Virtual International Authority File
The Virtual International Authority File is an international authority file. It is a joint project of several national libraries and operated by the Online Computer Library Center. Discussion about having a common international authority started in the late 1990s. After a series of failed attempts to come up with a unique common authority file, the new idea was to link existing national authorities; this would present all the benefits of a common file without requiring a large investment of time and expense in the process. The project was initiated by the US Library of Congress, the German National Library and the OCLC on August 6, 2003; the Bibliothèque nationale de France joined the project on October 5, 2007. The project transitioned to being a service of the OCLC on April 4, 2012; the aim is to link the national authority files to a single virtual authority file. In this file, identical records from the different data sets are linked together. A VIAF record receives a standard data number, contains the primary "see" and "see also" records from the original records, refers to the original authority records.
The data are available for research and data exchange and sharing. Reciprocal updating uses the Open Archives Initiative Protocol for Metadata Harvesting protocol; the file numbers are being added to Wikipedia biographical articles and are incorporated into Wikidata. VIAF's clustering algorithm is run every month; as more data are added from participating libraries, clusters of authority records may coalesce or split, leading to some fluctuation in the VIAF identifier of certain authority records. Authority control Faceted Application of Subject Terminology Integrated Authority File International Standard Authority Data Number International Standard Name Identifier Wikipedia's authority control template for articles Official website VIAF at OCLC
The British Library is the national library of the United Kingdom and the largest national library in the world by number of items catalogued. It is estimated to contain 150–200 million+ items from many countries; as a legal deposit library, the British Library receives copies of all books produced in the United Kingdom and Ireland, including a significant proportion of overseas titles distributed in the UK. The Library is a non-departmental public body sponsored by the Department for Culture and Sport; the British Library is a major research library, with items in many languages and in many formats, both print and digital: books, journals, magazines and music recordings, play-scripts, databases, stamps, drawings. The Library's collections include around 14 million books, along with substantial holdings of manuscripts and historical items dating back as far as 2000 BC. In addition to receiving a copy of every publication produced in the UK and Ireland, the Library has a programme for content acquisitions.
The Library adds some three million items every year occupying 9.6 kilometres of new shelf space. There is space in the library for over 1,200 readers. Prior to 1973, the Library was part of the British Museum; the British Library Act 1972 detached the library department from the museum, but it continued to host the now separated British Library in the same Reading Room and building as the museum until 1997. The Library is now located in a purpose-built building on the north side of Euston Road in St Pancras and has a document storage centre and reading room near Boston Spa, near Wetherby in West Yorkshire; the Euston Road building is classified as a Grade I listed building "of exceptional interest" for its architecture and history. The British Library was created on 1 July 1973 as a result of the British Library Act 1972. Prior to this, the national library was part of the British Museum, which provided the bulk of the holdings of the new library, alongside smaller organisations which were folded in.
In 1974 functions exercised by the Office for Scientific and Technical Information were taken over. In 1983, the Library absorbed the National Sound Archive, which holds many sound and video recordings, with over a million discs and thousands of tapes; the core of the Library's historical collections is based on a series of donations and acquisitions from the 18th century, known as the "foundation collections". These include the books and manuscripts of Sir Robert Cotton, Sir Hans Sloane, Robert Harley and the King's Library of King George III, as well as the Old Royal Library donated by King George II. For many years its collections were dispersed in various buildings around central London, in places such as Bloomsbury, Chancery Lane and Holborn, with an interlibrary lending centre at Boston Spa, 2.5 miles east of Wetherby in West Yorkshire, the newspaper library at Colindale, north-west London. Initial plans for the British Library required demolition of an integral part of Bloomsbury – a seven-acre swathe of streets in front of the Museum, so that the Library could be situated directly opposite.
