Richard II of England
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Richard II (6 January 1367 – c. 14 February 1400), also known as Richard of Bordeaux, was
King of England This list of kings and queens of the begins with , who initially ruled , one of the which later made up modern England. Alfred styled himself King of the from about 886, and while he was not the first king to claim to rule all of the , his ...
from 1377 until he was
deposed Deposition by political means concerns the removal of a politician or monarch.
ORB: The Online Reference for Medi ...
in 1399. Richard's father,
Edward, Prince of Wales
Edward, Prince of Wales
, died in 1376, leaving Richard as
heir apparent An heir apparent is a person who is first in an order of succession An order of succession or right of succession is the line of individuals entitled to hold a high office when it becomes vacated such as head of state A head of state ...
to his grandfather,
King Edward III Edward III (13 November 131221 June 1377), also known as Edward of Windsor before his accession, was King of England This list of kings and queens of the Kingdom of England The Kingdom of England was a sovereign state on the island ...

King Edward III
. Upon the death of Edward III, the 10-year-old Richard succeeded to the throne. During Richard's first years as king, government was in the hands of a series of
regency A regent (from the Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the ...

regency
councils, influenced by Richard's uncles
John of Gaunt John of Gaunt (6 March 1340 – 3 February 1399) was an English prince, military leader, and statesman. He was the third of the five sons of King Edward III of England Edward III (13 November 131221 June 1377), also known as Edward of Wi ...

John of Gaunt
and
Thomas of Woodstock Thomas of Woodstock, 1st Duke of Gloucester (7 January 13558 or 9 September 1397) was the fifth surviving son and youngest child of King Edward III of England Edward III (13 November 131221 June 1377), also known as Edward of Windsor befor ...

Thomas of Woodstock
.
England England is a that is part of the . It shares land borders with to its west and to its north. The lies northwest of England and the to the southwest. England is separated from by the to the east and the to the south. The country cover ...

England
then faced various problems, most notably the
Hundred Years' War The Hundred Years’ War (french: link=yes, La guerre de Cent Ans; 1337–1453) was a series of armed conflicts between the kingdoms of and during the . It originated from disputed claims to the between the English and the French roy ...
. A major challenge of the reign was the
Peasants' Revolt The Peasants' Revolt, also named Wat Tyler's Rebellion or the Great Rising, was a major uprising across large parts of England in 1381. The revolt had various causes, including the socio-economic and political tensions generated by the Black ...
in 1381, and the young king played a central part in the successful suppression of this crisis. Less warlike than either his father or grandfather, he sought to bring an end to the Hundred Years' War. A firm believer in the
royal prerogative The royal prerogative is a body of customary authority, privilege and immunity, recognized in common law In law, common law (also known as judicial precedent or judge-made law, or case law) is the body of law created by judges and similar quasi- ...
, Richard restrained the power of the aristocracy and relied on a private
retinue A retinue is a body of persons "retained" in the service of a noble, royal Royal may refer to: People * Royal (name)Royal can be a surname or a given name. Bearers include: Surname * Billy Joe Royal (1942–2015), American country music a ...
for military protection instead. In contrast to his grandfather, Richard cultivated a refined atmosphere centred on art and culture at court, in which the king was an elevated figure. The king's dependence on a small number of courtiers caused discontent among the influential, and in 1387 control of government was taken over by a group of aristocrats known as the
Lords Appellant The Lords Appellant were a group of nobles in the reign of King Richard II Richard II (6 January 1367 – c. 14 February 1400), also known as Richard of Bordeaux, was King of England This list of kings and queens of the Kingdom of Eng ...
. By 1389 Richard had regained control, and for the next eight years governed in relative harmony with his former opponents. In 1397, he took his revenge on the Appellants, many of whom were executed or exiled. The next two years have been described by historians as Richard's "tyranny". In 1399, after John of Gaunt died, the king disinherited Gaunt's son,
Henry Bolingbroke Henry IV (15 April 1367 – 20 March 1413) was King of England This list of kings and queens of the Kingdom of England The Kingdom of England was a sovereign state on the island of Great Britain from 12 July 927, when it emerge ...
, who had previously been exiled. Henry invaded England in June 1399 with a small force that quickly grew in numbers. Meeting little resistance, he deposed Richard and had himself crowned king. Richard is thought to have been starved to death in captivity, although questions remain regarding his final fate. Richard's posthumous reputation has been shaped to a large extent by
William Shakespeare William Shakespeare ( 26 April 1564 – 23 April 1616) was an English playwright, poet and actor, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's greatest dramatist. He is often called England's and the " of A ...

William Shakespeare
, whose play ''
Richard II Richard II (6 January 1367 – c. 14 February 1400), also known as Richard of Bordeaux, was King of England This list of kings and queens of the Kingdom of England The Kingdom of England was a sovereign state on the island of Gr ...
'' portrayed Richard's misrule and his deposition as responsible for the 15th-century
Wars of the Roses The Wars of the Roses were a series of fifteenth-century English civil wars for control of the throne of England, fought between supporters of two rival cadet branches of the royal House of Plantagenet: the House of Lancaster, represented by a ...
. Modern historians do not accept this interpretation, while not exonerating Richard from responsibility for his own deposition. While probably not insane, as many historians of the 19th and 20th centuries believed, he may have had a
personality disorder Personality disorders (PD) are a class of mental disorder A mental disorder, also called a mental illness or psychiatric disorder, is a behavioral or mental pattern that causes significant distress or impairment of personal functioning. S ...
, particularly manifesting itself towards the end of his reign. Most authorities agree that his policies were not unrealistic or even entirely unprecedented, but that the way in which he carried them out was unacceptable to the political establishment, leading to his downfall.


