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  1. Richard II (6 January 1367 – c. 14 February 1400), also known as Richard of Bordeaux, was King of England from 1377 until he was deposed in 1399. Richard's father, Edward, Prince of Wales, died in 1376, leaving Richard as heir apparent to his grandfather, King Edward III.

  2. Jan 06, 2013 · Richard II, (born January 6, 1367, Bordeaux [France]—died February 1400, Pontefract, Yorkshire [now in West Yorkshire], England), king of England from 1377 to 1399. An ambitious ruler with a lofty conception of the royal office, he was deposed by his cousin Henry Bolingbroke ( Henry IV) because of his arbitrary and factional rule.

    • Family & Succession
    • Peasants' Revolt
    • The Merciless Parliament
    • Patron of The Arts
    • Ireland & France
    • The Return of Bolingbroke
    • Death & Successor

    Edward of Woodstock, better known as the Black Prince after his distinctive armour or martial reputation, was the eldest son of Edward III of England. Made the Prince of Wales in 1343 CE and one of the greatest of all medieval knights, Edward would not, however, become king. The Black Prince died, probably of dysentery, on 8 June 1376 CE and so Parliament selected as the official heir to Edward III the prince's surviving son Richard of Bordeaux (b. 6 January 1367 CE). The young king-to-be's mother was Joan, the countess of Kent (1328-1385 CE), and he had had one brother, Edward, who had died in 1371 CE. Richard was favoured over another of Edward III's sons, John of Gaunt (1340-1399 CE), the Duke of Lancaster, largely because the latter had supported a number of officials and nobles identified by Parliament as guilty of corruption and misrule. As planned then, when Edward III died on 21 June 1377 CE, Richard became king. Richard was crowned on 16 July 1377 CE at Westminster Abbey, b...

    The so-called Peasants' Revolt of June 1381 CE was the most infamous popular uprising of the Middle Ages. The trouble started when a group of yeomen from Kent and Essex, fed up with the problem caused by the Black Death plague and, above all, the never-ending taxes which, since 1377 CE, included poll taxes of three groats (one shilling) aimed at everyone irrespective of resources, marched to protest in London. The group, numbering several thousand, caused havoc on the way as they looted, pillaged, and murdered. When the mob got to London, they burnt down the Savoy palace of the Duke of Lancaster and murdered anyone they pleased - the Chancellor, Archbishop Simon of Sudbury would be one victim, decapitated on Tower Hill. The mob's demands for change included the abolition of serfdom, a repeal of the laws limiting wage increases brought in after the Black Death, more peasant participation on local government, and the redistribution of the Church's riches (the latter being an idea cham...

    Richard II may have won accolades for his success in putting down the Peasants' Revolt but any hopes that England had found itself a fine king, true and just, were soon dashed. The young monarch was wilful and hot-tempered, and he turned out to be rather too confident in his divine right to rule, making him intolerant of any views that conflicted with his own. Ignoring his barons, Parliament and commoners alike, Richard largely preferred to spend his time with favourites like Robert de Vere, Earl of Oxford and his circle of sycophants. Medieval kings were often expected to perform great deeds on the battlefield but Richard's single campaign in Scotland in 1385 CE was a damp squib with no contact being made with the enemy. In 1388 CE, one of the great medieval knights, Sir Henry 'Hotspur' Percy (1364-1403 CE) led an army against the Scots but was soundly defeated at the Battleof Otterburn. Sir Henry even suffered the ignominy of capture and being set up for ransom, which Parliament a...

    Richard, who reached maturity in 1389 CE, wisely opted for a low political profile and retreated into the arts by appointing his own circle of similarly-minded friends at court. The king may have resisted the temptation to persecute those who had earlier been against him but one thing which he could not desist from was his continuing love of pomp and ceremony. Glorifying his own image, it seemed Richard was in love with himself as king and now even insisted he be addressed as 'Your Majesty' or 'Your Highness' rather than the traditional 'My lord'. Perhaps significantly, Richard was the first English king to have his portrait painted while still alive; the artist chosen for this honour may have been Andre Beauneveu of Valenciennes (1335-1400 CE). The finished painting was hung in Westminster Abbey and shows the king in full regalia. Richard's tournament device was a white hart or stag which became an emblem for his supporters to wear as a mark of identification and as part of his ser...

