- Acceded: 16 JUL 1377 Westminster Abbey, London. Abdicated 29 Sep 1399 at Tower of London. Had no issue.
Murdered at Pontefract Castle, buried Kings Langley
RICHARD II (1367-1400) was king of England from 1377 to 1399. He ascended the throne at the age of 10 when his grandfather King Edward III died.
During the first four years of Richard's reign, a council ruled England on his behalf, and Richard's uncle John of Gaunt exercised much influence. However, the council could not agree on a consistent governing policy. One result was Wat Tyler's Rebellion of 1381, which the young king courageously put down. For the next few years, Richard tried to increase his control over the government with the help of favorite advisers. But many of his favorites were imprisoned or executed by the "Merciless Parliament" of 1388. In 1389, Richard began to rule on his own.
Richard ruled well in the early 1390's. But through his control of the "Revenge Parliament" of 1397, he began to punish many of his enemies. He became increasingly tyrannical and angered the English people with such measures as forced loans and loyalty oaths.
In 1399, Richard led an expedition to Ireland. While he was there, John of Gaunt's son Henry of Bolingbroke led a revolt against Richard in England. The revolt resulted in Richard's removal from the throne. Bolingbroke became King Henry IV. Richard died in early 1400. He was probably murdered.
Richard was born in Bordeaux, France. His father was Edward, the Black Prince, a famous English warrior. Richard supported the arts and the famous English writer Geoffrey Chaucer.
House of Angevins. 1 Feb 1327 > 8 Jun 1376 = reign of Edward III of England
He was the son of the Black Prince.He was only ten when his Grandfather Edward 111 died so his uncle, John of Gaunt ruled for him.
In 1381 the Peasants' Revolt broke out sparked off by the unpopular poll tax. Richard showed courage when faced by the peasants but went back on his word which made him unpopular with the peasants. He soon began to quarrel with the barons who forced him off the throne, imprisoned him and then probably had him murdered.
Update: from Queen's Official Web Site 8/10/97.
Edward's son, the Black Prince, died in 1376 and the King's grandson, Richard II (reigned 1377-99), inherited the throne on Edward's death. In 1381 the Peasants' Revolt broke out and Richard, aged 14, bravely rode to meet the rebels at Smithfield. Wat Tyler, one of the peasants' leaders, was killed and the revolt crushed. It was Richard who ordered the transformation of the Norman Westminster Hall (built in 1099 by William II, the Hall was the ceremonial and administrative centre of the kingdom; it also housed the Courts of Justice until 1882) to what it is today. Increasingly, Richard's dependence on a group of favourites provoked resentment. In 1388 the 'Merciless Parliament' sentenced many of the King's favourites to death. Richard took his revenge in 1397, arresting or banishing many of his opponents, including his cousin, Henry of Bolingbroke. The king's subsequent arbitrary behaviour alienated people further.
Whilst Richard was in Ireland in 1399, Henry of Bolingbroke returned to claim his inheritance on the death of his father, John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster (a younger son of Edward III). Supported by some of the leading baronial families, Henry captured and deposed Richard. Bolingbroke was crowned king as Henry IV. Risings in support of Richard led to his murder in Pontefract Castle.
Richard II, Wat Tyler and the Peasants' Revolt
Richard II came to the throne in 1377 aged 10. John of Gaunt became Steward of England. John of Gaunt was unpopular with the businessmen of City of London, the clergy and the commoners of Parliament. He wanted to re-establish the authority of the crown and the Royal Family. He had at the end of Edward III's reign charged the Chancellor and the Treasurer and replaced them with his own men. 'The Good Parliament' spent the rest of Edward III's reign trying to overthrow Gaunt's men and at the start of Richard II's reign politics were complicated and unsettled.
The country was over-taxed and when in 1381 an extra poll-tax was introduced, the peasants' of Kent and Essex rebelled. They gathered behind Wat Tyler and marched to London. The Chancellor and the Treasurer were beheaded by the mob on Tower Hill. The young King met the mob at Smithfield, Wat Tyler presented their charter. Tyler attacked the Lord Mayor of London as he tried to arrest him, he was later beheaded.
RICHARD II (1367-1400)
King of England (1377-1399)
Son of Edward the Black Prince and Joan of Kent
Acceded to the throne as a boy
John of Gaunt acted as guardian
Married Anne of Bohemia
Showed courage during the Peasants Revolt
Fell out with his ministers and advisers and was humiliated at the Merciless Parliament in 1388.
