Richard II (Plantagenet) England
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Richard (Plantagenet) England (1367 - abt. 1400)

Richard (Richard II) "King of England, Richard of Bordeaux" England formerly Plantagenet
Born in St Andrew's Abbey, Bordeaux, Gironde, Aquitaine, Francemap
Ancestors ancestors
Husband of — married 20 Jan 1382 in St Stephen, Westminster, Middlesex, Englandmap
Husband of — married 4 Nov 1396 in church of St. Nicholas, Calais, Francemap
Died about at about age 33 in Pontefract Castle, West Yorkshire, Englandmap
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Preceded by
Edward III
King of England
1377 - 1399
Succeeded by
Henry IV



The House of Plantagenet crest.
Richard II (Plantagenet) England is a member of the House of Plantagenet.

Name and Titles

Name: Richard II, King of England [1] [2]
Son of Edward, Prince of Wales and Joan of Kent. [3] [4]
Richard of Bordeaux - As he was known early in life prior to being crowned :King of England.
Prince of Wales - created as heir apparent to Edward III.
Duke of Cornwall
Earl of Chester - 20 November 1376.


Born: 6 January 1367 at St. Andrew's Abbey in Bordeaux, Gironde, Aquitaine (then the English Duchy of Aquitaine), France.

Marriages and Children

Married: 1st - Anne of Bohemia, daughter of Charles IV, Holy Roman Emperor and King of Bohemia, in January 1382 (variously dated the 14th, 20th or 22nd) at Westminster Abbey in London, England. She died on 7 June 1394. They had no children.
Married: 2nd - Isabella of Valois, daughter of Charles VI, King of France, on 31 October 1396. She was six years old. They had no children.


Died: On or about 14 February 1400 at Pontefract Castle in Pontefract, West Yorkshire, England.[5]
There has always been a little bit of a mystery regarding the date and cause of his death. He is often said to have been murdered, or simply allowed to starve to death. Richard II died in captivity, it is thought, about 14 February 1400. His body was publicly displayed on 17 February at Old St. Paul's Cathedral in London, England.
Burial: 6 March 1400 at Kings Langley Priory in Kings Langley, Hertfordshire, England.
(Royal Ancestry & Royal Tombs of Medieval England) Richard II, late King of England, was sentenced to imprisonment on 28 October 1400, and some days later taken to Pontefract Castle, Yorkshire in the custody of Sir John Swynford, a member of Henry Bolingbroke's retinue, and Robert Waterton, a clerk of Bolingbroke's wardrobe, who was later made Lieutenant of Calais. Richard died imprisoned at Pontefract Castle, 6 January 1400 (Richardson) (although Duffy in the Royal Tombs book states February), his death allegedly produced by "hunger, thirst, and cold" inflicted by his keepers. However, a letter from Charles VI of France confirming the truce between France and England dated 29 January refers to Richard as already dead. On 17 February 1400 William Pampleon was paid an extraordinary amount of 100 marks to bring the king's body to London. Later Pampleon and a John Wardale received more funds for the same task. On 20 March a series of payments were made to various persons for executing Henry IV's 'secret affairs' at Pontefract. Richard's coffin entered London accompanied by banners painted with the arms of St. George and Edward the Confessor accompanied by thirty citizens dressed in white and one hundred torchbearers. On the 6 and 7 1400 Requiem Masses were sung at St. Paul's and Westminster Abbey. On both occasions Richard's face was uncovered, apparently to prove he was dead - 'that every man might see and knowe that it was his body, and that he was soo deede, for many men beleuyed it not'. The following day his remains were buried in the church of the Friars Preachers at King's Langley, Hertfordshire. Richard had previously commissioned a tomb at Westminster and the decision not to bury him there was clearly a calculated one. But in 1413 Henry V had Richard reburied in the Westminster tomb he had commissioned almost twenty years earlier, with the King's Langley brethren being paid sufficient funds for the removal of the king's body, with a new coffin and carriage and 100 marks to pay for professional masses. There were also 120 torchbearers, the same number as Henry IV's Canterbury procession. The joint tomb of Richard and his wife Anne, with life-size effigies, stands in the south-west bay of the Confessor's Chapel. Over the years the tomb has suffered extensive damage. Some restoration was done in the 19th century. In 1871 the tomb was opened and the incomplete skeletons of a male and female was found. The remains had been severely disturbed. The remains were reburied in a single coffin.


