Internet Shakespeare Editions

Author: Raphael Holinshed
Editor: James Mardock
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Chronicles of England, Scotland, and Ireland 1587 (Selection)


80Henry returns to England

Henry's triumphal entry into London (p. 556)

The mayor of London and the aldermen, appareled in orient grained scarlet, and four hundred commoners clad in beautiful murrey, well mounted and trimly horsed, with rich collars and great chains, met the king on Blackheath, rejoicing at his return; and the clergy of London, with rich crosses, sumptuous copes, and massy censers, received him at Saint Thomas of Waterings with solemn procession [TLN 2872-85].

81Titus Livius.The king, like a grave and sober personage, and as one remembering from whom all victories are sent, seemed little to regard such vain pomp and shows as were in triumphant sort devised for his welcomingThe great modesty of the king. home from so prosperous a journey, insomuch that he would not suffer his helmet to be carried with him, whereby might have appeared to the people the blows and dints that were to be seen in the same; neither would he suffer any ditties to be made and sung by minstrels of his glorious victory, for that he would wholly have the praise and thanks altogether given to God [TLN 2867-72]. . . .

82"The emperor's coming" (p. 556-57)

In this fourth year of King Henry’s reign, the Anno Reg. 4. The Emperor Sigismund cometh to England.Emperor Sigismund, cousin-german to King Henry, came into England to the intent that he might make an atonement between King Henry and the French king, with whom he had been before, bringing with him the Archbishop of Rheims, as ambassador for the French king. . . .

83But their evil hap, as they that were appointed by God’s providence to suffer more damage at the Englishmen's hands, would not permit his persuasions to take place: for whereas peace was even almost entering in at the gates, the [French] king was suddenly stirred to displeasure upon a new occasion, for he, being advertised of the loss of his men at the late conflict in the territory of Rouen (as ye have heard), refused to The emperor an earnest mediator for peace.hear this word peace once named. The emperor, like a wise prince, passed over that time till another season, that some favorable aspect of the planets should seem to further his purpose. . . .

84When the emperor perceived that it was in vain to move further for peace, he left off that treaty, and entered himself into a league with king Henry. . . . This done, the emperor returned homewards, to pass intoTitus Livius. Germany . . .

85The Treaty of Troyes, 1420 (p. 572-73)

[Four more years of war saw Henry's army capture Caen in 1417 and Rouen in 1419, giving the English control over Normandy, and an English alliance with the Duke of Burgundy, who controlled Paris, brought the French to the point of surrender.] Whilst these victorious exploits were thus happily achieved by the Englishmen, and that the king lay still at Rouen in giving thanks to almighty God for the same, there came to him eftsoons ambassadors from the French king and the Duke of Burgundy to move him to peace [TLN 3011-15]. The king, minding not to be reputed for a destroyer of the country King Henry condescendeth to a treaty of peace.which he coveted to preserve, or for a causer of Christian blood still to be spilt in his quarrel, began so to incline and give ear unto their suit and humble request, that at length, after often sending to and fro, and that the Bishop of Arras and other men of honor had been with him, and likewise the Earl of Warwick and the Bishop of Rochester had been with the Duke of Burgundy, they both finally agreed upon certain articles, so that the French king and his commons would thereto assent.

86Now was the French king and the queen with their daughter Catherine at Troyes in Champagne, governed and ordered by them which so much favored the Duke of Burgundy that they would not for any earthly good once hinder or pull back one jot of such articles as the same duke should seek to prefer. And therefore -- what needeth many words? -- a A truce tripartite.truce tripartite was accorded between the two kings and the duke, and their countries, and order taken that the King of England should send in the company of the Duke of Burgundy his ambassadors unto Troyes in Champagne, sufficiently authorized to treat and conclude of so great matter. The King of England, being in good hope that all his affairs should take good success as he could wish or desire, Ambassadors from King Henry to the French king.sent to the Duke of Burgundy his uncle the Duke of Exeter, the Earl of Salisbury, the Bishop of Ely, the Lord Fanhope, the Lord Fitzhugh, Sir John Robsert, and Sir Philip Hall, with divers doctors, to the number of five hundred horse, which in the company of the Duke of Burgundy came to the city of Troyes the eleventh of March [TLN 3071-78]. The king, the queen, and the Lady Catherine them received, and heartily welcomed, showing great signs and tokens of love and amity.

87The articles of the peace concluded between King Henry and the French king.After a few days they fell to council, in which at length it was concluded that King Henry of England should come to Troyes and marry the lady Catherine, and the king her father after his death should make him heir of his realm, crown and dignity. It was also agreed that King Henry, during his father-in-law's life, should in his stead have the whole government of the realm of France as regent thereof, with many other covenants and articles, as after shall appear [TLN 3323-34]. To the performance whereof it was accorded that all the nobles and estates of the realm of France, as well spiritual as temporal, and also the cities and commonalties, citizens and burgesses of towns that were obeisant at that time to the French king, should take a corporal oath. These articles were not at the first in all points brought to a perfect conclusion, but after the effect and meaning of them was agreed upon by the commissioners, the Englishmen departed towards the king their master, and left Sir John Robsert behind to give his attendance on the lady Catherine.