After a long and hard-fought campaign led by Dr George Wagner, this decision was overturned and the library was instead constructed by John Laing plc on a site at Euston Road next to St Pancras railway station. From 1997 to 2009 the main collection was housed in this single new building and the collection of British and overseas newspapers was housed at Colindale. In July 2008 the Library announced that it would be moving low-use items to a new storage facility in Boston Spa in Yorkshire and that it planned to close the newspaper library at Colindale, ahead of a move to a similar facility on the same site. From January 2009 to April 2012 over 200 km of material was moved to the Additional Storage Building and is now delivered to British Library Reading Rooms in London on request by a daily shuttle service. Construction work on the Newspaper Storage Building was completed in 2013 and the newspaper library at Colindale closed on 8 November 2013; the collection has now been split between the St Pancras and Boston Spa sites.
The British Library Document Supply Service and the Library's Document Supply Collection is based on the same site in Boston Spa. Collections housed in Yorkshire, comprising low-use material and the newspaper and Document Supply collections, make up around 70% of the total material the library holds; the Library had a book storage depot in Woolwich, south-east London, no longer in use. The new library was designed specially for the purpose by the architect Colin St John Wilson in collaboration with his wife MJ Long, who came up with the plan, subsequently developed and built. Facing Euston Road is a large piazza that includes pieces of public art, such as large sculptures by Eduardo Paolozzi and Antony Gormley, it is the largest public building constructed in the United Kingdom in the 20th century. In the middle of the building is a six-storey glass tower inspired by a similar structure in the Beinecke Library, containing the King's Library with 65,000 printed volumes along with other pamphlets and maps collected by King George III between 1763 and 1820.
In December 2009 a new storage building at Boston Spa was opened by Rosie
Edward IV of England
Edward IV was the King of England from 4 March 1461 to 3 October 1470, again from 11 April 1471 until his death. He was the first Yorkist King of England; the first half of his rule was marred by the violence associated with the Wars of the Roses, but he overcame the Lancastrian challenge to the throne at Tewkesbury in 1471 to reign in peace until his sudden death. Before becoming king, he was Duke of Earl of March, Earl of Cambridge and Earl of Ulster. Edward of York was born at Rouen in Normandy, the second son of Richard, 3rd Duke of York, Cecily Neville, he was the eldest of the four sons. He bore the title Earl of March before his accession to the throne. Edward's father Richard, Duke of York, had been heir to King Henry VI until the birth of Henry's son Edward in 1453. Richard carried on a factional struggle with the king's Beaufort relatives, he established a dominant position after his victory at the First Battle of St Albans in 1455, in which his chief rival Edmund Beaufort, Duke of Somerset, was killed.
However, Henry's Queen, Margaret of Anjou, rebuilt a powerful faction to oppose the Yorkists over the following years. In 1459 Margaret moved against the Duke of York and his principal supporters—his brother-in-law Richard Neville, Earl of Salisbury, Salisbury's son Richard Neville, Earl of Warwick, who rose in revolt; the Yorkist leaders fled from England after the collapse of their army in the confrontation at Ludford Bridge. The Duke of York took refuge in Ireland, while Edward went with the Nevilles to Calais where Warwick was governor. In 1460 Edward landed in Kent with Salisbury and Salisbury's brother William Neville, Lord Fauconberg, raised an army, occupied London. Edward and Fauconberg left Salisbury besieging the Tower of London and advanced against the king, with an army in the Midlands, defeated and captured him in the Battle of Northampton. York returned to England and was declared the king's heir by parliament, but Queen Margaret raised a fresh army against him, he was killed at the Battle of Wakefield on 30 December 1460, along with his second surviving son Edmund, Earl of Rutland, the Earl of Salisbury.
This left Edward, now Duke of York, at the head of the Yorkist faction. He defeated a Lancastrian army at Mortimer's Cross in Herefordshire on 2–3 February 1461, he united his forces with those of Warwick, whom Margaret's army had defeated at the Second Battle of St Albans, during which Henry VI had been rescued by his supporters. Edward's father had restricted his ambitions to becoming Henry's heir, but Edward now took the more radical step of proclaiming himself king in March 1461, he advanced against the Lancastrians, having his life saved on the battlefield by the Welsh Knight Sir David Ap Mathew. He defeated the Lancastrian army in the exceptionally bloody Battle of Towton in Yorkshire on 29 March 1461. Edward had broken the military strength of the Lancastrians, he returned to London for his coronation. King Edward IV named Sir David Ap Mathew Standard Bearer of England and allowed him to use "Towton" on the Mathew family crest. Lancastrian resistance continued in the north, but posed no serious threat to the new regime and was extinguished by Warwick's brother John Neville in the Battle of Hexham in 1464.