Early life

Richard of Bordeaux was the younger son of
Edward, Prince of Wales
Edward, Prince of Wales
, and
Joan, Countess of Kent Joan, Countess of Kent (29 September 1326/7 – 7 August 1385), known to history as The Fair Maid of Kent, was the mother of King Richard II of England Richard II (6 January 1367 – c. 14 February 1400), also known as Richard of Borde ...
. Edward, eldest son of
Edward III Edward III (13 November 131221 June 1377), also known as Edward of Windsor before his accession, was King of England and Lord of Ireland from January 1327 until his death in 1377. He is noted for his military success and for restoring royal aut ...

Edward III
and
heir apparent An heir apparent is a person who is first in an order of succession An order of succession or right of succession is the line of individuals entitled to hold a high office when it becomes vacated such as head of state A head of state ...
to the throne of England, had distinguished himself as a military commander in the early phases of the
Hundred Years' War The Hundred Years’ War (french: link=yes, La guerre de Cent Ans; 1337–1453) was a series of armed conflicts between the kingdoms of and during the . It originated from disputed claims to the between the English and the French roy ...
, particularly in the
Battle of Poitiers The Battle of Poitiers was a major English victory in the Hundred Years' War. It was fought on 19 September 1356 in Nouaillé, near the city of Poitiers in Aquitaine, western France. Edward, the Black Prince, led an army of Kingdom of England, ...

Battle of Poitiers
in 1356. After further military adventures, however, he contracted
dysentery Dysentery () is a type of gastroenteritis that results in bloody diarrhea. Other symptoms may include fever, abdominal pain, and a feeling of incomplete defecation. Complications may include dehydration In physiology, dehydration is a lack ...
in Spain in 1370. He never fully recovered and had to return to England the next year. Richard was born at the Archbishop's Palace of Bordeaux, in the English principality of
Aquitaine Aquitaine ( , , ; oc, Aquitània ; eu, Akitania; Poitevin-Saintongeais: ''Aguiéne''), archaic Guyenne or Guienne ( oc, Guiana), is a historical region of southwestern France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=n ...
, on 6 January 1367. According to contemporary sources, three kings, "the
King of Castile This is a list of kings and queens of the Kingdom of Castile, Kingdom and Crown of Castile. For their predecessors, see List of Castilian counts. Kings and Queens of Castile Jiménez dynasty House of Ivrea The following dynasts are des ...
, the
King of Navarre This is a list of the kings and queens of kingdom of Pamplona, Pamplona, later kingdom of Navarre, Navarre. Pamplona was the primary name of the kingdom until its union with Kingdom of Aragon, Aragon (1076–1134). However, the territorial desig ...
and the
King of Portugal This is a list of Portuguese monarchs who ruled from the establishment of the Kingdom of Portugal, in 1139, to the deposition of the Portuguese monarchy and creation of the Portugal, Portuguese Republic with the 5 October 1910 revolution. Throug ...
", were present at his birth.Tuck (2004). This anecdote, and the fact that his birth fell on the feast of
Epiphany Epiphany may refer to: * Epiphany (feeling), an experience of sudden and striking insight Religion * Epiphany (holiday), a Christian holiday celebrating the revelation of God the Son as a human being in Jesus Christ ** Epiphany season, or Epiphan ...
, was later used in the religious imagery of the
Wilton Diptych The Wilton Diptych () is a small portable diptych A diptych (; from the Greek δίπτυχον, ''di'' "two" + '' ptychē'' "fold") is any object with two flat plates which form a pair, often attached by hinge. For example, the standard notebo ...

Wilton Diptych
, where Richard is one of three kings paying homage to the
Virgin and Child The '' Salus Populi Romani'' icon, overpainted in the 13th century, but going back to an underlying original dated to the 5th or 6th century. A Madonna () is a representation of Mary, either alone or with her child Jesus The Christ Child ...

Virgin and Child
. His elder brother,
Edward of Angoulême Edward of Angoulême (27 January 1365 – September 1370) was second in line to the throne of the Kingdom of England before his death. Born in Angoulême, he was the eldest child of Edward, the Black Prince, Edward, Prince of Wales, commonly cal ...
, died near his sixth birthday in 1371. The Prince of Wales finally succumbed to his long illness in June 1376. The
Commons The commons is the cultural Culture () is an umbrella term which encompasses the social behavior and Norm (social), norms found in human Society, societies, as well as the knowledge, beliefs, arts, laws, Social norm, customs, capabilities, ...
in the
English Parliament The Parliament of England was the legislature A legislature is an deliberative assembly, assembly with the authority to make laws for a Polity, political entity such as a Sovereign state, country or city. They are often contrasted with ...
genuinely feared that Richard's uncle,
John of Gaunt John of Gaunt (6 March 1340 – 3 February 1399) was an English prince, military leader, and statesman. He was the third of the five sons of King Edward III of England Edward III (13 November 131221 June 1377), also known as Edward of Wi ...

John of Gaunt
, would
usurp A usurper is an illegitimate or controversial claimant to power Power typically refers to: * Power (physics) In physics, power is the amount of energy transferred or converted per unit time. In the International System of Units, the unit of ...
the throne. For this reason, Richard was quickly invested with the princedom of Wales and his father's other titles. On 21 June the next year, Richard's grandfather King Edward III, who was for some years frail and decrepit, died after a 50-year reign. This resulted in the 10-year-old Richard succeeding to the throne. He was crowned on 16 July 1377 at
Westminster Abbey Westminster Abbey, formally titled the Collegiate Church of Saint Peter at Westminster, is a large, mainly in the , London, England, just to the west of the . It is one of the United Kingdom's most notable religious buildings and the traditi ...

