Illuminated miniature of Henry IV, c. 1402
|King of England|
|Reign||30 September 1399 – 20 March 1413|
|Coronation||13 October 1399|
|Born||15 April 1367 |
Bolingbroke Castle, Lincolnshire, England
|Died||20 March 1413 (aged 45)|
Westminster, London, England
Mary de Bohun
(m. 1381;died 1394)
Joan of Navarre (m. 1403)
|House||House of Lancaster|
|Father||John of Gaunt|
|Mother||Blanche of Lancaster|
Henry IV (15 April 1367 – 20 March 1413), also known as Henry Bolingbroke ( // ), was King of England from 1399 to 1413, and asserted the claim of his grandfather, Edward III (himself a maternal grandson of Philip IV of France), to the Kingdom of France.
Philip IV, called Philip the Fair, was King of France from 1285 until his death. By virtue of his marriage with Joan I of Navarre, he was also King of Navarre as Philip I from 1284 to 1305, as well as Count of Champagne. Although Philip was known as handsome, hence the epithet le Bel, his rigid and inflexible personality gained him other nicknames, such as the Iron King. His fierce opponent Bernard Saisset, bishop of Pamiers, said of him: "he is neither man nor beast. He is a statue."
The Kingdom of France was a medieval and early modern monarchy in Western Europe. It was one of the most powerful states in Europe and a great power since the Late Middle Ages and the Hundred Years' War. It was also an early colonial power, with possessions around the world.
Henry was born at Bolingbroke Castle in Lincolnshire. His father, John of Gaunt (1340-1399) (created 1st Duke of Lancaster in right of his wife), was the fourth son (third to survive to adulthood) of King Edward III and enjoyed a position of considerable influence during much of the reign of his nephew King Richard II (1377-1399) whom Henry eventually deposed.
Bolingbroke Castle is a ruined castle in Bolingbroke Lincolnshire, England.
Lincolnshire is a county in eastern England, with a long coastline on the North Sea to the east. It borders Norfolk to the south east, Cambridgeshire to the south, Rutland to the south west, Leicestershire and Nottinghamshire to the west, South Yorkshire to the north west, and the East Riding of Yorkshire to the north. It also borders Northamptonshire in the south for just 20 yards (18 m), England's shortest county boundary. The county town is the city of Lincoln, where the county council has its headquarters.
John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster was an English prince, military leader, and statesman. He was the third of the five sons of King Edward III of England who survived to adulthood. Due to his royal origin, advantageous marriages, and some generous land grants, Gaunt was one of the richest men of his era, and an influential figure during the reigns of both his father, Edward, and his nephew, Richard II. As Duke of Lancaster, he is the founder of the royal House of Lancaster, whose members would ascend to the throne after his death. His birthplace, Ghent, corrupted into English as Gaunt, was the origin for his name. When he became unpopular later in life, scurrilous rumours and lampoons circulated that he was actually the son of a Ghent butcher, perhaps because Edward III was not present at the birth. This story always drove him to fury.
Henry's mother was Blanche of Lancaster, heiress to the great Lancashire estates of her father Henry of Grosmont, 1st Duke of Lancaster (a descendant in the male line of King Henry III). Henry, having succeeded his father as 2nd Duke of Lancaster, when he became king thus founded the Lancaster branch of the Plantagenet English monarchy. He was also the first King of England since the Norman Conquest whose mother tongue was English rather than French.
Blanche of Lancaster was a member of the English royal House of Plantagenet and the daughter of the kingdom's wealthiest and most powerful peer, Henry of Grosmont, 1st Duke of Lancaster. She was the first wife of John of Gaunt, the mother of King Henry IV, and the grandmother of King Henry V of England.