Henry VI had escaped into the Pennines, where he spent a year in hiding, but was caught and imprisoned in the Tower of London. Queen Margaret fled abroad with many of their leading supporters. Edward IV had deposed Henry VI, but there was little point in killing the ex-king as long as Henry's son remained alive, since this would have transferred the Lancastrian claim from a captive king to one, at liberty. At the age of nineteen, Edward exhibited remarkable military acumen, he had a notable physique and was described as handsome and affable. His height is estimated at 6 feet 4.5 inches, making him the tallest among all English and British monarchs to date. Most of England's leading families had remained loyal to Henry VI or remained uncommitted in the recent conflict; the new regime, relied on the support of the Nevilles, who held vast estates and had been so instrumental in bringing Edward to the throne. However, the king became estranged from their leader the Earl of Warwick, due to his marriage.
Warwick, acting on Edward's behalf, made preliminary arrangements with King Louis XI of France for Edward to marry either Louis' daughter Anne or his sister-in-law Bona of Savoy. He was humiliated and enraged to discover that, while he was negotiating, Edward had secretly married Elizabeth Woodville, the widow of John Grey of Groby, on 1 May 1464. Edward's marriage to Elizabeth Woodville has been criticised as an impulsive action that did not add anything to the security of England or the York dynasty. A horrified Privy Council told him with unusual frankness, when he announced the marriage to them, "that he must know that she was no wife for a prince such as himself, for she was not the daughter of a duke or earl... but a simple knight." Christine Carpenter argues against the idea that it had any political motivation, that Edward's creation of a strong Yorkist nobility meant that he did not need the "lightweight connections" of the Woodvilles, whereas Wilkinson described the marriage as both a "love match, a cold and calculated political move".
J. R. Lander suggested in 1980 that the King was "infatuated," echoing P. M. Kendall's view that he was acting out of lust. Elizabeth's mother was Jacquetta of Luxembourg, wi
Henry V of England
Henry V called Henry of Monmouth, was King of England from 1413 until his early death in 1422. He was the second English monarch of the House of Lancaster. Despite his short reign, Henry's outstanding military successes in the Hundred Years' War against France, most notably in his famous victory at the Battle of Agincourt in 1415, made England one of the strongest military powers in Europe. Immortalised in the plays of Shakespeare, Henry is known and celebrated as one of the great warrior kings of medieval England. In his youth, during the reign of his father Henry IV, Henry gained military experience fighting the Welsh during the revolt of Owain Glyndŵr and against the powerful aristocratic Percy family of Northumberland at the Battle of Shrewsbury. Henry acquired an increasing share in England's government due to the king's declining health, but disagreements between father and son led to political conflict between the two. After his father's death in 1413, Henry assumed control of the country and asserted the pending English claim to the French throne.
In 1415, Henry embarked on war with France in the ongoing Hundred Years' War between the two nations. His military successes culminated in his famous victory at the Battle of Agincourt and saw him come close to conquering France. Taking advantage of political divisions within France, he conquered large portions of the kingdom and Normandy was occupied by the English for the first time since 1345–1360. After months of negotiation with Charles VI of France, the Treaty of Troyes recognised Henry V as regent and heir apparent to the French throne and he was subsequently married to Charles's daughter, Catherine of Valois. Following this arrangement, everything seemed to point to the formation of a union between the kingdoms of France and England, in the person of King Henry, his sudden and unexpected death in France two years condemned England to the long and difficult minority of his infant son and successor, who reigned as Henry VI in England and Henry II in France. Henry was born in the tower above the gatehouse of Monmouth Castle in Wales, for that reason was sometimes called Henry of Monmouth.