Westminster Abbey
. Again, fears of John of Gaunt's ambitions influenced political decisions, and a regency led by the king's uncles was avoided. Instead, the king was nominally to exercise kingship with the help of a series of "continual councils", from which Gaunt was excluded. Gaunt, together with his younger brother Thomas of Woodstock, Earl of Buckingham, still held great informal influence over the business of government, but the king's councillors and friends, particularly Sir
Simon de Burley Sir Simon de Burley, KG (ca. 1336 – 1388) was holder of the offices of Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports and Constable of Dover Castle Dover Castle is a medieval castle in Dover Dover () is a town and major ferry port in Kent, South East ...
and
Robert de Vere, 9th Earl of Oxford Robert de Vere, Duke of Ireland, Marquess of Dublin, and 9th Earl of Oxford Order of the Garter, KG (16 January 1362 – 22 November 1392) was a favourite and court companion of Richard II of England, King Richard II of Kingdom of England, Engla ...
, increasingly gained control of royal affairs. In a matter of three years, these councillors earned the mistrust of the Commons to the point that the councils were discontinued in 1380. Contributing to discontent was an increasingly heavy burden of
taxation A tax is a compulsory financial charge or some other type of levy imposed on a taxpayer (an individual or Legal person, legal entity) by a governmental organization in order to fund government spending and various public expenditures (regional, ...
levied through three
poll tax A poll tax, also known as head tax or capitation, is a tax levied as a fixed sum on every liable individual (typically every adult), without reference to income or resources. Head taxes were important sources of revenue for many governments fr ...
es between 1377 and 1381 that were spent on unsuccessful military expeditions on the continent. By 1381, there was a deep-felt resentment against the governing classes in the lower levels of English society.


Early reign


Peasants' Revolt

Whereas the poll tax of 1381 was the spark of the
Peasants' Revolt The Peasants' Revolt, also named Wat Tyler's Rebellion or the Great Rising, was a major uprising across large parts of England in 1381. The revolt had various causes, including the socio-economic and political tensions generated by the Black ...
, the root of the conflict lay in tensions between peasants and landowners precipitated by the economic and demographic consequences of the
Black Death The Black Death (also known as the Pestilence, the Great Mortality or the Plague) was a pandemic occurring in from 1346 to 1353. It is the recorded in human history, causing the death of people in and , peaking in from 1347 to 1351. Bubo ...
and subsequent outbreaks of the plague. The rebellion started in
Kent Kent is a county A county is a geographical region of a country used for administrative or other purposesChambers Dictionary, L. Brookes (ed.), 2005, Chambers Harrap Publishers Ltd, Edinburgh in certain modern nations. The term is derived ...

Kent
and
Essex Essex () is a county A county is a geographical region of a country used for administrative or other purposesChambers Dictionary The ''Chambers Dictionary'' (''TCD'') was first published by William Chambers (publisher), William and Rob ...

Essex
in late May, and on 12 June, bands of peasants gathered at Blackheath near London under the leaders
Wat Tyler Wat Tyler (c. 1320/4 January 1341 – 15 June 1381) was a leader of the 1381 Peasants' Revolt in Kingdom of England, England. He marched a group of rebels from Canterbury to City of London, London to oppose the institution of a Tax per head, ...
, John Ball, and
Jack Straw John Whitaker Straw (born 3 August 1946) is a British politician who served as the Member of Parliament (United Kingdom), Member of Parliament (MP) for Blackburn (UK Parliament constituency), Blackburn from 1979 United Kingdom general election, ...
. John of Gaunt's
Savoy Palace The Savoy Palace, considered the grandest of , was the residence of until it was destroyed during rioting in the of 1381. The palace was on the site of an estate given to in the early 1200s, which in the following century came to be controll ...

Savoy Palace
was burnt down. The
Archbishop of Canterbury The Archbishop of Canterbury is the senior bishop A bishop is an ordained, consecrated, or appointed member of the Clergy#Christianity, Christian clergy who is generally entrusted with a position of authority and oversight. Within the Cat ...
,
Simon Sudbury Simon Sudbury ( – 14 June 1381) was Bishop of London The Bishop of London is the Ordinary (church officer), ordinary of the Church of England Diocese of London in the Province of Canterbury. The diocese covers of 17 boroughs of Greater L ...
, who was also
Lord Chancellor The Lord Chancellor, formally the Lord High Chancellor of Great Britain, is the highest-ranking among the in in the , nominally outranking the . The lord chancellor is appointed by the on the advice of the prime minister. Prior to their i ...
, and
Lord High Treasurer The post of Lord High Treasurer or Lord Treasurer was an English government position and has been a British government position since the Acts of Union of 1707. A holder of the post would be the third-highest-ranked Great Officers of State (Un ...
Robert Hales Sir Robert Hales, also called Robert de Hales, was Lord/Grand Prior of the Knights Hospitallers of England, Lord High Treasurer The post of Lord High Treasurer or Lord Treasurer was an Lord High Treasurers of England, English government posi ...
were both killed by the rebels, who were demanding the complete abolition of
serfdom Serfdom was the status of many peasant A peasant is a pre-industrial farmhand, agricultural laborer or a farmer with limited land-ownership, especially one living in the Middle Ages under feudalism and tenant farmer, paying rent, tax, fee ...
.Harriss (2006), p. 231. The king, sheltered within the
Tower of London The Tower of London, officially Her Majesty's Royal Palace and Fortress of the Tower of London, is a historic castle in East Sussex East Sussex is a county A county is a geographical region of a country used for administrative ...

Tower of London
with 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 historians have suggested that he was among the proponents of negotiations. The king set out by the
River Thames The River Thames ( ), known alternatively in parts as the River Isis, is a river that flows through southern England Southern England, or the South of England, also known as the South, is an area of England consisting of the southernmos ...
on 13 June, but the large number of people thronging the banks at
Greenwich Greenwich ( , , , or ) is a town in south-east The points of the compass are the Euclidean vector, vectors by which planet-based directions are conventionally defined. A compass rose is primarily composed of four cardinal directions—north, ...

