Richard (II, King of England 1377-1399)

 Born  1367   Born At  Gascony
 Died  Jan 1400   Buried At  Westminster Abbey
 Father  Edward (The Black Prince)   Mother  Joan (of Kent)
Preceded by  Edward (III, King of England 1327-1377) Succeeded by  Henry (IV, King of England 1399-1413)
 Royal House   Plantagenet

Titles Include

King of England from 1377

ichard became King of England in 1377 when his grandfather, Edward III, died. Richard's father, the Black Prince, had died in 1376 and this had left Richard heir to the English throne. As he was only 10 years old at the time and too young to rule unaided his eldest uncle, John of Gaunt, became protector of both England and Richard. After his father's death Richard had been brought up by his mother Joan. Joan had previously been married to the Earl of Kent and had other sons by this marriage as well.

The Peasant's Revolt

The country was feeling the affects of the Black Death that had left a good proportion of the country's population dead. In 1381 a series of revolts erupted in England protesting against the enforced collection of high taxes. Some tax collectors were killed as they tried to gather the taxes. Several separate revolts began in different parts of the country including Yorkshire and Kent but the separate rebel groups all headed for London to join forces under the leadership of the mysterious Wat Tyler. The Archbishop of Canterbury, Simon of Sudbury, was killed by the rebels. Richard II met the rebels twice in London, first at Mile End and then at Smithfield the following day. At this second meeting Wat Tyler was killed and the peasants were only prevented in escalating their violence by Richard himself. He bravely rode towards the rebels and promised that their grievances would be heard.


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1376 Jun  9yrsDeath of the Black Prince
 Heir to the English throne, the Black Prince died. His son Richard would become the next king of England as Richard II. 
1377 Jun 21  10yrsEdward III Dies
 Edward III, the King of England died in June 1377. One year earlier Edward's eldest son and heir to the throne, Edward the Black Prince died. Richard, the son of the Black Prince, was proclaimed heir to the throne. King Edward was ill for some time before his death, and John of Gaunt another of Edward's sons took the affairs of the nation under his control. Edward was buried in Westminster Abbey in a tomb designed by Henry Yevele.[1]

Episode: Edward III - The Hundred Years War  
 Jun 23  Richard II becomes king
 Richard, the son of Edward the Black Prince, and grandson of Edward III, became king. 
 Jul 16  Richard II is crowned
 The 10 year old Richard II was crowned king of England. Ceremonies were overseen by his uncle John of Gaunt. Henry Percy was created Earl of Northumberland at the ceremony in recognition for his services as a soldier leading troops against the French. 
1378 Oct  11yrsParliament at Gloucester
 Richard II held a parliament at Gloucester from October to December in this year putting much strain on the abbey due to the size of the crowds. [2] 
1380   13yrsRichard takes control
 Since coming to the throne in 1377, Richard had been too young to rule. This ended when the last of the 'continual councils' was dismissed.[3] 
1381 Jun 14  14yrsRichard meets the rebels
 Richard II negotiated with the rebel peasants at Mile End, London. At the same time a group of rebels entered the Tower and Archbishop Simon of Sudbury, Sir Robert Hales and other officials were killed. Disturbances also started in St.Albans.

Episode: Peasants Revolt  
 Jun 15  Watt Tyler killed
 Richard II again met the rebels, at Smithfield; they demanded the confiscation of church land; Watt Tyler was killed and the rebels dispersed; the Prior of Bury St.Edmunds was executed by the townspeople; University property was attacked in Cambridge (-17.6).

Episode: Peasants Revolt  
1382 Jan 14  15yrsKing Richard marries Anne of Bohemia
 Richard II married Anne, the sister of Wenceslas of Bohemia. This was a diplomatic move over the French as the king of France Charles V wanted Anne his marry his own son. The marriage was not popular as a large loan had to be paid to Wenceslas for the privilege. (or Jan 20). The coronation of Queen Anne took place a few days later at Westminster Abbey. 
1384 Apr  17yrsCriticism of Richard
 At a session of Parliament held this year both John of Gaunt and Thomas of Woodstock argued with Richard about the way in which the country was being run, his finances and the influences of his advisors.

Episode: Lords Appellant  
1385   18yrsRichard leads army to North
 Differences between Richard and his uncles were temporarily suspended when an army from France landed in Scotland to help the Scots attack the North of England. Richard took an army to deal with the threat. No battles took place and the English spent most of their time burning the area in front of the Scots to prevent them advancing. In the destruction Melrose and Dryburgh abbeys were damaged. 
   Richard make his uncles Dukes
 Richard gave his uncles Edmund of Langley and Thomas of Woodstock new titles. He made Edmund the Duke of York and made Thomas the Duke of Gloucester.

