Henry Percy, 1st Earl of Northumberland

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Henry Percy
Earl of Northumberland, King of Mann
Henry Percy Earl of Northumberland.jpg
18th-century engraving
Born10 November 1341
Alnwick, Northumberland, England
Died20 February 1408(1408-02-20) (aged 66)
Bramham Moor, Yorkshire, England
Noble family House of Percy
Spouse(s)Margaret Neville
Maud, Baroness Lucy
Issue Harry "Hotspur" Percy
Sir Thomas Percy
Sir Ralph Percy
Alan Percy
Margaret Percy
Father Henry de Percy, 3rd Baron Percy
Mother Mary of Lancaster
Alnwick Castle, held by Henry Percy, possible birthplace of his son "Harry Hotspur" Alnwick Castle - Northumberland - 140804.jpg
Alnwick Castle, held by Henry Percy, possible birthplace of his son "Harry Hotspur"

Henry Percy, 1st Earl of Northumberland, 4th Baron Percy, titular King of Mann, KG, [1] Lord Marshal (10 November 1341 20 February 1408) was the son of Henry de Percy, 3rd Baron Percy, and a descendant of Henry III of England. His mother was Mary of Lancaster, daughter of Henry, 3rd Earl of Lancaster, son of Edmund, Earl of Leicester and Lancaster, who was the son of Henry III.



Arms of Percy Modern arms of Percy.svg
Arms of Percy

Henry Percy was originally a follower of Edward III of England, for whom he held high offices in the administration of northern England. At a young age, he was made Warden of the Marches towards Scotland in 1362, with the authority to negotiate with the Scottish government. In February 1367, he was entrusted with the supervision of all castles and fortified places in the Scottish marches. He went on to support King Richard II, was formally created an Earl on Richard's coronation in 1377, [2] and was briefly given the title of Marshal of England. Between 1383 and 1384, he was appointed Admiral of the Northern Seas. After Richard elevated his rival Ralph Neville to the position of Earl of Westmorland in 1397, Percy and his son, also Henry and known as "Hotspur", supported the rebellion of Henry Bolingbroke, who became King as Henry IV.

On King Henry IV's coronation, Henry Percy was appointed Constable of England and granted the lordship of the Isle of Man. Percy and Hotspur were given the task of subduing the rebellion of Owain Glyndŵr, but their attempts to make peace with the Welsh rebels did not meet with the king's approval.


In September 1402 the Percys took part in the Battle of Homildon Hill, which led to the capture of many Scots nobles. Henry did not want them to be ransomed, leading to another quarrel. [3] In 1403 the Percys turned against Henry IV in favour of Edmund Mortimer, 5th Earl of March, and then conspired with Owain Glyndŵr against Henry. The Percy rebellion failed at the Battle of Shrewsbury, where Hotspur was killed. Since the earl did not directly participate in the rebellion, he was not convicted of treason. However, he lost his office as Constable.

In 1405 all three parties signed the Tripartite Indenture, which divided England up between them. Glyndŵr was to be given Wales, and a substantial part of the west of England, Northumberland was to have received the north of England, as well as Northamptonshire, Norfolk, Warwickshire, and Leicestershire. The Mortimers were to have received the rest of southern England, below the river Trent. [4]

Later in 1405 Percy supported Richard le Scrope, Archbishop of York, in another rebellion, after which Percy fled to Scotland, and his estates were confiscated by the king.

In 1408 Percy invaded England in rebellion once more and was killed at the Battle of Bramham Moor. His severed head was subsequently put on display at London Bridge.

Marriages and issue

In 1358, he married Margaret Neville (12 February 1339 12 May 1372), daughter of Ralph Neville, 2nd Baron Neville de Raby, and Alice de Audley.[ citation needed ] They had four sons (Harry "Hotspur" Percy, Thomas, Ralph, and Alan) and one daughter (Margaret).

Canting arms of Lucy of Cockermouth Castle: Gules, three lucies hauriant argent Blason Lucy de Cockermouth (selon Gelre).svg
Canting arms of Lucy of Cockermouth Castle: Gules, three lucies hauriant argent

In 1381, he married Maud Lucy (1343 18 December 1398), daughter of Sir Thomas de Lucy, 2nd Baron Lucy, and Margaret de Multon, and thus sister and heiress of Anthony Lucy, 3rd Baron Lucy (died 1368), of Cockermouth Castle, Cumbria, which estate he inherited on condition that he and his heirs male should bear the arms of Lucy (Gules, three lucies hauriant argent) quarterly with their own. [5] They had no issue.

