Henry V has been described as ‘the greatest man that ever ruled England’, yet the circumstances of his accession 600 years ago in March 1413 did not hint at his future successes. Disputes over foreign policy and a strained relationship with his father, Henry IV, foreshadowed his succession, and as king he was soon faced with rebellion and religious unrest in the shape of Oldcastle’s Lollard uprising. Using documents in The National Archives, James Ross explores the troubled times of Henry’s accession and reveals a man very different to Shakespeare’s picture of a playboy prince.
Dr James Ross is a principal medieval records specialist at The National Archives. His particular research interests focus on late medieval politics, law and society.