16-22 November 1415 – Henry Returns to England


By Dan Spencer

Several chronicles tell us that Henry arrived back in England on 16 November at Dover and then made his way towards London. He was no longer accompanied by the army, which had been disbanded at Calais and transported in stages to different ports, such as Sandwich, Dover, Portsmouth and Southampton. Instead he was only accompanied by a relatively small entourage and his most important prisoners, such as Charles, duke of Orléans, the duke of Bourbon, the counts of Eu, Vendóme and Richemont, and Marschal Boucicaut.

The Brut chronicle then states that Henry went to Barham Down, where he was greeted by members of the Cinque Ports. This was an important confederation of ports (mostly based in south-eastern England) who had been given special privileges in return for supplying fifty-seven ships each year for fifteen days at their own expense. Earlier the same year, the Kentish town of New Romney, spent money on repairing ships used for the service of the king and in sending supplies to Calais for the army.

For more details about the Cinque Ports in 1415 click here

Henry’s entourage then moved onto the city Canterbury where he made an offering at the shrine of Thomas Becket. This was the main place of pilgrimage in England which meant that it was a wealthy settlement, with the citizens of Canterbury having previously lent the king 100 marks (£66 13s 4d) for the expedition. Henry then proceeded onto to Eltham Palace on the outskirts of London before his entry into the city on 23 November.

This information came from Nicholas Harris, ed., A Chronicle of London from 1089 to 1483 (London: Longmans, 1827); Anne Curry, Agincourt: A New History (Stroud: Tempus, 2005), pp. 284-5.

Image of Dover Castle taken from Wikipedia, licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license, author Webzooloo