The second and only surviving son of Edward, Prince of Wales (the Black Prince), and Joan, commonly called the Fair Maid of Kent (1328-85), Richard was born January 6, 1367, in Bordeaux, France. He was created Prince of Wales in 1376, the year of his father's death, and was placed in the care of his uncle John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster.

In 1377, on the death of his grandfather, King Edward III, Richard became ruler of England, then a country devastated by plague and oppressed by heavy taxes, the result of a war with France. Parliament, which had obtained greater power in the last years of Edward III's reign, now sought to secure control of the government, but was opposed by John of Gaunt and his followers. The speedy suppression of Tyler's Rebellion in 1381 was largely the result of Richard's courage and daring.

A year later, at the age of 15, Richard married Anne of Bohemia (1366-94), daughter of the Holy Roman emperor Charles IV, and began to seek the downfall of the great nobles who controlled Parliament and prevented him from acting independently. Led by Richard's uncle Thomas of Woodstock, duke of Gloucester (1355-97), in 1388 a coterie of noblemen known in history as the lords appellant appealed or accused Richard's adherents of treason, banishing some and having others executed. The following year Richard, with the help of John of Gaunt, succeeded in asserting his authority.

Trying to reestablish English authority in Ireland, Richard led an expedition to the country in 1394; that same year his queen died. In 1396 a marriage treaty was concluded between Richard and a French princess, Isabella (1389-1409). In 1397 Richard had Gloucester arrested and imprisoned at Calais, where he died, perhaps murdered. He also exiled John of Gaunt's son, Henry Bolingbroke, Duke of Hereford, who later became Richard's successor as Henry IV, and executed or banished others of the lords appellant.

On his return from a second military expedition to Ireland in 1399 Richard found that Bolingbroke had returned from exile and placed himself at the head of a formidable army. Richard was captured by Bolingbroke in Wales and brought captive to London, where on September 30, 1399, he formally resigned his crown. On the following day his abdication was ratified by Parliament, which then confirmed Bolingbroke as King Henry IV.

Richard was secretly confined in Pontefract Castle, where he either died of starvation or was murdered in February 1400.

Ascended the Throne at the age of 10 in 1376.
Started the 100 years war.
Deposed and exiled to the Castle of Pontefract.
A reign marked by national disunity and civil strife.
Note: Alleged to been gay lover of Robert De Vere, 9th Earl of Oxford. Based on Play by Shakespeare Richard II.

