Archive for the ‘Richard II’ Category

New Release! THE KING’S RETRIBUTION

If you read A KING UNDER SIEGE, you might remember that we left off just as Richard declared his majority at age 22. He was able to rise above the humiliation inflicted on him during the Merciless Parliament, but the fear that it could happen again haunted him the rest of his life. Ten years was a long […]

Richard II and Edward II

It doesn’t take a huge leap of imagination to connect the two English usurpations of the fourteenth century—both Plantagenets, both accused of letting their favorites unduly influence them, both probably murdered while in prison. (And both of whose murders are debated to this day.) We can be sure the association was very much on Richard […]

Thomas Mowbray, Bolingbroke’s adversary

Considering that Thomas Mowbray, Earl of Nottingham (and later 1st Duke of Norfolk) participated in almost every major event of Richard II’s reign, it’s surprising that he’s been given so little attention by historians. It is evident that Thomas had a checkered career, in favor then out of favor then back again until his final […]

Who—and What—were the Lords Appellant?

When I first bumped into the Lords Appellant I was confused because as far as I knew, an appeal was filed after a court conviction in an attempt to reverse the decision. But as it turns out, in the fourteenth century an appeal was the starting point—an indictment or an accusation against someone, initiating a […]

Richard II and John of Gaunt

Richard’s relationship with his uncle, John of Gaunt was fraught with uncertainties and misunderstandings, though throughout it was bound by strict royal precepts. In retrospect, historians have noted that Gaunt’s behavior showed he would never have done anything against the king’s prerogative, no matter how he felt about him personally. But contemporaries—including the king himself—believed […]

Bolingbroke and Mowbray Trial by Combat

I’m sure I wasn’t the only kid mesmerized by jousting knights, though I never gave the practice much thought. It wasn’t until recently that I discovered that Trial by Combat, at least in the 14th century, was a strictly regulated function of the Court of Chivalry, which was the household court of the constable and […]

Sir Simon Burley, Richard’s unfortunate chamberlain

Sir Simon Burley is one of those unfortunate historical personages who is better remembered for his death than for his life. He is a bit if an enigma to us, if only because he was able to inspire extremes of love, friendship and hate all at the same time. Although he was of humble origin, […]

Review of A KING UNDER SIEGE by Mary Anne Yarde

“With spades and hoes and ploughs, stand up now. Your houses they pull down, to fright poor men in town, The gentry must come down and the poor shall wear the crown…” It was the age-old question, who should sit on the throne of France? Everyone in England knew that the French crown belonged to […]

Richard II and his Queens

Like many of us, I first learned about Richard II from Shakespeare. The consummate storyteller, Shakespeare gave us a grown queen who threw herself into his arms as he was led to prison following his humiliating surrender to Henry of Bolingbroke. Imagine my surprise to learn that in reality, Richard’s queen was only ten years […]

Book Review of RICHARD II AND THE IRISH KINGS by Darren Mcgettigan

This is a book written by an Irish man for the Irish reader. It’s a very interesting angle, because it helps to demonstrate that Richard II’s part of the history is not necessarily at the foremost of everybody’s mind (“In 1397 Roger Mortimer’s uncle, Sir Thomas Mortimer, fell foul of the king in some palace […]