Henry V Facts
Henry V (1081-1125) was Holy Roman emperor and king of Germany from 1106 to 1125. The last of the Salian line of emperors, he continued the struggle with the papacy over lay investiture that had been carried on by Henry IV.
In 1106 Henry V succeeded his father, Emperor Henry IV, against whom he had rebelled the previous year. He was, like his father, a man of great ability who had to spend most of his reign in a struggle against the papacy over investitures and in attempts to keep his unruly German nobles under some form of control.
Henry began his reign by restoring a measure of order in Germany. Then, in 1110, he crossed the Alps into Italy; he marched on Rome with a large army and forced Pope Paschal II, whom he held prisoner for a time, to crown him emperor and to accept his terms for settling the Investiture Controversy. Circumstances soon forced him, however, to release the Pope and leave Italy. As soon as he had done so, Paschal proceeded to repudiate his agreement with his imperial opponent. From this time on, though Henry did invade Italy again, he was never able to exert much authority in the Italian portion of his empire, which became increasingly independent.
As for the Investiture Controversy itself, it dragged on until 1122, when a new pope, Calixtus I, negotiated a compromise settlement of the dispute with Henry called the Concordat of Worms. By this compromise the Emperor lost effective control over the appointment of churchmen in Italy and Burgundy, while still maintaining a good deal of power over their choice in Germany itself. In all cases churchmen were now to receive the spiritual symbols of their authority, the ring and the staff, directly from the pope. So ended this controversy, which had caused trouble between pope and emperor for almost 5 decades, with a settlement which represented in essence a victory for the papacy.
Though Henry was concerned during most of his reign with the struggle over investitures, he seems to have been particularly busy attempting to reassert his imperial authority in Germany itself. Here the problem he faced was that of a new nobility which was arising and which competed with him for authority. Perhaps the best examples of this new nobility are to be found in examining the rise of two powerful families, the Hofenstaufens in Swabia and the neighboring Rhinelands regions and the Welfs in Bavaria. Both made use of new feudal concepts and loyalties, previously largely unknown in Germany, as a basis for consolidating their authority over wide areas. To them, and others like them, the future of Germany was to belong.
Finally, once the Investiture Controversy had ended, Henry in his last days became interested in increasing his authority in the Low Countries along the borders of France. In 1114 he had married Matilda, the daughter of King Henry I of England and the future mother of the English king Henry II by another husband. In alliance with his English father-in-law, he attempted to increase his power in Flanders, but their actions led to friction with the French king Louis VI, who had an interest in the region as well. Finally, in 1124, he attempted an invasion of northern France itself. This provoked strong opposition and so rallied the northern French to their Capetian king that the imperial troops were forced to retreat without gaining any success. A year later, still childless, Henry V died. He left an Italy where imperial power had all but ceased to exist and a Germany ready for that long struggle between Welf and Hofenstaufen which was to disturb it for many decades.
Further Reading on Henry V
Geoffrey Barraclough's Medieval Germany (2 vols., 1938) and his Origins of Modern Germany (1946; 2d rev. ed. 1966) cover this period well. See also James W. Thompson, Feudal Germany (1928), and Gerd Tellenbach, Church, State and Christian Society at the Time of the Investiture Contest (trans. 1940).
Henry V (1387-1422) was king of England from 1413 to 1422. His reign marked the high point in English attempts to conquer France. While the long-term effects of his reign were minimal, Henry V became a folk hero in English literature.
The eldest son of Henry of Lancaster and Mary de Bohun, Henry V was born at Monmouth on Aug. 9, 1387. His early military training was under Thomas Percy, Earl of Worcester, and he is believed to have been educated at Queen's College, Oxford, under his uncle Henry Beaufort (later bishop of Winchester). Henry's early years were spent in various military campaigns, and in Ireland in 1398-1399 he was a hostage of Richard II. (Richard was deposed in 1399 by Henry's father, who then became King Henry IV.)
At the age of 15 Henry was leading royal forces against Conway, Merioneth, and Carnarvon, fighting Owen Glendower. By 1403 he was fighting with his father at Shrewsbury; 2 years later he was fighting in Wales, capturing Aberystwith, and by 1407 was invading Scotland. All this military activity negates the idea that he spent his youth in dissipation with no regard for his reputation, an idea that Shakespeare took from the work of Edward Hall. He also fought in France against the Armagnacs but withdrew from the Council in 1412, when his French policy was rejected. Coming to the throne on March 21, 1413, Henry was so secure that he pardoned the Percy family, who had conspired against his father, and gave the remains of Richard II an honorable burial.
