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CORONATION OF HENRY V OF ENGLAND THE TERONE SURROUNDED BY TEE FIRST ECCLESIASTICAL

AND LAY PEERS: THE FORMER DOING HOMAGE.

[graphic]

CHAPTER V.

HENRY V. SUCCEEDS TO THE THRONE OF ENGLAND - MAKES

WAR ON FRANCE - SIEGE OF HARFLEUR.

HENRY V. of England succeeded to the crown in March, 1413. His father, who in reality possessed no claim to the throne, had felt throughout his reign the difficulty of his position, and the necessity of keeping the minds of the people from examining too closely the grounds of his title. Domestic disturbances had prevented him from engaging in foreign war, but we have seen that he looked with interest upon the distracted condition of France, and had taken measures to continue those dissensions, until he should be prepared to take advantage of them. His dying advice to his son was not to allow the English to remain

was desirous of securing Henry's friendship, but could not grant all his demands, without depriving himself of all power, and becoming a dependant, instead of a sovereign. He offered, however, to give him his daughter, the county of Guienne, and a greater extent of territory in the South of France than Edward III. had been content to accept in lieu of Normandy. But Henry, who refused to accept any thing short of his demand, had not ceased to push forward his preparations, and when he gave his final answer to the French ambassadors, he was already at Winchester, on his way to join the army he had assembled at Southampton

Having completed his preparations, Henry put to sea with a numerous army, and landing near Harfleur, on the 24th of August, 1415, immediately proceeded to lay siege to that town.

He pushed the siege vigorously, and the town was defended stoutly; but finding themselves unable to hold it out without assistance, the inhabitants made an agreement to surrender it, if they received no aid before the 18th of September. They sent notice of this to the King of France, but he was unable to assist them in time, and they were, consequently, obliged to open the gates to King Henry, who entered and took possession of the place. The nobles and men-at-arms in the town were suffered to go on condition of surrendering themselves prisoners, or giving ransom at Calais on Michaelmas day. The rest of the inhabitants were obliged to ransom themselves with large sums of money, and were then driven out with numbers of women and children, to each of whom was given five sous, and part of their clothing. It was pitiful to see and hear the sorrow of these

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