Saint Crispin's Day

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Martyrdom of Crispin and Crispinian, by Aert van den Bossche, 1494

Saint Crispin's Day falls on 25 October and is the feast day of the Christian saints Crispin and Crispinian (also known as Crispinus and Crispianus, though this spelling has fallen out of favour), twins who were martyred c. 286.[1] It is a day most famous for the battles that occurred on it, including the Battle of Agincourt in 1415, the Battle of Balaklava (Charge of the Light Brigade) during the Crimean War in 1854 and the Battle of Leyte Gulf in the Pacific theatre in 1944.

The Battle of Agincourt was dramatised by William Shakespeare in Henry V featuring the St. Crispin's Day Speech in which Henry inspired his much outnumbered English forces to fight the French saying "the fewer men, the greater share of honour".

The feast day of Saints Crispin and Crispinian is 25 October. Although this feast was removed from the Roman Catholic Church's universal liturgical calendar following the Second Vatican Council, the two saints are still commemorated on that day in the most recent edition of the Roman Martyrology. The feast remains as a "Black Letter Saints' Day" in the calendar of the Anglican Book of Common Prayer (1662) and a "commemoration" in Common Worship (2000).

Other battles[edit]

In addition to the Battle of Agincourt, the Battle of Balaklava, and the Battle of Leyte Gulf, the third day of the Battle of El Alamein also took place on October 25, and on the other side of the world the Battle of Henderson Field was fought on Guadalcanal. Two years later (1944) important naval battles took place at Cape Engano, Samar Island and in the Straits of Surigao; in the latter, the Japanese fleet was effectively destroyed. In 1315, a century before Agincourt, Adam Banastre, Henry de Lea and William Bradshaw, led an attack on Liverpool Castle. An early battle of the U.S. Civil War, the second battle of Springfield, Missouri, was fought on October 25, 1861, and was a Union victory. Another forgotten battle in that war, the Battle of Marais Des Cygnes River, Kansas (Mine Creek), was fought on that day in 1864.


  1. ^ "Ss. Crispin and Crispinian". New Advent. Retrieved August 5, 2010. 

Adam Banastre, Henry de Lea and William Bradshaw, led an attack on Liverpool Castle.