Did your ancestor serve on the campaign?
In this task, you will have the opportunity to explore an online database recording the names of medieval soldiers between 1369 and 1453. Can you find your own name? Did your ancestor fight at Agincourt?
This task uses the database ‘The Soldier in Medieval England,’ which contains the names of tens of thousands of men who served the English Crown between 1369 and 1453. The battle of Agincourt sits within this period and so the database provides us with an opportunity to obtain the names of the men who went to France with Henry V in 1415.
In this task, you will begin exploring the database by investigating the soldiers who served with one of the English captains on the campaign: Thomas, Lord Camoys, who commanded the rearguard at the battle.
How to use the database
- Click on the database link.
- You will see several search boxes. In the area under the title ‘advanced,’ type in the box which says ‘captain.’ Type our first captain’s name like this: Camoys%Thomas%. [Make sure you include the % symbols]. In the boxes ‘year from’ and ‘year to’ write 1415.
- Then click the ‘search’ button on the right.
- You will see a detailed list of men who served in Camoys’ retinue, including their names and role in the army.
- Now try the same search for other captains, such as the Earl of Huntingdon (write: %Huntingdon%), or Robert, Lord Willoughby (write: Willoughby%Robert%).
- Now try experimenting with the database by altering your search terms to put in name, date or rank, or a mixture of terms.
- Answer the questions below and share your findings and impressions in the comments area.
Go to The Soldier in Medieval England database.
Using the database, can you find the answers to the following questions?
- Can you spot any family connections in the retinues of Camoys, Huntingdon or Willoughby?
- Can you get the database to show you all of the names of men who served on the Agincourt campaign in 1415? How did you do this?
- How are the different types of soldier described?
- What are the most common first names?
- What other information does the database tell you?
Using the database to find other information
You can also use the database to find out other information by changing the field that you are searching by. In this way, you can search for your own name or the names of close family members.
Note: if you can’t find your name immediately, try alternative spellings! Medieval names were not standardised so the form of certain names may vary.
You can also find out about the French Army by following the ‘Agincourt600’ link in the ‘about’ tab of the database.
© University of Southampton 2015