Reign of King Henry IV

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Historical Context Note

Henry IV was, like his predecessor Richard II, a grandson of Edward III. The son of John of Gaunt and Blanche of Lancaster, he had been a playmate of Richard II when they were children, but had been one of the 'Lords Appellant', rebelling against Richard in 1387. Richard allowed Henry back into favour at the time, but when John of Gaunt died in 1399, he refused to allow Henry to inherit his titles and estates without personally requesting them from the king. Supported by Thomas Arundel, who had been Archbishop of Canterbury until he was ousted by Richard, Henry launched a military campaign while the king was away in Ireland, and soon was able to declare himself king and depose Richard.

His short reign was beset by difficulties …

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Related Groups

  1. European Dynastic and Religious Wars 16th-17th Centuries: France
  2. Reigns and Monarchy in the British Isles