Greenwich
made it impossible for him to land, forcing him to return to the Tower. The next day, Friday, 14 June, he set out by horse and met the rebels at
Mile End Mile End is a district of the London Borough of Tower Hamlets in the East End of London, England, east-northeast of Charing Cross. Situated on the London-to-Colchester road, it was one of the earliest suburbs of London. It became part of the me ...

Mile End
. He agreed to the rebels' demands, but this move only emboldened them; they continued their looting and killings. Richard met Wat Tyler again the next day at
SmithfieldSmithfield may refer to: Places Australia *Smithfield, New South Wales, a suburb of Sydney *Smithfield, Queensland, a northern suburb of Cairns *Smithfield, South Australia, a northern suburb of Adelaide **Smithfield railway station, Adelaide *El ...
and reiterated that the demands would be met, but the rebel leader was not convinced of the king's sincerity. The king's men grew restive, an altercation broke out, and
William Walworth Sir William Walworth (died 1385) was an English nobleman and politician who was twice Lord Mayor of London (1374–75 and 1380–81). He is best known for killing Wat Tyler. His family came from Durham, England, Durham. He was apprenticed to Joh ...
, the
Lord Mayor of London The Lord Mayor of London is the mayor In many countries, a mayor is the highest-ranking official An official is someone who holds an office (function or mandate, regardless whether it carries an actual working space with it) in an organi ...
, pulled Tyler down from his horse and killed him. The situation became tense once the rebels realised what had happened, but the king acted with calm resolve and, saying "I am your captain, follow me!", he led the mob away from the scene. Walworth meanwhile gathered a force to surround the peasant army, but the king granted clemency and allowed the rebels to disperse and return to their homes. The king soon revoked the charters of freedom and pardon that he had granted, and as disturbances continued in other parts of the country, he personally went into Essex to suppress the rebellion. On 28 June at
Billericay Billericay ( ) is a town and civil parish in the Borough of Basildon, Essex, England. It lies within the London Basin and constitutes a commuter town east of Central London. The town has three secondary schools and a variety of open spaces. It is ...
, he defeated the last rebels in a small skirmish and effectively ended the Peasants' Revolt. Despite his young age, Richard had shown great courage and determination in his handling of the rebellion. It is likely, though, that the events impressed upon him the dangers of disobedience and threats to royal authority, and helped shape the absolutist attitudes to kingship that would later prove fatal to his reign.


Coming of age

It is only with the Peasants' Revolt that Richard starts to emerge clearly in the
annals Annals ( la, annāles, from , "year") are a concise historical History (from Ancient Greek, Greek , ''historia'', meaning "inquiry; knowledge acquired by investigation") is the study and the documentation of the past. Events before the History ...

annals
. One of his first significant acts after the rebellion was to marry
Anne of Bohemia Anne of Bohemia (11 May 1366 – 7 June 1394) was Queen consort of England, Queen of England as the first wife of King Richard II. A member of the House of Luxembourg, she was the eldest daughter of Charles IV, Holy Roman Emperor and King of Bohe ...
, daughter of
Charles IV, Holy Roman Emperor Charles IV ( cs, Karel IV.; german: Karl IV.; la, Carolus IV; 14 May 1316 (Jul. calendar) / 22 May 1316 (Greg. calendar) – 29 November 1378''Karl IV''. In: (1960): ''Geschichte in Gestalten'' (''History in figures''), vol. 2: ''F-K''. 38, F ...

Charles IV, Holy Roman Emperor
, on 20 January 1382. It had diplomatic significance; in the division of Europe caused by the
Western Schism The Western Schism, also known as the Papal Schism, the Vatican Standoff, the Great Occidental Schism, or the Schism of 1378 (), was a split within the Catholic Church The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is ...
,
Bohemia Bohemia ( ; cs, Čechy ; ; hsb, Čěska; szl, Czechy) is the westernmost and largest historical region Historical regions (or historical areas) are geographical Geography (from Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, o ...

