King Henry V – a Monmouth Treasure

mon-13The royal families of Europe have a number of notable interesting characters that have caught the attention and imagination over the years, and King Henry the V is certainly no exception. King Henry V is of particular interest to the Welsh, and specifically the inhabitants of Monmouth, as this is the town where he was born. The King led a very interesting life.

Oddly, there is no official record of when the King was born. No record of the day month and not even the year. There are dubious accounts that his birthday was on the 9th of August in the year 1387 but these remain unreliable. A particular date proposed is from a horoscope made for the King by a French astrologist who in time was found guilty of being a spy. What is known, however, that he was born on castle grounds, in the Queens chambers, in Monmouth.

King Henry V had a complex and close relationship with another king. A king who kidnapped him.

King Richard II held young Henry hostage as collateral again Henry’s father – King Henry Bolingbroke. In many instances where kings warred against one another, they would take out their revenge and hurt their enemies by holding hostage and torture their captive family members. But in the case of Henry, King Richard took a liking to the young man and, on an infamous long journey into Ireland, he even knighted him.

Later on, when King Richard II died and was buried in a nondescript grave, King Henry exhumed him and had him properly buried in the famous and worthy Westminster Abbey. King Henry V was also buried in Westminster Abbey in close proximity to Richard, and he famously had an effigy placed by his tomb with a head of solid silver, which was eventually stolen.