In literature and media

Northumberland is a major character in Shakespeare's Richard II , Henry IV, part 1 , and Henry IV, part 2.

His position as a character in the Shakespearean canon inspired the character of Lord Percy Percy, heir to the duchy of Northumberland in the historical sitcom The Black Adder , set during the very late Plantagenet era.

The novel Lion of Alnwick by Carol Wensby-Scott is the first volume of the Percy Saga trilogy which retells the story of "the wild and brilliant Percy family" and relates a fictionalised account of the lives of the 1st Earl of Northumberland and his son Henry "Hotspur" Percy. The other novels in the trilogy, Lion Dormant and Lion Invincible tell the story of his other descendants and their role in the English War of the Roses.

Henry Percy and his son Hotspur are also essential characters in Edith Pargeter's novel, A Bloody Field by Shrewsbury which recounts the events leading up to the Battle of Shrewsbury in 1403.

He is a major character in My Lord John by Georgette Heyer.


Related Research Articles

Owain Glyndŵr Last native Prince of Wales (c. 1359 – c. 1415)

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Sir Henry Percy, nicknamed Hotspur, was an English knight who fought in several campaigns against the Scots in the northern border and against the French during the Hundred Years' War. The nickname "Hotspur" was given to him by the Scots as a tribute to his speed in advance and readiness to attack. The heir to a leading noble family in northern England, Hotspur was one of the earliest and prime movers behind the deposition of King Richard II in favour of Henry Bolingbroke in 1399. He later fell out with the new regime and rebelled, being slain at the Battle of Shrewsbury in 1403 at the height of his fame.

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The Battle of Shrewsbury was a battle fought on 21 July 1403, waged between an army led by the Lancastrian King Henry IV and a rebel army led by Henry "Harry Hotspur" Percy from Northumberland. The battle, the first in which English archers fought each other on English soil, reaffirmed the effectiveness of the longbow and ended the Percy challenge to King Henry IV of England.

Thomas Percy, Earl of Worcester 14th-century English nobleman

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Henry Percy, 2nd Earl of Northumberland was an English nobleman and military commander in the lead up to the Wars of the Roses. He was the son of Henry "Hotspur" Percy, and the grandson of Henry Percy, 1st Earl of Northumberland. His father and grandfather were killed in different rebellions against Henry IV in 1403 and 1408 respectively, and the young Henry spent his minority in exile in Scotland. Only after the death of Henry IV in 1413 was he reconciled with the Crown, and in 1414 he was created Earl of Northumberland.

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The Battle of Bramham Moor on 19 February 1408 was the final battle in the Percy Rebellion of 1402 – 1408, which pitted Henry Percy, 1st Earl of Northumberland, head of the rich and influential Percy family, against the usurper King of England, Henry IV. The Percys had previously supported Henry in his coup d'etat against his cousin King Richard II in 1399.

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  1. Shaw, Wm. A. (1971). The Knights of England: A Complete Record from the Earliest Time to the Present Day of the Knights of All the Orders of Chivalry in England, Scotland, and Ireland, and of the Knights Bachelors. Vol. 1. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Company. p. 3. OCLC   247620448.
  2. Chisholm 1911, p. 787.
  3. Chisholm 1911, p. 788.
  4. Trevor Royle, The Wars of the Roses; England's First Civil War, Abacus, 2009, ISBN   978-0-349-11790-4 p. 95
  5. Daniel Lysons and Samuel Lysons, 'Cockermouth', in Magna Britannia: Volume 4, Cumberland (London, 1816), pp. 40-45 http://www.british-history.ac.uk/magna-britannia/vol4/pp40-45


Further reading

Political offices
Preceded by Lord Marshal
Succeeded by
Peerage of England
Preceded by
New Creation
Earl of Northumberland
Succeeded by
forfeit/Henry Percy
Preceded by Baron Percy
Succeeded by
forfeit/Henry Percy
Head of State of the Isle of Man
Preceded by King of Mann
Succeeded by