124 The Character of a King

From the end of the Peasant's Revolt in 1381, England continues to be managed by the Council, but the young Richard began to have more and more influence. And despite his youth and lack of sole control, what he does manages to raise concern rather than to re-assure. As the war with France goes from bad to worse, by the time 1387 comes around there are more than a few murmurs of discontent around. 

124 The Character of a King

Military adventures and military failure

The war with France went poorly during Richard's reign. The way of Spain, invasions into Portugal, Navarre and Castile all proved futile. Meanwhile the French and Castillians dominated the narrow seas and England stood at constant threat of invasion. 

Trouble with Gaunt

John of GauntRichard did not appreciate the support that John of Gaunt gave him. He resented the fact that gaunt's authority and reputation was so important to him, and Gaunt himself was arrogant and rude – but he was also loyal. On campaign in Scotland in 1385, none the less, Richard accused Gaunt of self interest and anting the royal campaign to fail. When the Mad Monk, a Carmelite Friar, accused John of plotting to kill the king he was believed – John was forced to flee the King's paranoia, and return wearing his armour t lecture and harangue the young king. Eventually in 1386, Gauint was pleased to leave to pursue his wife's claim to the throne of Castile. Richard would have been every bit as pleased. But in fact, it left him weaker. 

The Wonderful Parliament, 1386

Fed up Gloucester and his chum, Richard FitzAlan the Earl of Arundel, took the normal approach of attacking the king's council as a proxy for attacking the king. Michael de la Pole was impeached, using this wonderful new method Peter de la Mare had given the people in the Good Parliament of 1377. De La Pole was removed, and a Continual Council put in place manage Richard's affairs for a year. Richard was livid – but helpless to resist. 

Preparing to fight back. 

Through the year, Richard showed he could be patient – he played the game, toured the midlands and outwardly seemed to be obeying the rules. Secretly, though he got his justices together, and got them to rule that the Wonderful parliament had acted illegally, against the right so of the Crown, than those who had done it were traitors.  Inevitably, the news got out about Richard's query – and Gloucester knew trouble was heading his way. In 1387, England found out how Gloucester, Arundel and Warwick would react. 


One thought on “124 The Character of a King

  1. This is an excelent set up episode. Explaining victory is hard but explaining the hospital pass that every participant managed to end up with is even harder. They did not lose quickly to universal regret.

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