Richard II

"Years ruled: 1377 - 1399 (abdicated)
Son of: Edward, the Black Prince and Joan of Kent
Married to: Anne of Bohemia and Isabella of France
Children: none " Richard II was only 10 years old when he succeeded his grandfather, Edward III, as king. His father, Edward, the Black Prince, had died of illness in 1376. During his minority, John of Gaunt, his uncle, had considerable influence in the kingdom. In 1381, Richard helped to quell the so-called Peasant's Revolt. His next test of leadership occurred in 1385 when he marched into Scotland with John of Gaunt to face Scottish and French forces. Scotland and France had allied themselves against the common enemy England. Unfortunately Richard was never able to pressure the enemy forces into battle and he returned home without a victory. During the next few years he developed enemies in the nobility because of his behavior toward his favorites. Specifically he granted abnormal high powers and wealth to Robert de Vere and Michael de la Pole. This created much envy and discord. In late 1386 a number of powerful lords joined forces (including his Uncle Thomas the duke of Gloucester) under the name of the Lords Appellant to rebel against Richard. Others joined the group including Henry Bolingbroke the future Henry IV. The Lords Appellant gained the upper hand and de Vere and de la Pole were stripped of their powers and lands. In 1397 Richard was able to wrest control back from the lords and from then on he ruled as a total despot assuming total power. Most subjects lived in fear. His first wife Anne died of the plague in 1394. He married Isabella of France, the seven year old daughter of the king of France Charles VI for political reasons. In early 1399 John of Gaunt died. Richard stripped his son Henry Bolingbroke of his estates and extended his exile to life (he was already under exile because of his association with the Lords Appellant.) Henry invaded England that summer, captured Richard and usurped the crown. Richard died in captivity in 1400 probably from starvation. His death marked the end of the Plantagenet line of rulers.

Birth Location: 
Bordeaux, Gascony,
Birth Date: 
1/6/1367
Death Location: 
, England
Death Date: 
1/14/1400