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Henry IV (1399–1413), the son of John of Gaunt, duke of Lancaster, seized the English throne on the age of thirty-two from his cousin Richard II and held it until eventually his demise, elderly forty-five, while he was once succeeded by way of his son, Henry V. This finished and nuanced biography restores to his rightful position a king frequently neglected in prefer of his illustrious progeny.
 
Henry confronted the standard difficulties of usurpers: overseas wars, rebellions, and plots, in addition to the goals and calls for of the Lancastrian retainers who had helped him win the throne. through 1406 his rule used to be greatly verified, and even though he turned ailing presently after this and not totally recovered, he retained final strength till his loss of life. utilizing a wide selection of formerly untapped archival fabrics, Chris Given-Wilson unearths an aesthetic, extravagant, and skeptical monarch who overwhelmed competition ruthlessly yet by no means relatively succeeded in pleasing the expectancies of his personal supporters.

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For the instant, despite the fact that, the actual fact of Richard's loss of life was once extra very important than the style of it, that's why Henry had his physique introduced all the way down to London slowly and publicly exhibited on the significant cities en direction, ‘or not less than that a part of the physique from which his face can be well-known, that's, from the brow to the throat’, as Walsingham, who observed the corpse at St Albans, defined. days of exequies attended via Henry have been saw at St Paul's on 6–7 March sooner than the physique used to be taken to King's Langley (Hertfordshire) ‘at useless of evening’ for burial. 28 now not every body was once confident: rumours surfaced periodically for almost two decades that Richard was once nonetheless alive, even if what number of people actually believed them isn't really transparent. extra destructive before everything used to be that, already a usurper, Henry was once now additionally a regicide, a taunt which his enemies misplaced no time in seizing upon. And enemies he had: a lot of them, because the emerging had verified. so far as devoted Ricardians have been involved, Henry's coverage of reconciliation had no longer labored. even if it'd be greater in persuading others remained to be noticeable, however the February nice council made up our minds to not take any percentages. ‘In this new world’, it suggested the king, he may still keep ‘a sure variety of the extra enough males of excellent reputation’ in each one county, hire them to the commissions of the peace and entrust them with ‘saving the property of the king’ of their localities. He must also make sure that his servants have been good armed and choose a couple of ‘sufficient armed esquires and archers’ from every one county and continue them close to him so they may protect him evening and day. 29 The royal family and affinity have been to be either improved and militarized; the hot regime's grip at the country used to be to be tightened. The danger to Henry's throne got here not only from England, some degree which the king used to be quickly to emphasize: the ports have been closed through the Epiphany emerging and the rebels accused of plotting to convey Charles VI of France into the area. 30 handy as this used to be, it used to be now not easily propaganda, for Anglo-French relatives in the course of the first few months of Henry's reign have been unpredictable. It used to be, in any case, Charles's son-in-law whom Henry had deposed, thereby humiliating his ten-year-old daughter, and to make concerns worse he now seemed unwilling to come back both Isabella or her dowry to Paris. This was once now not an try to galvanize the French – actually it was once associated with Henry's hope for an Anglo-French peace – however it gave the French royal kin a private stake within the fallout from Richard's deposition and a spotlight for his or her animosity in the direction of the English usurper. males resembling Waleran, count number of St-Pol, the widower of Richard II's half-sister, and the king's brother Louis of Orléans (Isabella's uncle) felt a feeling of familial betrayal which made them honour-bound to do so. 31 It was once lower than St-Pol's command French invasion fleet was once acknowledged to be amassing at Harfleur in overdue January 1400, and weeks later the good council expressed the view that conflict with France appeared much more likely than both peace or the affirmation of the 1396 truce.

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