Hiya, Sunday Weekend Warriors! If you’re relocating to London and curious to learn a bit about England’s history, we’re picking up this week from when Richard II‘s throne is usurped by England’s new King Henry IV in 1399.
Those that did support King Richard II are obviously not thrilled about the new monarch and the way he has come into power, so Henry IV is up against opposition from the get-go. Adding to his plate-o-rebellion are other claimants to the throne, the Scots (nothing new there), and a national uprising led by Owen Glendower of Wales that persists until 1408. And still having the French to contend with, Henry IV’s reliance on government funding of his battles leads to the Parliament’s accusations that he is mismanaging the nation’s finances. The House of Commons uses this to its advantage to expand its control, which includes securing the freedoms of debate and dissenting opinion without arrest.
Henry IV makes himself even more unpopular by marrying a woman who is accused (and eventually convicted) of witchcraft and by executing the Archbishop of York, Richard Scrope, for his opposition. This latter event truly unsettles the English citizenry, and when Henry falls ill to leprosy and epilepsy, it’s believed this is his punishment from God.
Due to Henry IV’s ailing health, his son, Prince Henry, essentially rules in his stead during the last two years of his reign. Their foreign policies are in conflict with one another, but Prince Henry officially begins his reign, his way, as King of England when Henry IV passes away in 1413 right here in London at Westminster Abbey.
Related sightseeing: Westminster Abbey, where King Henry IV died in its Jerusalem Chamber (this particular room, however, is not open to the public).