Who’s Who – Henry V

A guide to the key figures in the Henry V episode:

The Royal Family

Henry V – the King!

Thomas, 1st Duke of Clarence – the eldest of Henry’s three younger brothers. A hot-headed soldier. Killed in 1420 at the Battle of Bauge (the podcast incorrectly says this was Bedford!)

John, 1st Duke of Bedford – the middle brother, a capable soldier and statesman.

Humphrey, 1st Duke of Gloucester – the youngest brother, a less able soldier but still fought at Agincourt and idolised Henry.

Catherine de Valois – Henry’s wife, daughter of King Charles VI of France.

The Dead (featured in the last episode but relevant to this one too!)

Henry IV – Henry V’s father and the previous monarch who seized the throne from Richard II in 1399 and faced rebellions throughout his reign.

Richard II – King from 1377-99 and deposed by his cousin, Henry IV. Overthrown following years of promoting a narrow clique of nobles at the expense of the Lancastrians.

Edward III – heroic 14th century king and Henry V’s great-grandfather who started the Hundred Years War and won great victories over France. The 1360 Treaty of Bretigny gave him rights to extensive French territories which Henry V used as a cause for war.

The French

Charles VI – king of France and suffering from a mental illness that left him unable to govern and the French in civil war.

John the Fearless – the Duke of Burgundy, chose to ally himself with Henry V in order to defeat the rival Armagnacs.

The Dauphin – Charles of Valois, son of Charles VI and the rival to the Burgundians who hoped to inherit the French throne.

Family Fortunes – Wars of the Roses

We haven’t quite got there yet, but we’re moving towards the Wars of the Roses, the dynastic struggle between the Houses of Lancaster and. It all stems from the many children of Edward III and this is it’s shaping up…

The Lancastrians

  • Descended from the first marriage of the third son of Edward III, John of Gaunt.
  • Henry V was the Lancastrian king and his line passes on to his only son and heir, Henry VI.
  • None of Henry V’s brothers leave legitimate heirs, meaning Henry VI is the last of the main Lancastrian line

The Beaufort’s (pseudo-Lancastrian)

  • Descended from John of Gaunt’s third marriage. As he married after the birth of these children, their legitimacy was questioned
  • Most powerful descendant is Edmund Beaufort (Duke of Somerset) in the reign of Henry VI

The Tudor’s (pseudo-pseudo Lancastrians)

  • Owen Tudor: sent to the English court at the age of 7 during reign of Henry IV; promoted to squire in household of Catherine de Valois
  • Marriage: 1429, marries Catherine de Valois and later knighted by Henry VI
  • Children: Jasper and Edmund Tudor made earls by Henry VI

The Mortimer’s

  • Descended from Edward III’s second son, Lionel of Antwerp
  • Lionel’s only child was a daughter who married into the Mortimer family
  • The last of the line was Edmund Mortimer (5thEarl of March) – he had no children so his inheritance went to his nephew, Richard Plantagenet

The Yorkists

  • Descended from Edward III’s fourth son, Edmund of Langley
  • Edmund has two sons: Richard of Conisburgh and Edward of Norwich
  • Richard of Conisburgh is executed for his part in the Southampton plot and succeeded by his son, Richard Plantagenet
  • Edward of Norwich (Duke of York) is killed at the Battle of Agincourt and leaves no heir, meaning his estates pass to his nephew, Richard Plantagenet

The Neville’s (Yorkist sympathisers)

  • Powerful noble family who joined the royal elites when Ralph Neville married Joan Beaufort, a daughter of John of Gaunt
  • Ralph and Joan have many children, most notably Cecily and Richard Neville
  • Cecilly Neville: betrothed to Richard Plantagenet in 1424 (marrying in 1429)
  • Richard Neville: became Earl of Salisbury and major player in Wars of the Roses; son, also called Richard Neville, became Warwick the Kingmaker

(And yes, that is the same Richard Plantagenet – now Richard, Duke of York – throughout. He is, therefore, pretty powerful. So powerful, in fact, that he could even stake a claim to the throne…)