swuklink: Richard II of England  
King of England (1377-1399)
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Richard, the son of the Black Prince, succeeded his grandfather Edward III in 1377 when he was only ten years old and the eighth and last king of England of the House of Plantagenet.

His uncles and other nobles vied for control of the kingdom in his name and added to the discontent caused by the economic turmoil England had been thrown into by the Black Death in his grandfather's reign. The discontent resulted in the rising of the peasantry lead by Wat Tyler and Jack Straw. When the insurgents arrived at London, the boy-king rode up to meet them and persuaded them to disperse by making promises which were never kept - the leaders of the rising were severly punished.

Like Edward II bfore him, Richard II put his trust in favourites and achieved similar results - the anger of the barons. For a period, however, Richard used his power in moderation to maintain the upper hand and avoid war.

The king's unwise generousity towards his favourites, led Thomas, Duke of Gloucester and four other magnates to form the 'Lord's Appellant' who convicted five of Richard's closest advisors for treason.

In 1397, Richard arrested three of the five Lords, sentencing them to death, and banished the other two. One of those exciled was Henry Bolingbroke, the eldest son of John of Gaunt, who was originally banished for 10 years. On the death of John of Gaunt in 1399, Richard confiscated the vast Lancastrian estates which were Bolingbroke's inheritance.

Without warning, the monarch turned on his uncle Thomas, Duke of Gloucester, charging him with treason allegedly committed earlier in the reign and imprisoned him. Gloucester was murdered during his imprisonment. The barons were alarmed and two of his opponents charged each other with treason; one was Henry, Earl of Hereford and Derby, his cousin and the oldest surviving son of Edward III, John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster; the other was Thomas Mowbray, Duke of Norfolk. Richard took the oportunity to banish both opponents. On the death of Lancaster, Richard seized his estates (which should have been inherited by Hereford) and departed for Ireland.

Hereford returned to England to do no more than claim his inheritance but, when the King returned to England, the angered nobles had deserted him and Hereford now insisted that he help the monarch to rule better.

Richard II surrendered to Hereford and was taken to London as his prisoner. Once there, the King was forced to sign his abdication and his captor claimed the throne as the grandson of Edward III. Parliament accepted Henry, Duke of Hereford's claim and he was crowned as Henry IV (1399-1413), the first king of England of the House of Lancaster.

The deposed king was murdered while in prison, the first casualty of the Wars of the Roses between the houses of Lancaster and York.

When Henry V (1413-1422) succeeded his father, Henry IV, to the throne he was determined to rule a country which was united and one of the first acts of his reign was to have the body of Richard II interred properly.

Richard II is the first king of England whose appearance we can be certain of, in large part due to his own efforts to raise the persoanl standing of the monarchy through the use of artistic representation. The most notable extant example is the Wilton diptych (a portable alter-piece bearing Richard's portrait) which now hangs in Westminster Abbey.

It was during Richard's reign that the magnificent hammer beam roof was built over Westminster Hall where parliament and king's court often sat.

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What became known as the 'Hundred Years War' with France started in the reign of Richard's grandfather, Edward III, and provided his father, Edward the Black Prince, with spectacular victories on the continent. Richard's policy of seeking peace with France was opposed by many of the magnates who profitted greatly from the warfare and all were opposed to the loss of any French territory.

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John of gaunt, Duke of Lancaster   (1340-1399)
Richard's uncle who remained staunchly loyal to the monarch depsite little mutual affection between them. Ambitious and very wealthy, John of Gaunt aroused the jealousy of Richard and his supporters but it was only during John's absence in Spain presuing his own claim to castile that the king's regime fell.
Henry Percy, 1st Earl of Northumberland   (1342-1408)
Percy given the title of Marshal of England by king Richard II and created earl of Northumberland at his coronation. He later switched his allegience to Henry Bolingbroke when he deposed king Richard II.