In internal matters Henry seems to have followed his father's religious policies: the abolition of alien priories, the repression of the Lollards in 1414, and the arrest of Sir John Oldcastle 3 years later. However, he appears to have been favorable to the plan of the lay peers to confiscate some of the Church's wealth.
In external matters Henry revived the English claims to the French crown and is best remembered for his military activities to achieve this end. In August 1415, after dealing with a conspiracy to remove him from the throne, he led an army of 20,000 foot soldiers and 9,000 horsemen to attack Harfleur and, after sending a large part of his army home due to illness, marched to Calais to secure a base for further operations. On the way, unable to avoid a vastly superior French army, he gave battle at Agincourt on Oct. 25, 1415, gaining a great victory and capturing the constable of France and the Duke of Orléans.
Henry soon returned to England to gain new supplies and men, to solidify English support for his further campaigns, and to build a navy. By 1417 he was back in France, attacking Cherbourg, Coutances, Avranches, and Évreux as well as capturing most of Normandy and the key city of Rouen. By making an alliance with Philip the Good, Duke of Burgundy, Henry was able to make the Treaty of Troyes (May 21, 1420), by which he was declared the heir to Charles VI, regent of France and lord of Normandy, thus uniting the thrones of England and France. The terms of the treaty included Henry's marriage to Catherine of France.
The French Dauphin and his followers, who did not accept the treaty, continued to oppose Henry, who returned to campaigning, capturing Melun in November and making a triumphal entrance into Paris the following month for the treaty's ratification by the Parliament of Paris. After making plans for the governing of Normandy, Henry took his bride to England to be crowned queen and devoted time to internal affairs, reforming the Benedictine monasteries and dealing with James I of Scotland.
After the defeat of the English forces under the Duke of Clarence at Beauge, Henry was forced to return to France to reestablish his control in March 1421; there he relieved Chartres and drove the forces of the Dauphin across the Loire. After capturing Meaux the following year while on the way to help his ally, the Duke of Burgundy, Henry came down with a fatal fever and died on Aug. 31, 1422, at Bois de Vincennes at the age of 35. After a funeral procession back to England, he was buried in Westminster Abbey.
Further Reading on Henry V
There are many good biographies of Henry V, beginning with the 16th-century study The First English Life of King Henry the Fifth, edited by Charles Lethbridge Kingsford (1911). Other biographies include James Hamilton Wylie, The Reign of Henry the Fifth (3 vols., 1914-1929); Ernest Fraser Jacob's short and interesting Henry V and the Invasion of France (1947); Harold F. Hutchinson, King Henry V: A Biography (1967); and C. T. Allmand, Henry V (1968). The military campaigns are discussed in such works as Edouard Perroy, The Hundred-Years War (trans. 1951), and Christopher Hibbert's shorter Agincourt (1964). Background information is in Ernest Fraser Jacob, The Fifteenth Century, 1399-1485 (1961).
Additional Biography Sources
Allmand, C. T., Henry V, Berkeley: University of California Press, 1992.
Barbie, Richard A., Good King Hal, Chicago, Ill.: Dramatic Pub. Co., 1981.
Brennan, Anthony., Henry V, New York: Twayne Publishers, 1992.
Candido, Joseph, Henry V: an annotated bibliography, New York: Garland Pub., 1983.
Earle, Peter, The life and times of Henry, London, Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1972.
Gesta Henrici Quinti = The deeds of Henry the Fifth, Oxford Eng.: Clarendon Press, 1975.
Labarge, Margaret Wade., Henry V: the cautious conquerer, New York: Stein and Day, 1976, 1975.
Labarge, Margaret Wade., Henry V: the cautious conqueror, London: Secker and Warburg, 1975.
Lindsay, Philip, King Henry V: a chronicle, London, Howard Baker Publishers Ltd., 1969.
Seward, Desmond, Henry V: the scourge of God, New York, N.Y., U.S.A.: Viking, 1988, 1987.