88King Henry being informed by them of that which they had done, was well content with the agreement and with all diligence prepared to go unto Troyes. . . .

89The Duke of Burgundy, accompanied with many noblemen, received him two leagues without the town and conveyed him to his lodging. All his army was lodged in small villages thereabout. And King Henry cometh to Troyes to the French king.after that he had reposed himself a little, he went to visit the French king, the queen, and the Lady Catherine, whom he found in Saint Peter's church, where was a very joyous meeting betwixt them [TLN 2988-98] (and this was on the twentieth day of May) and there theKing Henry affieth the French king's daughter. King of England and the Lady Catherine were affianced [TLN 3338]. After this, the two kings and their council assembled together divers days, wherein the first concluded agreement was in divers points altered and brought to a certainty according to the effect above mentioned. When this great matter was finished, the kings sware for their parts to observe all the covenants of this league and agreement. Likewise the Duke of Burgundy and a great number of other princes and nobles which were present received an oath [TLN 3362-65]. . .

90The like oath a great number of the princes and nobles both spiritual and temporal which were present received at the same time. This done, the morrow after Trinity Sunday, being the third of June, the marriage was solemnized and fully consummate betwixt the King of England and the said Lady Catherine. Herewith was the King of England named and proclaimed heir and regent of France. And as the French king sent the copy of this treaty to every town in France, so the King of England sent the same in English unto every city and market town within his realm to be proclaimed and published. . . .

91Holinshed's summary of Henry V's life and character (p. 583-84)

This Henry was a king of life without spot; a prince whom all men loved and of The commendation of King Henry the Fifth as is expressed by Mast. Hall.none disdained; a captain against whom fortune never frowned nor mischance once spurned, whose people him -- so severe a justice -- both loved and obeyed, and so humane withal that he left no offense unpunished, nor friendship unrewarded; a terror to rebels and suppressor of sedition; his virtues notable, his qualities most praiseworthy.

92In strength and nimbleness of body from his youth few to him comparable, for in wrestling, leaping, and running, no man well able to compare. In casting of great iron bars and heavy stones he excelled commonly all men, never shrinking at cold nor slothful for heat; and when he most labored, his head commonly uncovered; no more weary of harness than a light cloak, very valiantly abiding at needs both hunger and thirst; so manful of mind as never seen to quinch at a wound or to smart at the pain; not to turn his nose from evil savor nor close his eyes from smoke or dust. No man more moderate in eating and drinking, with diet not delicate, but rather more meet for men of war than for princes of tender stomachs. Every honest person was permitted to come to him, sitting at meal, where either secretly or openly to declare his mind. High and weighty causes as well between men of war and other he would gladly hear, and either determined them himself or else for end committed them to others. He slept very little, but that very soundly [cf. TLN 2116-34], insomuch that when his soldiers sung at nights or minstrels played, he then slept fastest; of courage invincible, of purpose unmutable; so wise-hardy always as fear was banished from him; at every alarum he first in armor and foremost in ordering. In time of war such was his providence, bounty, and hap, as he had true intelligence not only what his enemies did, but what they said and intended; of his devices and purposes, few, before the thing was at the point to be done, should be made privy.

93He had such knowledge in ordering and guiding an army, with such a gift to encourage his people, that the Frenchmen had constant opinion he could never be vanquished in battle. Such wit, such prudence, and such policy withal, that he never enterprised anything before he had fully debated and forecast all the main chances that might happen, which done, with all diligence and courage he set his purpose forward. What policy he had in finding present remedies for sudden mischiefs, and what engines in saving himself and his people in sharp distresses, were it not that by his acts they did plainly appear, hard were it by words to make them credible. Wantonness of life and thirst in avarice had he quite quenched in him -- virtues indeed in such an estate of sovereignty, youth, and power as very rare, so right commendable in the highest degree. So staid of mind and countenance beside that never jolly or triumphant for victory nor sad or damped for loss or misfortune. For bountifulness and liberality, no man more free, gentle, and frank in bestowing rewards to all persons according to their deserts, for his saying was, that he never desired money to keep, but to give and spend [TLN 2268-71].

94Although that story properly serves not for theme of praise or dispraise, yet what in brevity may well be remembered, in truth would not be forgotten by sloth, were it but only to remain as a spectacle for magnanimity to have always in eye, and for encouragement to nobles in honorable enterprises. Known be it therefore, of person and form was this prince rightly representing his heroical affects: of stature and proportion tall and manly, rather lean than gross; somewhat long-necked and black-haired, of countenance amiable; eloquent and grave was his speech, and of great grace and power to persuade [TLN 79-91]. For conclusion, a majesty was he that both lived and died a pattern in princehood, a lodestar in honor, and mirror of magnificence [TLN 468]: the more highly exalted in his life, the more deeply lamented at his death, and famous to the world alway. . . .

95Thus ended this puissant prince his most noble and fortunate reign, whose life (saith Hall) though cruel Atropos abbreviated, yet neither fire, malice, nor fretting time shall appall his honor or blot out the glory of him that in so small time [TLN 3372] had done so manyW.P. and royal acts.