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A History of England Principally in the Seventeent

Burgundy declared himself ready to acknowledge him as King


At

the time that Henry V ascended the English throne, the Orleanists had again gained the preponderance in France: they unfurled the Oriflamme against the Duke of Burgundy, who was now in fact hard pressed. Henry negociated with them both. But while the Orleanists made difficulties about granting him the independent possession of the old English provinces, Burgundy declared himself ready to acknowledge him as King.[67] The common interests moreover of home politics allied him with this house.

Henry could reckon on the sympathies of a part of the population of France, when he led the power of England across the sea. A successful battle in which he destroyed the flower of the French nobility gave him an undoubted superiority. The vengeance which the Orleanists wreaked even under these circumstances on the Duke of Burgundy, who was now murdered in his turn, brought the Burgundian party over completely to his side, together with the greater part of the nation. Things went so far that Charles VI of France decided to marry his daughter to the victorious Lancaster and to acknowledge him, as his heir after his death, as his representative during his life.

It was a very extraordinary position which Henry V now occupied. The two great kingdoms, each of which by itself has earlier or later claimed to sway the world, were (without being fused into one) to remain united for ever under him and his successors. Philip the Good

of Burgundy was bound to him by ties of blood and by hostility to a common foe: as heir of France Henry sat in the Parliament by which the murderers of the last duke, who were also the chief opponents of the new state of things, were prosecuted. Another promising connexion was opened to him by the marriage of the youngest of his brothers with Jaqueline of Holland and Hainault, who possessed still more extensive hereditary claims. Henry recommended the eldest to Queen Johanna of Naples to be adopted as her son and heir. The King of Castile and the heir of Portugal were descended from his father's sisters. The pedigrees of Southern and Western Europe alike met in the house of Lancaster, the head of which thus seemed to be the common head of all.

In England Henry did not neglect to guard the rights of the National Church; but at the same time no one exerted himself more energetically to close the schism: the solemn condemnation of Wiclif's doctrines by the General Council of Constance served to vouch for his attitude in religious matters: the English Church obtained in it a place among the great National Churches.

Henry V found himself in the advantageous position of a potentate raised to power by a usurpation for which he was not however personally responsible. He could spare and reinstate Richard II's memory, as much as in him lay, though he owed the crown to his overthrow. That he furthered and advanced also in France the municipal and parliamentary interests, which were his mainstay in England, procured him the obedience which was there paid him, and a European influence. In his moral


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