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House of Plantagenet - King Richard II

Name: King Richard II
Father: Edward, the Black Prince
Mother: Joan of Kent
Born: January 6, 1367 at Bordeaux, France
Ascended to the throne: June 22, 1377 aged 10 years
Crowned: July 16, 1377 at Westminster Abbey
Married:(1) Anne of Bohemia
Married (2): Isabella, nine year old daughter of Charles VI of France
Children: None
Died: February 14, 1400 at Pontefract Castle, Yorkshire (starved to death), aged 33 years, 1 month, and 8 days
Buried at: Langley reburied Westminster

King of England from 1377, effectively from 1389, son of Edward the Black Prince. He reigned in conflict with Parliament; they executed some of his associates in 1388, and he executed some of the opposing barons in 1397, whereupon he made himself absolute. Two years later, forced to abdicate in favour of Henry IV, he was jailed and died.

In 1381 Richard was faced with the Peasants' Revolt, a result of the imposition of the Poll Tax in 1380. The leader of the Revolt, Wat Tyler, was stabbed and killed at Smithfield by the Lord Mayor of London, fearing for the safety of the king. Richard's apparent courage in facing the mobs gathered at Mile End and Smithfield also contributed to the failure of the uprising.

Richard was born in Bordeaux. He succeeded his grandfather Edward III when only ten, the government being in the hands of a council of regency. His fondness for favourites resulted in conflicts with Parliament, and in 1388 the baronial party, headed by the Duke of Gloucester, had many of his friends executed. Richard recovered control in 1389, and ruled moderately until 1397, when he had Gloucester murdered and his other leading opponents executed or banished, and assumed absolute power. In 1399 his cousin Henry Bolingbroke, Duke of Hereford (later Henry IV), returned from exile to lead a revolt; Richard II was deposed by Parliament and imprisoned in Pontefract Castle, where he died probably of starrvation.

King Richard II's Signature

Timeline for King Richard II

1377 Ten year old Richard II succeeds his grandfather, Edward III; the kingdom is ruled at first by the King’s uncles, John of Gaunt and Thomas of Gloucester.
1380 John Wycliffe begins to translate the New Testament from Latin into English .
1380 A Poll Tax is levied, a shilling a head for the entire male population
1381 Poll Tax leads to the Peasants’ Revolt. Watt Tyler and John Ball march on London.
1382 Richard promises that the taxes will be repealed, but as the rebels return they are hunted and executed.
1382 William of Wykeham founds Winchester College
1387 Led by the Duke of Gloucester, the Lords Appellant control the government
1388 Scots defeat Henry Hotspur at the Battle of Otterburn
1389 Richard takes control of the government; William of Wykeham is Lord Chancellor
1394 Richard leads English army to reconquer west of Ireland.
1396 Richard marries Isabella daughter of the King of France and signs a 28 year truce with France.
1397 Richard takes revenge against Lords Appellant and exiles Henry Bolingbroke
1398 Richard (Dick) Whittington becomes Lord Mayor of London
1399 Bolingbroke becomes Duke of Lancaster on the death of John of Gaunt, but Richard seizes his possessions. Bolingbroke returns from exile to claim his inheritance and seizes the throne.
1399 Richard, who is away fighting at Leinster in Ireland, returns, but is deposed and imprisoned in Pontefract Castle, where he dies in 1400