The Battle of Agincourt was a major English victory in the Hundred Years War. The battle took place on Friday,25 October 1415 in the County of Saint-Pol, Artois, Henry V led his troops into battle and participated in hand-to-hand fighting. The French king of the time, Charles VI, did not command the French army himself as he suffered from severe psychotic illnesses with moderate mental incapacitation, instead, the French were commanded by Constable Charles dAlbret and various prominent French noblemen of the Armagnac party. This battle is notable for the use of the English longbow in very large numbers, the battle is the centrepiece of the play Henry V by William Shakespeare. The Battle of Agincourt is well documented by at least seven contemporary accounts, the approximate location of the battle has never been in dispute and the place remains relatively unaltered even after 600 years. Two of the most frequently cited accounts come from Burgundian sources, one from Jean Le Fèvre de Saint-Remy, who was present at the battle, Henry V invaded France following the failure of negotiations with the French. He initially called a Great Council in the spring of 1414 to discuss going to war with France, Henry would marry Princess Catherine, the young daughter of Charles VI, and receive a dowry of 2 million crowns. The French responded with what they considered the terms of marriage with Princess Catherine, a dowry of 600,000 crowns. By 1415, negotiations had ground to a halt, with the English claiming that the French had mocked their claims and ridiculed Henry himself. In December 1414, the English parliament was persuaded to grant Henry a double subsidy, on 19 April 1415, Henry again asked the Great Council to sanction war with France, and this time they agreed. The siege took longer than expected, the town surrendered on 22 September, and the English army did not leave until 8 October. The campaign season was coming to an end, and the English army had suffered many casualties through disease and he also intended the manoeuvre as a deliberate provocation to battle aimed at the dauphin, who had failed to respond to Henrys personal challenge to combat at Harfleur. The French had raised an army during the siege which assembled around Rouen and this was not strictly a feudal army, but an army paid through a system similar to the English. The French hoped to raise 9,000 troops, but the army was not ready in time to relieve Harfleur, after Henry V marched to the north, the French moved to block them along the River Somme. They were successful for a time, forcing Henry to move south, away from Calais, the English finally crossed the Somme south of Péronne, at Béthencourt and Voyennes and resumed marching north. Without a river obstacle to defend, the French were hesitant to force a battle and they shadowed Henrys army while calling a semonce des nobles, calling on local nobles to join the army. By 24 October, both faced each other for battle, but the French declined, hoping for the arrival of more troops. The two armies spent the night of 24 October on open ground, the English had very little food, had marched 260 miles in two and a half weeks, were suffering from sickness such as dysentery, and faced much larger numbers of well equipped French men at arms
Miniature from Vigiles du roi Charles VII. The battle of Azincourt 1415.
1915 depiction of Henry V at the Battle of Agincourt : The King wears on this surcoat the Royal Arms of England, quartered with the Fleur de Lys of France as a symbol of his claim to the throne of France.