    In 1394 CE Richard led an army to Ireland, a very rare deed for an English king, but the campaign was inconclusive. 80 Irish chiefs did pay homage to the king, and English claims to lands there were recognised. Relations improved with France on 12 March 1396 CE, though, when the king married Isabella of France, the daughter of Charles VI of France (r. 1380-1422 CE). Isabella was only seven, but it was a union which cemented a three-decade truce between the two countries. Richard had been previously married to Anne of Bohemia, the daughter of Holy Roman EmperorCharles IV (r. 1346-1378 CE) from 1382 CE, but she died in June 1394 CE, probably of plague. Neither of these marriages produced any children, something which would be exploited by Richard's enemies. The arrangement with Charles VI did not include Richard giving up his claim to the French throne (a claim which began with Edward III) and so the Hundred Years' War was, for now, merely put on pause.

    In 1397 CE, perhaps feeling more secure on his throne and giving vent to the taste for vengeance so many medieval monarchs enjoyed, Richard, at last, began to plot against those who had betrayed him ten years before. The king had the Lords Appellants, including Bolingbroke, arrested and either exiled or executed; their estates becoming useful gifts for others at court or the Crown itself. Many barons now realised the king was tyrannical and that nobody was safe from his whims. In 1399 CE, Richard then made his fatal mistake. The king had a hankering to continue his unfinished business in Ireland but while there, Bolingbroke, seen by some as the legitimate heir to Edward III now that his father John of Gaunt was dead (3 February 1399 CE), returned from his exile in France. In June-July 1399 CE Bolingbroke only had a small invading army, perhaps 300 fighting men, which landed at Spurn Head in Yorkshire. Fortunately for Bolingbroke, the English barons, who included such figures as Sir...

    On 30 September Parliament officially nominated Henry Bolingbroke as Richard's successor. Richard was moved to his final place of confinement, Pontefract Castle in Yorkshire, in September 1399 CE, and there he died on 14 February 1400 CE. A failed uprising by Richard's supporters only sealed the ex-king's fate; he could not be allowed to live. Richard perhaps died of starvation or he was perhaps poisoned or he was even hacked to death by a squad of assassins, such are the varying theories on the king's quick demise. Richard was just 33 years of age, and his body was put on public display in the Tower of London in case any would-be rebels thought he might still be alive and ready to launch a coup. Eventually, Richard was interred in Westminster Abbey where his effigy can still be seen. Meanwhile, Henry Bolingbroke was crowned Henry IV of England in Westminster Abbey on 13 October 1399 CE and he would reign until 1413 CE, although his time as king was beset with rebellions in both Eng...

    • Mark Cartwright
  3. Aug 05, 2017 · About Richard II of England. "Richard II (6 January 1367 – c. 14 February 1400), also known as Richard of Bordeaux, was King of England from 1377 until he was deposed on 30 September 1399. Richard, a son of Edward, the Black Prince, was born during the reign of his grandfather, Edward III.

    • "Richard of Bordeaux"
    • Bordeaux, Duchy of Aquitaine
    • January 06, 1367
    • Early Life
    • Peasants' Revolt
    • Coming of Age
    • First Crisis of 1386–88
    • A Fragile Peace
    • Second Crisis of 1397–99
    • Overthrow and Death
    • Court Culture
    • Patronage and The Arts
    • Character and Assessment

    Richard of Bordeaux was the younger son of Edward, the Black Prince, and Joan of Kent ("The Fair Maid of Kent"). Edward, heir to the throne of England, had distinguished himself as a military commander in the early phases of the Hundred Years' War, particularly in the Battle of Poitiers in 1356. After further military adventures, however, he contracted dysentery in Spain in 1370. Never fully recovered, he had to return to England the next year.Joan of Kent had been at the centre of a marriage dispute between Thomas Holland, Earl of Kent, and William Montacute, Earl of Salisbury, from which Holland emerged victorious. Less than a year after Holland's death in 1360, Joan married Prince Edward. Since she was a granddaughter of King Edward Iand a first cousin of King Edward III, the marriage required papal approval. Richard was born at the Archbishop's Palace, Bordeaux, in the English principality of Aquitaine, on 6 January 1367. According to contemporary sources, three kings – "the Kin...