He was the son of Henry of Bolingbroke and Mary de Bohun, thus the paternal grandson of the influential John of Gaunt, great-grandson of Edward III of England. At the time of his birth, Richard II, his first cousin once removed, was king. Henry's grandfather, John of Gaunt, was the king's guardian; as he was not close to the line of succession to the throne, Henry's date of birth was not documented. However, records indicate that his younger brother Thomas was born in the autumn of 1387 and that his parents were at Monmouth in 1386 but not in 1387, it is now accepted that he was born on 16 September 1386. Upon the exile of Henry's father in 1398, Richard II took the boy into his own charge and treated him kindly; the young Henry accompanied King Richard to Ireland. While in the royal service, he visited Trim Castle in County Meath, the ancient meeting place of the Irish Parliament. In 1399, Henry's grandfather died. In the same year, King Richard II was overthrown by the Lancastrian usurpation that brought Henry's father to the throne and Henry was recalled from Ireland into prominence as heir apparent to the Kingdom of England.
He was created Prince of Wales at his father's coronation and Duke of Lancaster on 10 November 1399, the third person to hold the title that year. His other titles were Duke of Earl of Chester and Duke of Aquitaine. A contemporary record notes that during that year, Henry spent time at The Queen's College, Oxford under the care of his uncle Henry Beaufort, the chancellor of the university. From 1400 to 1404, he carried out the duties of High Sheriff of Cornwall. Less than three years Henry was in command of part of the English forces, he led his own army into Wales against Owain Glyndŵr and joined forces with his father to fight Henry "Hotspur" Percy at the Battle of Shrewsbury in 1403. It was there that the sixteen-year-old prince was killed by an arrow that became stuck in his face. An ordinary soldier might have died from such a wound, but Henry had the benefit of the best possible care. Over a period of several days, John Bradmore, the royal physician, treated the wound with honey to act as an antiseptic, crafted a tool to screw into the broken arrow shaft and thus extract the arrow without doing further damage, flushed the wound with alcohol.
The operation was successful, but it left Henry with permanent scars, evidence of his experience in battle. For eighteen months in 1410–11, Henry was in control of the country during his father's ill health and took full advantage of the opportunity to impose his own policies; when the king recovered, he dismissed the prince from his council. The Welsh revolt of Owain Glyndŵr absorbed Henry's energies until 1408; as a result of the king's ill health, Henry began to take a wider share in politics. From January 1410, helped by his uncles Henry Beaufort and Thomas Beaufort, legitimised sons of John of Gaunt, he had practical control of the government. Both in foreign and domestic policy he differed from the king, who discharged the prince from the council in November 1411; the quarrel of father and son was political only, though it is probable that the Beauforts had discussed the abdication of Henry IV. Their opponents endeavoured to defame the prince, it may be that the tradition of Henry's riotous youth, immortalised by Shakespeare, is due to political enmity.
Henry's record of involvement in war and politics in his youth, disproves this tradition. The most famous incident, his quarrel wi
Cardinal Henry Beaufort, Bishop of Winchester, was an English prelate and statesman who held the offices of Bishop of Lincoln Bishop of Winchester and was from 1426 a Cardinal of the Church of Rome. He played an important role in English politics, he was a member of the royal House of Plantagenet, being the second son of the four legitimised children of John of Gaunt by his mistress Katherine Swynford. Beaufort was born in Anjou, an English domain in France, educated for a career in the Church. After his parents were married in early 1396, his two brothers and one sister were declared legitimate by Pope Boniface IX and legitimated by Act of Parliament on 9 February 1397, but they were barred from the succession to the throne; this proviso was promulgated with the exact phrase excepta regali dignitate by their half-brother Henry IV with dubious authority. On 27 February 1398, he was nominated Bishop of Lincoln, on 14 July 1398, he was consecrated. After Henry of Bolingbroke deposed Richard II and took the throne as Henry IV in 1399, he made Bishop Beaufort Lord Chancellor of England in 1403, but Beaufort resigned in 1404 when he was appointed Bishop of Winchester on 19 November.