Henry of Grosmont, 1st Duke of Lancaster, 4th Earl of Leicester and Lancaster, Earl of Derby, KG, of Bolingbroke Castle in Lincolnshire, was a member of the English royal family and a prominent English diplomat, politician, and soldier. He was the wealthiest and most powerful peer of the realm. The son and heir of Henry, 3rd Earl of Lancaster, and Maud Chaworth, he became one of King Edward III's most trusted captains in the early phases of the Hundred Years' War and distinguished himself with victory in the Battle of Auberoche. He was a founding member and the second Knight of the Order of the Garter in 1348, and in 1351 was created Duke of Lancaster. An intelligent and reflective man, Grosmont taught himself to write and was the author of the book Livre de seyntz medicines, a highly personal devotional treatise. He is remembered as one of the founders and early patrons of Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, which was established by two guilds of the town in 1352.
Henry III, also known as Henry of Winchester, was King of England, Lord of Ireland, and Duke of Aquitaine from 1216 until his death. The son of King John and Isabella of Angoulême, Henry assumed the throne when he was only nine in the middle of the First Barons' War. Cardinal Guala declared the war against the rebel barons to be a religious crusade and Henry's forces, led by William Marshal, defeated the rebels at the battles of Lincoln and Sandwich in 1217. Henry promised to abide by the Great Charter of 1225, which limited royal power and protected the rights of the major barons. His early rule was dominated first by Hubert de Burgh and then Peter des Roches, who re-established royal authority after the war. In 1230, the King attempted to reconquer the provinces of France that had once belonged to his father, but the invasion was a debacle. A revolt led by William Marshal's son, Richard, broke out in 1232, ending in a peace settlement negotiated by the Church.
One of Henry's elder sisters, Philippa of Lancaster, married King John I of Portugal, and the other, Elizabeth of Lancaster, was the mother of John Holland, 2nd Duke of Exeter. His younger half-sister Katherine of Lancaster, the daughter of his father's second wife, Constance of Castile, was queen consort of the King of Castile. He also had four natural half-siblings born of Katherine Swynford, originally his sisters' governess, then his father's longstanding mistress and later third wife. These four illegitimate children were given the surname Beaufort from their birthplace at the Château de Beaufort in Champagne, France.
Philippa of Lancaster was Queen of Portugal from 1387 until 1415 by marriage to King John I. Born into the royal family of England, her marriage secured the Treaty of Windsor and produced several children who became known as the "Illustrious Generation" in Portugal.
John I, also called John of Aviz, was King of Portugal from 1385 until his death in 1433. He is recognized chiefly for his role in Portugal's victory in a succession war with Castile, preserving his country's independence and establishing the Aviz dynasty on the Portuguese throne. His long reign of 48 years, the most extensive of all Portuguese monarchs, saw the beginning of Portugal's overseas expansion. John's well-remembered reign in his country earned him the epithet of Fond Memory ; he was also referred to as "the Good", sometimes "the Great", and more rarely, especially in Spain, as "the Bastard" (Bastardo).
Elizabeth of Lancaster was the third child of John of Gaunt, 1st Duke of Lancaster, and his first wife Blanche of Lancaster.
Henry's relationship with his stepmother, Katherine Swynford, was a positive one, but his relationship with the Beauforts varied. In youth he seems to have been close to all of them, but rivalries with Henry and Thomas Beaufort proved problematic after 1406. Ralph Neville, who had married Henry's half-sister Joan Beaufort, remained one of his strongest supporters, and so did his eldest half-brother John Beaufort, even though Henry revoked Richard II's grant to John of a marquessate. Thomas Swynford, a son from Katherine's first marriage to Sir Hugh Swynford, was another loyal companion. Thomas was Constable of Pontefract Castle, where King Richard II is said to have died.
Thomas Beaufort, Duke of Exeter was an English military commander during the Hundred Years' War, and briefly Chancellor of England. He was the third of the four children born to John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster, and his mistress Katherine Swynford. To overcome their problematic parentage, his parents were married in 1396, and he and his siblings were legitimated on two separate occasions, in 1390 and again in 1397. He married the daughter of Sir Thomas Neville of Hornby, Margaret Neville, who bore him one son, Henry Beaufort. However, the child died young.