    Whereas the poll tax of 1381 was the spark of the Peasants' Revolt, the root of the conflict lay in tensions between peasants and landowners precipitated by the economic and demographic consequences of the Black Death and subsequent outbreaks of the plague. The rebellion started in Kent and Essex in late May, and on 12 June, bands of peasants gathered at Blackheath near London under the leaders Wat Tyler, John Ball and Jack Straw. John of Gaunt's Savoy Palace was burnt down. The Archbishop of Canterbury Simon Sudbury, who was also Lord Chancellor, and the king's Lord High Treasurer, Robert Hales, were both killed by the rebels, who were demanding the complete abolition of serfdom. The king, sheltered within the Tower of Londonwith his councillors, agreed that the Crown did not have the forces to disperse the rebels and that the only feasible option was to negotiate. It is unclear how much Richard, who was still only fourteen years old, was involved in these deliberations, although h...

    It is only with the Peasants' Revolt that Richard starts to emerge clearly in the annals. One of his first significant acts after the rebellion was to marry Anne of Bohemia, daughter of the Holy Roman Emperor (King of Bohemia Charles IV) and his wife Elisabeth of Pomerania, on 20 January 1382. The marriage had diplomatic significance; in the division of Europe caused by the Great Schism, Bohemia and the Empire were seen as potential allies against France in the ongoing Hundred Years' War.[c] Nonetheless, the marriage was not popular in England. Despite great sums of money awarded to the Empire, the political alliance never resulted in any military victories.Furthermore, the marriage was childless. Anne died from plague in 1394, greatly mourned by her husband. Michael de la Pole had been instrumental in the marriage negotiations; he had the king's confidence and gradually became more involved at court and in government as Richard came of age. De la Pole came from an upstart merchant...

    The threat of a French invasion did not subside, but instead grew stronger into 1386. At the parliament of October that year, Michael de la Pole – in his capacity of chancellor – requested taxation of an unprecedented level for the defence of the realm. Rather than consenting, the parliament responded by refusing to consider any request until the chancellor was removed. The parliament (later known as the Wonderful Parliament) was presumably working with the support of Gloucester and Arundel. The king famously responded that he would not dismiss as much as a scullion from his kitchen at parliament's request. Only when threatened with deposition was Richard forced to give in and let de la Pole go.A commission was set up to review and control royal finances for a year. Richard was deeply perturbed by this affront to his royal prerogative, and from February to November 1387 went on a "gyration" (tour) of the country to muster support for his cause. By installing DeVere as Justice of Che...

    Richard gradually re-established royal authority in the months after the deliberations of the Merciless Parliament. The aggressive foreign policy of the Lords Appellant failed when their efforts to build a wide, anti-French coalition came to nothing, and the north of England fell victim to a Scottish incursion. Richard was now over twenty-one years old and could with confidence claim the right to govern in his own name. Furthermore, John of Gaunt returned to England in 1389 and settled his differences with the king, after which the old statesman acted as a moderating influence on English politics. Richard assumed full control of the government on 3 May 1389, claiming that the difficulties of the past years had been due solely to bad councillors. He outlined a foreign policy that reversed the actions of the appellants by seeking peace and reconciliation with France and promised to lessen the burden of taxation on the people significantly. Richard ruled peacefully for the next eight y...

    The period that historians refer to as the "tyranny" of Richard II began towards the end of the 1390s. The king had Gloucester, Arundel and Warwick arrested in July 1397. The timing of these arrests and Richard's motivation are not entirely clear. Although one chronicle suggested that a plot was being planned against the king, there is no evidence that this was the case. It is more likely that Richard had simply come to feel strong enough to safely retaliate against these three men for their role in events of 1386–88 and eliminate them as threats to his power. Arundel was the first of the three to be brought to trial, at the parliament of September 1397. After a heated quarrel with the king, he was condemned and executed. Gloucester was being held prisoner by the Earl of Nottingham at Calais while awaiting his trial. As the time for the trial drew near, Nottingham brought news that Gloucester was dead. It is thought likely that the king had ordered him to be killed to avoid the disg...

    In June 1399, Louis, Duke of Orléans, gained control of the court of the insane Charles VI of France. The policy of rapprochement with the English crown did not suit Louis's political ambitions, and for this reason he found it opportune to allow Henry to leave for England. With a small group of followers, Bolingbroke landed at Ravenspur in Yorkshire towards the end of June 1399. Men from all over the country soon rallied around the duke. Meeting with Henry Percy, Earl of Northumberland, who had his own misgivings about the king, Bolingbroke insisted that his only object was to regain his own patrimony. Percy took him at his word and declined to interfere. The king had taken most of his household knights and the loyal members of his nobility with him to Ireland, so Henry experienced little resistance as he moved south. Edmund of Langley, Duke of York, who was acting as keeper of the realm, had little choice but to side with Bolingbroke. Meanwhile, Richard was delayed in his return fr...

