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sures. This opinion has perhaps been the less questioned from the use which our great dramatist Shakspeare has made of it; but it has been combated with many weighty objections. It should, however, be mentioned, that the prince is said on one occasion, to have drawn his sword on Chief Justice Gascoyne, when that magistrate refused to release one of Henry's riotous companions. The judge committed the prince to prison, who submitted meekly to the sentence. It is added, that when the king heard of the affair, he exclaimed, "Happy the king who has a judge so resolute in executing the law, and a son so willing to submit to it!"

In this reign was passed a law to authorize the burning of heretics. It seems probable that Henry, who felt the weakness of his title, consented to this law in the hope of enlisting on his side the clergy, who lost no time in carrying out the statute. Archbishop Arundel was especially active in violent measures against the Lollards. His successor, Archbishop Chicheley, the founder of All Souls' college, Oxford, was equally averse to them; but he distinguished himself honourably on several occasions by the firmness with which he resisted the exorbitant claims of the pope to jurisdiction in England.

Henry made an ungenerous use of an accident which put the young prince of Scotland (afterwards James I.) in his power. He had been sent abroad by his father, to be safe from the plots of an uncle, and was taken by an English cruiser. Henry detained him as his prisoner, but saw that he was well educated.

The cares inseparable from royalty were in Henry's case embittered by remorse of conscience, and undermined his health. He died in the forty-sixth year of his life, a.d. 1413, and was succeeded by his eldest son.

7 See Memoirs of Henry V. by Rev. J. E. Tyler, B.D



Born at Monmouth. Buried at Westminster. Reigned 9 years. From A.D. 1413 to ▲.D. 1422.

Archbishop of Canterbury.

Henry Chicheley, A.D. 1414—1442.

THE accession of Henry V. was hailed by the whole nation with feelings of hope and joy. He removed the remains of Richard to Westminster, and himself attended as chief mourner. He set at liberty the young Earl of March, and restored the Percy family to their estates and honours. Whatever be thought of his conduct in early life, it seems certain that from this period he showed himself a sincere Christian; and though severe measures were taken against the Lollards early in his reign, through the mistaken zeal of the clergy, there is reason to think that Henry was averse to put in force the law that had been passed against those reformers. The principal victim of this false zeal was Sir John Oldcastle, lord Cobham. He was condemned, after a noble defence of his opinions before the primate Arundel and other bishops; but made his escape from the Tower, and his friends seem even to have attempted to seize the king at Eltham. The attempt failed, and led to many executions. Cobham himself was at length taken, and with great cruelty was hung as a rebel and burnt as a heretic. But Henry was himself then in France.

The king was eager to reconquer the possessions of his ancestors in France, which, notwithstanding the victories of Edward, had gradually been wrested from the English. His eagerness was shared by his subjects, and the distracted state of France, under Charles VI. (who was subject to fits of mental derangement), favoured his design. An army was assembled at Southampton; but some check was occasioned by the discovery of a conspiracy, ostensibly in favour of the Earl of March, but really formed by that prince's brother-in-law, Richard, earl of Cambridge, to forward his own ambitious views. The conspirators were condemned and executed; but, to the king's honour, the Earl of March,

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though the rightful heir to the crown, being found guiltless of this conspiracy, was unmolested; and Henry sailed to the mouth of the Seine, where he took the town of Harfleur, and divided a vast treasure among the soldiers. His army, however, being reduced by sickness to little more than 12,000 men, he determined to withdraw to Calais, and on his way was met by the French army, amounting to 100,000 men, near the castle of Agincourt. His defeat seemed inevitable, and the French made so sure of it that they passed the night in revels, and even fixed the ransom of Henry and his barons. The English employed the time in devotional exercises, and Henry went from post to post, cheering and inspiriting his men. Hearing an officer say that he wished for more men from England, he declared that he wished not for one man more. If God gave them the victory, the glory would be the greater; and if not, the loss to England would be the less. The result of the battle was one of the most astonishing victories on record. The onset was made by the English, who, after using their arrows, rushed on the French with swords and battle-axes, and routed them with great slaughter. The Duke of Alençon had sworn to take or slay the king, and in personal combat with him clove his helmet; but was struck down by Henry and slain. The flower of the French nobility fell in this fatal field. It is computed that 8000 gentlemen were slain, while the loss of the English is said to have been not more than eighty.

