By Stephen Cooper
In the great St Crispin’s Day speech, Shakespeare’s Henry V tells his followers:
‘He that outlives this day, and comes safe home,
Will stand a tip-toe when this day is nam’d,
And rouse him at the name of Crispian.’
In fact, the English casualties at Agincourt were light, and there must have been many who ‘came safe home’. There are certainly many myths and legends about these men. One of them concerns Sir Piers Legh of Lyme Hall in Cheshire. He undoubtedly fought at Agincourt, but it has been claimed at various times that he was knighted, wounded and killed there; and there is also a story, told by the guides at Lyme Hall, that his mastiff stood over his master to protect him from further harm, that the dog returned home afterwards to sire the famous breed of Lyme Hall mastiffs, and was afterwards buried in the woods in the Park.
Image of St Martin’s Church, Stoney Middleton, Derbyshire, taken from Wikipedia and is in the Public Domain