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Richard Ii Essay

724 words - 3 pages

Richard II


He was born in Bordeaux France on January 6, 1367. He was the son of Edward the Black Prince and the grandson of King Edward III. Richard succeeded to his grandfather's throne on June 22, 1377, at the young age of ten. Due to his young age the government continued to be run by nobles of the kingdom, in the same fashion it had been in the last years of his grandfather's reign. These nobles were dominated by his Uncle John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster.

Guant's misrule brought on quicker economic deterioration that was being caused by the Black Death and the Hundred Years' War, being
fought against France. The result of this misrule was the Peasant's Revolt of 1381. Richard, in handling the first big crisis of his reign, pacified the rebels by making deceptive promises to them on June 14 and 15 of 1381.

In 1382 he married Princess Anne of Bohemia. He became deeply devoted to her. By 1385 he had built up a personal following of such frivolous courtiers as Robert de Vere, Earl of Oxford. At about this time there also emerged a ruthless opposition led by Thomas of Woodstock, Duke of Gloucester; Richard Fitzalan, Earl of Arundel; and Thomas de Beauchamp, Earl of Warwick.

Gaunt was able to keep the peace between the factions until, in July 1386, he left England to pursue his own dynastic ambitions in Castile, Spain. By leaving Gaunt left Richard at the mercy of his enemies, who instigated Parliament to impeach his chancellor, Michael de la Pole, Earl of Suffolk, and created an eleven man commission to oversee the king's activities for a year. When Richard declared these measures treasonable violations of the royal prerogative, his opponents retaliated by having the Parliament of 1388 outlaw his closest friends, some of whom were executed. The defenseless king submitted to the five principal opposition leaders, the appellants, until May of 1389. In May he announced his intention to rule as an independent monarch of full age.

Gaunt's return from Spain in 1389 stabilized the situation and Richard worked in apparent harmony with the Gaunt and the appellant lords...

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