In Memory Of Agincourt 600 Years Ago — Peter Lawton — 26th October 2015.

Most will be famil­iar with the battle of Agincourt as an example of the few defeat­ing the many. In times of war, lead­ers have often sought inspir­a­tion from Henry 5th’s vic­tory. Arthur Machen’s The Bowmen of England, Winston Churchill after the Battle of Britain and the D Day Landings Band of broth­ers are all examples.

Peter Lawton’s bril­liant talk set the scene by explain­ing the polit­ical back­ground to the French and English mon­arch­ies from Philippe III and Edward II for 100 years before 1415. Henry 5th reign (1413–1422) star­ted with an unsub­stan­tial claim to the throne as had Charles 6th of France and he needed a vic­tory to show that God was on his side. Earlier, Henry had been badly wounded by an arrow that pen­et­rated his head by his left eye emer­ging behind his ear. At the time, it was claimed that the arrow had been suc­cess­fully removed but Peter sus­pects that his brain was dam­aged making him a reli­gious maniac.

Henry gathered a total of 11,651 men includ­ing 650 arch­ers to invade France. His navy had only 9 ships and he arres­ted 740 more ships for the 2 day jour­ney to cross the Channel to Harfleur where the gar­rison fell to his army. With 2,000 dead and 1693 men inval­ided, Henry set out appar­ently for Calais. He might not have been sur­prised to be inter­cep­ted by a French army, but the ensu­ing march around this army exhausted his sup­plies. When Charles’ main army links up with his other army, he out­numbered Henry’s force by at least five times.

Peter explained the battle events and how the French aris­to­cracy ignored the French King’s General battle plan. This res­ul­ted in the equi­val­ent of crowd crush­ing and a rel­at­ively easy target for Henry’s men to slaughter their oppon­ents.

The talk was spell bound­ing and the ques­tion­ing ses­sion dis­played Peter’s enorm­ous know­ledge of the sub­ject. Peter is a lec­turer of the highest cal­ibre.