Avenged this humiliation by dispossessing a third of the nobility and thereby became a very wealthy King
In 1399 he went to Ireland and lost two armies in two weeks
Surrendered at Conway and was forced to abdicate in 1399 and was imprisoned
Died, probably murdered, in 1400
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.
Yet More Info:
In 1377 at only ten years of age, he became King of England. During his minority, England was ruled by a council under guidance of his uncle, John of Gaunt. For his education he was in charge of Sir Simon Burley. He developed aesthetic tastes and interests which later gave rise to exquisite portraits such as the Wilton Diptych.
In 1381 the Peasant Revolt, which was directed against John of Gaunt's unpopular government, broke out. Although Richard II was only fourteen, he faced Wat Tyler's followers, negotiated with Tyler and then quelled the mob when the peasant leader was killed. Richard II retracted the concessions he made to the mob, but after December 1381 declared a general pardon.
In 1382 he married Anne of Bohemia who became a moderating influence on him, yet was unable to curb his generosity to his favourites, such as Michael de la Pole, Earl of Suffolk, and the widely detested Robert de Vere, Earl of Oxford. However, in 1386, as a result of Richard II's determination to govern through Pole and de Vere, a group of nobles led by his uncle, Thomas, 1st Duke of Gloucester, imposed a council of eleven magnates to oversee royal government, forcing Richard to dismiss Pole.
In August 1387 Richard II obtained a statement from the royal judges to the effect that Parliament had acted illegally by imposing a council on him and raised an army in the north. In response, Thomas, 1st Duke of Gloucester, together with four other magnates, the 'lords appellant', issued 'appeals' in November 1387 accusing de Vere and Richard's other advisers of treason.
In February 1388 the lords appellant tried and convicted five of Richard's principal advisors for treason in the so-called Merciless Parliament. They also executed the king's much-loved tutor, Sir Simon Burley. Richard II was again placed under a council of control but, in May 1389, he dismissed the councillors and ruled with the support of John of Gaunt.
In June 1394 his wife died and, in November 1396, he married the seven-year-old Isabella de Valois, daughter of Charles VI, King of France. In 1397 he arrested three lords appellant, Gloucester, Arundel and Warwick, and, in September, assembled a parliament which was coerced into sentencing them to death. Arundel was executed, Gloucester was murdered (perhaps smothered) but Warwick obtained a pardon.
The king now ruling unchallenged, strengthened his personal army and raised heavy taxes. In 1399 Richard II went to Ireland in an attempt to pacify the warring chieftains; however, his cousin, Henry Bolingbroke, invaded England to claim his Lancastrian inheritance as the latter's father, John of Gaunt, had died.
The invasion met with little resistance and, when Richard II returned from Ireland, he was unable to raise a force against Henry.He was captured outside Conway Castle in August 1399 and, in September 1399, abdicated on condition that his life be spared. Henry was crowned as Henry IV, while Richard was sent to Pontefract Ccastle where he died in February 1400, probably starved to death. His ten-year-old widow returned to France.
Having beaten Llywelyn, Prince of Wales, Edward I immediately began establishing his superiority over Wales on a permanent basis.
In 1277 he began building his first castle at Flint. Speed was crucial and a well paid workforce of 2,300 was used work in hostile territory. The fortification consisted of a rectangular enclosure with three round towers and a huge Great Tower. This was slightly apart from the wall of the inner bailey and was defended by its own moat and drawbridge. The tower had walls 23 feet thick and was the focus of the castle with a chapel, kitchens and living quarters. An outer bailey was built but it was weak and very little now remains.
Work on the castle stopped in 1280 but in 1282 after a Welsh uprising Edward again secured the castle.
Two tragic English kings are connected with Flint Castle. Edward II welcomed his favourite Piers Gaveston to the castle in 1311. In 1399 Richard II was tricked into leaving Wales by the Earl of Northumberland. On the way to London to meet Henry Bolingbroke, Duke of Lancaster, Richard was ambushed and taken to Flint Castle. There he was persuaded to abdicate in favour Bolingbroke who became Henry IV. Richard was taken to Pontefract Castle where he was probably murdered.
DEATH: Also shown as Died Murdered at Pontefract Castle.
DEATH: Also shown as Died 14 Feb 1400
BURIAL: Also shown as Buried King's Langley Church, Hertfordshire & re buried at Westminster Abbey.