Ralph Neville, 1st Earl of WestmorlandEarl Marshal, was an English nobleman of the House of Neville.
Joan Beaufort, Countess of Westmorland, was the fourth of the four children of John of Gaunt, 1st Duke of Lancaster, and his mistress, later wife, Katherine Swynford. In her widowhood, she was a powerful landowner in the North of England.
Henry's half-sister Joan Beaufort was the grandmother of Edward IV and Richard III. Joan's daughter Cecily married Richard, Duke of York and had several offspring, including Edward IV and Richard III, making Joan the grandmother of two Yorkist kings of England.
Edward IV was the King of England from 4 March 1461 to 3 October 1470, and again from 11 April 1471 until his death. He was the first Yorkist King of England. The first half of his rule was marred by the violence associated with the Wars of the Roses, but he overcame the Lancastrian challenge to the throne at Tewkesbury in 1471 to reign in peace until his sudden death. Before becoming king, he was Duke of York, Earl of March, Earl of Cambridge and Earl of Ulster.
Richard III was King of England and Lord of Ireland from 1483 until his death at the Battle of Bosworth Field. He was the last king of the House of York and the last of the Plantagenet dynasty. His defeat at Bosworth Field, the last decisive battle of the Wars of the Roses, marked the end of the Middle Ages in England. He is the protagonist of Richard III, one of William Shakespeare's history plays.
Cecily Neville was an English noblewoman, the wife of Richard, Duke of York (1411–1460), and the mother of two kings of England, Edward IV and Richard III. Cecily Neville was known as "the Rose of Raby", because she was born at Raby Castle in Durham, and "Proud Cis", because of her pride and a temper that went with it, although she was also known for her piety. She herself signed her name "Cecylle".
Henry experienced a rather more inconsistent relationship with King Richard II than his father had. First cousins and childhood playmates, they were admitted together to the Order of the Garter in 1377, but Henry participated in the Lords Appellants' rebellion against the king in 1387.After regaining power, Richard did not punish Henry, although he did execute or exile many of the other rebellious barons. In fact, Richard elevated Henry from Earl of Derby to Duke of Hereford.
Henry spent the full year of 1390 supporting the unsuccessful siege of Vilnius (capital of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania) by Teutonic Knights with 70 to 80 household knights.During this campaign he bought captured Lithuanian women and children and took them back to Königsberg to be converted. Henry's second expedition to Lithuania in 1392 illustrates the financial benefits to the Order of these guest crusaders. His small army consisted of over 100 men, including longbow archers and six minstrels, at a total cost to the Lancastrian purse of £4,360. Despite the efforts of Henry and his English crusaders, two years of attacks on Vilnius proved fruitless. In 1392–93 Henry undertook a pilgrimage to Jerusalem, where he made offerings at the Holy Sepulchre and at the Mount of Olives. Later he vowed to lead a crusade to 'free Jerusalem from the infidel,' but he died before this could be accomplished.
The relationship between Henry Bolingbroke and the king met with a second crisis. In 1398, a remark by Thomas de Mowbray, 1st Duke of Norfolk regarding Richard II's rule was interpreted as treason by Henry and Henry reported it to the king.The two dukes agreed to undergo a duel of honour (called by Richard II) at Gosford Green near Caludon Castle, Mowbray's home in Coventry. Yet before the duel could take place, Richard II decided to banish Henry from the kingdom (with the approval of Henry's father, John of Gaunt) to avoid further bloodshed. Mowbray himself was exiled for life.