Bohemia
and the
Holy Roman Empire The Holy Roman Empire ( la, Sacrum Romanum Imperium; german: Heiliges Römisches Reich) was a multi-ethnic complex of territories in Western Europe, Western, Central Europe, Central and Southern Europe that developed during the Early Middle Age ...
were seen as potential allies against
France France (), officially the French Republic (french: link=no, République française), is a spanning and in the and the , and s. Its extends from the to the and from the to the and the ; overseas territories include in , in the N ...
in the ongoing Hundred Years' War. 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 family. When Richard made him chancellor in 1383, and created him
Earl of Suffolk 200px, Thomas Howard, 1st Earl of Suffolk Earl of Suffolk is a title that has been created four times in the Peerage of England. The first creation, in tandem with the creation of the title of Earl of Norfolk, came before 1069 in favour of Ralp ...
two years later, this antagonised the more established nobility. Another member of the close circle around the king was Robert de Vere, Earl of Oxford, who in this period emerged as the king's
favourite by Diego Velázquez Diego Rodríguez de Silva y Velázquez (baptized June 6, 1599August 6, 1660) was a Spaniards, Spanish painter, the leading artist in the Noble court, court of King Philip IV of Spain, Philip IV and of the Spanish Golden Age ...
. Richard's close friendship to de Vere was also disagreeable to the political establishment. This displeasure was exacerbated by the earl's elevation to the new title of
Duke of Ireland The title of Duke of Ireland was created in 1386 for Robert de Vere, Duke of Ireland, Robert de Vere, 9th Earl of Oxford (1362–1392), the favourite of King Richard II of England, who had previously been created Marquess of Dublin. Both were List ...
in 1386. The chronicler
Thomas Walsingham Thomas Walsingham (died c. 1422) was an England, English chronicler, and is the source of much of the knowledge of the reigns of Richard II of England, Richard II, Henry IV of England, Henry IV and Henry V of England, Henry V, and the careers o ...
suggested the relationship between the king and de Vere was of a homosexual nature, due to a resentment Walsingham had toward the king. Tensions came to a head over the approach to the war in France. While the court party preferred negotiations, Gaunt and Buckingham urged a large-scale campaign to protect English possessions. Instead, a so-called
crusade The Crusades were a series of religious wars initiated, supported, and sometimes directed by the Latin Church in the medieval period. The term refers especially to the Eastern Mediterranean campaigns in the period between 1095 and 1271 that h ...
led by
Henry le Despenser Secretum of the Bishop showing the arms of Despenser with bordure of bishop's mitres (in base), the See of Norwich ( dexter) and de Quincy/Ferrers of Groby ( sinister): ''s(igillum) henrici despencer norwyceni episcopi'' ("seal of Henry Despen ...
, Bishop of Norwich, was dispatched, which failed miserably. Faced with this setback on the continent, Richard turned his attention instead towards France's ally, the Kingdom of Scotland. In 1385, the king himself led a English invasion of Scotland (1385), punitive expedition to the north, but the effort came to nothing, and the army had to return without ever engaging the Scots in battle. Meanwhile, only an uprising in Ghent prevented a French invasion of southern England. The relationship between Richard and his uncle John of Gaunt deteriorated further with military failure, and Gaunt left England to pursue his claim to the throne of Kingdom of Castile, Castile in 1386 amid rumours of a plot against his person. With Gaunt gone, the unofficial leadership of the growing dissent against the king and his courtiers passed to Buckinghamwho had by now been created Duke of Gloucesterand Richard Fitzalan, 4th Earl of Arundel.


First crisis of 1386–88

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 Polein his capacity of chancellorrequested 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 scullery maid, 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 de Vere as Justice of Chester, he began the work of creating a loyal military power base in Cheshire. He also secured a legal ruling from Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales, Chief Justice Robert Tresilian that parliament's conduct had been unlawful and treasonable. On his return to London, the king was confronted by Gloucester, Arundel and Thomas de Beauchamp, 12th Earl of Warwick, who brought an Criminal appeal, appeal of treason against de la Pole, de Vere, Tresilian, and two other loyalists: the mayor of London, Nicholas Brembre, and Alexander Neville, the Archbishop of York. Richard stalled the negotiations to gain time, as he was expecting de Vere to arrive from Cheshire with military reinforcements.Saul (1997), p. 187. The three peers then joined forces with Gaunt's son
Henry Bolingbroke Henry IV (15 April 1367 – 20 March 1413) was King of England This list of kings and queens of the Kingdom of England The Kingdom of England was a sovereign state on the island of Great Britain from 12 July 927, when it emerge ...
, Earl of Derby, and Thomas de Mowbray, 1st Duke of Norfolk, Thomas de Mowbray, Earl of Nottinghamthe group known to history as the
Lords Appellant The Lords Appellant were a group of nobles in the reign of King Richard II Richard II (6 January 1367 – c. 14 February 1400), also known as Richard of Bordeaux, was King of England This list of kings and queens of the Kingdom of Eng ...
. On 20 December 1387 they intercepted de Vere at Battle of Radcot Bridge, Radcot Bridge, where he and his forces were routed and he was obliged to flee the country. Richard now had no choice but to comply with the appellants' demands; Brembre and Tresilian were condemned and executed, while de Vere and de la Polewho had by now also left the countrywere sentenced to death ''in absentia'' at the Merciless Parliament in February 1388. The proceedings went further, and a number of Richard's chamber knights were also executed, among these Burley. The appellants had now succeeded completely in breaking up the circle of favourites around the king.


Later reign


A fragile peace

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 Battle of Otterburn, Scottish incursion. Richard was now over twenty-one years old and could with confidence claim the right to govern in his own name.Saul (1997), pp. 203–4. 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 years, having reconciled with his former adversaries. Still, later events would show that he had not forgotten the indignities he perceived. In particular, the execution of his former teacher Sir Simon de Burley was an insult not easily forgotten. With national stability secured, Richard began negotiating a permanent peace with France. A proposal put forward in 1393 would have greatly expanded the territory of Duchy of Aquitaine, Aquitaine possessed by the English Crown. However, the plan failed because it included a requirement that the English king pay homage (feudal), homage to the King of Francea condition that proved unacceptable to the English public. Instead, in 1396, a truce was agreed to, which was to last 28 years. As part of the truce, Richard agreed to marry Isabella of Valois, Isabella, daughter of Charles VI of France, when she came of age. There were some misgivings about the betrothal, in particular because the princess was then only six years old, and thus would not be able to produce an heir to the throne of England for many years. Although Richard sought peace with France, he took a different approach to the situation in Ireland. The English Lordship of Ireland, lordships in Ireland were in danger of being overrun by the Gaelic Irish kingdoms, and the Normans in Ireland, Anglo-Irish lords were pleading for the king to intervene. In the autumn of 1394, Richard left for Ireland, where he remained until May 1395. His army of more than 8,000 men was the largest force brought to the island during the late Middle Ages. The invasion was a success, and a number of Irish chieftains submitted to English overlordship. It was one of the most successful achievements of Richard's reign, and strengthened his support at home, although the consolidation of the English position in Ireland proved to be short-lived.


