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"Henry V was a Stern and
Ruthless Leader" ­ Historical
By Aliyah H…read more

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"Soon after his accession, Henry V laid claim to
the French crown. Stern and ruthless, Henry
was a brilliant general who had gained military
experience in his teens, when he fought
alongside his father at the battle of
Shrewsbury." ­ , official British
monarch website.
Henry V has often been described by
historians, such as Ian Mortimer, as a
ruthless and stern king because of his key
achievements throughout his reign, in
particular at the Battle of Agincourt.
However, other Historians, such as Fry,
have argued Henry V had a more sensitive
and thoughtful side.
Depictions of Henry V by William
Shakespeare have also had a major role in
how modern audience perceive King Henry
Whether Henry was Ruthless and Stern or
simply skilled politically and militarily is a
topic of wider historical debate.…read more

Slide 3

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Political strength... (Domestic
Early years of political prominence under Henry IV reign meant he was
highly proficient in the political side of his kingdom. = Henry IV
thought too eager.
Henry tackled all of the domestic policies together and gradually built
on them a wider policy. From the first, he made it clear that he would
rule England as the head of a united nation.
On the one hand, he let past differences be forgotten ­the heirs of
those who had suffered in the last reign were restored gradually to
their titles and estates.
On the other hand, where Henry saw a grave domestic danger, he acted
firmly and ruthlessly, this was seen with the execution of Lollards in
order to secure his thrown.…read more

Slide 4

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Persecution of the Lollards...
Lollards first faced serious persecution after
the Peasants' Revolt in 1381 and were staunchly
against the extravagance of the catholic church
but during Henry V's reign England was a Catholic
country. So Lollards were viewed as heretics.
Sir John Oldcastle, a close friend of King Henry
V was brought to trial in 1413 after evidence of his
Lollard beliefs was uncovered. Oldcastle escaped
from the Tower of London and organized an
insurrection, which included an attempted
kidnapping of the king. The rebellion failed, and
Oldcastle was executed. - Richardson, Ruth Elizabeth
(2007), Mistresss Blanche, Queen Elizabeth I's Confidante, Logaston Press, pages 87-
His execution shows more ruthless side of Henry
V however, at the time Henry would have been
viewed as a good king and good Christian for
persecuting heretics and stopping England falling
into disarray.…read more

Slide 5

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Henry V a good stern king...
J.L. Kirby describes the reign of a sovereign with a `genius for
popular kingship';
"Henry V was probably the first English ruler to address his
subjects in their native language."
This demonstrates Henry V was a `King of the People' and
despite his ruthlessness at war he did it for the better of his
His popularity throughout the kingdom earned him much
respect, however this was earned through his stern and
ruthless leadership.…read more

Slide 6

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The Battle of Agincourt...
In 1415, Henry set sail for France, capturing the
town of Harfleur. His offer to the French Dauphin
of personal combat was, like those of his
predecessors, refused; he went on to defeat the
French at the Battle of Agincourt.
The battle saw Henry significantly outnumbered
by the French and Henry's men were
malnourished and exhausted.
However, due to the stern and ruthless
leadership of Henry V meant they were rallied for
Battle but they won due to they strength of the
English archers.
Longbow Law ­ significant in their win = shows
long term effects of Edward III's reign.
For this win Henry became increasingly popular
and gained a significant amount of French control.
"On the eve of the Battle of Agincourt, Henry V didn'
t have anxious conferences or do rousing talks to the
troops. He had a mass, and not any old mass, but
one magnificently sung and performed,". David
Starkey (july 2013) =Henry was motivated by
religion which lead to his ruthlessness because he…read more

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