John of Gaunt died in February 1399.Without explanation, Richard cancelled the legal documents that would have allowed Henry to inherit Gaunt's land automatically. Instead, Henry would be required to ask for the lands from Richard. After some hesitation, Henry met with the exiled Thomas Arundel, former Archbishop of Canterbury, who had lost his position because of his involvement with the Lords Appellant. Henry and Arundel returned to England while Richard was on a military campaign in Ireland. With Arundel as his advisor, Henry began a military campaign, confiscating land from those who opposed him and ordering his soldiers to destroy much of Cheshire. Henry initially announced that his intention was to reclaim his rights as Duke of Lancaster, though he quickly gained enough power and support to have himself declared King Henry IV, imprison King Richard (who died in prison under mysterious circumstances) and bypass Richard's 7-year-old heir-presumptive, Edmund de Mortimer. Henry's coronation, on 13 October 1399 at Westminster Abbey, may have marked the first time since the Norman Conquest when the monarch made an address in English.
Henry consulted with Parliament frequently, but was sometimes at odds with the members, especially over ecclesiastical matters. On Arundel's advice, Henry obtained from Parliament the enactment of De heretico comburendo in 1401, which prescribed the burning of heretics, an act done mainly to suppress the Lollard movement.In 1410, Parliament suggested confiscating church land. Henry refused to attack the Church that had helped him to power, and the House of Commons had to beg for the bill to be struck off the record.
Henry's first major problem as monarch was what to do with the deposed Richard. After an early assassination plot (the Epiphany Rising) was foiled in January 1400, Richard died in prison, probably of starvation. He was 33 years old. Though Henry is often suspected of having his predecessor murdered, there is no substantial evidence to prove that claim. Some chroniclers claimed that the despondent Richard had starved himself,which would not have been out of place with what is known of Richard's character. Though council records indicate that provisions were made for the transportation of the deposed king's body as early as 17 February, there is no reason to believe that he did not die on 14 February, as several chronicles stated. It can be positively said that he did not suffer a violent death, for his skeleton, upon examination, bore no signs of violence; whether he did indeed starve himself or whether that starvation was forced upon him are matters for lively historical speculation.
After his death, Richard's body was put on public display in the old St Paul's Cathedral, both to prove to his supporters that he was truly dead and also to prove that he had not suffered a violent death. This did not stop rumours from circulating for years after that he was still alive and waiting to take back his throne. Henry had Richard discreetly buried in the Dominican Priory at King's Langley, Hertfordshire, where he remained until King Henry V brought his body back to London and buried him in the tomb that Richard had commissioned for himself in Westminster Abbey.
Henry spent much of his reign defending himself against plots, rebellions and assassination attempts.
|House of Lancaster|
Rebellions continued throughout the first 10 years of Henry's reign, including the revolt of Owain Glyndŵr, who declared himself Prince of Wales in 1400, and the rebellions led by Henry Percy, 1st Earl of Northumberland, from 1402. The king's success in putting down these rebellions was due partly to the military ability of his eldest son, Henry of Monmouth, who later became king (though the son managed to seize much effective power from his father in 1410).
In the last year of Henry's reign, the rebellions picked up speed. "The old fable of a living Richard was revived", notes one account, "and emissaries from Scotland traversed the villages of England, in the last year of Henry's reign, declaring that Richard was residing at the Scottish Court, awaiting only a signal from his friends to repair to London and recover his throne."
A suitable-looking impostor was found and King Richard's old groom circulated word in the city that his master was alive in Scotland. "Southwark was incited to insurrection" by Sir Elias Lyvet (Levett) and his associate Thomas Clark, who promised Scottish aid in carrying out the insurrection. Ultimately, the rebellion came to naught. The knight Lyvet was released and his follower thrown into the Tower.
Early in his reign, Henry hosted the visit of Manuel II Palaiologos, the only Byzantine emperor ever to visit England, from December 1400 to January 1401 at Eltham Palace, with a joust being given in his honour. Henry also sent monetary support with Manuel II upon his departure to aid him against the Ottoman Empire.
In 1406, English pirates captured the future James I of Scotland off the coast of Flamborough Head as he was going to France.James was delivered to the English king and remained a prisoner for the rest of Henry's reign.
