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King Henry IV (1399 - 1413)


Name: King Henry IV
Born: April 4, 1366 at Bolingbroke Castle, Lincolnshire
Parents: John of Gaunt and Blanche of Lancaster
Relation to Elizabeth II: 16th great-granduncle
House of: Lancaster
Ascended to the throne: September 30, 1399 aged 33 years
Crowned: October 13, 1399 at Westminster Abbey
Married: (1) Mary de Bohun, (2) Joan, Daughter of Charles II of Navarre
Children: Five sons including Henry V, and two daughters
Died: March 20, 1413 at Westminster Abbey, aged 46 years, 11 months, and 14 days
Buried at: Canterbury
Reigned for: 13 years, 5 months, and 18 days
Succeeded by: his son Henry V

King of England from 1399, the son of John of Gaunt. In 1398 he was banished by Richard II but returned in 1399 to head a revolt and be accepted as king by Parliament. He was succeeded by his son Henry V.

He had difficulty in keeping the support of Parliament and the clergy, and had to deal with baronial unrest and Owen Glendower's rising in Wales. In order to win support he had to conciliate the Church by a law for the burning of heretics, and to make many concessions to Parliament. The Percy family was defeated at Shrewsbury in 1403, and the Earl of Northumberland was beaten at Bramham Moor in 1408.

King Henry IV's Signature

Timeline for King Henry IV

Year Event
1399Henry returns from exile in France to reclaim his estates seized by Richard II; he claims the throne and is crowned. His coronation was the first since the Norman Conquest in which the King's address was in English instead of Norman French.
1400Richard dies of starvation in Pontefract Castle.
1400Death of the poet Geoffrey Chaucer leaving The Canterbury Tales unfinished.
1401Owain Glyndwr leads Welsh revolt against English rule
1402State visit to England of Manuel II, the Byzantine emperor
1403First rebellion by the Percy family from Northumberland defeated at the Battle of Shrewsbury.
1404Glyndwr makes a treaty with the French, who send an army in 1405 to support the rebellion against the English.
1405Second Percy rebellion takes place
1406Henry contracts a leprosy-like illness
1408Third Percy rebellion takes place.
1413Henry dies at Westminster, worn out by constant revolts and shortage of money.