Three Shires Medieval Society  
medieval society  
 
 

Henry the 4th

Henry returned to England on September the 30th 1399 with three hundred men and captured Richard after he returned from a trip to Ireland. As King Richard had made himself unpopular due to Poll taxes and lavish expenditure, Henry found it easy to gain support from both nobles and commons as he marched on London. He usurped his cousin through a committee of Lords and commons who forced King Richard to abdicate and was crowned King Henry the 4th on October the 13th 1399 where his speech was delivered in English for the the first time since the Norman Conquest. Richard was held for the remainder of his days in Pontefract Castle under the supervision of Henry's half brother Thomas Swynford. It is believed that Henry, fearing support for Richard would lead to an attempt to place him back on the throne, had him executed.
His reign was filled with ferocious rebellion, including the revolt of Owen Glendower and the rebellion of Henry Percy ( also known as Hotspur). These led to the famous Battle of Shrewsbury and the creation of the Battle Church there where Henry's carved effigy adorns the eastern gable.
Overcome by various illnesses, including epilepsy, Henry the 4th died in the Jerusalem chamber in the house of the Abbot of Westminster in 1413. It is said that he passed away through a skin disease that resembled leprosy. He was well embalmed and buried in Canterbury Cathedral.

<....back

 

Copyright © Three Shires Medieval Society, 2007


Three Shires Medieval
Society