Shakespeare and history

by admin on 9 October 2015

I had the opportunity over the summer to play the Agincourt Archer in a key historical location.

With my re-enactment group, the Paladins of Chivalry, we attended an English Heritage event at Portchester Castle in Portsmouth.

This was where what is commonly referred to as the ‘Southampton / Cambridge Plot’ actually played itself out. Shakespeare also placed these events in Southampton in Henry V.

It was an attempt by a group of conspirators led by Richard, Earl of Cambridge, to kill Henry V and place the Earl of March on the throne. Other major conspirators included Sir Thomas Grey, and Baron Scrope. The unmasking and arrests took place in the impressive keep of Portchester Castle.

I was able to adjust the script to include the story of what the events must have looked like to an ordinary archer in the castle awaiting orders to board his boat to France.

Being able to perform it in those castle walls almost to the day it happened (plus a few hundred years) was a treat of an experience.

Not only that I was able to take part in a read performance of that part of Henry V.

A memorable weekend!


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