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ENCYCLOPEDIA OF BRITAIN
 
  More than 5000 entries on the history, culture and life of Britain (published in 1993 by Macmillan, now out of print)

 
More than 5000 entries on the history, culture and life of Britain (published in 1993 by Macmillan, now out of print)
Henry IV

(1366–1413)
King of England from 1399, taking the crown from Richard II; son of John of Gaunt and Blanche of Lancaster; known as Bolingbroke from the Lincolnshire castle in which he was born; married Mary de Bohun (c.1380) and Joan of Navarre (1403).

During Henry's early years his father, *John of Gaunt, was the most powerful man in the country, protecting his inadequate nephew *Richard II from his many opponents. Foremost among these opponents was Henry, a year older than the young king (his cousin) and far more a man of action. In 1398 Richard banished him.
 






The following year, on John of Gaunt's death, Richard also confiscated Henry's Lancastrian possessions, an unwise act which provoked Henry to invade England. The king had few remaining supporters, and in August 1399 he surrendered at Conway. In September parliament declared Richard deposed and Henry king, signalling the start of the house of *Lancaster.
 






Henry's rule was threatened by a succession of rebellions, continuing the unrest of Richard's reign but with the added ingredient that the new king was a usurper. The two most significant uprisings were those of the Percy family in Northumberland (one of whom was the Hotspur of *Henry IV) and of Owain *Glyn Dwr in Wales. Meanwhile *parliament exacted a price for having handed the king his crown. Henry accepted the concept of governing through parliament, and the important principle was established in 1407 that revenue was the responsibility of the House of Commons. Henry suffered during the last years of his life from a serious disease, described by his contemporaries as leprosy. He died in the Jerusalem chamber of Westminster Abbey and was succeeded by his son *Henry V (see the *royal house).
 








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