The later years of Henry's reign were marked by serious health problems. He had a disfiguring skin disease and, more seriously, suffered acute attacks of some grave illness in June 1405; April 1406; June 1408; during the winter of 1408–09; December 1412; and finally a fatal bout in March 1413. Medical historians have long debated the nature of this affliction or afflictions. The skin disease might have been leprosy (which did not necessarily mean precisely the same thing in the 15th century as it does to modern medicine), perhaps psoriasis, or some other disease. The acute attacks have been given a wide range of explanations, from epilepsy to some form of cardiovascular disease.Some medieval writers felt that he was struck with leprosy as a punishment for his treatment of Richard le Scrope, Archbishop of York, who was executed in June 1405 on Henry's orders after a failed coup.
According to Holinshed, it was predicted that Henry would die in Jerusalem, and Shakespeare's play repeats this prophecy. Henry took this to mean that he would die on crusade. In reality, he died in the Jerusalem Chamber in the abbot's house of Westminster Abbey, on 20 March 1413 during a convocation of Parliament.His executor, Thomas Langley, was at his side.
Despite the example set by most of his recent predecessors, Henry and his second wife, Joan of Navarre, Queen of England, were buried not at Westminster Abbey but at Canterbury Cathedral, on the north side of Trinity Chapel and directly adjacent to the shrine of St Thomas Becket. Becket's cult was then still thriving, as evidenced in the monastic accounts and in literary works such as The Canterbury Tales , and Henry seemed particularly devoted to it, or at least keen to be associated with it. Reasons for his interment in Canterbury are debatable, but it is highly likely that Henry deliberately associated himself with the martyr saint for reasons of political expediency, namely, the legitimisation of his dynasty after seizing the throne from Richard II.Significantly, at his coronation, he was anointed with holy oil that had reportedly been given to Becket by the Virgin Mary shortly before his death in 1170; this oil was placed inside a distinct eagle-shaped container of gold. According to one version of the tale, the oil had then passed to Henry's maternal grandfather, Henry of Grosmont, 1st Duke of Lancaster.
Proof of Henry's deliberate connection to St Thomas lies partially in the structure of the tomb itself. The wooden panel at the western end of his tomb bears a painting of the martyrdom of Becket, and the tester, or wooden canopy, above the tomb is painted with Henry's personal motto, 'Soverayne', alternated by crowned golden eagles. Likewise, the three large coats of arms that dominate the tester painting are surrounded by collars of SS, a golden eagle enclosed in each tiret.The presence of such eagle motifs points directly to Henry's coronation oil and his ideological association with St Thomas. Sometime after the King's death, an imposing tomb was built for him and his queen, probably commissioned and paid for by Queen Joan herself. Atop the tomb chest lie detailed alabaster effigies of the King and Queen, crowned and dressed in their ceremonial robes. Henry's body was evidently well embalmed, as an exhumation in 1832 established, allowing historians to state with reasonable certainty that the effigies do represent accurate portraiture.
Before his father's death in 1399, Henry bore the arms of the kingdom, differenced by a label of five points ermine. After his father's death, the difference changed to a label of five points per pale ermine and France. – from a field of fleur-de-lys to just three.Upon his accession as king, Henry updated the arms of the kingdom to match an update in those of royal France
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When Richard II was forced to abdicate the throne in 1399, Henry was next in line to the throne according to Edward III's entailment of 1376. That entailment clearly reflects the operation of agnatic primogeniture, also known as the Salic law. At this time, it was by no means a settled custom for the daughter of a king to supersede the brothers of that king in the line of succession to the throne. Indeed, it was not an established belief that women could inherit the throne at all by right: the only previous instance of succession passing through a woman had been that which involved the Empress Matilda, and this had involved protracted civil war, with the other protagonist being the son of Matilda's father's sister (not his brother). Yet, the heir of the royal estate according to common law (by which the houses and tenancies of common people like peasants and tradesmen passed) was Edmund Mortimer, 5th Earl of March, who descended from the daughter of Edward III's third son (second to survive to adulthood), Lionel of Antwerp. Bolingbroke's father, John of Gaunt, was Edward's fourth son and the third 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.
