15-21 June 1415 – Loans for the Expedition and Sir John Tiptoft

By Dan Spencer

As preparations for the expedition continued apace the need for cash to fund these activities became ever pressing, as did the need to reassure creditors that their loans would one day be repaid.

It was for this reason that Henry ordered Thomas, earl of Arundel, treasurer of England, on 16 June, to allocate the revenues from the taxation of wool at the port of Boston, to repay loans totalling £500, which had been given by the bishops of Hereford and Lincoln to fund the war effort.

The loan of 10,000 marks from the city of London, first negotiated in March, was handed over and as security, on 16 June Richard Courtenay, bishop of Norwich, treasurer of the royal chamber and keeper of the king’s jewels (and one of Henry V’s closest friends), handed over to the mayor and commonalty a large collar of gold weighing 56 ounces.’ (for further details click here)

Henry V had left London on 15 June to move towards the south coast in preparation for the embarkation for France. With the duke of York, the earls of March, Dorset, Arundel, Oxford and Huntingdon, Lord Roos and Sir John Cornwall, he heard mass in St Pauls Cathedral before processing out of the city in the presence of the mayor and leading citizens, across London Bridge to the Augustinian priory of St Mary Overy at Southwark (now Southwark Cathedral) and then on to Winchester. He spent the night of 16 June at Wolvesey Castle, the palace of the bishop of Winchester close to the cathedral. On that same day envoys from Charles VI, king of France, arrived in the city. They were to meet with the king in Winchester later the same month.

Later the same week, on 19 June, the king ordered three men, Sir John Darundell, Richard Chedder and Robert Welton, to take the muster of soldiers in the retinue of Sir John Tiptoft, seneschal of Gascony, for service in south-western France. He had indented to serve there with two knights, 77 men-at-arms and 400 archers. Whilst the main campaign was to be in Normandy Henry was also keen to ensure the defence of Gascony. Sending troops was also a way of deceiving the French into thinking the main campaign might be in SW France too.

Tiptoft had a long career in the service of the Lancastrian kings. He was among 46 esquires who were knighted on the eve of the coronation of Henry IV in 1399. Subsequently he served the king in military campaigns against the Welsh and fought at the Battle of Shewsbury in the retinue of the earl of Somerset. In the following year, Tiptoft was elected to represent Huntingdonshire in the parliaments of January and October 1404.  Two years later, in the parliament of 1406, he was chosen to be Speaker for the House of Commons. The king’s favour meant that by this year he was in receipt of over £91 per annum from fees and annuities. On 8 December 1406 he was appointed Treasurer of the Household, a position which he held until 17 July 1408. By 1414 he had acquired substantial properties in Somerset through marriage and represented the county in the parliament of the same year.

This information came from the Calendar of the Patent Rolls 1413-16, pp. 338, 437; Anne Curry, Agincourt: A New History (Stroud: Tempus, 2005), p. 50; The History of Parliament. The House of Commons 1386-1421, ed. J.S. Roskell, L. Clark and C. Rawcliffe (Stroud, 1992), vol. 4; I. Mortimer, 1415. Henry V’s Year of Glory (London, 2009)

Image of Southwark Cathedral, taken from Wikipedia, licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Generic license, author Kevin Danks