Note: Rikard II (født 6. januar 1367, død 14. februar 1400) var konge av England fra 22. juni 1377 til 29. september 1399, da han ble styrtet av Henry Bolingbroke. Han var andre sønn av Edward, den svarte prinsen og Joan av Kent, og blearving da hans eldre bror døde som barn.
Han ble født pa? Hellig tre kongers dag, og tre konger var tilstede da han ble født. Dette ble, selv om han var prinsen av Wales' andre sønn, tatt som tegn pa? at store ting la? i vente for ham. Ettersom hans eldre bror døde tidlig, og hans far døde i 1376, ble han arving til den engelske tronen og fikk selv tittelen prins av Wales. A?ret etter døde hans bestefar Edvard III, og han ble dermed konge bare ti a?r gammel.
Den mindrea?rige kongen
Det var Rikards onkel, John av Gaunt, 1. hertug av Lancaster, som styrte pa? hans vegne i de første a?rene etter kroningen. Da bondeopprøret brøt ut i 1381, mye pa? grunn av hertugens feilsla?tte skattepolitikk, var det Rikard sompersonlige ma?tte forhandle med Wat Tyler og de andre opprørslederne, som hadde en hær pa? flere tusen mann. Dette ma? ha krevd stort mot fra en fjorten a?r gammel gutt. Han bena?det først lederne, men dette ble trukket tilbake og de ble arrestert og henrettet. Det er uklart om Rikard planla dette fra starten av, eller om de mer militante adelige tvang ham til a? ga? tilbake pa? løftet. Uansett førte hans handlema?te til at opprørerne ble tvunget ut av London og tilbake til sine hjem rundt omkring i landet. Senere i livet skulle kongen vise en manglende evne til a? føre forhandlinger og gjøre avtaler, noe som var viktig i 1300-tallets intrikate politikk og diplomati. Dette skulle til slutt føre til hans fall.
I 1382 giftet han seg med Anne av Bo?hmen, datter av Karl IV av det tysk-romerske rike og Elisabeth av Pommern. De fikk ingen barn, og hun gikk bort i 1394. Han skal ha elsket henne svært høyt. I 1396 giftet han seg med prinsesse Isabella av Valois, datter av Karl VI av Frankrike og Isabeau de Bavie?re. Heller ikke med henne fikk han noen barn.
Første krise 1387-1388
Da Rikard selv begynte a? ta over styringen av landet, skjøv han flere sentrale adelsmenn tilside. Blant dem finner man Thomas de Beauchamp, 12. jarl av Warwick, Richard Fitzalan, 11. jarl av Arundel og Thomas Woodstock, 1. hertugav Gloucester. Han vendte seg i stedet til en engere krets av favoritter, som inkluderte Robert de Vere, 9. jarl av Oxford og Michael de la Pole, 1. jarl av Suffolk. Adelsmennene som var presset ut dannet en gruppe, kjent som Lords Apellant. Deres hovedanliggende var at krigen mot Frankrike, Hundrea?rskrigen, ma?tte fortsette. Flere av dem var først og fremst interessert i dette pa? grunn av de personlige økonomiske og maktmessige fordeler krigen gav dem.
I 1387 krevde Englands parlament, under press for Lords Apellant, at Rikard ma?tte fjerne sine upopulære ra?dgivere. Han nektet, og ble minnet pa? at han fortsatt var mindrea?rig og et regentra?d ble innsatt. Rikard fikk Arundel, lederen for Lords Apellant, arrestert, men hans lille hære ble overmannet av Lords Apellants styrker utenfor Oxford og Rikard ble plassert i Tower of London. A?tte av hans ra?dgivere ble henrettet for høyforræderi i 1388, og resten ble landsforvist. Kongen ma?tte akseptere nye ra?dgivere, og mistet nesten all makt.
En skjør fred
I de følgende a?rene ser det ut til at Rikard husket lærdommen fra 1387, og var mer forsiktig overfor adelen. I 1390 ble det holdt en ridderturnering for a? feire at han ble myndig. Riket var da mer harmonisk, ikke minst fordi John av Gaunt var tilbake fra Spania og ledet Lords Apellant. Rikards lag av riddere pa? turneringen ble utstyrt med samme symbol, et hvitt hjerte, som han selv hadde valgt.
Kongen var interessert i ting som fin mat, og insisterte pa? at man skulle spise med skje ved hoffet. Han skal ogsa? ha oppfunnet lommetørklet. Han fikk dekorert Westminster Hall med et nytt, vakkert tak, og han var beskytter for kunstnere, arkitekter og forfattere. Pa? grunn av dette har han blitt sett som en forløper for renessansefyrstene. Men i hans samtid sa? man pa? interessene som svakheter, og mange mente han var en ny Edvard II, som ikke var verdig sitt opphav i det krigerske Huset Plantagenet. Han hadde ikke sin bestefars dragning mot slagmarken. Rikards felttog i Skottland i 1385 endte med et uavklart resultat, og i 1396 signerte han en 28 a?r lang va?penhvile med Frankrike. Til tross for at freden brakte høyere fortjeneste i riket, var avtalen svært upopulær.
