chapter  3
The Lancastrian legacy
War and diplomacy
Pages 18

The dynastic ambitions of the House of Lancaster clashed with the largely domestic priorities of the Lancastrian affinity and public. The royal court in late medieval England was a cosmopolitan place. The mainstay of political discourse was domestic - taxation, purveyance, justice, and the issue of counsel - and the question of England's Continental neighbours arose most frequently in English minds in the context of war, the Plantagenet ruling elite was essentially French speaking and shared a deep-rooted and long-standing cultural affinity with its fellow European princely houses. John of Gaunt's European adventures had been hard headed and practical, those of his son constituted another facet of the complex Lancastrian legacy. Henry Bolingbroke embodied the chivalric, martial ideal of the great European princely houses. Crucially, in the early fifteenth century mixed with the devotion, piety, and loyalty that came to define Lancastrian identity and that found its fullest expression in the divinely sanctioned conquest of France by Henry V.