Episode: Lords Appellant  
1386   19yrsRichard makes de Vere more powerful
 Robert gave the title of Marquis of Dublin to his favourite Robert de Vere. This gave de Vere power over all royal lands in Ireland and made him almost as powerful as Richard's uncles.

Episode: Lords Appellant  
 Spring  Gaunt and the Castilian throne
 With the defeat of the Castilians by the king of Portugal, James of Aviz, John of Gaunt saw his chance of taking the Castilian throne by right of his wife. He asked Richard for a loan to be repaid once he had the throne. Richard was pleased to pay the loan and get rid of Gaunt, as Gaunt was criticising Richard's handling of finances and his choice of advisors.[3] 
 Summer  French fleet mass at Sluys
 An invasion from France seemed to be imminent as the French fleet mass at Sluys. [3]

Episode: Richard II - The Hundred Years War  
 Summer  Commission appointed
 With the French threatening to invade, Richard's continued disregard of his uncles' requests to remove his Chancellor and Treasurer from office, a delegation met Richard at Eltham. His uncle, Duke of Gloucester acted as spokesman for Parliament. He reminded Richard of his duties and demanded that his advisors be removed. He reminded Richard that if he didn't comply he could be removed from his position as King. Richard had little choice and a commission was set up to oversee the king's affairs.

Episode: Lords Appellant  
1387 Dec 19  20yrsBattle of Radcot Bridge
 Forces belonging to the Lords Appellant defeated forces led by Robert de Vere, the favourite of Richard II.

Episode: Lords Appellant  
1389 May  22yrsRichard II declared his intention to rule freely
 Richard announced that he intended to rule unaided.[4] 
1390 Apr 23  23yrsA joust on London Bridge
 A matter of honour between the English Ambassador to Scotland, Lord Wells, and Sir David de Lindsay, a Scottish knight was settled by the two men taking part in a joust on London Bridge. As relations with Scotland were not good, a safe-conduct order was given so that the knight could travel down to London. The joust took part in front of Richard II himself. After the first two runs neither man had the advantage, but in the third Lord Wells fell from his horse and was injured. The Scottish knight jumped from his horse and tended to Wells much to the delight of the crowd.[5] 
1394   27yrsQueen Anne dies
 Richard II's first wife Anne of Bohemia died.[4] 
1395   28yrsA tomb for Richard II and Anne
 Henry Yevele designed a tomb for King Richard II and his first wife Anne of Bohemia at Westminster Abbey,[6] 
1396 Oct 31  29yrsRichard II marries Isabella of Valois
 The marriage of Richard II and the seven or eight year-old Isabella of Valois took place at Calais. Isabella was the daughter of Charles VI, King of France and Isabeau of Bavaria. Richard was near thirty years old but the marriage went ahead because it was part of a peace treaty between the English and French Kings.[4] 
1397   30yrsThomas Arundel exiled
 Shortly after becoming Archbishop of Canterbury Thomas Arundel was exiled by Richard II because of his support for the lords appellant who opposed the King's misrule of the country.

Episode: Lords Appellant  
1398 Sep 16  31yrsBolingbroke exiled
 Richard II had executed or exiled other members of the Lords Appellant the previous year and now Bolingbroke and Thomas Mowbray were concerned that their turn was next. Mowbray confided these concerns with Bolingbroke. Bolingbroke informed the King of Mowbray's treasonable words and Mowbray was arrested. Mowbray denied the accusations and that he ever talked to Bolingbroke. To bring the dispute to an end, a duel between Bolingbroke and Mowbray was arranged. But before the duel took place Richard changed his mind and banished Bolingbroke for ten years and Mowbray for life.[7] 
1399   32yrsTreasure found at Beeston Castle
 In this year Beeson Castle, which had belonged to Richard II, was handed over to Henry IV. In the castle a hoard of Richard's treasure was found. 
 Mar  Bolingbroke's land confiscated
 Bolingbroke should have inherited the lands from his father, John of Gaunt, but Richard had other ideas. The king confiscated Bolingbroke's inheritance and increased his term of exile to life.[7] 
 Summer  Richard goes to Ireland
 Richard sailed to Ireland to suppress a rebellion. He took almost all of his closest supporters with him, leaving an inexperienced Edmund of York in command.[7] 
 Aug  Richard is captured
 Richard returned to England landing in Wales. Richard was captured at Conway Castle and was moved to Pontefract Castle where he was imprisoned.[7] 
 Oct 13  Henry IV becomes king
 Henry IV is crowned king of England after the abdication of Richard II. He was crowned at Westminster Abbey. 
1400 Feb  33yrsDeath of Richard II
 Richard II died some time between the 9th and 17th of February 1400 while being imprisoned at Pontefract Castle. The cause of his death is not known. He died at the age of 33.[1] 
1413 Dec  Richard II's body moved
 In an act of respect to Richard II, Henry had the dead king's body moved to its proper resting place in Westminster Abbey. 
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