The official account of events claims that Richard voluntarily agreed to resign his crown to Henry on 29 September. The country had rallied behind Henry and supported his claim in parliament. However, the question of the succession never went away. The problem lay in the fact that Henry was only the most prominent male heir, but not the most senior in terms of agnatic descent from Edward III. Although he was heir to the throne according to Edward III's entail to the crown of 1376, 366–9). Henry thus had to overcome the superior claim of the Mortimers in order to maintain his inheritance. This difficulty compounded when the Mortimer claim was merged with the Yorkist claim in the person of Richard Plantagenet, Duke of York. The Duke of York was the heir-general of Edward III, and the heir presumptive (due to agnatic descent, the same principle by which Henry IV claimed the throne in 1399) of Henry's grandson Henry VI (since Henry IV's other sons did not have male heirs, and the legitimated Beauforts were excluded from the throne). The House of Lancaster was finally deposed by Edward IV, son of Richard of York, 3rd Duke of York, during the Wars of the Roses.Dr. Ian Mortimer has pointed out in his 2008 biography of Henry IV that this entail had probably been supplanted by an entail made by Richard II in 1399 (see Ian Mortimer, The Fears of Henry IV, appendix two, pp.
|Ancestors of Henry IV of England [ not in citation given ]|
The date and venue of Henry's first marriage to Mary de Bohun (died 1394) are uncertain, but her marriage licence, purchased by Henry's father John of Gaunt in June 1380 is preserved at the National Archives. The accepted date of the ceremony is 5 February 1381, at Mary's family home of Rochford Hall, Essex.Alternately, the near-contemporary chronicler Jean Froissart reports a rumour that Mary's sister Eleanor de Bohun kidnapped Mary from Pleshey Castle and held her at Arundel Castle, where she was kept as a novice nun; Eleanor's intention was to control Mary's half of the Bohun inheritance (or to allow her husband, Thomas, Duke of Gloucester, to control it). There Mary was persuaded to marry Henry. They had six children:
|Henry V of England (1386–1422), 1st son||Arms of King Henry IV: France modern quartering Plantagenet|
|Thomas of Lancaster, Duke of Clarence (1387–1421), 2nd son, who married Margaret Holland, widow of John Beaufort, 1st Earl of Somerset, and daughter of Thomas Holland, 2nd Earl of Kent. Without progeny.||Arms of King Henry IV with a label of three points argent each charged with three ermine spots and a canton gules for difference|
|John of Lancaster, Duke of Bedford (1389–1435), 3rd son, who married twice: firstly to Anne of Burgundy (d.1432), daughter of John the Fearless, without progeny. Secondly to Jacquetta of Luxembourg, without progeny.||Arms of King Henry IV with a label of five points per pale ermine and France for difference|
|Humphrey of Lancaster, Duke of Gloucester (1390–1447), 4th son, who married twice but left no surviving legitimate progeny: firstly to Jacqueline, Countess of Hainaut and Holland (d.1436), daughter of William VI, Count of Hainaut. Through this marriage Gloucester assumed the title "Count of Holland, Zeeland and Hainault". Secondly to Eleanor Cobham, his mistress.||Arms of King Henry IV with bordure argent for difference|
|Blanche of England (1392–1409) married in 1402 Louis III, Elector Palatine|
|Philippa of England (1394–1430) married in 1406 Eric of Pomerania, king of Denmark, Norway and Sweden.|
Henry had four sons from his first marriage, which was undoubtedly a clinching factor in his acceptability for the throne. By contrast, Richard II had no children and Richard's heir-presumptive Edmund Mortimer was only seven years old. The only two of Henry's six children who produced children to survive to adulthood were Henry V and Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester. Henry IV's male Lancaster line ended in 1471 during the War of the Roses, between the Lancastrians and the Yorkists, with the deaths of his grandson Henry VI and Henry VI's son Edward, Prince of Wales. The descendants of Henry IV's son Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester, include Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon, queen consort of George VI and mother of Elizabeth II,and the Queen's current daughters-in-law Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, and Sophie, Countess of Wessex.
