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31st of July

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

July 31

 

In 1418 King Henry V began his siege of Rouen as part of his Conquest of Normandy in the Hundred Years War.

 

Henry V was a great military leader and even as a teenager he fought in the battle of Shrewsbury on the 21st of July 1403 along side his father Henry IV. He also fought against the rebellion uprising in Wales that started on the 16th of September 1400 which was led by Owen Glendower, the last native Welshman to rule the throne. The success of the campaign against Glendower stabilised the English rule of Wales.

 

Henry ascended to the English throne on the 21st of March 1413 (aged 27) in the middle of the “Hundred Years War” (1337-1453) against France. Within two years as king, Henry V, led his men to success in battle of Agincourt against a vastly larger French army. Despite his supplies being low and his men having marched for two and a half weeks Henry fought in hand to hand combat leading his army to victory on the 25th of October 1415. Between 1417 and 1419 King Henry V continued his military campaign with the “Conquest of Normandy” and on the 31st of July 1418 the siege of Rouen began. The city was one of the largest in France and had around 70,000 inhabitants. Henry’s forces surrounded the city walls allowing no supplies in and no-one to leave. The leaders of Rouen forced their poor to leave the city and as Henry wouldn’t let anyone breach their blockade they were forced to live in a ditch, slowly starving to death. The People of Rouen became so hungry they eat cats, dogs, horses and mice and by the 19th January 1419 the city surrendered.

 

When Rouen fell the French monarch, King Charles VI, signed the Treaty of Troyes which gave Henry the hand of his daughter, Catherine of Valois, in marriage and promised the throne to Henry V and his descendants upon his death. On the 2nd of June 1420 Henry married Catherine of Valois and on the 6th of December 1421 she gave birth to their son Henry.

 

On the 10th of June 1421 Henry V had left for France and what would be his final campaign where he relieved his forces that were under besieged in Dreux. He relieved his forces and they went on to capture Meux in Paris on the 2nd of May 1422. It was while in France shortly after the victory that Henry V died mysteriously aged 35 on the 31st of August 1422. Henry V never met his son who became Henry VI of England upon his death. Just one month later Henry VI maternal grandfather, King Charles VI of France, died making Henry King of both Kingdoms aged 11 months.  England was governed by regents until 1437 when Henry was 16 and was believed to be of age to rule. In France King Charles the VI son, who had dis-inherited the French throne through the Treaty of Troyes, had proclaimed himself King Charles VII of France and ruled the land south of the Loire River.