Heritage > Rulers

Henry IV, 1399-1413

Henry was born in 1367, and was the cousin of his predecessor, Richard. He was married twice, firstly to Mary Bohun, and after her death, to Joan of Navarre. His children were: a first son who died as a child, Henry, Thomas, John, Humphrey, Blanche and Philippa.

Henry was one of the five lords who deprived King Richard of absolute sovereignty and watched the others all disappear to prison or to the executioners. Henry decided that the safest course of action for him to take, as one of two Lords left, would be to denounce the Duke of Norfolk and show some form of loyalty to the King.

The King wanted to see Henry and the Duke of Norfolk fight to the death in a duel, but in realising just how popular Henry was, with the amount of people supporting him, he sent them both into exile.

It was in exile that Henry heard that his father, John of Gaunt, had died and that Richard had confiscated all his rightful lands, his fathers duchy. When he learnt that Richard had gone to Ireland, Henry jumped at the chance to reclaim his land.

He also created a very strong army, with his many supporters, and captured the King. He safely maintained that he owed his position to Parliament, and the three bodies: The Commons, The Church and The Lords Temporal. In return he had to make several pledges to these bodies, including freedom of speech for voting money (The Commons), the ability to burn and denounce publicly all heretics (The Church), and power and plunder (The Lords Temporal).

Henry had to cautiously maintain his security against the many rebellions that occured and died a miserable man, having spent half his life coping with a nasty disease, and coping through hard times.

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