Mary de Bohun died in 1394, and on 7 February 1403 Henry married Joanna of Navarre, the daughter of Charles d'Évreux, King of Navarre, at Winchester. She was the widow of John IV, Duke of Brittany (known in traditional English sources as John V),with whom she had had four daughters and four sons; however, her marriage to the King of England was childless.
By an unknown mistress, Henry IV had one illegitimate child:
Katherine Swynford, Duchess of Lancaster, also spelled Katharine or Catherine, was the third wife of John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster, a son of King Edward III. She had been the Duke's lover for many years before their marriage. The couple's children, born before the marriage, were later legitimated during the reign of the Duke's nephew, Richard II. When the Duke's son from his first marriage overthrew Richard, becoming Henry IV, he introduced a provision that neither they nor their descendants could ever claim the throne of England.
John Beaufort, 1st Marquess of Somerset and 1st Marquess of Dorset, later only 1st Earl of Somerset, was an English nobleman and politician. He was the first of the four illegitimate children of John of Gaunt (1340-1399) by his mistress Katherine Swynford, whom he later married in 1396. Beaufort's surname probably reflects his birthplace at his father's castle and manor of Beaufort in Champagne, France, situated 100 miles east of Paris, 25 miles north-east of Troyes, and between the River Seine and River Marne. The Portcullis heraldic badge of the Beauforts, now the emblem of the House of Commons, is believed to have been based on that of the castle of Beaufort, now demolished.
The Duke of Lancaster is the owner of the estates of the Duchy of Lancaster. It is also an ancient title that is informally used within Lancaster to describe Elizabeth II, the monarch of the United Kingdom. The Duchy of Lancaster exists as a separate entity from the Crown Estate and currently provides income for the British monarch.
The House of Lancaster was the name of two cadet branches of the royal House of Plantagenet. The first house was created when Henry III of England created the Earldom of Lancaster—from which the house was named—for his second son Edmund Crouchback in 1267. Edmund had already been created Earl of Leicester in 1265 and was granted the lands and privileges of Simon de Montfort, 6th Earl of Leicester, after de Montfort's death and attainder at the end of the Second Barons' War. When Edmund's son Thomas, 2nd Earl of Lancaster, inherited his father-in-law's estates and title of Earl of Lincoln he became at a stroke the most powerful nobleman in England, with lands throughout the kingdom and the ability to raise vast private armies to wield power at national and local levels. This brought him—and Henry, his younger brother—into conflict with their cousin Edward II of England, leading to Thomas's execution. Henry inherited Thomas's titles and he and his son, who was also called Henry, gave loyal service to Edward's son—Edward III of England.
The House of York was a cadet branch of the English royal House of Plantagenet. Three of its members became kings of England in the late 15th century. The House of York was descended in the male line from Edmund of Langley, 1st Duke of York, the fourth surviving son of Edward III, but also represented Edward's senior line, being cognatic descendants of Lionel, Duke of Clarence, Edward III's second surviving son. It is based on these descents that they claimed the English crown. Compared with the House of Lancaster, it had a senior claim to the throne of England according to cognatic primogeniture but junior claim according to the agnatic primogeniture. The reign of this dynasty ended with the death of Richard III of England at the Battle of Bosworth Field in 1485. It became extinct in the male line with the death of Edward Plantagenet, 17th Earl of Warwick, in 1499.
Edmund of Langley, 1st Duke of York, KG was the fourth surviving son of King Edward III of England and Philippa of Hainault. Like many medieval English princes, Edmund gained his nickname from his birthplace: Kings Langley Palace in Hertfordshire. He was the founder of the House of York, but it was through the marriage of his younger son, Richard of Conisburgh, 3rd Earl of Cambridge, to Anne de Mortimer, great-granddaughter of Edmund's elder brother Lionel of Antwerp, 1st Duke of Clarence, that the House of York made its claim to the English throne in the Wars of the Roses. The other party in the Wars of the Roses, the incumbent House of Lancaster, was formed from descendants of Edmund's elder brother John of Gaunt, 1st Duke of Lancaster, Edward III's third son.