Man kan ogsa? se at han foretrakk fred i det første felttoget til Irland i 1394. Hans politikk baserte seg pa? at de irske opprørerne var oppildnet av sine klagema?l mot de fraværende engelske jordeierne, og mente at de nok hadde rett i en del av sine krav. De han kalte ville irer, de irsktalende som ikke hadde sluttet seg til opprøret, behandlet han med mildhet og respekt. Slik skiller han seg fra flere tidligere og senere monarker i behandlingen av Irland og øyas befolkning. Mange historikere mener at dersom hans regjeringstid hadde vart lenger kunne Irlands historie vært dramatisk annerledes.
Wiltondiptykens venstre panelRikard hadde en sterk tro pa? kongens guddommelige rett, og følte at det ikke skulle stilles spørsma?l ved noen av hans avgjørelser. Han insisterte pa? a? bli tiltalt som ?Deres majestet? eller ?Deres høyhet?, og kunne sitte alene med kronen pa? hodet i timesvis. Etter dronning Annes død i 1394 ble han enda mer rigid. Han bestilte landets første kongelige portrett. I Wiltondiptyken er han portrettert mellom de angelsaksiske helgenkongene Edmund Martyren og Edvard Bekjenneren. Dette var ikke bare en referanse til hans forgjengere pa? tronen, men ogsa? til hans ektefølte religiøsitet.
Andre krise 1397-1399 og avsettelsen
I 1397 bestemte Rikard seg for a? kvitte seg med Lords Apellant, som la ba?nd pa? hans makt. Han brukte et aristokratisk komplott som pa?skudd; det er tvilsomt om dette var reellt. Jarlen av Arundel ble henrettet og Warwick sendt i eksil, mens Gloucester døde i fangenskap. Han kunne na? herske som an autokratisk konge, og fortsatte a? rense ut alle som ikke underkastet seg fullstendig.
Kongen forble barnløs. Tronarvingen var først Roger Mortimer, 4. jarl av March, som var barnebarn av Lionel av Antwerpen. Etter hans død i 1398 var det hans syv a?r gamle sønn Edmund Mortimer som ble tronarving. Rikard bekymret seg for John av Gaunts sønn Henry Bolingbroke, som han i 1399 landsforviste for ti a?r pa? et tynt grunnlag. Kongen konfiskerte etter John av Gaunts død i februar 1399 Bolingbrokes eiendommer, og gav dem til sine favoritter. Noen historikere har tolket dette som et forsøk pa? a? skape større harmoni i riket. Eiendommene var enorme, og utgjorde nesten en stat i staten, og var dermed et hinder mot et fredelig England under kongens kontroll. Politikken Rikard førte var den samme som hans forgjengere Henrik II og Edvard I hadde fulgt; ogsa? de tok eiendommer fra adelen for a? styrke kronen.
Rikard forlot sa? landet for a? føre et nytt felttog i Irland. Bolingbroke benyttet sjansen til a? stige i land i Yorkshire med en hær gitt til ham av Frankrikes konge. Han hadde i første omgang til hensikt a? ta tilbake sine eiendommer. Motviljen mot Rikard var stor, og etter kort tid hadde Bolingbroke kontroll over det meste av det sørlige og østlige England. Innen Rikard kom tilbake fra Irland og steg i land i Wales hadde en bølge av misnøye feiet over England, og Bolingbroke hadde blitt oppfordret til a? ta kronen.
Kongen ble tatt til fange i Conway Castle i Wales, og hentet til London. I hovedstaden opplevde han at borgerne kastet søppel pa? ham. Han ble stengt inne i Tower of London, og ble i september 1399 tvunget til a? abdisere. Han frasa seg kronen foran parlamentet, og fikk samtidig opplest 33 anklager mot seg. Han fikk ikke lov til a? besvare disse anklagene. Parlamentet aksepterte sa? Henry Bolingbroke som konge, under navnet Henrik IV.
Rikard ble plassert i Pontefract Castle, og ble antagelig myrdet eller sultet i hjel. Dødsdatoen antas a? være 14. februar; han var helt sikkert død innen 17. februar.
Hans legeme ble utstilt i St. Pauls katedral i London, slik at alle skulle vite at han virkelig var død. Han ble a? gravlagt i Kings Langley Church. Sarkofgen var da?rlig designet, og besøkende kunne stikke ha?nden inn i kisten. En skolegutt skal ha stukket av med kongens kjeveben. Pa? tross av at legemet ble vist frem gikk det rykter om at han var i live helt inn i Henrik Vs regjeringstid. Henrik V bestemte seg for a? gi Rikard et flottere gravsted i Westminster Abbey, og flyttet legemet dit under en storslagen seremoni i 1413.
Note: Son rapprochement avec la France et son autoritarisme eurent pour consâequence la râevolte d'Henri de Lancastre qui le renversa.

