After six centuries one would think that nothing about the Agincourt campaign could still be “news”, but a discovery just this month demonstrates that this assumption would be erroneous:
The wreck of Henry V’s warship the Holigost has been found buried deep in the mud of a Hampshire river after being lost for hundreds of years.
The flagship of the Duke of Bedford was the second of four ‘great ships’ built for Henry’s campaign against the French in the Hundred Years War, and joined the fleet just a month after the Battle of Agincourt in 1415.
It was spotted by historian Dr Ian Friel while studying aerial pictures of a medieval breaker’s yard at Burseldon on the River Hamble where Henry’s own flagship The Grace Dieu had been found in the 1930s. A subsequent search through records from the time revealed that the Holigost had indeed been laid up at the site.
Now Historic England is to launch a large scale archaeological investigation into the warship which played a crucial role in two battles which broke French naval power and enabled Henry to conquer France in the early 15th century.
History is a process and not a final destination.