Anne de Mortimer, was the mother of Richard of York, 3rd Duke of York, and the grandmother of King Edward IV and King Richard III.
Edmund Mortimer, 5th Earl of March, 7th Earl of Ulster was an English nobleman and a potential claimant to the throne of England. A great-great-grandson of King Edward III of England, he was heir presumptive to King Richard II of England, his granduncle, when Richard II was deposed in favour of Henry IV. Edmund Mortimer's claim to the throne was the basis of rebellions and plots against Henry IV and his son Henry V, and was later taken up by the House of York in the Wars of the Roses, though Mortimer himself was an important and loyal vassal of Henry V and Henry VI. Edmund was the last Earl of March of the Mortimer family.
John Holland, 1st Duke of ExeterKG also 1st Earl of Huntingdon, was an English nobleman, a half-brother of King Richard II (1377–1399), to whom he remained strongly loyal. He is primarily remembered for being suspected of assisting in the downfall of King Richard's uncle Thomas of Woodstock, 1st Duke of Gloucester (1355–1397) and then for conspiring against King Richard's first cousin and eventual deposer, Henry Bolingbroke, later King Henry IV (1399–1413).
The position of Lord High Steward is the first of the Great Officers of State in England, nominally ranking above the Lord Chancellor.
Duke of Hereford was a title in the Peerage of England. It was created in 1397 for Richard II's cousin, Henry Bolingbroke, due to his support for the King in his struggle against their uncle Thomas of Woodstock, 1st Duke of Gloucester. It merged in the crown on Henry's usurpation two years later, and has never since been recreated.
The title of Earl of Lancaster was created in the Peerage of England in 1267. It was succeeded by the title Duke of Lancaster in 1351, which expired in 1361.
Henry Scrope, 3rd Baron Scrope of Masham KG, a favourite of King Henry V, was beheaded on 5 August 1415 for his involvement in the Southampton Plot.
Thomas Chaucer was Speaker of the House of Commons and son of Geoffrey Chaucer, the poet, by his wife Philippa Roet.
King Edward III of England is the ancestor of many European monarchs through his sons Lionel of Antwerp, 1st Duke of Clarence; John of Gaunt, 1st Duke of Lancaster; Edmund of Langley, 1st Duke of York and Thomas of Woodstock, 1st Duke of Gloucester. All of Edward's legitimate children were by his wife Philippa of Hainault.
Events from the 1390s in England.
The Wars of the Roses were a series of English civil wars for control of the throne of England fought between supporters of two rival branches of the royal House of Plantagenet: the House of Lancaster, associated with a red rose, and the House of York, whose symbol was a white rose. Eventually, the wars eliminated the male lines of both families. The conflict lasted through many sporadic episodes between 1455 and 1487, but there was related fighting before and after this period between the parties. The power struggle ignited around social and financial troubles following the Hundred Years' War, unfolding the structural problems of feudalism, combined with the mental infirmity and weak rule of King Henry VI which revived interest in Richard of York's claim to the throne. Historians disagree on which of these factors to identify as the main reason for the wars.
The Bohun swan was a heraldic badge used originally in England by the mediaeval noble family of de Bohun, Earls of Hereford, and Earls of Essex.
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Henry IV of England
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Henry IV of England
Cadet branch of the House of PlantagenetBorn: 15 April 1367 Died: 20 March 1413
| King of England |
| Duke of Aquitaine |
|Peerage of England|
John of Gaunt
| Duke of Lancaster |
Henry of Monmouth
Title last held byHumphrey de Bohun
| Earl of Northampton |
Anne of Gloucester
The Duke of Lancaster
| Lord High Steward |
The Duke of Clarence