Between 1411 and 1413, Bishop Beaufort was in political disgrace for siding with his nephew, the Prince of Wales, against the king, but when King Henry IV died and the prince became King Henry V, he was made Chancellor once again in 1413, but he resigned the position in 1417. Pope Martin V offered him the rank of Cardinal, but King Henry V would not permit him to accept the offer. Henry V died in 1422, two years after he had married Catherine of Valois, daughter of King Charles VI, who had disowned his son Charles in favor of Henry in the Treaty of Troyes. Henry and Catherine's infant son Henry VI, the Bishop's great-nephew, succeeded Henry as King of England, and, in accordance with the Treaty, succeeded Charles as King of France. Bishop Beaufort and the child king's other uncles formed the Regency government, in 1424, Beaufort became Chancellor once more, but was forced to resign in 1426 because of disputes with the king's other uncles, in particular Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester. Pope Martin V appointed Beaufort as Cardinal in 1426.
In 1427, he made him the Papal Legate for Germany and Bohemia, directed him to lead the fourth "crusade" against the Hussites heretics in Bohemia. Beaufort's forces were routed by the Hussites at the Battle of Tachov on 4 August 1427. After the English captured Joan of Arc in 1431, legend has it that Beaufort was present to observe some of the heresy trial sessions presided over by Bishop Pierre Cauchon of Beauvais. However, the full record of the trial, which lists all those who took part in her trial on a daily basis shows that he was not there, his sole appearance is on the day of her abjuration. The formal record does not include Beaufort's presence at her execution but legend has it that he wept as he viewed the horrible scene as she was burned at the stake; this legend derives from what is now known as the Rehabilitation Trial of Joan of Arc which culminated in an examination of numerous witnesses in 1455 and 1456 in which one of the 27 Articles of Enquiry was that Joan had died in "such a manner as to draw from all those present, from her English enemies, effusions of tears."
A number of witnesses at this re-trial inferred or declared his presence including one of the original trial judges, one Andre Marguerie, Canon of Rouen, who asserted that Beaufort had reprimanded his chaplain for complaining that the Bishop of Beauvais's sermon was too favourable to Joan. However, it is not clear to. In a spirit of contrition and reconciliation, in 1922 a statue of Joan of Arc was placed beside the entrance to the Lady Chapel in Winchester Cathedral diagonally facing Cardinal Beaufort’s tomb and chantry chapel. Beaufort continued to be active in English politics for years, fighting with the other powerful advisors to the king, he died on 11 April 1447. When Henry was Bishop of Lincoln, he had an affair with Alice FitzAlan, the daughter of Richard FitzAlan and Elizabeth de Bohun and the widow of John Charleton, 4th Baron Cherleton. Henry fathered Jane Beaufort, in 1402, who some make Alice's daughter. Both Jane and her husband, Sir Edward Stradling, were named in Cardinal Beaufort's will.
Their marriage about 1423 brought Sir Edward into the political orbit of his shrewd and assertive father-in-law, to whom he may have owed his appointment as chamberlain of South Wales in December 1423, a position he held until March 1437. Cokayne, George E.. The Complete Peerage of England, Ireland, Great Britain, the United Kingdom, Extinct, or Dormant. XII. Gloucester, UK: A. Sutton. ISBN 0-904387-82-8. Fryde, E. B.. E.. Handbook of British Chronology. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0-521-56350-X. Griffiths, Ralph A.. The Reign of King Henry VI: The Exercise of Royal Authority, 1422–1461. University of California Press. ISBN 978-0-520-04372-5. Harriss, G. L. "Beaufort, Henry". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. Oxford University Press. Doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/1859
Harfleur is a commune in the Seine-Maritime department in the Normandy region of northern France. It was the principal seaport in north-western France for six centuries, until Le Havre was built about five kilometres downstream in the sixteenth century to take advantage of anchorages less prone to siltation. Harfleur is now on the eastern edge of Le Havre's urban area. A light industrial town situated in the Pays de Caux by the banks of the Seine and Lézarde rivers, some 6 miles east of Le Havre, at the junction of the N282, D231 and D9015 roads. SNCF railways have a station here. In Roman times, Harfleur was known as the principal port of the ancient Calates. A Roman road led from Harfleur to Troyes. Another road that disappeared during the Hundred Years War linked Harfleur to Fécamp. Several Merovingian sarcophagi have been unearthed at the foot of Mount Cabert. In the Middle Ages, the town's name, Harofluet or Hareflot, was still sufficiently uncorrupted to indicate its Norman origins; the suffix fleur comes from Old Norse Flöthe meaning "estuary or arm of the sea" and is related to the word fjord.
