Battle of Agincourt

1415 English victory in the Hundred Years' War

The Battle of Agincourt (French: Azincourt) was an English victory in the Hundred Years' War. It took place on 25 October 1415 (Saint Crispin's Day) near Azincourt, in northern France. The unexpected English victory against the numerically superior French army boosted English morale and prestige, crippled France, and started a new period of English dominance in the war that would last for 14 years until England was defeated by France in 1429 at the Siege of Orléans.

Historical edit

Primary edit

  • May it please you, my Liege, there are enough to be kill'd, enough to be taken Priseners, and enough to run away.
    • Capt. David Gam, who attended King Henry with a party of Welshmen, having been sent to review the strength of the French, made this report to the King.
    • Quoted in Thomas Goodwin, The History of the Reign of Henry the Fifth (1704), p. 81

Secondary edit

  • HENRY V was a most Heroick Prince; and his single Victory at Agencourt might have afforded Matter for more Volumes than (as far as I can yet learn) have been written on his whole Reign.

Literary edit

  • Chorus:
    ... the very casques
    That did affright the air at Agincourt.
  • King Henry:
    This day is called the feast of Crispian:
    He that outlives this day, and comes safe home,
    Will stand a tip-toe when the day is named,
    And rouse him at the name of Crispian.
    He that shall live this day, and see old age,
    Will yearly on the vigil feast his neighbours,
    And say 'To-morrow is Saint Crispian:'
    Then will he strip hissleeve and show his scars.
    And say 'These wounds I had on Crispin's day.'
    Old men forget: yet all shall be forgot,
    But he'll remember with advantages
    What feats he did that day: then shall our names.
    Familiar in his mouth as household words
    Harry the king, Bedford and Exeter,
    Warwick and Talbot, Salisbury and Gloucester,
    Be in their flowing cups freshly remember'd.
  • Montjoy:
    I come to thee for charitable licence,
    That we may wander o'er this bloody field
    To look our dead, and then to bury them;
    To sort our nobles from our common men.
    For many of our princes--woe the while!—
    Lie drown'd and soak'd in mercenary blood;
    So do our vulgar drench their peasant limbs
    In blood of princes; and their wounded steeds
    Fret fetlock deep in gore and with wild rage
    Yerk out their armed heels at their dead masters,
    Killing them twice. O, give us leave, great king,
    To view the field in safety and dispose
    Of their dead bodies!
  • King Henry: What is this castle call'd that stands hard by?
    Montjoy: They call it Agincourt.
    King Henry: Then call we this the field of Agincourt,
    Fought on the day of Crispin Crispianus.
  • With Spanish yew so strong,
    Arrows a cloth-yard long
    That like to serpents stung,
      Piercing the weather;
    None from his fellow starts,
    But playing manly parts,
    And like true English hearts
      Stuck close together.
    When down their bows they threw,
    And forth their bilbos drew,
    And on the French they flew,
      Not one was tardy;
    Arms were from shoulders sent,
    Scalps to the teeth were rent,
    Down the French peasants went—
      Our men were hardy.
  • Upon Saint Crispin’s Day
    Fought was this noble fray,
    Which fame did not delay
      To England to carry.
    O when shall English men
    With such acts fill a pen?
    Or England breed again
      Such a King Harry?
  • Agincourt, Agincourt! know ye not Agincourt?
      Where the English slew and hurt
        All the French foemen?
      With our guns and bills brown,
      O, the French were beat down,
        Morris-pikes and bowmen!
    • Thomas Heywood, "Song of the English Bowmen"
    • Variants: "the" om. before "English", "their French" for "the French", "their pikes" for "our guns", "How" for "O," "Shot by our" for "Morris-pikes and"

External links edit

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