The following year (A.D. 1416) Henry crossed again to France, and recovered great part of Normandy: but at last agreed to a truce: and his hopes of conquering the kingdom would perhaps have ended here, had not a general horror been excited against the dauphin, for having occasioned the murder of the Duke of Burgundy. The son of that prince devoted himself to the English cause; and Henry marched to Troyes, where a treaty was concluded, by which Henry was declared Regent of France during the life of Charles VI., whose daughter (the Princess Katharine) he was to marry. He was also declared heir to the crown at the death of Charles.

The young queen was brought to England, and the joy of the nation was at its height when she gave birth to a son at Windsor. Henry was then in France, where he was

not long afterwards joined by his wife and child; and the magnificence of his court at Paris was far beyond what appeared about the person of the reigning king. A fatal disease now attacked him; under which he died, after a brilliant reign of less than ten years, commending his soul to the mercy of God, and the care of his infant son, who was not a year old, to his brothers, the Dukes of Bedford and Gloucester.

The queen-dowager afterwards married Owen Tudor, a gentleman of Wales, by whom she had Edmund, earl of Richmond, and Jasper, earl of Pembroke. The descendants of this marriage were destined to sit on the throne of England.



Born at Windsor. Buried at Chertsey, but removed to Windsor. Reigned 39 years. From A.D. 1422 to A.D. 1461.

Archbishops of Canterbury.

Henry Chicheley, A.D. 1414-1442.
John Stafford, A.D. 1442-1452.
John Kemp, A.D. 1452-1454.

Thomas Bourchier, A.D. 1454— 1486.

THE English interest in France was managed after Henry's death, by the Duke of Bedford; in whose absence the Duke of Gloucester was regarded as protector of the infant king in England. Gloucester was a favourite with the people, and long remembered as "good Duke Humphrey;" but was bitterly opposed by Cardinal Beaufort, a son of John of Gaunt by Katharine Swynford, whom John married at a later period, and whose children by that prince, before her marriage to him, were made legitimate by Richard II.

In France, the English were for a short time successful against the dauphin, who became Charles VII. by the death of his father. They had laid siege to Orleans, with a view to complete the conquest of the kingdom, when the face of things was changed by the appearance of one of the most remarkable persons recorded in history. This was Joan of Arc, a maiden of humble birth, who believed herself commissioned by God to expel the English. Charles

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gladly gave ear to a claim which favoured his interest; and by the enthusiasm which her presence excited in the French, and the terror which it spread among the English, she succeeded in fulfilling her word that the siege of Orleans should be raised, and that Charles should be crowned at Rheims. From this time the English interest declined. Henry was indeed crowned at Paris, and Joan herself, having been taken prisoner, was cruelly burnt as a sorceress at Rouen; but after the death of the Duke of Bedford, a treaty was made between Charles and the Duke of Burgundy; and notwithstanding the skill and courage of Talbot, earl of Shrewsbury, the English were finally driven out of France, about the year 1450.

In the mean time the quarrels between Gloucester and Beaufort were hurtful to the king; who, though of a mild and devout character, was found, as he grew up, to have but feeble powers of mind. The cardinal, in order to strengthen his party, arranged a marriage between Henry and Margaret of Anjou, daughter of Regnier, the titular king of Sicily; and the English saw with indignation, that instead of receiving any dower with his bride, the king was advised to make over to her uncle the provinces of Maine and Anjou. Margaret was a woman of great beauty and a masculine understanding, and acquired a complete sway over Henry. Two years after this marriage Gloucester was arrested, and within a few days was found dead in his bed. Beaufort, who outlived his nephew only six weeks, was suspected of having caused his death; and if this suspicion be just, the deed was as impolitic as wicked; for by Gloucester's removal a way was opened to the ambition of Richard, duke of York, whose claim to the throne (as heir of the Earl of March on his mother's side) was better than Henry's. The popular discontent, which arose from the disasters in France and mis-government at home, was fomented by this prince, and broke out in an insurrection, under a very obscure leader. The real name of this person was Jack Cade, but he boldly gave himself out to be John Mortimer, son of a Sir John Mortimer (uncle of the last Earl of March), who had been sentenced by Parliament, and executed for high treason at the beginning of this reign. In spite of the absurdity of his story, he was able to gather followers, to defeat the royal forces at Sevenoaks,

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