The precise meaning of the prefix "har" is unknown. 1202 saw the granting of a town charter by King John of England. In 1281 the expansion of the port of Harfleur began. At the beginning of the 14th century, Harfleur saw the setting-up of a Catalan and Portuguese merchants association. 1341–1361 saw the building of the city walls, pierced by three gates. These were restored in the 15th century after the destruction caused during the Hundred Years War. For six centuries, Harfleur was the principal seaport of north-western France. In 1415, it was captured by Henry V of England, an event explicitly mentioned in a popular song of the day, the Agincourt Carol. Sir John Fastolf of Caister Castle Norfolk claimed to have been'the first man over the side' of the boat when the English landed outside the town; the Siege of Harfleur lasted some weeks longer. The town's defences were badly damaged by the siege warfare, as were many of the principal buildings of the town. In order to consolidate his victory, Henry was forced to leave a significant part of his army as a garrison for the newly captured town.
Whilst Henry's intentions after the end of the siege are unclear, he had entered France with an army large enough to engage the French in open battle and not to lay siege to one town. Henry left Harfleur; the French cut off the English route and confronted them on the muddy fields near Azincourt on Saint Crispin's day, 25 October 1415. The Battle of Agincourt ended in a decisive English victory with minimal losses - only in the hundreds - and a crushing defeat for the French with losses nearing the tens of thousands. In 1435, the people of the district of Caux, led by Jean de Grouchy, rose against the English. One hundred and four of the inhabitants opened the gates of the town to the insurgents, forced the English occupiers out; the memory of the deed was long perpetuated by the bells of St. Martin's tolling 104 strokes. Between 1445 and 1449 the English were again in possession, but the town was recovered for the French by Dunois in 1450. In 1562, the Huguenots pillaged Harfleur and its registers and charters perished in the confusion, but its privileges were restored by Charles IX of France in 1568.
It was not until 1710 that it was subjected to the "taille". In the 16th century, the port began to dwindle in importance owing to the silting up of the Seine estuary and the rise of Le Havre. In 1887, the Tancarville canal restored waterborne access to the town from both the Seine and Le Havre. After the Armistice following World War I, a huge hutted camp was established at Harfleur as a basis for dealing with the transit of thousands of troops being demobilised; the British soldier Arthur Bullock recorded in his memoir what life was like there, together with a humorous illustration of his Nissen hut, labelled'Home Sweet Home'. The church of St-Martin, dating from the fourteenth century; the seventeenth century Hôtel de Ville. Medieval ramparts The fifteenth century museums of fishing and of archaeology and history. David Auradou, rugby player Khoudjiedji Ba handball player Vikash Dhorasoo, footballer Charles N'Zogbia, footballer The 2009 novel Azincourt by Bernard Cornwell describes the siege and the conquest of Harfleur by the army of Henry V of England in 1415.
