Wednesday, November 11, 2015


2015 saw the celebration of 600 years since the Battle of Agincourt on 25 October 1415. As part of the commemorations of this battle between England and France the University of Southampton prepared a two week online course on this topic made available on the Future Learn site - The course looked at many aspects of the battle including why the battle is still significant, the background to the battle, information about medieval armies, equipment and weapons, clothes etc, logistics of establishing and maintaining an army in the fifteenth century, transporting troops overseas, feeding the troops, Southampton Plot, Siege of Harfleur as well as the actual Battle of Agincourt and its aftermath. The course also looked at historical records existing from the period and the challenges of using such records.

As well as a study of the battle this course provided an insight into medieval battles especially the many battles between England and what is now France in what has been called the Hundred Years War. Many books have been written on this period of history but for background reading I checked out the following books available in local libraries.

Henry V: leadership, strategy, conflict by James Cowper (2010) - a short illustrated introduction to the life and reign of  King Henry V of England.

Agincourt: Henry V and the battle that made England by Juliet Barker (2005) - a detailed study of the Battle of Agincourt.

Agincourt by Christopher Hibbert (1964) - a shorter study of the battle.

Agincourt: my family - the battle and the fight for France by Ranulph Fiennes (2014) - a study of the Battle of Agincourt with emphasis on the involvement of his ancestors in the battle.

Conquest: the English Kingdom of France (1417-1450) by Juliet Barker (2009) - a detailed study of the second invasion of France in 1417 by Henry V's army and subsequent conflict in France until the final defeat of the English in France in 1450.

Battlefield detectives: unearthing new evidence on the world's most famous battlefields by David Wason (2003)  - an examination of seven battles including Agincourt.

There are also a number of websites providing information about the Battle of Agincourt but one really worth investigating is Agincourt 600.

Next year it is proposed to run this course again over three weeks instead of two to include a more detailed study of  what happened after the Battle of Agincourt.

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