Second crisis of 1397–99

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 disgrace of executing a prince of the blood. Warwick was also condemned to death, but his life was spared and his sentence reduced to life imprisonment. Arundel's brother Thomas Arundel, the Archbishop of Canterbury, was exiled for life. Richard then took his persecution of adversaries to the localities. While recruiting retinue, retainers for himself in various counties, he prosecuted local men who had been loyal to the appellants. The fines levied on these men brought great revenues to the crown, although contemporary chroniclers raised questions about the legality of the proceedings. These actions were made possible primarily through the collusion of John of Gaunt, but with the support of a large group of other magnates, many of whom were rewarded with new titles, who were disparagingly referred to as Richard's "duketti".Saul (2005), p. 63. These included the former Appellants Henry IV of England, Henry Bolingbroke, Earl of Derby, who was made Duke of Hereford, and Thomas de Mowbray, Earl of Nottingham, who was created Duke of Norfolk. Also among them were John Holland, 1st Duke of Exeter, John and Thomas Holland, 1st Duke of Surrey, Thomas Holland, the king's half-brother and nephew, who were promoted from earls of Earl of Huntingdon, Huntingdon and Earl of Kent, Kent to dukes of Duke of Exeter, Exeter and Duke of Surrey, Surrey respectively; the king's cousin Edward of Norwich, Earl of Rutland, who received Gloucester's French title of Duke of Aumale; Gaunt's son John Beaufort, 1st Earl of Somerset, who was made Marquess of Somerset and Marquess of Dorset; John Montacute, 3rd Earl of Salisbury; and Thomas Despenser, 1st Earl of Gloucester, Lord Thomas le Despenser, who became Earl of Gloucester. With the forfeited lands of the convicted appellants, the king could reward these men with lands suited to their new ranks.McKisack (1959), pp. 483–4. A threat to Richard's authority still existed, however, in the form of the House of Lancaster, represented by John of Gaunt and his son Henry Bolingbroke, Duke of Hereford. The House of Lancaster not only possessed greater wealth than any other family in England, they were of royal descent and, as such, likely candidates to succeed the childless Richard. Discord broke out in the inner circles of court in December 1397, when Bolingbroke and Mowbray became embroiled in a quarrel. According to Bolingbroke, Mowbray had claimed that the two, as former Lords Appellant, were next in line for royal retribution. Mowbray vehemently denied these charges, as such a claim would have amounted to treason. A parliamentary committee decided that the two should settle the matter by battle, but at the last moment Richard exiled the two dukes instead: Mowbray for life, Bolingbroke for ten years. On 3 February 1399, John of Gaunt died. Rather than allowing Bolingbroke to succeed, Richard extended the term of his exile to life and expropriated his properties. The king felt safe from Bolingbroke, who was residing in Paris, since the French had little interest in any challenge to Richard and his peace policy. Richard left the country in May for another expedition in Ireland. In 1398 Richard summoned the Parliament of Shrewsbury, which declared all the acts of the Merciless Parliament to be null and void, and announced that no restraint could legally be put on the king. It delegated all parliamentary power to a committee of twelve lords and six commoners chosen from the king's friends, making Richard an absolute ruler unbound by the necessity of gathering a Parliament again.


Court culture

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 his father had maintained while residing in Aquitaine. Richard's approach to kingship was rooted in his strong belief in the
royal prerogative The royal prerogative is a body of customary authority, privilege and immunity, recognized in common law In law, common law (also known as judicial precedent or judge-made law, or case law) is the body of law created by judges and similar quasi- ...
, the inspiration of which can be found in his early youth, when his authority was challenged first by the Peasants' Revolts and then by the Lords Appellant. Richard rejected the approach his grandfather Edward III had taken to the nobility. Edward's court had been a martial one, based on the interdependence between the king and his most trusted noblemen as military captains. In Richard's view, this put a dangerous amount of power in the hands of the baronage. To avoid dependence on the nobility for military recruitment, he pursued a policy of peace towards France.Saul (1997), p. 439. At the same time, he developed his own private military retinue, larger than that of any English king before him, and gave them livery heraldic badge, badges with his White Hart. He was then free to develop a courtly atmosphere in which the king was a distant, venerated figure, and art and culture, rather than warfare, were at the centre.


Patronage and the arts

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: an over life-size
Westminster Abbey Westminster Abbey, formally titled the Collegiate Church of Saint Peter at Westminster, is a large, mainly in the , London, England, just to the west of the . It is one of the United Kingdom's most notable religious buildings and the traditi ...

Westminster Abbey
portrait (c. 1390), and the
Wilton Diptych The Wilton Diptych () is a small portable diptych A diptych (; from the Greek δίπτυχον, ''di'' "two" + '' ptychē'' "fold") is any object with two flat plates which form a pair, often attached by hinge. For example, the standard notebo ...

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 his wife Anne. Among Richard's grandest projects in the field of architecture was Westminster Hall, which was extensively rebuilt during his reign, perhaps spurred on by the completion in 1391 of John of Gaunt's magnificent hall at Kenilworth Castle. Fifteen life-size statues of kings were placed in niches on the walls, and the hammer-beam roof by the royal carpenter Hugh Herland, "the greatest creation of medieval timber architecture", allowed the original three Romanesque architecture, Romanesque aisles to be replaced with a single huge open space, with a dais at the end for Richard to sit in solitary state. The rebuilding had been begun by Henry III of England, Henry III in 1245, but had by Richard's time been dormant for over a century. The court's patronage of literature is especially important, because this was the period in which the English language took shape as a Middle English literature#Late period, literary language. There is little evidence to tie Richard directly to patronage of English poetry#The Anglo-Norman period and the Later Middle Ages, poetry, but it was nevertheless within his court that this culture was allowed to thrive. The greatest poet of the age, Geoffrey Chaucer, served the king as a diplomat, a customs official and a clerk of Office of Works, The King's Works while producing some of his best-known work. Chaucer was also in the service of John of Gaunt, and wrote ''The Book of the Duchess'' as a eulogy to Gaunt's wife Blanche of Lancaster, Blanche. Chaucer's colleague and friend John Gower wrote his ''Confessio Amantis'' on a direct commission from Richard, although he later grew disenchanted with the king.


