chapter  5
42 Pages

Consolidation and conquest, 1415–19

By the evening of 25 October, a large barn at the village of Maisoncelle had been piled high with faggots to serve as a funeral pyre for the English dead. Next day, it was still smouldering as Henry V’s army resumed its march to Calais in the steady autumn rain to which it had become so accustomed. Weighed down with items looted from their enemies, still seriously short of food and also lacking horses, England’s victorious soldiers faced a far from triumphant journey. In the fi elds, woods and hedgerows round about lay the scattered bodies of those who had died from their wounds. And in the hamlets through which the English now passed, there was little on offer beyond fear, grief and sullen loathing. There were, moreover, still forty-fi ve weary miles ahead – a distance that would take another four days to cover.