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Indenture between Henry V and Sir Thomas Tunstall, 29 April 1415

Indentures were a standard form of medieval contract. Two copies of the agreement were made and were cut into pieces with indented, irregular lines which look a little like rows of teeth. The name comes from the Latin for teeth, dentes. Each part had the seal of the parties to the contract applied, the king retaining one, and the copies could be brought together at a later date should disagreements arise. Continue reading →

Issue Roll, 6 June 1415

Thursday, 6 June, to Sir Thomas Tunstall, retained by the king by indenture made between the king and Thomas for one year to go with the king in person to parts of France or elsewhere, in money delivered into his own hands for his wages and those of five men-at-arms and 18 archers retained along with the said Thomas to proceed with the king towards the aforementioned area, by brief of privy seal amongst the orders of this term, as appears by the other part of an indenture, made between Thomas,... Continue reading →

Waterloo and Agincourt – Two ‘British’ Victories

Caledonian Mercury, Edinburgh, Monday June 17, 1816 On the 17th May, a highly gratifying military spectacle took place  on the plains of Agincourt – these plains, so celebrated for British valour, was the scene chosen to reward the gallantry of those modern heroes, who have again proved on the plains of Waterloo the invincibility of the British spirit. Continue reading →

What the Papers’ Say: Excavations at Agincourt, 1818

Caledonian Mercury, Edinburgh, Monday, May 25, 1818   It was sometime ago mentioned, in one of the English newspapers, that some of the officers attached to the British Staff of the Army of Occupation had been employing themselves in searching for reliques on the field on which the famous battle of Agincourt was fought on the 25th of October, in the year 1415 – We are very happy to learn that their labours have been crown with success far beyond their expectation, and the number of gold... Continue reading →

In the name of Almighty God, advance banners. Saint George, give us this day your help! – The battle speeches of Henry V

Shakespeare’s rendition of Henry V’s speeches on the eve of battle – at Harfleur and immediately before Agincourt – are among the most famous the stage has ever produced. So how close are they to reality? Anne Curry has written about this and her article, originally published in Reading Medieval Studies. A summary of it appears below, but the full article is now available for download as a PDF. Continue reading →

‘For I am Welsh you know’ – Welshmen, myth and reality at Agincourt

“Your majesty says very true: if your majestie is remembered of it, the Welshmen did good service in a garden where leeks did grow, wearing leeks in their Monmouth caps; which, your majesty knows, to this hour is an honourable badge of the service; and I do believe your majesty takes no scorn to wear the leek upon Saint Davy’s day.” Fluellen, Henry V, Act IV, Scene 7 For St. David’s day it seemed appropriate to address one of the abiding myths surrounding the battle of Agincourt. Continue reading →

“…a most uninteresting collection of farmers’ residences and cottages”

Earlier entries on this blog have discussed some early nineteenth century perspectives on the site of the battle with reference to the years immediately after the Battle of Waterloo, for the award of campaign medals and some early archaeological investigations. This account comes from John Gordon Smith (1792-1833), a Scottish surgeon attached to the 12th Lancers in 1815, was among those who was awarded his medals at Azincourt. Continue reading →