How did Richard II die?

I heard that he was ousted from the throne by King Henry IV??

Was this true?

If so why on earth did someone just come up and expell him from being a King? Surely a King wouldnt just hand over to him without a fight?

And sure the King had the entire army of England to use as a defence, so wasn't he basically unbeatable?

How did he lose the throne?

5 Answers

  • Lomax
    Lv 7
    8 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    Richard II was indeed deposed by Henry Bolingbroke, his cousin, who took the crown as Henry IV.

    Richard was imprisoned (in Berkeley Castle, if memory serves) and was murdered shortly afterwards.

    Richard didn't have the entire army of England at his disposal - mainly because no such body existed. When a king needed to raise an army; he called on his vassals - collectively known as the Barons - who called on their vassals (knights, mainly) to provide their agreed number of men; and so a force was assembled.

    Richard, unfortunately for him, had proved an unpopular king with the men that counted. The major nobles had simply had enough of him; and when a credible alternative candidate presented himself they backed him. With no support, Richard's position became untenable.

    Henry IV, incidentally, went on to have trouble with the barons himself - notably the Percies - and spent much of his reign putting down rebellions.

    Henry IV's grandson - Henry VI - also had family problems, which resulted in the Wars of the Roses.

  • 8 years ago

    How he died is not certain; he may have been murdered or starved himself in prison. He did abdicate the throne under duress from Henry later Henry IV. Shakespeare presented Richard II in a poor light, since Henry IV was an ancestor of King Henry VII the first Tudor monarch and therefore of Elizabeth.

  • 8 years ago

    Having a standing army controlled by a central government is a relatively recent idea. In the 14th Century nobles would have their own retinue of soldiers who were under their command. Frequently they would fight for the king, but sometimes they would fight for a rival for the throne. They were loyal to the man who paid them, not to their country or their king.

    Then you have to consider that the nobles all wanted more land, wealth and power. So, if a rival for the throne looked likely to succeed in their fight people would switch sides to gain favour with them. After all, if the rival became king then they'd be in a position to reward those who supported them and those who opposed them would probably be dead with all their land seized, so plenty to be distributed to supporters.

    As for how he lost the throne, he was over in Ireland with many of his supporters fighting the Irish. Henry raised an army and took over while he was away. Many nobles realised if they opposed him they'd lose everything so, as I said, they jumped to the winning team.

  • Anonymous
    8 years ago

    A ruler only "has the entire army" if the army is willing to obey his orders. By 1399 Richard had lost the support of just about everybody who had any authority in the government or military, so he could issue all the orders he wanted to, but nobody was going to obey him.

    Despite the "divine right" theory, there's nothing magical about being a "king." If your administration sucks, or if other people manage to subvert enough power centers, you can wear all the fancy golden hats you want but nobody is going to pay any attention to what you tell them to do.

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  • 5 years ago

    red hot poker up his a***

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