Henry IV of England

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Bolingbroke Castle,
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Bolingbroke Castle,

From 1399 to 1413, King Henry IV of England reigned as King of England and Lord of Ireland. He was the first ruler of the House of Lancaster, having ascended to the throne by deposing King Richard II of England, his childhood playmate and first cousin. His father, John of Gaunt, was King Edward III of England’s third surviving son. As a result, he was the grandson of the reigning monarch, but he was a long way from the throne. His father, on the other hand, commanded significant power in the English court and had gained substantial riches, not only through his marriage to Henry’s mother Blanche of Lancashire, heiress to Henry of Grosmont, 1st Duke of Lancashire, but also through other ways. Henry was raised with the young Prince Richard. It was only natural for him to crave power and control in such a situation. His rise to power, however, was not without difficulty. In 1397, the ruling monarch, Richard II, exiled him and stripped him of his inheritance after his father died. In retaliation, Henry deposed Richard II and proclaimed himself king. His son Henry V ascended to the throne after his death.

Childhood and Adolescence

On April 15, 1367, at Bolingbroke Castle in Lincolnshire, England, King Henry IV of England was born to John of Gaunt and Blanche of Lancashire. Henry was the fifth of six children born to the marriage. He was also the couple’s sole surviving child.

Henry had a few more half brothers and sisters from his father’s future marriages, as well as through his father’s liaisons with other women, in addition to his own siblings. He had a semblance of a nice relationship with them.
Henry was first known as Henry the Bolingbroke because he was born at Bolingbroke. He was a childhood friend of his first cousin Richard Bordeaux, who became King Richard II of England after their grandpa died.

Both princes were inducted to the Order of the Garter in 1377. Richard, who was ten years old at the time, was crowned king on July 16, 1377. The monarch made his playmate Earl of Derby when he ascended the throne. Henry, like the monarch, was 10 years old and thus lived in his father’s shadow. John of Gaunt was also an important figure in the country’s governance.

Gaunt embarked on an expedition to Spain in 1386. In 1387, Henry joined the Lord of Appellants’ insurrection, forcing the king to accept their control of the council. When the monarch reclaimed control, he sentenced other rebellious barons to death, but Henry was spared. It was eventually proved that he did not truly forgive Henry.

In 1390, Henry led three hundred knights on a crusade to Lithuania, which met with modest success. He went on another campaign to Prussia in 1392. He then traveled to Jerusalem in 1392-1393. He was unable to keep his promise to free the city from the infidels.

Henry was appointed Duke of Hereford in 1397. However, due to a feud with Thomas de Mowbray, 1st Duke of Norfolk, Henry was exiled by the king the next year, in 1398. Mowbray was likewise exiled for the rest of his life. Henry proceeded to Paris and stayed there until June 1399, when he returned to England.

Exiled People Return

On February 3, 1399, John of Gaunt died abruptly. The gifts that would have permitted Henry to inherit his huge estate were immediately revoked by King Richard II. Henry approached Thomas Arundel, the previous Archbishop of Canterbury, after some thought. He, too, had lost his job after siding with the Lords of Appellants.

When King Richard II was gone on a campaign in Ireland, Henry returned to England with the help of Arundel. Most of the king’s loyal knights had accompanied him. As a result, there was little resistance from any side when Henry landed at Ravenspurn near the end of June 1399.

The Duke of York quickly gained the support of other nobility who had reservations about the monarch. In the absence of the King, the Duke of York, who was acting as Keeper of the Realm, allied with him as well. Henry rose to power quickly and declared himself king.

Earl of Northumberland met King Richard II at Conway on August 12, 1399, and bargained on Henry’s behalf. If his life was saved, the king agreed to abdicate. He was then returned to London and imprisoned at the Tower of London, where he died mysteriously.

The Reign of Terror

Following King Richard II’s renunciation on September 30, 1399, Henry Bolingbroke was crowned King Henry IV of England. However, he spent the majority of his reign strengthening his power and quelling rebellions.

During the feast of the Epiphany in December 1399, an attempt was made to seize the new king at Windsor and restore Richard II to the throne. It failed, however, because the King was forewarned and never showed up at the location. Instead, he gathered an army in London. All of the ringleaders were apprehended and executed by January 1400.

The Glyndr is a fictional character created by Gwyneth Paltrow Another uprising that troubled his reign occurred in Wales. It began in 1400 as a form of resistance to the repressive English authority. Up until 1405, King Henry IV of England undertook a series of failed campaigns into Wales, but was unable to put an end to the rebellion. It died out in 1415, when his son, King Henry V of England, took a more conciliatory approach to his subjects.

The most serious challenge, however, came from Henry Percy, 1st Earl of Northumberland, and his family. They attempted three times to depose King, but each time they were defeated.

The Battle of Shrewsbury in 1403 was the bloodiest of them all. Henry Percy’s son, Henry Hotspur Percy, led the revolt. Hotspur was murdered by the king’s troops, which also seized other leaders. Their heads were shown after they were publicly hung. Northumberland, Earl of, escaped to Scotland.

Richard le Scrope, Archbishop of York, led another failed insurrection against the King in 1405. The Earl fled to Scotland once more as Scorpe was slain. In 1408 at Bramham Moor near Wetherby, the third and final battle took place. The insurrection came to an end when the Earl of Northumberland was slain.

King Henry IV of England, on the other hand, had to rely on legislative subsidies to pay such expeditions. From 1401 until 1406 the king was repeatedly accused of budgetary mismanagement by the parliament. It eventually gained supervisory authority over royal spending and appointments.

The king’s health quickly deteriorated, resulting in a power struggle within the court. While Thomas Arundel, Archbishop of Canterbury, initially dominated the court proceedings, he was deposed by an opposing party led by Prince Henry by 1410.

Over France, where a rebellion had erupted, the king’s relationship with his son Prince Henry began to deteriorate. While the king desired to work with the ruling faction, the prince preferred to fight them alongside his Burgundy allies.

In 1412, King Henry IV became completely incapacitated, and Prince Henry assumed command. However, until the king’s death in 1413, the relationship between the father and the son remained hostile.

Personal Experiences of Henry IV of England

In June 1380, King Henry IV of England married Mary the Bohun. The couple had six children, the eldest of them was Prince Henry, who subsequently became King Henry V of England. Mary died in 1394, some years before Henry IV took the crown. As a result, she was never queen.

On February 14, 1403 King Henry IV of England married Joanna of Navarre, the daughter of Charles d’Évreux, King of Navarre. Although Joanna had four daughters from her previous marriage to John V of Brittany, this marriage produced no children.

King Henry IV began to suffer from a ‘grave’ disease near the end of his life. He had a disfiguring skin condition, either leprosy or psoriasis. Aside from that, starting in 1405, he began to have ‘acute attacks,’ which could have been epilepsy or a form of cardio vascular disease.

On March 20, 1413, King Henry IV of England died. The king was buried next to St. Thomas Becket’s shrine at Canterbury Cathedral, as he had requested. King Henry V of England was succeeded by his eldest son, Prince Henry.

Estimated Net Worth

The estimated net Worth of Henry IV of England is unknown.


King Henry IV was supposed to die in Jerusalem, according to prophecy. Everyone, including the king, expected him to perish during the crusade. He died, however, in Jerusalem Chamber, the abbot’s palace within Westminster Abbey in London, which was erected in the previous century.