Henry IV

Previous king: Richard II (cousin)       Reigned: 1399-1413       Next king: Henry V (son)

Henry IV Henry IV became king by rebelling against Richard II who had exiled him and taken his lands. Henry imprisoned Richard, who died in mysterious circumstances. Richard's heir should have been Edmund de Mortimer, who was a direct descendent of Edward III. Henry started a new dynasty called the House of Lancaster, as he was descended from John of Gaunt, Duke of Lancaster. At Henry's coronation, he made a speech in English. Before this, the official language of the court was French, ever since William I conquered England.

Jerusalem Chamber of Westminster Abbey Henry spent much of his reign putting down rebellions, by Edmund de Mortimer, Owain Glyndwr of Wales and Percy, Earl of Northumberland. He was helped by his son Henry, (later Henry V).

Henry IV was told that he would die in Jerusalem. He thought this meant that he would go on a Crusade. However, he died in the Jerusalem Chamber of Westminster Abbey instead (see right).

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