The 2003 novel A Hail of Arrows by Michael Cox describes the siege and conquest of Harfleur by the army of Henry V of England in 1415 as witnessed by a 14-year-old boy-archer. Its describes illness and food shortage inflicted by the English army, it goes on to describe the battle of Agincourt. The poem Demain, dès l'aube, by Victor Hugo, alludes to the "sails descending towards Harfleur". Communes of the Seine-Maritime department Seine-Maritime Normandy INSEE This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed.. "Harfleur". Encyclopædia Britannica. 12. Cambridge University Press. P. 952. Bullock, A S, Gloucestershire Between the Wars: A Memoir, The History Press, 2009 Cooper, S, The Real Falstaff, Sir John Fastolf and the Hundred Years War, Pen & Sword, 2010 Official website of Harfleur Harfleur history website Harfleur o
Battle of Agincourt
The Battle of Agincourt was one of the greatest English victories in the Hundred Years' War. It took place on 25 October 1415 near Azincourt in northern France. England's unexpected victory against a numerically superior French army boosted English morale and prestige, crippled France, started a new period in the war during which the English began enjoying great military successes. After several decades of relative peace, the English had renewed their war effort in 1415 amid the failure of negotiations with the French. In the ensuing campaign, many soldiers died due to disease and the English numbers dwindled. Despite the disadvantage, the following battle ended in an overwhelming tactical victory for the English. King Henry V of England participated in hand-to-hand fighting. King Charles VI of France 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 d'Albret and various prominent French noblemen of the Armagnac party.
This battle is notable for the use of the English longbow in large numbers, with the English and Welsh archers making up nearly 80 percent of Henry's army. Agincourt is one of England's most celebrated victories and was one of the most important English triumphs in the Hundred Years' War, along with the Battle of Crécy and Battle of Poitiers, it forms the centrepiece of the play Henry V by William Shakespeare. The Battle of Agincourt is well documented by at least seven contemporary accounts, three from eyewitnesses; the approximate location of the battle has never been in dispute and the place remains unaltered after 600 years. After the battle, Henry summoned the heralds of the two armies who had watched the battle together with principal French herald Montjoie, they settled on the name of the battle as Azincourt after the nearest fortified place. Two of the most cited accounts come from Burgundian sources, one from Jean Le Fèvre de Saint-Remy, present at the battle, the other from Enguerrand de Monstrelet.
The English eyewitness account comes from the anonymous Gesta Henrici Quinti, believed to be written by a chaplain in the King's household who would have been in the baggage train at the battle. A recent re-appraisal of Henry's strategy of the Agincourt campaign incorporates these three accounts and argues that war was seen as a legal due process for solving the disagreement over claims to the French throne. Henry V invaded France following the failure of negotiations with the French, he claimed the title of King of France through his great-grandfather Edward III, although in practice the English kings were prepared to renounce this claim if the French would acknowledge the English claim on Aquitaine and other French lands. He called a Great Council in the spring of 1414 to discuss going to war with France, but the lords insisted that he should negotiate further and moderate his claims. In the following negotiations Henry said that he would give up his claim to the French throne if the French would pay the 1.6 million crowns outstanding from the ransom of John II, concede English ownership of the lands of Normandy, Anjou and Flanders, as well as Aquitaine.
Henry would marry Catherine, the young daughter of Charles VI, receive a dowry of 2 million crowns. The French responded with what they considered the generous terms of marriage with Catherine, a dowry of 600,000 crowns, an enlarged Aquitaine. 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", a tax at twice the traditional rate, to recover his inheritance from the French. On 19 April 1415, Henry again asked the Great Council to sanction war with France, this time they agreed. Henry's army landed in northern France on 13 August 1415, carried by a fleet described by Shakespeare as "a city on the inconstant billows dancing / For so appears this fleet majestical", it was reported to comprise 1,500 ships, but far smaller. The army of about 12,000, up to 20,000 horses besieged the port of Harfleur; the siege took longer than expected.
The town surrendered on 22 September, the English army did not leave until 8 October. The campaign season was coming to an end, the English army had suffered many casualties through disease. Rather than retire directly to England for the winter, with his costly expedition resulting in the capture of only one town, Henry decided to march most of his army through Normandy to the port of Calais, the English stronghold in northern France, to demonstrate by his presence in the territory at the head of an army that his right to rule in the duchy was more than a mere abstract legal and historical claim, he intended the manoeuvre as a deliberate provocation to battle aimed at the dauphin, who had failed to respond to Henry's personal challenge to combat at Harfleur. The French had raised an army during the siege; this was not a feudal army, but an army paid through a system similar to the English. The French hoped to raise 9,000 troops. 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, to find a ford