4.3 100 Years War: Lancastrian Phase

The Lancastrian Phase was the third identifiable period of the Hundred Years’ War. The phase takes its name from Henry IV (the first English king from the House of Lancaster). Henry IV didn’t accomplish much except plan for renewed war with France; however, his son (the future Henry V) brought the English to the height of their power in France. Henry V was actually accepted by the French as their next king (except he died before assuming the throne).

The French offered Henry V peace in 1414. He knew they were weak so he rejected the offer. Instead, in 1415 he landed with an army in Normandy with the intention of marching on France’s capital, Paris. Henry chose not to march on Paris and decided to raid north-western France instead. During his raiding campaign, he fought the French at the Battle of Agincourt. The French defeat was catastrophic as they lost many soldiers and important leaders.

A Map of France in 1415
A Map of France in 1429 following Henry V's success
1415 1429

henry vBetween the years 1416 to 1419 the English repeatedly defeated the French during both land and naval battles. Under the leadership of Henry V (shown at left), the English regained control of Normandy after 200 years of French control. Henry then made an alliance with the Burgundians in 1419.

Henry’s victory seemed to be complete after he forced King Charles VI of France to sign the Treaty of Troyes. According to this treaty Henry would marry Charles’ daughter, Catherine of Valois; and then technically Henry’s heirs would thereafter inherit the throne of France. Consequently, Charles VI declared his son (Charles VII) illegitimate.

Henry V died unexpectedly in 1422. Shortly after his death Henry V's infant son was crowned King Henry VI of England and France. Despite Henry VI's coronation some French lords continued to resist the English. These lords remained loyal to the disinherited Charles VII.