The beautiful village of Tattenhall in Cheshire
Webteam: October 2015
Six hundred years ago, if Shakespeare is to be believed, King Henry V made one of the most stirring speeches; this is a part of it:
'And Crispin Crispian shall ne'er go by,
From this day to the ending of the world,
But we in it shall be remembered-
We few, we happy few, we band of brothers;
For he to-day that sheds his blood with me
Shall be my brother; be he ne'er so vile,
This day shall gentle his condition;
And gentlemen in England now-a-bed
Shall think themselves accurs'd they were not here,
And hold their manhoods cheap whiles any speaks
That fought with us upon Saint Crispin's day'.
These words inspired leaders like Nelson, Washington and Churchill and were immortalised on screen by Laurence Olivier and Kenneth Branagh.
On 25th October 1415, against overwhelming odds, the archers and men at arms of England and Wales defeated a much larger French army. It is reckoned that there were between six and nine thousand English and Welsh, predominantly archers, and probably fifteen thousand or more French; and Henry's victory was down to the longbow.
It is known that many of Henry's archers came from Cheshire, Maelor and around Wrexham. As we approach Remembrance Sunday, when many of us will think of the names of those Tattenhall men who gave the lives for their country in World Wars I and II, it is fascinating to note that some of the same names appear on the rolls of Henry V's army at Agincourt. These names include a Dutton, Brereton, Harper, Bowker and Tilney. And fourteen of Henry's archers were Leches whose family owned land at Carden from 1346 until the 1980s.
So, if your forebears hail from this corner of the country we'd love to know whether any of them fought at Agincourt.
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