The Battle of Agincourt


"When Henry V became King, Sir Thomas was one of the charmed circle. Though no longer a young man he went with the King to Honfleur and Agincourt - and truly entered history.

Henry V had picked a fight with the French Dauphin to take his nobles minds off his shaky claim to the English throne. He won a siege at Honfleur but at the expense of the health and fitness of his soldiers. When they marched on towards Calais they were exhausted and suffering from dysentery.

They met the French at Agincourt where they were outnumbered by at least 5 to 1.

But the English met the French between two woods where they could not be outflanked and the French nobles – certain of victory – rode out to meet them at the head of the troops instead of allowing their men at arms to go first.

Sir Thomas had the strategic job of marshalling the English line and, as commander of the long-bow archers, to see to their placement. It is thought he placed his archers as shown on the map. Once that was done he rode along his ranks, exhorting them in the King's name and giving the signal for battle by throwing his baton into the air and calling  “Nestroque”  thought to mean now strike.

The French noblemen were met with a hail of arrows and those who survived turned back onto their own troops. The battle was a rout and many of the French were killed or taken hostage.  They were dealt with ruthlessly by Henry V – most being slaughtered to prevent a counter charge.

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