    In the last years of Richard's reign, and particularly in the months after the suppression of the appellants in 1397, the king enjoyed a virtual monopoly on power in the country, a relatively uncommon situation in medieval England. In this period a particular court culture was allowed to emerge, one that differed sharply from that of earlier times. A new form of address developed; where the king previously had been addressed simply as "highness", now "royal majesty", or "high majesty" were often used. It was said that on solemn festivals Richard would sit on his throne in the royal hall for hours without speaking, and anyone on whom his eyes fell had to bow his knees to the king.The inspiration for this new sumptuousness and emphasis on dignity came from the courts on the continent, not only the French and Bohemian courts that had been the homes of Richard's two wives, but also the court that the Black Prince had maintained while residing in Aquitaine. Richard's approach to kingship...

    As part of Richard's programme of asserting his authority, he also tried to cultivate the royal image. Unlike any other English king before him, he had himself portrayed in panel paintings of elevated majesty, of which two survive: the over life-size Westminster Abbey portrait of the king (c. 1390, see top of page), and the Wilton Diptych (1394–99), a portable work probably intended to accompany Richard on his Irish campaign. It is one of the few surviving English examples of the courtly International Gothic style of painting that was developed in the courts of the Continent, especially Prague and Paris. Richard's expenditure on jewellery, rich textiles and metalwork was far higher than on paintings, but as with his illuminated manuscripts, there are hardly any surviving works that can be connected with him, except for a crown, "one of the finest achievements of the Gothic goldsmith", that probably belonged to Anne. Among Richard's grandest projects in the field of architecture was...

    Contemporary writers, even those less sympathetic to the king, agreed that Richard was a "most beautiful king", though with a "face which was white, rounded and feminine", implying he lacked manliness. He was athletic and tall; when his tomb was opened in 1871 he was found to be six feet tall. He was also intelligent and well read, and when agitated he had a tendency to stammer. While the Westminster Abbey portrait probably shows a good similarity of the king, the Wilton Diptych portrays the king as significantly younger than he was at the time; it must be assumed that he had a beard by this point. Religiously, he was orthodox, and particularly towards the end of his reign he became a strong opponent of the Lollard heresy. He was particularly devoted to the cult of Edward the Confessor, and around 1395 he had his own arms impaled with the mythical arms of the Confessor. Though not a warrior king like his grandfather, Richard nevertheless enjoyed tournaments, as well as hunting. The...

    • First Crisis of 1387-88
    • A Fragile Peace
    • Second Crisis of 1397–99 and Richard's Deposition
    • Richard as A Collector
    • Association with Geoffrey Chaucer
    • Legacy
    • in Literature
    • References
    • External Links

    As Richard began to take over the business of government himself, he sidelined many of the established nobles, such as Thomas de Beauchamp, 12th Earl of Warwick, Richard Fitzalan, 11th Earl of Arundel, and Thomas of Woodstock, 1st Duke of Gloucester. These individuals, not surprisingly, were among those who plotted his downfall. After having exiled the current council, Richard turned to his inner circle of favourites for his council, men such as Robert de Vere, 9th Earl of Oxford and Michael de la Pole, whom he created Earl of Suffolk and made chancellor of England. This alienated Parliament because they were not consulted. Subsequently, debate ensued on whether the King had the right to appoint Ministers without Parliamentary consent. It is possible that Richard had a homosexual relationship with de Vere. The nobles he had snubbed formed the head of a group of the disaffected who called themselves the Lords Appellant. The central tenet of their appeal was continued war with Francea...

    In the years which followed, Richard became more cautious in his dealings with the barons. After having recovered power in 1389, and having made his promise to the Marcolf chamber for better improvements and a better government, Richard began to improve his relationships with his subjects. In 1390, a tournament was held to celebrate Richard’s coming of age and the apparent new-found harmony since Richard's uncle John of Gaunt's return from Spain. Richard’s team of knights, The Harts, all wore the identical symbol—a white hart—which Richard had chosen. Richard himself favored genteel interests like fine food, insisting spoons be used at his court and inventing the handkerchief. He beautified Westminster Hall with a new ceiling and was a keen and cultured patron of the arts, architecture and literature. His detractors, however, dismissed him as another Edward II, somehow unworthy of his military Plantagenet heritage, given his delicate 'unkingly' tastes. Yet, he had shown personal cou...

