On this day in history : 31st August 1422 – The death of King Henry V…. He is succeeded by his only son and heir, Henry VI – who is just 9 months old….

King Henry V – Public domain

Henry V died suddenly at Chateau de Vincennes, in the royal fortress town of Vincennes, to the east of Paris…. He is believed by many to have died from dysentery; some historians think he contracted this at the Siege of Meaux – which was fought between the English and the French during the Hundred Years’ War…. He had become ill during the long battle, which had taken place during the winter months – it is, therefore, disputed that dysentery was the cause of his death as he would undoubtedly have died long before August…. Another possible cause could have been heatstroke, as he had been riding in full armour in the blistering heat…. Henry V was 35 years old and had reigned for nine years…. Just two years before, in 1420, he had married Catherine of Valois, the daughter of Charles VI of France – and their son Henry, was born at Windsor Castle on the 6th of December, 1421….

Henry’s marriage to Catherine of Valois – British Library – Public domain

Henry V had died before he could be crowned King of France…. His body was returned to England and on the 7th of November 1422 he was buried at Westminster Abbey…. Not long before his death he had named his brother, the Duke of Bedford, as Regent of France, in name of his young son Henry VI….

Henry VI was the youngest ever to succeed the throne…. On the 21st of October 1422 he also became the King of France, following the death of his grandfather, Charles VI of France – and in accordance with the terms of the Treaty of Troyes, which was made after Henry V’s victory in France….

Catherine of Valois was treated with suspicion by the English as she was the daughter of Charles VI and she was prevented from having a major part in the upbringing of her son…. On the 26th of September 1423 nobles of England summoned Parliament in the young King’s name to establish a regency council to govern until Henry VI came of age…. The Duke of Bedford was appointed Senior Regent of the Realm….

Henry VI was headstrong and unruly as a child – but finally in 1437 he was considered old enough to rule for himself….

King Henry VI – Public domain

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