Note: Richard II (1367-1400), King of England, was the son of the Black Prince, and ascended the throne (1377). In 1381 Wat Tyler's rebellion took place, and Richard showed great presence of mind when he met the rebels. Thomas of Gloucester, the king's uncle, took the lead in attacking the king; and when Richard asserted his rights, he and others seized London, and overthrew the king's friends. In 1389, however, Richard resumed government. At Shrewsbury, in 1398, Parliament handed over its authority to a standing committee. In February, 1399, Richard seized the estates of John of Gaunt, who had just died, and in May he sailed to Ireland. During his absence, Bolingbroke returned, and capturing Richard at Flint, deposed him, and became king. It is supposed that Richard was murdered in Pontefract Castle. [The Home University Encyclopedia, 1946]
Richard had no issue by either marriage. He was deposed on 30 Sep 1399 and murdered on 14 Feb 1300 at Pontefract Castle. The crown was usurped by his cousin, Henry, 2nd Duke of Lancaster. {Burke's Peerage} [GADD.GED]
Additional information:


  1. Cawley, Medieval Lands : Richard II, King of England
  2. Richardson, Royal Ancestry, vol. 1 p. 103-105
  3. Cawley, Medieval Lands : Edward, The Black Prince
  4. Cawley, Medieval Lands : Joan of Kent
  5. Anthony Tuck. 'Richard II (1367–1400)'. Published 23 September 2004. Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, ODNB. Accessed 10 December 2021.
Source list:
  • Duffy, Mark. Royal Tombs of Medieval England. (2003):163-173.
  • Richardson, Douglas. Royal Ancestry: A Study In Colonial And Medieval Families, in 5 vols. (Salt Lake City, Utah, 2013). See vol. I p. 103-105; vol III p. 433.

See also:

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Comments: 7

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Missing from his biography is the main reason why the banished Henry Bolingbroke returned when he did (albeit with an army gathered) but ostensibly to take back his ancestral lands, recently confiscated by Richard II when Henry's father John of Gaunt died; agreed he didn't need an army that size for the task, but that is another story. Also missing is the extravagence of Richard II and other reasons for his unpopularity. Forced starvation seems to be the most likely cause of death of Richard once deposed and imprisoned at Pontefract..
posted by Jeremy Stroud
Can we not infer from his confirmed/known date of burial of 6 March 1400 and display on 17 Feb 1400 that Richardson's date of death 6 Jan 1400 must be wrong and that Duffy's 14 Feb 1400 must be right ?

No-one would display a corpse that was over 1 month old ...

posted by Jeremy Stroud
The Notes need tidying up and, by and large, placing in a Biography - especially the part in Danish and the 2 lines in French, which require translation
posted by Jeremy Stroud
Just before the Contents label, there is a line that says "Richard III, King of England", but this is the profile for Richard II.
posted by Bruce McEwen
Many thanks to your eagle eyes Bruce - that had been there since 2016 according to the change log! I've now removed that error.
posted by Jo Fitz-Henry
1st cousin 17 times removed.. Edward III was his grandfather and my 17th grandfather
posted by Betty Jo Bunker

We are 7th cousins 19 times removed, we are both descendants of Matilda (Senlis) Clare.

Regards, Michael Griffiths, New Zealand

posted by Michael Griffiths

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