true king. The Plantagenets tended to play hardball long before the concept was invented. Which is why I like them so much... Cheers!

Henry's claim to the French throne

Post 3


It is amazing what people did with a red hot poker in those days, no wonder it brought a tear to his eyes!

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