Downfall


Deposition

In June 1399, Louis I, 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 Bolingbroke 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 him. Meeting with Henry Percy, 1st 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 Bolingbroke experienced little resistance as he moved south. Keeper of the Realm Edmund, Duke of York, had little choice but to side with Bolingbroke. Meanwhile, Richard was delayed in his return from Ireland and did not land in Wales until 24 July. He made his way to Conwy Castle, Conwy, where on 12 August he met with the Earl of Northumberland for negotiations. On 19 August, Richard surrendered to Henry Bolingbroke at Flint Castle, promising to abdicate if his life were spared. Both men then returned to London, the indignant king riding all the way behind Henry. On arrival, he was imprisoned in the Tower of London on 1 September. Henry was by now fully determined to take the throne, but presenting a rationale for this action proved a dilemma. It was argued that Richard, through his tyranny and misgovernment, had rendered himself unworthy of being king. However, Henry was not next in line to the throne; the heir presumptive was Edmund Mortimer, 5th Earl of March, great-grandson of Edward III's second surviving son, Lionel, Duke of Clarence. Bolingbroke's father, John of Gaunt, was Edward's third son to survive to adulthood. The problem was solved by emphasising Henry's descent in a direct ''male'' line, whereas March's descent was through his grandmother, Philippa of Clarence. According to the official record, read by the Archbishop of Canterbury during an assembly of House of Lords#History, lords and commons at Westminster Hall on Tuesday 30 September, Richard gave up his crown willingly and ratified his deposition citing as a reason his own unworthiness as a monarch. On the other hand, the ''Traison et Mort Chronicle'' suggests otherwise. It describes a meeting between Richard and Henry that took place one day before the parliament's session. The king succumbed to blind rage, ordered his own release from the Tower, called his cousin a traitor, demanded to see his wife, and swore revenge, throwing down his bonnet, while Henry refused to do anything without parliamentary approval. When parliament met to discuss Richard's fate, John Trevor (died 1410), John Trevor, Bishop of St Asaph, read thirty-three articles of deposition that were unanimously accepted by lords and commons. On 1 October 1399, Richard II was formally deposed. On 13 October, the feast day of Edward the Confessor, Henry Bolingbroke was crowned king.


Death

Henry had agreed to let Richard live after his abdication. This all changed when it was revealed that the earls of Huntingdon, Kent, and Salisbury, and Lord Despenser, and possibly also the Earl of Rutlandall now demoted from the ranks they had been given by Richardwere planning to murder the new king and restore Richard in the Epiphany Rising. Although averted, the plot highlighted the danger of allowing Richard to live. He is thought to have been starved to death in captivity in Pontefract Castle on or around 14 February 1400, although there is some question over the date and manner of his death. His body was taken south from Pontefract and displayed in old St Paul's Cathedral, St Paul's Cathedral on 17 February before burial in King's Langley Priory on 6 March. Rumours that Richard was still alive persisted, but never gained much credence in England; in Scotland, however, a man identified as Richard came into the hands of Robert Stewart, Duke of Albany, Regent Albany, lodged in Stirling Castle, and serving as the notionaland perhaps reluctantfigurehead of various anti-Lancastrian and Lollard intrigues in England. Henry IV's government dismissed him as an impostor, and several sources from both sides of the border suggest the man had a mental illness, one also describing him as a "beggar" by the time of his death in 1419, but he was buried as a king in the local Dominican friary in Stirling. Meanwhile, in 1413, Henry V of England, Henry Vin an effort both to atone for his father's act of murder and to silence the rumours of Richard's survivalhad decided to have the body at King's Langley moved to its final resting place in Westminster Abbey. Here Richard himself had prepared an elaborate tomb, where the remains of his wife Anne were already entombed.


Character and assessment

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 (1.82 m) 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 him 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 coat of arms impalement (heraldry), impaled with the attributed arms, mythical arms of the Confessor. Though not a warrior king like his grandfather, Richard nevertheless enjoyed tournament (medieval), tournaments, as well as hunting. The popular view of Richard has more than anything been influenced by Shakespeare's play about the king, ''
Richard II Richard II (6 January 1367 – c. 14 February 1400), also known as Richard of Bordeaux, was King of England This list of kings and queens of the Kingdom of England The Kingdom of England was a sovereign state on the island of Gr ...
''. Shakespeare's Richard was a cruel, vindictive and irresponsible king, who attained a semblance of greatness only after his fall from power. Writing a work of fiction, however, Shakespeare took many liberties and made great omissions, basing his play on works by writers such as Edward Hall and Samuel Daniel, who in turn based their writings on contemporary chroniclers such as Thomas Walsingham. Hall and Daniel were part of Tudor historiography, which was highly unsympathetic to Richard. The Tudor orthodoxy, reinforced by Shakespeare, saw a continuity in civil discord starting with Richard's misrule that did not end until Henry VII of England, Henry VII's accession in 1485. The idea that Richard was to blame for the later-15th century
Wars of the Roses The Wars of the Roses were a series of fifteenth-century English civil wars for control of the throne of England, fought between supporters of two rival cadet branches of the royal House of Plantagenet: the House of Lancaster, represented by a ...
was prevalent as late as the 19th century, but came to be challenged in the 20th. Some recent historians prefer to look at the Wars of the Roses in isolation from the reign of Richard II. Richard's mental state has been a major issue of historical debate since the first academic historians started treating the subject in the 19th century. One of the first modern historians to deal with Richard II as a king and as a person was Bishop Stubbs. Stubbs argued that towards the end of his reign, Richard's mind "was losing its balance altogether". Historian Anthony Steel (historian), Anthony Steel, who wrote a full-scale biography of the king in 1941, took a psychiatric approach to the issue, and concluded that Richard had schizophrenia. This was challenged by V. H. Galbraith, who argued that there was no historical basis for such a diagnosis, a line that has also been followed by later historians of the period, such as Anthony Goodman (historian), Anthony Goodman and Anthony Tuck. Nigel Saul, who wrote the most recent academic biography on Richard II, concedes thateven though there is no basis for assuming the king had a mental illnesshe showed clear signs of a narcissistic personality, and towards the end of his reign "Richard's grasp on reality was becoming weaker". One of the primary historiographical questions surrounding Richard concerns his political agenda and the reasons for its failure. His kingship was thought to contain elements of the early modern absolute monarchy as exemplified by the Tudor dynasty. More recently, Richard's concept of kingship has been seen by some as not so different from that of his antecedents, and that it was exactly by staying within the framework of traditional monarchy that he was able to achieve as much as he did.Walker (1995), p. 63. Yet his actions were too extreme, and too abrupt. For one, the absence of war was meant to reduce the burden of taxation, and so help Richard's popularity with the Commons in parliament. However, this promise was never fulfilled, as the cost of the royal retinue, the opulence of court and Richard's lavish patronage of his favourites proved as expensive as war had been, without offering commensurate benefits. As for his policy of military retaining, this was later emulated by Edward IV and Henry VII, but Richard II's exclusive reliance on the county of Cheshire hurt his support from the rest of the country. As Simon Walker (historian), Simon Walker concludes: "What he sought was, in contemporary terms, neither unjustified nor unattainable; it was the manner of his seeking that betrayed him."