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1348.MayBlack Death or Bubonic Plague arrives in Britain through Melcombe Regis in Dorset having ravaged mainland Europe
In three years it is thought one third of Europe\\\'s population perished
1366.FebBirth of the future king Richard II to Edward the Black Prince by his wife Joan, The Fair Maid of Kent, at Bordeaux
There is confusion about the year (1366 or 1367) which may be due to the old date/ new date problem
1376Death of Edward the Black Prince, his son (later king Richard II) created Prince of Wales by his grandfather, Edward III
1377.Jun.21Death of King Edward III of England aged 65 - accession of 10-year-old Richard II, eldest son of Edward, the Black Prince
the country was governed by a council of regency and the state distracted by the contentions of his uncles John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster, and Thomas, Duke of Gloucester
1377.Jul.16Coronation of Richard II
1377.Jul.16+Henry Percy created earl of Northumberland at Richard\'s coronation
1377.Oct.13Meeting of the first parliament of the reign of Richard II
1377.Nov.11A great storm hit the south coast
At Lyme Regis in Dorset it destoryed the breakwater, fifty boats and eighty houses
1380Thomas of Woodstock, in command of the army in French, marches from Calais to Brittany
1381Thomas of Woodstock returns to England from France
1381.MayThe Peasants Revolt, provoked by the poll tax and the manner in which it was collected, per capita irrespective of wealth or poverty
The Rebels started marching from Brentwood in Essex
1381.JunThe young Richard II meets with Wat Tyler and the rebels at Smithfield persuading them to quit London by promises of full charters of freedom
Tyler was killed however and the rebels were soon dispersed by military force
1381.JunBy the end of the month the king revoked the charters and had the rebels tried - about 1,600 were executed
1382Richard II marries Princess Anne of Bohemia (who acquired the title of good Queen Anne)
1386Departure of John of Gaunt, duke of Lancaster for Spain
1386+Richard II deprived of power by a council of regency, the Lords Appellant, with Gloucester at its head
The judges declared the council of regency to be illegal
1387Battle of Radcot Bridge: Supporters of Richard II defeated by Henry Bolingbroke
1388Statute of Cambridge; precursor of the Tudor Poor Laws
1388English fight the Scots at the Battle of Otterburn
1388.FebParliament condemns the king\'s favourites as traitors
1389.MayRichard II assumes the government and is reconciled with Gloucester
1389.MayWilliam of Wykeham made chancellor
1389.MayRichard II drives the five Lords Appellant from court
1394Death of Princess Anne of Bohemia, wife of king Richard II
1394Richard II visits Ireland
1396Richard II marries the 7-year-old Isabella of France
The marriage and surrender of Brest to the Duke of Brittany ends the French war by a truce of 25 years
The marriage and treaty increase the popular discontent and Gloucester encouraged to attempt to regain power
1397By a charter, Richard II legitimises the children of John of Gaunt by his long-standing mistress and 3rd wife (1394-), Katharine Swynford
Founding the house of Beaufort from whom Henry VII who founded the House of Tudor was descended
1397Richard II arrests 3 of the 5 Lords Apellant, coercing Parliament to sentence them to death and exiles the other two
Henry Bolingbroke (future Henry IV) is one of the exiled
1398Henry Beaufort made Bishop of Lincoln
1398Exile and disinheritance of Henry Bolingbroke, Duke of Lancaster
Henry\\\'s son, the future king Henry V, taken into the charge of king Richard II who treated him kindly
Following the famous quarrel between the Dukes of Hereford and Norfolk, both were banished by the king
1399Death of the English nobleman and statesman John of Gaunt, duke of Lancaster (1340-)
Richard II seized the Lancastrians lands which were the inheritance of the exiled Hereford
1399Richard II created Ralph Neville the 1st earl of Westmorland
This caused Neville\'s enemy Henry Percy, earl of Northumberland to switch his allegiance to the exiled Henry Bolingbroke
1399Richard II goes to Ireland to quell warring chieftains - allowing Henry Bolingboke to invade northern England
1399.Aug.20Richard II captured on his retunr from Ireland and imprisoned at Flint
Richard was sent to the Tower of London, then Pomfret (Pontefract) Castle, where he is said to have been murdered but nothing is certainly known of his end, and there are strong grounds for believing that he escaped to Scotland where he lived until 1417 or 1419.
1399.Sep.30The exiled Henry Bolingbroke, duke of Lancaster, returns to England to recover the Lancastrian estates seized by the king but deposes Richard II with the support of the Percies and other nobles
1399.Sep.30+Deposition of Richard II, last Plantagenet king of England, by Henry, Duke of Lancaster who ruled as Henry IV (-1413)
The imprisoned Richard was murdered, the first casualty of the Wars of the Roses
1400Henry IV executes the Earls of Kent, Huntingdon and Salisbury for their attempt restore Richard II as king
1400.Feb.14Murder of King Richard II

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