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This Sceptred Isle

Henry IV (with 2nd wife Joan of Navarre)
Henry IV (with 2nd wife Joan of Navarre)
Lancaster and Bolingbroke
In 1389 Richard II was beginning to rule for himself. John Of Gaunt on the death of his first wife, Blanche of Lancaster, went abroad and left his son, Henry Bolingbroke, to look after his English estates.

Robert de Vere, the King's favourite, was created Duke of Ireland. Civil War raised its head again. Henry Bolingbroke of Lancaster with Thomas of Woodstock, the Duke of Gloucester and the Earls of Arundel and Warwick marched on London. Robert de Vere raised an army and met the Lord Appellants, as they became known, at Radcot Bridge in Oxfordshire in 1387 but was defeated.

In 1390 the Merciless Parliament executed the King's friends. The King bided his time. In 1397 he declared Arundel a traitor and beheaded him. Gloucester was arrested and later murdered. Warwick and Bolingbroke were exiled.

In 1399 John of Gaunt died and Richard, instead of allowing Bolingbroke to inherit his estates, confiscated them. He then left for Ireland. In July, Henry of Lancaster landed in Yorkshire. Richard met Henry at Flint Castle and abdicated in Henry's favour.

JOHN OF GAUNT (1340-1399)

  • Duke of Lancaster, King of Castile and Leon, Duke of Aquitaine
  • The younger son of Edward III
  • Born in Ghent hence Gaunt
  • Married Blanche of Lancaster and was created Duke
  • On Richard II's accession, John became Steward of England
  • Fell out with the King and left England in 1386
  • Returned in 1389 and remained loyal to the King even though his son Henry Bolingbroke was the challenger
  • In 1396 he married his third wife and long-time mistress Catherine Swynford, and won legitimisation of their children the Beauforts
  • Died in 1399

did you know?
Chaucer wrote Canterbury Tales during the reign of Richard II completing them in 1390.

Select historical period

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1377Richard II becomes King of England
John Of Gaunt is Steward of England
1381Peasants' Revolt
1388Merciless Parliament
1390Robert III, King of Scots
1394Richard II leads successful invasion of Ireland
1399Death of John of Gaunt
Richard II deposed
Henry IV becomes King of England
1400Richard II dies

The Duke of Lancaster
The Duke of York
The Duke of Gloucester
The Duke of Cornwall
The Duke of Clarence

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