Family tree


See also

* Cultural depictions of Richard II of England * List of earls in the reign of Richard II of England


Notes

a. John of Gaunt's brother Edmund of Langley, 1st Duke of York, Edmund of Langley was only one year younger, but it has been suggested that this prince was of "limited ability", and he took less part in government than Gaunt did.
b. It has been speculated that the whole incident surrounding the killing of Wat Tyler was in fact planned in advance by the council, in order to end the rebellion.
c. While both England and the Empire supported Pope Urban VI in Rome, the French sided with the Avignon Papacy of Antipope Clement VII, Clement VII.
d. This "appeal"which would give its name to the
Lords Appellant The Lords Appellant were a group of nobles in the reign of King Richard II Richard II (6 January 1367 – c. 14 February 1400), also known as Richard of Bordeaux, was King of England This list of kings and queens of the Kingdom of Eng ...
was not an appeal in the modern sense of an application to a higher authority. In medieval common law the appeal was criminal charge, often one of treason.
e. Beaufort was the oldest of John of Gaunt's children with Katherine Swynford; illegitimate children whom Richard had given legitimate status in 1390. He was made Marquess of Dorset; marquess being a relatively new title in England up until this point. Rutland, heir to the Edmund of Langley, 1st Duke of York, Duke of York, was created Counts and Dukes of Aumale, Duke of Aumale. Montacute had succeeded William Montacute, 2nd Earl of Salisbury, his uncle as Earl of Salisbury earlier the same year. Despenser, the great-grandson of Hugh Despenser the Younger, Edward II of England, Edward II's favourite who was executed for treason in 1326, was given the forfeited Earl of Gloucester, earldom of Gloucester.
f. Though it had become established tradition for earldoms to descend in the male line, there was no such tradition for royal Succession to the British throne, succession in England. The precedence could indeed be seen to invalidate the English claim to the French throne, based on succession through the female line, over which the
Hundred Years' War The Hundred Years’ War (french: link=yes, La guerre de Cent Ans; 1337–1453) was a series of armed conflicts between the kingdoms of and during the . It originated from disputed claims to the between the English and the French roy ...
was being fought.Tuck (1985), p. 221.


References


Sources


Chronicles

* (1993) ''Chronicles of the Revolution, 1397–1400: The Reign of Richard II'', ed. Chris Given-Wilson. Manchester: Manchester University Press. . * Jean Froissart, Froissart, Jean (1978). ''Chronicles'', ed. Geoffrey Brereton. London: Penguin. . * (1977) ''Historia Vitae et Regni Ricardi Secundi'', ed. George B. Stow. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press. . * Henry Knighton, Knighton, Henry (1995). ''Knighton's Chronicle 1337–1396'', ed. G. H. Martin. Oxford: Clarendon Press. . * Thomas Walsingham, Walsingham, Thomas (1862–64).
Historia Anglicana
' 2 vols., ed. Henry Thomas Riley. London: Longman, Roberts, and Green


Secondary sources

* Alexander, Jonathan; Binski, Paul (eds.) (1987). ''Age of Chivalry, Art in Plantagenet England, 1200–1400''. London: Royal Academy/Weidenfeld & Nicolson. * * * * * * * * * * * * * Michael Levey, Levey, Michael (1971). ''Painting at Court''. London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson. * * * * * * *


External links


Richard II's Treasure
from the Institute of Historical Research and Royal Holloway, University of London.
Richard II's Irish chancery rolls
listed by year, translated, published online by CIRCLE.
The Peasants' Revolt
BBC Radio 4 discussion with Miri Rubin, Caroline Barron & Alastair Dunn (''In Our Time'', 16 November 2006) , - {{DEFAULTSORT:Richard 02 Of England Richard II of England, 1367 births 1400 deaths 14th-century English monarchs 14th-century murdered monarchs 14th-century English nobility Burials at Westminster Abbey Deaths by starvation Dukes of Cornwall English people of French descent English pretenders to the French throne English Roman Catholics House of Plantagenet Knights of the Garter Medieval child rulers Monarchs who abdicated Peasants' Revolt People from Bordeaux Princes of Wales Prisoners in the Tower of London Peers created by Edward III Children of Edward the Black Prince