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Henry the Fifth

This, the Archbishop says, is strange, in view of the frivolity of his earlier years.

I. i. 89. Edward. King Henry's claim to the French throne rested upon his descent from Philip IV of France. Henry's great-grandfather, Edward III of England, was the son of Isabella, daughter to Philip IV. Her three brothers died without male heirs. Upon the death of the third (Charles IV), Isabella claimed the French throne for her son Edward; but an assembly of French peers and barons barred the English king's claim, declaring that 'no woman, nor therefore her son, could in accordance with custom succeed to the monarchy of France.' Later the doctrine thus enunciated became known as the Salic law. (Cf. I. ii. 38.) The crown of France passed to a younger branch of the French royal family of Capet.

I. ii. 11. law Salique. The Salic law is stated, in Latin, in line 38 below. (See preceding note.)

I. ii. 57. four hundred one-and-twenty years. In giving this figure, Shakespeare has perpetuated a mistake in arithmetic made by Holinshed. Throughout this long historical lecture Shakespeare is following his source very closely.

I. ii. 65. King Pepin. Pepin the Short, who usurped the throne of Childeric III in 751, was the first of the Carolingian family to take the title of King of the Franks.

I. ii. 69. Hugh Capet. First king of the family of Capet, who came to the throne in 987. The 'Lady Lingare' of line 74 appears to have been a totally fictitious personage. Ritson, commenting on this passage, says that 'these fictitious persons and pedigrees seem to have been devised by the English heralds.'

I. ii. 77. Lewis the Tenth. It should be Lewis the Ninth (Saint Louis, 1214-1270). Shakespeare copies the error from Holinshed.

I. ii. 94. Than amply to imbar their crooked titles.