    In 1397, Richard decided to rid himself of the Lords Appellant who were confining his power, on the pretext of an aristocratic plot. Richard had the Earl of Arundel executed and Warwick exiled, while Gloucester died in captivity. Finally able to exert his autocratic authority over the kingdom, he purged all those he saw as not totally committed to him, fulfilling his own idea of becoming God’schosen prince. Richard was still childless. The heir to the throne was Roger Mortimer the Earl of March, grandson of Lionel of Antwerp, and after his death in 1398, his seven-year-old son Edmund Mortimer. However, Richard was more concerned with Gaunt's son and heir Henry Bolingbroke, whom he banished for ten years on a spurious pretext in 1399. After Gaunt's death, Richard also confiscated Bolingbroke's lands, following the policy of his forebears Henry IIand Edward I in seizing the lands of a powerful noble to centralize power in the crown. At this point Richard left for a campaign in Ireland...

    Richard was a keen collector of precious objects. In 1398/1399 they were recorded on a treasure roll, and the treasure roll has survived. It is now held at the British National Archives, Kew, London (reference TNA: PRO, E 101/411/9). The roll lists 1,026 items of treasure, how much each item weighed, and how much it was worth. We learn, for example, that Richard had 11 gold crowns, 157 gold cups, and 320 precious religious objects including bells, chalices and reliquaries. Each item also has a brief description. The only object listed on the roll that certainly survives is a crown now held in the Schatzkammer der Residenz, Munich. The roll describes the crown as "…set with eleven sapphires, thirty-three balas rubies, a hundred and thirty-two pearls, thirty-three diamonds, eight of them imitation gems."

    Geoffrey Chaucerserved as a diplomat and Clerk of The King's Works for Richard II. Their relationship encompassed all of Richard's reign, and was apparently fruitful. In the decade before Chaucer's death, Richard granted him several gifts and annuities, including: 20 pounds a year for life in 1394, and 252 gallons of wine per year in 1397. Chaucer died on October 25, 1400. Richard also promoted the cult of Edward the Confessor, whom he liked because he was an English saint but also because he, too, have wanted peace.

    Although it would be several centuries before rule by Parliamentevolved, and other kings not least of all Charles I would assert their divine right to rule single-handedly, Richard II’s life demonstrates that already in reality power was shared, and that no king could rule without Parliament. Oddly, Richard was on the one hand sympathetic towards his subjects, who also benefited more from his peace making than did the barons. For the former, war meant higher taxation while for the latter it meant promotion and wealth from the booty and spoils of war. Perhaps one of the most important aspects of Richard’s legacy was the encouragement of English culture. The English language itself owes much to Chaucer, whose work also had political undertones. His readership was mainly aristocratic but he dealt with the lives of the poor as well as the rich, depicting both as leading vivid and real lives, contrary to the common view that peasants—roughly nine-tenths of the population—were little more...

    Richard is the main character in Richard II, a play written by William Shakespearearound 1595. King Richard II is also the main antagonist in the anonymous unfinished play, often known as Thomas of Woodstock or Richard II, Part I, whose composition is dated between 1591 and 1595. King Richard is also a character in the novel The Named. King Richard is one of the main characters in The Crucible Trilogy by Sara Douglass

    Harvey, John Hooper. 1948. The Plantagenets, 1154-1485(Revised Edition 1959). London: Collins Clear Type Press.
    Saul, Nigel. 1997. Richard II. New Haven: Yale University Press. ISBN 0300070039
    Schama, Simon. A History of Britain 1 3000B.C.E.-AD1603 At the Edge of the World? London: BBC Worldwide Ltd, ISBN 0563487143
    Weir, Alison. 1995. The Wars of the Roses. New York: Ballentine. ISBN 9780345391179

    All links retrieved July 28, 2019. 1. Richard II's Treasure– a site about Richard II's treasure from the Institute of Historical Research and Royal Holloway, University of London. The content was written by academics, and contains a bibliography and an image gallery.

  4. Richard II was the last Angevin King and could be considered the first casualty of the Wars of the Roses. William Shakespeare's play "Richard II" gives his version of this king's reign. British Royalty. He succeeded to the English throne after the death of his grandfather Edward III in 1377. The year before his father Edward, the Black Prince ...

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