March 20

This Day in History

General Interest

Mar 20, 1413:

Henry V ascends upon father's death

King Henry IV, the first English monarch of the Lancastrian dynasty, dies after years of illness, and his eldest son, Henry, ascends to the English throne.

In 1399, Henry Bolingbroke was crowned King Henry IV of England following the forced abdication of King Richard II, who was greatly weakened by internal conflicts stemming from his quarrels with Parliament. In later years, Henry IV was a chronic invalid, and his son Henry presided over the king's royal council. Young Henry also led armies against Owen Glendower and the Welsh rebels, and figured largely in the English victory over the Welsh at the Battle of Shrewdsbury.

After his ascendance to the throne in March 1413, the main effort of King Henry V's reign was his claim, through his great-grandfather Edward III, to the French crown. In 1415, Henry invaded France and won a stunning victory against great odds at the Battle of Agincourt in northern France. By 1419, Normandy was again under English control, and in 1420 the Perpetual Peace of Troyes was concluded, under which Henry married Catherine of Valois, the daughter of King Charles VI of France, and was recognized as regent of France and heir to the French throne. His triumph, however, was short-lived. During a siege of Melun and Meaux, his ill health grew worse, and in August 1422 Henry died of camp fever at Vincennes.

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